FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Thursday 2/29/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Thursday 2/29/24

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.


Thursday's main slate on FanDuel features six games but several lopsided spreads.

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

Top matchups:

Other games:


Top Plays

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($11,400) -- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the lone guard with a five-figure salary tonight, and he boasts the position's highest numberFire projection (50.1). A lopsided spread (Thunder -11) is the only drawback here, but SGA exceeded 59 FanDuel points (FPs) in OKC's two prior matchups with San Antonio, both of which were decided by at least 25 points. That's been an ongoing trend for opposing PGs. Per FantasyPros, the Spurs have allowed the fourth-most FPPG and second-most real-world points to the position. SGA's points prop is set at 31.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Jalen Green ($6,200) -- Jalen Green's salary was $8.1K as recently as February 12th, but a slew of poor shooting performances has dropped him into mid-range territory. While that's warranted given his production (22.5 FPPG last five), the usage remains strong (24% last five). He's best utilized as a game stack alongside one of Phoenix's studs given the spread (Suns -8.5) but has 50-FP upside, reaching that mark four times in his last 15 games.

Keyonte George ($5,900) -- While the Magic boast a fearsome defense, they've allowed the third-most fantasy points to PGs over their last 15 games. That bodes well for Keyonte George. He's hovered around 22 FPs in three straight games, but the 16th overall pick continues to start and play over 30 minutes a night. Just four games removed from a 51.4-FP outing, George has upside in a decent game environment.

Others to Consider

Dejounte Murray ($8,800) -- After SGA, Dejounte Murray is the high-salary guard I want to roster tonight. Murray has totaled 55.3 and 42.3 FPs in the first two games of Trae Young's extended absence, the latter of which came in just 31 minutes. He's now averaging 48.4 FPPG and a 29% usage rate when Trae sits, according to RotoGrinders CourtIQ. Brooklyn has been solid on defense (especially against PGs), but they're no reason to fade Murray at such a manageable salary. He's worth a look in the prop market, too.

Grayson Allen ($5,800) -- Bradley Beal and Eric Gordon are both questionable, so it's easy to get behind Grayson Allen. Allen is coming off a pair of strong games, including a 43.2-FP night against the Rockets. He gets Houston at home tonight, making him a quality value if one of Beal or Gordon sit.

Miles McBride ($5,400) -- If Jalen Brunson (questionable) sits, we can confidently turn to Miles McBride. McBride started in Brunson's place on Tuesday, notching 31.6 FPs across 40 minutes of action. In four games sans Brunson, McBride's averaged 40 minutes and 35 FPPG. That's enough to prioritize him at $5.4K, and he'd benefit from a Golden State defense that's given up the sixth-most FPPG to PGs on the year.


Top Plays

Kevin Durant ($9,600) -- Kevin Durant popped for 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists against the Rockets last week after dropping a triple-double against them back in December. He's now totaled 60.2 and 69.0 FPs across two matchups with Houston, taking advantage of a Rockets defense that's struggled with PFs. They've allowed the seventh-most FPPG to the position on the year and the second-most over the last 15 games. With the slate's second-highest over/under (233.5) and a tight enough spread (Suns -8.5), I can get behind KD here. His points + rebounds + assists prop is set at 39.5 while Kevin Durant To Record A Triple Double is +3500.

Mikal Bridges ($7,600) -- Atlanta has been a fantasy gold mine for opposing wings, allowing the third-most FPPG to SGs and the fourth-most to SFs. They're 27th in defensive rating and third in pace, so everything's lined up for a big Mikal Bridges game. Though he's fresh off a brutal shooting performance (2-14 FG, 0-7 3PT), he thrived in this matchup earlier in the year. In two prior dates with Atlanta, Bridges scored 32 and 45 real-world points, totaling 49 and 68 FPs.

Cameron Johnson ($5,100) -- No Cameron Thomas for Brooklyn, so we can expect Cameron Johnson to start again. Johnson only managed 15.2 FPs with Thomas out on Tuesday but has averaged 27.3 FPPG and a 21% usage rate in 10 total games without him. Atlanta is a dream matchup for wings, and Johnson is widely projected to be one of the most-rostered players on the slate. Our model backs that -- Cam Johnson's 27.8-FP projection makes him the top point-per-dollar value on the board (5.4 FPs per $1,000).

