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NBA DFS (Friday, Mar. 4): 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 teams.

Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates. 

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Point Guard 

Top Ceiling: Trae Young at Washington Wizards – $10,200 DraftKings, $9,100 FanDuel

Ice Trae has had ice in his veins over his last three appearances, averaging 37/10/3 with two double-doubles while scoring at least 30 in each contest.

This is a negative Pace Differential, but Trae gets a huge Opponent Plus/Minus in a game with a respectable 223.5 over/under. On the season, Young has averaged 28.1 points, 9.4 dimes and 3.8 boards with 26 games of at least 30 points.


Top Value: Patrick Beverley at Oklahoma City Thunder – $5,000 DraftKings, $4,700 FanDuel

Pat Bev checks in at an affordable salary on tonight’s slate, having averaged 10.5 points, 4.0 assists, 3.4 assists, 1.4 assists, 1.1 blocks and 2.1 triples over his last eight. In that span, he’s topped 30 and 40 fantasy points in one contest apiece.

The Wolves offense has really been clicking as of late, and Beverley gets the benefits of a 230.5 over/under and a massive Opponent Plus/Minus against the Thunder. Beverley’s ability to rack up assists and rebounds and those highly valuable defensive stats make him an excellent value.

Shooting Guard

Top Ceiling: James Harden vs. Cleveland – $11,500 DraftKings, $10,400 FanDuel

It’s been a match made in heaven for Harden and the Sixers, who have won three straight since the Beard started playing for the 76ers. In that span, he’s averaged 27.3 points, 12.3 assists, 9.0 rebounds, 3.3 triples and 1.7 steals.

This is a small Pace Differential for Philly but a big Opponent Plus/Minus. It’s clear that Harden has the ability to easily hit 60 or 70 fantasy points with a huge triple-double on any given night. If you’re looking to get him at a discount, he’s $1,100 cheaper on FanDuel.


Top Value: Landry Shamet vs. New York Knicks – $3,600 DraftKings, $3,500 FanDuel

Shamet started Tuesday’s win over Portland and went for 12/3/1/1 in 23 minutes. In eight starts this season, the Wichita State product has averaged 10.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.6 dimes and 2.0 triples.

With Devin Booker and Chris Paul out, Shamet should start again tonight. He’s averaged 19.6 fantasy points in his starts, which is enough to provide 5x value and push for more at a near-minimum salary on both sites.

Small Forward

Top Ceiling: DeMar DeRozan vs. Milwaukee – $9,900 DraftKings, $9,800 FanDuel

After 10 straight games scoring at least 30 points, DeRozan has averaged just 20 over his last two contests. Fortunately, he’s averaged 7.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.0 stocks in those games to supplement his decreased scoring.

It’s likely DeRozan’s salary has dipped due to his two-game cool-off, and DFS players can take advantage. There’s no reason DeRozan should cost less than $10,000 on any slate considering his ceiling is over 60 fantasy points. There should be a ton of scoring in a game with a 240.5 over/under.

Note: DeRozan is eligible at SG/SF on FanDuel and PF on DraftKings


Top Value: De’Andre Hunter at Washington Wizards – $4,600 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel

Our model loves Hunter at his affordable salary tonight, and it’s no surprise. The young forward has averaged 37 minutes over his last three contests. In those games, he’s averaged 12.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 triples with at least 25 fantasy points twice. Hunter gets a good Opponent Plus/Minus tonight against Washington.

Power Forward

Top Ceiling: Giannis Antetokounmpo at Chicago Bulls – $12,300 DraftKings, $11,300 FanDuel

No reason to overthink things tonight, as the matchup between two Eastern Conference heavyweights should be accompanied by plenty of fireworks. This one has a 240.5 over/under, the highest on the slate.

Giannis averaged 64.3 fantasy points per game over his last five and put up a strong 30/12/3/1/2 line in his prior meeting with the Bulls this season. Milwaukee gets a pace-down spot, but Giannis should enjoy a good Opponent Plus/Minus here. He’s $1,000 cheaper on FanDuel if you’d like to take advantage of the price disparity.


Top Value: Kenyon Martin at Denver Nuggets – $3,700 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel

Martin went off for 20/7/2/1/1 over 36 minutes in his last game, accounting for season-highs in scoring and minutes played. Over his last eight, he’s averaged 17.9 fantasy points, including two games with at least 20. Tonight’s matchup with Denver affords Martin a massive Opponent Plus/Minus and a healthy 235.5 over/under.

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Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Houston Rockets – $12,600 DraftKings, $11,000 FanDuel

The Joker has averaged just 46.3 fantasy points over his last three contests, which is a pretty steep drop-off compared to his typical numbers. He averaged 56.7 in eight games prior, so his recent stretch should be viewed as a blip on the radar.

Houston has been dominated by opposing bigs this season, and Jokic will get an advantageous Pace Differential and Opponent Plus/Minus. The reigning MVP has averaged 25.4 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 2.1 stocks and 1.5 triples this season, and he’s in a position to post a monster effort against the Rockets. He’s an incredible bargain on FanDuel at a $1,600 discount.


Top Value: Mo Bamba at Toronto – $5,200 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel

And just like that, Bamba has averaged 17/11 with a block, a steal and 1.5 triples over his last two outings. He hadn’t double-doubled in any of the 11 games prior and averaged just 20.3 fantasy points in that span. Bamba has now averaged 36.2 in his last two, and our model gives him a ceiling of over 45 fantasy points on both sites.

