3 NBA DraftKings Studs to Target on 2/4/20

With Russell Westbrook expected to sit, James Harden is in for a big workload against the Hornets. Will he pop and pay off his high salary?

While building a daily fantasy basketball lineup, it's important to make sure you find the right studs to anchor your team. As the most expensive players in your lineup, they need big-time production to match their high price tag.

You may find it hard to fit some of these guys in while staying under the salary cap, but you can check out our projections to find value players for your rosters. Let's take a look at the top high-priced DraftKings plays of the day.

James Harden, PG/SG, Houston Rockets

DraftKings Price: $12,000

It would appear that after a brief blip on the radar all systems are go for James Harden. Following three games under 50, the Bearded One has put up 75.0 and 73.0 DraftKings points in the last two games, shooting 44.9% from the floor and 44.8% from three en route to 37.5 points per game. He's also managed a pair of double-doubles with 15 assists across the two matchups.

Harden's hot streak is coming at the right time, as the Houston Rockets are expected to be without Russell Westbrook, who is listed as doubtful for Tuesday's game against the Charlotte Hornets. And that gives Harden a big boost in both usage and production. Per NBA Wowy, he has watched his usage rate climb from 33.6% 45.8% in the 630 minutes Brodie has been off the floor, and in doing so he's yielded an insane 1.90 DK points per minute.

At home in a game in which the Rockets are favored by 13.5 (per FanDuel Sportsbook), Harden is bound to pop off regardless of who he is facing off with. Our models think so, too, projecting him for 36.1 points and 60.5 DK points over 39.2 minutes of play.

Anthony Davis, PF/C, Los Angeles Lakers

DraftKings Price: $9,300

Harden isn't the only big-name stud taking to the hardwood on Tuesday night. Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James and Damian Lillard are all over $10,000, but Anthony Davis comes at a decent discount for the 50-plus-point upside we get from him. Despite an injury designation, he is listed as probable for a head-to-head against the visiting San Antonio Spurs, against whom the Los Angeles Lakers are favored by 12 with a juicy 120.5 total.

That's big for the Brow, a guy who has averaged 51.0 DK points for the year including 54.5 in games his team has scored 120 or more points. His recent stretch with six of seven below 50 fantasy points can be concerning, but that -- and his 10 games of 60 or more -- is what makes him an ideal tournament option at this price. His usage rate is still 25.6% over the last six, and he's averaged a 29.5% rate in the two games versus these Spurs. He's averaged an appealing 50.9 DK points even with some poor shooting in that pair of meetings.

The icing on the cake for Davis is that he's playing in the friendly confines of Staples Center, a place where he's averaged 5.3 more fantasy points per game in 2019-20. We expect him to get close to hitting that mark on Tuesday, as he carries a projection of 49.5 DK points for a value of 5.3 points per $1,000.

Zion Williamson, PF/C, New Orleans Pelicans

DraftKings Price: $7,100

Zion Williamson enters this evening at a considerable discount to both Harden and Davis. His price tag is down by $600, and that's despite a double-double in his last game against Houston. It doesn't make sense to pass him up on a four-game slate like this.

Although the matchup with Milwaukee -- six-point favorites and first in defensive rating -- is not very ideal for a rookie, Zion is no average rookie, and the New Orleans Pelicans won't shy away from the Bucks' league-leading pace. They are fifth in their own right, and that's in part cause for their 119.5 total. The 20-win Pels have exceeded the 120-point mark in three of their last four in a span Zion has averaged 33.8 DK points per game but 1.10 per minute over 30.7 minutes a game. And that accounts for the 30 and 29 he logged in 14- and 28-point wins.

Expect the star rook to get closer to the 33 minutes he played against the Rockets on Sunday, and if that one is any indication (39.0 DK points and a double-double) he might easily pass his salary-implied output and work toward 40 at a nice value. Our projections have him down for 31.8 DK points in a conservative 23.1 minutes. At that rate, he's due for 41.2 in 30 minutes.

Brett Oswalt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Brett Oswalt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username BrettOswalt__14. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her 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.