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.
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 vs. Phoenix Suns – $10,000 DraftKings, $10,200 FanDuel
The Spurs have lost nine of their last 11 games, but at least they have found their point guard of the future. That would be Dejounte Murray. In his fifth season with the Spurs, Murray has flourished. He is averaging a career-high in nearly every stat, including 19.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 8.9 assists per game — nearly a triple-double. Murray also competes defensively, where he leads the league in steals with 2.1 per game. He has become an incredible two-way player this season.
The matchup against the Suns presents a difficult spot for Murray, as they rank second in the league in Defensive Rating and fifth in points allowed with 104.5 per game. However, where Murray and the Spurs can take advantage is in transition. The Spurs rank fourth in transition while the Spurs rank sixth. The Suns allow 17.8 points in transition, and this game has a 227 point total. Murray will thrive in this uptempo atmosphere.
Top Value: Tre Mann at Dallas Mavericks – $3,000 DraftKings, $4,000 FanDuel
This is another slate where value is a little tricky. We’re going to rely on the model to produce our value options. Coming in at the minimum salary on DraftKings tonight is the best value guard play on the slate with Thunder guard Tre Mann. He has the highest projected Plus/Minus among all the non-center options. Mann is decent on FanDuel, but DraftKings is where I want my exposure given his 93% Bargain Rating.
The big reason why Mann is popping is the minutes. Since returning from the COVID protocols, Mann has averaged 21.5 minutes per game in his last six games. He has also shown upside recently with a 31.5-point DraftKings performance against the Nets two games ago. Mann is active on the floor and can fill up the stat sheet in a variety of ways. He provides the best way to get up to the studs on this slate.
Top Ceiling: Donovan Mitchell at Los Angeles Lakers – $9,000 DraftKings, $8,200 FanDuel
After a 31-point performance last night, I am going back to Donovan Mitchell as my favorite ceiling shooting guard tonight. He has had a positive Plus/Minus in 17 of his last 21 games. Mitchell remains a fantastic play on FanDuel, where he has a 94% Bargain Rating. He has been highly consistent, which is fantastic for cash games. Mitchell has scored over 30 points in three of his last four games.
Mitchell’s matchup against the Lakers is very enticing as they rank third in Pace this season. They also allow 113.3 points per game, which ranks as the fourth-highest in the league. This game has the highest total on the slate at 232.5 points, with the Jazz implied to score 117.75 points. Mitchell hasn’t played under 33 minutes in a game since December 17th. The minutes are great, the usage is high, and the matchup is fantastic.
Top Value: RJ Hampton vs. Portland Trail Blazers – $3,500 DraftKings, $3,900 FanDuel
It feels weird to target RJ Hampton when fellow Magic guards Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs are back from injury. However, the Magic are running a three-guard rotation, so taking the cheapest of the three seems to be the best option. This is their third game in four nights, so there’s also a chance that Suggs could sit. Regardless, the minutes are there for Hampton. He has played over 20 minutes in back-to-back games.
Not only are the minutes there, but this is probably the best matchup on the slate hosting the Trail Blazers. All three of the guards can stuff the stat sheet in this game. The Trail Blazers rank last in Defensive Rating and have allowed opponents to shoot a league-high 47.9% from the field and 37.8% from behind the arc. There will be plenty of opportunities for all of these Magic guards to produce value. Let’s go with the cheapest option.
Top Ceiling: Jimmy Butler vs. Toronto Raptors – $8,900 DraftKings, $9,100 FanDuel
Jimmy Butler has been in and out of the Heat lineup since November 27th. He has played in eight of a possible 23 games for the Heat in the last month and a half. Butler has played back-to-back games with one good game and one bad game. He shot 1-for-11 in his last game against the 76ers. The Heat will be playing without Kyle Lowry on Monday, while Bam Adebayo is questionable after missing 22-straight games.
Using our On/Off tool, with Lowry and Adebayo off the floor this season, Butler has averaged a team-high 1.32 DraftKings points per minute. Even if Adebayo plays, Butler has averaged 1.26 DraftKings points per minute with Lowry off the floor. The ball will be in Butler’s hands most of the game. Playing three games in four nights is tough, but Butler deserves consideration at this cheap price tag as long as he’s in the lineup.
