NBA Fantasy Breakdown (Wed. 10/17): James Harden or Anthony Davis?

NBA Fantasy Breakdown (Wed. 10/17): James Harden or Anthony Davis? article feature image

Photos from USAToday Sports. Pictured: Anthony Davis and James Harden

  • Wednesday features an 11-game DFS slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
  • Matt LaMarca breaks down the best studs, value picks and tournament plays on DraftKings and FanDuel.
  • For the full breakdown, including analysis on every position, click the FantasyLabs link at the bottom of the article.

The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.

Yesterday was a nice appetizer, but tonight is the main fantasy course. Wednesday features an 11-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Studs: Beard or Brow?

Unlike Paul, James Harden seems poised to dominate in his matchup vs. the Pelicans. He averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.49 on DraftKings with a comparable implied team total last season, and he eclipsed 64 DraftKings points in two of four meetings vs. the Pelicans last season. There are a lot of studs in consideration on today’s slate, but Harden should be near the top of the list. He averaged a slate-best 1.53 fantasy points per minute last season.

Power forward was a disaster at times last season but is loaded with quality options today. Anthony Davis headlines the position and will be looking to start another dominant fantasy season today vs. the Houston Rockets. DeMarcus Cousins is no longer in town, which should only help Davis achieve that goal: He averaged a usage rate of 33.1% and 1.60 DraftKings points per minute with Cousins off the floor last season.

That said, the Rockets were one of the few teams to keep Davis in check last season. He averaged a Plus/Minus of -5.07 on DraftKings in three meetings and exceeded salary-based expectations just once. He could still be worth some consideration on DraftKings considering his Bargain Rating of 99%, but he seems a bit overpriced at $12,400 on FanDuel.

Value: DSJ vs. Suns

Dallas has arguably the best matchup of the day vs. the Phoenix Suns. The Suns ranked dead last in defensive efficiency last season and played at the second-fastest pace, which made them the best team to target in fantasy. Point guards in particular crushed the Suns, averaging a higher Plus/Minus vs. Phoenix than any other team in the league.

Dennis Smith Jr. had a strong rookie season, averaging 0.96 fantasy points per minute. He was extremely effective in major pace-up situations such as this one, averaging a Plus/Minus of +4.77 on FanDuel. He’s priced at $6,600 today, giving him a Bargain Rating of 93%.

Click here to read the full breakdown, including studs, value plays and tournament pivots for all positions on DraftKings and FanDuel.