3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 12/16/19
Basketball is the most consistent sport for daily fantasy purposes.
A top slugger in baseball will have his fair share of 0-for-4 days, and an elite fantasy football player is at risk of having games where his team's offense as a whole is shut down. A high-priced NBA stud is generally going to get his, though. With so many possessions in a game providing opportunities to produce, top fantasy basketball options will be posting high scores just about every night.
While this consistency puts us in a good position to identify top plays, it also means you can't afford to miss when you're paying up for someone. Even with strong value plays in your lineup, paying up and getting a dud is likely going to leave your lineup drawing pretty close to dead.
Let's get right into it and look at which top players should be the focal points of your lineups tonight.
James Harden, SG, Houston Rockets ($12,400)
James Harden's edge in fantasy points per game over Giannis Antetokounmpo (60.5 to 58.2 FanDuel points per game — easily the two highest marks in the NBA) may have a bit more to do with playing time than efficiency, as Giannis has a significant edge in fantasy points per minute. Their discrepancy in workload should be on full display tonight, though, giving Harden the edge at the top of the pricing spectrum.
Both the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks are favored by double-digit points tonight. Giannis has played fewer than 30 minutes in each of the last seven Bucks games that were decided by at least 10 points, while Harden has averaged 36.8 per game in the last seven Rockets contests decided by 10-plus.
His matchup may be a bit more efficiency-friendly than Giannis' as well, taking on a San Antonio Spurs squad that ranks 23rd in defensive rating on the year, leaving the Rockets with a slate-high 121.5-point implied total.
Andre Drummond, C, Detroit Pistons ($10,000)
Keep an eye on Andre Drummond's status, because he's officially questionable. He wasn't ruled out until pretty close to tip on Saturday though, and if he returns tonight, his upside will be massive against the Washington Wizards.
The Wiz own the NBA's worst total rebound rate (47.1%), which they pair with the second-highest pace. That combination has them allowing the league's fifth-most rebounds per game (46.6), while also giving up the most points (122.4) and fourth-most blocks (5.8) per game to opponents.
Poised to take advantage of all three of those areas, Drummond is averaging career-bests in both points (17.7) and rebounds (a league-leading 16.6) while adding 1.8 blocks, 1.7 steals and 2.9 assists per game. His 49.2 FanDuel points per game are also a career-best, and he should have no trouble blowing away his average if he suits up against Washington.
Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers ($8,700)
The Blazers have had a disappointing start to the year, but Damian Lillard is actually on pace for a career-best 44.3 FanDuel points per game — already good for 5.1 per $1,000 of salary tonight.
The Suns are playing at a top-10 pace while ranking 18th in defensive rating, and we've seen them allow top-10 fantasy efficiency to opposing point guards. Having already played 37.5 minutes in four of his last five games, Dame shouldn't have any trouble taking advantage of this matchup, leaving him hugely under-priced on Monday.
Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his 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.