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NBA DFS (Tuesday, Jan. 11): Top Model Picks and Value Plays on DraftKings and FanDuel

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.

Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to hand-build your lineups.

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.

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Point Guard

Top Ceiling: Stephen Curry vs. Memphis Grizzlies – $10,700 DraftKings, $10,800 FanDuel

Curry will take aim at a Grizzlies defense that has been sensational over the past few weeks, but even against a strong team, he’s still the highest-ceiling player on the slate by over 11 points. Our projections give him a 15% chance of surpassing 70 fantasy points on DraftKings, and we believe he can come very close to that on FanDuel. At point guard on Tuesday, there’s Curry, and then there’s everyone else.


Top Value: Cameron Payne vs. Toronto Raptors – $4,400 DraftKings, $5,000 FanDuel

Payne projects as a 6X play here against Toronto on DraftKings, where he carries a +6.71 Projected Plus/Minus into the game. His minutes have been pretty steady of late as well; Payne has played fewer than 21 just once in the last seven games. With a 28% Usage Rate in back-to-back games, he’s a bargain on DK.

Shooting Guard

Top Ceiling: DeMar DeRozan vs. Detroit Pistons – $8,700 DraftKings, $8,200 FanDuel

DeRozan draws the Pistons, owners of one of the league’s 10 worst defenses this season who happen to be on the second night of a back-to-back. He’s only shooting guard-eligible on FanDuel, but his ceiling on both sites is aligned at more than 60 fantasy points. Coming off six straight games where he came up short of his projected output, you’ve now got a fantastic buy-low opportunity with his price so inexpensive.


Top Value: Gary Trent vs. Phoenix Suns – $5,300 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel

Trent enters this one with a questionable tag after sitting out against the Pelicans, but should he play; he’ll be in a position to provide value on this slate. Trent had seen at least 31 minutes in three straight prior to his injury, putting together two 30+ fantasy point games. His +0.29 Opponent Plus/Minus on FanDuel offers some promise, and our projections have him as a solid 5X player.

Small Forward

Top Ceiling: Brandon Ingram vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – $8,200 DraftKings, $8,000 FanDuel

A staple in these writeups, Ingram continues to receive love from our model with a projected ceiling well over 50 points on Tuesday against the Timberwolves. His Usage Rate has hit at least 32.5% on four of the last six occasions, and his Opponent Plus/Minus is solid at +0.8 on FanDuel.


Top Value:

Derrick Jones, Jr. vs. Detroit Pistons – $3,300 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel

We’ll pick on the Pistons again, this time with Jones, Jr. He’s severely underpriced on both sites here given his projected 24 minutes, and another 20-point game could be on the horizon for the wing. Our model has him as a 5X player at the very least on FanDuel, while his price on DraftKings will get you even more bang for your buck.

Power Forward

Top Ceiling: Pascal Siakam vs. Phoenix Suns – $9,200 DraftKings, $9,800 FanDuel

This position is incredibly grim on DraftKings, but on FanDuel, you’re offered the chance to play Siakam and his ceiling of nearly 60 fantasy points as opposed to rolling the dice with a mid-tier guy. The veteran has been red-hot, too, exceeding his projections in eight of the last 10 and coming off a 55+ point night where he played nearly 43 minutes.


Top Value: Jae Crowder vs. Toronto Raptors – $3,900 DraftKings, $4,100 FanDuel

The Raptors rank inside the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to the power forward position, so why not fire up Crowder? He saw 26 minutes in his first game back earlier this week against the Heat, posting nearly 20 fantasy points. In a good matchup, our model thinks he should easily hit salary with 6X on the horizon.

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Center

Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Los Angeles Clippers – $12,000 DraftKings, $11,400 FanDuel

Jokic has the highest ceiling on the slate tonight, heading into a matchup with the Clippers and their small-ball lineup. In the last two weeks, L.A. has struggled to defend inside and owns the worst rebounding rate in the NBA. Our model has Jokic as a near-60 point player here with a ceiling close to 80 points.


Top Value: Serge Ibaka vs. Denver Nuggets – $4,000 DraftKings, $4,200 FanDuel

Speaking of that Clippers small-ball lineup, Ibaka has done well to make himself an important part of the rotation with around 20 minutes per game as his standard dose of playing time. He’s out-performed his projections in eight of the last 10 games, and coming off a 23 fantasy-point performance, he should continue to see plenty of run and plenty of the ball. Our model makes him a solid 5X play here.

