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.
Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates.
Top Ceiling: Dejounte Murray at Chicago Bulls – $11,000 DraftKings, $10,800 FanDuel
The Spurs have an outside shot of making the playoffs primarily due to Dejounte Murray taking a giant leap in his fifth season. Murray leads the Spurs in points, assists, and steals, and he is averaging a career-high in every category. This salary on Murray may come with some sticker-shock, but he has recorded a positive Plus/Minus on FanDuel in 10 of his last 11 games.
This game on the road against the Bulls features the highest total on the slate at 234 points, and the Spurs are only 5-point underdogs. The numbers Murray has put up without Derrick White have been incredible. In seven games without White this season, Murray has averaged 27.9 points, 10.3 assists, and 8.9 rebounds per game while shooting 51% from the field. The Spurs acquisitions of Josh Richardson and Romeo Langford are available but likely won’t have much of an impact on Murray.
Top Value: Seth Curry vs. Sacramento Kings – $5,400 DraftKings, $5,300 FanDuel
Tonight is an excellent opportunity to target Seth Curry in his first game with the Nets. They will be without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, so Curry will likely draw the start at point guard and get as much usage as he can handle. The Nets have lost 11-straight games, and they are 4-point home underdogs. However, the Kings present a great matchup, ranking 29th in Defensive Rating and ninth in Pace.
Curry has had a terrific season, averaging a career-high 15 points per game while shooting 40% or higher for the sixth-straight year. Curry is also averaging a career-high in rebounds, assists, and field goal attempts. Overall, this is a great spot to target Curry in his Nets’ debut.
Top Ceiling: Donovan Mitchell vs. Houston Rockets – $9,200 DraftKings, $8,800 FanDuel
Since returning from a concussion injury, Donovan Mitchell has seen his price jump on DraftKings, but it has stayed similar on FanDuel. Mitchell has averaged 24.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game in four games since returning to the lineup. He has recorded an average usage rate of 31.1% and has averaged 46.2 DraftKings points per game, with a high of 58.75 points.
Mitchell has the second-highest usage rate on the slate at 33% per game, as he and the Jazz draw a great matchup against the Rockets. They are favored by 14.5 points, and the Rockets remain the best matchup for anyone in the league. They rank last in Defensive Rating and first in Pace this season, allowing a league-high 117.3 points per game.
Top Value: Quentin Grimes vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – $3,000 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel
It seems as though DraftKings simply forgot to price up Quentin Grimes on DraftKings and kept him at the stone minimum. Grimes has started the last two games and averaged 34 minutes per game as RJ Barrett and Derrick Rose remain out for the Knicks. The rookie from Houston had 20 points in his most recent game, making five 3-pointers and shooting 60% from the field.
This matchup against the Thunder features the lowest total by far on the slate at 206 points, but the Knicks are 8-point home favorites despite losing 11 of their last 14 games. Grimes is impossible to ignore on DraftKings at this salary. He has a 99% Bargain Rating and the highest projected Plus/Minus on the slate in our Tournament Model. Grimes will likely be extremely popular tonight.
Top Ceiling: Kyle Kuzma vs. Detroit Pistons – $8,600 DraftKings, $7,700 FanDuel
We go from the best play on DraftKings to arguably the best on FanDuel with Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma. This is a perfect matchup to target Kuzma, especially from a rebounding perspective. The Pistons rank last in Rebounding Percentage this season, while Kuzma is averaging a career-high 8.7 rebounds per game. The Wizards are also playing without the newly-acquired Kristaps Porzingis and starting center Daniel Gafford. Montrezl Harrell was also traded, so Kuzma will get plenty of rebound chances tonight.
Kuzma has posted back-to-back games of over 45 DraftKings points, one of which featured a triple-double. A double-double is firmly in play in this matchup, but Kuzma has also bumped his assist numbers since Spencer Dinwiddie left town. The Wizards are still playing without Bradley Beal, so this is Kuzma’s team for the near future. He can do some damage against the Pistons’ soft interior.
