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: James Harden at Los Angeles Clippers – $10,000 DraftKings, $10,500 FanDuel
The most expensive guard on both DraftKings and FanDuel is James Harden. In his first full season with the 76ers, Harden has been spectacular, averaging 22.3 points and a league-leading 11.2 assists per game. Over the last five games, Harden has three double-doubles and two triple-doubles while averaging 23 points and 13 assists per game while shooting an absurd 70% from the field and 51.4% from behind the arc.
The Clippers present a difficult matchup as they rank in the top five in Defensive Rating while allowing only 109.9 points per game. In his only game against the Clippers this season, Harden posted a triple-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and a career-high 21 assists. Teammate Joel Embiid scored 44 points as these two studs were incredible in the 76ers victory. Harden shows up when the lights are the brightest, and tonight should be no different.
Top Value: Seth Curry at San Antonio Spurs – $4,300 DraftKings, $4,900 FanDuel
The best game to target on this four-game slate is this matchup between the Nets and Spurs. This total currently sits at 233.5 points as the Nets are six-point road favorites, implied for 119.5 points. Seth Curry is our first player of choice for this projected shootout, as he has the highest projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings. Curry scored 23 points off the bench last game shooting 9 of 15 from the field, totaling 30 DraftKings points.
Kevin Durant remains out for the foreseeable future, which opens up a ton of production and usage rate for the Nets role players. Using our On/Off Tool, Curry has a team-high +5.5% usage rate with Durant off the floor this season. Despite his salary rapidly rising, Curry is popping as a strong value play for both sites. However, with his fantasy production depending on scoring, prioritize Curry on DraftKings, where he is cheaper and has the 3-point bonus.
Top Ceiling: Paul George vs. Philadelphia 76ers – $9,100 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel
The first of many two ceiling players who are listed as questionable is Clippers shooting guard Paul George. The Clippers are playing on a back-to-back, so it is likely that George will return either tonight or tomorrow night as he put in a full practice on Monday. Make sure to monitor our news dashboard on George’s status the closer we get to lock. If he is unable to play, the next best shooting guard on DraftKings is OG Anunoby, who is $2,000 cheaper.
George has not played in a game since January 5th, but his salary has accounted for his absence. Hovering around $9,000 on both sites, George can pay off this price tag if his hamstring injury is no longer an issue. In his fourth season with the Clippers, George has kept his production consistent despite Kawhi Leonard being back in the lineup. George leads the way for ceiling at a very weak shooting guard position on this four-game slate.
Top Value: Josh Richardson vs. Brooklyn Nets – $4,500 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
Another great value on DraftKings is Spurs shooting guard Josh Richardson. Being priced $1,300 cheaper on DraftKings than FanDuel, Richardson has a 98% Bargain Rating at his $4,500 price tag. Devin Vassell remains out for the Spurs, as Richardson has been given more playing time and ball-handling duties. Richardson may not be in the Spurs’ long-term plans, but they are at least giving him the minutes to showcase him for a potential trade deadline deal.
Richardson has recorded a positive Plus/Minus in eight-straight games on DraftKings as he rates out as one of the best values on the slate. The Nets have lost back-to-back games since Kevin Durant‘s injury, so even with this spread being six points, it is worth getting exposure to the Spurs’ side of the ball. Richardson is expected to be one of the highest-owned value plays on DraftKings, which makes him a staple for cash games tonight.
Top Ceiling: Kawhi Leonard vs. Philadelphia 76ers – $10,300 DraftKings, $9,400 FanDuel
Kawhi Leonard has seen his salary sky-rocket across the industry as he finally looks healthy. He scored 30 points in his most recent game, as he had a 39.1% usage rate while attempting a season-high 24 field goals. Leonard is more expensive than previously mentioned Paul George, who is listed as questionable to play. Prioritize Leonard on FanDuel where he is $900 cheaper than DraftKings and has a 97% Bargain Rating and 10 Pro Trends.
If George is unable to play, that would be a significant boost to Leonard, who has a +2.8% usage rate and a +3.0 DraftKings Plus/Minus when George is off the floor this season. In his last meeting against the 76ers with George healthy, Leonard still put up 28 points as he shot 12 of 19 from the field. It will be difficult to pay his five-figure salary on DraftKings, but Leonard looks like a strong pay-up option on FanDuel, where he is best utilized with his steal and block upside.
