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: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at Golden State Warriors – $10,700 DraftKings, $10,400 FanDuel
After a wild weekend, the NBA starts the week of the Trade Deadline with a nice eight-game slate. We’ll get to some of the fallout from the recent trades and injuries in some of the picks below, but let’s start with one of the emerging fantasy stars this season in Gilgeous-Alexander.
SGA has the second-highest ceiling projection on the entire slate on FanDuel and is in the top five on DraftKings, coming in just behind Damian Lillard for the top ceiling projection at point guard. Both are excellent plays on Monday night, but I’m leaning toward Gilgeous-Alexander due to a favorable matchup against the Warriors, who will be without Steph Curry (leg) and play at the fastest Pace in the NBA, allowing opposing PGs to pile up fantasy opportunities.
SGA has posted over 50 DraftKings points in six of his past seven games, culminating in a massive 42-point game on Saturday that resulted in 70.8 FanDuel points and 66 DraftKings points.
Over those seven games, OKC’s star guard has averaged 34.1 points, 6.3 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 1.4 blocked shots in 35 minutes per game. He also faced the Warriors during that stretch, posting 31 points, seven assists, four boards, and three blocks for 50.5 DraftKings points. He should be able to reach that ceiling again in this rematch, especially with the Warriors at less than full strength.
SGA’s fantasy prop is set at 51.5 on Monkey Knife Fight. You can get a deposit bonus of up to $100 on Monkey Knife Fight when signing up through our promo link.
Top Value: Edmond Sumner vs. Los Angeles Clippers – $4,500 DraftKings, $5,300 FanDuel
The Trade Deadline isn’t until Thursday, but the Nets got a jump on selling season by shipping Kyrie Irving to the Mavericks on Sunday. As usually happens at this time of year, there will be extra opportunities for value plays to produce good fantasy nights while players are in transition. Without Kyrie on Saturday, Cam Thomas had a huge night and is a good play again in this one, but his salary has skyrocketed, especially on FanDuel, taking out much of his potential value. Instead, according to Projected Plus/Minus, the best value play from Brooklyn is Sumner, who is still especially cheap on DraftKings.
Sumner started and played 39 minutes on Saturday, finishing with 29 points, three assists, two rebounds, a steal, and a block for 39.9 FanDuel points. Sumner also had a good game earlier this month against the Pistons, quickly scoring 24 points and 32.5 FanDuel points in 19 minutes.
While the Nets’ rotation is uncertain without Kyrie, Kevin Durant, Seth Curry, or Spencer Dinwiddie available, there should be some help coming with T.J. Warren (shin) probable and Ben Simmons (knee) questionable. Even if they do return, Sumner should be able to grab enough usage in the backcourt to pay off at this salary. It’s worth monitoring the news and lineups to see if Sumner gets the start, but if he does, he should be a solid value play.
Top Ceiling: Jordan Poole vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – $6,200 DraftKings, $7,400 FanDuel
Curry’s injury should open a ton of usage for Poole in a good matchup against the Thunder. It’s unusual to have a player with a salary this low as one of the top ceiling options, but Poole has the second-highest ceiling projection at shooting guard on DraftKings and the fourth-highest on FanDuel. There are 10 shooting guards priced higher than him on DraftKings, so he offers immense value along with his ceiling and checks in with the highest Projected Plus/Minus on the entire slate.
With Curry off the floor, Poole leads the team with a 35.2% usage rate and an average of 1.09 DraftKings and 1.01 FanDuel points per minute. In the 15 games he has played without Curry available this season, Poole has produced 37.5 DraftKings points and 34.6 FanDuel points.
Last week against OKC, Poole only had 15 points and 25 DraftKings points, and he struggled even more on Saturday in the game in which Curry was injured. Poole splashed just one of his six shots from the field and had three points and 6.75 DraftKings points in 27 minutes.
The Warriors need him to shake off his recent shooting slump and step up while Steph is sidelined. If he does, he could end up being a steal at this salary in an up-tempo, high-scoring game against the Thunder.
Top Value: Jaden Hardy at Utah Jazz – $3,400 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel
The Mavericks’ backcourt may soon be stuffed with high-usage superstars, but for their Monday night matchup with the Jazz, they’re going to be without Luka Doncic (heel) and Kyrie. Spencer Dinwiddie was also shipped off to Brooklyn, leaving Hardy to carry the load with Frank Ntilikina and McKinley Wright IV as the only other guards available.
Doncic and Dinwiddie only missed one other game this season, which resulted in the monster Kemba Walker throwback performance. With Kemba waived last month, though, it’ll have to be Hardy who steps up in this game. With Doncic and Dinwiddie off the floor, Hardy has a team-high 32% usage rate, although the sample size is extremely small.
Hardy has flashed upside a few times this season, including a 25-point game against the Trail Blazers in one of his two games with over 25 minutes. On Saturday, he had 11 points in 13 minutes off the bench and always has no hesitation in taking his shots.
He has the second-highest Project Plus/Minus of all players on DraftKings, behind only Poole, and is also in the top five at shooting guard in that category on FanDuel.
Top Ceiling: DeMar DeRozan vs. San Antonio Spurs – $8,800 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel
The Bulls have the highest Implied Team Total on the slate as they host the Spurs, who have been the worst defensive team in the league by almost every metric this season. It’s a great spot to build around former-Spur DeRozan, who brings a great ceiling at a salary under $9K. On FanDuel, DeRozan has the second-highest ceiling projection at shooting guard and the third-highest at small forward. On DraftKings, DeRozan has the fourth-highest ceiling projection at small forward and the fifth-highest at power forward.
He also seems to be under-priced on both sites, especially FanDuel, where he has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus at both his positions and third-highest on the whole slate.