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 teams.

Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates. 

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

Point Guard 

Top Ceiling: Trae Young at Washington Wizards – $10,200 DraftKings, $9,100 FanDuel

Ice Trae has had ice in his veins over his last three appearances, averaging 37/10/3 with two double-doubles while scoring at least 30 in each contest.

This is a negative Pace Differential, but Trae gets a huge Opponent Plus/Minus in a game with a respectable 223.5 over/under. On the season, Young has averaged 28.1 points, 9.4 dimes and 3.8 boards with 26 games of at least 30 points.


Top Value: Patrick Beverley at Oklahoma City Thunder – $5,000 DraftKings, $4,700 FanDuel

Pat Bev checks in at an affordable salary on tonight’s slate, having averaged 10.5 points, 4.0 assists, 3.4 assists, 1.4 assists, 1.1 blocks and 2.1 triples over his last eight. In that span, he’s topped 30 and 40 fantasy points in one contest apiece.

The Wolves offense has really been clicking as of late, and Beverley gets the benefits of a 230.5 over/under and a massive Opponent Plus/Minus against the Thunder. Beverley’s ability to rack up assists and rebounds and those highly valuable defensive stats make him an excellent value.

Shooting Guard

Top Ceiling: James Harden vs. Cleveland – $11,500 DraftKings, $10,400 FanDuel

It’s been a match made in heaven for Harden and the Sixers, who have won three straight since the Beard started playing for the 76ers. In that span, he’s averaged 27.3 points, 12.3 assists, 9.0 rebounds, 3.3 triples and 1.7 steals.

This is a small Pace Differential for Philly but a big Opponent Plus/Minus. It’s clear that Harden has the ability to easily hit 60 or 70 fantasy points with a huge triple-double on any given night. If you’re looking to get him at a discount, he’s $1,100 cheaper on FanDuel.


Top Value: Landry Shamet vs. New York Knicks – $3,600 DraftKings, $3,500 FanDuel

Shamet started Tuesday’s win over Portland and went for 12/3/1/1 in 23 minutes. In eight starts this season, the Wichita State product has averaged 10.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.6 dimes and 2.0 triples.

With Devin Booker and Chris Paul out, Shamet should start again tonight. He’s averaged 19.6 fantasy points in his starts, which is enough to provide 5x value and push for more at a near-minimum salary on both sites.

Small Forward

Top Ceiling: DeMar DeRozan vs. Milwaukee – $9,900 DraftKings, $9,800 FanDuel

After 10 straight games scoring at least 30 points, DeRozan has averaged just 20 over his last two contests. Fortunately, he’s averaged 7.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.0 stocks in those games to supplement his decreased scoring.

It’s likely DeRozan’s salary has dipped due to his two-game cool-off, and DFS players can take advantage. There’s no reason DeRozan should cost less than $10,000 on any slate considering his ceiling is over 60 fantasy points. There should be a ton of scoring in a game with a 240.5 over/under.

Note: DeRozan is eligible at SG/SF on FanDuel and PF on DraftKings


Top Value: De’Andre Hunter at Washington Wizards – $4,600 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel

Our model loves Hunter at his affordable salary tonight, and it’s no surprise. The young forward has averaged 37 minutes over his last three contests. In those games, he’s averaged 12.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 triples with at least 25 fantasy points twice. Hunter gets a good Opponent Plus/Minus tonight against Washington.

Power Forward

Top Ceiling: Giannis Antetokounmpo at Chicago Bulls – $12,300 DraftKings, $11,300 FanDuel

No reason to overthink things tonight, as the matchup between two Eastern Conference heavyweights should be accompanied by plenty of fireworks. This one has a 240.5 over/under, the highest on the slate.

Giannis averaged 64.3 fantasy points per game over his last five and put up a strong 30/12/3/1/2 line in his prior meeting with the Bulls this season. Milwaukee gets a pace-down spot, but Giannis should enjoy a good Opponent Plus/Minus here. He’s $1,000 cheaper on FanDuel if you’d like to take advantage of the price disparity.


Top Value: Kenyon Martin at Denver Nuggets – $3,700 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel

Martin went off for 20/7/2/1/1 over 36 minutes in his last game, accounting for season-highs in scoring and minutes played. Over his last eight, he’s averaged 17.9 fantasy points, including two games with at least 20. Tonight’s matchup with Denver affords Martin a massive Opponent Plus/Minus and a healthy 235.5 over/under.

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Center

Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Houston Rockets – $12,600 DraftKings, $11,000 FanDuel

The Joker has averaged just 46.3 fantasy points over his last three contests, which is a pretty steep drop-off compared to his typical numbers. He averaged 56.7 in eight games prior, so his recent stretch should be viewed as a blip on the radar.

Houston has been dominated by opposing bigs this season, and Jokic will get an advantageous Pace Differential and Opponent Plus/Minus. The reigning MVP has averaged 25.4 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 2.1 stocks and 1.5 triples this season, and he’s in a position to post a monster effort against the Rockets. He’s an incredible bargain on FanDuel at a $1,600 discount.


Top Value: Mo Bamba at Toronto – $5,200 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel

And just like that, Bamba has averaged 17/11 with a block, a steal and 1.5 triples over his last two outings. He hadn’t double-doubled in any of the 11 games prior and averaged just 20.3 fantasy points in that span. Bamba has now averaged 36.2 in his last two, and our model gives him a ceiling of over 45 fantasy points on both sites.