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: Ja Morant vs. Milwaukee Bucks – $10,400 DraftKings, $10,800 FanDuel
Morant and the Grizz take on the Bucks in what should be a juicy matchup. Morant has the highest ceiling projection of any point guard on both DraftKings and FanDuel, thanks to a projected 33.4% usage rate. Morant didn’t play on Monday due to right thigh soreness but is not on Thursday’s injury report.
Before missing that game, Morant had been posting his usual impressive numbers. He dropped a triple-double last Wednesday night against the Thunder with 26 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists, and 66.75 DraftKings points in just 30 minutes. He followed that up with another double-double on Friday against the Pistons before resting Monday.
Morant has three straight double-doubles and has produced over 40 DraftKings points in 14 straight games. He usually rises to the occasion against tough competition like this, so look for him to post a big game as he tries to lead the Grizzlies to a statement win.
Top Value: Jalen Green vs. Miami Heat – $6,600 DraftKings, $7,100 FanDuel
Green has emerged as a centerpiece for Houston to build around and is still a few months short of his 21st birthday. He leads the team with a 27.5% usage rate and has turned that volume into an average of 23.1 points, 4.5 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 34.9 DraftKings points over his past 10 games. He’s also scored over 40 DraftKings points in six of those 10 contests.
At both guard spots on this slate, he has the highest projected Plus/Minus on DraftKing. He has the sixth-highest projected Plus/Minus at shooting guard and the fifth-highest at point guard on FanDuel, where he has been priced up a little bit.
The Rockets’ guard is a great way to get a very high ceiling and tons of usage without paying all the way up for an elite option.
Top Ceiling: Paul George vs. Phoenix Suns – $9,200 DraftKings, $9,000 FanDuel
In the late game on Thursday, the Clippers and Suns meet in a clash of two of the top teams in the Western Conference. While George and Kawhi Leonard have continued to deal with some injury issues, George has played well since returning. He brings the highest ceiling projection at both shooting guard and small forward on DraftKings. On FanDuel, he’s only behind Giannis Antetkounmpo at small forward and has the highest ceiling projection at shooting guard.
PG13 has outperformed salary-based expectations in three of his past four games, with over 50 DraftKings points in each contest. He racked up 36 points and 65 DraftKings points against the Wizards last Saturday to show just how high his ceiling can be. He filled up every column in the box score in that game, and when he’s at his best, that’s the type of production he’s capable of.
Unlike Kawhi, George is regularly playing over 32 minutes, and the Clippers probably won’t hesitate to lean on him even more if they’re a little shorthanded after last night’s win over the Wolves. George posted a double-double with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 50.75 DraftKings points in only 33 minutes in that contest, so he should be fresh enough.
Top Value: Jevon Carter at Memphis Grizzlies – $4,300 DraftKings, $4,900 FanDuel
With Jrue Holiday (non-COVID illness) sidelined, Carter will likely get another start for the Bucks, and as a result, he’ll be a chalky but high-ceiling value play. He has the second-highest projected Plus/Minus of all shooting guards on DraftKings, behind only Green, and he has the fifth-highest projected Plus/Minus at shooting guard on FanDuel, where his price is barely under $5K.
Earlier this season, when the Bucks were even more shorthanded, Carter had several big games and showed he can step up when given a chance. He was relatively quiet with four points, four rebounds, three assists, three steals, and 21.3 FanDuel points in his spot start on Tuesday, but the positive sign was that he played over 28 minutes. He has a very high floor if he gets that much run in this matchup and could be more involved offensively if needed.
Top Ceiling: Giannis Antetokounmpo at Memphis Grizzlies – $12,200 DraftKings, $12,000 FanDuel
Giannis continues to be a fantasy beast and needs to be considered every time he’s on the slate. He is eligible at small forward and power forward on FanDuel and power forward and center on DraftKings, but regardless of position, he comes with the highest ceiling projection of any player on the slate. He also has the highest usage projection on the slate at 37.5%. His ceiling projection tops our NBA Models by more than 10 points on FanDuel and 12 points on DraftKings.
His shooting percentage has been down the past two games, but he still posted over 50 DraftKings points against the Warriors and the Rockets. He has a double-double in four of his past five games, averaging a robust 28.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.0 blocks in 33.5 minutes per game. If he has to play more minutes than usual in a close game against Ja and the Grizzlies or carry a larger workload without Jrue, he could go off for an even bigger number.
As if he needed the help, the Bucks have the highest Pace Differential on the slate in their matchup with Memphis, and that game also has the second-highest over/under on the slate.
