3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 1/31/20

James Harden is as cheap as he's been all year, and now is the time to pounce. Who else is worth building around on Friday?

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 ($10,100)

James Harden struggled to the tune of 36.0 FanDuel points as he returned from injury in his last game, but his workload was still encouraging. The Houston Rockets appear to have no concerns about his health, as he was on the floor for 38.3 minutes.

Harden's certainly in the middle of a slump right now, but a nine-game skid shouldn't be enough to convince you the sky is falling. Harden exploded for at least 74 FanDuel points in three of the four games before this cold stretch, and even with his recent struggles, he's averaged 42.9 per game over the last nine.

Posting a .401% effective field goal percentage over his last nine, compared to .533 for the season and .541 last year, positive regression is going to hit for Harden. When you factor in the huge workload he's getting and his league-leading average of 57.0 FanDuel points per game, it's hard not to like rolling the dice on Harden while his salary is this low.

Ja Morant, PG, Memphis Grizzlies ($7,400)

At $7.4K, Ja Morant needs just 37.0 FanDuel points to return 5.0 per $1,000 of salary. That's a mark we've seen him hit five times in his last eight games and six times in his last 10, averaging 37.8 per game in those 10.

That is to say, in a neutral matchup, this is a pretty fair price for Morant -- maybe a little on the cheap side.

The New Orleans Pelicans are no neutral matchup, either. Checking in 25th in defensive rating while playing at the number-six pace in the NBA, the Pels have surrendered the third-most points while also giving up above-average marks in both assists and rebounds per game.

Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Dallas Mavericks ($6,400)

At $6,4K, Kristaps Porzingis isn't in the usual "stud" price range, but with Luka Doncic ruled out, Zinger is the most expensive player on the Dallas Mavericks, and he's set to produce like a stud.

Porzingis has a 24.1% usage rate and averages 1.04 FanDuel points per minute in 762 minutes played with Doncic on the floor this season. With Doncic off (327 minutes), those averages jump to 28.6% usage and 1.25 fantasy points per minute. He should also be in for some increased efficiency tonight against the Houston Rockets, who have allowed the seventh-most points and eighth-most rebounds per game to opposing teams.

Porzingis' minutes are a bit of a concern, as he's yet to play 30 in a game since returning from an injury absence on January 21. The Mavs will likely have to lean on him harder with Doncic out, though, which could mean some increased minutes to go with the boosted efficiency.

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.