Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Joel Bartilotta

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Thursday, 1/21/21

After a monster 10-game slate on Wednesday, we have a three-game ledger here. That's commonplace for Thursday nights though because the NBA loves to have showcase games on the TNT broadcast. That's certainly evident when you look at the game of the night, which features the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. That's a Finals preview for many people and it will obviously be a major focus in our article with only three games on the docket. With that in mind, let's go ahead and get into it!

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Point Guard

Jrue HolidayJrue Holiday FD - $7600 DK - $6600
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 37.88 DK - 37.38

These price tags seem pretty crazy. Holiday has been a $9,000 player for a good amount of his career and a number of blowouts have limited his production this season. The good news is that this game is expected to be close which means we should get 35 minutes from Jrue. That's really all we can hope for with Holiday averaging over 34 fantasy points per game in just 32 minutes a night. If you look at the eight games where Holiday has played at least 34 minutes, Holiday scored at least 33 fantasy points in each of them en route to a 39-point average. Point guard is actually one position you can exploit the Lakers defense too, with Dennis Schroder being a lackluster defender.

Elfrid PaytonElfrid Payton FD - $5300 DK - $5800
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 30.83 DK - 31.7

Elf has been in this article a ton this season and it's really hard to understand why he remains below $6,000 on both sites. Since struggling in the first two games, Payton is averaging 27 DK points per game across 30.4 minutes a night. We're talking about a dude who provides rebounds and assists at ease and it's amazing that he's receiving 30-plus minutes and 13 shots a game in that span too. All of that makes this price tag hard to understand, especially when you consider that Golden State ranks 25th in total defense.

Eric Bledsoe has been extremely inconsistent but is too good to be this cheap on both sites.

Shooting Guard

Andrew WigginsAndrew Wiggins FD - $7000 DK - $6200
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 34.32 DK - 34.71

The fact that Wiggins is in this article tells you everything you need to know about this position. The simple fact is, you need raw fantasy points from this position with such few options out there and Wiggins is a good bet for just that. This is a guy who's averaging over 31 DraftKings points per game for the season which is actually a pretty good total from a $6,200 player. His floor is a pleasant surprise too, scoring at least 25 fantasy points in 11-straight games while averaging 34 DK points per night in that span. It's not like the Knicks have any defenders that worry us either despite their stout defensive statistics.

Donte DivincenzoDonte Divincenzo FD - $4400 DK - $4900
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 26.38 DK - 26.7

We need to find some value on this slate and fitting Donte at this weak position is a good way to save money for the studs. While DiVincenzo hasn't had many big games this season, he's still averaging 22 DK points in 25 minutes a night. That might not sound like much but it's a really solid average from a player in the $4,000s. Those minutes have also been limited because of some blowouts too, with Donte averaging 28 fantasy points per game in the six outings he's played at least 27 minutes. One would have to believe that 27-minute threshold will happen here, with the spread sitting at a meager 1.5-points in favor of Milwaukee.

Donovan Mitchell is the only high-priced shooting guard on this slate and that alone makes him a decent option.

Small Forward

LeBron JamesLeBron James FD - $9500 DK - $9200
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 50.73 DK - 53.12

LeBron's motivation has always limited his DFS upside but one has to believe he'll be at full tilt in this game. It's funny to say he lacks motivation but there's just something different about him when he plays a big game. This is certainly one of those, with LeBron scoring at least 56.5 DraftKings points in four-straight games against Milwaukee. He's actually averaging 34.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 9.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game in those outings. Obviously, that's absurd and he should thrive against a Milwaukee team who plays the fastest pace in the NBA.

Khris MiddletonKhris Middleton FD - $8000 DK - $7600
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 42.49 DK - 44.24

People forget how good this guy is because of Giannis but we're here to remind you that he's one of the best small forwards in the league. For the year, he's averaging 22.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He's been even better recently, scoring at least 40 DK points in six of his last seven games. That means we're actually looking at a decent discount here with Middleton sitting around $8,000 and he'd be a must-use player if we're going to stack this game the way we want.

Kelly Oubre is still in the mid $5,000s on both sites and that's eventually going to rise.

Power Forward

Giannis AntetokounmpoGiannis Antetokounmpo FD - $11300 DK - $10500
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 57.75 DK - 59.88

You all know just how good Giannis is but we'll go ahead and make a case for him. Much like LeBron, this dude goes crazy in games that matter. In five meetings with Lps Angeles since 2017, Giannis has at least 54 DK points in four of those outings while averaging just shy of 60 fantasy points per game. That's astoundingly not far off of his season average, with Giannis generating a 53-point average on DraftKings. The only thing that's slightly held him back is his minutes but it seems likely that he'll play 35-40 here in what's one of the biggest games of the year.

Julius RandleJulius Randle FD - $9000 DK - $8800
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 44 DK - 47.63

It's weird to say that Randle will be overlooked on this slate but that's likely to be the case with this Milwaukee-Los Angeles game soaking up so many eyeballs. Don't forget about this guy though, with Randle having one of the best seasons of anyone. He's currently setting career-highs across the board, averaging 22.8 points, 11 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. A big reason for that is his 37 minutes and 17 shots a night, making him the focal point of this offense. Anyone performing like that should be a five-figure player and it actually makes Randle a decent discount in the $9k-range. The icing on the cake is the matchup though, with Golden State having one of the worst defenses in the NBA.

We also love Anthony Davis opposing Giannis, and Zion Williamson after his ridiculous shooting over the last week.


Mitchell RobinsonMitchell Robinson FD - $5600 DK - $6000
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 30.51 DK - 27.82

It's just a matter of time before Robinson is a $7,000-$8,000 player and we're going to keep recommending him until that's the case. We say that because he's been averaging about 1.4 DK points per minute for his career. While that rate has dropped off a bit this season, his minutes have skyrocketed. MitchRob is actually playing 30 minutes a night for the season, averaging just shy of 30 DK points per game. We believe that his 1.4-point-per-minute rate is more accurate with this guy's skill set than what we're seeing so far, which would equate to 42 fantasy points in that 30-minute average. If we believe he can get to that, Robinson is a fantastic value around $6K, particularly against such a weak defense.

James WisemanJames Wiseman FD - $4400 DK - $4500
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 24.06 DK - 23.27

Wiseman had a terrible game on Monday but he's in the midst of a great game on Wednesday night. In fact, he's got 12 points, three rebounds and three assists at the half, which is already a good total from a player in this price range. We're talking about a top-pick who showed us some serious flashes early on too, averaging 24 DK points per game in 21 minutes a night before that dud on Monday. That rate and production are both fantastic from a player in this price range and there may be no better fit with studs like Giannis and LeBron to save some salary.

Steven Adams remains a good value below $6,000 on both sites.





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