FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Thursday 4/25/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Thursday 4/25/24

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


Top Plays

Tyrese Maxey ($8,800) -- Tyrese Maxey feasted in two games at Madison Square Garden, notching 44.4 and 56.8 FanDuel points (FPs). He put up 33 and 35 real-world points, falling one rebound short of a triple-double in Game 2. The league's most improved player has logged 43 minutes in three straight dating back to the Play-In. He's my top guard tonight.

Jalen Suggs ($5,800) -- After a scary injury in the second quarter of Game 2, Jalen Suggs returned for the second half and gutted out 25.7 FPs. He'll reportedly face no restrictions tonight, so I'm happy to run him back as value at either guard spot. There's not a ton of upside in a Cavs-Magic game that has a 201.5 over/under, but sub-$6K starters are hard to come by on a slate with several high-salary studs to consider.

Kyle Lowry ($5,400) -- The potential return of De'Anthony Melton (questionable) is the only deterrent from Kyle Lowry being my favorite value on the board. Including the Play-In game, Lowry has gone for 18.5 FPs (in 28 minutes), 30.8 FPs (in 38 minutes), and 27.7 FPs (in 33 minutes) this postseason. Even if Melton plays, Melton was limited to 15 and 5 minutes in an attempted return two weeks back, so he shouldn't cut into Lowry's workload too much.

Others to Consider

Jamal Murray ($8,700) -- Jamal Murray went exactly 9-of-24 from the floor in Games 1 and 2, yet still notched 47.2 and 35.1 FPs. He finished the regular season with a career-high 48.1% field goal percentage, so more efficient outings should be on the horizon. It helps that he's facing a Lakers team that's surrendered the third-most FPPG to opposing PGs, per FantasyPros.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5,100) -- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope isn't flashy, but he played 36 and 35 minutes the first two games. Game 1 (24.9 FPs) was better than Game 2 (12.7 FPs), but the minutes should be there no matter what. For a $5.1K salary-saver, you can't ask for much more than that. Our model projects him for 23.8 FPs.


Top Plays

LeBron James ($10,500) -- LeBron James is super appealing at $10.5K, having exceeded 60 FPs in two of three postseason games. He's notched 40, 40, and 38 minutes thus far, and I wouldn't be surprised to see that minute total climb even higher down 0-2. The ceiling isn't quite as high with LeBron as the slate's two stud big men, but he's more than capable of reaching for 60 FPs again. His points prop is set at 25.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook -- a mark he's surpassed in both games this series.

Josh Hart ($7,800) -- After playing 41 minutes in the series opener, Josh Hart did not leave the floor in Game 2. He played all 48 minutes, finishing with 21 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. The Sixers are daring Hart to shoot, and he's made them pay with four threes in both games. He hit three triples only 10 times during the regular season, so I wouldn't bank on that going forward, but his workload and across-the-board contributions should keep him relevant even if the shot goes cold.

Jonathan Isaac ($5,700) -- Following a stellar Game 1 (35.5 FPs), Jonathan Isaac managed just 12.8 FPs in Game 2. His minutes dropped from 28 to 19 between those two games, so he's far from a slam-dunk value tonight. Still, an extra day of rest could help him get back around 30 minutes, and we know Isaac can produce when he's out there. Since the All-Star break, Isaac's averaged 1.13 FanDuel points per minute, according to RotoGrinders CourtIQ.

Others to Consider

Michael Porter ($7,100) -- Michael Porter Jr. has notched 37.6 and 40.3 FPs through two games this series, continuing an ongoing trend of him torching the Lakers. He's averaged 21 real-world points and 9.8 rebounds per game against them this season, exceeding 35 FPs in all five matchups. MPJ's a rock-solid mid-range play in balanced builds. His points + rebounds prop is set at 24.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Nicolas Batum ($4,200) -- I'm not sure I'd play Nicolas Batum with Kyle Lowry, but he's a viable alternative to save salary. Batum's been quiet since his 27-FP outburst in the Play-In game, but he's still played 25 and 32 minutes in the first two games of this series. You won't find this many minutes at this low of a salary anywhere else.


Top Plays

Nikola Jokic ($12,200) -- What else is there to say about Nikola Jokic? He's a fantasy machine. The Joker's gone for 62.9 and 69 FPs in two games this series, averaging 29.5 points, 16.0 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game despite the difficult matchup. Jokic's salary is tough to get to, but you can make it work. We project him for a slate-high 60.5 FPs, so he's well-worth the cap hit.

Jarrett Allen ($8,400) -- Am I ready to overreact about Jarrett Allen's first two playoff games? Absolutely. After the lights were brighter than he expected in 2023, Allen's returned with vengeance this postseason. He's racked up 46.6 and 57.5 FPs thus far, notably securing 18 and 20 rebounds. Despite Orlando's strong interior, they haven't shown the length to keep Allen off the glass. His rebounds prop is set at 12.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook, and he's a rock-solid play down low.

Aaron Gordon ($6,500) -- Aaron Gordon's been quiet but productive against the Lakers thus far, and he continues to flirt with 40 minutes a night. He hasn't shown a ton of upside against the Lakers the last two seasons, although he did piece together a pair of 38-FP outings versus LA in the regular season. He went for 22 actual and 42.7 FanDuel points in last year's closeout win in LA, so we know he won't shy away from the hostile environment, either.

Others to Consider

Anthony Davis ($11,000) -- Anthony Davis looked to be on his way to a historic night after he scored 24 actual and 39.2 FanDuel points in the first half of Game 2. He finished with 32 actual and 50.2 FanDuel points, failing to score over the final 19 minutes of the game. Still, he looked utterly dominant in the first half, and his 66.3-FP performance in Game 1 has me confident in a bounce back tonight.

Rui Hachimura ($5,000) -- The projections love Rui Hachimura at this salary. We project him for 25.6 FPs -- good for the top point-per-dollar value on the slate (5.11 FPs per $1,000) -- and early roster rate numbers from across the industry project him to be a popular pick. It's easy to like the minutes (32, 31, and 37 this postseason), but he's still a risk given the lack of shot attempts (17 in three games). That said, he did go for 23 actual and 29.6 FanDuel points the last time Denver visited LA.

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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.