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. Cleveland Cavaliers – $11,800 DraftKings, $11,100 FanDuel
To no one’s surprise, the odds-on favorite to win the 2022 MVP Award is projected to have a field day against a Cavaliers team which has lost Evan Mobley and Collin Sexton and which comes in on the second night of a back-to-back. Our model projects Curry to have one of the highest ceilings among all positions.
Top Value: Aaron Holiday vs. Miami Heat – $3,800 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel
The Wizards are slow on the injury report Thursday, but we do know that Davis Bertans will miss this game again and that Spencer Dinwiddie may as well, considering Washington is on the second night of a back-to-back. That should open the door for more Holiday minutes, and with a strong 7X projection on DraftKings and a +0.74 Opponent Plus/Minus on FanDuel, our model projects him to be a tremendous option wherever you’re playing.
Top Ceiling: Paul George vs. Memphis Grizzlies – $11,000 DraftKings, $10,100 FanDuel
The Grizzlies grade out as the second-worst defense in basketball judging by efficiency rating, and the Clippers’ rotation could be mighty short on Thursday (more on that later). George projects to be a strong play with few great options in this price range and carries a ceiling in the mid-60 fantasy point range into this one. He’s a stronger play over on FanDuel, where he has a 95% Bargain Rating.
Top Value: Luke Kennard vs. Memphis Grizzlies – $4,400 DraftKings, $4,600 FanDuel
Kennard should benefit here with Nic Batum doubtful and Terance Mann questionable. He filled the void left by both last time out against the Spurs, logging 30 minutes. We project the left-handed guard to see 32 minutes in this game with a Usage Rate north of 15%, hitting around 6X on both sites with a solid Projected Plus/Minus of +6.25 or better.
Top Ceiling: Jimmy Butler vs. Washington Wizards – $9,500 DraftKings, $9,700 FanDuel
Fresh off a 31-point triple-double a night ago in a win over the Pelicans, Butler is the consensus top ceiling play on DraftKings and FanDuel at this position. The Wizards have been stout defensively — particularly on the interior — but if he comes close to the 32.7% Usage Rate he saw on Wednesday in 36 minutes, it may not matter. Our model projects a ceiling around 65 fantasy points.
Top Value: Jeff Green vs. Philadelphia 76ers – $3,800 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel
Michael Porter, Jr. is still out for the Nuggets, and Will Barton is doubtful for this game. The Nuggets will need Green to contribute some minuets here against a weakened defense that is playing without Matisse Thybulle and Danny Green. The grizzled wing is projected for a Plus/Minus of +6.94 of better according to our numbers and should play 31 minutes against Philly.
Editor’s note: Barton has been upgraded to questionable.
Top Ceiling: Tobias Harris vs. Denver Nuggets – $8,800 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel
Similar to the situation with Butler, the usage should be massive here for Harris with so many names missing for Philadelphia. With no Danny Green and Matisse Thybulle, the potential is grand here for the Sixers wing, who has a ceiling well above 50 fantasy points on both sites.
He is coming off a tough game against the Jazz, but he played just 27 minutes in that one after tweaking his knee. He’d seen 35 minutes per game in the two Embiid-less contests he played prior to that, reaching a 36.3% Usage Rate against the Pacers.
Top Value: Jarred Vanderbilt vs. San Antonio Spurs – $3,500 DraftKings, $4,000 FanDuel
Vanderbilt has hit value in all but one of his last five games, even getting around 6X in a four-point, six-rebound outing against the Lakers. Against a San Antonio Spurs frontcourt that has been weakened by injury, and a defense which has underwhelmed, our model projects the big man to push towards, or even over, 6X value depending on where you play.
Top Value: Nikola Jokic vs. Philadelphia 76ers – $12,000 DraftKings, $11,600 FanDuel
Philly has been absolutely gutted by the loss of Joel Embiid on the offensive end, but one might argue the impact of that loss has been more greatly felt on the defensive end. Andre Drummond has not proven capable of stopping opposing centers; in the five games he’s started, Julius Randle and Giannis Antetokounmpo have dropped 31 points, Myles Turner and Domontas Sabonis combined for 38 and Rudy Gobert even torched him for 15 points.
Jokic is one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA, so it’s no surprise that our model projects him to have 80 fantasy-point potential given the huge mismatch in the paint. To sweeten the deal, the Sixers are second-to-last in rebounding rate since Embiid was sidelined.
Top Value: Daniel Gafford vs. Miami Heat – $4,500 DraftKings, $5,000 FanDuel
Gafford has now played north of 24 minutes per game in Washington’s last three contests and could be relied upon here against Miami in a potential matchup with Bam Adebayo, who may or not play here. We are projecting Gafford to have near-10X (if going by ceiling) upside in this game, but with a +7.05 Projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings and a +9.76 Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel, he could miss his ceiling by a significant margin and still be a worthwhile play.