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NBA DFS (Sunday, Oct 24): Top Model Picks and Value Plays on DraftKings and FanDuel

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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.

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.

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Point Guard

Top Ceiling: Stephen Curry at Sacramento Kings – $11,000 DraftKings, $10,200 FanDuel

It has been a scorching start for Stephen Curry in his first two games. He has averaged a double-double with 33 points and 10 rebounds per game with a 34% usage rate. In his most recent game against the LA Clippers, Curry made his first NINE field goal attempts and scored his 25th point on the last possession before the end of the first quarter. The ceiling is through the roof.

The Sacramento Kings allowed the third most amount of points per game last season with 117.4. They fixed some of those defensive issues in the draft this past year. Is everyone ready for the epic battle of Chef Curry vs. Off Night. Who is Off Night, you ask? Davion Mitchell and he puts the absolute clamps on everyone. Curry is a completely different beast, though, but I’m excited to watch this matchup unfold.

Normally Curry is a better play on DraftKings due to the 3-point bonus, but at his price tag, I much prefer him on FanDuel, where he has a 94% Bargain Rating.


Top Value: Jalen Suggs at New York Knicks – $5,200 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel

After a disappointing preseason and first game of the regular season, Jalen Suggs proved why the Orlando Magic drafted him with the third overall pick in the NBA Draft in their last outing against the New York Knicks. Suggs nearly went for a triple-double as he finished with 14 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds with a 30.4% usage rate. The best stat that jumped out to me was his 17 field goal attempts. He only made 4-17, which is gross, but the upside is there.

Suggs and the Magic get the same matchup again tonight, but this time the game will be played at Madison Square Garden. The last game didn’t end up being that close as the Knicks won 121-96, but that doesn’t matter in this instance. One of the best parts about playing a highly drafted rookie on a really bad team is that they are going to get minutes regardless of what the scoreboard says.

I would expect 30+ minutes tonight for Suggs, and he stands out as a great value at this price on both sites.

Shooting Guard

Top Ceiling: Jaylen Brown at Houston Rockets – $8,100 DraftKings, $8,500 FanDuel

The top ceiling shooting guard on the slate today is Jaylen Brown, and quite frankly, it’s not that close per the Phan Model. On DraftKings, Brown has nearly a 10-point ceiling cushion on the next closest player, which would be Andrew Wiggins.

We will need to monitor the news on Brown as he is questionable to play tonight. He was questionable in the season opener and absolutely went bonkers at extremely low ownership. He had 46 points and went for 76.25 DraftKings points. You read that correctly, 76! The matchup doesn’t get much better than going against this young Houston Rockets team. If Brown suits up, I want exposure. This is the first game on the slate, so luckily, we will know his status before the slate locks.


Top Value: De’Anthony Melton at Los Angeles Lakers – $4,200 DraftKings, $5,300 FanDuel

Time to go right back to the Memphis Grizzlies value just like we did last night. When it’s not broke, don’t fix it. De’Anthony Melton is simply too cheap on this slate, especially when we need the value to pay up for the options at the top. He came up $200 on both sites, but that is not enough.

Melton is starting for the 2-0 Grizzlies and has back-to-back games of 30+ DraftKings points. I expect those numbers to potentially increase as he has yet to record a steal or a block. Melton was a thief in the preseason as he averaged 2.4 steals per game. He has attempted 15 field goal attempts per game and has poured in four 3-pointers in both games.

Melton provides fantastic value on both sites tonight.

Small Forward

Top Ceiling: Jayson Tatum at Houston Rockets – $8,800 DraftKings, $9,800 FanDuel

The more expensive Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum is in a great spot tonight against the Rockets. If Jaylen Brown is unable to go, Tatum becomes arguably the best pay-up option on the slate. In 13 games without Brown last season, Tatum increased his usage rate by 1.1%, points per game by 2.7, and field goal attempts by 1.8 per game.

Even if Brown plays, I still really like the ceiling Tatum has in this matchup. The Celtics have the second-highest team total on the slate at 115.75 points per our Vegas Dashboard. Tatum took a back seat to Brown in their first game, and then this most recent game, they got steam-rolled by the Toronto Raptors. Sitting at an 0-2 record, what a perfect rebound game for Tatum and the Celtics.

