Friday, Oct. 29, brings a serendipitous seven-game main slate with some intriguing matchups on the West Coast. Let’s look at the player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Do not forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS home page for more great written daily fantasy basketball content.
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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Friday, Oct. 29
Yahoo Play of the Day — Brandon Ingram: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 41.84 | DraftKings: 43.84
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 20% | FanDuel 21.4% | DraftKings 10.9%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $36 | FanDuel $8,200 | DraftKings $8,700
Both of these teams are playing a little above average in pace and are in the bottom-third of the league with regards to defensive efficiency. Brandon Ingram has been playing heavy minutes with Zion Williamson on the shelf, and he has at least 20 field goal attempts in every game this season. This has led to career highs in points and rebounds, along with 4.6 assists per outing through the first five games. While Ingram will see a downtick in production and opportunities when Williamson returns, that is not impacting his prospects for tonight.
Jonas Valanciunas: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 41.76 | DraftKings: 43.26
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 34.6% | FanDuel 27.6% | DraftKings 14.9%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $34 | FanDuel $8,200 | DraftKings $8,500
Fantasy gamers are finally seeing their dream scenario, with Jonas Valanciunas getting regular minutes in the mid-30s. He has not disappointed, and like Ingram, he too is seeing career highs across the board in points, rebounds and assists. Valanciunas is second in the NBA in rebounds with 15 per game, and he is going to be a nightly 20/20 threat until Williamson returns as long as the minutes stay high. Sacramento is not equipped to deal with Valanciunas, and he should not be impacted by a mix of Richaun Holmes, Tristan Thompson and Alex Len.
Paul George: Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.79 | DraftKings: 45.45
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 6.8% | FanDuel 5.1% | DraftKings 4.8%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $46 | FanDuel $10,100 | DraftKings $10,000
The season has gotten off to a rocky start for the Clippers, who have only one victory, which happened to come against the Trail Blazers on Monday. Tonight’s rematch will be in Portland, where the home team is favored by a bucket. Paul George is the centerpiece of the offense with Kawhi Leonard out with a knee injury. George is posting stellar numbers on a career-high 21 field goal attempts per game. He is also averaging a tick shy of 1.5 Yahoo points per minute, which has him among the league leaders. Do not let the last two games dissuade; this is a nice matchup tonight for George. Also, if looking for flexibility for Russell Westbrook while awaiting LeBron James news, Westbrook has the same salary as George, so putting them in the utility slot will keep options open for the late-game news to break.
Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies
Jalen Brunson: Dallas Mavericks at Denver Nuggets
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 23.58 | DraftKings: 24.72
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 24.2% | FanDuel 2.9% | DraftKings 8.7%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $11 | FanDuel $5,000 | DraftKings $4,800
Tonight is a back-to-back for the Mavericks and their third game in four nights as they head into the thin Denver air to take on the Nuggets. Of the various DFS sites, the Yahoo salary algorithm has been the slowest to recognize the change in responsibilities this season for Jalen Brunson. While he is coming off the bench, he is running the offense whenever Luka Doncic is on the sidelines, and Brunson is now seeing 13 to 15 minutes alongside Doncic. Most importantly, Brunson also has been a key part of the closing unit in the fourth quarter as a second facilitator and another perimeter option that can help with floor spacing down the stretch.
Bruce Brown: Brooklyn Nets vs. Indiana Pacers
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 24.5 | DraftKings: 24.32
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 33% | FanDuel 17.6% | DraftKings 38.3%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $10 | FanDuel $4,700 | DraftKings $3,800
Filed under the “life comes at you fast” category, Bruce Brown played only four minutes in the season opener but has now started the last two games. He is a competent player who can do the little things that help Kevin Durant and James Harden focus on their offense. If he draws another start on Friday, Brown is one of the best discount options on the slate. Though he does not have a lot of upside beyond 30-ish fantasy points, he should continue to be a solid foundational play in the 20-fantasy-point range while providing salary flexibility.
Nicolas Batum: Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 21.88 | DraftKings: 22.11
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 32.4% | FanDuel 10.7% | DraftKings 21.7%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $10 | FanDuel $4,600 | DraftKings $4,000
With Marcus Morris already listed as out for tonight’s game, Nicolas Batum should continue to be in the starting lineup. The infuriating thing for fantasy gamers is that Batum is content to chip in a little of everything while letting others shoulder the offense. In 70 games with the Clippers, including 40 as a starter, Batum has just nine games with double-digit field goal attempts. However, in nearly a third of the games where he had fewer than nine field goal attempts, he still managed to post 22-plus Yahoo points.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Friday, Oct. 29 Slate
The availability of LeBron James (ankle) will keep gamers in a holding pattern until news breaks. Russell Westbrook becomes an excellent option if James is out, or an overpriced albatross limiting our salary cap flexibility if he plays. This is the final game of the night, tipping off at 10:30 p.m. ET, though there are two games beginning a half hour earlier, so there are alternative moves. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam-dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.
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