3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 1/9/20
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's price-tag remains curiously low. Leading the NBA in both FanDuel points per game over the past month and on the season, you'd generally expect him to be the most expensive player on almost any slate, and to be priced in the $12,000 range. He is the most expensive player tonight, but at only $11.2k he's not being priced like the true stud he is.
It's not like his salary has taken a hit from a recent slump either, as he's scored at least 74.0 fantasy points in three of his last four games. He has five such games in the past month alone, while nobody else in the NBA has more than four over the entire season.
A matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder isn't ideal, but it's also not one that should cause any sort of massive downgrade in salary. They check in at 13th in defensive rating, 23rd in total rebound rate and 23rd in pace.
The one big concern with Harden here is that he's on the second half of a back-to-back and has played some big minutes in his last couple games, but his upside is still too good to ignore.
Andre Drummond, C, Detroit Pistons ($10,900)
Offensive production isn't usually the first place we go with Andre Drummond, but he should get a big boost in that area tonight.
The Detroit Pistons boast a slate-high 113.5-point implied total against a Cleveland Cavaliers squad that ranks 29th in defensive rating. The Cavs have also allowed the NBA's fifth-highest field goal percentage in the restricted area (64.9%), where Drummond averages 9.2 field goal attempts per game (third in the NBA).
The Cavs are also getting burned for the 10th-most FanDuel points per minute to opposing centers.
Russell Westbrook, PG, Houston Rockets ($8,700)
This isn't the Russell Westbrook of years past, but he still has no business being priced down below $9,000. He needs just 43.5 FanDuel points to return 5.0 per $1,000 of salary at this price, and that's a mark he has hit in 12 of his last 14 games, while averaging 49.2 per game in that stretch.
Considering the fact that Harden played 39.7 minutes last night, we could also see Westbrook do a little bit more heavy lifting than usual in this one.
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.