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: LaMelo Ball at Milwaukee Bucks – $9,500 DraftKings, $8,000 FanDuel
The point guard position lacks star power, but LaMelo Ball has the highest ceiling on both sites. In his third year in the league, Ball has only played 24 games this season as he has dealt with injuries. Despite the limited games, Ball is averaging a career-high 23 points and 8.2 assists per game. He has over a 30% usage rate and has attempted over 20 field goal attempts per game. Ball’s triple-double upside makes him an intriguing option in tournaments.
Prioritize Ball on FanDuel, where he is -$1,500 cheaper and has a slate-high 99% Bargain Rating. The Bucks rank third in Defensive Rating (110.2) this season, but the Hornets were able to win their last meeting by 31 points. Ball had a double-double in that contest, finishing with 24 points and 12 assists. The Hornets are double-digit road underdogs tonight, but this total is a slate-high 244 points.
Ball’s over on 36.5 points + rebounds + assists looks appealing on Underdog Fantasy. You can get a deposit bonus of up to $100 on Underdog when signing up with promo code LABS.
Top Value: Immanuel Quickley at Los Angeles Lakers – $5,100 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel
Another point guard in his third year in the league is Immanuel Quickley. The Knicks point guard is averaging a career-high in points, rebounds, steals, and field goal percentage this season. Quickley has really caught fire since the middle of December. He has scored double-digit points in 19 of his last 20 games while averaging 17.1 points per game and shooting 50.8% from the field.
This matchup against the Lakers is a major pace-up spot since the Knicks rank 27th in Pace while the Lakers rank second in the league (102.2). That feeds right into how Quickley wants to play, pun intended. The Knicks are favored by 3.5 points and the total is over 230. Quickley looks like one of the best values on both DraftKings and FanDuel, and his ownership projection is in the low 20s on both sites.
Top Ceiling: Paul George at Chicago Bulls – $8,900 DraftKings, $8,300 FanDuel
After sitting out on the tail end of a back-to-back, Paul George is playing tonight and has the highest ceiling at the shooting guard position. Over his last six games since returning from injury, George is averaging 22.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game. During that span, he has also averaged well over 40 DraftKings points per game while shooting 54.3% from the field. It is safe to say George has been locked in trying to turn the Clippers’ season around.
The Clippers had won five-straight games before their loss last game, where George and Kawhi Leonard did not play. They are road favorites against an eerie-similarly Bulls team with veterans also trying to right the ship. George is another ceiling play who looks better on FanDuel, where his $8,300 salary comes with a 96% Bargain Rating and 12 Pro Trends. Priced under $9,000 on both sites, George is simply too cheap in this matchup.
Top Value: Grayson Allen vs. Charlotte Hornets – $4,400 DraftKings, $4,600 FanDuel
Grayson Allen is the best value option on DraftKings at the shooting guard position by a comfortable margin. He has the highest projected Plus/Minus at the position and third-highest overall for this five-game slate. This is a battle of one of the best Eastern Conference teams against the worst, with the Hornets ranking 27th in Defensive Rating while allowing 118.6 points per game.
The Bucks have been on fire recently, scoring 130+ points in five of their past six wins. Allen can continue adding to the Bucks’ point total in this cupcake matchup. In his first two years with the Bucks, Allen has averaged double-digit points while shooting over 40% from behind the arc. Over 60% of his field goal attempts come from downtown, which makes him look a little better on DraftKings than FanDuel, given the 3-point bonus.
Top Ceiling: LeBron James at New York Knicks – $11,600 DraftKings, $10,700 FanDuel
After skipping last game due to a
temper tantrum ankle injury, LeBron James is expected to play on this second leg of the Lakers’ back-to-back. James has been incredible, even with Anthony Davis healthy again. He has scored 60+ DraftKings points in seven of his last nine games, delivering a combination of scoring with nearly double-digit rebounds and assists every game. It is a lot of work trying to bring this Lakers team back into contention, but James has been the superhero.
