NBA

FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Friday 3/8/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Friday 3/8/24

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.

NBA DFS Picks

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

For a full breakdown, see numberFire's matchup heat map. Lines and totals via the NBA odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Top matchups:

Other games:

Guards

Top Plays

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($11,000) -- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the only player with a five-figure salary tonight. SGA boasts the highest numberFire projection (48), and OKC has the slate's highest implied total (116.25), so he's as safe of a building block as you'll find. The matchup isn't ideal -- Miami is third in defensive rating and 25th in pace over the last 15 games -- but SGA managed 45.4 FanDuel points (FPs) against the Heat back in January, so there's at least a floor here.

Vince Williams ($7,200) -- All six main slate games have totals under 230, so I'm more comfortable turning to Memphis than usual. Their 106 implied total still isn't great, but Vince Williams Jr. has proven to be fantasy-viable even in low-scoring affairs. Vince has gone for 44 FPs in two of his last three games and draws a stellar matchup with Atlanta. Per FantasyPros, the Hawks have allowed the third-most FPPG to SGs and the fourth-most to SFs.

Vasilije Micic ($5,400) -- Vasilije Micic has started two straight games for the Hornets, notching 25.4 and 35 FPs. He's averaging 5.6 assists per game since the All-Star break and is fresh off a career-high 21 real-world points. Tre Mann is also questionable tonight, so Micic could be in line for even more work in a great matchup. Washington has 28th in defensive rating and 1st in pace in the last 15 games. They've given up the most FPPG to PGs over that span.

Others to Consider

Dejounte Murray ($8,900) -- I'm still waiting for some Dejounte Murray ceiling games, but there's no doubting his floor. Since Trae Young went down on February 23rd, Murray has averaged 36.3 combined points, rebounds, and assists and 44.8 FPPG. Memphis has a decent defense -- and they play at a snail's pace -- but Murray's salary is still appealing given the consistent production. His points + rebounds + assists prop is set at 37.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Darius Garland ($7,700) -- Despite a 207.5 over/under, we can still consider Darius Garland with Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley sidelined. Though he's only sniffed 40 FPs once since the All-Star break, Garland registered a 25% usage rate and averaged 36 minutes a night over that span. As of Friday afternoon, his 40-FP numberFire projection makes him the second-best point-per-dollar value among guards (5.2 FPs per $1,000).

Bogdan Bogdanovic ($6,700) -- The SG is pretty barren tonight, but Bogdan Bogdanovic is an intriguing mid-range play. Bogdanovic went for 23 actual and 35.4 FanDuel points in his most recent outing, shooting 8-of-15 from the floor. The shot-making was encouraging considering he's managed just a 40% field goal percentage since Trae Young went down, and it sets him up nicely against Memphis. Over their last 15 games, the Grizzlies have given up the sixth-most FPPG to SGs.

Miles McBride ($5,600) -- Jalen Brunson is questionable again after sitting out three of the last four games. Miles McBride averaged a staggering 44 minutes and 29.4 FPPG in those three games, so we can confidently turn to him as a value if Brunson is out. Orlando is a tough defense overall, but they've given up the sixth-most points and threes to PGs over the last 15 games.

Wings

Top Plays

Anthony Edwards ($9,800) -- If last night was any indication, Anthony Edwards is going to feast with Karl-Anthony Towns out for the next month. ANT went for 67.7 FPs in last night's W over Indiana, scoring 44 points and chipping in four combined blocks and steals. Playing in the second leg of a back-to-back against Cleveland's sixth-rated defense is far from ideal, but the Cavs are undermanned and just let a pair of Atlanta wings combine for 46 points against them.

Brandon Miller ($7,000) -- Brandon Miller continues to play heavy minutes, and he's led the Hornets with a 25% usage rate since the All-Star break. The rook flashed his upside with a 43.5-FP double-double against Toronto earlier this week, and he gets a similarly soft matchup with Washington tonight. The Wizards have given up the fifth-most FPs to SGs and the third-most to SFs over their last 15 games, and they're first in pace over that span.

De'Andre Hunter ($5,700) -- Jalen Johnson will join Trae Young on the bench tonight, so we can look to De'Andre Hunter in an enhanced role. With those two off the floor this season, Hunter has registered a 25% usage rate according to RotoGrinders CourtIQ. He went for 25.6 FPs with Johnson departing last game early and figures to get all the run he can handle for the undermanned Hawks.

Others to Consider

Kyle Kuzma ($8,600) -- Kyle Kuzma has notched 40 FPs in seven of eight games since the All-Star break, racking up three double-doubles. The salary is tough to swallow, but Kuzma has a rock-solid floor and the matchup for a ceiling performance tonight. While Charlotte is up to 11th in defensive rating over the last 15 games, they've still given up the sixth-most FPPG to PFs and rank 28th in rebound rate over that span. Kuz exploded for 60.8 FPs the last time he faced Charlotte back in November.

Miles Bridges ($8,400) -- Miles Bridges benefits from the same advantageous matchup as Brandon Miller, and he's proven capable of slate-breaking performances. There's a wider range of outcomes compared to someone like Kyle Kuzma, but Bridges has a similar ceiling. He went for 48 FPs in his lone prior matchup with Washington, and his points prop tonight is set at 22.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Deni Avdija ($6,600) -- All four forwards in tonight's Hornets-Wizards clash are viable in DFS, though Deni Avdija may be the best value. Avdija is prone to some up-and-down performances, but he's been trending up with 32.5 FPPG and a 21% usage rate over the last four games. He's flashed a real ceiling with five 45-FP performances since December 29th, and a plus-matchup with Charlotte gives him upside tonight. Avdija's 34.4-FP projection makes him the second-best point-per-dollar value among SFs (5.21 FPs per $1,000)

Kyle Anderson ($5,900) -- Kyle Anderson ceded way to Anthony Edwards in Minnesota's first game without KAT but started and played 27 minutes. That resulted in only 11.6 FPs, though more production is expected in this role going forward. A matchup with Cleveland isn't ideal, but Slo Mo's ability to fill up the box score could be much needed after ANT put up 35 shots in 39 minutes. Edwards is also questionable, so if he sits Anderson and Jaden McDaniels ($4,900) would both be priority values.

Bigs

Top Plays

Jaren Jackson Jr. ($9,000) -- Jaren Jackson Jr. is the highest salaried and projected (42.6) big tonight. JJJ didn't miss a beat in his return from a three-game absence on Wednesday, notching his second-consecutive 59-FP game. Tonight's matchup with the Hawks should allow him to stay hot. Though Atlanta hasn't been a great fantasy matchup for bigs of late, they've allowed the eighth-most points in the paint over the last 15 games. Jackson Jr's points + rebounds prop is way up at 32.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Zion Williamson ($8,200) -- Zion Williamson has averaged 41.5 FPPG and a 29% usage rate since the beginning of February, and he's coming off a 47.1-FP performance against Toronto. Tonight's matchup with Philly gives him a good shot to stay hot. The 76ers have dipped to 29th in defensive rating and 20th in rebound rate over their last 15 games, and Zion torched them for a season-high 58.6 FPs back in November.

Nick Richards ($5,900) -- Without a clear-cut No. 1 center on tonight's slate, Nick Richards is uber-appealing at $5.9K. Richards has only exceeded 20 FPs once in his last four games, but he's consistently hovered around 30 minutes when active. That should lead to fantasy success in a stellar matchup with Washington. Over the last 15 games, the Wizards have given up the third-most FPPG to Cs. They're dead last in rebound rate and points in the paint allowed over that span. Richards is projected for 30.1 FPs tonight, making him the third-best point-per-dollar value among Cs (5.11 FPs per $1,000).

Others to Consider

Rudy Gobert ($8,500) -- Rudy Gobert has averaged 40 minutes and 47 FP over the last four games. After going 7-of-11 from the floor last night, he's now attempted at least 11 shots in all three games Karl-Anthony Towns has missed this season -- notable considering he only has 18 games with double-digit shot attempts on the year. The Cavs aren't the best matchup for interior players, but they've struggled against big-bodied centers.

Bruno Fernando ($4,200) -- Bruno Fernando is coming off his best performance of the season, notching 7 points, 10 rebounds, and 31 FPs across 25 minutes. He's now averaging 19.8 minutes and 19.9 FPPG over the last eight games. An individual matchup with Jaren Jackson isn't ideal, but Memphis is 27th in rebound rate and has given up the sixth-most points in the paint over the last 15 games. Fernando's 24.8-FP numberFire projection makes him the top point-per-dollar value on the slate (5.89 FPs per $1,000).


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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.