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NBA DFS (Monday, Feb. 28): Top Model Picks and Value Plays for 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 tools 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: Dejounte Murray at Memphis Grizzlies – $10,600 DraftKings, $9,700 FanDuel

Picking between Dejounte Murray and Ja Morant in this Spurs and Grizzlies game is difficult. Morant provides the scoring upside, but Murray has way better peripherals. Murray has 12 triple-doubles this season, which is second to Nikola Jokic for the most in the league. In Murray’s first game back from the All-Star Break, he added to that triple-double total with 31 points, 14 assists, and 13 rebounds. The Spurs won in double overtime, while Murray finished with 70.3 DraftKings points playing 43 minutes.

This game features the second-highest total on the slate at 236.5 points as both teams rank in the top eight of Pace this season. The Grizzlies won their previous two meetings, but Murray only played in their most recent game. He had a triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists, and Morant scored 30 and 41 points in each game. Pairing Murray and Morant in one lineup may be the way to go tonight. They both provide incredibly high ceilings, even though they get to the top differently.


Top Value: Gabe Vincent vs. Chicago Bulls – $3,600 DraftKings, $3,900 FanDuel

The two best teams in the Eastern Conference face off in their second to last battle in the regular season. The Heat will be without Kyle Lowry due to personal reasons, which will likely move Gabe Vincent into the starting lineup. Vincent is popping with the highest projected Plus/Minus on the slate for DraftKings. He is projected for 34 minutes as he is cheap on both sites.

In the 19 games that Vincent has started this season, he is averaging 12.4 points while attempting 11.1 field goal attempts per game. He is also averaging 26.8 DraftKings points while playing 32.4 minutes per game. The Bulls surprisingly rank 20th in Defensive Rating and 12th in Pace. The Heat are four-point home favorites, and targeting Vincent is a great way to get exposure to this Heat team.

Shooting Guard

Top Ceiling: Tyrese Haliburton at Orlando Magic – $8,600 DraftKings, $9,200 FanDuel

The best young acquisition at the trade deadline was Tyrese Haliburton. In just six games with the Pacers, he has proved how good he can be leading a team. During that time, Haliburton has averaged a double-double with 19.8 points and 10.7 assists while shooting 52.5% from the field. Overall, Haliburton has played 38.8 minutes per game while never scoring below 40 DraftKings points in any game with the Pacers.

Despite getting a win in their most recent game, the Magic still have the worst record in the entire league. However, the Magic are one-point home favorites as this game total is quite high at 231.5 points. The Magic still rank 24th in Defensive Rating, allowing 111.9 points per game. Malcolm Brogdon is back for the Pacers, but he seems to have taken a backseat to the Haliburton show.


Top Value: Caleb Martin vs. Chicago Bulls – $3,200 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel

Like last night with Marvin Bagley and Kelly Olynyk, this value play will depend on the status of Caleb Martin. Monitor the news on Martin, but he stands out as a nice value option if he can play. If he can’t play, look to Max Strus, who is priced just below Martin on both sites. They are both great options as they can get scorching hot from long distance in a short period of time.

Martin is shooting 50.6% from the field, which is the best of any non-center player on the Heat. He is scoring a career-high 9.2 points and four rebounds per game. He has started in 10 games this season while playing 22.9 minutes per game. The Bulls allow the fifth-highest 3-point percentage in the league at 36.2%. One of these Heat shooters is going to go off tonight; why not Martin?

Small Forward

Top Ceiling: DeMar DeRozan at Miami Heat – $10,200 DraftKings, $10,300 FanDuel

DeMar DeRozan continues to shine night in and night out. He has now recorded a positive Plus/Minus on FanDuel in 17 of his last 18 games! He hasn’t had below 46 DraftKings points during that 18-game stretch, and he’s scored over 50 DraftKings points in six straight. I could go on and on, but you get the point. DeRozan is playing on a different level right now. His career-high 28.3 points per game rank fourth in the entire league this season.

In his lone game against the Heat at the end of November, DeRozan had 28 points while shooting 56.7% from the field. That is also the impressive part. The high volume of field goal attempts is also coming at a ridiculous percentage for a guard. DeRozan is shooting 51.7% from the field and a career-high 36.5% from behind the arc. The matchup against the Heat is challenging, as they rank sixth in Defensive Rating and play at the third-slowest Pace. However, DeRozan still makes for a great pay-up option.

