3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 1/8/20
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 ($11,200)
James Harden leads the NBA in FanDuel points per game over the past month (61.3; second-most is 55.8) and the season (60.2; second-most is 57.7). He also draws a plus matchup against the Atlanta Hawks tonight, but he's only the third-most expensive player on the slate.
The Houston Rockets have a hefty 121.75-point implied total against a Hawks team that checks in the with the third-worst defensive rating and eighth-highest pace in the NBA. They've been cooked for the 2nd-most points and 10th-most assists per game.
Leading the NBA with 38.4 points and ranking eighth with 7.6 assists per game, there's little question as to whether or not Harden can take advantage of this matchup. There is some blowout risk, but an 8.0-point spread isn't a huge issue.
Zach LaVine, SG, Chicago Bulls ($8,400)
Zach LaVine is pretty heavily reliant on scoring for his fantasy production, averaging 4.5 boards, 4.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 23.6 points per game. His usage rate is up to a career-high 30.8%, and he's putting up 20.2 field goal attempts per 36.
A matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans is money for a scorer like LaVine. The Pels have allowed opponents to shoot the NBA's 9th-highest effective field goal percentage and rank 26th in defensive rating. They combine that lack of efficiency with a seventh-ranked pace, meaning that both volume and efficiency should be there for LaVine tonight.
Clint Capela, C, Houston Rockets ($7,600)
Back to the Rockets' juicy matchup against Atlanta, the Hawks struggle on the interior, as well. Complementing their porous defense, they own the NBA's second-lowest total rebound rate, giving up the sixth-most boards per game to opponents.
Unsurprisingly, that combination has them allowing top-10 fantasy efficiency to opposing centers.
Clint Capela is averaging 41.0 FanDuel points per game over his last 10, representing 5.4 per $1,000 of salary today, and when we add in this dreamy matchup, he becomes one of the best center plays on the slate.
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.