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.
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: Jalen Brunson vs. Milwaukee Bucks – $8,100 DraftKings, $8,000 FanDuel
On both DraftKings and FanDuel, Brunson has a slightly higher ceiling projection than De’Aaron Fox, who is priced higher than him. He has the highest ceiling projection at point guard on both DraftKings and FanDuel and should be set up for a good game in an important matchup for his Knicks against the Bucks.
In his first season in New York, Brunson has been outstanding and has returned to an elite level quickly after being sidelined for three games by right hip soreness. In his three games since returning, he posted 35.8, 51.4, and 42 FanDuel points on 29.3 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.3 rebounds per game.
With RJ Barrett (finger) doubtful, Brunson will likely have to carry more of the offensive workload for the Knicks again in this contest. Since returning, Brunson has posted a 32.7% usage rate, which is right around his 31.2% usage rate when Barrett has been off the floor this season. He produces 1.14 DraftKings points and 1.11 FanDuel points per minute without Barrett, which makes him an excellent high-ceiling option Monday.
Top Value: Malcolm Brogdon vs. Chicago Bulls – $5,300 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
There is a ton of value at the point guard spot on this six-game slate. Tyus Jones will deserve a look as a value point guard if Ja Morant (thigh) misses a second straight game, and his brother Tre Jones is a good option on the other side of the Grizzlies-Spurs matchup. Keeping up with the Joneses, though, Brogdon should be in a good spot for the Celtics since Marcus Smart is doubtful after suffering a knee contusion on Saturday.
Even though he usually comes off the bench, Brogdon has an increased role without Smart, and the 30-year-old veteran has been playing some of his best basketball of the season over the past few games. Brogdon has scored at least 15 points in three straight games, including a 23-point performance against the Spurs in the game in which Smart was injured. As usual, Brogdon added good non-scoring numbers as well, chipping in seven assists and two rebounds on his way to 35.9 FanDuel points and 38.5 DraftKings points.
Brogdon has exceeded salary-based expectations on FanDuel in seven of his past 10 games. He brings the highest Projected Plus/Minus at point guard on DraftKings and the third-highest on FanDuel. As long as Smart is out as expected, he’s a good value play with a safe floor and a high ceiling.
Top Ceiling: Jaylen Brown vs. Chicago Bulls – $9,500 DraftKings, $9,000 FanDuel
Brown is another member of the Celtics expected to get a boost from Smart’s absence, and he has the highest ceiling projection at shooting guard on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He has a 31.8% usage projection, the highest of all shooting guards, and has been producing 1.28 DraftKings points per minute and 1.22 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, the highest rate of any shooting guard available on Monday.
Brown has scored at least 29 points in seven of his past eight games, with at least 39 DraftKings points in six of those contests. He doesn’t add the same non-scoring stats as some of the top options in the NBA, but on this slate, he is set up for the highest ceiling since he may have to take on more work without Smart. The Celtics also have the third-highest Implied Team Total on the slate.
Top Value: Desmond Bane vs. San Antonio Spurs – $6,600 DraftKings, $6,700 FanDuel
With uncertainty around Morant and Steven Adams, who both missed Sunday’s game, Bane has the highest Projected Plus/Minus of all shooting guards on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Bane went off Sunday with 50.7 FanDuel points and 51.5 DraftKings points on 24 points, nine assists, two steals, and a block. He exceeded salary-based expectations by significant margins in the past two games and seems to be returning to form.
Bane showed this kind of upside early in the season but then missed over a month with a toe injury. He has been ramping back up but looks ready to resume his breakout season. Make sure to check out Memphis’s injury report, but as long as Bane isn’t given the night for injury maintenance, he should be in a spot to smash the Spurs.
Top Ceiling: LeBron James at Denver Nuggets – $10,900 DraftKings, $11,200 FanDuel
What LeBron has been doing in his 20th season in the NBA is amazing. He’s carrying the Lakers’ offense almost single-handedly while Anthony Davis (foot) is out and putting up absurd numbers for a 38-year-old. He has the highest ceiling projection of all small forwards on DraftKings and the second-highest on FanDuel behind only Giannis Antetokounmpo.
James has averaged 33.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and 0.7 steals per game over his past 13 contests and has been remarkably consistent. He has scored at least 30 points in 10 of those 13 games and posted over 50 DraftKings points in 11.
During that run, the King dropped 30 points and had 50.75 DKFP in an 18-point win over the Nuggets. He’s a solid cornerstone to build around in this rematch since he continues to play such a vital role for the Lakers.
