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: Damian Lillard at Atlanta Hawks – $11,600 DraftKings, $10,800 FanDuel
With the Blazers likely missing Anfernee Simons (ankle, doubtful) in addition to Jusuf Nurkic (calf), it should be Dame Time all the time. Lillard gets a great matchup against the Hawks in Atlanta and brings the highest ceiling projection on the entire slate on DraftKings while trailing only Nikola Jokic (discussed below) on FanDuel.
The Hawks usually play up-tempo contests and rank in the top 10 in the NBA in pace and the bottom 10 in the NBA in defensive rating. The Blazers also rank in the bottom 10 in Defensive Rating but don’t play quite as fast as Atlanta. In fact, the Blazers have the highest Pace Differential on the board for Friday’s 10-game slate. This game also has the second-highest over/under, so it’s definitely a matchup you’ll want to have some exposure to.
With Simons and Nurkic off the floor, Lillard takes his game to the next level. He has a massive 41.4% usage rate in that scenario this season while averaging 1.69 DraftKings points and 1.6 FanDuel points per minute.
Lillard has also been red hot lately, averaging 41 points, 57.6 FanDuel points, and 62.3 DraftKings points per game over his past seven games. During that span, he has posted an eye-popping production rate of 1.65 DraftKings points and 1.55 FanDuel points per minute.
Without his top complimentary options in this great scoring environment, he should be set up for another monster game Friday night.
Dame is also showing up in our PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy simulations.
Top Value: Kris Dunn at Oklahoma City – $4,300 DraftKings, $4,500 FanDuel
Over the past few days, Dunn has re-emerged as a legitimate fantasy option after joining the Jazz on a 10-day contract. He went unsigned as a free agent last offseason, joining the Capital City Go-Go in the G League instead. With Mike Conley traded away, the Jazz needed backcourt depth, and Dunn has been pressed into action right away due to a right thumb sprain suffered by Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton’s continued hamstring issues.
Dunn has the highest projected Plus/Minus of any player at any position on FanDuel and the fourth-highest of any player on DraftKings.
He has scored at least 11 points in each of his three games with the Jazz and produced good non-scoring numbers as well, resulting in a solid rate of 1.19 DraftKings points and 1.24 FanDuel points per minute. He should be set up as the primary backup guard in this soft matchup, so if he is near his 24.9 projected minutes, he should be an elite source of value once again.
Top Ceiling: Terry Rozier vs. Orlando Magic – $7,700 DraftKings, $7,800 FanDuel
Rozier brings an elite ceiling from an affordable price point on this slate as he continues to help the Hornets fill in following the loss of LaMelo Ball for the season. Rozier has the second-highest ceiling projection of all shooting guards and the fourth-highest ceiling projection of all point guards on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Since he’s so affordable, he also ranks in the top three at both positions in projected Plus/Minus as well.
With Ball off the court this season, Rozier leads the team with a 30.4% usage rate and has produced 1.01 FanDuel points and 1.05 DraftKings points per minute. He had over 30 DraftKings points in each of his last two games while stepping up following Ball’s latest injury.
Scary Terry has shown the ability to torch weaker defenses as the primary option in the offense, and he should be set up to do just that at home against the Magic on this slate. He brings top-shelf upside at this mid-tier salary.
Top Value: Cole Anthony at Charlotte Hornets – $4,100 DraftKings, $6,200 FanDuel
On the other side of that matchup, it’s definitely worth noticing the huge salary disparity between DraftKings and FanDuel for Anthony. He’s over $2K cheaper on DraftKings than on FanDuel, and that underpricing gives him the highest Projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings on the entire slate.
Anthony was limited by right wrist soreness going into the All-Star break and played limited minutes in his first two games back after the break. He seemed to be fully recovered on Wednesday, though, dropping a season-high 28 points on his way to 43.75 DraftKings points and 41.4 FanDuel points against the Bucks. Anthony actually has over 23 DraftKings points in five of his past six games and has been solid when available.
Over his nine most recent games, Anthony has produced 1.2 DraftKings points and 1.18 FanDuel points per minute, and since he should get minutes against the short-handed Hornets, he’s definitely a value you can’t overlook on DraftKings.
Top Ceiling: Anthony Edwards at Los Angeles Lakers – $9,400 DraftKings, $9,400 FanDuel
On both DraftKings and FanDuel, Edwards brings the highest ceiling projection of all shooting guards and the second-highest of all small forwards, behind only Jayson Tatum (discussed below).
Edwards’ breakout season has definitely made him the top dog on the Timberwolves, and he has continued to put up outstanding numbers all season long. He’ll lead Minnesota to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers Friday night, as multiple players face their former team after these teams made a big deal at the deadline. Don’t get distracted by the narratives, though, Edwards is still the ceiling play you want.
He has averaged 1.16 FanDuel points and 1.19 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s consistently been near those numbers over the last month as well. He had 29 points and 39.5 DraftKings points in his first contest with the Lakers, but his usage has grown since that early-season matchup while the Lakers are still a little bit in scramble mode without LeBron James (foot).
