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: Damian Lillard at Detroit Pistons – $11,600 DraftKings, $10,800 FanDuel
The Blazers will finish their back-to-back set with a favorable matchup against the Pistons in the Motor City. Their injury report will be one of the most important on the slate, so keep a close eye out for the latest news to see exactly who is available and how the workload will be divided up.
Without Jusuf Nurkic (calf) and Anfernee Simons (ankle) recently, Lillard has been in full beast mode. He has 30+ points in eight of his last nine contests, averaging 40.1 points on a 39.5% usage rate. During that stretch, he has produced 1.65 DraftKings points and 1.56 FanDuel points per minute and averaged 37.2 minutes per game.
With Simons, Nurkic, and Josh Hart (traded to the Knicks) off the floor this season, Lillard’s usage jumps to 42.3%, and he has produced 1.78 DraftKings points and 1.7 FanDuel points per minute.
In a smash spot against the Pistons, he has the highest projected ceiling on the entire slate.
While Lillard may be best known for his scoring, our simulations for PrizePicks like his chances of getting at least 13 rebounds + assists on Monday’s slate:
Top Value: Tyrese Maxey at Indiana Pacers – $5,500 DraftKings, $6,800 FanDuel
It has been an up-and-down year for Philly’s high-energy third-year point guard, but Maxey has recently seemed to find a nice rhythm alongside the superstar tandem of Joel Embiid and James Harden. While those two stars are good options to target in this favorable spot against the Pacers, Maxey comes at a more reasonable salary and could get extra work if Harden or Embiid take this trip to Indy as a chance to take it easy.
The Pacers-Sixers matchup has the second-highest over/under of the six games on Monday’s slate, and the Sixers have the second-highest Implied Team Total.
In that favorable game environment, Maxey has the highest projected Plus/Minus of any point guard on DraftKings and the sixth-highest at the position on FanDuel, where he is a little more expensive. He’s also eligible at shooting guard on both sites and in the top eight in projected Plus/Minus at that roster spot as well.
Maxey has returned to the starting lineup for the Sixers’ three most recent games and scored over 25 points in each contest. He averaged 38.1 FanDuel points and 39.0 DraftKings points in those games, producing just over 1.0 fantasy points per minute in both scoring systems.
Top Ceiling: James Harden at Indiana Pacers – $10,100 DraftKings, $10,300 FanDuel
Harden has exceeded salary-based expectations in seven of his past 10 contests on both DraftKings and FanDuel with an average Plus/Minus of +4.41 FanDuel points and +2.46 DraftKings points. He has the highest ceiling projection of all shooting guards on FanDuel and trails only Dame at point guard. While he isn’t eligible at shooting guard on DraftKings, he still deserves consideration on that site since he offers $1.5K in salary savings compared to Lillard.
Over his past 10 games, he has averaged 1.35 DraftKings points and 1.30 FanDuel points per minute. He has six double-doubles during that span, and he’s scored more than 45 FanDuel points and 50 DraftKings points in three of his past four contests.
The Beard is worth considering in a high-octane matchup against the Pacers, especially if Tobias Harris (calf) is unavailable. Harden’s usage rate goes from 25.2% with Harris on the floor to 31.7% with Harris off the floor, and his production rates increase to 1.47 FanDuel points and 1.51 DraftKings points per minute.
Top Value: Shaedon Sharpe at Detroit Pistons – $3,500 DraftKings, $4,300 FanDuel
The Blazers should be in a great spot to provide value in their matchup with the injury-depleted Pistons. Sharpe is extremely affordable on DraftKings, where he has the second-highest projected Plus/Minus at point guard behind Maxey and the fifth-highest at shooting guard. On FanDuel, he’s only shooting guard eligible but still ranks in the top four at the position in projected Plus/Minus.
The rookie from Canada is still a few months shy of his 20th birthday, but he has assumed a much more significant role for the Blazers since they traded away Hart. Over his past 10 games, Sharpe has averaged exactly 10.0 points in 23.3 minutes per game while producing 0.82 DraftKings points and 0.82 FanDuel points per minute.
At this affordable salary, Sharpe should be able to exceed salary-based expectations in this matchup in Detroit. He could end up a must-play depending on who exactly Portland gives the night off, but he’s a strong bargain play to consider even if the Blazers don’t give anyone the night off.
Top Ceiling: Jimmy Butler vs. Atlanta Hawks – $8,900 DraftKings, $8,800 FanDuel
Butler brings the second-highest ceiling projection at small forward on both DraftKings and FanDuel, behind only Jayson Tatum. He can also move over to power forward on FanDuel, where he also brings the second-highest ceiling projection ahead of a few more expensive options.
Butler and the Heat host the Hawks to finish their two-game series that began on Saturday. In Miami’s eight-point win, Butler had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds on his way to 44.25 DraftKings points and 42.7 FanDuel points. That performance gives him over 40 fantasy points on both sites in four of his past five most recent contests. In those games, he has produced 1.39 DraftKings points and 1.41 FanDuel points per minute.
On FanDuel, Butler seems especially underpriced and brings the highest projected Plus/Minus of any small forward and the second-highest of any power forward on the slate.
Top Value: Cam Reddish at Detroit Pistons – $4,300 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel
After spending much of the season in the Knicks’ doghouse, Reddish has been liberated by his move the Portland. He has scored double-digit points in seven of his nine games with Portland, including each of his past four.
In his expanded role in this favorable matchup, he brings the second-highest projected Plus/Minus at both shooting guard and small forward on DraftKings. On FanDuel, he has the second-highest projected Plus/Minus at shooting guard and the sixth-highest at small forward.
Reddish has found his groove in his four most recent games, averaging 16.0 points in 30.9 minutes and producing 0.85 DraftKings points and 0.82 FanDuel points per minute. Although those numbers aren’t elite, if he keeps playing over 30 minutes a game, he should be a strong source of value in this matchup.
Top Ceiling: Jayson Tatum at Cleveland Cavaliers – $10,600 DraftKings, $11,200 FanDuel
The Celtics lost a double-overtime thriller to the Knicks on Sunday, so their injury report on Monday will be interesting. They could opt to give many of their stars a night off in what should be a rough, physical matchup with the Cavs on the road.
If he does play, Tatum brings a high ceiling. On both DraftKings and FanDuel, he has the highest ceiling projection at both forward positions. On the season, he’s averaging 52.4 DraftKings points and 50.6 FanDuel points per game at a rate of 1.42 DraftKings points and 1.35 FanDuel points per minute.
Tatum has posted five double-doubles in his six games since the All-Star break and had 41 points to go with 11 rebounds and eight assists on his way to 68.75 DraftKings points and 63.2 FanDuel points in a matchup with the Cavs last week. He posted a similar 66.25 DraftKings points and 60.2 FanDuel points in Sunday’s defeat, but he did play 49 minutes.
Keep a close eye on his availability, but if he plays, there’s no denying his ceiling.
Top Value: Marvin Bagley III vs. Portland Trail Blazers – $5,500 DraftKings, $6,200 FanDuel
Bagley brings the highest projected Plus/Minus by a comfortable margin across the industry in this matchup with the Trail Blazers. He has been excellent since returning from his finger injury and should have a clear path to playing time with Jalen Duren (ankle) and Isaiah Stewart (hip) still out and James Wiseman (knee) questionable.
Bagley has played four games since returning on February 25 and produced over 20 points and 10 rebounds in three of them. He has averaged a robust 1.43 DraftKings points and 1.43 FanDuel points per minute over that span.
On Saturday, the former No. 2 overall pick returned to the starting five and responded with 20 points, 13 boards, and three blocks for 48.6 FanDuel points and 48.25 DraftKings points against Cleveland. He should bring great value again on Monday in a more favorable matchup.
Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Toronto Raptors – $11,800 DraftKings, $12,000 FanDuel
Jokic and Embiid are pretty much even in most of the projections for Monday night, but Jokic feels a little bit safer to me because of less blowout potential. He’s also at home, where he has been especially unstoppable. He edges out Embiid in our DraftKings projections, while Embiid gets a slight edge on FanDuel.
Jokic has been a little uneven coming back from the All-Star break by his lofty standards, but he has posted a triple-double in three straight games and five of his past six. In his five games since the break, he has averaged 1.68 DraftKings points and 1.64 FanDuel points per minute, which are on par with his season averages. His down games have been more a result of minutes being managed in blowouts, either for or against his Nuggets.
He showed he can still hit his ceiling with a 40-point triple-double that resulted in 83.4 FanDuel points and 86.25 DraftKings points against the Clippers last Sunday, and he had over 55 FanDuel points and 60 DraftKings points in his most recent contest as well.
Top Value: Mike Muscala at Cleveland Cavaliers – $3,300 DraftKings, $4,000 FanDuel
The Celtics’ rotation on Monday is still very uncertain, but one thing we can be sure of is that they won’t have Robert Williams (hamstring). Al Horford has also not played many back-to-backs and played 46 minutes on Sunday. Muscala only played 12 minutes in their last contest but could be asked to step into a much more significant role on Monday against the Cavs, especially since they tend to play big lineups.
Since being traded to Boston, Muscala has averaged 0.76 DraftKings points and 0.71 FanDuel points per minute over 115 minutes across seven games. He did get one start just before the All-Star break and finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, 29.6 FanDuel points, and 31 DraftKings points. If he’s in a similar spot Monday night, he should be poised to return good value.
He has the second-highest projected Plus/Minus of all centers on FanDuel and the third-highest at the position on DraftKings.