Our Blog


NBA DFS (Saturday, Mar 19): Top Model Picks and Value Plays on DraftKings and FanDuel

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 for NBA DFS on Saturday, March 19, 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.

Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to hand-build your teams.

Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates.

Point Guard

Top Ceiling: Luka Doncic at Charlotte Hornets – $11,800 DraftKings, $10,900 FanDuel

There are two players priced over $9,100 on DraftKings and over $8,500 on FanDuel. One of them is Luka Doncic who is the highest-priced player on the slate. Doncic has been a little inconsistent lately, but the upside is impossible to ignore. On a short slate like this, raw points mean so much and Doncic is as good as it gets. He continues to lead the league in usage rate this season.

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

The matchup against the Hornets really sets Doncic above the rest of the slate as they rank 23rd in Defensive Rating and third in Pace. They allow 114.8 points per game which ranks as the third-highest in the league. Doncic ranks in the top five in both points and assists per game showing his upside. He missed their last game against the Hornets, but he will make up for that tonight.


Top Value: Ish Smith vs. Los Angeles Lakers – $4,100 DraftKings, $4,900 FanDuel

The point guard value is looking quite bleak right now. Unless more value opens up, Ish Smith is the best option, especially on DraftKings. Smith has played 23 or more minutes in three of his last four games. He can randomly show upside like he did earlier this month. Less than two weeks ago Smith had 13 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds for 39.3 DraftKings points against the Pacers.

Playing against the Lakers has shown to be a great fantasy matchup. They rank sixth in Pace and allow the fifth-most points against with 113.8 per game. The Wizards are implied for a slate-high 115.25 points as they are three-point home favorites. This game also has the highest total on the slate at 228.5 points. Smith is the fourth highest-priced Wizards player and deserves consideration.

Shooting Guard

Top Ceiling: Cade Cunningham at Cleveland Cavaliers – $8,300 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel

Cade Cunningham has missed the last two games for the Pistons with an illness. He is probable to play as the Pistons get a road matchup as seven-point underdogs against the Cavaliers who are coming off an overtime victory. They have played in an overtime game in two of their last three games. The Pistons are only implied for 104 points, but there is upside with Cunningham.

Before missing his last two games due to an illness, Cunningham was playing monster minutes. Over the last four games, he is averaging a ridiculous 41 minutes per game. He has paid it off with four-straight games over 20 points while shooting 21.8 field goals per game. The Pistons have covered in 11 of their last 13 games and Cunningham is a major reason why with his recent play.


Top Value: Jalen Brunson at Charlotte Hornets– $6,300 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel

Jalen Brunson is the highest projected Plus/Minus player on FanDuel tonight. His price continues to sink as he is only $5,200 and has a 96% Bargain Rating. Brunson has taken a bit of a step back with the addition of Spencer Dinwiddie, but his salary on FanDuel provides so much value. Dinwiddie was ruled out this morning, which provides an even bigger boost for Brunson.

The veteran point guard can still provide a scoring boost as he has averaged 17.6 points per game while shooting 53.8% from the field and 50% from behind the arc in his last seven games. Prioritize Brunson on FanDuel where he can provide cheap exposure to the Mavericks tonight. His ownership will likely increase now that Dinwiddie is out, but he is worth it in this matchup.

Small Forward

Top Ceiling: Miles Bridges vs. Dallas Mavericks – $8,100 DraftKings, $7,800 FanDuel

The best pay-up option at the small forward position is Hornets forward Miles Bridges. Using our On/Off tool, with Gordon Hayward off the floor this season, Bridges leads the Hornets with the most minutes and the highest increased usage rate percentage. Bridges continues to lead the Hornets in minutes played and points, averaging 20 per game. He has been very consistent.

This game is a battle of who is going to dictate the Pace? The Mavericks are the slowest team in the league and allow the second-best points at 103.8 per game this season. Meanwhile as I mentioned earlier, the Hornets play extremely fast. This will be a very interesting game to watch. Bridges ranks 11th in points scored within five feet as he gets so many easy buckets in transition.

Top Value: Corey Kispert vs. Los Angeles Lakers – $3,800 DraftKings, $3,600 FanDuel

The Wizards have lost six-straight games which has basically knocked them out of playoff contention. That can be really good news for rookies like Corey Kispert who has seen increased playing time as of late. Kispert leads all small forwards in our Tournament Model with the highest projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel. Kispert remains very cheap as he has an 83% Bargain Rating.

Kispert has scored 14 or more points in four of his last five games. In his most recent game against the Lakers, Kispert got it going from distance as he poured in a season-high five made 3-pointers and scored 21 points. Kispert has increased his 3-pointers made per game every month. He has already averaged 2.4 made 3-pointers per game in March. That provides upside on DraftKings.

Power Forward

Top Ceiling: LeBron James at Washington Wizards – $11,400 DraftKings, $10,700 FanDuel

The second player who is priced in the upper tier is none other than LeBron James. Tonight is a back-to-back game for the Lakers as James played 45 minutes in the Lakers overtime victory. Be sure to monitor the news to make sure he is in the starting lineup. James finished with 36 points as he shot 15-of-26 from the field. His ceiling remains high without Anthony Davis in the lineup.

