Thursday night presents a four-game slate for DFS players. The NBA Player Models are the base of our NBA product here at FantasyLabs. 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 best projections and players standing out as values with our predictive Projected Plus/Minus metric.
Note: Projections, Ownership 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.
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Top Ceiling: Tyrese Maxey vs. Toronto Raptors – $8,500 DraftKings, $8,900 FanDuel
With James Harden finally traded to the Clippers, Maxey should continue to play at an All-Star level for the rest of the season and is the clear favorite to win the Most Improved Player of the Year award. With Harden out of the equation, Maxey has flourished as the Sixers’ primary guard and No.2 option behind Joel Embiid, generating 52.3 DraftKings points in 38.3 minutes per game with a career-high 27.4% usage rate. Maxey is contributing an elite 1.4 DraftKings PPM, and he remains vastly underpriced for his new role at less than $9K on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
The Raptors rank sixth in defensive efficiency, but they are playing their second game in two nights. Furthermore, Philadelphia will be at home, and their implied team total ranks third on the slate (112 points), via the FantasyLabs Vegas page. Maxey brings a top-five ceiling on the slate regardless of position in FantasyLabs projections and needs to be one of your core plays tonight.
Top Value: Dennis Schroder at Philadelphia 76ers – $6,200 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel
Opposite of Maxey, Schroder is another great target for this four-game slate. As the Raptors’ new starting point guard with Fred VanVleet now in Houston, Schroder has been excellent, amassing 36.5 DraftKings points in 32.5 minutes per game through Toronto’s first five contests. The guard has recorded at least 37 DraftKings points in three of these five starts and is handling a 20% usage rate and a team-high 40.7% assist percentage.
Attempting to keep up with Maxey tonight, Schroder should exceed five times value and has a ceiling north of 40 fantasy points.
Top Ceiling: Devin Booker vs. San Antonio Spurs – $9,500 DraftKings, $9,700 FanDuel
After missing the last three games, Booker (ankle) has been upgraded to questionable for Thursday night and appears to be on the brink of returning. In the likely event that the guard suits up tonight and isn’t under any serious limitations, Booker will be worth having some shares of in GPPs, as he will likely come with somewhat depressed ownership, given he is coming off an injury.
Bradley Beal (back) remains sidelined, and in the one start Booker has made this season, the Kentucky product dominated sans Beal, posting 52 DraftKings in a win over the Warriors. Booker saw a team-high 29% usage rate in this victory and will continue to see huge volume until Beal returns.
The Spurs rank second in pace and 23rd in defensive efficiency so far this season, and the Suns boast the highest implied team total on the slate (117.25 points). Looking to get revenge after this San Antonio club stole a win from Phoenix on Tuesday, Booker should top 50 fantasy points and lead the Suns to a victory tonight.
Top Value: Jalen Suggs at Utah Jazz – $5,000 DraftKings, $5,100 FanDuel
Suggs has been terrific after a quiet outing in the Magic’s season opener, scoring 29.75 DraftKings points in 28.1 minutes per game in his last three starts. Averaging 2.3 defensive stats per game, Suggs has been a pest on defense this season, helping him produce 1.0 DraftKings PPM.
Facing a Jazz team that ranks 27th in defensive efficiency and that is on the second leg of a back-to-back, Suggs is rating as a top-10 value on the slate in FantastyLabs’ models.
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Top Ceiling: Scottie Barnes at Philadelphia 76ers – $8,200 DraftKings, $8,800 FanDuel
Barnes has taken his game to a whole new level this season, contributing 48.7 DraftKings points in 37 minutes per game. With VanVleet out of the picture, Barnes has led the Raptors with a 25.1% usage rate, and he ranks second only to Schroder in assist percentage for the team at 25.6%, both of which are career-highs for Barnes. The forward is collecting 1.4 DraftKings PPM and has impressively notched one triple-double and two doubles-doubles already in only five starts.
Coming off a 51.5 DraftKings point performance in an impressive 19-point win over the Bucks last night, Barnes should be oozing with confidence tonight and should score nothing less than 40 fantasy points.
Top Value: Top Value: Josh Okogie vs. San Antonio Spurs – $4,500 DraftKings, $4,900 FanDuel
Even with Booker likely returning tonight, Okogie should see a large enough to beat these price tags. In the season-opening win over the Warriors with Booker active, Okogie posted 26.25 DraftKings points across 31.4 minutes of work. Excluding a 24-point blowout win over the Jazz last Saturday, which limited all of Phoenix’s key player’s minutes, Okogie has logged at least 30 minutes in every game this season. The veteran is shooting a strong 54% from the field so far and has surpassed 20 DraftKings points in three of four games.
Okogie’s ability to rack up steals and blocks gives him better upside than these low salaries suggest, and he is one of the best cheap values available for this short slate.
Top Ceiling: Lauri Markkanen vs. Orlando Magic – $9,000 DraftKings, $8,600 FanDuel
Markkanen is the best high-end value at power forward tonight, regardless of this tough matchup vs. the Magic, who rank third in defensive efficiency. The forward supplied 46.6 DraftKings PPG in two matchups with Orlando last season and has flashed great upside as of late, scoring 57 DraftKings in two of his past four starts coming into Thursday.
For the season, Markkanen leads Utah with a 27.4% usage rate and 1.4 DraftKings PPM. The All-Star’s ceiling ranks second among all power forwards in FantasyLabs’ projections and shouldn’t be a popular name in GPPs, as most won’t be electing to pay up at power forward.
Top Value: Cedi Osman at Phoenix Suns – $3,500 DraftKings, $4,000 FanDuel
While not an exciting play, Osman has been very efficient this season and is a full punt that will help you fit multiple studs in your lineup. As one of the Spurs’ key reserves, the ex-Cav is producing 17.9 DraftKings points in 20.2 minutes per game off the bench. Osman is notably attempting 4.5 three-pointers per game and is knocking them down at a 50% clip.
Competing in the highest total on the slate vs. the Suns (226 points), Osman has 20 fantasy point upside and should be very low owned.
Top Ceiling: Joel Embiid vs. Toronto Raptors – $11,500 DraftKings, $12,000 FanDuel
No player brings a higher ceiling than Embiid in FantasyLabs models tonight, and he is well worth these lucrative price tags. Without Harden to share the ball with this season, Embiid is leading the NBA in usage (38.8%) and is scoring 62.1 DraftKings PPG, including a 63.25 DraftKings points effort against the same Raptors squad he will face again tonight. That performance came in Toronto, while tonight’s rematch will take place in Philadelphia, which is a huge boost for Embiid.
The reigning MVP has been 5.7 DraftKings PPG better on his home floor than when on the road over the last two seasons, and as noted above, the Sixers carry the third-highest implied team total on the slate tonight (112 points). When playing behind an implied team total of at least 110 points at home over the last two seasons, Embiid has been a monster with 58 DraftKings PPG, via the Trends Tool.
Top Value: Drew Eubanks vs. San Antonio Spurs – $4,500 DraftKings, $4,600 FanDuel
Eubanks finished with 25.25 DraftKings points in 17.1 minutes against the Spurs on Tuesday and brings similar upside for tonight’s rematch with the club. That outing was the third time the veteran has eclipsed 20 DraftKings points in four games this season, and San Antonio is a perfect spot for Eubanks, with the club giving up the second-most points in the paint and sixth most rebounds this season, on top of ranking second in pace.
Eubanks is an appealing cheap way to gain another of this slate-high total vs. the Spurs and will naturally separate you for this short slate, with FantasyLabs’ projections forecasting him for single-digit ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel.