FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Friday 4/12/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Friday 4/12/24

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.


Friday’s main slate on FanDuel features 11 games. For a full breakdown, see numberFire's matchup heat map.

Top matchups:

Other games:

Lines and totals via the NBA odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. Projections and odds may change after this article is published.


Top Plays

Tyrese Haliburton ($9,700) -- The toughest part of tonight's slate is figuring out which high-salaried guard is worth rostering. Pacers-Cavaliers has the slate's highest total (234.0) and second tightest spread (Cavs -2.5), so let's start with Tyrese Haliburton. He's exceeded 50 FPs in three of the last five games with the two duds coming against Miami (fifth in defensive rating) and Oklahoma City (fourth). Cleveland is seventh, but Haliburton's had little trouble with them this season. In three prior meetings, he went for 49.1, 41.9, and 42.2 FPs.

Donte DiVincenzo ($7,200) -- Donte DiVincenzo torched the Nets for 52.7 FPs when they squared off at the end of March and at least has a sizable floor with guaranteed minutes. DiVincenzo hasn't played fewer than 30 minutes since March 16. While he's exceeded 40 FPs in just four of 13 games since, the guaranteed workload is a breath of fresh air on such a murky slate. His points prop is set at 17.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Scotty Pippen ($6,600) -- Scotty Pippen Jr. continues to take advantage of Memphis' lengthy injury report. He's averaging 31.5 minutes and 38.2 FPPG over his last four outings and has the right matchup to stay productive tonight. Over their last 15 games, the Lakers are 15th in defensive rating, first in pace, and have allowed the most FPPG to opposing PGs, per FantasyPros. As of Friday afternoon, he's our top point-per-dollar value at guard thanks to a 37.1-FP projection (5.61 FPs per $1,000). In the same matchup, Zavier Simpson ($4,500) is also appealing. Simpson doesn't have the same upside, but he boasts a much lower salary and still carries 5x value via a 22.7-FP projection.

Others to Consider

Donovan Mitchell ($9,500) -- On the other side of this Indiana-Cleveland matchup, I can get behind Donovan Mitchell at either guard spot. Spida is fresh off his best game since the All-Star break, totaling 54.8 FPs across 33 minutes on Wednesday. Cleveland still needs to win to clinch home court advantage in the first round, but they've lost two of three meetings with Indiana already. Mitchell only played them once, but he cooked up 39 actual and 57.5 FanDuel points. Tonight, his points prop is set at 25.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Dante Exum ($4,300) -- Kyrie Irving has already been ruled out, and you'd have to assume Luka Doncic will be sitting as well with Dallas locked into the 4/5 matchup already. That should lift Dante Exum into the starting lineup. In 15 games without Irving, Exum has averaged 26.2 minutes and 22.0 FPPG, per RotoGrinders CourtIQ. In the one game he played without both, Exum registered a 28.3% usage rate. That should come in handy against a lackluster Pistons defense that's allowed the seventh-most FPPG to PGs.


Top Plays

DeMar DeRozan ($8,900) -- Should the Bulls play DeMar DeRozan on the second night of a back-to-back having already clinched a play-in spot? No. Will they? Probably. The 34-year-old has only missed two games all season, both back in November. His salary has shot up in recent games, but he's fresh off the second-best fantasy performance of the season, netting 39 actual and 62.3 FanDuel points in last night's win over Detroit. Barring a late scratch, I see no issues rolling with DeRozan in a another plus matchup with Washington.

Rui Hachimura ($6,000) -- Rui Hachimura is infinitely more appealing if one of LeBron James or Anthony Davis sit, but the Lakers' 120.50 implied total and Rui's recent play make him worth a look even if everyone suits up. Hachimura torched the Grizzlies for 51.5 FPs without Davis a few weeks back, helping him average 19.1 actual and 32.9 FanDuel points over the last nine games. I'm not looking to allocate much salary to wing tonight, but Rui's a formidable mid-range play.

Javonte Green ($4,800) -- I'm trying to understand why Javonte Green wasn't playing real minutes all season. He looks the part of a rotation player, averaging 28.8 minutes, 15.0 points, and 10.3 rebounds over his last four games. That's come with 50.1 and 37.1-FP outings, and that range of outcomes is something to bear in mind given the matchup with Washington. We project Green for 26.7 FPs, making him the second-best point-per-dollar value at SF (5.56 FPs per $1,000).

Others to Consider

Anthony Edwards ($9,300) -- If this slate was taking place in December, Anthony Edwards would easily be my top wing. He's one game removed from a 66.7-FP outing and up against a Hawks D that's given up the sixth-most FPPG to SFs on the year. The problem is that Minnesota's a 13-point favorite, and there are only two games remaining. There's upside if Atlanta keeps it close -- Minnesota still wants to win -- but also a chance Ant hits the bench early in a blowout.

Tim Hardaway ($4,800) -- In three games without Luka and Kyrie, Tim Hardaway Jr. has averaged 29.8 minutes, 30.3 FPPG, and a 31.1% usage rate. In 19 with Doncic but no Irving, he's averaged 29.5 FPPG with a 26% usage rate. Either way, Hardaway's in a nice spot against Detroit -- the fourth-best fantasy matchup for SGs and SFs this season.


Top Plays

Victor Wembanyama ($11,900) -- For as foggy as this slate is, we're at least treated to Victor Wembanyama versus Nikola Jokic. While Denver's taken all three meetings thus far, their average margin of victory is only 9.3 points, and the last matchup came down to the wire. Wemby has absolutely cooked in this spot, notching 65.2, 41.8, and 81.0 FPs. That kind of upside is hard to match.

Bobby Portis ($7,400) -- Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard are both out, so sky's the limit for Bobby Portis. He's yet to play without both of Milwaukee's stars but has averaged 42.7 FPPG and a 28.6% usage rate in seven games without the Greek Freak. That includes a 56.3-FP outing against Orlando on Wednesday, so we should be confident in him against OKC. The Thunder have a similarly elite defense, but they've quietly allowed the ninth-most FPPG to Cs this season.

Others to Consider

Nikola Jokic ($12,600) -- If San Antonio can keep it close with Denver, Nikola Jokic should be in for a big fantasy performance. He's gone for 63.7, 49.9, and 75.2 FPs in three previous battles with Wemby, and the Nuggets still need to clinch the top seed in the West. The Joker's 56.0-FP projection is the second highest on the slate, while his points + rebounds + assists prop is set way up at 48.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Chimezie Metu ($5,800) -- Over the last 10 games, Chimezie Metu is averaging 30.2 minutes and 28.1 FPPG. He's cleared 35 FPs thrice over that span and could tap into that upside with Dallas resting key players tonight. Metu's 30.3-FP projection makes him the top point-per-dollar value at PF (5.22 FPs per $1,000).

New to FanDuel Sportsbook? You’ll receive $150 in Bonus Bets when you place your first bet of at least $5 —win or lose! See the promotions page for more information.

Interested in playing NBA daily fantasy? FanDuel has plenty of contest options to make every moment more. Be sure to check out the NBA betting options, as well.

Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook and FanDuel Daily Fantasy today!

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.