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: Tyrese Haliburton at Los Angeles Lakers – $9,400 DraftKings, $9,400 FanDuel
With 10 games on the slate to start the week, there are plenty of stars to consider for your lineups. Haliburton has the second-highest projected ceiling at point guard pool on both FanDuel and DraftKings in what should be a great matchup against the Lakers, who are one of the worst teams at defending point guards and play at the fastest pace in the NBA. Since the Pacers also play fast, this game starts the day tied for the highest total on the slate.
Haliburton has outperformed salary expectations in eight of his past 10 games on main slates on FanDuel and should be back to a full workload after playing reduced minutes (31) in Sunday’s blowout loss to the Clippers. Even in fewer minutes, he posted his fifth straight double-double.
In his 10 most recent games, Haliburton has nine double-doubles, averaging 17.6 points, 12.7 assists, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals for 47.8 DraftKings points and 46.4 FanDuel points per game. That averages out to 1.42 DraftKings points and 1.37 FanDuel points per minute.
In this up-tempo spot, he should be set to go off in the late game Monday night.
Top Value: Jose Alvarado vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – $4,300 DraftKings, $4,700 FanDuel
Alvarado has the highest Projected Plus/Minus at point guard on DraftKings on this slate and the second-highest on FanDuel behind De’Anthony Melton. Grand Theft Alvarado has been getting extra driving time with CJ McCollum in the health and safety protocol and has outperformed salary-based expectations in six of his past seven games.
He’s projected for an 18.8% usage rate in 29.0 minutes, giving him both a high floor and ceiling for such an affordable play. With McCollum off the floor this season, Alvarado has averaged 0.8 DraftKings points and 0.76 FanDuel points per minute.
The second-year point guard from Brooklyn has averaged 9.9 points, 4.3 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in 22.2 minutes per game over his past seven games, and he should continue to be a great value option in this favorable matchup against the Thunder.
Top Ceiling: Devin Booker at Sacramento Kings – $9,600 DraftKings, $9,200 FanDuel
Booker has the highest ceiling projection at shooting guard on this slate on DraftKings and is third on FanDuel behind Haliburton and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Booker has been carrying the Suns while Chris Paul (heel) has been sidelined. CP3 has returned to practice, and his return is likely close, but he will not play in this contest Monday.
In his most recent game last Saturday, Booker put together a masterpiece against the Jazz, scoring 27 points with 11 rebounds, seven assists, and 52.25 DraftKings points. It was his fourth game in his last six with over 40 DraftKings points, highlighted by a 49-point performance that resulted in over 75 DraftKings points and over 75 FanDuel points against the Jazz last week.
The Kings are no longer pushovers, for sure, but they play at the sixth-fastest pace in the NBA, giving the Suns the third-best Pace Differential on the slate. It’s a good spot to look for a ceiling game from Booker.
Top Value: De’Anthony Melton vs. Atlanta Hawks – $8,000 DraftKings, $6,200 FanDuel
Melton is ridiculously affordable on FanDuel at barely more than $6K, giving him a slate-leading +12.88 Projected Plus/Minus. On DraftKings, where he’s much more expensive, Shake Milton is a much better option. Milton is only $6,500 on DraftKings and brings the fourth-best Projected Plus/Minus at shooting guard. Both guards have been busy filling in the Sixers’ backcourt while Tyrese Maxey and James Harden have been sidelined.
On FanDuel, Melton outperformed salary expectations in four of his past six games, averaging 15.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists. His salary plummeted almost $2K for this matchup, setting up a great spot to use the classic buy-the-dip strategy.
On DraftKings, Milton is an excellent play after scoring at least 15 points in six straight games. He’s coming off a season-high 29 points on Sunday when he had 48.75 DraftKings points against the Magic. He also dominated Orlando on Friday for 55.75 DraftKings points on 24 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds.
The 76ers’ duo should bring value to your backcourt in this matchup with the Hawks, although their highly different salaries make each one more reasonable on the different sites.
Top Ceiling: Kevin Durant vs. Orlando Magic – $11,100 DraftKings, $10,300 FanDuel
Durant has the third-highest ceiling projection of any player on the slate on FanDuel and checks in fourth on DraftKings while leading all forwards. Durant and the Nets get a favorable matchup against the Magic, who were severely injury-depleted in the first game of their back-to-back on Sunday. They may be short-handed again on Monday, setting Durant up for a monster game as long as it doesn’t turn into too much of a blowout.
