FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Thursday 2/22/24

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.


Thursday's main slate on FanDuel features 10 games but a few game environments stick out.

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

Top matchups:

Other games:


Top Plays

Tyrese Haliburton ($9,900) -- The Pacers haven't outright declared that Tyrese Haliburton is off his minute's restriction, but it sure looks that way. Haliburton notched 34 minutes in each of their final two games before the All-Star break and then logged 27 minutes in the All-Star game. Assuming it's all systems go, Haliburton is set up well tonight against a Pistons D that's given up the most FanDuel points per game (FPPG) to opposing PGs, per FantasyPros. Indiana has the highest implied total (129.25) of the slate, and this game has the highest over/under (246). There's a lot to like.

Darius Garland ($6,500) -- Speaking of minute's restrictions, Darius Garland is off his, making him uber-appealing at $6.5K. Garland was trending up prior to the All-Star break, totaling 30 minutes in each of his last two games. He went for 53.7 and 43.1 FPs in two prior matchups with Orlando, a growing trend for opposing PGs. Over their last 15 games, the Magic have given up the fourth-most FPPG to PGs. Garland is the best point-per-dollar value among PGs thanks to his 34.6-FP numberFire projection.

Keyonte George ($5,800) -- Something tells me Keyonte George's salary is about to skyrocket, but we can still garner his services for $5.8K tonight. George recently cracked Utah's starting lineup, a role he'll keep for the remainder of the season. He was shaky in his first start but totaled 33.5 and 51.4 FPs in his final two games before the break. With Charlotte boasting the NBA's worst defensive rating, George has sneaky upside at a low salary.

Others to Consider

Luke Doncic ($12,600) -- The Luka Doncic-Devin Booker ($9,500) rivalry renews tonight. That was a fantasy goldmine in two earlier matchups, with Doncic going for 96.7 and 61.1 FPs and Booker totaling 41.6 and 62.9. I'd argue this is the slate's top game environment thanks to the high total (245) and tight spread (Dallas -1.5), so I want exposure to both sides. Luka and Book make for a fun game stack if you can find enough value to supplement their salaries.

Tre Mann ($6,600) -- Despite a salary spike, Tre Mann has shown enough in Charlotte that we can still consider him at $6.6K. In three games since being acquired from the Thunder, Mann has gone for 31.3, 28.3, and 44.6 FPs. He's shooting 46% from three and averaging 13.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists over that span -- good for 28.0 combined points, rebounds, and assists. Mann's points + rebounds + assists line is set at 23.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Gordon Hayward ($5,300) -- Gordon Hayward is available for the Thunder tonight, so he's worth a look thanks to his low salary. He hasn't suited up since December 26th but averaged 29.8 FPPG in his first 25 games with Charlotte. Hayward is projected for 24.2 FPs and 27.8 minutes.


Top Plays

Kevin Durant ($9,800) -- Kevin Durant was held under 43 FPs in two previous matchups with Dallas, but we can still turn to him in an elite game environment. Dallas has given up the fourth fewest FPPG to SFs but the fifth-most to PFs. The Mavs are just 19th in defensive rating, so I'd lean toward this being an advantageous matchup given the high total. KD was rolling before the All-Star break, exceeding 45 FPs in eight of his previous nine games. Durant's points prop is set at 26.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook, something to bear in mind considering tonight's No Sweat Same Game Parlay promotion for the TNT games.

Cam Thomas ($7,200) -- Predicting Cameron Thomas' ceiling games is a fool's errand... so consider me a fool. I love Thomas in this spot against Toronto. Over their last 15 games, the Raptors are 27th in defensive rating and have given up the most FPPG to opposing SFs. The Nets, meanwhile, just fired coach Jacque Vaughn. Thomas' role fluctuated greatly under Vaughn, and I wouldn't be surprised to see an uptick in usage for Thomas with Kevin Ollie at the helm.

