FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Friday 2/23/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Friday 2/23/24

Since NBA DFS is easier to predict than baseball or football, it would likely get plenty of votes as the best sport to play on FanDuel. Basketball players usually stick to the same minutes and produce at roughly the same rate. Sounds easy, right? Trust me -- it's not!

As a result, NBA daily fantasy is highly reliant on a player's opportunity, so you'll need to ensure that you're up to date with key injuries. Our projections -- which are powered by numberFire -- update throughout the day to reflect current news. You can also turn to numberFire for player news updates as well as a matchup heat map and lineup optimizer to help give you an edge.

On top of all that, here at FanDuel Research, we'll come at you each day with this NBA DFS primer, which breaks down some of the day's top plays at each position.

Let's dive into today's main slate on FanDuel.

Betting lines via the NBA odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. Projections and betting odds may change after this article is published.


Friday's main slate on FanDuel features 10 games but some dramatically different game environments.

For a full breakdown, see numberFire's matchup heat map.

Top matchups:

Other games:


Top Plays

Trae Young ($9,300) -- Per FantasyPros, the Raptors have given up the third-most FanDuel points (FP) per game to opposing PGs over their last 15 outings. With Atlanta boasting the slate's second highest implied total (126), we can confidently turn to Trae Young at a reasonable $9.3K. Young was quiet prior to the All-Star break, but his track record against Toronto is worth investing in. In three prior matchups with them, Young went for 51.4, 55.5, and 63.3 FPs. He exceeded 30 real-world points in all three of those games, but his points prop is set at 24.5 tonight on FanDuel Sportsbook

Darius Garland ($6,600) -- Darius Garland finished with 18 points, 10 assists, and 37.4 FPs in his first game off a minute restriction yesterday. That was the first time all year that Garland hit double-digit assists after doing so 18 times last season. He could see a slight downtick in usage with Donovan Mitchell ($10,100) potentially returning, but the matchup is good enough that both could thrive. The 76ers have allowed the fifth-most FPPG to PGs over their last 15 games, and they're 28th in defensive rating over that span. Garland's 35.2-FP numberFire projection makes him the second-best point-per-dollar value on the slate.

Eric Gordon ($4,900) -- Eric Gordon started in place of Bradley Beal last night, notching 26.7 FPs over 35 minutes. That was the fourth time in five games that Gordon exceeded 25 FPs, so we can turn to him as a salary saver with Beal unlikely to play again tonight. Phoenix's implied total (118.75) is strong enough, and Gordon should benefit from a Rockets defense that's yielded the seventh-most real-world points and fourth-most threes to SGs over their last 15.

Others to Consider

Stephen Curry ($9,500) -- Stephen Curry went for 32 points, 8 assists, and 53.2 FPs in Golden State's first game off the All-Star break, so I'm more than willing to build around him against the Hornets. Charlotte is 26th in defensive rating and has given up the 7th-most FPs to PGs over the last 15 games.

Devin Vassell ($6,900) -- After yesterday's 42.7-FP outing, Devin Vassell has now exceeded 30 FPs in 14 of his last 16 games, notching 40 five times over that span. The Lakers have given up the third-most FPs to SGs over their last 15 games, and a 239.5 over/under suggests plenty of offense here.

Dalano Banton ($4,200) -- Point guards haven't fared well against Denver, and this 218 over/under is the lowest on the slate, but Dalano Banton is one of the few healthy guards for Portland tonight. In the final three games before the All-Star break, Banton went for 18.1, 25.5, and 11.4 FPs, notching at least 24 minutes twice. That won't win you the slate, but it's enough to make him viable at $4.2K and opens up a ton of fun lineup combinations.