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.

Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to hand-build your lineups.

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.

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

Point Guard

Top Ceiling: Stephen Curry vs. Memphis Grizzlies – $10,700 DraftKings, $10,800 FanDuel

Curry will take aim at a Grizzlies defense that has been sensational over the past few weeks, but even against a strong team, he’s still the highest-ceiling player on the slate by over 11 points. Our projections give him a 15% chance of surpassing 70 fantasy points on DraftKings, and we believe he can come very close to that on FanDuel. At point guard on Tuesday, there’s Curry, and then there’s everyone else.


Top Value: Cameron Payne vs. Toronto Raptors – $4,400 DraftKings, $5,000 FanDuel

Payne projects as a 6X play here against Toronto on DraftKings, where he carries a +6.71 Projected Plus/Minus into the game. His minutes have been pretty steady of late as well; Payne has played fewer than 21 just once in the last seven games. With a 28% Usage Rate in back-to-back games, he’s a bargain on DK.

Shooting Guard

Top Ceiling: DeMar DeRozan vs. Detroit Pistons – $8,700 DraftKings, $8,200 FanDuel

DeRozan draws the Pistons, owners of one of the league’s 10 worst defenses this season who happen to be on the second night of a back-to-back. He’s only shooting guard-eligible on FanDuel, but his ceiling on both sites is aligned at more than 60 fantasy points. Coming off six straight games where he came up short of his projected output, you’ve now got a fantastic buy-low opportunity with his price so inexpensive.


Top Value: Gary Trent vs. Phoenix Suns – $5,300 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel

Trent enters this one with a questionable tag after sitting out against the Pelicans, but should he play; he’ll be in a position to provide value on this slate. Trent had seen at least 31 minutes in three straight prior to his injury, putting together two 30+ fantasy point games. His +0.29 Opponent Plus/Minus on FanDuel offers some promise, and our projections have him as a solid 5X player.

Small Forward

Top Ceiling: Brandon Ingram vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – $8,200 DraftKings, $8,000 FanDuel

A staple in these writeups, Ingram continues to receive love from our model with a projected ceiling well over 50 points on Tuesday against the Timberwolves. His Usage Rate has hit at least 32.5% on four of the last six occasions, and his Opponent Plus/Minus is solid at +0.8 on FanDuel.


Top Value:

Derrick Jones, Jr. vs. Detroit Pistons – $3,300 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel

We’ll pick on the Pistons again, this time with Jones, Jr. He’s severely underpriced on both sites here given his projected 24 minutes, and another 20-point game could be on the horizon for the wing. Our model has him as a 5X player at the very least on FanDuel, while his price on DraftKings will get you even more bang for your buck.

Power Forward

Top Ceiling: Pascal Siakam vs. Phoenix Suns – $9,200 DraftKings, $9,800 FanDuel

This position is incredibly grim on DraftKings, but on FanDuel, you’re offered the chance to play Siakam and his ceiling of nearly 60 fantasy points as opposed to rolling the dice with a mid-tier guy. The veteran has been red-hot, too, exceeding his projections in eight of the last 10 and coming off a 55+ point night where he played nearly 43 minutes.


Top Value: Jae Crowder vs. Toronto Raptors – $3,900 DraftKings, $4,100 FanDuel

The Raptors rank inside the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to the power forward position, so why not fire up Crowder? He saw 26 minutes in his first game back earlier this week against the Heat, posting nearly 20 fantasy points. In a good matchup, our model thinks he should easily hit salary with 6X on the horizon.

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Center

Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Los Angeles Clippers – $12,000 DraftKings, $11,400 FanDuel

Jokic has the highest ceiling on the slate tonight, heading into a matchup with the Clippers and their small-ball lineup. In the last two weeks, L.A. has struggled to defend inside and owns the worst rebounding rate in the NBA. Our model has Jokic as a near-60 point player here with a ceiling close to 80 points.


Top Value: Serge Ibaka vs. Denver Nuggets – $4,000 DraftKings, $4,200 FanDuel

Speaking of that Clippers small-ball lineup, Ibaka has done well to make himself an important part of the rotation with around 20 minutes per game as his standard dose of playing time. He’s out-performed his projections in eight of the last 10 games, and coming off a 23 fantasy-point performance, he should continue to see plenty of run and plenty of the ball. Our model makes him a solid 5X play here.