FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Monday 4/22/24

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.


Monday's main slate on FanDuel features three games. For a full breakdown, see numberFire's matchup heat map.


Top Plays

Jamal Murray ($8,800) -- With an over/under in the Lakers-Nuggets game nearly 20 points higher than the next-closest game, I'm confident claiming Jamal Murray as the top guard tonight. Murray went for 47.2 FanDuel points (FPs) in Game 1 -- right in line with the 46.3 FPPG he averaged during last year's postseason. With career postseason averages of 24.9 points and 6.4 assists per game, Murray should continue to thrive against a Lakers defense that surrendered the third-most FPPG to PGs this season, per FantasyPros.

D'Angelo Russell ($7,100) -- I'd find it difficult to roster D'Angelo Russell without one of Denver's studs, but he must shoot better for LA to have a chance tonight. In Game 1, DLo saw 41 minutes but managed only 26.1 FPs. That's life when you go 6-of-20 from the floor. But Russell maintained a 45.6% field goal percentage during the regular season, so I'm not ready to write him off just yet. Bank on him taking advantage of this 224.0-point total in a bounce-back effort that could see him go under-rostered after his clunker.

Jalen Suggs ($6,100) -- Orlando-Cleveland is the game I want the least amount of exposure to, but, boy, there are some intriguing values for the Magic. That starts with Jalen Suggs fresh off a 31.8-FP outing that saw him attempt 16 shots and rack up three combined steals and blocks. Cleveland has a tough defense, but I wouldn't bank on Suggs shooting 25% from the floor going forward. His defense should keep him on the floor regardless, and he's one of the few guards in this salary range with a reliable floor.

Others to Consider

Donovan Mitchell ($9,300) -- I can't get to Jalen Brunson ($9,800) with the high salary bigs on this slate, but Donovan Mitchell is worth a look in tournaments. Spida managed "only" 41.9 FPs in Game 1, but he scored 30 real-world points on 11-of-21 shooting. The periphery stats weren't there (2 rebounds and 3 assists), but the scoring at least gives Mitchell a sizable floor.

Kyle Lowry ($4,700) -- Kyle Lowry's salary won't stay under $5K much longer if he keeps playing like this. The 38-year-old logged 38 minutes in Game 1, notching 30.8 FPs in the process. He won't stick four threes every game, but the minutes are real with Nick Nurse at the helm. Tyrese Maxey's illness gives me even more confidence in Lowry's playing time. Just be warned: Lowry will likely be one of the most-rostered players on the slate. Miles McBride ($5,000) is a sneaky contrarian value in the same range.


Top Plays

LeBron James ($10,300) -- LeBron James had the quintessential LeBron stat line in Game 1 -- 27 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists. That netted him 45.2 FPs, which feels like a pretty comfortable floor going forward. Cutting down his seven turnovers would help, but LeBron's still among the safest options on the slate. We project him for 50.8 FPs, making him the fourth-best point-per-dollar value of the night (4.93 FPs per $1,000) as of Monday afternoon.

Josh Hart ($7,600) -- Josh Hart might very well be my favorite play of the slate after he went for 41.6 FPs in Game 1. Granted, Hart likely won't score 21 actual points on 4-of-8 shooting from three again, but he's a near-lock for 40 minutes and can contribute up and down the box score. After snagging 13 boards in the first game, Hart's rebounds prop is set at 11.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

OG Anunoby ($5,800) -- I was surprised that OG Anunoby managed just 31 minutes in Game 1 after getting 42 minutes in the Play-In game, but I suspect he creeps back into the upper-30s tonight. Our projections have him scoring 29.6 FPs in 35.2 minutes, making him the second-best point-per-dollar value on the slate (5.11 FPs per $1,000). With Anunoby seeing a Sixers defense that let up the sixth-most FPPG to SFs over the last 15 games, that projection feels more than attainable.

Others to Consider

Paolo Banchero ($8,500) -- Paolo Banchero put up only 30.9 FPs in Game 1, marking the fourth time in five meetings with Cleveland that he failed to reach 35 FPs. And yet, it's hard to not like him at this salary. He regularly flirted with a $9K tag over the second half of the year, and Game 1's disaster wouldn't have been so bad had he not turned the ball over a career-high nine times. Chalk that up to playoff debut jitters and feel comfortable slotting him in for Game 2.

Austin Reaves ($6,700) -- I wouldn't roster D'Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves in the same lineup, but the latter is still a solid mid-range play despite some lackluster results of late. Reaves has exceeded 30 FPs just once over his last seven games, but he continues to play heavy minutes and has flashed against Denver in the past. He put up 21.3 actual and 33.1 FanDuel points per game in last year's Western Conference Finals before averaging 37.1 FPPG against them in the regular season.


Top Plays

Nikola Jokic ($12,000) -- I will be prioritizing Nikola Jokic. Despite boasting by far the largest salary tonight, Jokic is still our top point-per-dollar value thanks to his 62.9-FP projection (5.24 FPs per $1,000). He cooked up that exact same number (62.9 FPs) in Game 1 and exceeded it in three of four playoff games with LA last season. He's the slate's top option, bar none.

Evan Mobley ($7,900) -- Both Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen ($8,200) are appealing against an Orlando team that played a center for just 28 minutes in Game 1. That helped Mobley score 16 points and grab 11 rebounds while Allen netted 16 himself to go along with 18 boards. Mobley's defensive prowess (three blocks in Game 1) gives him a bit more upside at a lower salary, but I'll happily slot either Cleveland big into my PF position.

Mitchell Robinson ($6,000) -- The Knicks were evidently just saving Mitchell Robinson for the postseason. After cracking 20 minutes only once in 10 regular season games upon returning from injury, Robinson saw 30 minutes in Game 1. He finished with 37.9 FPs -- largely thanks to 12 rebounds and 4 blocks. Expect more heavy usage for Robinson in a matchup with Joel Embiid. He's my go-to center in non-Jokic lineups.

Others to Consider

Anthony Davis ($11,200) -- Anthony Davis is a defensible pivot away from Jokic. He outscored the Joker thanks to 66.3 FPs in Game 1 and exceeded 60 FPs in two of four regular season matchups with Denver. The lack of assists gives him a bit less upside than his counterpart, but the defensive numbers (four blocks in Game 1) are enough to keep him in elite territory.

Jonathan Isaac ($6,200) -- The workload concerns are always present for Jonathan Isaac, but he started Game 1 against Cleveland and played a season-high 28 minutes. He turned that into 35.5 FPs and has a rock-solid floor thanks to his defensive marks (three blocks and three steals in Game 1).

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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.