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.
Let’s dive into our models, going position-by-position, looking at guys with some of the highest Ceiling Projections, along with players who are standing out as values with our predictive Projected Plus/Minus metric.
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: Trae Young vs. Washington Wizards – $9,300 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel
After a three-game road trip, the Atlanta Hawks return home to face the Washington Wizards, who are 5-1 this season. No one is happier to return home than Trae Young, who really struggled to find his shooting groove on the road. Young is shooting 39% from the field and 23.8% from 3-point range on the road, while at home, those numbers balloon to 51.4% from the field and 40% from behind the arc. Something about State Farm Arena gets him going.
The price has come down, especially on FanDuel, where he has a 91% Bargain Rating. This matchup just went down in Washington, with the Wizards winning 122-111, with Young having 15 points and 13 assists. The best part about Young this season is when his shot isn’t falling; at least he is dropping dimes. Young is second in the league in assists averaging a career-high 10.0 per game. He has yet to have a game with fewer than seven assists. That safety is nice with the assists, but I also think Young finds his shot at home tonight.
Top Value: Collin Sexton at Charlotte Hornets – $5,900 DraftKings, $6,400 FanDuel
The highest-rated point guard on DraftKings in the Phan Model tonight is Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton. He isn’t the safest of options due to his sporadic minutes that he has been playing. I would recommend Sexton in tournaments tonight instead of cash games. He played 38 minutes last Wednesday against the Clippers but only 19 minutes on Saturday against the Suns. Granted, that was their third game in four nights and a back-to-back, but it still made no sense why the Cavaliers played Dean Wade in his spot from the 6:23 minute mark of the third quarter until the end of the game.
This price tag, if we get the 38 minutes of Sexton, is far too cheap for his upside. He still leads the Cavaliers with a 27.3% usage rate. This matchup against the Charlotte Hornets has the highest over/under on the slate at 222.5, with the Hornets favored by 5.5 points. This is a pace-up spot for the Cavaliers which should feed right into how Sexton wants to play. Sexton is tied for 11th in transition field goals made this season with 2.1 per game this season. If you can trust the playing time and minutes, Sexton presents a great value play tonight.
Top Ceiling: CJ McCollum at Philadelphia 76ers – $8,000 DraftKings, $8,300 FanDuel
Let’s go right back to the CJ McCollum well tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers. It won’t be long until Damian Lillard actually finds his groove, but until he does, we need to take advantage and keep playing McCollum, who continues to cook. McCollum is averaging a career-high 24.3 points per game while shooting 43.3% from 3-point range. He also leads the Trail Blazers in usage rate with 30.1%. He is simply the better guard option from the Trail Blazers right now.
Not only is McCollum burning out the nets, but he is also becoming a great defender right before our eyes. Before last night’s game where he had zero, McCollum has had at least three combined steals and blocks in five straight games. Those defensive stats add up pretty quickly in fantasy points and present a very good floor. The Trail Blazers play at the third-fastest pace in the league, and this game has an over/under of 221 points which are tied for the second-best on the slate.
McCollum is a safe cash game play tonight. Continue to ride the hot hand.
Top Value: Jalen Suggs at Minnesota Timberwolves – $5,300 DraftKings, $5,100 FanDuel
Is anyone up for a little homecoming game? Jalen Suggs was one of the best athletes Minnesota has seen in a while in high school. He could’ve gone Division 1 in football as a quarterback. Usually, I don’t mention homecoming games, but this seems significant in Suggs’ first game playing in Minnesota since his high school days. Despite the great play from teammate Cole Anthony, Suggs still leads the Orlando Magic in usage rate this season with 26.3%.
Suggs struggled early on in his season, but in the last two games, he has outperformed his projected points on FanDuel by over 10 points. That is where I like him the best tonight as he has an 83% Bargain Rating despite his price jumping up $500. For cash games, Suggs seems like a perfect fit for one of your four guard positions on FanDuel. He provides you with great savings and a high upside. The Timberwolves have been solid defensively this season, but last season they allowed the second-most points in the league with 117.7 per game. Suggs is my favorite value guard on the slate.
Top Ceiling: Paul George vs. OKC Thunder – $10,700 DraftKings, $10,100 FanDuel
No doubt there will be some sticker shock on the Paul George price on DraftKings at $10,700. It is $400 higher than it has been all season and maybe the highest it has ever been in his career. He is the second highest-priced player on DraftKings and the third on FanDuel. I do prefer George on FanDuel tonight, where he has a 91% Bargain Rating. However, don’t be scared off too much on DraftKings if you can find the salary to pay up for him.
George has been fantastic this season and has a great matchup at home against the OKC Thunder. He has the third-highest usage rate at 34.2% and is fourth in the league in points with 27.6 per game. He is shooting a career-high 50% from the field and is also delivering on the defensive end with a league-best 3.4 steals per game. The Thunder rank 28th in Defensive Rating and have allowed their opponents to shoot 46.8% from the field, which is the fourth-highest mark in the league.
The price tag is high, especially on DraftKings, but George is worth every penny in this matchup.
