Anybody else irked a bit by James Harden not winning Western Conference Player of the Week? Yeah, like I get the whole feel-good story behind Carmelo Anthony (sort of), but like, come on, Harden is on another level right now. He dropped 60 points on the poor Hawks in his previous game — maybe that’s why he didn’t win it, because Atlanta is awful.
Anyway, it’s Harden and the rest of the field on tonight’s seven-game NBA slate on DraftKings. He’s priced at $12,500, so it’ll essentially be whether or not you play him in tournaments. Let’s break it down.
Should you pay up for James Harden?
I think the answer is almost always an emphatic “Yes!” Harden has the highest ceiling and if we take a look at the matchup, the Spurs can’t really contain him in any way, shape or form. San Antonio is allowing teams to shoot 39.1% from distance. The Spurs rank in the bottom five in most defensive categories and for some reason people think this game will be tight?
Anyway, Harden is expensive, but like any slate we can project some value to open up. If that’s the case, we can fit Harden in, but strictly GPPs. If Harden doesn’t reach his final form — another 60-point, massive fantasy output — he won’t be worth it in cash games.
Which mid-range options stand out the most?
There are quite a few actually, especially at SG. The man potentially tasked with containing Harden is DeMar DeRozan ($7,200), who is priced down after reaching $8,000 on Nov. 20. He’s returned value in seven of eight games and is becoming more consistent. This game environment will be friendly to Spurs players.
Jimmy Butler ($7,600) and Jrue Holiday ($7,700) are my other favorite plays in the mid-range. Both have high ceilings for GPPs — I’d lean Holiday given his matchup vs. Butler, who has to deal with the Raptors, which won’t be easy.
Where is the value at shooting guard?
I think the cash-game staple tonight is Evan Fournier ($6,200), who has the best matchup in basketball and has at least 30 points in two of his past three games. The Wizards cannot defend. It’s that simple. Fournier is still priced fair relative to what he’s been doing lately and this game should force the Magic to speed things up.
As far as cheap value, there isn’t much out there at shooting guard. Tim Hardaway Jr. ($4,600) has that matchup vs. the Pelicans, and his ceiling is high compared to his price. We may need to just wait and see at shooting guard. Some injuries will pop up and we’ll be able to capitalize.