This will be a fun late game to watch, and building around Edwards and a potentially big game could make it even more enjoyable.
Top Value: Luguentz Dort vs. Utah Jazz – $5,500 DraftKings, $6,000 FanDuel
Dort has the third-highest Projected Plus/Minus of any player at any position on this slate on both DraftKings and FanDuel. On FanDuel, he can flex over to shooting guard if that helps your roster construction, and on DraftKings, he’s eligible for both forward spots.
He’s in a great spot to put up a big game as his Thunder welcome in the Jazz on Friday night in a game with the third-highest over/under on the slate. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (abdominal strain/health and safety protocols) and Kenrich Williams (wrist) have already been ruled out, which opens up plenty of work for Dort. Without those two players Wednesday, Dort had 19 points, 27.4 FanDuel points, and 27 DraftKings points against the Lakers before fouling out in 36 minutes.
Dort has scored at least 11 points in each of his five games since the All-Star break and took at least 14 shots in each of those contests. The increase in volume has resulted in 0.86 FanDuel points and 0.88 DraftKings points per minute in 32.2 minutes per game with a 23.6% usage rate.
That kind of workload should make him a good value again Friday.
Top Ceiling: Jayson Tatum vs. Brooklyn Nets – $10,600 DraftKings, $11,000 FanDuel
Like Edwards, Tatum has emerged as a nightly ceiling consideration due to a breakout season. He has the highest ceiling projection on this slate at both forward positions on both DraftKings and FanDuel, with the exception of Anthony Davis sneaking in to steal the top spot at power forward on FanDuel, where he has the extra eligibility.
After his huge All-Star game performance, Tatum actually had a couple of down games against the Knicks and 76ers, but he was able to get back on the right track with a monster game on Wednesday against the Cavaliers. He dropped a 41-point double-double on his way to 63.2 FanDuel points and 68.75 DraftKings points to help the Celtics beat the Cavs for the first time this season.
Tatum has made a habit of putting up monster performances this year and has averaged over 50 DraftKings points in his three matchups with the Nets. It’ll be a different look from Brooklyn in this matchup after the trade deadline, but Tatum should still be ready to post a monster stat line. He has produced 1.42 DraftKings points and 1.35 FanDuel points per minute this season and is projected for a 31% usage rate in his 36.1 projected minutes on Friday.
Top Value: Kyle Anderson at Los Angeles Lakers – $5,400 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
He’s often not a flashy play, but Anderson consistently delivers good value in his current role for the Timberwolves. He has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus at power forward on FanDuel and the fifth-highest on DraftKings. He’s also in the top seven on both sites at small forward if he’s a better fit for your roster construction in that spot.
Anderson has exceeded salary-based expectations in six straight games with an average Plus/Minus of 7.0 DraftKings points and 8.2 FanDuel points. Over those six games, he has produced 1.19 FanDuel points and 1.18 DraftKings points per minute. In his three games since the All-Star break, he has averaged 28.2 minutes, and he’ll be a top value if he gets that workload in L.A. on Friday.
Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Memphis Grizzlies – $11,800 DraftKings, $12,000 FanDuel
The Grizzlies without Steven Adams (knee) have been a great matchup for opposing centers, and Jokic brings a very high ceiling in this matchup as a result. He has the highest ceiling projection on the whole slate on FanDuel while getting edged out by Lillard on DraftKings.
Jokic has had a few odd games lately where he played limited minutes due to a blowout in one direction or the other. In fact, he only played 27 minutes in this same matchup last week. That resulted in a disappointing fantasy night and the only game in his last five contests in which he failed to post a triple-double.
In those games, he has produced 1.63 DraftKings points and 1.59 FanDuel points per minute, and even though those numbers are slightly below his season averages, he brings enough of a ceiling to be worth considering as a centerpiece.
He showed he can still hit his ceiling with a 40-point triple-double that resulted in 83.4 FanDuel points and 86.25 DraftKings points against the Clippers last Sunday.
Top Value: Willy Hernangomez at Golden State Warriors – $4,300 DraftKings, $4,600 FanDuel
The Pelicans will likely be without Jonas Valanciunas (calf), who is doubtful for Friday’s game in Golden State. They’ll also be without Larry Nance (ankle), meaning Hernangomez is likely lined up for another start. The HernanGOAT has the highest projected Plus/Minus of any center on DraftKings and FanDuel and ranks second in that stat on the entire slate on both sites.
Hernangomez has been a solid per-minute producer this season, averaging 1.28 DraftKings points and 1.27 FanDuel points per minute. However, He has been limited to 12.8 minutes per game this season. He got a spot start on Wednesday, though and played 21 minutes. He finished with seven points, seven rebounds and 20.25 DraftKings points but has been much better in the past month overall, averaging 1.61 DraftKings points and 1.56 FanDuel points per minute.
He has played over 20 minutes five times this season, averaging 29.9 DraftKings points per game in those contests. Since he should be set for a big workload against the Warriors, he’s a key value play to consider on Friday.