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.
Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 300 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to hand-build your teams.
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: Damian Lillard at Golden State Warriors – $11,500 DraftKings, $11,200 FanDuel
Luka Doncic has been incredible even with Kyrie Irving now on the Mavericks, but this ceiling point guard spot goes to the All-Star Damian Lillard. It is Dame Time. Lillard scored a career-high 71 points last game while shooting 22 of 38 from the field and 13 of 22 from behind the arc. He had an absurd 53.6% usage rate and scored 93 DraftKings points. Playing as well as he has recently, Lillard is deserving of his salary, which is north of $11,000 on both sites.
Lillard’s previous career-high came against the Warriors in 2020 with 61 points. He has actually scored more points per game (28.8) against the Warriors than any other team in the league. To make this spot even better, Lillard has a team-high +6% usage rate and a +10 DraftKings Plus/Minus with Anfernee Simons off the floor this season. The Warriors are allowing 118.1 points per game, which ranks as the fifth-highest in the league. This is a great spot for another Lillard ceiling game.
The over on Underdog Fantasy looks intriguing for Lillard’s points, rebounds, and assists (51.5).
Top Value: Kris Dunn vs. San Antonio Spurs – $3,600 DraftKings, $4,500 FanDuel
Easily the best value on the slate is point guard Kris Dunn. The Jazz will be playing without both Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson, which will pave the way for increased playing time and production from Dunn, who just signed a 10-day deal. He has the highest Projected Plus/Minus on both DraftKings and FanDuel among all players.
Dunn has only played two games with the Jazz, but his most recent game was against the Spurs, and he stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, and over 40 DraftKings points. Playing the Spurs again, Dunn is going to be the highest-owned player on the slate, as he is very affordable on both sites.
The Spurs have the worst defensive rating and are allowing a league-high 122.9 points per game. Dunn is a lock in cash games and a great salary saver in tournaments, especially on DraftKings, where he has a 90% Bargain Rating.
Top Ceiling: Anthony Edwards at Los Angeles Clippers – $9,600 DraftKings, $9,400 FanDuel
The inconsistencies of Anthony Edwards are what makes him a great boom-or-bust tournament play on any given slate. For the Timberwolves to be competitive on the road against the Clippers, they will need a big game from Edwards. He has proven the ability to play well against any opponent, it all comes down to if his shot is falling. Not only is Edwards averaging a career-high in points, rebounds, and assists, but he also has a career-best 29.6% usage rate.
Karl-Anthony Towns remains out, which is why Edwards has such a high usage rate while attempting 19.5 field goals per game. With the Clippers adding Russell Westbrook, they may be more susceptible to higher-scoring games. Since the All-Star Break, the Clippers have played in a two-overtime and a single-overtime game while allowing 155 points per game.
They also rank 13th in defensive rating, making this an exploitable matchup for Edwards.
Top Value: Malik Beasley at Memphis Grizzlies – $4,500 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel
Momentum was high for the Lakers after winning three-straight games, but with the LeBron James injury, it will be an uphill climb for them to make the playoffs. They will need to rely on their newcomers to carry the weight, and one of those is sharpshooter Malik Beasley. Since joining the Lakers, Beasley has scored over 20 points in two of his five games played, while 73.4% of his field goal attempts have come from behind the arc.
The Grizzlies rank second in defensive rating (109.5) entering tonight’s games, but they have been very susceptible to allowing teams to fill it up from the perimeter. They have allowed 13 made 3-pointers per game, which ranks as the third-highest in the league. James was averaging nearly 30 points per game with a 33.3% usage rate, so the Lakers will need Beasley’s scoring in this matchup as they are nearly double-digit road underdogs.
Top Ceiling: Lauri Markkanen vs. San Antonio Spurs – $9,400 DraftKings, $8,600 FanDuel
The current favorite for the NBA Most Improved Player award is Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen. The first-time All-Star is averaging a career-high 25.2 points per game while shooting 51.4% from the field and 40.9% from behind the arc. He will benefit greatly from playing without Collin Sexton, Jordan Clarkson, and the three players that were traded; Mike Conley, Malik Beasley, and Jarred Vanderbilt. With all five players off the floor this season, Markkanen has a team-high +8.9% usage rate and a +11.8 DraftKings Plus/Minus.
Playing against the Spurs is a matchup every player wants to boost their stats. Markkanen is going to feast against the Spurs’ smaller frontcourt. The Jazz are double-digit favorites implied for a slate-high 123.25 points. Make sure to prioritize Markkanen on FanDuel, where he is $800 cheaper than DraftKings with a 97% Bargain Rating.
