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NBA DFS (Thursday, Feb. 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 lineups.

Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.

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Point Guard

Top Ceiling: Trae Young vs. Chicago Bulls – $9,900 DraftKings, $9,800 FanDuel

The break seemed to come at a bad time for Young, who had produced 55+ fantasy points in three of five games before the halt in play and 50+ points in five of eight. His last outing saw him go for nearly 40 in just 25 minutes, too, further illustrating how well he was playing. Chicago is still dealing with injuries to Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball at guard, softening up this matchup just enough for Young.


Top Value: Aaron Holiday vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – $3,700 DraftKings, $3,500 FanDuel

The matchup could be a little more desirable, but Holiday should still be a solid play given the minutes we expect him to see (around 25 or more, to give you an idea). Chris Paul will miss considerable time with a hand injury, which should open the door for the young guard to see enough minutes to be worth at least 6X by our projections.

Shooting Guard

Top Ceiling: Devin Booker vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – $8,800 DraftKings, $8,800 FanDuel

Our NBA Models have Booker as the highest-upside play at shooting guard on DraftKings, where DeMar DeRozan isn’t available. His ceiling should be around 60 fantasy points against the Thunder, and it’s worth noting he’s out-performed his projected points in five of his last six.


Top Value: Gary Payton II vs. Portland Trail Blazers – $3,400 DraftKings, $4,200 FanDuel

While the price has come up on Payton, our model still thinks he should be worth at least 6X on Thursday’s slate. The Warriors guard has filled in admirably with many big names out throughout the first half, and he did see 25 minutes in Golden State’s last game before the All-Star break. We have him projected for the same number of minutes here, and he should be a great play against a weakened Trail Blazers defense.

Small Forward

Top Ceiling: DeMar DeRozan vs. Atlanta Hawks – $10,700 DraftKings, $10,600 FanDuel

While DeRozan is only small forward-eligible at FanDuel, his lofty projections are worth noting. The Bulls wing has been one of the most consistent commodities in daily fantasy, out-performing his projections in 12 of 13 games entering this one, and our model expects another 60+ fantasy point outing could be possible here.


Top Value: Isaac Okoro vs. Detroit Pistons – $3,300 DraftKings, $3,700 FanDuel

Okoro has been a minutes monster this season and should once again see 30 or more against Detroit. While the usage hasn’t always come along with the playing time, a defense that has struggled as much the Pistons should wilt just enough for the small forward to stuff the stat sheet. He’s gone for 15 or more fantasy points in eight of his last 11, and we set him as a near-6X play.

Power Forward

Top Ceiling: Jayson Tatum vs. Brooklyn Nets – $9,700 DraftKings, $9,100 FanDuel

Tatum and the rest of the Celtics should be great plays against a Nets team that has struggled on both ends of the floor. They rank 27th in defensive efficiency in February, and as nearly double-digit underdogs shouldn’t be able to contain a scorer like Tatum. Our model sets his ceiling at over 60 fantasy points on both sites.


Top Value: James Johnson vs. Boston Celtics – $3,500 DraftKings, $4,600 FanDuel

Brooklyn is going to need to get its scoring from somewhere without Kevin DurantKyrie Irving and Ben Simmons, and Johnson has been a surprising source of offense in the last few weeks. He had over 30 fantasy points in his first-half finale, and with a solid 28-minute projection, we make him a top value play on both sites, particularly DraftKings.

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Center

Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Sacramento Kings – $12,500 DraftKings, $11,400 FanDuel

Jokic tops our ceiling projections on Thursday’s short slate, entering with 80-point upside (or close to it) according to our model. The Kings have ranked sixth-worst in restricted area defense this year and seventh-worst in rebounding, opening the door for a massive night for the Nuggets big man.


Top Value: Kelly Olynyk vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – $3,600 DraftKings, $3,900 FanDuel

It took him a week or so, but Olynyk seems to be fully back to speed after a lengthy stint on the injured list for Detroit. He’s been able to produce 19+ fantasy points in three of his last four despite never seeing more than 20 minutes, and in a matchup with a Cavaliers team that has been decimated by injury, he should find a way to hit value given that efficiency.

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 lineups.

Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

Point Guard

Top Ceiling: Trae Young vs. Chicago Bulls – $9,900 DraftKings, $9,800 FanDuel

The break seemed to come at a bad time for Young, who had produced 55+ fantasy points in three of five games before the halt in play and 50+ points in five of eight. His last outing saw him go for nearly 40 in just 25 minutes, too, further illustrating how well he was playing. Chicago is still dealing with injuries to Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball at guard, softening up this matchup just enough for Young.


Top Value: Aaron Holiday vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – $3,700 DraftKings, $3,500 FanDuel

The matchup could be a little more desirable, but Holiday should still be a solid play given the minutes we expect him to see (around 25 or more, to give you an idea). Chris Paul will miss considerable time with a hand injury, which should open the door for the young guard to see enough minutes to be worth at least 6X by our projections.

Shooting Guard

Top Ceiling: Devin Booker vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – $8,800 DraftKings, $8,800 FanDuel

Our NBA Models have Booker as the highest-upside play at shooting guard on DraftKings, where DeMar DeRozan isn’t available. His ceiling should be around 60 fantasy points against the Thunder, and it’s worth noting he’s out-performed his projected points in five of his last six.


Top Value: Gary Payton II vs. Portland Trail Blazers – $3,400 DraftKings, $4,200 FanDuel

While the price has come up on Payton, our model still thinks he should be worth at least 6X on Thursday’s slate. The Warriors guard has filled in admirably with many big names out throughout the first half, and he did see 25 minutes in Golden State’s last game before the All-Star break. We have him projected for the same number of minutes here, and he should be a great play against a weakened Trail Blazers defense.

Small Forward

Top Ceiling: DeMar DeRozan vs. Atlanta Hawks – $10,700 DraftKings, $10,600 FanDuel

While DeRozan is only small forward-eligible at FanDuel, his lofty projections are worth noting. The Bulls wing has been one of the most consistent commodities in daily fantasy, out-performing his projections in 12 of 13 games entering this one, and our model expects another 60+ fantasy point outing could be possible here.


Top Value: Isaac Okoro vs. Detroit Pistons – $3,300 DraftKings, $3,700 FanDuel

Okoro has been a minutes monster this season and should once again see 30 or more against Detroit. While the usage hasn’t always come along with the playing time, a defense that has struggled as much the Pistons should wilt just enough for the small forward to stuff the stat sheet. He’s gone for 15 or more fantasy points in eight of his last 11, and we set him as a near-6X play.

Power Forward

Top Ceiling: Jayson Tatum vs. Brooklyn Nets – $9,700 DraftKings, $9,100 FanDuel

Tatum and the rest of the Celtics should be great plays against a Nets team that has struggled on both ends of the floor. They rank 27th in defensive efficiency in February, and as nearly double-digit underdogs shouldn’t be able to contain a scorer like Tatum. Our model sets his ceiling at over 60 fantasy points on both sites.


Top Value: James Johnson vs. Boston Celtics – $3,500 DraftKings, $4,600 FanDuel

Brooklyn is going to need to get its scoring from somewhere without Kevin DurantKyrie Irving and Ben Simmons, and Johnson has been a surprising source of offense in the last few weeks. He had over 30 fantasy points in his first-half finale, and with a solid 28-minute projection, we make him a top value play on both sites, particularly DraftKings.

Get Your First Deposit Matched Up to $100!

Sign up and deposit up to $100

Your deposit will be fully matched

New users only

Center

Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Sacramento Kings – $12,500 DraftKings, $11,400 FanDuel

Jokic tops our ceiling projections on Thursday’s short slate, entering with 80-point upside (or close to it) according to our model. The Kings have ranked sixth-worst in restricted area defense this year and seventh-worst in rebounding, opening the door for a massive night for the Nuggets big man.


Top Value: Kelly Olynyk vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – $3,600 DraftKings, $3,900 FanDuel

It took him a week or so, but Olynyk seems to be fully back to speed after a lengthy stint on the injured list for Detroit. He’s been able to produce 19+ fantasy points in three of his last four despite never seeing more than 20 minutes, and in a matchup with a Cavaliers team that has been decimated by injury, he should find a way to hit value given that efficiency.