FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Friday 4/26/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD

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


Top Plays

Damian Lillard ($9,700) -- High-salary guards are plentiful tonight, but Damian Lillard takes the cake for me. Dame has notched 35 and 34 real-world points in the first two games, putting up 21 and 24 shots in the process. He nailed six threes in both outings -- notable considering his threes prop is set at 4.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook. Expect the usage to stay sky-high in tonight's critical Game 3, one that has the slate's highest over/under (223.0).

Bradley Beal ($7,500) -- Bradley Beal was held in check up north, but I'm bullish on a bounce back in Phoenix. He put up 17 shots in Game 2, and while only six went in, the volume is promising. Though Minnesota's top-rated defense is tough, we saw Beal torch them for 58.7 FanDuel points (FPs) in the regular season finale, so there's certainly a ceiling here.

Patrick Beverley ($5,400) -- I'll happily double-up on Bucks PGs tonight with Patrick Beverley still profiling as a solid value play. He played 36 and 34 minutes in the first two games, putting up 30.4 and 22.3 FPs despite scoring 10 combined real-world points. Beverley's ability to fill up the box score gives him a strong floor with the minutes load.

Others to Consider

Luka Doncic ($12,100) -- The Mavs scored 97 and 96 points in the first two games of this series. And while that recipe helped Dallas steal Game 2 on the road, it doesn't do much for Luka Doncic's fantasy value. Granted, he still went for 56.6 and 55.7 FPs, but we're looking for a bit more at this high of a salary. There's obviously a strong floor with Luka, but at $12.1K, it's fair to question the ceiling, even if his 58.2-FP projection tops the slate.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($5,000) -- Nickeil Alexander-Walker came back to Earth in Game 2 (21.9 FPs) after a monster Game 1 (36.8 FPs), but he still played 30 minutes in the former. His role in the 'Sota rotation is more than safe enough to take a flyer on him at $5K, especially if you want to get up to some of the high-salary studs.


Top Plays

Kevin Durant ($9,100) -- We're due for at least one vintage Kevin Durant playoff performance... right? After scoring 31 real-world points on 11-of-17 shooting in Game 1, KD regressed to 18 points on 6-of-15 shooting in Game 2. The periphery stats have been lacking (13 rebounds and 3 assists through two games), but the scoring upside is still there, and he averaged 6.6 boards and 5.0 dimes during the regular season. I'm in on the bounce back tonight.

Khris Middleton ($7,700) -- Khris Middleton is questionable after spraining his ankle in Game 2, but that injury happened in the first quarter and he returned to play 36 minutes. With the series tied, I'd be surprised to see Middleton sit tonight. Assuming he's good to go, it's easy to get behind him at this salary. He flashed his upside in Game 1 (43 FPs) and has notably registered a 27.8% usage rate with Giannis Antetokounmpo sidelined this season, per RotoGrinders CourtIQ.

Jaden McDaniels ($5,300) -- Anthony Edwards's "they got KD, but we got Jaden McDaniels" quote has aged pretty well thus far. McDaniels popped for 25 actual and 41.1 FanDuel points in Game 2, and he put up a serviceable 20.2 FPs in the series opener. Most importantly, the versatile defender played 37 and 41 minutes in the first two games. Players in this salary range who flirt with 40 minutes are ideal salary-savers for such star-studded slates.

Others to Consider

Kawhi Leonard ($8,600) -- Kawhi Leonard looked rusty in his return to action in Game 2, scoring just 15 real-world points on 7-of-17 shooting. Despite that, he still put up 41.4 FPs thanks to seven rebounds and five stocks (steals plus blocks). Kawhi is questionable tonight, but he was at shootaround on Friday after playing 34 minutes in Game 2. Given the salary and position, he's the Clipper I'm most drawn to today. Consider him in Luka-based lineups.

Aaron Nesmith ($5,700) -- Aaron Nesmith bounced back from a disappointing Game 1 to drop 29.5 FPs in Indiana's Game 2 win. He finished with 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists -- contributions that bode well for his outlook in Game 3. With a 28.2-FP projection, Nesmith is the top point-per-dollar value at SF (4.95 FPs per $1,000).


Top Plays

Pascal Siakam ($9,200) -- I'd like to motion for the "Playoff P" nickname to be transferred to Pascal Siakam. The Bucks had no answer for Siakam in Milwaukee, allowing him to notch 62.6 and 59.2 FPs across two games. He scored 36 and 37 real-world points, and it's clear Milwaukee's interior defense is lacking without Giannis. I'm happy to acquire Siakam's services at his $9.2K salary, especially with Indiana boasting the slate's highest implied total (115.0)

Bobby Portis ($7,600) -- Bobby Portis's first two games weren't necessarily bad, just underwhelming. He failed to reach 35 FPs in each, with the Pacers holding him to a combined 13-of-31 shooting. He still racked up 11 rebounds and notched 30 minutes in both games, so I'm bullish those were just floor games. There's a larger ceiling for him than we've seen thus far. In nine games without Giannis this season, Portis averaged 39.7 FPPG and posted a 26.8% usage rate.

PJ Washington ($6,200) -- Old reliable PJ Washington turned in 32.2 FPs after a 28.4-FP series opener, and his minute totals (36 and 35) make him appealing as a mid-range option. Speaking of minutes, Dereck Lively($4,600) played 20 and Maxi Kleber ($4,100) played 27 in Game 2 with Daniel Gafford banged up. Lively has more upside, but I'm fine utilizing either as a salary-saver in Luka builds.

Others to Consider

Myles Turner ($7,400) -- Would I typically advise you to stack the same team's frontcourt options? No. Will I tonight? Yes. Though Siakam's stolen the show thus far, Myles Turner's contributions have been plenty valuable. He put up 34.6 FPs in Game 1 and 48.4 FPs in Game 2, scoring 17 and 22 real-world points, respectively. This is an exploitable Milwaukee interior, and Indiana's bigs should continue to take advantage.

Obi Toppin ($4,400) -- Color me intrigued with Obi Toppin. After a brutal Game 1, Indiana revved Obi up to 20 minutes in Game 2. He responded with 21.6 FPs, tying for the third-most shot attempts (11) on the team. He's a dart throw for larger tournaments, but there are several high-salary names I want to get to tonight.

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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.