Friday, Oct. 22, kicks off a full weekend of NBA action with a 10-game main slate. 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.
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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Friday, Oct. 22
Yahoo Play of the Day — James Harden: Brooklyn Nets at Philadelphia 76ers
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 48.15 | DraftKings: 50.4
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 27.4% | FanDuel 23.4% | DraftKings 21.2%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $44 | FanDuel $10,300 | DraftKings $9,400
In the opener James Harden did not play after leaving the game midway through the fourth quarter. Kevin Durant was not too far behind, as the Bucks had a commanding lead for most of the second half. Still, in just over 30 minutes, Harden was able to tally 46.6 Yahoo points. One of these two superstars will be on the court at all times while the games are close, which gives each the opportunity to be the featured player on offense. In his time with Brooklyn, Harden has posted about 1.5 Yahoo points without Durant on the floor and 1.2 when they share the court. With his ability to contribute to all facets of the game, Harden is going to be a nightly triple-double threat. And while he will occasionally reach that milestone, it is his safe fantasy floor that makes him an excellent foundation piece in lineups.
Christian Wood: Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 44.39 | DraftKings: 45.51
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 19.4% | FanDuel 27.2% | DraftKings 26.2%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $33 | FanDuel $8,100 | DraftKings $7,100
The Oklahoma City frontcourt is not particularly intimidating with Darius Bazley, Isaiah Roby and Derrick Favors manning the paint. Christian Wood has had a winding path in the NBA, playing for six different franchises across seven seasons. Last year he demonstrated that as the focal point for the Rockets he is capable of producing 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. The biggest surprise after seeing him get consistent playing time is his effective inside/out game. Last season he averaged 37.4% on five 3-point attempts per appearance. If his shot is falling, he will have access to 50-fantasy-point upside quite a few times this season.
Domantas Sabonis: Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 46.48 | DraftKings: 49.25
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 9.8% | FanDuel 18.7% | DraftKings 19.2%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $47 | FanDuel $9,700 | DraftKings $9,000
This is a phenomenal matchup for Domantas Sabonis against a frontcourt of Daniel Gafford, Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Davis Bertans. While Washington looked good on defense in their opener, that was against a new-look Raptors squad that looked very shaky. In the last two seasons, Washington has held opponents to under 100 points eight times in 144 games. The last time they allowed 83 points or fewer to the opposition was on Oct. 29, 2017. The Wizards are just not equipped to deal with a player like Sabonis. Last year in three games against Washington, Sabonis averaged 32.3 points, 14.3 rebounds and 9.3 assists in 41 minutes. While it is highly unlikely Sabonis will play more than 35 to 37 minutes, a rate of 1.6 fantasy points per minute in this matchup is attainable.
Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies
Derrick White: San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 30.49 | DraftKings: 31.43
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 62.0% | FanDuel 18.0% | DraftKings 13.4%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $10 | FanDuel $5,900 | DraftKings $5,900
It would seem that there was a glitch in the matrix when the Yahoo Fantasy salary algorithm got to Derrick White. Inexplicably, he saw his salary dropped in half from $21 on Tuesday to the best value option for Friday at just $10. DeMar DeRozan is in Chicago and Patty Mills is in Brooklyn, which leaves Dejounte Murray and White as the main offensive options for the Spurs. In the season opener, coach Gregg Popovich staggered their minutes so one was on the court at all times while the game was competitive. This will help maximize the usage and opportunities for this duo and increase their potential fantasy production.
Chris Duarte: Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 26.44 | DraftKings: 27.16
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 34.6% | FanDuel 15.9% | DraftKings 2.7%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $11 | FanDuel $5,300 | DraftKings $6,000
Rookie Chris Duarte looked good in his debut on Tuesday against Charlotte. While one should not expect 6-for-9 from behind the arc every game, Duarte will have the opportunity to contribute on offense while Caris LeVert is working through his back injury. Tonight the matchup is sublime, and the Yahoo minimum salary should make Duarte a popular option. There will be plenty of other ways to differentiate lineups with the salary cap relief.
Tyrese Maxey: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 28.52 | DraftKings: 28.66
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 29.6% | FanDuel 15.3% | DraftKings 16.0%
DFS Salary: Yahoo $14 | FanDuel $5,800 | DraftKings $5,300
The Ben Simmons saga continues to drag on, with general manager Daryl Morey seemingly oblivious to the ramifications of doing interviews saying it could take four years to resolve this situation (aka the length of Simmons’ contract). While that is just bluster and posturing in an effort to buoy potential trade value, it is causing a major distraction for the rest of the team.
Setting all that aside, Tyrese Maxey should continue to start as the 76ers point guard for the foreseeable future. Most nights he will be in the mix for 25 to 30 Yahoo points, and that is more indicative of a $20 to $22 fantasy salary. The matchup with Brooklyn is a good one, as defense is not going to be a priority for the Nets any time soon.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Friday, Oct. 22 Slate
Tonight the player pool is large enough that there is no need to force in any players that make you uncomfortable. 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.
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