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

Eric MacPherson

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Free NBA FanDuel Picks cheat sheet for daily fantasy basketball lineups tonight | Expert NBA DFS lineup optimizer picks today 12/3/21

Thursday, Oct. 21, whets the NBA appetite with a six-team player pool before a weekend of wall-to-wall basketball. 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 Rankings, which will help you when making NBA DFS picks.**

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Thursday, Oct. 21

Yahoo Play of the Day — Luka Doncic: Dallas Mavericks at Atlanta Hawks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 50.22 | DraftKings: 53.76
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 34.4% | FanDuel 39.7% | DraftKings 31.1%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $49 | FanDuel $11,000 | DraftKings $10,600

It is always fun whenever Luka Doncic and Trae Young square off, as they will forever be linked by their draft day trade. Through the first two seasons it seemed like Doncic was the clear steal, but Young led his team to the Eastern Conference Finals last year before losing in six to the eventual champions. Last year Atlanta was marginal on defense, and it will be interesting to see if it has made any scheme or system improvements. Doncic is a triple-double threat every time he steps foot on the court, making him an excellent core play in all formats on Thursday.

Kristaps Porzingis: Dallas Mavericks at Atlanta Hawks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 37.35 | DraftKings: 37.66
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 38.8% | FanDuel 42.1% | DraftKings 32.1%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $25 | FanDuel $7,000 | DraftKings $7,100

The Yahoo salary algorithm is offering a gift with Kristaps Porzingis coming in a good 20-30% lower than expected for his matchup with the Hawks. While it has taken a while for Doncic and Porzingis to figure out how to maximize their shared time on the court, each season they have gotten a little bit better. Porzingis is healthy for the first time in seemingly forever, and even with John Collins and Clint Capela patrolling the paint, this is a fine matchup, with a double-double and possibly a 20-point, 10-rebound performance in play.

Stephen Curry: Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 47.45 | DraftKings: 51.22
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 36.8% | FanDuel 47.5% | DraftKings 37.3%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $46 | FanDuel $10,000 | DraftKings $10,000

Despite making only five field goals, Stephen Curry still rolled up a 50-plus Yahoo points while leading the Warriors to victory on the road against the Lakers. Tonight they will be hosting the other Los Angeles team, which is much different defensively without Kawhi Leonard. Since returning to form down the stretch last season, Curry has been playing some of the best basketball of his career, and he should continue to be on the fringe of the MVP conversation this season.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

Jordan Poole: Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 25.85 | DraftKings: 27.6
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 31.2% | FanDuel 32.1% | DraftKings 30.8%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $13 | FanDuel $5,200 | DraftKings $5,500

On Tuesday Jordan Poole was in the starting lineup as the shooting guard, and then he ran the offense at the beginning of the second and fourth quarters while Curry was on the bench. Though he did not close out the fourth quarter, he did see 25.1 minutes and posted 20 points, three assists, two rebounds and a steal. There will likely be plenty of scenarios where he closes going forward. In the game against the Lakers, both Nemanja Bjelica ($12) and Damion Lee ($10) were part of the group that wrapped up the back half of the final frame on a 12-2 run, so it seemed like coach Steve Kerr was content to ride the hot hands in the upset. It looks as if Bjelica is going to see run in the second half of close games over Kevon Looney, and while his minutes will have volatility, he is a nice discount on Thursday, with 25-point potential and a touch of attainable upside.

Grayson Allen: Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 21.38 | DraftKings: 22.41
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 17.8% | FanDuel 19.5% | DraftKings 21.8%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $11 | FanDuel $4.100 | DraftKings $4.400

Jrue Holiday left Tuesday’s game with a heel injury, and he has already been ruled out for tonight’s game. Gamers will flock to George Hill, and while he is a fine backup NBA point guard, he has disappointed fantasy gamers for years with his lack of production despite a myriad of opportunities. The main issue is that he does not shoot the ball or rebound, so he is left with assists and steals to go along with the random bucket. On the other hand, Grayson Allen will shoot the ball, and he was solid on Tuesday as a starter, while Pat Connaughton ($13) was the main scorer off the bench. There should be plenty of opportunities again for this duo, and while it is a fool’s errand to expect another career-high six assists from Allen, he should be able to add a little bit of everything, which will add up over the course of 30 minutes.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Thursday, Oct. 21 Slate

While tonight’s slate has less than a quarter of the player pool of last night, it is loaded with stars, and there are enough value options to keep many lineup building strategies in play. 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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