Top Value: Naji Marshall at Washington Wizards – $5,500 DraftKings, $6,000 FanDuel
The Pelicans will continue to be without Zion Williamson (hamstring) and Brandon Ingram (toe) for this matchup with the Wizards. They will get C.J. McCollum back from his rest night, but Marshall should still maintain an expanded role. He has the third-highest Projected Plus/Minus at small forward on DraftKings and the sixth-highest on FanDuel, where he has been priced up a little.
Marshall has scored double-digit points in eight of his nine most recent games, averaging 15.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.2 steals in 30 minutes per contest. He has been even better in the past two games, posting over 40 FanDuel points in back-to-back games against the Nets and Mavericks. On Friday, he had 23 points, nine rebounds, and three steals and followed that up with three more steals on Saturday to go with 24 points, four assists, and two rebounds.
The Pelicans are still a fun, high-energy squad without their stars, and Marshall should continue to be a good fantasy value while filling in.
Top Ceiling: Giannis Antetokounmpo at New York Knicks – $12,000 DraftKings, $11,800 FanDuel
Antetokounmpo is coming off his worst performance in a long time. He was held to just nine points and 12.5 DKFP in a bizarre game on Friday night in Charlotte, where the Hornets scored 51 points in the first quarter and won by 29. Giannis only played 22 minutes and failed to reach double-digit points for the first time since April 29, 2021, a game where he played just 46 seconds before leaving with an injury.
Before the bizarre outlier, Giannis had posted back-to-back monster games against the Wizards and Raptors. He had 55 points and 81 DraftKings points against Washington last Tuesday and followed that with 30 points, 21 rebounds, and 72.25 DraftKings points on Wednesday in Toronto. He had over 72 DraftKings points in four straight games before his weird letdown, and this should be a spot for him to get back on track in a visit to Madison Square Garden.
Antetokounmpo had 30 points, 14 rebounds, nine assists, and 66 DraftKings points when he faced the Knicks earlier this season. Khris Middleton (knee) is still out, so there is still plenty of heavy lifting for Giannis as he looks to put Friday’s outlier behind him.
Top Value: Harrison Barnes vs. Orlando Magic – $5,600 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel
Barnes has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus at both small forward and power forward on FanDuel and is also in the top five in Projected Plus/Minus at both positions on DraftKings.
All season long, Barnes has been a key glue guy for Sacramento and is averaging a solid 25.15 DraftKings points and 24.59 FanDuel points in 31.8 minutes per game. He has been stepping things up a little bit recently, with over 15 points in his past four contests while exceeding salary-based expectations in each.
The Magic are still a mess in the frontcourt and have been a favorable matchup for forwards. Barnes is a solid mid-range play with good upside and can be a nice value if you’re spending under $6K at one of your forward spots.
Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Los Angeles Lakers – $11,700 DraftKings, $11,400 FanDuel
Jokic has the highest ceiling projection on the entire slate by a wide margin on both DraftKings and FanDuel. If you’re paying up for one superstar, he’s poised to be the priority based on this juicy matchup against the Lakers, who are very thin up front. Jokic has the highest Projected Plus/Minus at the center position on FanDuel and the third-highest Projected Plus/Minus at the center position on DraftKings, showing he’s actually under-priced even though he’s almost $12K.
The two-time defending MVP has been incredible lately. Dating back to December 1, he has averaged 27.9 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 10.1 assists over his 18 contests. He has at least 58 DraftKings points in 12 of his past 17 games and is coming off a strong showing last Friday when he had 28 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists, 63 FanDuel points, and 69.75 DraftKings points in a win over the Cavs.
He had 68.75, 54.5, and 58.25 DraftKings points in his first three matchups against the Lakers this season, and he’s in an excellent spot to drop another monster performance at home on Monday night. The Nuggets have the highest Implied Team Total on the board and the highest Pace Differential of any team on the slate. When their offense is at peak performance, the Joker usually racks up plenty of fantasy production.
Top Value: Xavier Tillman vs. San Antonio Spurs – $3,900 DraftKings, $3,600 FanDuel
With Adams sidelined on Sunday, Tillman got his first start of the season for the Grizzlies and set a season-high with 33 minutes. He finished with over 30 fantasy points on both DraftKings and FanDuel with nine points, nine rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
The Spurs are a very favorable matchup for opposing centers, and Tillman should be able to post good numbers from this extremely affordable salary. Even before Adams was out, Tillman exceeded salary-based expectations in back-to-back games, playing over 17 minutes and producing 26.5 and 17.5 DraftKings points, so there’s a chance he’s a good play at this price even if Adams is available.
Adams isn’t in the initial projections for the day, giving Tillman the fifth-highest Projected Plus/Minus of all centers on FanDuel and the seventh-highest Projected Plus/Minus of centers on DraftKings.
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