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 and On/Off tool, Vegas Dashboard, and so much more.
Let’s dive into our models for NBA DFS going position by position, looking at guys with some of the highest ceiling projections and players 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 300 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to hand-build your teams.
Note: Projections and Leverage Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day as news comes out after this article is posted. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates.
Top Ceiling: LaMelo Ball at Minnesota Timberwolves – $11,000 DraftKings, $10,300 FanDuel
Friday’s fabulous eight-game slate features four teams finishing off a back-to-back, while the other 12 are seeing their first action since before the All-Star break. There are several juicy matchups to target for fantasy purposes, but the game with the highest over/under is the Hornets visiting the Timberwolves. The two highest ceiling projections on the entire slate on both FanDuel and DraftKings are from that contest as well. Ball leads the way on both sites, with Anthony Edwards (discussed below) just behind.
It should be a great matchup for LaMelo, who was finding a great rhythm before the break after battling ankle issues early in the season. His salary has skyrocketed as a result of his success, but his ceiling is still too high to pass up, even at this elevated price tag.
Ball had over 52 DraftKings points in four straight games going into the break and six of his last seven. He exceeded salary-based expectations in seven of his past nine games and went into the break on a high note with a triple-double of 28 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists against the Spurs, which earned him 65 DraftKings points and 56.4 FanDuel points.
In his seven most recent games, Ball averaged 54.1 DraftKings points and 50.2 FanDuel points on 24.6 points, 9.3 assists, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.9 steals in 38.0 minutes per game. In such an up-tempo environment in Minnesota, he should be poised for more success and is a strong consideration as an anchor for your lineups Friday.
Top Value: Jevon Carter vs. Miami Heat – $4,300 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel
The Bucks return to action on Friday, but they probably will be without Giannis Antetkounmpo (wrist) and Pat Connaughton (calf), who are both listed as doubtful. If they’re unable to suit up, that would create plenty of value opportunities for the rest of the Bucks, including Carter, who has shown he can deliver strong stats when playing an expanded role.
He has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus at both point guard and shooting guard on FanDuel, and he’s only eligible at point guard on DraftKings, where he has the seventh-highest Projected Plus/Minus at the position.
Carter went into the break on a high note, producing 41.5 DraftKings points and 39.2 FanDuel points on 22 points, six rebounds and six assists in 32 minutes to help his Bucks beat the Bulls and extend their winning streak to 12 games. He drew a spot start in that game with Giannis and Khris Middleton out of action. It isn’t clear if he’ll get another start in this matchup, but keep a close eye on the news and the projections to see how large of a role he’s expected to play.
Even before that spot start, though, Carter had been posting solid numbers. He had at least nine points in four of his five most recent games and always seems to put up good numbers when he gets at least 20 minutes of playing time. If both Giannis and Connaughton are out as expected, he should easily find that many minutes Friday and be a nice cheap option in the backcourt.
Top Ceiling: Jordan Poole vs. Houston Rockets – $8,300 DraftKings, $8,300 FanDuel
The Warriors are on the second night of a back-to-back, so they’ll likely give some veterans a rest. With Steph Curry (leg) still out for at least a week and Andrew Wiggins (personal) not with the team, Poole should continue to carry the load for Golden State, although he struggled on Thursday in Los Angeles, shooting just 3-of-13 from the field and finishing with only 16 points in the Warriors’ road loss to the Lakers.
He should be poised for a good bounce-back game, though, in this outstanding matchup against the Rockets. Both teams play fast, and the Rockets defense has been especially generous to opposing guards. As a result, Poole has the second-highest ceiling projection at shooting guard on DraftKings and the fourth-highest ceiling projection at shooting guard on FanDuel. With Steph and Wiggins off the court this season, Poole leads the team with a 35.0% usage rate and has produced 1.12 DraftKings points and 1.04 FanDuel points per minute.
Since Steph’s latest injury, Poole has been boom-or-bust with a few good games and a few disappointing performances. He should be set up for a big game against the Rockets, though, and public sentiment may be down on him after Thursday’s clunker. He still brings an undeniably high ceiling on Friday, though, and also ranks in the top six in Projected Plus/Minus at both guard spots on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Top Value: Josh Okogie vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – $5,200 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
The Suns are looking to get Kevin Durant (knee) back soon, but until then, Okogie has carved out a significant role for himself on the wing. I think he’s made a strong case to stick in the starting lineup even after KD is back, but that’s a discussion for a different day. For now, Okogie remains a great value play and ranks in the top seven in Projected Plus/Minus at both shooting guard and small forward on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
In his four most recent games since Cam Johnson and Mikal Bridges were traded to Brooklyn, Okogie has taken his game to the next level, averaging 36.9 DraftKings points and 36.9 FanDuel points in 37.0 minutes per game. He has averaged 21.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 steals, and 1.8 assists per game over that stretch while taking an average of 14 field goal attempts per game.
Okogie is a hard-working wing who can stuff the stat sheet when at his best, and he has been at his best for his last few games. He has made 55.6% of his three-point shots during that span, so he’s likely to cool off at some point, but his heater should be able to continue through this matchup with the Thunder.
Top Ceiling: Anthony Edwards vs. Charlotte Hornets – $9,100 DraftKings, $9,400 FanDuel
Due to their great matchup with the Hornets, the Timberwolves have the highest Iimplied team total on the board this Friday and offer good options in multiple positions. Edwards has the second-highest ceiling projection on the entire slate on both DraftKings and FanDuel but is still pretty affordable at just over $9K, making him rank near the top of Projected Plus/Minus at both shooting guard and small forward on both sites as well.