Top Value: Grayson Allen at Memphis Grizzlies – $4,600 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel
Allen is another member of the Bucks that should get a boost from the game situation and environment in Memphis. He has the fifth-highest projected Plus/Minus of all small forwards on DraftKings, but he really stands out on FanDuel, where he has the highest projected Plus/Minus at shooting guard and small forward on the entire slate.
Allen has outplayed his salary-based expectations on FanDuel in seven of his past 10 games, with an average Plus/Minus of +5.63 during that run. He has scored double-digit points in four straight games and is adding 4.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists to his 12.3 points per game.
He shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and had 22.8 FanDuel points on Tuesday against the Warriors, and he’ll be in line to start and contribute in this matchup with Memphis.
If you’re into revenge-game narratives, Allen fits that bill, too, since he played two seasons in Memphis before being traded to Milwaukee in exchange for Sam Merrill and cash considerations in the 2021 offseason.
Top Ceiling: Zion Williamson at Utah Jazz – $9,800 DraftKings, $10,200 FanDuel
The Pelicans have the highest Implied Team Total on the slate, making Zion, C.J. McCollum, Jonas Valanciunas, and their supporting cast interesting plays against the Jazz.
If you’re looking to get a piece of the Pelicans’ pie, Zion is a great place to start. He has scored at least 25 points in seven straight games while posting a 30.6% usage rate over those contests. He has averaged 30.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.7 steals during that stretch, and he’s scored at least 50 DraftKings points in five of those games.
Zion only needed 26 minutes on Tuesday in Utah to pile up 26 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals, and 46.75 DraftKings points, and he could play and produce a lot more, assuming this game is more competitive.
He stuffs the stat sheet in multiple categories, similar to what Giannis does for the Bucks. In a spot that looks ideal for him, building around Zion instead of Antetokounmpo’s massive price tag provides nice financial flexibility elsewhere.
Top Value: Tari Eason vs. Miami Heat – $3,900 DraftKings, $4,600 FanDuel
The Bucket from the Bayou is still a buy-low bargain on DraftKings, and he still makes sense on FanDuel even though he is a bit pricier and only available at small forward. Even on FanDuel, he has outperformed salary-based expectations in four of his past five games, with over 20 FanDuel points in each of those three contests.
He’s more of a steal on DraftKings, though, where he’s still under $4K and eligible at power forward. The rookie from LSU has at least eight points and at least six boards in four of his past five games, dating back to a nice double-double in 29 minutes against Golden State. In those five games, he has produced 9.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 0.8 blocked shots, 22.5 DraftKings points, and 23.1 FanDuel points for an average of 1.08 DraftKings points and 1.11 FanDuel points per minute.
The Rockets’ rotation is always an uncertain place to invest, but Eason brings a ton of upside as a value play and has shown he can stuff the stat sheet when given the opportunity.
Top Ceiling: Bam Adebayo at Houston Rockets – $8,600 DraftKings, $9,200 FanDuel
With Deandre Ayton (ankle, questionable) dealing with an injury again, Adebayo steps in as the top ceiling play at center on this slate. He has the second-highest ceiling projection of all centers on FanDuel and the third-highest at the position on DraftKings, behind only Giannis and Ayton. Bam’s usage is a little uncertain since you never know what shenanigans Miami might try to pull with their injury report, but as long as it looks like he’ll get a usual workload, he’s a solid play to consider.
Adebayo has been on a roll lately, with at least 15 points in 12 of his 13 games since returning from a two-game absence in mid-November. Over that 13-game stretch, he’s averaging 22.3 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.8 steals, and shooting over 50% from the field.
Bam had over 50 DraftKings in two of his past four games and has outperformed salary-based expectations on both FanDuel and DraftKings in six of his past 10 games.
Top Value: Jonas Valanciunas at Utah Jazz – $5,400 DraftKings, $5,700 FanDuel
Valanciunas is an excellent value under $6K and brings a high ceiling to a favorable matchup against the Jazz. Valancuinas does tend to be a little boom-or-bust based on game flow, but he brings the highest Projected Plus/Minus of all centers on this slate on DraftKings and the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus of all centers on FanDuel. Only Alperen Sengun has better marks on FanDuel.
Over his last seven games, Valanciunas has scored at least 12 points in six games and posted double-digit rebounds five times. Even though he’s only averaged 22.7 minutes per game over that stretch, he has averaged 14.1 points with 9.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists.
He had a ceiling game of 41.75 DraftKings points during that stretch when he played over 25 minutes, and getting that kind of upside with consistent production of 25-35 fantasy points is enough to make him a solid option at this price point.
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