FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 10/21/21
If you're new to daily fantasy basketball -- maybe you started your DFS journey during the MLB or NFL seasons, or maybe basketball is your sport and this will be your first year giving it a shot -- you're in for a treat. The NBA scene changes on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and -- depending on injury news -- even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach.
With so much changing so quickly, we're here with plenty of tools to help you out. We have daily projections, a matchup heat map, a lineup optimizer, and a bunch of other great resources to help give you an edge.
Daily fantasy NBA is very reliant on a player's opportunity, so you'll need to make sure that you're up-to-date with key injuries. Our projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news, we have player news updates, and the FanDuel Scout app will send push notifications for pressing updates regarding your players.
We'll also be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each position.
Let's break down today's main slate on FanDuel.
|LA Clippers||Golden State||227.5||112||115.5||28||3|
Oh, the joys of the early NBA season.
There are no significant injuries to stars to update entering Thursday's small, three-game slate (with fantastic games, by the way). The most notable unexpected absence on the slate is Nicolas Batum, who was ruled out of Thursday's season opener due to personal issues. Batum was on the bench for the Clippers anyway, but it may open up some additional minutes for Terance Mann.
Luka Doncic ($11,000): This year's betting favorite to win MVP kicks his season off Thursday. Doncic is expected to shoulder a heavy load for Dallas after the team did not alter their roster dramatically from last season. Doncic posted the top mark in usage (36.0%) and was second to only Giannis Antetokounmpo in production (1.47 FanDuel points per minute) last season while carrying the Mavs. He is matchup proof, but a Hawks squad that allowed the FanDuel points per game to opponents last season (245.36) is not exactly a bad one.
Kyle Lowry ($7,200): The two obvious pace-up spots on the slate are with the Clippers and Heat. There is virtually no concrete data on how their offensive pecking order will function, but Lowry at a similar salary to last season in a better offense seems like a value. Lowry was productive (1.02 FanDuel points per minute) last season while only commanding a 21.5% usage rate as a point guard, so there should be cautious optimism he will be able to produce as the third option in Miami's offense.
Reggie Jackson ($5,000): Jackson was a playoff hero for Los Angeles, and with Kawhi Leonard out likely most of the regular season, he may turn that into a nightly, stable role for the first time with the Clippers. Jackson is projected to start and see 32.02 minutes by numberFire, and that will get the job done at this salary for a player who produced 0.83 FanDuel points per minute last year without Leonard on the floor.
Others to Consider:
Stephen Curry ($10,000): Terrible from the field in his season debut but still excellent usage (28.3%). Interesting Luka pivot.
Jordan Poole ($5,200): Hesitant to even put him here but projected well and will be chalk. Low-ceiling, high-floor cash play. Saw crunch time minutes over Andrew Wiggins in the opener.
Eric Bledsoe ($4,500): Return to form? LAC's second option is wide open for the taking. Could see tremendous usage, but the shot is always iffy.
Paul George ($9,900): This could be the second legitimate MVP campaign of George's career. Without Leonard on the floor last year, he commanded a 35.4% usage rate and averaged 1.24 FanDuel points per game. Expect to pay a five-digit salary on George for most of the season, and that makes this particularly an interesting value against a Golden State squad that will provide a massive pace upgrade; the Dubs were third in overall pace and will be backpacking the sluggish Clippers (28th).
Marcus Morris ($5,400): Los Angeles' roster remains small this year, which should loft Morris into minutes at the five just as we saw in the playoffs. Morris is in a strange salary space where he is surrounded by bench players, so he is one of few options in that tier with starting-minute potential. He benefits greatly from plugging into Kawhi's spot in the lineup, as last year, only George (+4.7%) and the injured Serge Ibaka (+4.9%) saw a larger usage boost than Morris (+2.7%) in floor situations without "The Klaw".
De'Andre Hunter ($4,400): Hunter is projected as one of numberFire's top values for good reason. Now, fully healthy, he is destined for 30-plus minutes in Atlanta's opener. Gallinari's potential absence would only boost those prospects, and Hunter is not the same player he was as a rookie. He upped his per-minute FanDuel point production to a passable 0.89 last season after being amongst the league's bottom-five producers per minute in 2019-20. He surprisingly scored the ball well (18.11 points per 36 minutes) last year, too.
Others to Consider:
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300): I think I would be fired if I didn't mention Giannis after his thunderous opener. Lofty salary in a pace-down spot, but he's Giannis.
Jimmy Butler ($9,100): Salary is fair for his 2020-21 usage (26.6%), but does Lowry make a huge dent into that?
Terance Mann ($4,100): Also projected well by numberFire with Batum out for Thursday. Riskier than Bledsoe; could see minutes capped off the bench if his shot is cold.
Bam Adebayo ($8,200): Will Miami play faster this season? Adebayo is tremendous, and his 24.4% usage rate on an athletic big is similar to what we see with Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic offensively. That may go down with Lowry, but Adebayo's ceiling on the glass is ultimately being hurt by Miami's pace. Adebayo was just tied for 84th (9.6) in rebounds per 36 minutes last season, and that is effectively due to Miami being dead last in shots per game (83.7). If their speed increases and more boards are available, Adebayo could carry a five-digit salary for a bulk of the season.
Ivica Zubac ($4,200): Serge Ibaka is hurt -- shocker. Ibaka is still nursing his back injury from last season, and that should leave Zubac in the L.A. frontcourt for the bulk of Thursday's game. numberFire is projecting Zubac for 28.4 minutes as the top value on the entire slate. If he can get those minutes, there really is minimal doubt about his ability to produce; he averaged 0.96 FanDuel points per minute last season. Golden State also allowed the fifth-most total rebounds (46.5) in the NBA last year and remain without James Wiseman.
Others to Consider:
Kristaps Porzingis ($7,000): Plug your nose? Porzingis showed signs of life in preseason (1.66 FanDuel points per minute), but the injury risk is always top-shelf.
Brook Lopez ($5,900): He should continue to see heavy minutes without Portis; he played two fewer than Giannis and Khris Middleton in the opener.