NBA

FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Wednesday 5/15/24

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.

NBA DFS Picks

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

Guards

Top Plays

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($11,200) -- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is, as the kids say, "on one" right now. SGA has gone exceeded 60 FanDuel points (FPs) in all four games this series, and he's threatening Luka Doncic ($11,500) for the highest-salaried guard remaining. We know Luka's upside, but he's been held under 50 FPs in three of four games thus far. With tonight's bout in OKC, I'll gladly ride with Shai given his consistency in this series.

Darius Garland ($6,800) -- With Donovan Mitchell out in Game 4, Darius Garland had his best game of the postseason. Over 40 minutes, DG went for 30 real-world points, 7 assists, and 2 steals, culminating in 48.1 FPs. Mitchell looks unlikely to play tonight, so there's upside with Garland. Per RotoGrinders CourtIQ, Garland has averaged 22.1 actual and 38.5 FanDuel points sans Mitchell the last two seasons -- though there's some risk given the lopsided spread and Boston's propensity for home blowouts.

Derrick White ($6,000) -- Jrue Holiday ($6,200) stole the show with a pair of 37-FP outings in Cleveland, but we know how the Celtics' fantasy production fluctuates. While Derrick White has exceeded 30 FPs just once this series, he's still averaging 32.5 minutes and 13.0 real-world points per game. He flashed 50-FP upside in the first-round, so I'm into him at a discounted salary tonight. As of Wednesday afternoon, we project White for 31.7 FPs, making him the second-best point-per-dollar value on the slate (5.28 FPs per $1,000).

Others to Consider

Kyrie Irving ($8,100) -- Kyrie Irving had his third-worst fantasy performance of the season in Game 4, notching just 22.7 FPs. He attempted single-digit shots for the second time this series, and that outing has cut his salary dramatically. But we know the upside Kyrie brings, so I like him to bounce back in a critical Game 5 tonight. His points prop is set at 21.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Payton Pritchard ($3,900) -- Payton Pritchard failed to exceed 13 FPs in both games in Cleveland but still saw 22 and 26 minutes. He put up 24.7 FPPG in the first two games in Boston, so I'm back into him as a value tonight. It helps that he averaged 11.2 real-world points and shot 44.2% from three at home this season.

Wings

Top Plays

Jayson Tatum ($10,200) -- Have a road trip, Jayson Tatum! Tatum averaged 33 real-world points, 12.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2.5 stocks over the last two games, resulting in a pair of 58-FP outings. I'm a tad concerned about his upside in a game where Boston's favored by 16 points, but the floor is high enough to consider him in any lineup.

Jalen Williams ($7,700) -- Jalen Williams hasn't had a true ceiling game this postseason, but you can't argue with the consistency. J-Dub has averaged 38.8 FPPG through eight playoff games, and he's fresh off his best fantasy outing (43.8 FPs) of the series. I don't love pairing him with SGA, but Williams feels like a must-roster in Doncic-centered lineups.

Luguentz Dort ($4,600) -- Luguentz Dort's salary is too low -- plain and simple. With a 29.6-FP effort in Game 4, Dort is now averaging 34.8 minutes and 22.3 FPPG this series. He's notched 40 minutes in back-to-back games, so he should have plenty of chances to rack up counting stats tonight. Notably, Dort shot 41.7% on 5.2 three-point attempts per game at home this season. He has +140 odds for 3+ made threes on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Others to Consider

Jaylen Brown ($7,800) -- Jaylen Brown's fantasy production fluctuates on a loaded Celtics roster, but he's still exceeded 44 FPs in two of four games this series and in four of nine postseason games overall. Despite just 33.1 FPs in Game 4, he put up 27 real-world points. I'm happy to buy the salary dip in Brown's return to Boston.

Derrick Jones ($4,200) -- Hazah! We finally got another big Derrick Jones Jr. game as the swingman put up 33.1 FPs across 27 minutes in Game 4. He won't score 17 real-world points and record 4 blocks every game, but his role has been cemented in this Dallas rotation. Jones' low salary is a welcome addition to Mavericks-Thunder game stacks.

Bigs

Top Plays

Evan Mobley ($8,000) -- Evan Mobley didn't have his best fantasy performances in Games 3 and 4, but he continued to flirt with 40 minutes a night. He has the defensive upside to pop on any given night and should continue to shoulder a larger offensive load with Mitchell banged up. Notably, Mobley has scored at least 17 points in every game this series. His points prop is set at 16.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

PJ Washington ($7,100) -- After a lackluster Game 1, PJ Washington has averaged 25.7 points and 9.7 rebounds over the last three games. He played at least 40 minutes in all three outings and should continue to serve as secondary option for Dallas. That's caused his salary to jump, but there just aren't a ton of intriguing options at PF or C.

Dereck Lively ($4,600) -- Dereck Lively has outscored Daniel Gafford ($5,700) in two of four games this series, though both have been productive of late. Expect both of Dallas' bigs to keep feasting against an undersized Thunder interior, but I'd much rather play Lively given the salary discrepancy. The rook has averaged 21.3 minutes per game this series, with Gafford clocking in at 24.3. Either make for a fine value option down low.

Others to Consider

Chet Holmgren ($7,800) -- One-for-one, I don't see much a difference between Chet Holmgrenof and Mobley. Chet has exceeded 40 FPs in three of four games this series, and he's playing in the superior game environment. The only downside with Chet is that he's C-only, so rostering him means you're missing out on both of Dallas' value centers. Still, there's enough value on the perimeter to make Holmgren work, and we know there's upside with OKC's seven-footer.

Al Horford ($5,000) -- Al Horford has really struggled in the fantasy department this series, failing to reach 20 FPs in three straight games. He's still averaging 30.8 minutes per game, but there's clearly a cap on the 37-year-old's ceiling. Still, Boston doesn't have many options down low, and he projects well. Our model pegs him for 26.8 FPs, making him the top point-per-dollar value on the slate (5.36 FPs per $1,000).


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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.