Bennedict Mathurin ($5,000) -- With a 28.4-FP projection, Bennedict Mathurin is the top point-per-dollar value on the slate, per numberFire's model. Indiana's 129.25-point implied total is appealing enough on its own, and the matchup with Detroit (bottom-seven in FPs allowed to SGs and SFs) is prime. However, Mathurin's biggest draw is the possibility of an expanded role. Indiana will be without Aaron Nesmith tonight. In five prior Nesmith absences, Mathurin averaged 27.8 minutes per game, according to RotoGrinders' CourtIQ.

Others to Consider

Miles Bridges ($8,900) -- Charlotte-Utah might get lost in the shuffle on a 10-game slate, but don't forget about Miles Bridges. The Hornets are still without LaMelo Ball, and they're up against a Jazz defense that's allowed the second most FPs to both forward spots. In the 11 games Ball has missed since the Terry Rozier trade, Bridges has averaged 43.6 FPPG on a 26% usage rate.

Brandon Miller ($7,200) -- In that 11-game sample with no Ball and Rozier, Brandon Miller has averaged 36.1 FPPG and a team-high 28% usage rate. He benefits from the same soft matchup as Bridges but comes at a more manageable salary.

Royce O'Neale ($4,800) -- It didn't take long for Royce O'Neale to acclimate himself in Phoenix. After playing just 11 minutes in his first game with the Suns, O'Neale posted 36.3 and 26.9 FPs over his final two games before the All-Star break. That makes him awfully appealing today at $4.8K.


Top Plays

Nikola Jokic ($12,100) -- Nikola Jokic carries the highest projection (58.8) of the slate, and it's easy to get excited about this matchup with Washington. In the first half of the season, the Wizards gave up the most points, rebounds, and FPs to opposing Cs -- plus, Denver boasts the slate's second-highest implied total (123.5). My only concern is the Joker's ceiling. The Nuggets are 15-point favorites, and in eight prior Denver wins by 15 or more points, Jokic averaged "just" 54 FPPG -- a hair lower than his season average. That said, he went for 80.4 FPs in last month's matchup with Washington, so he remains a premier option.

Pascal Siakam ($8,100) -- Pascal Siakam went into the All-Star break on a high note, scoring his third-most FPs (45.5) as a Pacer. He should see a bump in usage with Aaron Nesmith out. Siakam has averaged 1.45 FanDuel points per minute with Nesmith off the floor this season but just 1.08 with him on. This is certainly the matchup to take advantage of those splits -- Detroit has given up the seventh most FPPG to opposing PFs.

Ivica Zubac ($6,500) -- The arrow was up for Ivica Zubac prior to the break. In his last game, he totaled his most minutes (27) and FanDuel points (38.5) since returning from injury on February 4th. That bodes well for his fantasy prospects tonight, especially given LA's matchup with OKC. The Thunder have yielded the third-most rebounds to Cs, and they're just 28th in total rebound rate over their last 15 games. Zubac's 18.1% rebound rate ranks 10th among qualified players, and his rebounds prop is set at 9.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Others to Consider

Zion Willamson ($8,200) -- Zion Williamson ended the first half playing well, exceeding 45 FPs in four of his last six games. That puts him in a nice spot to produce against a Rockets defense that's given up the third-most FPPG to PFs over their last 15 outings. Zion enjoyed his most recent date with Houston, scoring 28 points en route to 49.6 FPs.

Myles Turner ($7,100) -- Myles Turner closed out the first half with performances of 39.6 and 40.5 FanDuel points, and he's well-positioned to take advantage of a soft matchup tonight. Detroit has allowed the third-most FPPG to centers on the year. Turner's 38.3-FP projection makes him the top point-per-dollar value among bigs.

Grant Williams ($5,400) -- In three games since arriving in Charlotte, Grant Williams has averaged 30.2 minutes and 30.1 FPPG. He's scored at least 15 real-world points in all three games, something he did in just seven of 47 games with the Mavericks. With Utah allowing the second-most FPPG to opposing PFs, Williams makes for a solid value play.

Dive into the action with FanDuel Sportsbook's No Sweat Same Game Parlay for the upcoming Suns vs. Mavericks or Lakers vs. Warriors games on February 22nd. See the promotions page for more information.

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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.