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The Beard goes off again with second straight 80-plus fantasy performance vs. Magic

James Harden drops 54 on Orlando, drains 10 three-pointers for second game in a row Friday.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden drives to the basket as Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon defends during the second quarter at Amway Center.  Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Beard was out in full force Friday night with the Rockets taking on the Magic. James Harden dropped a modest 54 points with five rebounds and seven assists for 84.25 DraftKings fantasy points at $12,600. It was his second straight 80+ fantasy points performance after dousing the Cavaliers with 55 points (80.75 DKFP) on Wednesday night.

Harden is in one of those scoring binges and it has a lot to do with his outside shooting. Prior to this two-game stretch, Harden had failed to hit more than four 3-pointers in four straight games, only reaching salary value in one of those contests. His shot was cold and he was struggling as a result. His usage rate had also been down by his standards a bit recently, but we saw when it shoots up around 50% that Harden generally produces massive fantasy totals.

So, with the Rockets on the second of a back-to-back Saturday vs. the Pistons, we could potentially see Russell Westbrook sit out to rest. If that’s the case, at $12,900, I think Harden has to be considered strongly in GPPs on Saturday’s main seven-game slate. When he’s hot, he’s hot, and it takes a while for him to cool off. Last night vs. Orlando was one of the tougher matchups in the NBA; the Magic allow the second-fewest points per game and are 12th in defensive rating while ranking 28th in pace. The Pistons, well, they’re 19th in defensive rating and 25th in pace. Is 90 fantasy points achievable tonight? Definitely, definitely.