Top Value: Jeremy Lamb at Oklahoma City Thunder – $3,800 DraftKings, $4,300 FanDuel

What seemed like a throw-in player at the time of the trade, Jeremy Lamb has played very well for the Kings since his arrival. He has only played in three games due to an ankle injury, but he has averaged 12.3 points and 26.7 DraftKings points in those games. The playing time that Lamb has received with the Kings has also been helpful for his upside, and he is playing way more than starter Moe Harkless.

Despite their 19-41 record, the Thunder have actually been a tougher matchup than anticipated. They rank in the top 10 in Defensive Rating, allowing opponents to shoot only 44.8% from the field. This game still has a relatively high total of 228 points, with the Kings as road favorites. Lamb may not pop out right away, but he is another excellent source of value on this slate with great stud options.

Power Forward

Top Ceiling: Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Charlotte Hornets – $12,000 DraftKings, $11,500 FanDuel

The best stud option on the slate is Giannis Antetokounmpo. He has the highest ceiling in our Tournament Model tonight on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Giannis is in a pricing tier of his own as the Bucks are 10-point home favorites implied for a slate-high 125.25 points. The Bucks have lost four of their last five games, but this is an excellent opportunity to get back in the win column.

What sets Giannis away from the rest of the pack is this matchup against the Hornets. Giannis should thrive in this game atmosphere. The Hornets rank second in Pace this season, and this game has the highest total on the slate at 240.5 points. Giannis has an incredibly high ceiling in this matchup. He leads the league by far in transition points, and the Hornets have allowed the fourth-most transition points. In the three games against the Hornets this season, Giannis is averaging 36.3 points per game.


Top Value: Kyle Anderson vs. San Antonio Spurs – $3,800 DraftKings, $5,000 FanDuel

The pricing on both Kyle Anderson and Brandon Clarke on DraftKings compared to FanDuel is absurd. Clarke is questionable to play tonight, so we will go the Slow-Mo route. Anderson is coming off a great game where he filled up the stat sheet with six points, three assists, three blocks, and 11 rebounds. He finished with 29.8 DraftKings points over 29 minutes.

Anderson can fill up the stat sheet in a variety of ways, which gives him more outs as a value play. Using our On/Off Tool, Anderson has the highest increase in DraftKings Plus/Minus on the Grizzlies with Clarke off the floor. The Spurs rank fourth in Pace this season which should provide plenty of opportunities. Prioritize Anderson on DraftKings, where he has a 95% Bargain Rating.

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Center

Top Ceiling: Domantas Sabonis at Oklahoma City Thunder – $9,500 DraftKings, $9,700 FanDuel

Another newly acquired Kings player who is shining is center Domantas Sabonis. He has been a fantastic addition to the Kings, who obviously want to be good in the short term. Over the last three games, Sabonis has averaged a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds per game. He has shown triple-double upside in the past, so we know the ceiling is incredibly high.

Over the last three games, the Thunder have allowed 59.3 points per game in the paint. That is where Sabonis does a vast majority of his damage. If the Kings want any chance to reach the play-in tournament, this is a must-win game for them. Sabonis is already playing heavy minutes, but Richaun Holmes is also questionable tonight, which may lead to even more playing time.

Top Value: Mo Bamba vs. Indiana Pacers – $4,700 DraftKings, $4,500 FanDuel

The closest spread on the slate is the Magic and Pacers game, which is intriguing tonight. Despite only being able to play one center on FanDuel, Mo Bamba has the highest projected Plus/Minus on the slate. He is ideally suited for FanDuel with his block upside. Bamba ranks tied for fourth in the league averaging 1.8 blocks per game. He is also averaging a career-high 9.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, and the matchup against the Pacers features a very inexperienced frontcourt.

Don’t be intimidated by Bamba’s playing time in his game log. He only played 11 minutes against the Nuggets because Nikola Jokic ate his lunch early, and Bamba never returned. Our model has Bamba projected to play 24 minutes and be one of the most popular options on FanDuel tonight. The Pacers have allowed the fourth-most points in the paint this season, so Bamba should feast in this matchup.

