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. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.
Top Ceiling: Stephen Curry vs. Indiana Pacers – $10,500 DraftKings, $10,900 FanDuel
I’m cheating a little bit because Curry is technically second to Luka Doncic at point guard, but with Doncic’s shooting guard eligibility, I want to highlight him next. Curry and Doncic are head and shoulders above the rest of the guards on Thursday’s slate in terms of ceiling, and Curry’s ceiling projection checks in at nearly 60 points against a struggling Pacers defense. He owns a +1.15 Opponent Plus/Minus on FanDuel.
Top Value: Kemba Walker vs. New Orleans Pelicans – $6,100 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel
Walker has been something of a revelation since being re-inserted to the Knicks rotation. In his first game back from a weeks-long injury layoff, the guard exploded for nearly 30 fantasy points in 29 minutes against Minnesota. In a more favorable matchup, Walker is a good call given the state of the Knicks’ guard rotation. He’s the clear favorite for minutes over Quentin Grimes, and Derrick Rose remains out. There’s no reason he shouldn’t see roughly 30 minutes again.
Top Ceiling: Luka Doncic vs. Phoenix Suns – $10,400 DraftKings, $10,900 FanDuel
You’ll want to be careful here because the Mavericks are playing their third game in four days, but it’s hard to find a player hotter than Doncic at the moment. The MVP candidate has amassed three triple-doubles in the last six games, and he has hit double-digit rebounds in all but one of them. He’s fresh off a 41-point outing against Toronto and will have unquestioned volume in this one, and as a result, he’s the highest-upside player on the board tonight per our NBA Models.
Top Value: Cameron Payne vs. Dallas Mavericks – $4,200 DraftKings, $4,300 FanDuel
The man on the other side of this matchup, Payne has not exactly been a DFS superstar lately but is coming off a game against the Spurs where he had a 24.5% Usage Rate in 23 minutes. There’s upside here, and with a +7.1 Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel and +5.2 on DraftKings, he is more than worthy of your consideration on such a short slate.
Top Ceiling: Brandon Ingram vs. Los Angeles Clippers – $8,000 DraftKings, $8,200 FanDuel
Ingram is a short slate hero and a mainstay as the top ceiling for us on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He checks into this game with the Knicks boasting a ceiling nine points higher than the next-best player on DraftKings and edges out Caris LeVert by three points on FanDuel by our projections. The wing is projected for 35 minutes with a few lingering Pelicans injuries and a solid usage rate over 30%.
Top Value: Jeremy Lamb vs. Golden State Warriors – $3,000 DraftKings, $3,500 FanDuel
It’s wonderful that we can still talk about Jeremy Lamb in the year 2022. The fact is, the veteran played 24 minutes against the Lakers in his return to action, and with Domantas Sabonis likely out for the Pacers, he should see some more of the ball and some more of the floor as well. We have him projected for a robust 8X on DraftKings and 7X on FanDuel at this price.
Top Ceiling: Julius Randle vs. New Orleans Pelicans – $9,100 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel
Randle comes at something of a bargain here against his former team and leads the way by a reasonable amount as the highest-upside power forward. The Pelicans are down in 13th in rebounding rate over the past two weeks, and Randle’s averaged around 17 points, 10 boards and six assists in that span. He should stuff the stat sheet against a struggling defense.
Top Value: Isaiah Jackson vs. Golden State Warriors – $3,000 DraftKings, $3,500 FanDuel
Jackson played just nine minutes last night against the Lakers, but it appears that Domantas Sabonis has an injury that will keep him out of Indiana’s clash with Golden State. That should open the door for Jackson to see significant run, considering he seemed to get more minutes in the second half on Wednesday than Goga Bitadze.
Top Ceiling: Jonas Valanciunas vs. New York Knicks – $7,700 DraftKings, $7,300 FanDuel
The first time Valanciunas played the Knicks this season, he out-performed his projections by eight or so fantasy points and scored 27 to go along with 14 rebounds — eclipsing the 50-point barrier. The Knicks have had their issues defending the post and also lack against stretch bigs, so this is a very intriguing spot for J-Val.
Top Value: JaVale McGee vs. Dallas Mavericks – $4,000 DraftKings, $4,800 FanDuel
DeAndre Ayton won’t play in this game for the Phoenix Suns, which means it’s time for Phoenix to fire up McGee and Bismack Biyombo. Our projections like McGee much more, giving him a ceiling near 50 points and a solid 7X projection, but you’ll want to make sure you stay tuned to hear who will wind up getting the start at center.