I like Tatum on FanDuel, but not as much as I do on DraftKings, where he has a 93% Bargain Rating.


Top Value: Desmond Bane at Los Angeles Lakers – $4,200 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel

Another Memphis Grizzlies starter is underpriced? I’m shocked. At least Desmond Bane came up $900 on DraftKings and $400 on FanDuel, unlike his cheap partner in crime De’Anthony Melton. I much prefer Bane on DraftKings, where he comes in at a 96% Bargain Rating.

Any time you can get a starter this cheap shooting 15 attempts per game and have 52% of those attempts come from behind the arc, it provides great value on DraftKings. Similar to last night, Bane feels like a great value in low-risk contests.

Power Forward

Top Ceiling: Anthony Davis vs. Memphis Grizzlies – $9,400 DraftKings, $11,200 FanDuel

Seeing the Los Angeles Lakers start 0-2 is a little surprising, but it will take some time for this new trio to gel together. Tonight is the Lakers’ third home game in a row to start the season. This is a perfect get-right spot. I do think LeBron James is a strong option, but I’ll pay the $300 on DraftKings and $400 on FanDuel to get Anthony Davis.

The biggest draw for Davis for me is he is playing more minutes than James and fellow star Russell Westbrook. Sure, that may be priced in with his salary, but averaging a team-high 38.5 minutes is very appealing. Davis is a monster when he plays at the center position, which he has been doing frequently. He is averaging 27.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and two blocks. Steven Adams is a strong defender, but Davis is so versatile that I think his ceiling is the highest at power forward.


Top Value: Al Horford at Houston Rockets – $5,900 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel

Al Horford missed the first game of the season due to COVID but was able to get back out there against the Toronto Raptors last game and performed very well. The game blew out, so Horford only saw 25 minutes. However, in those minutes, Horford went for a double-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks. Looks like he’s still got some gas left in the tank.

I would imagine they put Horford on his old running mate Daniel Theis instead of Christian Wood which should bode well for Horford. If Brown is out, that will force a little more offensive action to Horford. Another Celtics player in a great spot tonight, given the nice matchup.

The veteran power forward is a much better play on FanDuel, where he has an 85% Bargain Rating.

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Center

Top Ceiling: Joel Embiid vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – $10,200 DraftKings, $9,900 FanDuel

After seeing the price tag of Karl-Anthony Towns climb to $11,000 on FanDuel last night, I figured Joel Embiid would be around the same. I was way off! Embiid comes in at $9,900 on FanDuel with a 85% Bargain Rating. As usual, monitor the status of Embiid as he comes in with a questionable tag. I assume he plays, especially when fellow big man Andre Drummond is doubtful to play.

This may be one of the best matchups Embiid will see all season. The opposing centers for the Oklahoma City Thunder are Isaiah Roby and Derrick Favors. Embiid should destroy in this spot. May I remind you what Christian Wood just did against the Thunder frontcourt? Thirty-one points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks on 13-19 from the field. I love Embiid tonight. On FanDuel, he is an obvious play, and on DraftKings, it will be hard to get away despite the other studs on this slate.


Top Value: Richaun Holmes vs. Golden State Warriors – $5,900 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel

Sacramento Kings center Richaun Holmes may go overlooked on this slate simply by being priced in the mid-range on both sites. Game log watchers will write him off after seeing only 18 minutes in his last game against the Utah Jazz. Diving deeper into the game, Holmes was in crazy foul trouble and ended up actually fouling out in the middle of the fourth quarter. He likely won’t have those foul troubles in this matchup against Draymond Green and Kevon Looney.

Despite the crazy foul trouble last game, Holmes still managed to get up to six points, 10 rebounds, two assists, three blocks, and one steal. He is a stat-stuffer when he is on the floor. Holmes went for 21 points and 11 rebounds in his first game. I love this spot for Holmes to have a great bounceback game.

The decision for center tonight is fairly easy. On FanDuel, spend your salary to get Embiid. On DraftKings, take the savings with Holmes, who has a 98% Bargain Rating.