The Wizards have arguably been worse than the Lakers recently as they have lost six-straight games. They rank 24th in Defensive Rating despite playing at the eighth-slowest Pace in the league. James should have no trouble filling it up as he ranks third in the league in scoring with 29.7 per game. He has led the Lakers in scoring for the last 33 games that he has played in.


Top Value: PJ Washington vs. Dallas Mavericks – $5,200 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel

Outside of a minimum priced center, PJ Washington is the highest projected Plus/Minus option on DraftKings tonight. Washington is another player who benefits with the absence of Hayward. He has been a boom or bust type of player recently, but can fill up the stat sheet in a variety of ways. Washington is a stretch power forward who can be a mismatch on the perimeter.

Washington is another value player who can get it going from deep. He has made at least two 3-pointers per game in six of his last eight games. The Mavericks allow only 10.7 made 3-pointers per game which ranks as the league best. However, it is all dictated by how slow they play. If the Hornets can play at their Pace tonight, these Hornets players are simply priced too cheap.

Center

Top Ceiling: Evan Mobley vs. Detroit Pistons – $7,700 DraftKings, $7,900 FanDuel

Evan Mobley has been one of the most impressive rookies this season. The Cavaliers are coming off a massive overtime victory over the Nuggets last night where Mobley had a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds. He tied a season-high with 22 field goal attempts. In 10 games without Jarrett Allen, Mobley is averaging 18.7 points and nine rebounds per game.

Over the last seven games Mobley is averaging a double-double with 21.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. During that time he is shooting 55.5% from the field and is averaging 44.2 DraftKings points per game. The Pistons create a fantastic matchup as rank last in Rebounding Percentage, allowing 46.3 rebounds per game. Despite the mid-range salary, the ceiling is there for Mobley.

Top Value: Wenyen Gabriel at Washington Wizards – $3,000 DraftKings, $3,500 FanDuel

Wanting to fit in Doncic and/or James tonight? This is your best option to do that – Wenyen Gabriel. Last night he drew his first start of the season with the Lakers and his second career start. Gabriel did not disappoint as he had 17 points while shooting 7-of-8 from the field in 25 minutes. He likely could’ve played more and been more productive, but he finished with five fouls.

It is tough to find a starter who is priced at the stone minimum on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Monitor the status of Carmelo Anthony who was out last night with an illness. If Gabriel draws another start it will be tough not to play him when he allows lineups with Doncic and/or James. The Wizards allow the 10th-most points in the paint, which also should provide a little boost for Gabriel.

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 for NBA DFS on Saturday, March 19, 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.

Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to hand-build your teams.

Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates.

Point Guard

Top Ceiling: Luka Doncic at Charlotte Hornets – $11,800 DraftKings, $10,900 FanDuel

There are two players priced over $9,100 on DraftKings and over $8,500 on FanDuel. One of them is Luka Doncic who is the highest-priced player on the slate. Doncic has been a little inconsistent lately, but the upside is impossible to ignore. On a short slate like this, raw points mean so much and Doncic is as good as it gets. He continues to lead the league in usage rate this season.

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

The matchup against the Hornets really sets Doncic above the rest of the slate as they rank 23rd in Defensive Rating and third in Pace. They allow 114.8 points per game which ranks as the third-highest in the league. Doncic ranks in the top five in both points and assists per game showing his upside. He missed their last game against the Hornets, but he will make up for that tonight.


Top Value: Ish Smith vs. Los Angeles Lakers – $4,100 DraftKings, $4,900 FanDuel

The point guard value is looking quite bleak right now. Unless more value opens up, Ish Smith is the best option, especially on DraftKings. Smith has played 23 or more minutes in three of his last four games. He can randomly show upside like he did earlier this month. Less than two weeks ago Smith had 13 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds for 39.3 DraftKings points against the Pacers.

Playing against the Lakers has shown to be a great fantasy matchup. They rank sixth in Pace and allow the fifth-most points against with 113.8 per game. The Wizards are implied for a slate-high 115.25 points as they are three-point home favorites. This game also has the highest total on the slate at 228.5 points. Smith is the fourth highest-priced Wizards player and deserves consideration.

Shooting Guard

Top Ceiling: Cade Cunningham at Cleveland Cavaliers – $8,300 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel

Cade Cunningham has missed the last two games for the Pistons with an illness. He is probable to play as the Pistons get a road matchup as seven-point underdogs against the Cavaliers who are coming off an overtime victory. They have played in an overtime game in two of their last three games. The Pistons are only implied for 104 points, but there is upside with Cunningham.

Before missing his last two games due to an illness, Cunningham was playing monster minutes. Over the last four games, he is averaging a ridiculous 41 minutes per game. He has paid it off with four-straight games over 20 points while shooting 21.8 field goals per game. The Pistons have covered in 11 of their last 13 games and Cunningham is a major reason why with his recent play.


