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Daily Fantasy Strategy – Harden Gives an Example on Value

James Harden had 71.5 points on DraftKings last night and he’s not one of the Top 25 Value Players?

When I saw that James Harden had a career night against his old team, but didn’t crack the Top 25 (he was #26) on DraftKings, I was shocked. However, as I looked at the results James-Harden-Daily-Fantasy-NBAspreadsheet (see below), I thought that it was an excellent example of the ultimate equation in daily fantasy sports — Salary / Points.

Clearly James Harden was a great pick. If you had him in any of your daily fantasy NBA lineups last night, you were thrilled. But was he the most valuable?


If you went by the “point per $1000″ model, he had nearly 7x of his DraftKings salary. But so did Mike James and Jason Smith. Who? Exactly.

Looking at the Big $20,000 tournament on DraftKings, you’ll see that the highest finisher that had Harden in the lineup was at #7, most likely because he was the 2nd highest priced player.

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Difference Between Season and Daily Fantasy Sports

I’m not at all saying that you should NOT have played Harden last night if you could go back and do it again. Here is the point I DO want to drive home: daily fantasy sports is not the same as regular fantasy sports. You have to look for value. This is the key difference between regular and daily fantasy sports.

If a player has the night that Harden has, most likely his team is going to win and his fantasy owners have a leg up in their weekly matchup. However, you can still win the big prize in daily fantasy sports if you don’t own a superstar that goes nuts.

Just ask JLowery, who won the $4,000 prize last night.

Download the Results Spreadsheet to see the studs and duds last night

Top 25 Players…. and James Harden

C.J. Watson PG Bkn@Mil $3,000 37.00 $81
Andray Blatche PF/C Bkn@Mil $3,200 36.00 $89
Carlos Delfino SG/SF OKC@Hou $3,000 32.50 $92
Thabo Sefolosha SG/SF OKC@Hou $4,300 45.25 $95
Klay Thompson SG/SF Pho@GS $4,600 47.00 $98
Goran Dragic PG Pho@GS $5,300 52.50 $101
Courtney Lee SG/SF Bos@LAL $3,200 30.50 $105
Jeremy Lin PG OKC@Hou $5,700 52.50 $109
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SF Det@Cha $3,100 28.50 $109
Steve Novak SF/PF NY@Ind $3,000 26.00 $115
Nikola Pekovic C Phi@Min $6,500 56.00 $116
Shane Battier SG/SF Mia@Atl $3,200 26.75 $120
Jared Dudley SG/SF Pho@GS $3,100 25.75 $120
Jermaine O’Neal C Pho@GS $4,700 38.00 $124
Ramon Sessions PG/SG Det@Cha $5,200 42.00 $124
Andrei Kirilenko SF/PF Phi@Min $4,800 38.25 $125
Andrew Bogut C Pho@GS $4,800 38.25 $125
Brandon Knight PG/SG Det@Cha $4,500 35.25 $128
Arron Afflalo SG/SF Orl@Dal $4,600 35.75 $129
Earl Clark SF/PF Bos@LAL $5,100 39.50 $129
Pablo Prigioni PG/SG NY@Ind $3,000 23.00 $130
Ray Allen SG Mia@Atl $3,100 23.50 $132
Brandon Jennings PG Bkn@Mil $7,300 53.50 $136
Larry Sanders PF/C Bkn@Mil $6,000 43.75 $137
Kyrie Irving PG NO@Cle $7,800 54.75 $142
James Harden SG/SF OKC@Hou $10,200 71.50 $143


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