Others to Consider

Jalen Johnson ($8,500) -- Early ownership projections don't have Jalen Johnson as a very popular name, but his upside could give you a real edge. Johnson has exceeded 43 FPs in all three games since the All-Star break, and he's racked up 13 assists with Trae Young out the last two games. Brooklyn is a neutral matchup for forwards, and this is the tightest spread (Nets -1.5) on the slate. He fits well into lineups centered around Murray and Bridges.

Josh Hart ($7,300) -- I'm into Josh Hart regardless of Jalen Brunson's status, but it's worth noting that Hart's averaged 46.8 FPPG and a 25% usage rate in two games without him and Julius Randle available. Golden State is up to third in defensive rating over the last 15 games, but Hart's ability to fill up the box score keeps his fantasy value fully intact. He's averaged 32.5 combined points, rebounds, and assists since the All-Star break, Hart's points + rebounds + assists prop is set at 28.5 on FanDuel.

Caleb Houstan ($3,800) -- In larger tournaments, Caleb Houstan is someone to keep an eye on if Paolo Banchero (questionable) sits. He started for Banchero on Tuesday, totaling 22.7 FPs over 30 minutes. The Jazz have given up the third-most FPPG to SFs, so there's a lot to like with Houstan's salary.


Top Plays

Victor Wembanyama ($11,600) -- Victor Wembanyama's salary has never been higher, but that's no reason to fade the Rookie of the Year favorite. Wemby has come out of the All-Star break hot, averaging 63.2 FPPG. He's racked up 19 blocks and 13 steals over that four-game span, offering a stable floor. There's room for upside tonight despite a lopsided spread. The Thunder have given up the fourth-most FPPG to Cs over their last 15 games, and they're just 22nd in rebound rate over that span. Wemby cruised to 56.4 FPs when they faced off last month, and he carries numberFire's third-highest projection (48.5) tonight.

Nicolas Claxton ($7,000) -- Nicolas Claxton has been quiet since the All-Star break, failing to exceed 31 FPs in four straight games. He's had a few rough matchups -- a problem the Hawks don't present. Atlanta has given up the seventh-most FPPG to Cs and ranks 27th in defensive rating on the year. This will be his third meeting with them, previously dropping 28.0 and 49.7 FPs. Tonight's projection is right in the middle (36.4), making him the top value among Cs (5.2 FPs per $1,000) and a rock-solid mid-range play.

Taylor Hendricks ($4,500) -- Taylor Hendricks figures to be pretty chalky, but his low salary and recent production are incredibly valuable given the big names available tonight. The No. 9 pick has finally cracked Utah's rotation, averaging 26 minutes and 21.7 FPPG in three games since the All-Star break. Orlando is a brutal matchup for opposing bigs, but his role at such a low salary is hard to ignore. As of Thursday afternoon, Taylor Hendricks' 22.6-FP projection makes him the second-best value among PFs (5.03 FPs per $1,000).

Others to Consider

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,700) -- Wemby and Giannis Antetokounmpo have near-identical salaries, though Giannis sports the better projection (54.7). While we typically think of Charlotte as a strong fantasy matchup, I'm not thrilled with the spot. The Bucks already have three 30-point wins against them, but that's come with Giannis averaging 25.3 minutes and 38.2 FPPG. The efficiency is great, I just worry about the upside given the lopsided spread (Bucks -12). Early draft percentage projections around the industry suggest he'll be much more heavily rostered than Wemby, but I prefer the rook's upside.

Franz Wagner ($7,900) -- Franz Wagner hasn't had a ceiling game since Orlando returned from the All-Star break, but he's in a nice spot against Utah. The Jazz have consistently been one of the best fantasy matchups for forwards, allowing the third-most FPPG to SFs and the most to PFs. He took advantage of that weakness when they faced off in November, notching 43.3 FPs. Wagner would get a boost if Paolo Banchero missed his second straight game.

Wendell Carter ($5,400) -- Utah hasn't just been soft against forwards of late -- they've given up the most FPPG to Cs over their last 15 games. That sets Wendell Carter Jr. up for a solid night. Carter went for 30 FPs in an earlier date with the Jazz, and Orlando quietly has the slate's third-highest implied total (115.75).

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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.