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NBA DFS (Monday, Jan. 16): 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 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.

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Point Guard

Top Ceiling: Jalen Brunson vs. Toronto Raptors – $8,500 DraftKings, $8,900 FanDuel

The NBA celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a nice slate of games spread throughout the afternoon and evening. There are five games on the main slate on DraftKings which tips off at 3:00 p.m. ET and seven games on the main FanDuel slate, which tips off at 2:30 p.m. ET. The FanDuel slate includes the Indiana-Milwaukee game and the Phoenix-Memphis game, so be sure to be aware of those differences when filling out your lineups.

Brunson has been turning in top-tier production for the Knicks lately, but his salary is still under $9K. He has the third-highest ceiling projection at point guard on the DraftKings slate and the fourth-highest on FanDuel.

Brunson has exceeded salary-based expectations on FanDuel in his last eight games, averaging 31.3 points, 6.4 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 46.7 FanDuel points in 39.5 minutes per game. He has led the Knicks to wins in six of his seven games since returning from a three-game injury absence and continues to be a crucial part of their offense.

While the matchup with Toronto isn’t a pace-up spot, he still has a positive Opponents Plus/Minus and should be able to keep rolling. He’s worth considering since he brings an elite ceiling at a slightly lower salary.


Top Value: Mike Conley at Minnesota Timberwolves – $5,400 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel

Of all the games on the schedule for Monday, the Jazz-Timberwolves matchup has the second-highest over/under and a spread of just one point, so both teams provide plenty of options worth considering. Conley is one of the best values on the slate at point guard, checking in with the highest Projected Plus/Minus at the position on FanDuel and the second-highest on DraftKings. The three highest projected Plus/Minus numbers at point guard on DraftKings all belong to Jazz players, with Conley joined by Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson. Those players would get an additional boost if Lauri Markkanen (hip, questionable) is also ruled out.

Conley has exceeded salary-based expectations in seven of his past 10 games while averaging 11.8 points and 7.7 assists per contest. He has at least seven assists in eight of his last nine games and at least nine points in seven of his last eight. While he doesn’t usually go off with a monster ceiling performance, he regularly returns excellent midrange value.

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Shooting Guard

Top Ceiling: Donovan Mitchell vs. New Orleans Pelicans – $9,200 DraftKings, $9,400 FanDuel

Mitchell has the highest ceiling projection at shooting guard on both DraftKings and FanDuel and one of the highest ceiling projections on the entire slate. He and the Cavs have the highest Pace Differential on the slate as they face the Pelicans, who have played at the 11th-fastest pace this season.

That makes this an excellent spot for Spida, who thrives in high-scoring contests. He had 46 points and 70 FanDuel points against the Jazz last week in a similar spot and brings that kind of ceiling to this contest as well. Mitchell had a quiet game on Saturday, shooting just 5-of-16 and scoring only 14 points, but he should be able to bounce back in this game against New Orleans. Before that letdown, he had scored over 25 points in four of his five games this month, averaging 37.0 points, 6.6 assists, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game.

He always has the potential to go off for a monster game, making him a strong option to consider building around on Monday.


Top Value: Malik Beasley at Minnesota Timberwolves – $5,000 DraftKings, $5,400 FanDuel

Beasley heads back to Minnesota after playing three seasons with the Timberwolves. He faced his former team in the second game of the season and produced 15 points and 21.75 DraftKings points. He was just settling into his new role with his new team, though, and he has been much more productive lately.

In each of Utah’s last three games, Beasley has been in the starting lineup. He has a 20.1% usage rate over those three games and has taken at least 10 shots, including eight 3-point attempts in each game. He is only shooting 27% from the field and 25% from long range in those three games, but the opportunities have been there for him.

Even with his shot not dialed in, Beasley has averaged 20.7 DraftKings points in those three starts by adding 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.0 steal to his 10.3 points per game. He has earned his reputation as a streaky shooter and can put up a significant number if his return to the Twin Cities helps him get his shot going again.

Small Forward

Top Ceiling: Anthony Edwards vs. Utah Jazz – $8,300 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel

Edwards has been a regular on the Timberwolves’ injury report with a hip contusion and is again listed as questionable. The injury occurred on Dec. 30 against the Bucks, but he has yet to miss a game and continues to put up great numbers despite any lingering effects.

