3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 1/11/19
James Harden, SG, Houston Rockets
Thanks to the fact that he's been in action on the same days as Anthony Davis for much of this week, James Harden hasn't been quite as appealing as you'd expect this hot streak to make him -- especially when he was priced higher than Davis. The Brow isn't in action tonight, though, and you can feel good about loading up on Harden.
Since Chris Paul was injured on December 20, Harden has posted at least 60 FanDuel points in six of his nine games, averaging 63.8 per game. This streak had even started before Paul went down, though, and he's got 60-plus in 10 of his last 14, with four 70-plus FanDuel point performances in that time.
That means he may have the same kind of upside when Paul does return, but the absence of Paul (and Eric Gordon) also gives Harden an incredible floor.
In 378 minutes played with Paul and Gordon both off the floor this season, Harden has an absurd 45.2% usage rate, averaging 1.65 FanDuel points per minute. That's compared to 1.24 per minute and 34.9% usage with Paul on the court.
The only real risk in playing Harden tonight is that of a blowout, as the Houston Rockets are big 14.0-point favorites against the Cleveland Cavaliers and their 30th-ranked defensive rating. With Harden's massive usage, though, a blowout win should come directly as a result of a huge scoring day, making Harden a little bit safer than most studs would be as such big favorites.