DeRozan has outperformed salary-based expectations on FanDuel in seven of his past 10 games and has over 40 FanDuel points in six of seven games since returning from injury. He posted a line of 27 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, a steal, and a block for 48.9 FanDuel points and 49.25 DraftKings points against Portland on Saturday, and he should be lined up for similar production in this great matchup against his former squad.
Top Value: Kenrich Williams at Golden State Warriors – $4,600 DraftKings, $4,900 FanDuel
Williams has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus at small forward on DraftKings and the fourth-highest at power forward. He is only eligible at small forward on FanDuel, where he has the highest Projected Plus/Minus of any player under $5K.
In the constantly-shifting Thunder rotation, Williams has provided a stabilizing veteran force. He has exceeded salary-based expectations in five of his past six games on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Kenny Hustle has averaged 9.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.1 steals, and 26.1 DraftKings points in 24.7 minutes per game over his last eight contests. Lu Dort (hamstring) remains out for this game, so Williams should be able to get enough work to be a good value and fill up the box score against Golden State. He started against the Warriors last week and finished with seven points, eight boards, and 26.6 FanDuel points in 33 minutes.
Top Ceiling: Giannis Antetkounmpo at Portland Trail Blazers – $12,100 DraftKings, $12,200 FanDuel
Giannis has the highest ceiling projection on the slate, and he also brings a high Projected Plus/Minus in a potential smash spot against the Trail Blazers. This matchup has the highest over/under on the night, and especially without Jusuf Nurkic (calf), the Blazers will have a hard time containing Giannis.
No one has been able to slow down the Greek Freak since he returned from his latest knee injury. In his last five games, he has averaged 73.2 DraftKings points and 68.8 FanDuel points on 42.8 points, 15.4 rebounds, and 5.4 assists in just 34.4 minutes per game. He smashed the Clippers for 54 points and 81.75 DraftKings points last Thursday and followed that up with a triple-double of 35 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists, and 77.25 DraftKings points on Saturday night.
Giannis has such a high ceiling in any matchup that he has to be considered, especially when he’s in a favorable spot like this. With so much value everywhere else on the slate, Giannis is one place to spend that savings to get a super-high ceiling.
Top Value: Trendon Watford vs. Milwaukee Bucks – $3,700 DraftKings, $3,900 FanDuel
On the other side of that matchup, the Trail Blazers have to rely on Watford and Drew Eubanks to fill in for Nurkic against Giannis and the Bucks. Both are decent options to consider, but Watford really stands out since there are very few players under $4K on FanDuel with any upside. He checks in under $4K on both sites, giving him a great Projected Plus/Minus across the industry.
Watford is a high-risk, high-reward play since his role is a little uncertain. He was basically out of the rotation until Nurkic’s most recent injury, but he has shown excellent upside since then. He has played over 21 minutes in each of his four most recent games and scored double-digit points in each of his two games this past weekend. On Friday, he exploded for 21 points and 34.25 DraftKings points against the Wizards and followed that up with 11 points and 20 DraftKings points on Saturday in Chicago.
If the game gets lopsided or Eubanks gets into foul trouble defending Giannis, Watford could get extra run and put up big numbers. While he isn’t the safest value play, he is one of the cheapest and comes with lots of attractive upside that makes him worth considering in GPPs.
Top Ceiling: Domantas Sabonis at Houston Rockets – $10,500 DraftKings, $9,500 FanDuel
The Kings have looked rough on the road for their last two games, losing to the Pacers and Pelicans. Part of the reason for their struggles is the absence of De’Aaron Fox (personal), whose status for tonight is currently unknown.
Whether Fox is back or not, Sabonis should help the team bounce back in a good spot against the Rockets. Houston has been an excellent matchup for everyone lately and allowed the Thunder to drop 153 points against them on Saturday. While Alperen Sengun has been outstanding on offense, he has struggled defensively, and Houston has gotten crushed by opposing centers.
Sabonis had two monster games in this same matchup during a back-to-back in January. In the first game, he had 25 points, 14 rebounds, nine assists, and 55.5 DraftKings points. Apparently, falling just short of a triple-double didn’t sit well with him since he came back and had 19 points, 16 assists, and 15 rebounds for 73.25 DraftKings points in their second matchup. The Kings also won both contests comfortably. Hopefully, hitting Houston will help get the Kings to find their form.
Despite his team’s inconsistent play, Sabonis has posted double-doubles in five straight and 11 of his past 12 games. He also had three triple-doubles in that stretch, including his previous domination of the Rockets.
Top Value: Jarrett Allen at Washington Wizards – $6,800 DraftKings, $7,200 FanDuel
Since there are so many cheap value plays at the other positions, I’ll go a little more expensive with my value play at center. Allen has been excellent for the Cavs lately and should thrive in this matchup against the Wizards. At center, he has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings and the fifth-highest on FanDuel.
Allen has produced three straight double-doubles, exceeding salary-based expectations in each contest. He has been fairly reliable lately, with at least eight rebounds and over 25 DraftKings points in seven consecutive games. During that stretch, he has averaged 36.1 DraftKings points in 33.8 minutes per game on 16.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 1.3 assists, and 0.9 blocks per contest.
His best game during his recent success came last Thursday when he posted 46.2 FanDuel points and 45.75 DraftKings points in 38 minutes in a win over the Grizzlies.
In this matchup, he should be headed for a fourth straight double-double and should outproduce his salary, especially at under $7k on DraftKings.
If you do have to dive into the bargain bin at center, Dwight Powell, Drew Eubanks and Jaylin Williams are options that bring a good Projected Plus/Minus at very affordable salaries.
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