The projections love him at this salary. He has the highest ceiling projection at small forward on DraftKings and the second-highest on FanDuel, behind only Giannis Antetokounmpo. Edwards is also a great value on both sites, bringing the highest Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel at both shooting guard and small forward and the second-highest on the entire slate. On DraftKings, Edwards also has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus on the slate, behind only teammate Taurean Prince (ankle, questionable).

Edwards has only scored fewer than 20 points one time in his past 15 games, and that was a game in which he left early due to his hip injury. In those 15 games, Edwards averaged 26.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.2 steals. He has produced over 45 DraftKings points in 10 of those 15 games, including each of his past two, leading the Wolves to home wins over the Suns and Cavs.

Add in his positional versatility, and Edwards should be able to fit in just about every lineup construction and should be set up for a big night at this solid price point.


Top Value: Naji Marshall at Cleveland Cavaliers – $5,700 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel

Marshall continues to step up for the Pelicans without Brandon Ingram (toe) and Zion Williamson (hamstring). He has scored over 15 points in six straight games, averaging 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.3 steals for 34.25 DraftKings points in 34.9 minutes per game.

Marshall has produced over 29 DraftKings points with a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past six contests. He brings the sixth-highest Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel at small forward and the fourth-highest on DraftKings. He is also eligible at power forward on DraftKings, where he brings the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus.

Most of the time, Marshall brings great defensive intensity and high energy, which should make him a good fit for this rugged game style against the Cavs.

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Power Forward

Top Ceiling: Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Indiana Pacers – N/A DraftKings, $11,300 FanDuel

Giannis is only available on FanDuel’s MLK Day slate, but he’s in too good a matchup to overlook.

As usual, Antetokounmpo brings the highest ceiling projection on the slate, and on this slate, it’s by a margin of over 10 FanDuel points over Ja Morant, who is questionable. Antetkounmpo and the Bucks have the highest Implied Team Total on the FanDuel slate in their matchup against the Pacers, who rank No. 7 in the NBA in Pace this month and No. 6 in the league for the season. With a good Pace Differential and so many points expected to be scored, Antetokounmpo brings too high a ceiling to overlook.

He should be fresh after missing the last two games with knee soreness, but he is considered probable for this contest. He had a couple of low-scoring games before missing time, but he made up for it with double-digit rebounds in nine of his past 11 games and an average of 5.4 assists over that stretch.

A well-rested Giannis against the banged-up Pacers makes a great place to start your FanDuel lineups in the early matchup.


Top Value: De’Andre Hunter vs. Miami Heat – $4,700 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel

The value options at power forward are a little thin on Monday’s slate, but Hunter does bring some good potential from an affordable price point. He has the third-highest Projected Plus/Minus of all power forwards on DraftKings, and he can still bring good upside on FanDuel, despite his salary being over $1,000 higher.

Since returning from a three-game injury absence around the holidays, Hunter has started seven straight games and reached double-digit scoring in each contest while posting a 20% usage rate. He has exceeded salary-based expectations in six of those seven games, averaging 18.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 0.9 steals per game for 30.0 DraftKings points per contest.

Hunter had 18 points and 29.25 DraftKings points in his first matchup this season with the Heat, and he will be a solid value play if he’s near that level again on Monday.

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Center

Top Ceiling: Bam Adebayo at Atlanta Hawks – $8,700 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel

Bam has been rolling lately with at least 20 points and a double-double in five of his last six games. He may have to deal with Clint Capela (calf, questionable) in this matchup, but Capela hasn’t played in so long that his minutes may be limited even if he is available.

Adebayo brings the highest ceiling projection at the position on DraftKings and the second-highest on FanDuel behind Julius Randle. He also has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus at center on FanDuel and the sixth-highest on DraftKings, indicating that he is a good value even at this salary of over $8K.

Even with a lousy outlier against the Nets figured in, Adebayo has averaged 22.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 45.8 DraftKings points in 34.4 minutes over his past six games. He also had 32 points and 44 DraftKings points in his earlier matchup with the Hawks.


Top Value: Precious Achiuwa at New York Knicks– $3,300 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel

Achiuwa tore a ligament in his ankle and was sidelined for almost two months. He has slowly been ramping up since returning and played 28 minutes on Saturday in his most recent contest.

In that matchup with the Hawks on Saturday, Achiuwa finished with 14 points and 21.5 DraftKings points, giving him double-digit points and at least 18 DraftKings points in three straight games. He can contribute in a variety of categories and should be able to easily return value at this bargain price point. He brings power forward eligibility on FanDuel, but his salary is even more attractive on DraftKings at barely over the minimum.