Top Value: Cam Reddish vs. Washington Wizards – $4,500 DraftKings, $5,300 FanDuel
We’re going to another Atlanta Hawks player for our small forward value in Cam Reddish. He had a lot of comparisons to Paul George coming out of college, and he’s finally healthy and starting to play like the lottery pick that he was. Reddish is second on the Hawks in usage rate with 27.3% and points with 16.2 per game. The next closest in usage rate is John Collins at 19.9%, so it is a pretty large gap between Reddish and Collins.
Even though I really like Trae Young tonight, I think you can pair him with Reddish and even go for a full game stack while running it back with some players on the Washington Wizards. This game has a total of 221 points, so there is a lot of fantasy goodness to go around. Reddish has attempted 14 field goals in every game except for one this season. He has a steal in each of his last four games. This price is too cheap for a player with this much talent in a great matchup.
I prefer Reddish on DraftKings, where he has an 86% Bargain Rating.
Top Ceiling: Julius Randle vs. Toronto Raptors – $9,700 DraftKings, $9,500 FanDuel
If I am paying up at power forward tonight, the decision is tough between Domantas Sabonis and Julius Randle. There are a lot of injury question marks with the Indiana Pacers, which may make Sabonis the better play, but without knowing who plays and who doesn’t, I’ll roll with Randle. Randle leads the New York Knicks in usage rate this season with 27.1% and remains a threat for a triple-double, especially in this matchup against an undersized Toronto Raptors frontcourt.
Randle is playing heavy minutes per usual with a Tom Thibodeau-coached team. He is tied for fifth in minutes among the entire league with 37.3 per game. Randle’s field goal attempts were down the past two games, but I don’t expect that to be the norm. Kemba Walker and RJ Barrett had it going in both games, but they can’t be trusted with their consistency.
This matchup with the Raptors will be a grit and grind. It is tied for the lowest over/under on the slate at 211. Call me crazy, but I’d rather target Randle in these type of games than in a high-paced environment. Slow the game down, get Randle on the block and let’s go to work. The ball should be in Randle’s hands enough tonight to pay off this lofty price tag on both sites.
Top Value: Jaren Jackson Jr. vs Denver Nuggets – $5,400 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel
Can we just stay out of foul trouble for ONE game please Jaren Jackson Jr.? He is addicted to fouling. Jackson Jr. is tied for the eighth-most fouls this season with 22. I’m hoping tonight that his teammate Steven Adams handles Nikola Jokic down low so Jackson Jr. can roam around guarding Michael Porter Jr., who rarely seems to draw fouls. The thing is if Jackson Jr. isn’t fouling, he is an extremely productive player. He leads the Grizzlies in blocks with 1.7 per game, is third on the team in usage rate with 23.5%, and has attempted double-digit field goal attempts in every game this season.
Jackson Jr. is preferred on DraftKings, where he has an 88% Bargain Rating. There is a lot of room at his price to exceed his value tonight, even if he does get in a little bit of foul trouble. He has scored over 30 DraftKings points in half of the games this season and has yet to have a double-double. The 40-point game is out there, and it could happen tonight.
Top Ceiling: Nikola Vucevic at Boston Celtics – $9,400 DraftKings, $8,200 FanDuel
The highest-rated center on FanDuel tonight in the Phan Model is Nikola Vucevic. He has a 95% Bargain Rating on FanDuel, where he is the lowest price he has been all season. He has yet to score 35 or lower FanDuel points. He has definitely shown to be the model of consistency, averaging a double-double with 15.8 points per game and 11.0 rebounds per game. Vucevic actually has averaged a double-double for five consecutive years and nine out of his 11 years since his rookie season.
The 5-1 Chicago Bulls play in Boston tonight against the Celtics, who are off to a terrible 2-4 start. The Celtics have been getting dominated on the glass so far this season. They have allowed their opponents to grab 52.7 rebounds per game which is the second-worst in the league. Might as well lock in Vucevic for his double-double right now. He is averaging a career-low 38.9% field goal percentage. Far lower than he has ever had. I think that comes back up sooner rather than later, and I would like to be on that Vucevic game when it does.
Top Value: Wendall Carter Jr. at Minnesota Timberwolves – $5,700 DraftKings, $4,800 FanDuel
Another player very similar to Collin Sexton, but at the center position, tonight is Wendall Carter Jr. I have to refrain him to just tournaments tonight due to his minutes scare from last game. Chuma Okeke is back in the mix from injury, but it was actually Moritz Wagner who took most of Carter Jr.’s minutes last game against the Detroit Pistons. If we can find the 30 minutes tonight that he was averaging in the previous five games, Carter Jr. provides a lot of upside tonight.
The Minnesota Timberwolves, outside of Karl-Anthony Towns, are very small in their interior part of defense. Towns isn’t the most intimidating shot blocker either. With Mo Bamba and Towns locking it up all night, Carter Jr. should have his way with a very undersized power forward in Jaden McDaniels. Carter Jr. is averaging a career-high in points with 12.6 per game and is nearly averaging a double-double with 9.3 rebounds per game. He has the upside to have a great game tonight with his price and in this matchup.
NOTE – Joel Embiid is out tonight, which makes Andre Drummond a fantastic value center at both DraftKings ($4,400) and FanDuel ($5400).