FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Tuesday 4/16/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Tuesday 4/16/24

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.


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

Odds and totals via the NBA odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. Projections and betting lines may change after this article is published.


Top Plays

De'Aaron Fox ($9,900) -- De'Aaron Fox was a reliable fantasy option during the regular season, averaging 45.3 FanDuel points per game (FPPG) and exceeding 50 FPs in 32 of 74 games. That jumped to 48.0 FPPG to go along with a 29.4% usage rate over the final 10 games when both Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter were sidelined, per RotoGrinders CourtIQ. In three regular season matchups with Golden State, Fox went for 42.7, 54.3, and 53.8 FPs. We project Fox for 48.9 FPs, highest among guards.

CJ McCollum ($8,500) -- Brandon Ingram's return will undoubtedly hurt C.J. McCollum's usage, but I'm still bullish on him in this matchup with LA. McCollum averaged 44.1 FPPG over the final 10 games of the season, notching 25 real-world points eight times including in the final game against LA with BI in the lineup. The Lakers, meanwhile, surrendered the fifth-most actual and third-most FanDuel points to PGs during the regular season, per FantasyPros.

Herbert Jones ($5,600) -- Unless you want to take a flier on Jose Alvarado ($3,900), it's going to be hard to save salary at PG tonight. SG is a different story, and that starts with Herbert Jones. Herb closed out the year with consecutive 30-FP outings -- notably scoring 18 actual against the Lakers. We saw him average 37.8 minutes per game in the playoffs as a rookie two years ago, so his defense should allow him to play heavy minutes again tonight.

Others to Consider

Stephen Curry ($8,900) -- Stephen Curry finished the regular season with five consecutive 40-FP games, and he exceeded 44 FPs in three of four prior meetings with Sacramento. Our projections have him going for 45.9 FPs, good for the third-best point-per-dollar value on the slate (5.16 FPs per $1,000). His points + rebounds prop is set at 34.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook, which makes for one of Tuesday's top player props.

Keon Ellis ($4,900) -- Keon Ellis started the final 15 games of the season for Sacramento, averaging 27 minutes and 22.2 FPPG. He exceeded 40 FPs twice over that span but was held under 16 FPs five times. There's a degree of variance here, but you won't find many other starters at a sub-$5K salary. He's one of just six players with 5x projected value tonight, with our model projecting him for 24.5 FPs (5.01 FPs per $1,000).


Top Plays

LeBron James ($10,300) -- Mid-range forwards are fruitful tonight, but that doesn't mean we should forget about LeBron James. James showed little sign of age in the regular season, averaging 48.3 FPPG and closing out the year with a 28-point, 11-rebound, 17-assist triple-double against the same Pelicans side he faces tonight. With that 80.7-FP outing, James notched 48 FPs in all four meetings with New Orleans. He's my favorite pairing for McCollum-based lineups.

Keegan Murray ($6,400) -- We project Keegan Murray for 33.7 FPs tonight, making him the second-best point-per-dollar value on the slate (5.26 FPs per $1,000). Murray tends to be a boom-or-bust DFS option, but he found more consistency down the stretch with 30-plus FPs in seven of his last nine games. It helps that Sacramento is at home tonight as he averaged 17.5 actual points and shot 40.3% from deep at the Golden 1 Center compared to 13.0 actual and 30.9% from three on the road.

Harrison Barnes ($4,700) -- Sacramento is where I'm going for my value plays tonight, and Harrison Barnes figures to be a big part of that. Barnes' playing time and production varied throughout the year, but he was up to 27.9 minutes and 20.9 FPPG over the final 10 games without Monk and Huerter. Worth noting: Barnes exploded for 39 actual and 51.8 FanDuel points the last time he faced Golden State. His points prop is set at 13.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Others to Consider

Andrew Wiggins ($5,900) -- Andrew Wiggins struggled with consistency during the regular season, but that didn't stop him from exceeding 30 FPs five times over the final nine games. He averaged 18.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.9 STOCKS (steals plus blocks) against Sacramento during last year's playoffs, so it's reasonable to expect similar production this time around.

Rui Hachimura ($5,700) -- Rui Hachimura became a DFS darling of mine over the second half of the year when he averaged 31 minutes, 16.2 actual, and 26.9 FanDuel points per game post All-Star break. After putting up 12.2 points in just 24.3 minutes per game in last year's playoffs, I'm excited to see what he can do this time around. He went for 31.5 and 30.4 FPs in two regular season starts against New Orleans, so there's at least a sizable floor here tonight.


Top Plays

Anthony Davis ($11,500) -- Anthony Davis is our highest-projected player tonight (55.8 FPs), and he's clearly the top option for me. His salary is a bit tricky on such a small slate, but you get what you sign up for. AD averaged 54.0 FPPG during the regular season, exceeding 48 FPs in three of four meetings with New Orleans. Notably, he averaged 38.0 minutes per game last postseason; in 34 regular season games where he played at least 38 minutes, Davis averaged 61.1 FPPG. Just keep an eye on the injury report since AD tweaked his back in Sunday's regular season finale.

Zion Williamson ($9,200) -- Early roster rate projections from across the industry expect Zion Williamson to be in a ton of lineups tonight. I can't say I blame the public. Zion's been on a tear since the All-Star break, averaging 43.2 FPPG. The return of Brandon Ingram does cut into his upside, but I do expect the Pelicans to up Williamson's minutes. We project him for 24.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 5.9 assists (38.4 PRA) in 38.4 minutes. His points + rebounds + assists prop is set at 37.5.

Larry Nance ($4,500) -- Like Zion, expect to see a bunch of Larry Nance Jr. in lineups tonight. Nance's production fluctuates, but he closed the season on a high note with 28.2 FPs across 30 minutes and notably averaged 24.2 minutes over New Orleans' final 17 games. That's about all you can ask for at $4.5K, and he's the only value big man I'm considering unless you want to bank on the Warriors using second round rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis ($5,500) in a win-or-go-home setting.

Others to Consider

Domantas Sabonis ($10,800) -- Domantas Sabonis notably struggled in last year's postseason, averaging just 16.4 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 4.7 assists across seven games versus Golden State. Still, he averaged 47.0 FPPG across four meetings with them this season and, considering the Warriors were bottom 10 in FPs allowed to both PFs and Cs, there's little reason to fade the double-double machine tonight.

Draymond Green ($6,800) -- Draymond Green took another step back during the regular season, finishing with 8.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game. Still, we saw him average 33.2 FPPG across 12 postseason games last year, so I'm optimistic he still has enough left in the tank to be a factor tonight. It doesn't hurt that he exceeded 35 FPs in two of three regular season meetings with Sacramento.

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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.