The NBA Rundown – FanDuel & DraftKings NBA DFS Picks – October 19, 2021 (10/19/21)
In this article, we will be breaking down some of our favorite plays on the slate at their positions. Please note that players on DraftKings and FanDuel have multi-position eligibility and may not always match their position between each other. Remember to always keep your eye on the news as the day progresses as NBA news changes the slate frequently.
Please note for this article we are going to be using the first position that FD lists a player at in their data as a player’s position. When looking on FC this will be the first position that is listed when a player has MPE. For instance, James Harden is both point guard and shooting guard eligible but he will be listed as a shooting guard in this article as he is listed as a (SG/PG) in the FanDuel data. This article will also not include all the players we like on this slate but rather give you our favorite players at each position. For a more comprehensive list of players we like make sure you check out our Cheat Sheets article that is posted in the morning and then updated about an hour before lock.
A lot took place during the offseason in the NBA but the most important thing that happened at least from a DFS perspective is FanDuel added MPE (multi-position eligibility) to their site. That addition makes things interesting and opens up some different roster construction you didn’t have before. Where I see the MPE being most helpful on FanDuel is at the small forward and center positions. Often times at those positions there would be either too many options and not enough slots to roster them at or very limited options. With the addition of MPE this, in theory, should help as we should see some small forwards also listed as shooting guard and power forward and centers listed as power forwards when we have too many options. Conversely, when we don’t really like the position we should see shooting guards and power forwards listed as small forwards and power forwards listed as center as well.
Jordan Poole – Poole did not play that many minutes for the Warriors last season only averaging 19.4 minutes per game last season but he played a ton of minutes in the seven games he started a season ago which is expected to be his role this season until Klay Thompson is ready to play again. In his seven starts last season, Poole averaged 21.4 points, 3.6 assists, 2.7 rebounds, and 29.9 fantasy points per game. Now some of those games we have to take the gaudy stats with a grain of salt as Stephen Curry was out of the Warriors lineup and Curry who I will talk about next is going to play but even with Curry in the lineup I still expect Poole to produce in the 25 fantasy point range.
Stephen Curry – There are a lot of studs on this small two-game slate and with all of the value on this slate you should have no issues rostering several of the studs. With that said if you put a gun to my head and said you can only roster one of the stud players on this slate Curry would be the man I choose. Curry would be my choice as he is the stud that doesn’t really have to share the spotlight with anyone else as the rest of the studs on this slate have at least one other high usage elite teammate if not two with Klay Thompson on the shelf. Just look at Curry’s numbers last season with Thompson out the entire year. Curry had a usage rate of 34.7% and averaged 32.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 1.2 steals last season. Curry had at least 49 fantasy points in 39 of his games last season and averaged 1.40 fantasy points per minute. The only real negative I see with Curry compared to the other studs on this slate is that the Lakers were one of the elite defenses last season with the best defensive net rating and figure to be one of the best defensive teams again this season but other studs on this slate are also in bad match-ups.
Patrick Mills- James Harden is likely going to be the chalk at the shooting guard position tonight even with the MPE giving us some other options at the position we normally wouldn’t have. In fact, Harden might be the most popular player on this slate tonight. While I love Harden and think he is going to have a huge game with Kyrie Irving out I am going to personally be under the field on Harden tonight due to his popularity with the hopes he puts up a dud. Besides me wanting to play the ownership game with Harden another reason I am going to be underweight on Harden tonight is shooting guard has the most value on this slate. There are several elite mid-tier salaried shooting guards and several cheap shooting guards on this slate that I want to roster. My favorite of those shooting guards is Harden’s teammate Mills. Mills is not going to get the start in Irving’s absence but he is going to get more minutes with Irving out and most of his minutes are going to be with either Durant or Harden if not both off the court which in turn should lead to one of the highest usage rates from the non-studs of this slate.
Kevin Durant – While Stephen Curry is my favorite stud on this slate, Durant is not very far behind and is likely going to be the player I have the most exposure to tonight. While James Harden saw the bigger boost last season with Irving off the court, Durant just dominated the Bucks. In his three regular-season games against the Bucks, Durant averaged 34.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and two steals+blocks. Durant had at least 52 fantasy points in each of those games and averaged 55.2 fantasy points in those games. Durant was even better in the seven-game playoff series averaging 35.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.1 blocks, and 60.4 fantasy points.
Anthony Davis– I am going to start right off the bat by saying I think Anthony Davis is overpriced on this slate at least on FanDuel. At $10,000 in salary, I don’t really want to touch Davis on that site. With that being said I am still going to have a lot of Davis on FanDuel as he is by far the best center-eligible player over on FanDuel. DraftKings is another story when it comes to the Brow as they have him priced down to $8,800 in salary. That is a great salary for a player who while expected to take a hit stat-wise with Russell Westbrook and a healthy and rested LeBron James in the lineup that dominated the Warriors in his only meeting against them going for 17/17/7 with five blocks+steals on his way to 61.9 fantasy points. That performance came after averaging 25/8/42.5 with four blocks+steals against them in the 2019-2020 season.
Nemanja Bjelica – This might be a gut call on Bjelica but with rookie first-round pick Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman the second-pick from last season out for the Warriors tonight we are likely to see Bjelica play around 18-20 minutes tonight which is what we saw from him in the preseason. In those five preseason games, Bjelica was pretty darn good with averages of 9.6 points, four rebounds, three assists, 1.2 steals+blocks, and 22.1 fantasy points per game. If we see that kind of production from Bjelica tonight which I don’t see why we wouldn’t he would easily pay off his salary.
Kevon Looney – Rember when I stated earlier in this article that MPE on FanDuel is going to help the center position a lot this season. Well, it is only day one of the NBA seasons and we already see how MPE is going to help the center position. In years past the center position would have very limited options on this two-game slate but with the addition of MPE on FanDuel, we can now roster Anthony Davis who I wrote up earlier in this article at the center position. We also have the option to roster guys like Draymond Green, Paul Millsap, and Blake Griffin. Davis and Green are my favorites of the center options on FanDuel with Giannis Antetokounmpo being a favorite of mine along with those two on DraftKings with his eligibility on that site. Those are the players I am going to have the most exposure to at the position tonight. With that said if you are looking for a traditional center, I don’t mind Looney. Looney is dirt cheap on both sites and should get the start for the Warriors with James Wiseman out. Last season in the 22 games that Wiseman missed and Looney played Looney averaged 10.1 more minutes per game, averaged more points per game (5.4 from 3.4), more rebounds per game (7.6 from 3.9), and more assists per game (2.3 from 1.8). The increase in minutes and stats of course lead to an increase of fantasy points with Looney averaging 19.39 fantasy points per game which would easily pay off his salaries which was an increase of over seven fantasy points per game than in the game Wiseman played.