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. Phoenix Suns – $10,400 DraftKings, $9,800 FanDuel
The Lakers continue to deal with numerous absences. Anthony Davis is out with a knee sprain, and Avery Bradley, Kent Bazemore, Malik Monk, Kendrick Nunn, and Austin Reaves are all in the health and safety protocols. As we know, this is when Westbrook feasts as a Usage monster.
Editor’s note: Westbrook’s overall projection has been adjusted since this was submitted.
Top Value: Jaylen Nowell vs. Dallas Mavericks – $3,300 DraftKings, $4,000 FanDuel
If you’re a true bargain hunter on this slate, you’ll likely land on Nowell. We have him projected for around 9X salary on DraftKings with a +14.58 Projected Plus/Minus, driven by a sudden burst of playing time. The guard has now averaged 15 points in the last two games and has gone from benchwarmer to rotation player, thanks to some absences for the Timberwolves. You can’t ask for many better matchups, either, considering how much Dallas has struggled against guards.
Top Ceiling: D’Angelo Russell vs. Dallas Mavericks – $7,700 DraftKings, $7,900 FanDuel
Russell comes at a great bargain on this slate, with a +4.17 Projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings and a +6.29 on FanDuel. With Anthony Edwards sidelined, Russell should be in line for more of the ball against a weak Mavericks defense he just scored 22 points on. We project him to have the highest ceiling at shooting guard on FanDuel, and he’s second to just Brandon Ingram on DraftKings.
Top Value: Nickeil Alexander-Walker vs. Portland Trail Blazers – $4,300 DraftKings, $4,700 FanDuel
The Trail Blazers love to play with pace, and with two of the worst defenses in basketball, we have the second-highest total on the slate. Alexander-Walker has had a consistent Usage Rate over the last four games, never dropping below 25% and peaking at 36.3%. The algorithms simply haven’t yet caught up with this level of run and production, and with that, he carries a +5.87 Projected Plus/Minus with him on DraftKings and a +6.19 on FanDuel.
Brandon Ingram vs. Portland Trail Blazers – $8,900 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel
Ingram draws a Trail Blazers defense ranked fourth-to-last in defensive efficiency this season, and because of that, has a ceiling close to 50-60 fantasy points on both sites. He has seen over 37 minutes in his past three games and has stuffed the stat sheet along the way. His lower price and +5.15 Projected Plus/Minus makes him a tremendous option on FanDuel, though he has dual-position eligibility on DraftKings.
Top Value: Alec Burks vs. Detroit Pistons – $7,600 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel
Okay, so all value is lost here on DraftKings with Burks, but on FanDuel — where he is small forward eligible — Burks is a top value play. We have him projected for around 6X against one of the league’s worst defensive units, and the opportunity here is well-documented. Burks is one of only two fully-healthy Knicks guards with Derrick Rose listed as questionable here, and he’s seen 36 or more minutes in four straight games now, culminating in a 41-minute outing against Boston. At this price, he’s hard to beat.
Top Ceiling: LeBron James vs. Phoenix Suns – $11,100 DraftKings, $11,500 FanDuel
On a slate bereft of big names, it’s refreshing to see James atop our ceiling projections. Our model gives him a 15% chance of getting at or above 65 fantasy points on both sites as one of the few healthy Lakers. James’ Usage hit 32.8% last time out against the Bulls, and he’s out-performed our projections in four of his last six games.
Top Value: Jaden McDaniels vs. Dallas Mavericks – $3,400 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel
Things are thin up front for Minnesota, who is listing Anthony Edwards, Josh Okogie, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Taurean Prince as out here. McDaniels played 31 minutes last time out against Dallas and, as a regular rotation player, should be locked into heavy run here. At under $4K, it’s no wonder our model loves him.
Top Ceiling: Domantas Sabonis vs. Miami Heat – $10,600 DraftKings, $9,000 FanDuel
Sabonis draws a weak Heat frontcourt which is missing Bam Adebayo and Markieff Morris, among others, and could be one of the kings of slate. Sabonis logged 37 minutes and put up 14 points and 16 boards the last time he met the Heat, and with the injury, help should exceed that performance. We project him to have a ceiling around 60 fantasy points.
Top Value: Naz Reid vs. Dallas Mavericks – $3,200 DraftKings, $4,000 FanDuel
The value at center is rather extreme on DraftKings, with seven guys projected at 6X or higher. No one should be a better option than Reid, who has a great matchup with one of the worst rebounding teams in basketball. Reid saw 20 minutes last time out against the Mavericks and delivered with more than 20 fantasy points on both sites, and at just $3,200 on DraftKings, should hit value.