No Harden Feelings

The Magic rank dead last in defensive efficiency versus opposing backcourts and Chris Paul may or may not play tonight. Consequently, Harden is worth building around in all formats, and you would have to be crazy to fade him. Here are my picks for Tuesday, January 30:

cash-plays

Guards (G) Forwards/Centers (F/C) Utility (UTIL)
James Harden (especially if no Paul),
$21,300
LeBron James,
$21,400
Anthony Davis,
$20,300
Stephen Curry,
$19,300
Kevin Durant,
$18,000
Andre Drummond,
$17,400
Damian Lillard,
$15,600
Nikola Jokic,
$15,700
Kristaps Porzingis,
$16,700
Jrue Holiday,
$15,200
Jimmy Butler,
$14,900
Lou Williams,
$14,900
DeMar DeRozan,
$13,900
Clint Capela,
$13,600
LaMarcus Aldridge,
$14,600
Donovan Mitchell,
$12,700
DeAndre Jordan,
$12,500
Pau Gasol,
$11,600
E’Twaun Moore,
$9,900
Wesley Johnson (if new players are not active),
$8,900
Jeff Teague,
$10,200
 Mario Hezonja,
$8,800
Reggie Bullock,
$8,700
Kosta Koufos,
$8,200
Delon Wright,
$7,300
Montrezl Harrell (if new players are not active),
$7,900
Joe Harris,
$8,000

tournament-plays

Guards (G) Forwards/Centers (F/C) Utility (UTIL)
James Harden (especially if no Paul),
$21,300
LeBron James,
$21,400
Anthony Davis,
$20,300
Stephen Curry,
$19,300
Kevin Durant,
$18,000
Andre Drummond,
$17,400
Jrue Holiday,
$15,200
Nikola Jokic,
$15,700
Kristaps Porzingis,
$16,700
Lou Williams,
$14,900
Jimmy Butler,
$14,900
LaMarcus Aldridge,
$14,600
Donovan Mitchell,
$12,700
Enes Kanter,
$14,000
Eric Gordon (if no Paul),
$13,700
Ricky Rubio,
$10,000
DeAndre Jordan,
$12,500
Klay Thompson,
$12,200
 Kyle Anderson,
$9,000
Reggie Bullock,
$8,700
Pau Gasol,
$11,600
Allen Crabbe,
$8,400
Kosta Koufos,
$8,200
Mario Hezonja,
$8,800
Delon Wright,
$7,300
Montrezl Harrell (if new players are not active),
$7,900
Joe Harris,
$8,000

preferred-play

Analysis:

James Harden, Rockets, $21,300 – No team has allowed more fantasy points per game (FPPG) to opposing backcourts than the Magic and they also rank dead last in defensive efficiency versus guards as well. In other words, starting arguably the best offensive player against this defense (or lack thereof) should prove to be a winning proposition. Assuming Chris Paul, who is listed as questionable, sits, James Harden is unfadeable. Without both Paul and Trevor Ariza (out at least five games) on the court, Harden averages a ridiculous 1.88 fantasy points per minute (FPPM) or about 68 fantasy points per-36 minutes…and that is on average. The Magic are no average matchup so Harden legitimately could possess 80 fantasy point upside in this spot.

Lou Williams, Clippers, $14,900 – On Monday evening, the Clippers shocked the world by trading Blake Griffin to the Pistons, and it typically takes a few days for trades to be process. Since the Clippers have a game on Tuesday, it seems very likely they are without both the players they traded and the players they traded for. Essentially, for a one-game sample, their rotation will be incredibly limited, and they will be lacking offensive options (especially without Griffin). Without Griffin on the floor, Williams handily leads the team in usage at 32.7-percent, and he is a 1.18 FPPM producer. In a game where the team will have to rely ultra-heavily on Williams, $14,900 is not expensive enough.

Montrezl Harrell, Clippers, $7,900 – One member of the Clippers is not enough this evening as the frontcourt is incredibly thin as well. The active players in the frontcourt tonight will be DeAndre Jordan, Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Johnson and Sam Dekkerthat is it. By default, Harrell will have to play around 30 minutes with this group especially if the team decides to go big to counteract the Trail Blazers who rank as a top seven team in terms of rebounding rate. Not only will he take over the backup center minutes but he also will play some alongside Jordan. Harrell has topped 30 fantasy points each of the last two times he has played 30-plus minutes and 30 minutes is certainly not out of the question here. Note: At a similar cost, Reggie Bullock is the superior play, as is Mario Hezonja. Harrell is more volatile than either of the two so act accordingly.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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