Top Value: Justice Winslow at Milwaukee Bucks – $5,600 DraftKings, $6,000 FanDuel
The salary on Justice Winslow has shot up tremendously in the past week on both DraftKings and FanDuel. However, it is deserving, as he has been fantastic for the Trail Blazers since his arrival. In the last three games, Winslow is filling up the stat sheet like he usually does, averaging 12.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, four assists, 2.3 steals, one block, and 33 DraftKings points per game.
Despite being a great play, this matchup against the Bucks is brutal. They are 15-point road underdogs facing a team that has won eight of their last 11 games. Even in what is projected to be a blowout, Winslow will likely be asked to play heavy minutes given the Trail Blazers’ injury situation. Our model has Winslow projected for 33 minutes tonight and is a great value option.
Top Ceiling: DeMar DeRozan vs. San Antonio Spurs – $10,200 DraftKings, $10,400 FanDuel
Giannis Antetokounmpo would be the obvious choice here, but he has been downgraded to doubtful. With that in mind, spending down a bit for DeMar DeRozan makes a ton of sense. Not only is DeRozan having an excellent season, but Spurs-Bulls stands out as the best game of the day. The Bulls are without Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and most importantly Zach LaVine. In 10 games without LaVine this season, DeRozan is averaging 33.1 points and 22.9 field goal attempts per game.
DeRozan is scoring at an insane clip right now. He has scored more than 30 points in six-straight games while averaging a usage rate of 37.7%. He hasn’t scored fewer than 45 DraftKings points in each of his past 14 contests. The thirteen-year veteran is averaging a career-high 27.7 points per game while shooting a career-high 33.7% from behind the arc. He provides upside and a high ceiling.
Top Value: Marvin Bagley at Washinton Wizards – $3,300 DraftKings, $4,700 FanDuel
I have zero clue what to expect from the Pistons when it comes to their new acquisition Marvin Bagley, but once again, this price on DraftKings makes no sense. Bagley has dropped a full $2,000 since his last game with the Kings. Our model has Bagley projected for 22 minutes tonight, and at this price, he can easily return value. Bagley has averaged 1.07 DraftKings points per minute for his career.
As I mentioned with Kuzma, the Wizards are very limited in their frontcourt right now. When Bagley plays, he should be able to feast. He has double-double upside even in limited minutes. This is a slightly risky play given that Bagley is a new acquisition, but he provides so much upside at this cheap salary on DraftKings. He has a 96% Bargain Rating which is absurd for his potential.
Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Orlando Magic – $12,200 DraftKings, $11,300 FanDuel
Nikola Jokic owns the top ceiling projection on Monday’s slate. That should surprise no one, but he is priced lower than Giannis on FanDuel. Jokic has seen a few busts lately, but we know the upside is still there any given night. He continues to lead the league in triple-doubles with 15, and his career-best 13.7 rebounds per game rank second in the league.
The Nuggets are 11-point home favorites vs. the Magic, who rank 23rd in Defensive Rating this season. They have been very good protecting the paint, allowing the sixth-fewest points per game in the paint, but they rank 25th in rebounds allowed. Jokic is a near-lock to double-double, and with so much value on this slate, he is a risky fade given his upside.
Top Value: Isaiah Roby at New York Knicks – $3,000 DraftKings, $4,200 FanDuel
Another excellent value option, especially on DraftKings, is Thunder center Isaiah Roby. After missing 18-straight games, Roby has suited up in the past two contests. In his most recent game, Roby drew the start and had seven points, four rebounds and 25.5 DraftKings points. Derrick Favors will likely return, but keep an eye on the news in case Roby starts again. The Thunder have no reason to play Favors moving forward.
As I mentioned with Grimes, this game is disgusting. It will be played extremely slow with minimal fantasy upside. However, Roby’s minimum price tag mitigates the risk. Roby is second to Grimes in terms of projected Plus/Minus on the slate. Taking two players from this game is risky, but you’ll have plenty of salary to use if you go that route.