What should we expect from James Harden tonight? Well, hopefully it isn’t another poor shooting performance from downtown. Harden has really struggled with his shot lately, 24.7% from distance in his past seven games, averaging only 27.6 points, well below his season average. There is some reason for optimism on Friday against the Timberwolves, who have lost seven in a row thanks to very, very bad defensive play. Harden is among one of the top options on the slate, but let’s take a look at each position on DraftKings.
James Harden, HOU @ MIN, $11,100 — So yeah, not straying to far from the intro, I think this is a clear-cut Harden spot. Russell Westbrook ($10,400) is cheaper and has been playing out of his mind lately, but the Rockets are Harden’s team and he needs to get them going. The last time Harden faced the T-Wolves he dropped 32 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in just 27 minutes at 46.5% usage. I think another blowout is in the works and this is a spot Harden can go off in the first half. We also may get some leverage on him for once with lineups steering toward Russ.
Other Options: Devin Booker, PHX @ SAS, $8,700; Ja Morant, MEM @ DET, $7,000
Dennis Schroder, OKC vs. ATL, $6,500 — This is all narrative baby! Schroder revenge at home against the Atlanta Hawks. I know, it’s been a while since Schroder laced em up for the Hawks, but this is a very favorable matchup for the OKC guard. He really isn’t impacted much by a blowout — the spread for this game is currently -11 on DK Sportsbook. If the Thunder don’t have Steven Adams again, that’s just more emphasis on feeding guards.
Other Options: Zach LaVine, CHI @ SAC, $8,800; Evan Fournier, ORL vs. BOS, $5,600
TJ Warren, IND @ GSW, $6,000 — We already know the Pacers will be without Malcolm Brogdon. Usually when Brogdon is out, Indiana leans a bit more on Warren to create offense for himself. Aaron Holiday ($4,500) will be a trendy value play, but I think Warren has higher upside, having scored at least 22 points in three of the past four games. The Warriors just don’t have anyone on the defensive end and don’t have the bigs to contend down low, making it easy for Warren to get to the basket.
Other Options: Will Barton, DEN @ NOP, $7,300; Danilo Gallinari, OKC vs. ATL, $6,800
Domantas Sabonis, IND @ GSW, $8,600 — I’m sticking with the Pacers here and Sabonis for the same reasons as Warren. No Brogdon means more usage and offensive touches to go around. If that’s the case, I think Sabonis crushes the Warriors inside. Golden State is allowing well over 50 rebounds per game over the past 10 games and really has no big body to throw on Sabonis down low. Easy buckets and boards are Sabonis’ game and a quick double-double seems feasible.
Other Options: Pascal Siakam, TOR @ NYK, $7,700; Gordon Hayward, BOS @ ORL, $6,800
Nikola Jokic, DEN @ NOP, $9,700 — The Nuggets are just ravaged by injuries right now and they don’t have much of a choice but to play Jokic around 35-40 minutes per game. He’s coming off a triple-double against the Rockets with Jamal Murray, Mason Plumlee and Michael Porter Jr. sidelined. Denver’s rotation is just so thinned out right now. Jokic has a good matchup against the Pelicans, who play up in pace and really don’t have many experienced bigs outside of Derrick Favors. The Nuggets should try to slow down the pace and Jokic will have to run the offense again.
Other Options: Andre Drummond, DET vs. MEM, $9,500; Lauri Markkanen, CHI @ SAC, $5,800