Durant hasn’t missed any of the Nets’ 21 games this season, playing over 30 minutes in every contest and averaging 49.8 DraftKings points and 49.5 FanDuel points on 29.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.8 blocked shots per game. He has scored over 30 points in back-to-back games coming into this contest, producing 62.25 DraftKings points in a road loss to Indiana Friday, followed by 45.75 DraftKings points in Sunday’s home win against the Trail Blazers.
In his 10 most recent games, Durant has posted over 45 DraftKings points seven times, with over 60 DraftKings points in two of those contests. He has an extremely high ceiling and regularly returns enough to be worth considering as a high-priced building block any time the Nets are on the slate.
Top Value: Trey Murphy III vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – $4,600 DraftKings, $4,300 FanDuel
Murphy has the highest Projected Plus/Minus of all small forwards on both DraftKings and FanDuel. While his teammate Alvarado has gotten a nice boost filling in for McCollum, Murphy’s expected bump in usage and opportunity comes from the expected absence of Brandon Ingram (toe, doubtful). Murphy just returned from an injury of his own, which may be why he’s still remarkably affordable.
The second-year wing had 21 points and 29.1 FanDuel points in his return last Friday and was one of the few bright spots in the Pelicans’ big loss to the Grizzlies. Murphy had over 15 points and at least three three-pointers in three of four games before his injury and has shown he can step up and fill in a scoring gap if needed.
With Ingram and McCollum off the floor this season, Murphy has had a 20.1% usage rate and produced 0.98 FanDuel points and 1.07 DraftKings points per minute.
Top Ceiling: LeBron James vs. Indiana Pacers – $10,900 DraftKings, $10,200 FanDuel
As discussed in the Haliburton spotlight, this game should be one of the highest-scoring of the evening. The Lakers lead the NBA in pace, and the Pacers are also in the top five. The Lakers also have the second-highest implied team total of the night.
James just returned from a five-game absence but had to take on much of the scoring responsibilities on Saturday after Anthony Davis (calf, questionable) was sidelined. The King was up to the task, scoring 39 points to go with 11 boards on his way to 64.25 DraftKings points and 58.7 FanDuel points. If he has to carry the load again in this contest with AD out or limited, he should be set up for a monster game in this environment.
Aside from Durant, James has the highest ceiling projection at power forward on both DraftKings and FanDuel, and a game stack of Haliburton and James should bring your lineups plenty of late points from the left coast.
Deni Avdija vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – $4,800 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel
Avdija has stepped into an increased role lately for the Wizards and has the fourth-highest projected Plus/Minus at power forward on this slate for both DraftKings and FanDuel. Washington was extremely short-handed on Sunday, but regardless of who is back in the mix, Avdija should retain enough usage to be a solid play under $5K.
He has outperformed his salary expectations in eight of his past nine games on FanDuel, including two ceiling performances. In those nine games, the 21-year-old from Israel has produced 11.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.9 blocks in 30.4 minutes per game.
His nice multi-category potential and increased involvement make him a good value option in this matchup against Minnesota.
Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Houston Rockets – $11,400 DraftKings, $11,200 FanDuel
Jokic and the Nuggets have the highest implied team total thanks to their cushy matchup against the up-tempo, defensively-challenged Rockets. Jokic always brings a high ceiling, but given the matchup, he’s worth considering even though his salary is over $11K on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
He has the highest ceiling projection at any position on DraftKings and the second-highest on FanDuel, behind only SGA. His median projection is three points higher than the Thunder’s superstar guard, though, since Jokic has been a much more steady producer.
Since returning from his stay in the health and safety protocols, Jokic has looked sharp, posting over 50 FanDuel points in his three games against the Pistons, Thunder, and Clippers. He had over 60 FanDuel points against the Thunder, falling just one assist short of a triple-double while adding 39 points and 10 rebounds in a season-high 43 minutes. The Nuggets aren’t shy about giving him a massive workload in close games, so as long as Houston keeps this game close, the Joker should be poised to deliver another big game.
Top Value: Kelly Olynyk vs. Chicago Bulls – $5,700 DraftKings, $5,300 FanDuel
Olynyk has the highest projected Plus/Minus at center on FanDuel and the third-highest at power forward. On DraftKings, he has the seventh-highest Projected Plus/Minus at the position since there are a few more bargain punt plays to consider.
In his first year in Utah, Olynyk has offered solid production, averaging 26.8 DraftKings points and 26.6 FanDuel points in 28.0 minutes per game. He has over 26 DraftKings points in four straight games, averaging 14.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game.
The Bulls should be a good matchup for Olynyk, and he’s an excellent way to round out your roster with steady production with a good ceiling.
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