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.

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.

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

Point Guard

Top Ceiling: Stephen Curry at Sacramento Kings – $11,000 DraftKings, $10,200 FanDuel

It has been a scorching start for Stephen Curry in his first two games. He has averaged a double-double with 33 points and 10 rebounds per game with a 34% usage rate. In his most recent game against the LA Clippers, Curry made his first NINE field goal attempts and scored his 25th point on the last possession before the end of the first quarter. The ceiling is through the roof.

The Sacramento Kings allowed the third most amount of points per game last season with 117.4. They fixed some of those defensive issues in the draft this past year. Is everyone ready for the epic battle of Chef Curry vs. Off Night. Who is Off Night, you ask? Davion Mitchell and he puts the absolute clamps on everyone. Curry is a completely different beast, though, but I’m excited to watch this matchup unfold.

Normally Curry is a better play on DraftKings due to the 3-point bonus, but at his price tag, I much prefer him on FanDuel, where he has a 94% Bargain Rating.


Top Value: Jalen Suggs at New York Knicks – $5,200 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel

After a disappointing preseason and first game of the regular season, Jalen Suggs proved why the Orlando Magic drafted him with the third overall pick in the NBA Draft in their last outing against the New York Knicks. Suggs nearly went for a triple-double as he finished with 14 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds with a 30.4% usage rate. The best stat that jumped out to me was his 17 field goal attempts. He only made 4-17, which is gross, but the upside is there.

Suggs and the Magic get the same matchup again tonight, but this time the game will be played at Madison Square Garden. The last game didn’t end up being that close as the Knicks won 121-96, but that doesn’t matter in this instance. One of the best parts about playing a highly drafted rookie on a really bad team is that they are going to get minutes regardless of what the scoreboard says.

I would expect 30+ minutes tonight for Suggs, and he stands out as a great value at this price on both sites.

Shooting Guard

Top Ceiling: Jaylen Brown at Houston Rockets – $8,100 DraftKings, $8,500 FanDuel

The top ceiling shooting guard on the slate today is Jaylen Brown, and quite frankly, it’s not that close per the Phan Model. On DraftKings, Brown has nearly a 10-point ceiling cushion on the next closest player, which would be Andrew Wiggins.

We will need to monitor the news on Brown as he is questionable to play tonight. He was questionable in the season opener and absolutely went bonkers at extremely low ownership. He had 46 points and went for 76.25 DraftKings points. You read that correctly, 76! The matchup doesn’t get much better than going against this young Houston Rockets team. If Brown suits up, I want exposure. This is the first game on the slate, so luckily, we will know his status before the slate locks.


Top Value: De’Anthony Melton at Los Angeles Lakers – $4,200 DraftKings, $5,300 FanDuel

Time to go right back to the Memphis Grizzlies value just like we did last night. When it’s not broke, don’t fix it. De’Anthony Melton is simply too cheap on this slate, especially when we need the value to pay up for the options at the top. He came up $200 on both sites, but that is not enough.

Melton is starting for the 2-0 Grizzlies and has back-to-back games of 30+ DraftKings points. I expect those numbers to potentially increase as he has yet to record a steal or a block. Melton was a thief in the preseason as he averaged 2.4 steals per game. He has attempted 15 field goal attempts per game and has poured in four 3-pointers in both games.

Melton provides fantastic value on both sites tonight.

Small Forward

Top Ceiling: Jayson Tatum at Houston Rockets – $8,800 DraftKings, $9,800 FanDuel

The more expensive Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum is in a great spot tonight against the Rockets. If Jaylen Brown is unable to go, Tatum becomes arguably the best pay-up option on the slate. In 13 games without Brown last season, Tatum increased his usage rate by 1.1%, points per game by 2.7, and field goal attempts by 1.8 per game.

Even if Brown plays, I still really like the ceiling Tatum has in this matchup. The Celtics have the second-highest team total on the slate at 115.75 points per our Vegas Dashboard. Tatum took a back seat to Brown in their first game, and then this most recent game, they got steam-rolled by the Toronto Raptors. Sitting at an 0-2 record, what a perfect rebound game for Tatum and the Celtics.