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 tools 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: Dejounte Murray at Memphis Grizzlies – $10,600 DraftKings, $9,700 FanDuel

Picking between Dejounte Murray and Ja Morant in this Spurs and Grizzlies game is difficult. Morant provides the scoring upside, but Murray has way better peripherals. Murray has 12 triple-doubles this season, which is second to Nikola Jokic for the most in the league. In Murray’s first game back from the All-Star Break, he added to that triple-double total with 31 points, 14 assists, and 13 rebounds. The Spurs won in double overtime, while Murray finished with 70.3 DraftKings points playing 43 minutes.

This game features the second-highest total on the slate at 236.5 points as both teams rank in the top eight of Pace this season. The Grizzlies won their previous two meetings, but Murray only played in their most recent game. He had a triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists, and Morant scored 30 and 41 points in each game. Pairing Murray and Morant in one lineup may be the way to go tonight. They both provide incredibly high ceilings, even though they get to the top differently.


Top Value: Gabe Vincent vs. Chicago Bulls – $3,600 DraftKings, $3,900 FanDuel

The two best teams in the Eastern Conference face off in their second to last battle in the regular season. The Heat will be without Kyle Lowry due to personal reasons, which will likely move Gabe Vincent into the starting lineup. Vincent is popping with the highest projected Plus/Minus on the slate for DraftKings. He is projected for 34 minutes as he is cheap on both sites.

In the 19 games that Vincent has started this season, he is averaging 12.4 points while attempting 11.1 field goal attempts per game. He is also averaging 26.8 DraftKings points while playing 32.4 minutes per game. The Bulls surprisingly rank 20th in Defensive Rating and 12th in Pace. The Heat are four-point home favorites, and targeting Vincent is a great way to get exposure to this Heat team.

Shooting Guard

Top Ceiling: Tyrese Haliburton at Orlando Magic – $8,600 DraftKings, $9,200 FanDuel

The best young acquisition at the trade deadline was Tyrese Haliburton. In just six games with the Pacers, he has proved how good he can be leading a team. During that time, Haliburton has averaged a double-double with 19.8 points and 10.7 assists while shooting 52.5% from the field. Overall, Haliburton has played 38.8 minutes per game while never scoring below 40 DraftKings points in any game with the Pacers.

Despite getting a win in their most recent game, the Magic still have the worst record in the entire league. However, the Magic are one-point home favorites as this game total is quite high at 231.5 points. The Magic still rank 24th in Defensive Rating, allowing 111.9 points per game. Malcolm Brogdon is back for the Pacers, but he seems to have taken a backseat to the Haliburton show.


Top Value: Caleb Martin vs. Chicago Bulls – $3,200 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel

Like last night with Marvin Bagley and Kelly Olynyk, this value play will depend on the status of Caleb Martin. Monitor the news on Martin, but he stands out as a nice value option if he can play. If he can’t play, look to Max Strus, who is priced just below Martin on both sites. They are both great options as they can get scorching hot from long distance in a short period of time.

Martin is shooting 50.6% from the field, which is the best of any non-center player on the Heat. He is scoring a career-high 9.2 points and four rebounds per game. He has started in 10 games this season while playing 22.9 minutes per game. The Bulls allow the fifth-highest 3-point percentage in the league at 36.2%. One of these Heat shooters is going to go off tonight; why not Martin?

Small Forward

Top Ceiling: DeMar DeRozan at Miami Heat – $10,200 DraftKings, $10,300 FanDuel

DeMar DeRozan continues to shine night in and night out. He has now recorded a positive Plus/Minus on FanDuel in 17 of his last 18 games! He hasn’t had below 46 DraftKings points during that 18-game stretch, and he’s scored over 50 DraftKings points in six straight. I could go on and on, but you get the point. DeRozan is playing on a different level right now. His career-high 28.3 points per game rank fourth in the entire league this season.

In his lone game against the Heat at the end of November, DeRozan had 28 points while shooting 56.7% from the field. That is also the impressive part. The high volume of field goal attempts is also coming at a ridiculous percentage for a guard. DeRozan is shooting 51.7% from the field and a career-high 36.5% from behind the arc. The matchup against the Heat is challenging, as they rank sixth in Defensive Rating and play at the third-slowest Pace. However, DeRozan still makes for a great pay-up option.

