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Friday Slate Starter: NBA DFS Strategy for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups Today | 10/22/21

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The Slate Starter is a daily first look at NBA DFS strategy to get your daily fantasy basketball lineup-building process started before lock tonight. Each day, we will go through some of the best NBA DFS picks, top stacks and optimal lineup construction for DraftKings and FanDuel. Be sure to check Awesemo’s NBA Starting Lineups page, as it will be updated throughout the day as the NBA injury reports are released and breaking news surfaces today. Every team has played at least one game now, so there have been some pricing changes across the industry.

NBA DFS Picks & Optimal Lineup Construction | Oct. 22

Nikola Vucevic, C, Chicago Bulls

Vucevic’s price tag did not just drop on DraftKings, it absolutely plummeted. He is down to just $7,800 on Friday, which represents a decrease of $1,200 when compared to his first game this season.

He struggled on Tuesday against the Pistons, finishing with just 40.25 DraftKings points, but it was not due to a lack of opportunities. He played just under 36 minutes and posted a usage rate of 29.3%, but he simply did not make any shots. He was just 7-of-21 from the field, making him a prime candidate for some positive regression. He shot 47.7% from the field last season and averaged 1.43 DraftKings points per minute. They should grade favorably in Awesemo’s NBA Projections.

Jonas Valanciunas, C, New Orleans Pelicans

On the other side of that matchup, Valanciunas stands out as a solid bounce-back target on FanDuel. His price has not decreased, but he still stands out as an excellent value at $6,500.

A lack of playing time has been the only thing stopping Valanciunas in the past, and that should not be an issue with the Pelicans. He played 29.6 minutes on opening night, and he finished with a respectable 29.9 FanDuel points.

That said, he has the potential for so much more moving forward. Valanciunas posted a usage rate of 30.8% in that contest, but he shot a dreadful 3-for-19 from the field. That was one of the worst marks in the league on opening night.

Fred VanVleet, G, Toronto Raptors

VanVleet is another elite buy-low option. His price tag dropped by $600 on DraftKings after opening night, and he has the potential to destroy that salary. He has historically outscored salary-based expectations by more than seven points with a comparable salary.

VanVleet can also be expected to carry a more significant usage rate. Kyle Lowry is now playing in Miami, while Pascal Siakam is sidelined with an injury. VanVleet increased his usage rate to 30.8% with both players off the court last year, resulting in an average of 1.15 DraftKings points per minute.

 
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VanVleet was well below that mark on Tuesday, but he shot just 5-of-21 from the field. He was also 1-for-9 from 3-point range in particular, so he is due for some shooting progression against the Pelicans.

You could also target O.G. Anunoby for the Raptors, who scored 31 DraftKings points despite shooting just 3-for-17 from the field on opening night.


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Our NBA DFS projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. Check out our NBA fantasy rankings today for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA daily fantasy projections. View our DraftKings ownership, our Yahoo! ownership projections and our FanDuel ownership. Looking for more NBA daily fantasy advice today and the best NBA DFS advice? We also have FanDuel NBA rankings, Yahoo! ownership rankings and DraftKings NBA rankings for today's slate.
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