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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.

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models & projections

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

Point Guard

Top Ceiling: Jalen Brunson vs. Toronto Raptors – $8,500 DraftKings, $8,900 FanDuel

The NBA celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a nice slate of games spread throughout the afternoon and evening. There are five games on the main slate on DraftKings which tips off at 3:00 p.m. ET and seven games on the main FanDuel slate, which tips off at 2:30 p.m. ET. The FanDuel slate includes the Indiana-Milwaukee game and the Phoenix-Memphis game, so be sure to be aware of those differences when filling out your lineups.

Brunson has been turning in top-tier production for the Knicks lately, but his salary is still under $9K. He has the third-highest ceiling projection at point guard on the DraftKings slate and the fourth-highest on FanDuel.

Brunson has exceeded salary-based expectations on FanDuel in his last eight games, averaging 31.3 points, 6.4 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 46.7 FanDuel points in 39.5 minutes per game. He has led the Knicks to wins in six of his seven games since returning from a three-game injury absence and continues to be a crucial part of their offense.

While the matchup with Toronto isn’t a pace-up spot, he still has a positive Opponents Plus/Minus and should be able to keep rolling. He’s worth considering since he brings an elite ceiling at a slightly lower salary.


Top Value: Mike Conley at Minnesota Timberwolves – $5,400 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel

Of all the games on the schedule for Monday, the Jazz-Timberwolves matchup has the second-highest over/under and a spread of just one point, so both teams provide plenty of options worth considering. Conley is one of the best values on the slate at point guard, checking in with the highest Projected Plus/Minus at the position on FanDuel and the second-highest on DraftKings. The three highest projected Plus/Minus numbers at point guard on DraftKings all belong to Jazz players, with Conley joined by Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson. Those players would get an additional boost if Lauri Markkanen (hip, questionable) is also ruled out.

Conley has exceeded salary-based expectations in seven of his past 10 games while averaging 11.8 points and 7.7 assists per contest. He has at least seven assists in eight of his last nine games and at least nine points in seven of his last eight. While he doesn’t usually go off with a monster ceiling performance, he regularly returns excellent midrange value.

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Shooting Guard

Top Ceiling: Donovan Mitchell vs. New Orleans Pelicans – $9,200 DraftKings, $9,400 FanDuel

Mitchell has the highest ceiling projection at shooting guard on both DraftKings and FanDuel and one of the highest ceiling projections on the entire slate. He and the Cavs have the highest Pace Differential on the slate as they face the Pelicans, who have played at the 11th-fastest pace this season.

That makes this an excellent spot for Spida, who thrives in high-scoring contests. He had 46 points and 70 FanDuel points against the Jazz last week in a similar spot and brings that kind of ceiling to this contest as well. Mitchell had a quiet game on Saturday, shooting just 5-of-16 and scoring only 14 points, but he should be able to bounce back in this game against New Orleans. Before that letdown, he had scored over 25 points in four of his five games this month, averaging 37.0 points, 6.6 assists, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game.

He always has the potential to go off for a monster game, making him a strong option to consider building around on Monday.


Top Value: Malik Beasley at Minnesota Timberwolves – $5,000 DraftKings, $5,400 FanDuel

Beasley heads back to Minnesota after playing three seasons with the Timberwolves. He faced his former team in the second game of the season and produced 15 points and 21.75 DraftKings points. He was just settling into his new role with his new team, though, and he has been much more productive lately.

In each of Utah’s last three games, Beasley has been in the starting lineup. He has a 20.1% usage rate over those three games and has taken at least 10 shots, including eight 3-point attempts in each game. He is only shooting 27% from the field and 25% from long range in those three games, but the opportunities have been there for him.

Even with his shot not dialed in, Beasley has averaged 20.7 DraftKings points in those three starts by adding 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.0 steal to his 10.3 points per game. He has earned his reputation as a streaky shooter and can put up a significant number if his return to the Twin Cities helps him get his shot going again.

Small Forward

Top Ceiling: Anthony Edwards vs. Utah Jazz – $8,300 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel

Edwards has been a regular on the Timberwolves’ injury report with a hip contusion and is again listed as questionable. The injury occurred on Dec. 30 against the Bucks, but he has yet to miss a game and continues to put up great numbers despite any lingering effects.