Top Value: Jeremy Lamb at Oklahoma City Thunder – $3,800 DraftKings, $4,300 FanDuel

What seemed like a throw-in player at the time of the trade, Jeremy Lamb has played very well for the Kings since his arrival. He has only played in three games due to an ankle injury, but he has averaged 12.3 points and 26.7 DraftKings points in those games. The playing time that Lamb has received with the Kings has also been helpful for his upside, and he is playing way more than starter Moe Harkless.

Despite their 19-41 record, the Thunder have actually been a tougher matchup than anticipated. They rank in the top 10 in Defensive Rating, allowing opponents to shoot only 44.8% from the field. This game still has a relatively high total of 228 points, with the Kings as road favorites. Lamb may not pop out right away, but he is another excellent source of value on this slate with great stud options.

Power Forward

Top Ceiling: Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Charlotte Hornets – $12,000 DraftKings, $11,500 FanDuel

The best stud option on the slate is Giannis Antetokounmpo. He has the highest ceiling in our Tournament Model tonight on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Giannis is in a pricing tier of his own as the Bucks are 10-point home favorites implied for a slate-high 125.25 points. The Bucks have lost four of their last five games, but this is an excellent opportunity to get back in the win column.

What sets Giannis away from the rest of the pack is this matchup against the Hornets. Giannis should thrive in this game atmosphere. The Hornets rank second in Pace this season, and this game has the highest total on the slate at 240.5 points. Giannis has an incredibly high ceiling in this matchup. He leads the league by far in transition points, and the Hornets have allowed the fourth-most transition points. In the three games against the Hornets this season, Giannis is averaging 36.3 points per game.


Top Value: Kyle Anderson vs. San Antonio Spurs – $3,800 DraftKings, $5,000 FanDuel

The pricing on both Kyle Anderson and Brandon Clarke on DraftKings compared to FanDuel is absurd. Clarke is questionable to play tonight, so we will go the Slow-Mo route. Anderson is coming off a great game where he filled up the stat sheet with six points, three assists, three blocks, and 11 rebounds. He finished with 29.8 DraftKings points over 29 minutes.

Anderson can fill up the stat sheet in a variety of ways, which gives him more outs as a value play. Using our On/Off Tool, Anderson has the highest increase in DraftKings Plus/Minus on the Grizzlies with Clarke off the floor. The Spurs rank fourth in Pace this season which should provide plenty of opportunities. Prioritize Anderson on DraftKings, where he has a 95% Bargain Rating.

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Center

Top Ceiling: Domantas Sabonis at Oklahoma City Thunder – $9,500 DraftKings, $9,700 FanDuel

Another newly acquired Kings player who is shining is center Domantas Sabonis. He has been a fantastic addition to the Kings, who obviously want to be good in the short term. Over the last three games, Sabonis has averaged a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds per game. He has shown triple-double upside in the past, so we know the ceiling is incredibly high.

Over the last three games, the Thunder have allowed 59.3 points per game in the paint. That is where Sabonis does a vast majority of his damage. If the Kings want any chance to reach the play-in tournament, this is a must-win game for them. Sabonis is already playing heavy minutes, but Richaun Holmes is also questionable tonight, which may lead to even more playing time.

Top Value: Mo Bamba vs. Indiana Pacers – $4,700 DraftKings, $4,500 FanDuel

The closest spread on the slate is the Magic and Pacers game, which is intriguing tonight. Despite only being able to play one center on FanDuel, Mo Bamba has the highest projected Plus/Minus on the slate. He is ideally suited for FanDuel with his block upside. Bamba ranks tied for fourth in the league averaging 1.8 blocks per game. He is also averaging a career-high 9.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, and the matchup against the Pacers features a very inexperienced frontcourt.

Don’t be intimidated by Bamba’s playing time in his game log. He only played 11 minutes against the Nuggets because Nikola Jokic ate his lunch early, and Bamba never returned. Our model has Bamba projected to play 24 minutes and be one of the most popular options on FanDuel tonight. The Pacers have allowed the fourth-most points in the paint this season, so Bamba should feast in this matchup.