3 NBA DraftKings Studs to Target on 12/16/19

James Harden is on a tear and in search of another big game against the Spurs' lackluster defense. Who else is in a smash spot tonight?

While building a daily fantasy basketball lineup, it's important to make sure you find the right studs to anchor your team. As the most expensive players in your lineup, they need big-time production to match their high price tag.

You may find it hard to fit some of these guys in while staying under the salary cap, but you can check out our projections to find value players for your rosters. Let's take a look at the top high-priced DraftKings plays of the day.

James Harden, PG/SG, Houston Rockets

DraftKings Price: $12,900

Whew -- James Harden costs a pretty penny, as he checks in $1,000 clear of the next-highest player salary on the slate. But his recent play has certainly shown us that he is capable of paying that tag off and much more.

Harden is averaging 63.6 DraftKings points per game on the year, but over his last eight, he's producing 68.0, with four -- count 'em, four -- games beyond the 75-point threshold. He has 50 or more real-world points in all four of those, one of which came against these same San Antonio Spurs. Less than two weeks ago, Harden went for 50 points and 78.25 DK points in an overtime loss in San Antonio.

That really isn't anything new with these Spurs, though. They have been hammered for points all season, allowing 115.6 per game and 111.7 per 100 possessions, the latter ranking 23rd, according to That has led to opposing shooting guards putting up 25.1 points and 43.2 DK points a game, per data at Fantasy Pros.

It might be hard to get The Bearded One into your cash lineups, but he has the ceiling you're looking for in tournaments and GPPs. Our models project him for 57.9 DK points in 37.1 minutes.

Andre Drummond, C, Detroit Pistons

DraftKings Price: $9,300

Andre Drummond burned a lot of people on Saturday night. The Detroit Pistons' star big man was a late no-go because of an allergic reaction to an avocado, and for that same reason, he's listed as questionable against the Washington Wizards. But unless he's suffering some serious side effects, you can probably count on him returning to take advantage of this cake matchup.

You will definitely want to make sure that Drummond is in the lineup, and if he is, he might just be the best point-per-dollar play in the upper price range. On top of a pace-up game against a Washington team ranked second in pace this year, the Wiz have surrendered the third-most DK points per game (59.5) to centers. Their 19.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists allowed to the position lead the way by decent margins. And we already saw Drummond turn that opportunity into 58.5 DK points in an earlier meeting.

Drummond heads into Monday evening with big 20-20 upside because of Washington's lack of rebounding. Their 47.1% rebounding rate is dead last in the league, and they're allowing the fifth-most second-chance points to date. It's the perfect storm for a guy like Drummond.

Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers

DraftKings Price: $8,400

It's still a little odd to see Damian Lillard's price tag in this range, especially after sitting above $9,000 for the majority of the first 10 to 15 games. However, Dame has cooled off a bit since his hot start. The same goes for the Trail Blazers at large, but the floor general has seen his scoring go from 29.2 per game in October to 26.6 in November and 23.2 so far this month.

That isn't the best news for fantasy. We want the safety of a high scoring total, particularly for guys that require such a high investment. But still, Lillard has the potential to fill up the box score elsewhere. In six December matchups, his 8.2 assists a game are up from where they were last month, and that's led to two double-doubles in that span.

The Phoenix Suns have Ricky Rubio -- a rather respectable defender -- to spot opposing point men, yet they rank seventh-worst against the position. That, along with a narrow spread (Suns -1, per FanDuel Sportsbook), should be enough to get Lillard going and fulfill his 46.4-point projection on DK.

Brett Oswalt i
s not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Brett Oswalt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username BrettOswalt. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.