FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Tuesday 5/7/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Tuesday 5/7/24

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.


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


Top Plays

Donovan Mitchell ($9,400) -- The Cavs may not have traded for Donovan Mitchell just to win a first-round series, but he sure played like they did down the stretch. After struggling in the first four games, Mitchell averaged 39.0 actual and 54.1 FanDuel points (FPs) over the final three games. He put up 36 and 27 shot attempts in the final two games, so we know the volume will be there against Boston. His points prop is set at 27.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook -- a mark he surpassed in both regular season dates with the Cs.

Derrick White ($7,200) -- Derrick White went for a cool 34.5 FPPG in the Celtics' first-round series, notching at least 20 real-world points three times in five games. Granted, he was held under 30 FPs thrice, but he revved up the usage in Games 4 and 5 with 19.5 field goal attempts -- and 12.5 three-point attempts -- per game. He exceeded 30 FPs in all three regular season matchups with Cleveland and should again be a strong mid-range play.

Luguentz Dort ($5,000) -- Luguentz Dort averaged only 21.0 FPPG in the first round, but he was out there for 35.3 minutes per night and ended the series on a high note with 30.1 FPs. He proved to be an essential piece of OKC's perimeter defense, so expect to see the Dorture chamber activated early and often against Dallas' talented backcourt. We project him for 25.3 FPs (5.06 FPs per $1,000), making him one of five players with 5x value as of Tuesday afternoon.

Others to Consider

Luka Doncic ($12,000) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,600) -- Both Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander -- FanDuel's first and sixth top scoring players in the regular season -- saw their fantasy production dip in Round 1. Luka went from 61.5 FPPG in the regular season to 55.5 while SGA dropped from 52.5 to 46.2. Make no mistake, those are still elite numbers, but they're down enough that it's hard to fit either guard's five-figure salary into lineups. That said, Luka (58.3-FP projection) and SGA (47.7) are still our two highest-projected players on the slate, and there's enough value elsewhere to squeeze one of them in.

Payton Pritchard ($3,900) -- I'm not dying to play Payton Pritchard, but $3.9K is an uber-appealing salary for someone who averaged 22.8 minutes per game in the first round. Granted, that resulted in only 11.8 FPPG, but Pritchard averaged 0.88 FPs per minute during the regular season, according to RotoGrinders CourtIQ. Look for him to creep closer to 20 FPs if the minutes hold, knowing there's upside for more if Boston can cover the spread.


Top Plays

Jayson Tatum ($9,700) -- Like Luka and SGA, Jayson Tatum's Round 1 fantasy production slipped a bit, but he's still pretty clearly the top wing tonight. We saw the Cavs struggle with Paolo Banchero in the first round, and Tatum averaged 26 real-world points, 11.3 rebounds, and 46.6 FPPG against Cleveland in the regular season. He was a menace on the glass in Round 1, too, averaging 10.4 rebounds per game and racking up four double-doubles. His rebounds prop is set at 8.5 and he has +100 odds to record a double-double on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Jalen Williams ($7,900) -- Jalen Williams is my favorite way to get exposure to Oklahoma City tonight. J-Dub was stellar in the first round with 21.3 real-world points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 2.1 stocks (steals plus blocks) per game. That translated to 40.5 FPPG, a mark well within his range of outcomes tonight. Notably, J-Dub notched 38.5 and 48.3 FPs in the two regular season matchups with Dallas that were decided by less than 35 points. OKC is a three-point favorite tonight.

Derrick Jones Jr. ($4,500) -- After being held scoreless across 17 minutes in Game 1, Derrick Jones Jr. cemented his role in Dallas' rotation over the final five games last round. He averaged 31.6 minutes and 21.6 FPPG in that stretch, shooting 41.7% from three and chipping in 1.6 stocks per game. Despite the SF-only eligibility, Jones' low salary and enhanced role make him a true glue guy for DFS tonight. His 23.0-FP projection makes him the top point-per-dollar value among SFs (5.11 FPs per $1,000).

Others to Consider

Jaylen Brown ($8,300) -- Jaylen Brown averaged only 36.1 FPPG in Round 1, and he put up an uninspiring 35.2 FPPG in three regular season dates with Cleveland. Still, we know the upside Brown has, and he did go for 44 FPs twice last series. He's not as safe as Tatum, but Brown certainly has a greater ceiling than others in his salary range.

Max Strus ($4,800) -- It took Max Strus four games (and 14 missed threes on 17 attempts), but he finally found his footing over the final three games of the first round. Strus averaged 37 minutes, 13.0 actual, and 25.3 FPPG over that stretch, peaking with 35.7 FPs in Game 5. Cleveland is going to need his outside shooting to upend Boston, and you can't beat that workload at a $4.8K salary.


Top Plays

Evan Mobley ($8,100) -- Jarrett Allen is again questionable, but I wouldn't get my hopes up about his return tonight. That should afford Evan Mobley all the run he can handle. He averaged 38 minutes per game with Allen out last round, exceeding 40 FPs twice and blocking a staggering 12 shots in three games. Yet, for as good as his fantasy production was, Mobley only put up 9.3 points per game in those three. The sky's the limit if he contributes a bit more offensively against a suddenly feeble Boston interior.

Al Horford ($5,800) -- Early roster numbers from across the industry project Al Horford to flirt with a 75% roster rate tonight, and I can't say I disagree with the masses. Big Al managed only 22.7 FPs in 22 minutes with Kristaps Porzingis out last game, but Horford averaged 29.6 FPPG in 18 regular season games without him. If you're worried about the high roster rate, Sam Hauser ($3,700) and Luke Kornet ($3,700) are options, too. They put up 24.5 and 15.4 FPs, respectively, with Porzingis sidelined last game. Hauser averaged 20.7 FPPG in 25.1 minutes sans Porzingis in the regular season while Kornet went for 21.3 FPPG in 20.0 minutes a night.

Derrick Lively ($4,800) and Daniel Gafford ($4,500) -- Pick your poison with Dallas centers tonight. In the first round, Dereck Lively averaged 20.3 minutes and 21.4 FPPG for the series, while Daniel Gafford clocked in 21.5 minutes and 19.8 FPPG over the final four games (he was limited in Games 1 and 2). Lively notable dropped 20 real-world points, 16 rebounds, and 61.2 FPs in a December matchup with OKC, though that was before Gafford joined the squad. I slightly prefer the rookie, but Gafford's a fine play himself. We project Lively for 22.9 and Gafford for 20.5 FPs.

Others to Consider

Chet Holmgren ($8,000) -- I'm not ruling Chet Holmgren out completely, but he's essentially the same salary as Mobley without the PF eligibility. Holmgren was hit-or-miss in the first round, exceeding 40 FPs twice but failing to reach 30 FPs three times. He averaged only 12.0 actual and 31.3 FanDuel points per game against Dallas in the regular season, though there's certainly a ceiling here, and he isn't expected to be heavily rostered.

PJ Washington ($6,000) -- Old reliable PJ Washington didn't show much of a ceiling in the first round, exceeding 30 FPs once. Yet he notched at least 28 FPs in four of six games and carries a reasonable salary into tonight's series opener. I'd rather play Dallas' value centers, but he's a capable mid-range PF.

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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.