Top Value: Royce O’Neale at San Antonio Spurs – $5,500 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel
Royce O’Neale is shooting guard eligible only on DraftKings but has forward eligibility on FanDuel. He looks like a great value on both sites as he has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings and the fourth-highest on FanDuel. His first season with the Nets has already been a major success as O’Neale is averaging a career-high in points, assists, minutes, and 3-point percentage, shooting an impressive 40.8% from behind the arc.
O’Neale can stuff the stat sheet in a variety of ways and has a great chance to exceed value in this juicy matchup against the Spurs, who rank dead last in Defensive Rating (119.5), entering tonight’s games. The Spurs’ defense is dreadful across the board, as they are allowing a league-high 121.7 points as opponents are shooting a blistering 50.7% from the field.
There are many Nets players who look great tonight, but O’Neale is one of the best options.
Top Ceiling: Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Toronto Raptors – $11,800 DraftKings, $11,400 FanDuel
After missing three-straight games, Giannis Antetokounmpo is likely to play after warming up before last night’s game and getting ruled out at the last minute. This matchup took place earlier this month, and Giannis went nuclear. He finished the game with 30 points, 21 rebounds, 10 assists, and 72.25 DraftKings points. After that huge game, Giannis was disappointing in his last three games before sitting out with a nagging knee injury.
The Raptors have an above-average defense and are stout in defending the paint, but Giannis is a completely different threat. Giannis ranks third in the league in scoring, second in rebounds and second in usage rate with a career-high 37.8% per game. Playing without Khris Middleton, Giannis still has a very high ceiling. Make sure that Giannis is able to suit up, but he could easily have another monster game against the Raptors.
Top Value: Ben Simmons at San Antonio Spurs – $5,900 DraftKings, $6,900 FanDuel
Sticking with the Nets’ value, Ben Simmons will also see an increase in usage rate and production without Kevin Durant in the lineup. His salary hasn’t adjusted enough, especially on DraftKings at $5,900, as he has a 95% Bargain Rating. There is a high likelihood that the optimal lineup on this four-game slate features a plethora of Nets. Priced in the mid-range, Simmons will be a hot commodity as he leads the Nets in assists and steals this season.
Simmons was a late scratch last game with his ongoing back issues, so he is another player to monitor the closer we get to lock. His first season with the Nets has been a rollercoaster. Simmons is averaging a career-low 7.5 points and is shooting an abysmal 41.3% from the charity stripe. In his last game against the Celtics, Simmons went 0-3 from the field in 28 minutes scoring zero points but adding 13 assists and nine rebounds. If only he could provide some scoring, Simmons has a threat to triple-double. Maybe this Spurs matchup will break him out of his scoring slump.
Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Portland Trail Blazers – $12,000 DraftKings, $11,500 FanDuel
Similar to Sunday’s slate, Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are two of the best pay-up options. Unfortunately, they are both center-only eligible on both sites. Jokic gets the nod over Embiid once again, especially on FanDuel, where he is $100 cheaper and has a 94% Bargain Rating. He is becoming a near lock to triple-double lately as he has three in his last four games. During that time he is averaging 20 points, 13.5 rebounds and 12.3 assists per game.
The Nuggets are seven-point home favorites against the Trail Blazers with a slate-high 121.5 implied point total. Jokic continues to lead the team in nearly every statistic, as he is averaging 1.74 DraftKings points per minute. This matchup suits him perfectly, as the Trail Blazers are allowing 51.2 points per game in the paint, which ranks 22nd in the league. Jokic has shot 50% from the field or better in 33-straight games! The Trail Blazers will have no answer for the back-to-back MVP tonight.
Top Value: Precious Achiuwa at Milwaukee Bucks – $3,300 DraftKings, $4,600 FanDuel
On FanDuel, it is tough to get exposure to any center besides Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid. However, on DraftKings Precious Achiuwa stands out as an elite value at $3,300. He can be deployed on FanDuel as well, given his power forward eligibility, but he is also $1,300 more expensive. Achiuwa has made his way back from injury, and his minutes are ramping up. He played 28 and 20 minutes in his last two games for the Raptors.
The Bucks rank in the middle of the pack in points allowed in the paint this season, but Achiuwa has also shown the ability to stretch the floor and get dialed in from long distance. He is a versatile player who will likely help guard Giannis tonight. He will come off the bench, which will hopefully keep him out of foul trouble. There is double-double upside in this spot as Achiuwa needs to be prioritized on DraftKings with his 98% Bargain Rating.
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