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NBA DFS Building Blocks for Wednesday, October 20 | Today, 10/20/21

Eric MacPherson

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NBA player props best bets tonight betting picks LaMelo Ball free parlays Pacers vs. Hornets over/under moneyline predictions odds lines optimal advice tips strategy ROI assists rebounds steals points

Wednesday, Oct. 20, brings the first gigantic set, with 22 teams in action tonight. 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.

**Be sure to check out Awesemo’s free premium content today: the NBA Player Projections, which will help you when making NBA DFS picks.**

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Wednesday, Oct. 20

Yahoo Play of the Day — Joel Embiid: Philadelphia 76ers at New Orleans Pelicans

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 53.61 | DraftKings: 55.29
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 55.2% | FanDuel 55.1% | DraftKings 48.7%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $52 | FanDuel $11,000 | DraftKings $10,000

General manager Daryl Morey was chuckling last year after he stepped down from the Houston Rockets job while they were embroiled in a battle of will with James Harden. Life has a funny way of working out, as Morey now is in the same situation with Ben Simmons. Yesterday Simmons was dismissed from practice, and he has been suspended for tonight’s game.

Joel Embiid is never one to shy away from sharing his opinion, and he is nonplussed with Simmons. Embiid is likely to be fired up and looking for a big game tonight as a statement that this is his team. Last year when sharing the court with Simmons, Embiid averaged 1.51 Yahoo points per minute. Without him that jumped all the way to 1.82 points per minute. Keep in mind that Zion Williamson is out for New Orleans, and Jonas Valanciunas is a defensive downgrade from Steven Adams. Tobias Harris ($29) averaged 1.1 Yahoo points per minute with Embiid and without Simmons. Tonight he should see time as the primary scorer when Embiid is on the bench. In those situations last season Harris averaged 1.26 Yahoo points per minute.

LaMelo Ball: Charlotte Hornets vs. Indiana Pacers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 38.45 | DraftKings: 39.53
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 26.2% | FanDuel 26.5% | DraftKings 18.2%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $29 | FanDuel $7,600 | DraftKings $7,700

Last season LaMelo Ball averaged 1.22 Yahoo points per minute on his way to winning Rookie of the Year. Though he missed 21 games with a fractured wrist, he came back and finished the season strong. Malik Monk, Bismack Biyombo and Caleb Martin are gone. Kelly Oubre Jr. and Ish Smith are newcomers off the bench, and Gordon Hayward is finally healthy for once. There is a chance that Charlotte will make the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Ball should be vying for an All-Star roster slot, and he is coming a nice discount tonight.

Dejounte Murray: San Antonio Spurs vs. Orlando Magic

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 40.03 | DraftKings: 40.54
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 31.6% | FanDuel 21.8% | DraftKings 32.0%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $26 | FanDuel $7,700 | DraftKings $6,800

DeMar DeRozan and Patty Mills are now in Chicago and Brooklyn, respectively. That means that Dejounte Murray and Derrick White ($21) will be the primary offensive options as well as the starting backcourt for San Antonio. This is a new-look roster, with Doug McDermott likely to be starting alongside Keldon Johnson and Jakob Poeltl. Thaddeus Young, Devin Vassell and Lonnie Walker IV will be the key reserves off the bench.

Murray had a breakthrough season last year, finally staying healthy and producing a solid 1.1 Yahoo points per minute. He should approach 1.2 fantasy points per minute this season, and Murray will likely play 34 to 36 minutes most games.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

Tyrese Maxey: Philadelphia 76ers at New Orleans Pelicans

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 28.46 | DraftKings: 28.46
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 37.4% | FanDuel 34.9% | DraftKings 29.9%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $10 | FanDuel $4,600 | DraftKings $4,000

Tonight Tyrese Maxey should see solid minutes with Simmons suspended and Shake Milton out with a sprained ankle. While it is not known who will be replacing Simmons in the starting lineup, with Maxey, Matisse Thybulle and Furkan Korkmaz all options, Maxey is the only available point guard on the roster. And while Seth Curry, Isaiah Joe and Harris can handle some of the facilitation, Maxey could flirt with 28 to 30 minutes tonight at the Yahoo minimum salary.

Montrezl Harrell: Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 26.34 | DraftKings: 26.01
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 5.4% | FanDuel 16.3% | DraftKings 11.5%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $10 | FanDuel $4,000 | DraftKings $3,700

Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant are out, so that leaves the new-look Wizards with Daniel Gafford ($17) and Montrezl Harrell as the centers and Kyle Kuzma ($12) and Davis Bertans ($10) serving as power forwards. Fortunately, the Raptors will be without Pascal Siakam and Chris Boucher Update Boucher is available – Achiuwa is starting, which leaves Khem Birch, Precious Achiuwa and rookie Scottie Barnes as the opposing frontcourt. This should be an up-tempo game, with both teams content to go with smaller lineups and race up and down the court.

Desmond Bane: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 22.41 | DraftKings: 23.4
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 4% | FanDuel 1.4% | DraftKings 20.6%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $10 | FanDuel $4,600 | DraftKings $3,200

Tonight Desmond Bane should be in the starting lineup for the Grizzlies. Dillon Brooks is likely to miss the next month with a broken hand, which will open up minutes and opportunities for Bane and De’Anthony Melton ($10), who are both at the Yahoo minimum salary. Last season Bane averaged 0.80 Yahoo points per minute, and it would not be a surprise to see him push that closer to 0.90 fantasy points per minute. While that does not seem dramatic, considering he should see 28 to 32 minutes in the rotation tonight, that becomes an excellent value. Memphis needs scoring outside of Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., and Bane or Melton are the next best options to fill that void.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Wednesday, October 20 Slate

Tonight is one of the larger slates of the season, and as such there are a lot of moving parts. Throughout the day injury news and starting lineups will help shape decisions and firm things up with actionable information. 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.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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