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: Russell Westbrook vs. San Antonio Spurs – $10,700 DraftKings, $9,800 FanDuel
As was the case on Tuesday, Westbrook is the highest-ceiling option at point guard on both sites. On DraftKings, he has the highest overall ceiling. The Lakers are still missing Anthony Davis along with several other key members of the backcourt, so Westbrook’s usage should remain high. As an added bonus, his price has not changed on FanDuel.
Editor’s note: Westbrook’s overall projection has changed since this piece was submitted. See the Player Models for updates.
Top Value: Delon Wright vs. Philadelphia 76ers – $4,200 DraftKings, $4,500 FanDuel
This game may not be the most attractive from a DFS perspective with a low total and so many crucial pieces out on both sides, but Wright should be in store for another heavy workload here. After seeing 38 minutes against the Magic in the wake of Trae Young‘s absence, Wright should see heavy run again here, and our models expect him to flirt with 8X value.
Top Ceiling: Donovan Mitchell vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – $9,500 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel
Our model grades out Mitchell as the top option at shooting guard with the highest projection and highest projected ceiling of any player at the position. He checks in with a +0.34 Opponent Plus/Minus against a Timberwolves team that has fallen off on defense of late and is missing Anthony Edwards and Josh Okogie, among others.
Top Value: Cam Reddish vs. Philadelphia 76ers – $4,600 DraftKings, $4,300 FanDuel
Reddish is bound to be a chalky option after his 34-point night against the Magic on Wednesday, but he’s still far too cheap if he’s going to be getting 42 minutes and a Usage Rat close to 30%. Our projections make him a solid 7X play with the potential for a lot more at this price.
LeBron James vs. San Antonio Spurs – $11,300 DraftKings, $11,400 FanDuel
James is apparently feeling no ill effects after twisting his ankle against the Suns on Tuesday, entering Thursday’s contest as probable with the same groin issue he’s been dealing with for a month. That’s good news because the Spurs rank 17th in defensive efficiency over the month of December, which has pushed James’ ceiling up above 60 fantasy points on both sites.
Top Value: Hamidou Diallo vs. Miami Heat – $4,400 DraftKings, $4,800 FanDuel
If you haven’t been keeping up with the Pistons — and no one would blame you for that — Cade Cunningham and Jerami Grant are both out. While it seems Corey Joseph and Frank Jackson could both make their returns, there should still be plenty of the ball to go around here, and we have Diallo projected for a 24% Usage Rate. With that, our model gives him a +9.39 Projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings and a +10.64 on FanDuel.
Top Ceiling: Domantas Sabonis vs. Houston Rockets – $10,100 DraftKings, $8,600 FanDuel
The Rockets grade out as one of the worst defenses in the NBA, but that’s particularly true down low, where they’re allowing 65.2% shooting in the restricted area ― the ninth-worst mark in basketball. Sabonis has the highest ceiling of any power forward on DraftKings and is second to just LeBron James on FanDuel, though he’s a fantastic play on the latter with a ridiculous price. At just under $9K, Sabonis holds a +8.11 Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel.
Top Value: Otto Porter vs. Memphis Grizzlies – $4,800 DraftKings, $4,500 FanDuel
The Warriors are currently without Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins, which has opened up a ton of minutes on the wing. Someone has to shoot threes without those two, and Porter took it upon himself to chuck five up in a 29-minute stint against the Kings. The ceiling is probably not incredibly high, but our midel does like Porter to surpass 6X.
Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Charlotte Hornets – $12,200 DraftKings, $11,300 FanDuel
This is the spot of all spots. The Hornets rank last in rebounding rate and in the bottom 10 in restricted area and paint defense. Overall, they have the worst defensive rating in the league and play at the fastest pace. Jokic has the highest overall ceiling on FanDuel and, on both sites is projected to have at least a 15% chance of passing 75 fantasy points.
Top Value: Guillermo Hernangomez vs. Orlando Magic – $3,800 DraftKings, $4,600 FanDuel
Hernangomez gets a thin Magic team which is playing on the second night of a back-to-back. Though Orlando beat an even-thinner Hawks team on Wednesday, it grabbed just 46.5% of available rebound and let John Collins and Cam Reddish abuse its defense inside. Hernangomez saw 17 minutes last time out, and with Jonas Valanciunas still listed as out with a non-COVID illness, he should see the same complement of run here. In a great spot, he shouldn’t need much time to hit value, and our model currently projects he could return seven or even eight times his salary.