He also has a slate-high 13 Pro Trends, and it is extremely easy to fit him into all lineup builds on this slate.
Top Value: Luguentz Dort vs. Sacramento Kings – $5,000 DraftKings, $5,700 FanDuel
The playoff dream may be slipping away from the Thunder after losing three consecutive games, and now Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has entered the health and safety protocols. This 10-game slate is filled with high-total games, and this matchup is no different. The Thunder are 2.5-point home underdogs, but this game total sits at 235.5 points. With Gilgeous-Alexander out for a few games, Luguentz Dort will be one of their key offensive contributors.
Since returning from the All-Star Break, Dort has averaged 15.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game while posting two double-doubles in those three games. With Gilgeous-Alexander off the floor, Dort has a team-high +5.6% usage rate and a +7.3 DraftKings Plus/Minus. These two teams just played against each other on Sunday, and Dort scored 18 points with five rebounds.
He is another great low to mid-range salary saver in a very nice game environment.
Top Ceiling: Giannis Antetokounmpo at Brooklyn Nets – $12,300 DraftKings, $11,800 FanDuel
Giannis Antetokounmpo has left his last two games due to injury but is probable to play tonight against the Nets. Even with missing time, the Bucks have won 14 straight games as they are now tied for the best record in the league. Despite having a relatively low ownership percentage, our NBA Model loves Giannis per usual. Make sure to prioritize him on FanDuel, where he is only $11,800 and has a 95% Bargain Rating.
The Nets have seen a lot of turnover since the All-Star Break but still remain just outside the top 10 in the least amount of points allowed in the paint. However, they currently rank dead last in Rebounding Percentage (47.3%), which fits right into the wheelhouse for Giannis, who is averaging 12 rebounds per game and ranks second in the league. He will be the least-owned stud on this slate, but Giannis still deserves consideration any time he takes the floor.
Top Value: Jarred Vanderbilt at Memphis Grizzlies – $4,100 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
Jarred Vanderbilt is another Lakers value who will need to step in the absence of LeBron James. He did so in his last game, recording a massive double-double with 15 points and 17 rebounds. Vanderbilt is also known for being a tenacious defender, so of course, he added four steals in only 27 minutes. Expect more minutes coming his way if he continues to play like that. Vanderbilt’s services will be needed against Ja Morant and Desmond Bane tonight.
Not having Steven Adams controlling the paint and the glass has been a big loss for the Grizzlies. Since he was injured on January 22nd, the Grizzlies rank 27th in Rebounding Percentage with 47.7%. Vanderbilt can easily record another double-double in this game with his incredible effort. He is a site-dependent play being $4,100 on DraftKings compared to $5,800 on FanDuel.
Get exposure to Vanderbilt on DraftKings at a tough power-forward position to fill.
Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic at Houston Rockets – $11,800 DraftKings, $12,200 FanDuel
Damian Lillard was the story on Sunday’s slate with 93 DraftKings points, but Nikola Jokic wasn’t too far behind, recording 86.25 DraftKings points as he had a triple-double with 40 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists. The Nuggets are now 23-0 when Jokic records a triple-double as the center had another statement game on his way to a third-straight MVP award. He will now get the luxury of playing against the worst team in the league, the 13-47 Houston Rockets.
The Rockets defense has given up massive scoring performances. Including Lillard’s 71 points, they have allowed opposing players to score over 40 points a league-high 13 times! Jokic will feast on this frontcourt as the Rockets are more interested in tanking than playing Alperen Sengun increased minutes. The star rookie has played 25 or fewer minutes in three-straight games.
This is a fantastic matchup for Jokic to record another massive triple-double.
Top Value: Daniel Gafford at Atlanta Hawks – $4,500 DraftKings, $6,000 FanDuel
Daniel Gafford has the highest Projected Plus/Minus at the center position on both sites, despite being $1,500 cheaper on DraftKings. He is also projected for the highest ownership at this position as the Wizards will likely be playing without Kristaps Porzingis, who is doubtful tonight. In eight games without Porzingis this season, Gafford is averaging nearly a double-double with 12.6 points and 8.3 rebounds while playing 26.4 minutes per game.
Despite having a healthy Clint Capela, John Collins, and Onyeka Okongwu, the Hawks have been dominated on the glass and in the paint all season long. They rank 22nd in Rebounding Percentage and 26th in points allowed in the paint, with 53.1 per game. Gafford had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds in his last game and has a chance to duplicate that performance tonight against a relatively soft Hawks frontcourt.