Top Value: Max Strus vs. Toronto Raptors – $4,300 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel
Staying with the Heat, value option Max Strus is also popping in our model without Lowry in the lineup. There is no doubt that Strus has struggled since coming back from the COVID protocols, but his salary has dipped far too low. He has an 88% Bargain Rating on DraftKings and is projected to play 28 minutes. He has a negative Plus/Minus in four-straight games, but has had over a 20% usage rate in all of them.
Strus will get his shots up, and most of them will come from long-distance, which is why DraftKings makes the most sense for him with their 3-point bonus. Of the 8.7 field goal attempts per game for Strus, 73.6% of them have come from behind the arc. He shoots 41.7% from downtown, while the Raptors allow opponents to shoot 36.0% from 3-point range. That’s tied for the fifth-worst mark in the league.
Note: Max Strus is only SG eligible on FanDuel.
Top Ceiling: Kristaps Porzingis vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – $7,900 DraftKings, $9,400 FanDuel
Power forward on DraftKings is very bleak tonight as Kristaps Porzingis is the top option and he is priced under $8,000. Porzingis returned from the COVID protocols last game, but only played 28 minutes due to the Mavericks big victory. In that time, he finished with 19 points and seven rebounds. Playing that many minutes in his first game since December 31st was promising. Porzingis is projected to play 32 minutes tonight.
This is the fourth consecutive season in which Porzingis has averaged over 20 points per game. However, his rebounding numbers have been a little down. Playing against the Thunder should help those numbers as they allow a league-high 48.3 rebounds per game. This game has a low total at 210 points, but Porzingis has appeal at this price tag on DraftKings given his 97% Bargain Rating.
Top Value: OG Anunoby at Miami Heat – $6,700 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel
Unlike the other value plays, OG Anunoby is priced in the mid-range. He is impossible to ignore in our model as he is popping on both sites as the best value at power forward. The salary for Anunoby is far too low, especially on FanDuel. Since returning from injury, Anunoby has had a positive Plus/Minus in six of his last nine games. He’s averaged 19.4 points and 31.0 FanDuel points per game over that stretch.
Not only has Anunoby been playing really well lately, but the minutes are still there as if he never left. He is averaging 36.2 minutes per game this season. The Raptors run their starters into the ground when they are healthy and in the lineup. The Heat play extremely slow and have a top-10 defense, which is why the Raptors are only implied for 103 points. That honestly doesn’t matter to me at this cheap Anunoby salary.
Top Ceiling: LeBron James vs. Utah Jazz – $10,900 DraftKings, $11,200 FanDuel
Seeing LeBron James as only center eligible on DraftKings is weird, especially when he is the highest priced center on the slate. James and the Lakers are coming off a major dud performance where they lost to the Nuggets 133-96. However, that was only the second time in the last 13 games where James did not score 31 or more points. James is averaging 33.5 points during that stretch while shooting 54.2% from the field.
The Lakers have lost three-straight games as they host the fourth-ranked team in the Western Conference. Not only has James been balling lately, but he is playing monster minutes. He has to. James is tied for third in the entire league in minutes at 36.7 per game. He is the highest-priced player on both sites, and while the matchup isn’t ideal, James is essentially matchup-proof.
Note: LeBron James is SF/PF eligible on FanDuel
Top Value: Jock Landale vs. Phoenix Suns – $4,000 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel
Deciding between Jock Landale and Dwight Howard was difficult for the value center option. Howard is only viable if he starts again. If DeAndre Ayton is out, Jalen Smith and JaVale McGee are also firmly in play. There is a lot of news to monitor at the center position. Landale is the safest option right now, as he will play around 17 minutes no matter what. He has had a positive Plus/Minus in four of his last five games.
Landale is the backup to Spurs center Jakob Poeltl, who is expected to play tonight after missing last game due to injury. He will be another name to monitor the closer we get to lock. Without Poeltl last game, Landale had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds in 26 minutes. The best part about this value play is that even if Poeltl is playing, Landale will get his minutes regardless. Stay up on the news for this position.