Top Value: Jalen Brunson at Charlotte Hornets– $6,300 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel

Jalen Brunson is the highest projected Plus/Minus player on FanDuel tonight. His price continues to sink as he is only $5,200 and has a 96% Bargain Rating. Brunson has taken a bit of a step back with the addition of Spencer Dinwiddie, but his salary on FanDuel provides so much value. Dinwiddie was ruled out this morning, which provides an even bigger boost for Brunson.

The veteran point guard can still provide a scoring boost as he has averaged 17.6 points per game while shooting 53.8% from the field and 50% from behind the arc in his last seven games. Prioritize Brunson on FanDuel where he can provide cheap exposure to the Mavericks tonight. His ownership will likely increase now that Dinwiddie is out, but he is worth it in this matchup.

Small Forward

Top Ceiling: Miles Bridges vs. Dallas Mavericks – $8,100 DraftKings, $7,800 FanDuel

The best pay-up option at the small forward position is Hornets forward Miles Bridges. Using our On/Off tool, with Gordon Hayward off the floor this season, Bridges leads the Hornets with the most minutes and the highest increased usage rate percentage. Bridges continues to lead the Hornets in minutes played and points, averaging 20 per game. He has been very consistent.

This game is a battle of who is going to dictate the Pace? The Mavericks are the slowest team in the league and allow the second-best points at 103.8 per game this season. Meanwhile as I mentioned earlier, the Hornets play extremely fast. This will be a very interesting game to watch. Bridges ranks 11th in points scored within five feet as he gets so many easy buckets in transition.

Top Value: Corey Kispert vs. Los Angeles Lakers – $3,800 DraftKings, $3,600 FanDuel

The Wizards have lost six-straight games which has basically knocked them out of playoff contention. That can be really good news for rookies like Corey Kispert who has seen increased playing time as of late. Kispert leads all small forwards in our Tournament Model with the highest projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel. Kispert remains very cheap as he has an 83% Bargain Rating.

Kispert has scored 14 or more points in four of his last five games. In his most recent game against the Lakers, Kispert got it going from distance as he poured in a season-high five made 3-pointers and scored 21 points. Kispert has increased his 3-pointers made per game every month. He has already averaged 2.4 made 3-pointers per game in March. That provides upside on DraftKings.

Power Forward

Top Ceiling: LeBron James at Washington Wizards – $11,400 DraftKings, $10,700 FanDuel

The second player who is priced in the upper tier is none other than LeBron James. Tonight is a back-to-back game for the Lakers as James played 45 minutes in the Lakers overtime victory. Be sure to monitor the news to make sure he is in the starting lineup. James finished with 36 points as he shot 15-of-26 from the field. His ceiling remains high without Anthony Davis in the lineup.

The Wizards have arguably been worse than the Lakers recently as they have lost six-straight games. They rank 24th in Defensive Rating despite playing at the eighth-slowest Pace in the league. James should have no trouble filling it up as he ranks third in the league in scoring with 29.7 per game. He has led the Lakers in scoring for the last 33 games that he has played in.


Top Value: PJ Washington vs. Dallas Mavericks – $5,200 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel

Outside of a minimum priced center, PJ Washington is the highest projected Plus/Minus option on DraftKings tonight. Washington is another player who benefits with the absence of Hayward. He has been a boom or bust type of player recently, but can fill up the stat sheet in a variety of ways. Washington is a stretch power forward who can be a mismatch on the perimeter.

Washington is another value player who can get it going from deep. He has made at least two 3-pointers per game in six of his last eight games. The Mavericks allow only 10.7 made 3-pointers per game which ranks as the league best. However, it is all dictated by how slow they play. If the Hornets can play at their Pace tonight, these Hornets players are simply priced too cheap.

Center

Top Ceiling: Evan Mobley vs. Detroit Pistons – $7,700 DraftKings, $7,900 FanDuel

Evan Mobley has been one of the most impressive rookies this season. The Cavaliers are coming off a massive overtime victory over the Nuggets last night where Mobley had a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds. He tied a season-high with 22 field goal attempts. In 10 games without Jarrett Allen, Mobley is averaging 18.7 points and nine rebounds per game.

Over the last seven games Mobley is averaging a double-double with 21.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. During that time he is shooting 55.5% from the field and is averaging 44.2 DraftKings points per game. The Pistons create a fantastic matchup as rank last in Rebounding Percentage, allowing 46.3 rebounds per game. Despite the mid-range salary, the ceiling is there for Mobley.

Top Value: Wenyen Gabriel at Washington Wizards – $3,000 DraftKings, $3,500 FanDuel

Wanting to fit in Doncic and/or James tonight? This is your best option to do that – Wenyen Gabriel. Last night he drew his first start of the season with the Lakers and his second career start. Gabriel did not disappoint as he had 17 points while shooting 7-of-8 from the field in 25 minutes. He likely could’ve played more and been more productive, but he finished with five fouls.

It is tough to find a starter who is priced at the stone minimum on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Monitor the status of Carmelo Anthony who was out last night with an illness. If Gabriel draws another start it will be tough not to play him when he allows lineups with Doncic and/or James. The Wizards allow the 10th-most points in the paint, which also should provide a little boost for Gabriel.