3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 12/23/19
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 ($12,000)
Considering the size of this slate (11 games), it's a bit surprising to only have one true top-priced player in action. Even though he's not still available at the briefly discounted price we saw in the last two games, it's still worth paying up for James Harden on a slate that's likely to bring us plenty of value.
Harden sits atop the NBA with an average of 59.9 FanDuel points per game on the year, while only one other player on tonight's slate averages more than even 50 (not coming close to Harden, with 50.9).
The slow-paced Sacramento Kings don't make for an ideal fantasy matchup. However, they're still allowing above-average production to shooting guards, and it's no surprise that Harden checks in as our models' highest-projected player on the slate by a wide margin.
Bradley Beal, SG, Washington Wizards ($9,400)
Tonight's matchup between the Washington Wizards and New York Knicks should be a great one for fantasy purposes. As of writing, the game's 231.0-point over/under is the highest on the slate, and with just a 3.5-point spread, we could be treated to a shootout.
Bradley Beal saw his salary fall after a few down games earlier in the month, but his production has bounced back and left him hugely under-priced. He's gone over 50.0 FanDuel points in four of his last five, and his average of 53.5 per game in that stretch is good for 5.7 per $1,000 of salary today.
That would put him on the radar even in a tough matchup, but it makes him an elite play tonight against a Knicks team that checks in at 26th in the NBA in defensive rating.
Nikola Vucevic, C, Orlando Magic ($7,700)
Vooch is back up to a full workload after missing a couple weeks with injury, and he's played at least 32 minutes in each of his last three games, averaging 18.3 points, 10.0 boards, 3.3 assists, and 3.0 combined blocks plus steals.
The Bulls come into this one with the second-lowest total rebound rate in the NBA (48.1%), surrendering the third-most rebounds per game to opponents. Unsurprisingly, that has made them a dreamy fantasy matchup for centers, allowing the NBA's fourth-most (and this slate's most) fantasy points per minute to the position.
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.