3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 3/5/20
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)
The Los Angeles Clippers are a rough matchup, no doubt. But there are a few factors keeping James Harden firmly in play tonight. First off, it's just a four-game slate, so it's slim pickings for studs, and the opportunity cost of missing one of Harden's typical huge games can be high.
Second, he's actually produced well against the Clips this year. In three meetings, Harden has dropped 67.7, 66.6 and 47.2 FanDuel points — averaging 60.5 per game (above his season average of 57.0). Russell Westbrook has been the Houston Rocket star really hurt by this matchup, dropping 20.4, 37.0 and 54.5 — 37.3 per game.
With a 237-point over/under and just a 0.5-point spread, this game should provide plenty of fantasy production.
Kawhi Leonard, PF, Los Angeles Clippers ($9,200)
On the other side of things, the Rockets aren't nearly as intimidating a fantasy matchup, combining a middling 15th-ranked defensive rating with a top-five pace.
Houston's defensive rating has held steady since shipping off Clint Capela, but since February 1 they have the lowest total rebound rate in the NBA, at an abysmal 44.6%. For context, only one team since 2000 has finished a season with a rebound rate lower than that.
So Kawhi Leonard is his usual threat to do damage on the offensive end here, as a guy averaging 27.0 points and 5.1 assists per game on 33.5% usage. His 12.0% rebound rate is his highest since the 2014-15 season, and he's racking up a career-high 7.5 rebounds, meaning he's also a threat to rack up huge numbers on the glass against the rebounding-deficient Rockets.
Tobias Harris, SF, Philadelphia 76ers ($7,100)
Tobias Harris fell flat in his last outing against the tough Los Angeles Lakers defense, but his underlying numbers still showed why he's been a strong fantasy option while Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are both on the shelf. He played 33.1 minutes even in a one-sided game, and he got up 18 field goal attempts.
Over his three games with both Embiid and Simmons out, we've seen Harris averaged 20.0 field goal attempts in 36.5 minutes per game. He's put up an average of 40.7 FanDuel points on 27.3% usage in that stretch.
If anything, his inefficiency against the Lakers is a positive, because it's kept him priced well below where he likely should be while the Sixers are this thin.
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.