The projections love him at this salary. He has the highest ceiling projection at small forward on DraftKings and the second-highest on FanDuel, behind only Giannis Antetokounmpo. Edwards is also a great value on both sites, bringing the highest Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel at both shooting guard and small forward and the second-highest on the entire slate. On DraftKings, Edwards also has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus on the slate, behind only teammate Taurean Prince (ankle, questionable).

Edwards has only scored fewer than 20 points one time in his past 15 games, and that was a game in which he left early due to his hip injury. In those 15 games, Edwards averaged 26.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.2 steals. He has produced over 45 DraftKings points in 10 of those 15 games, including each of his past two, leading the Wolves to home wins over the Suns and Cavs.

Add in his positional versatility, and Edwards should be able to fit in just about every lineup construction and should be set up for a big night at this solid price point.


Top Value: Naji Marshall at Cleveland Cavaliers – $5,700 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel

Marshall continues to step up for the Pelicans without Brandon Ingram (toe) and Zion Williamson (hamstring). He has scored over 15 points in six straight games, averaging 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.3 steals for 34.25 DraftKings points in 34.9 minutes per game.

Marshall has produced over 29 DraftKings points with a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past six contests. He brings the sixth-highest Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel at small forward and the fourth-highest on DraftKings. He is also eligible at power forward on DraftKings, where he brings the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus.

Most of the time, Marshall brings great defensive intensity and high energy, which should make him a good fit for this rugged game style against the Cavs.

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Power Forward

Top Ceiling: Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Indiana Pacers – N/A DraftKings, $11,300 FanDuel

Giannis is only available on FanDuel’s MLK Day slate, but he’s in too good a matchup to overlook.

As usual, Antetokounmpo brings the highest ceiling projection on the slate, and on this slate, it’s by a margin of over 10 FanDuel points over Ja Morant, who is questionable. Antetkounmpo and the Bucks have the highest Implied Team Total on the FanDuel slate in their matchup against the Pacers, who rank No. 7 in the NBA in Pace this month and No. 6 in the league for the season. With a good Pace Differential and so many points expected to be scored, Antetokounmpo brings too high a ceiling to overlook.

He should be fresh after missing the last two games with knee soreness, but he is considered probable for this contest. He had a couple of low-scoring games before missing time, but he made up for it with double-digit rebounds in nine of his past 11 games and an average of 5.4 assists over that stretch.

A well-rested Giannis against the banged-up Pacers makes a great place to start your FanDuel lineups in the early matchup.


Top Value: De’Andre Hunter vs. Miami Heat – $4,700 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel

The value options at power forward are a little thin on Monday’s slate, but Hunter does bring some good potential from an affordable price point. He has the third-highest Projected Plus/Minus of all power forwards on DraftKings, and he can still bring good upside on FanDuel, despite his salary being over $1,000 higher.

Since returning from a three-game injury absence around the holidays, Hunter has started seven straight games and reached double-digit scoring in each contest while posting a 20% usage rate. He has exceeded salary-based expectations in six of those seven games, averaging 18.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 0.9 steals per game for 30.0 DraftKings points per contest.

Hunter had 18 points and 29.25 DraftKings points in his first matchup this season with the Heat, and he will be a solid value play if he’s near that level again on Monday.

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Center

Top Ceiling: Bam Adebayo at Atlanta Hawks – $8,700 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel

Bam has been rolling lately with at least 20 points and a double-double in five of his last six games. He may have to deal with Clint Capela (calf, questionable) in this matchup, but Capela hasn’t played in so long that his minutes may be limited even if he is available.

Adebayo brings the highest ceiling projection at the position on DraftKings and the second-highest on FanDuel behind Julius Randle. He also has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus at center on FanDuel and the sixth-highest on DraftKings, indicating that he is a good value even at this salary of over $8K.

Even with a lousy outlier against the Nets figured in, Adebayo has averaged 22.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 45.8 DraftKings points in 34.4 minutes over his past six games. He also had 32 points and 44 DraftKings points in his earlier matchup with the Hawks.


Top Value: Precious Achiuwa at New York Knicks– $3,300 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel

Achiuwa tore a ligament in his ankle and was sidelined for almost two months. He has slowly been ramping up since returning and played 28 minutes on Saturday in his most recent contest.

In that matchup with the Hawks on Saturday, Achiuwa finished with 14 points and 21.5 DraftKings points, giving him double-digit points and at least 18 DraftKings points in three straight games. He can contribute in a variety of categories and should be able to easily return value at this bargain price point. He brings power forward eligibility on FanDuel, but his salary is even more attractive on DraftKings at barely over the minimum.

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