Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Thursday, 10/21/21

We've had an awesome start to the NBA season with plenty of fantasy storylines emerging. A few teams are making their debut here on Thursday as well. 

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Point Guard

Luka DoncicLuka Doncic FD - $11000 DK - $10600
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 55.35 DK - 58.73

In terms of fantasy scoring floor and ceiling, Luka is among the very best in the game, consistently driving nearly all of what the Mavericks do on the offensive end. This much isn’t news really, most are aware he’s one of the best in the game right now. He’s coming off another amazing statistical season, averaging 28 points, eight rebounds, and 8.6 assists per game. The 4+ turnovers a game are still a “problem” but that’s only relatively speaking. There are a few superstars on this three-game slate, but Luka is a tough fade against Atlanta.

Reggie JacksonReggie Jackson FD - $5000 DK - $6700
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 28.36 DK - 30.43

When Kawhi Leonard went down with a knee injury during the Clippers’ series with the Utah Jazz in the playoffs last year, Reggie Jackson instantly stepped in to fill the void. The latter was excellent, a key component in how the Clips advanced in that series and then took the Suns to six games in the next series. During that time, Jackson averaged more than 21 points per game with 4+ assists and rebounds each as well. He plays second-fiddle to Paul George in the offense, but that is to be expected. He is coming too cheap on FanDuel where he should be a core play on Thursday.

Shooting Guard

Grayson AllenGrayson Allen FD - $4100 DK - $4400
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 22.23 DK - 23.82

Pat ConnaughtonPat Connaughton FD - $4300 DK - $4500
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 18.2 DK - 18.46

Shooting guard is a position we can likely get out of pretty cheap here with a couple of lower-tier options that should see enough minutes to provide value. Grayson Allen got the start in the opener on Tuesday, playing 28 minutes and going for 10 points, six assists, and four rebounds in the win. He was enough a part of the offense to feel pretty good about paying these prices even for fewer than 30 minutes. And then there was Connaughton who played a whopping 30 minutes off the bench and took the third-most shots on the team (13). He tied for the second-most points as well (20) though his fantasy production was mostly tied with putting the ball in the basket. I’m always a little more skeptical of bench minutes, but on shorter slates, that’s something we need to deal with often.

Eric BledsoeEric Bledsoe FD - $4500 DK - $6000
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 25.3 DK - 26.23

Bad news first: Bledsoe was pretty bad last season for the Pelicans, not offering much in the way of a Jrue Holiday replacement when he came over in the trade from the Bucks. He’ll get something of a new lease here on the Clippers, starting in their guard-heavy set to start the season. It’s a little unclear how much usage he sees in the offense and is likely mostly here for some point of attack defense to make up for Jackson’s weaknesses on that end of the court. I think on FanDuel (not DraftKings) we can take a risk at his price point.

Small Forward

Giannis AntetokounmpoGiannis Antetokounmpo FD - $11300 DK - $10300
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 54.13 DK - 56.48

The reason to try and save at shooting guard and some other positions is to get a guy like Giannis into your lineups. The first game of the season was just another in the many, many reminders about why this guy is simply one of, if not *the* best players in the game. He dropped a pretty easy 32 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists in *just* 31 minutes against the Nets. It was another statistically and physically dominating performance for the now-NBA champion. The Heat definitely have a little more to throw at him defensively so this isn’t as good a matchup as what he saw against the Nets. But it’s just so hard to fade the guy considering how easy it is for him to rack up points in a hurry.

Paul GeorgePaul George FD - $9900 DK - $9700
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 50.37 DK - 52.4

Playoff P was on display last season after Kawhi Leonard went down with the knee injury. In the series against the Suns, George averaged 29 points and 10.5 rebounds per game with assists and defensive stats thrown in as well. He was a complete superstar in that stretch and over the course of last season, George had a 34% usage rate with Kawhi off the court. He becomes a shot machine and that is likely to carry over into this season. George is poised for a monster statistical season. This game should be played at an uptempo pace and George is a bit too cheap on DraftKings especially.

Power Forward

Kristaps PorzingisKristaps Porzingis FD - $7000 DK - $7100
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 36.42 DK - 36.98

It will be interesting to see what the season holds for Kristaps. The Mavericks need him to be very good in order to make a real shot at a deep playoff run, and the preseason returns showed a guy that, from a fantasy level, can contribute enough even when sharing the court with Doncic. He went 17-9 in 23 minutes in his last preseason game and was effective on a per-minute basis in his other time on the court early. I like the matchup for him here with my only concern around the early minutes, and whether they will be enough. Some chance we are buying kind of low here.

Jordan NworaJordan Nwora FD - $4300 DK - $3700
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 17.94 DK - 18.13

As we said leading into the first slate of the season. Nwora was expected to get a lot of run off the Bucks’ bench and had shown in the preseason that he was instant-offense in that role. That was the case in the first game of the season with Nwora putting up 13 shots in 26 minutes on his way to 15 points. He contributed six boards as well. The price is still too cheap on both sites, DraftKings especially and he should be a popular play again for the smaller slate.


John CollinsJohn Collins FD - $6400 DK - $6800
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 33.82 DK - 33.79

I typically prefer Collins, from a fantasy perspective, when he doesn’t have to share the court with Clint Capela. But we saw in the preseason that Collins was able to get on the boards plenty even from a more traditional power forward role. He double-doubled in two of his three games and came only one rebound away from a third one in the preseason. The minutes should be pretty might in this matchup considering he’s able to match up defensively depending on how the Mavericks run their rotations. He’s coming way too cheap on FanDuel and has a high floor at this price point.

Ivica ZubacIvica Zubac FD - $4200 DK - $5000
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 24.54 DK - 24.22

It’s tough to know exactly the right amount of minutes for Zubac here. The Clippers took it real easy in the preseason, not running the starters much at all. And we’ve seen already that they are more than willing to play Zubac a lot in some matchups and almost none in others. They could exploit something against the Warriors by going big, or could match them going small which would really dust Zubac’s minutes. On FanDuel, I think it’s worth the risk and the Clippers’ center can be something of a points-per-minute beast.



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