I like Tatum on FanDuel, but not as much as I do on DraftKings, where he has a 93% Bargain Rating.


Top Value: Desmond Bane at Los Angeles Lakers – $4,200 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel

Another Memphis Grizzlies starter is underpriced? I’m shocked. At least Desmond Bane came up $900 on DraftKings and $400 on FanDuel, unlike his cheap partner in crime De’Anthony Melton. I much prefer Bane on DraftKings, where he comes in at a 96% Bargain Rating.

Any time you can get a starter this cheap shooting 15 attempts per game and have 52% of those attempts come from behind the arc, it provides great value on DraftKings. Similar to last night, Bane feels like a great value in low-risk contests.

Power Forward

Top Ceiling: Anthony Davis vs. Memphis Grizzlies – $9,400 DraftKings, $11,200 FanDuel

Seeing the Los Angeles Lakers start 0-2 is a little surprising, but it will take some time for this new trio to gel together. Tonight is the Lakers’ third home game in a row to start the season. This is a perfect get-right spot. I do think LeBron James is a strong option, but I’ll pay the $300 on DraftKings and $400 on FanDuel to get Anthony Davis.

The biggest draw for Davis for me is he is playing more minutes than James and fellow star Russell Westbrook. Sure, that may be priced in with his salary, but averaging a team-high 38.5 minutes is very appealing. Davis is a monster when he plays at the center position, which he has been doing frequently. He is averaging 27.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and two blocks. Steven Adams is a strong defender, but Davis is so versatile that I think his ceiling is the highest at power forward.


Top Value: Al Horford at Houston Rockets – $5,900 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel

Al Horford missed the first game of the season due to COVID but was able to get back out there against the Toronto Raptors last game and performed very well. The game blew out, so Horford only saw 25 minutes. However, in those minutes, Horford went for a double-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks. Looks like he’s still got some gas left in the tank.

I would imagine they put Horford on his old running mate Daniel Theis instead of Christian Wood which should bode well for Horford. If Brown is out, that will force a little more offensive action to Horford. Another Celtics player in a great spot tonight, given the nice matchup.

The veteran power forward is a much better play on FanDuel, where he has an 85% Bargain Rating.

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Center

Top Ceiling: Joel Embiid vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – $10,200 DraftKings, $9,900 FanDuel

After seeing the price tag of Karl-Anthony Towns climb to $11,000 on FanDuel last night, I figured Joel Embiid would be around the same. I was way off! Embiid comes in at $9,900 on FanDuel with a 85% Bargain Rating. As usual, monitor the status of Embiid as he comes in with a questionable tag. I assume he plays, especially when fellow big man Andre Drummond is doubtful to play.

This may be one of the best matchups Embiid will see all season. The opposing centers for the Oklahoma City Thunder are Isaiah Roby and Derrick Favors. Embiid should destroy in this spot. May I remind you what Christian Wood just did against the Thunder frontcourt? Thirty-one points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks on 13-19 from the field. I love Embiid tonight. On FanDuel, he is an obvious play, and on DraftKings, it will be hard to get away despite the other studs on this slate.


Top Value: Richaun Holmes vs. Golden State Warriors – $5,900 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel

Sacramento Kings center Richaun Holmes may go overlooked on this slate simply by being priced in the mid-range on both sites. Game log watchers will write him off after seeing only 18 minutes in his last game against the Utah Jazz. Diving deeper into the game, Holmes was in crazy foul trouble and ended up actually fouling out in the middle of the fourth quarter. He likely won’t have those foul troubles in this matchup against Draymond Green and Kevon Looney.

Despite the crazy foul trouble last game, Holmes still managed to get up to six points, 10 rebounds, two assists, three blocks, and one steal. He is a stat-stuffer when he is on the floor. Holmes went for 21 points and 11 rebounds in his first game. I love this spot for Holmes to have a great bounceback game.

The decision for center tonight is fairly easy. On FanDuel, spend your salary to get Embiid. On DraftKings, take the savings with Holmes, who has a 98% Bargain Rating.