Top Plays

LeBron James ($10,000) -- LeBron James sat out yesterday, but he should be rested and ready tonight against San Antonio. The Lakers sport a 124.75 implied total tonight while the Spurs are bottom-10 in defensive rating and top 5 in pace. James went for 56.4 FPs against the Spurs back in December, so he's a strong building block tonight. LeBron put up 44 combined points, rebounds, and assists in that prior matchup, but his points + rebounds + assists prop is just 38.5 tonight on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Jalen Johnson ($8,100) -- This Raptors-Hawks matchup is a goldmine for forwards, and Jalen Johnson takes the cake. With eight outings of at least 45 FPs in the first half of the year, Johnson has proven upside. He went for 42.9 FPs against the Raptors at the end of January, a growing trend for opposing forwards. Over their last 15 games, Toronto has dipped to 27th in defensive rating and yielded the most FPs per game to SFs.

Brandin Podziemski ($6,000) -- Brandin Podziemski posted a quiet 20.3 FPs in Golden State's first game back, but he still saw 27 minutes and snagged 9 rebounds. His ability to fill up the box score gives him a nice floor on a night-to-night basis, but his ceiling is what I'm after tonight. The Warriors have a cool 120.75-point implied total against a Hornets defense that's given up the eighth most FPPG to SFs this season.

Others to Consider

Scottie Barnes ($9,100) -- Tonight has all the makings of a Scottie Barnes ceiling game. Toronto-Atlanta has the slate's highest over/under (245), the Hawks have given up the fourth-most FPPG to SFs, and both teams are top 15 in pace over the last 15 games. Wheels up.

Luguentz Dort ($5,200) -- OKC is tricky tonight. They have the highest implied total (128.25) against the league's 27th-rated defense, but they're also 16-point favorites. That lopsided spread makes me want to fade their high-salary options, but Luguentz Dort is someone I can get behind at $5.2K. He went for 33 FPs last night, the third time in six games he exceeded 30 FPs.

Bruce Brown ($4,700) -- Bruce Brown Jr. only went for 13.2 FPs in last night's return to action, but he still saw 24 minutes. Wings have fared well against Atlanta, and Brown posted 33.8 FPs the last time he faced the Hawks. He's projected for 23.8 FPs by numberFire's model.


Top Plays

Nikola Jokic ($12,000) -- In spite of the slate's lowest over/under (218), Nikola Jokic still carries the highest raw projection (55.7) tonight. Granted, you probably want a little more than that at his salary, but Jokic has proven that he can produce regardless of the game environment. Portland has given up the second-most FPPG to Cs this season, and Jokic already torched them for 53.1 and 76.4 FPs earlier this month.

Evan Mobley ($7,500) -- You couldn't have asked for a better first game off a minutes restriction for Evan Mobley. The do-it-all forward totaled 43.6 FPs thanks to 14 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. His tendency to fill up the box score could come in handy tonight against a 76ers D that's given up the most rebounds and third-most assists to PFs over the last 15 games.

De'Andre Hunter ($5,300) -- PF-eligible De'Andre Hunter went into the All-Star break on a high note after 37.2 and 29.1-FP games. He played 28 minutes in both outings, the most since returning from injury. That makes him a lovely salary-saver against a Raptors defense that's fallen off a cliff the last 15 games. Over that span, they've given up the ninth-most FPPG to opposing PFs.

Others to Consider

Chet Holmgren ($8,200) -- The Wizards have allowed the most FPPG to Cs this season, and they just gave up 66.3 to Nikola Jokic in 31 minutes. Chet Holmgren isn't Jokic, but he can still fill up the box score. Chet went for 31 real-world points and 49.3 FPs in this same matchup last month, so he's a quality pivot away from the Joker. Holmgren's points prop is set at 15.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Marvin Bagley ($6,100) -- Marvin Bagley III was limited to 17 minutes in yesterday's blowout loss, but he still put up 25.4 FPs. Washington faces another lopsided spread tonight, but at least Bagley's individual matchup is better. For the season, OKC has given up the third-most rebounds to Cs.

Ivica Zubac ($6,000) -- Ivica Zubac put up 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 30.9 FPs in 29 minutes yesterday. That was his highest minute total since returning from injury earlier this month, so I'm bullish on him against Memphis. The Grizzlies have the league's worst rebounding rate over their last 15 games, and they've given up the second-most FPPG to Cs over that span. Mason Plumlee ($4,000) would be a nice salary saver if Zubac sat the second leg of the Clips' back-to-back.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.