3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 4/9/19
James Harden, SG, Houston Rockets
Often the term "stud" has to become pretty flexible on the last couple days of the season, with few teams playing for anything over the final game or two. Tonight we're treated to what should at least be a moderate-effort game between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder, with Houston having the potential to move up to the 2 seed in the West and with OKC looking to avoid the 8 seed and a potential first-round matchup with the Golden State Warriors.
The eight playoff teams in the West have been decided for quite some time, so we've got a pretty good sample showing what these teams have been doing with nothing but seeding on the line, which can help us make the big decision between the two top-priced plays -- Russell Westbrook and James Harden
It looks like Westbrook has seen a big edge in playing time recently, averaging 37.5 minutes per game over his last nine, compared 32.4 for Harden. But Harden has dealt with a string of blowouts lately, and he saw at least 36 minutes in each of the last six games he played in that were decided by fewer than 15 points.
In part because of those blowouts, Harden is sitting priced $200 below Westbrook tonight. They'll likely play similar minutes (we actually have Harden projected for an edge of about one minute), and Harden holds an edge in fantasy efficiency on the season, ranking third with 1.60 FanDuel points per minute while Westbrook sits fifth (1.53).
The Rockets also rank better in fewest FanDuel points per minute to opposing point guards than the Thunder rank against either point guards or shooting guards, giving Harden a slight edge in the matchup department, as well.