The NBA Player Models are the lifeblood of our NBA product. They house our projections for each player, but that’s just the beginning of what you’ll find inside. You’ll also find our Trends tool and so much more.
Let’s dive into our models, going position-by-position, looking at guys with some of the highest Ceiling Projections, along with players who are standing out as values with our predictive Projected Plus/Minus metric.
Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.
Top Ceiling: Chris Paul vs. Detroit Pistons – $8,600 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel
The Suns have been a great team to target this season, ranking fourth in pace, and Paul will be in a great spot here against Detroit, which ranks 21st in defensive efficiency. It’s no surprise our model has him as the highest-upside point guard on DraftKings, and he’s a close second to Dejounte Murray on FanDuel. Paul’s strong +2.03 Opponent Plus/Minus on DraftKings and +3.91 on FanDuel illustrate just how strong this matchup is.
Top Value: Tyus Jones vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – $5,500 DraftKings, $4,600 FanDuel
Jones continues to get more expensive on DraftKings, where he’s up $300 from his price tag on Tuesday, but he remains the same cost on FanDuel. With Ja Morant out for a little while, Jones should see close to the 34 minutes he saw in Toronto last time out, and that makes him a great play at this price. It doesn’t hurt that the Thunder are an average defense.
Top Ceiling: Zach LaVine vs. New York Knicks – $8,800 DraftKings, $7,800 FanDuel
Our model really likes LaVine here in a matchup with the Knicks, who have been a disappointment thus far on defense. Though he has consistently come in under his projections lately, LaVine should see a boost without Coby White in the lineup for Chicago, and we project his Usage to near 30% in this one. With that, he should have more upside than anyone at this position, with one of the better ceilings on the slate.
Top Value: Landry Shamet vs. Detroit Pistons – $3,100 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel
Shamet will probably be the chalkiest value play on the slate, but it’s warranted. Without Devin Booker for Phoenix, who draws a favorable matchup with Detroit, Shamet should see well over 20 minutes once again here. He was used sparingly by the Suns against the Warriors, but that should change in a lower-stakes game with more open looks afforded to the sharpshooter. We project him to flirt with 8X salary on DraftKings.
Top Ceiling: Khris Middleton vs. Toronto Raptors – $7,200 DraftKings, $7,100 FanDuel
The Bucks and Raptors have the second-highest total on the board, and with the way the line is moving in the Portland-San Antonio game, it could wind up as the highest by tip-off. Middleton’s ceiling should be comfortably over 50 fantasy points no matter where you’re playing, entering with a solid minutes projection on the second night of a back-to-back. His Projected Plus/Minus of +3.06 on DraftKings is strong, and his +6.67 on FanDuel is even stronger.
Top Value: Javonte Green vs. New York Knicks – $3,400 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel
We’ve already touched on the favorable matchup the Bulls have against the Knicks, and with the 36 minutes Green saw against the Hornets, he’s now seen 23 or more in three of the last four games he’s played. He is rarely leaned upon on the offensive side of the ball, but with the absence of Coby White, he could see a few more shots go his way. Given the projected minutes here, it’s no wonder our model values Green so highly.
Top Ceiling: Giannis Antekounmpo vs. Toronto Raptors – $12,000 DraftKings, $11,000 FanDuel
The highest-upside player on the slate by a wide margin, Antetokounmpo enters Thursday with a sky-high ceiling in a matchup with the Raptors — a team that’s been fun to pick on in DFS. We noted above how the total in this game should make it very friendly from a fantasy standpoint, and we project Antetokoumpo to have the highest usage rate of anyone on the board.
Top Value: Keldon Johnson vs. Portland Trail Blazers – $5,700 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel
This is a bit higher than we normally go in the value section, but we project Johnson to see 34 minutes and a Usage Rate north of 20%, so it’s worth talking about him at this price. As we’ve covered, this is the game with the highest total on the slate, and with the Trail Blazers’ defense struggles this year (they rank 27th in defensive efficiency), Johnson is a strong play who should provide at least 5X value. He’s scored in double figures in all but three games this year.
Top Value: Julius Randle vs. Chicago Bulls – $9,500 DraftKings, $8,500 FanDuel
Speaking of usage, Randle saw a massive Usage Rate of 29.3% in Tuesday’s loss to Brooklyn, and with R.J. Barrett listed questionable here due to an illness, he could be in line for a huge workload once again. Randle played 40 minutes in that game and nearly went for a triple-double, and we think he has that kind of upside on this slate with a projection over 60 fantasy points.
Top Value: Precious Achiuwa vs. Milwaukee Bucks – $4,600 DraftKings, $4,600 FanDuel
Achiuwa carries with him a +9.97 Projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings and a +12.04 on FanDuel, and with a healthy dose of minutes against the Bucks in a pace-up game, our model projects the Raptors big man to be a near-7X play once again. He could be a solid leverage play on FanDuel with a 50% Leverage Rating.