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: Dejounte Murray at Milwaukee Bucks – $8,500 DraftKings, $8,600 FanDuel
It has been a tough start to the season for the San Antonio Spurs, but not for Dejounte Murray. Murray leads the Spurs in minutes (35.2 per game), points (16.8), assists (8.8), steals (2.0), and is second in rebounds (9.2). Those numbers are all career-highs for Murray. He has a 25.0% usage rate and has exceeded his projection in all but one game so far this season.
That one game was against the Milwaukee Bucks one week ago. Murray struggled from the field in that matchup, going 5-14 for only 10 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. I like this bounce-back spot for Murray in the slate’s highest over/under tonight at 223. I especially like Murray on FanDuel, where he has a 73% Bargain Rating.
To keep the Spurs in this game against the reigning Champions, it will be in large part due to Dejounte Murray.
Top Value: T.J. McConnell vs. Toronto Raptors – $4,900 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel
The best point guard value on the slate tonight is T.J. McConnell. McConnell started for the Indiana Pacers last night and played 33 minutes. He didn’t play all that great, shooting 4-14 from the field with only eight points, four assists, and four rebounds. The 14 field goal attempts were very encouraging. Last year without Malcolm Brogdon on the court, McConnell averaged over 30 minutes, 12.8 points, 7.6 assists per game, and 1.9 steals per game.
McConnell saw a $600 price decrease on DraftKings and $200 on FanDuel. I’ll gladly take those savings and run it back with him tonight against the Raptors. Pacers forward Caris LeVert is on the verge of making his season debut. He is once again questionable tonight, but if he plays, that could take away some of McConnell’s production.
McConnell is a very good play at his salary with LeVert playing, but a fantastic play if LeVert sits again.
Top Ceiling: Devin Booker vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – $7,800 DraftKings, $7,700 FanDuel
The Phoenix Suns have been healthy most of the season, so Devin Booker hasn’t been that talked about in the DFS streets. He still holds a high ceiling which we saw some of the last game. Booker had 53.50 DraftKings points against the Sacramento Kings, where he put up a season-high 28 field goal attempts and scored 31 points.
Booker has had a usage rate over 30% in every game except for the season opener, where he shot 3-15 from the field. He is the go-to option for the Suns, especially in this matchup. Teammate Deandre Ayton, who went for 21 points and 21 rebounds last game, has to go up against the Cleveland Cavaliers Twin Towers in Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Chris Paul remains a pass-first point guard who leads the league with 10.8 assists per game.
The 1-3 Suns need to get back on track, and that means a big game is in store for Devin Booker tonight.
Top Value: Jordan Clarkson at Chicago Bulls – $5,400 DraftKings, $5,300 FanDuel
With Mike Conley out tonight, Jordan Clarkson stands out as a great value play for the Utah Jazz. Last season with Conley out, Clarkson played over 30 minutes a game and had 21.3 points per game on 18.3 field goal attempts per game.
Clarkson is a high-volume shooter, which is great for DFS. He has attempted 10 or more 3-pointers in each of his last three games. The efficiency isn’t quite there, but the volume sure is. The minutes Clarkson is expected to play tonight, along with the added usage and field goal attempts, makes up for his efficiency. The Chicago Bulls have the fifth-best Defensive Rating and have allowed the second least amount of 3-point attempts so far this season.
That’ll be tested tonight against Clarkson and teammate Donovan Mitchell who will both cast it from anywhere after they cross the half-court line.
Top Ceiling: DeMar DeRozan vs Utah Jazz – $7,700 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel
Looking to bounce back from his air ball game-winner on Thursday night, DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls get a home matchup against the last undefeated team in the league, the Utah Jazz. On FanDuel, where DeRozan has an 83% Bargain Rating, he has exceeded his projection in every game this season. That makes him a very safe cash game play on FanDuel.
DeRozan has a 30% usage rate which is the second-highest in his career. He has attempted over 15 field goal attempts while playing well over 30 minutes in every game this season. With Zach LaVine playing through injury and Patrick Williams now out for the season due to injury, DeRozan could be relied on even more.
LaVine has failed to reach his projection in three straight games. I like the discount in going to DeRozan tonight in a bounce-back spot for the Bulls.