Edwards has continued to carry Minnesota’s offense in the extended absence of Karl-Athony Towns (calf) and scored 30+ points in three of his four most recent games heading into the break. He posted over 50 FanDuel points and over 50 DraftKings points in two of those games.
With Mike Conley in town now to play point guard, Edwards’ assists may tick down a bit, but he showed he can still flourish alongside the veteran by posting 34 points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals, and a block in his final game before the break.
Edwards has been carrying a huge load and looked a little fatigued in a couple of contests before the break, but he should be fresh and ready to post a big number as he returns to this dream matchup against Charlotte.
Underdog Fantasy currently has Edwards’ points, rebounds, and assists prop set at 40.5 — which could be worthy of an over bet.
Top Value: Kyle Anderson vs. Charlotte Hornets – $5,100 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel
Edwards can move over to shooting guard on both DraftKings and FanDuel, while his teammate Anderson can flex to power forward on both sites. They both make sense as options at small forward as well. At small forward, Anderson has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus on both sites, and at power forward, he has the highest Projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings and the second-highest on FanDuel.
On DraftKings, Anderson has exceeded salary-based expectations in seven of his past 10 games. He did miss two of the Wolves’ contests during that span with a bad back, but he looked strong after returning with at least 12 points in three straight games while averaging 31.6 DraftKings points, and 32.3 FanDuel points on 14.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 1.7 steals in 24.1 minutes per game.
He only had a typical workload in one of those three games, playing 31 minutes in his most recent game before the break. He posted an impressive 39.75 DraftKings points and 41 FanDuel points and brings a similar ceiling to this favorable matchup with Charlotte. He doesn’t have the sky-high scoring potential of Edwards but typically contributes in other meaningful ways across the stat sheet.
Top Ceiling: Julius Randle at Washington Wizards – $9,800 DraftKings, $9,300 FanDuel
Randle has the highest ceiling projection of all power forwards on DraftKings and the third-highest on FanDuel. He’s another star in a good matchup as the Knicks visit the Wizards, who have been very generous to opposing big men.
Whenever you choose to build around Randle, you can count on him getting plenty of minutes since Tom Thibodeau rides his starters so hard. He has posted eight double-doubles in his past 10 games, averaging 24.3 points, 10.3 rebounds along with 5.0 assists in 36.7 minutes per game. He also had a pair of double-doubles in his two earlier matchups against the Wizards.
For him to reach his ceiling and deliver on his salary at this price point, Randle needs to score plenty of points. He had 25+ in three of his four final games heading into the break, and he will be a strong option if he’s at that level again in this contest.
Top Value: Jonathan Kuminga vs. Houston Rockets – $4,200 DraftKings, $4,100 FanDuel
Kuminga is only a small forward on FanDuel, but he does bring the highest Projected Plus/Minus at that position. On DraftKings, he is eligible at power forward and center and brings the highest Projected Plus/Minus at power forward and the second-highest at center.
He started against the Lakers on Thursday and produced 10 points and five rebounds in 25 minutes for 21.1 FanDuel points and 21.75 DraftKings points. Kuminga should be set up for another expanded workload without Wiggins.
The 20-year-old flashed an even higher ceiling in an expanded role earlier in the season, and his style should fit well in this matchup with the Rockets. Keep an eye on the news to get a clearer picture of who the Warriors will have available, but especially if he gets the start, Kuminga should be a great value play.
Top Ceiling: Domantas Sabonis at Los Angeles Clippers – $9,900 DraftKings, $9,600 FanDuel
Sabonis and the Kings returned to action on Thursday and got a 17-point win over the short-handed Trail Blazers. Sabonis only needed to play 32 minutes to put together a triple-double of 18 points, 18 rebounds, and 10 assists for a total of 58.6 FanDuel points and 63.5 DraftKings points.
The versatile big man picked up where he left off before the break and brings the highest ceiling projection of all centers on this slate on DraftKings and the second-highest on FanDuel, just behind Nikola Vucevic. Sabonis does bring the highest ceiling projection at power forward on FanDuel, though.
Sabonis has exceeded salary-based expectations on FanDuel in seven of his past nine games. During that stretch, he has averaged 20.2 points, 12.4 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.3 blocked shots per game.
In what should be a fascinating Western Conference matchup between the Clippers and Kings, Sabonis brings a very high ceiling Friday night.
Top Value: Alperen Sengun at Golden State Warriors – $7,500 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel
Sengun is much more expensive than the usual value plays I like to highlight, but he brings the highest Projected Plus/Minus on both DraftKings and FanDuel, indicating he’s very underpriced based on his projections.
Prior to the All-Star break, Sengun was emerging as a daily fantasy star that deserved consideration on just about every slate. He did scuffle a little bit on the Rockets’ three-game road trip, but he showcased his huge upside just before that with 18 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds for 49.75 DraftKings points against Sabonis and the Kings. That performance was his fifth in his previous 11 games with at least 49 DraftKings points, including a massive game with 70.25 DraftKings points against the Lakers in mid-January.
If Sengun comes back refreshed and ready after the break, he brings a much higher ceiling than any other mid-range option on this slate.
If you aren’t ready to buy into the Sengun bounceback or need a bargain play at center, there are other options that make sense. Kuminga, Jaylin Williams and Nick Richards make sense at this position on DraftKings, and on FanDuel, Richards is joined by his teammate Mark Williams as a good option, along with Kevin Love, who is expected to make his debut for the Heat.
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