3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 2/26/20

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 ($11,700)

Deciding between James Harden and Russell Westbrook can be tough on any given slate, but the way they match up with the Memphis Grizzlies could favor Harden.

Ranking 18th in defensive rating and playing at the NBA's 6th-fastest pace, the Grizz have been a matchup to target all year. One defensive area in which they hold up well, though, is rim protection, allowing only the NBA's 7th-lowest field goal percentage in the restricted area. That's where 45.4% of Westbrook's field goal attempts have come this year, compared to 27.7% for Harden.

He had the benefit of Russ sitting both of those games, but we saw Harden drop 59.2 and 67.0 FanDuel points in his first two games against the Grizz this year.

Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers ($10,200)

Ben Simmons is on the shelf, and while we're dealing with a small sample, that has been a big boost for Joel Embiid's fantasy value. He's averaged 56.2 FanDuel points per game in 4 contests without Simmons, compared to 45.6 per game in 38 with Simmons.

This has come with a big increase in usage rate, from 32.2% up to 37.1%, and Embiid rebounds at a higher rate with Simmons out. Looking at all minutes with Simmons on and off the floor this season, Embiid's total rebound rate jumps from 17.5% with Simmons on the floor to 20.9% with Simmons off.

Coming off a game in which he scored a career-high 49 points and standing to see increases in usage and rebound rate, a slight $200 jump in salary leaves Embiid nice and under-priced here.

Spencer Dinwiddie, PG, Brooklyn Nets ($7,100)

No Kyrie Irving and a plus matchup against the Washington Wizards? It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Spencer Dinwiddie is a top play tonight, especially with this reasonable price-tag.

Dinwiddie has scored at least 35 FanDuel points in 26 (72.2%) of the 36 games he's played with Irving on the shelf this year, averaging 39.0 per game (5.5 per $1,000 of salary tonight) in that sample. That comes with significant jumps in both minutes per game (28.4 with to 32.9 without) and usage rate (26.4% to 31.4%).

A fantasy matchup to attack all season, the Wizards' 3rd-ranked pace and 30th-ranked defensive rating is an obvious combination to exploit, especially with a high-usage guard.

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.