Top Value: Josh Giddey at Golden State Warriors – $5,000 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel
For starters, Josh Giddey is only small forward eligible on DraftKings and only shooting guard eligible on FanDuel. I prefer him on DraftKings, where he has an 88% Bargain Rating. Giddey and the OKC Thunder played the Golden State Warriors at home on Monday night, and he cost $5,800 on DraftKings. I like the $800 savings in this pace-up spot for the Thunder.
Giddey leads the Thunder so far this season in assists (5.6 per game) and steals (1.4 per game) while barely in second place in rebounds (6.2 per game). Add in his 10.8 points per game, and you get a great value at this price tag. The minutes are a bit sporadic for the rookie, but he has played more than 30 minutes in two out of his last three games.
Pairing Giddey and Stephen Curry in a tournament lineup is one of my favorite constructions tonight. The cheap price tag on Giddey makes the Curry price tag of $10,900 on DraftKings and $10,500 on FanDuel a little easier to swallow.
Top Ceiling: Giannis Antetokounmpo vs San Antonio Spurs – $11,400 DraftKings, $11,300 FanDuel
The price tag on Giannis Antetokounmpo is slowly coming up, but the ceiling remains the same — extremely high! Giannis is coming off of a 78.50 DraftKings performance against the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he had 40 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, and three blocks. The Milwaukee Bucks are still without Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez. Giannis and his 34.5% usage rate is the best spend-up option on the slate tonight.
The San Antonio Spurs do not prevent much of a challenge tonight at the rim for Giannis. They are allowing their opponent to make an average of 20.4 field goals in the paint per game. A week ago, in their last meeting, Giannis was in major foul trouble. He had three offensive fouls in the first half and still managed to score 21 points, grab eight rebounds, and dish out eight assists.
Top Value: John Collins at Philadelphia 76ers – $6,600 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel
Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins is off to a fantastic start this season. He is averaging a career-high in field goal percentage with 68.3% and is leading the Hawks in rebounding with 10.4 per game. There is some history with this matchup between Collins and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. These two went at it several times in their playoff series last year. The bad blood between Embiid and an opposing big man? I’m so shocked.
Collins has a 79% Bargain Rating on FanDuel, where he has exceeded his projection in all but one game this season. His middling price tag on both sites provides a high upside. Starting alongside fellow big man, Clint Capela has not slowed down the production of Collins one bit.
He is a great value play with a high ceiling on both sites tonight.
Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic at Minnesota Timberwolves – $10,700 DraftKings, $11,000 FanDuel
After a knee injury scare two games ago, Nikola Jokic played last night and put up a monster stat line in 25 minutes. The Denver Nuggets blew out the Dallas Mavericks by 31 points. Jokic had 11 points, 16 rebounds, and eight assists. Good for a 1.86 DraftKings points per minute. Even though this is a back-to-back, Jokic will be well-rested tonight.
The price tag has shot up for Jokic, but keep in mind he is still playing without Jamal Murray. Last season without Murray, Jokic had a 31.9% usage rate while averaging 27.3 points per game, 10.4 rebounds per game, and 8.1 assists per game.
Despite improving, Karl-Anthony Towns is still a sieve defensively. He ranked 72/72 among centers in Defensive Real Plus/Minus just two years ago. This is an up-tempo spot for Jokic, with the Timberwolves ranking third in pace so far this season. More opportunities for a big ceiling performance tonight for Jokic.
Top Value: Mo Bamba at Detroit Pistons – $6,500 DraftKings, $6,400 FanDuel
Coming off of a dominant 14 points and 18 rebounds performance last night, Mo Bamba comes in as the top value at center tonight. Bamba is averaging a double-double this season on 13.7 points and 10.0 rebounds. After dealing with injuries and minimal playing time, Bamba has been unleashed this season, and he’s showcasing all of his talent. He is averaging a career-high across the board in minutes, points, rebounds, blocks, assists, and steals.
Bamba and the Orlando Magic get a juicy matchup tonight against the winless Detroit Pistons. The Pistons present an undersized frontcourt who Bamba should feast on. With by far the lowest over/under on the slate at 207, that will fall right into the Magic’s hands, who have the third-lowest pace so far this season.
Expect a lot of rebounding chances for Bamba tonight as the Pistons have the second-worst field goal percentage in the league with 40.8%.