3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 1/3/20

Portland is in a money spot against Washington on Friday night. Who should you be paying up for on FanDuel's NBA slate?

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 ($11,100)

Leading the NBA with 59.7 FanDuel points per game, getting James Harden for just the second-highest salary on a slate tends to make him worth a deeper look.

His production has been consistent over his last five games, averaging exactly that 59.7 per game mark, but this is tied for the lowest salary he's sported all season. There are only two other players on the slate averaging more than even 50.0 FanDuel points per game on the year, so it's not exactly like there's a ton of competition at the top of the pricing spectrum, either.

Yes, the Philadelphia 76ers make for a tough matchup, checking in with a top-10 defensive rating and below-average pace, but Harden has eclipsed 55.5 fantasy points in 54% (19 of 33) of his games this season. Even if we're expecting some below-average output, Harden is a good bet to pay off his high price tag while also carrying some huge upside, having accounted for 6 of the 10 highest single-game fantasy scores this season among anyone in action on tonight's slate.

Hassan Whiteside, C, Portland Trail Blazers ($9,300)

Hassan Whiteside has been producing some consistently solid numbers as of late. In the last 15 games, he has only fallen below 40.0 FanDuel points three times, and two of those three occasions were contests that saw him limited to fewer than 30 minutes played.

A blowout isn't overly likely to limit his workload tonight, as FanDuel Sportsbook has the Portland Trail Blazers as modest 5.5-point favorites over the Washington Wizards.

It's not just a potential close matchup that makes this a dreamy spot for Whiteside, either. The Wizards' combination of a breakneck pace (third in the NBA) and a league-worst rebound rate makes them an incredibly exploitable fantasy matchup on the interior. They have allowed the NBA's fifth-most (and the slate's most) fantasy points per minute to opposing centers this season.

Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers ($9,300)

It's also not just centers who get a huge boost against Washington. They also have the worst defensive rating in the NBA by a big margin, and that has them giving up the most points and second-most assists per game to their opponents. For point guards, that has meant the sixth-most fantasy points per minute.

Damian Lillard's salary would be pretty appealing even in a neutral spot tonight, as he has at least 49.8 FanDuel points in three of his last four games and at least 46.1 in six of his last eight.

Adding in a matchup with the Wiz, who he cooked for 40 real-world and 56.7 fantasy points in their last meeting, $9.3k makes Dame a serious bargain.

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.