3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 1/14/20

James Harden is practically a must with Russell Westbrook out on Tuesday. Who else should you pay up for tonight?

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 ($11,700)

The fact that Russell Westbrook has already been ruled out for tonight's game between the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies boosts James Harden's fantasy value in two key ways.

First, Harden becomes even more studly with Westbrook on the bench. His already terrific 58.9 FanDuel points per game in contests playing alongside Westbrook has jumped to 64.5 in four games without Westbrook. If we expand our view to all minutes played with Westbrook on and off the court, we see jumps from a 33.4% usage rate and 1.43 FanDuel points per minute with Westbrook on to a 47.6% usage (!) and 1.78 fantasy points per minute (!!) with Westbrook off.

A smaller, but still important, bonus is that this game is now less likely to be a blowout with a 4.5-point spread. That means we can expect Harden to get a full complement of minutes. Combined with his insane Westbrook-less numbers, that makes him a virtual lock.

Luka Doncic, PG, Dallas Mavericks ($10,900)

Priced down by $400 despite drawing a plus matchup, it's easy to like a discounted Luka Doncic on Tuesday.

The budding superstar has been cold from a fantasy perspective in his last few games, sure. But he still hasn't fallen below 40.0 FanDuel points in any of his last seven, and before his recent skid of three consecutive sub-50 games, he had a stretch of 66.2, 69.4, 56.1 and 58.5. Factoring in the hot and cold, that's still a strong 54.3 FanDuel points per game over those seven.

And now he gets a Golden State Warriors team that checks in 20th in defensive rating, plays at an above-average pace and has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per minute to opposing point guards.

Clint Capela, C, Houston Rockets ($7,900)

Back to the Rockets, even Clint Capela gets in on the boost in fantasy efficiency sans Westbrook. His usage rate doesn't change much with or without Westbrook (16.7% on, 16.4% off), but he jumps from 1.05 to 1.16 FanDuel points per minute, thanks largely to a jump from 20.5% to 24.9% in total rebound rate.

Not the Grizzlies of years past, Memphis has allowed above-average fantasy production to opponents at the five this year, thanks to a third-ranked pace and middling 50.0% rebound rate.

Capela has exploded for at least 59.0 fantasy points in two of his last three games, and he's averaging 45.8 per game without Westbrook (compared to 39.8 with).

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.