NBA Daily Fantasy 3/17: Anthony Davis vs. James Harden
With only five NBA games to choose from tonight, options are limited. That’s especially true when it comes to the expensive players.
On FanDuel, Anthony Davis comes in at $12,300 while James Harden is $10,800. The next three players are all on the Los Angeles Clippers – Chris Paul at $10,200, DeAndre Jordan at $9,300 and Blake Griffin at $9,300. Griffin’s return to the lineup has caused Paul and Jordan to be overpriced. In Griffin’s first game back, he logged 41 minutes for 37.2 FPTS against the Houston Rockets. There’s no easing him back into the lineup as the Clippers are in full force to ensure they make the playoffs.
Therefore, unless you plan on going with a balanced-salary method (which is somewhat realistic tonight), you’re left with a decision in either going with Davis or Harden.
The Case for Davis
Since Davis returned from injury, he’s been a minutes and FPTS machine. If you take away the New Orleans Pelicans’ blowout matchup with the Brooklyn Nets, Davis has posted 64.84 FPTS in 43 minutes (includes one 2OT game). Even though Davis benefited from great matchups like the Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets at home, that’s an insane 1.5 FPTS per minute. Plus, one of those contests was against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Pelicans’ opponent tonight, and Davis put up 66 FPTS in that one. It was no fluke as the Bucks have been mediocre against PFs this season, and they’ve been particularly bad since they put Ersan Ilyasova back into the starting lineup.
Davis’ $12,300 is a ton to fork up. However, the 64.84 FPTS does exceed his salary, and the Pelicans are a 7-point favorite at home. The only ways Davis doesn’t have a monster game is if he gets injured, or the Pelicans blow out the Bucks and his minutes are limited. Those are two things you can’t worry about.
The Case for Harden
Harden has posted 46.2 FPTS in 38.6 minutes in the month of March, which comes out to 1.2 FPTS per minute. This is approximately what he’s been accumulating this season overall. What’s particularly great about Harden for tonight though is the matchup with the Rockets being an 11-point favorite at home against the Orlando Magic. While the Magic are great at FPTS allowed to SGs, Harden has torched the Magic in previous matchups ever since he’s been on Houston. Here are his stat lines for points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks: 26-4-10, 31-3-6, 27-8-10, 24-7-8. In the previous game against Orlando back in January where he had 26 points, four rebounds and 10 assists, Harden also picked up five steals and a block.
Harden is very similar to Davis in that he’s a lock to have an outstanding game tonight with an injury or blowout as the only concerns. The extra benefit for Harden is that Patrick Beverley is being listed as questionable for tonight’s contest with an elbow injury. If he sits out, expect Harden to have the ball in his hands even more.
Harden Over Davis
There’s one key element I’ve left out until this point: there is much greater depth at PF tonight as opposed to SG. Behind Davis at PF is Griffin at $9,300 (Charlotte Hornets are mediocre against PFs), Zach Randolph at $7,800 (Detroit Pistons are last in FPTS allowed to PFs and no Greg Monroe tonight), Tim Duncan at $7,500 (San Antonio Spurs are a 14-point favorite at the New York Knicks) and Terrence Jones at $6,700 (Magic are ninth-worst at FPTS allowed to PFs and Jones is hot with Josh Smith getting fewer minutes).
If you look at SG, the highest-salary plays after Harden are Victor Oladipo at $7,700 (11-point underdog against Houston), Giannis Antetokounmpo at $6,800 (inconsistent and a 7-point dog against the Pelicans) and J.J. Redick at $6,400 (overpriced with Griffin back). Your best options are Eric Gordon at $6,100 (limited upside with Davis back) and Danny Green at $5,500 (the definition of inconsistent based on three-pointers).
So, while Davis might ultimately be the better play straight up to Harden, Harden is the better choice for your lineup.View all posts by Nick Juskewycz