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: Stephen Curry vs. Denver Nuggets – $11,400 DraftKings, $10,400 FanDuel
The Warriors are getting a little healthier, but there’s no reason to believe Curry won’t continue to be a usage machine. The sharpshooter carries the highest ceiling at point guard into this short slate and has an excellent +6.4 Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel, where he’s the better play.
Top Value: RJ Hampton vs. Milwaukee Bucks – $3,900 DraftKings, $5,300 FanDuel
The price has caught up to FanDuel, but he’s still one of the top value plays of the night there. On DraftKings, you can get Hampton — who has averaged around 30 minutes per game over the last two — at just under $4K. We project him to see 34 minutes in this matchup with so many injuries to Magic players, and he should be able to get to 8X on DraftKings.
Top Ceiling: Bradley Beal vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – $10,100 DraftKings, $8,300 FanDuel
Beal’s price hasn’t changed on FanDuel, where he’s significantly less expensive and is set at a +5.04 Projected Plus/Minus according to our model. He has the highest ceiling of any shooting guard on DraftKings and is second to just James Harden on FanDuel. Beal is questionable, but assuming he plays, he should be in line for a heavy usage night with so many players out.
Top Value: Will Barton vs. Golden State Warriors – $5,700 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel
You’ll want to keep a close eye on the injury news here with some members of the Nuggets questionable, but assuming they are still banged up Barton should be a very strong play at this price. While he’s not a traditional value play in the mid-$5K range, Barton has played at least 33 minutes in three straight games and has out-performed his projections in two straight. If our model has it right again, he’ll be better than a 5X play.
Kevin Durant vs. Philadelphia 76ers – $11,200 DraftKings, $11,800 FanDuel
Durant is out of the league’s health and safety protocols, and so are many Nets players. He draws a favorable matchup against the Sixers, who rank 18th in defensive efficiency over their last 10 games. His ceiling is as high as anyone on both sites with a tasty +0.87 Opponent Plus/Minus on FanDuel.
Top Value: Freddie Gillespie vs. Milwaukee Bucks – $3,100 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel
We’ve touched on Orlando’s COVID issues, and Gillespie should be a beneficiary on Thursday. The forward is only eligible at this position on DraftKings, but that’s where you’ll want to play him, considering the price discrepancy. We have him projected for 22 minutes, which is no surprise given so many Magic players are expected to miss the game.
Top Ceiling: Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Orlando Magic – $11,600 DraftKings, $11,200 FanDuel
The price has come down a bit on Antetokounmpo after he failed to reach 50 fantasy points last time out against the Magic, but he’s proven capable of big nights even with limited minutes. Even though we project him for 32 minutes, our model has him as the clear-cut high-ceiling player at power forward.
Top Value: Dean Wade vs. Washington Wizards – $3,200 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel
Washington has been one of the weakest teams up front this year, and over the last 10 games has ranked 27th in rebounding rate. Wade has seen 28 or more minutes in the last two games and has now out-performed his projections in four of the last five. Given the 32 minutes we project him for with the likes of Jarrett Allen and Ed Davis out, Wade should easily surpass 6X value.
Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Golden State Warriors – $11,900 DraftKings, $11,700 FanDuel
Jokic has the highest overall ceiling on both sites across all positions, and for very good reason. The big man gets the Warriors here, who historically have not defended post players well and now don’t have Draymond Green to defend him. Our projections would indicate Jokic could push for an 80-point night and should hit value here and then some in a great matchup.
Top Value: Kevon Looney vs. Denver Nuggets – $3,600 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel
Denver has an elite interior scorer in Nikola Jokic, but it has struggled to rebound all season long. Without Draymond Green in the lineup, Looney saw 26 minutes last time out against Denver and did more than enough to hit value. His price is still incredibly low on DraftKings, and he’s the clear top value play there.