FanDuel Single-Game NBA DFS Picks and Helper: Mavericks at Timberwolves (5/22/24)

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
FanDuel Single-Game NBA DFS Picks and Helper: Mavericks at Timberwolves (5/22/24)

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 the Dallas Mavericks-Minnesota Timberwolves Game 1 single-game slate on FanDuel.

NBA Single-Game DFS Picks for Mavericks-Timberwolves

Game 1 Preview

All NBA odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook.

Date and Time: Wednesday, May 22nd at 8:30 p.m. ET

Spread: Timberwolves -4.5 (-110)

Total: 206.5 (-108/-112)

Studs to Target

Luka Doncic ($17,000) -- In addition to carrying the highest salary on FanDuel, Luka Doncic boasts a slate-leading 54.9 FanDuel point (FP) projection. Even at that salary, he's our top point-per-dollar value, so Doncic's certain to be popular in the 2x MVP slot. While he hasn't been as effective in the postseason, Doncic is still averaging 54.1 FPPG through 12 playoff games. In two regular season meetings with Minnesota, Luka went for 53.3 FPs (34 actual points) and 63.7 FPs (39). He's tied for the highest points prop (28.5) on FanDuel Sportsbook and serves as the top MVP option with several strong values to complement his $17K salary.

Anthony Edwards ($15,500) -- Anthony Edwards may be averaging "only" 49.1 FPPG this postseason, but he actually has more 60-FP outings than Luka. ANT's production has been more up-and-down compared to Doncic, but he's a worthy contrarian MVP with the Wolves playing at home. Edwards was similarly inconsistent against the Mavs in the regular season. He twice exceeded 59 FPs but was held under 30 FPs in the other two matchups. Still, with Minnesota favored by 4.5 points, ANT has as much upside as anyone tonight. He's our second-highest projected player (47.8 FPs) and is tied with Luka for the game's highest points prop (28.5) on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Mid-Range Options

Kyrie Irving ($13,000) -- It's hard to rationalize rostering both Luka and Kyrie Irving in the same lineup, but Kyrie is a stellar 1.5x STAR or 1.2x PRO option in Edwards MVP lineups. Irving averaged only 30 FPPG last round, but he put up 44.5 FFPG in the first round and torched Minnesota for 64.1 FPs in their lone regular season faceoff. We did see the Wolves lock down Jamal Murray last round, though Irving likely won't see as much one-on-one time with ANT given his backcourt partner. If you're fading Doncic, Irving is a strong top Maverick to consider in tonight's single-game slate.

Rudy Gobert ($12,500) -- We're going to be debating Rudy Gobert versus Karl-Anthony Towns ($13,500) this whole series, but I'm inclined to ride with the lower-salaried Gobert in Game 1. Rudy wasn't especially effective from a fantasy perspective last round, exceeding 32 FPs just twice in six games. Still, on paper, this is a better matchup for the big man. Chet Holmgren averaged 2.3 blocks per game last series and netted 40 FPs three times, so there's certainly upside with Gobert. For Game 1, we project Gobert for 37.4 FPs, compared to 38.7 FPs for KAT.

Value Plays

Derrick Jones ($9,000) -- As long as Derrick Jones Jr. is salaried under $10K, he's going to be a popular value in single-game DFS this series. DJJ has played a major role for Dallas this postseason, averaging 30.4 minutes and 10.8 real-world points per game. He's started all 12 playoff games and really started to pop toward the end of the Conference Semifinals. Over the final three games of that series, Jones netted 33.1, 27.7, and 33.8 FPs. He played a season-high 40 minutes in their series-clinching win and should again be a strong complementary option for Luka and Kyrie. Both Mavericks bigs -- Dereck Lively ($10,500) and Daniel Gafford ($9,500) -- are also interesting, but I want to see what Dallas' center rotation looks like against Minnesota before entrusting one over the other in DFS.

Naz Reid ($8,500) -- Naz Reid and Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($7,500) are the two Minnesota values we can consider in Game 1, though Reid's workload makes him a much more reliable option. The Sixth Man of the Year is averaging 20.9 minutes and 19.0 FPPG this postseason, though he's exceeded 20 FPs in five of 11 games. Reid was uber-productive against Dallas in the regular season, notching 27.5 FPPG across 25.5 minutes. NAW does have a pair of 30-FP games this postseason, but his minutes dwindled in the last two games against Denver. He averaged only 20 minutes against Dallas in the regular season, so it's hard to trust him despite the low salary.

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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.