The Lakers are slight road underdogs as James continues his quest for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record. Playing in Madison Square Garden seems to bring out the best in elite players, including James. He hasn’t played in this Arena since December of 2020, but he has scored 30+ in MSG on several occasions. Similar to Ball and George, prioritize James on FanDuel, where his $10,700 comes with a 98% Bargain Rating.
Top Value: Trey Murphy III at Denver Nuggets – $4,700 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel
Trey Murphy III has seen his playing time fluctuate with Brandon Ingram back in the Pelicans lineup. Despite Ingram being back, Murphy still rates out as one of the best values on the slate at under $5,000 across the industry. Zion Williamson and rookie Dyson Daniels remain out while the Pelicans look to find any sort of success. They have lost eight-straight games and are 6.5-point road underdogs against the Nuggets.
In his second year in the league, Murphy has been a valuable part of the Pelicans’ rotation with all of the injuries that they have suffered. Murphy is averaging career-highs across the board in points, rebounds, and assists while shooting the lights out from all over the floor. He is second on the team behind CJ McCollum, averaging 2.2 made 3-pointers per game. Any value player who can light it up from the perimeter always has upside.
Top Ceiling: Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Charlotte Hornets – $12,000 DraftKings, $12,200 FanDuel
Leading the way in our NBA Model from a ceiling perspective is Giannis Antetokounmpo. Priced at 12,000+ on both DraftKings and FanDuel, Nikola Jokic is the only other player on this slate in the same stratosphere. Giannis has had the edge over Jokic over his last two games, averaging 45.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 72.1 DraftKings points per game while shooting an absurd 36 of 55 (65.5%) from the field.
The matchup against the Hornets is another reason Giannis looks so great on this slate. The Bucks are implied for a slate-high 127.5 points, and the Hornets allow 50.9 points per game in the paint this season, which ranks 20th in the league. It is hard to deny Giannis is the best play on the slate with such a juicy matchup. He is averaging career-highs in points and usage rate per game, so he looks poised to continue his massive fantasy production.
Top Value: Larry Nance Jr. at Denver Nuggets – $4,100 DraftKings, $4,500 FanDuel
Larry Nance Jr. is another potential value option for the Pelicans. He is coming off a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds against the Bucks in only 24 minutes. Having a value player with double-double upside priced at $4,500 or less is always going to draw attention. Nance Jr. has returned a positive Plus/Minus in five of his last six games on DraftKings, and one of those games was against the Nuggets.
The better Nance Jr. continues to play, the more opportunities that will come his way. Having Zion Williamson out really helps the playing time and upside for Nance Jr. Using our On/Off Tool, Nance Jr. has the second-highest rebound rate when Williamson is off the floor, and he’s averaged 0.86 DraftKings points per minute in that scenario. The Nuggets are a strong rebounding team, but the upside is there for the versatile power forward.
Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. New Orleans Pelicans – $11,800 DraftKings, $11,600 FanDuel
Mr. Triple-Double continues to make his case for a third consecutive MVP. The Nuggets center has recorded a triple-double in four of his last five games, including against the Pelicans exactly one week ago. Despite his triple-doubles, Jokic doesn’t seem to have the fantasy scoring average to compete with the likes of a Giannis Antetokounmpo. Jokic is more of a cash game staple type of play given his consistent output each and every night.
The Nuggets have the second-highest implied total at 119.5 points, as this game features a 232.5-point total. The Pelicans still rank inside the top 10 in Defensive Rating, but their numbers are plummeting with their recent losing streak. They are also allowing 49.9 points per game in the paint, which is below average. Jokic looks better on FanDuel than Giannis given the -$600 discount and his 93% Bargain Rating, but the edge goes to Giannis on DraftKings.
Top Value: Mark Williams at Milwaukee Bucks – $3,400 DraftKings, $4,300 FanDuel
Mark Williams is the best value play of the day on DraftKings. The rookie from Duke has the highest projected Plus/Minus on the slate as his minutes are slowly starting to ramp up. Williams is coming in at extremely low projected ownership, which makes him a strong contrarian play in tournaments. He is still coming off the bench behind Mason Plumlee, but guarding the paint will be a necessity against Giannis and the Bucks. That could potentially open up more playing time for Williams, who is an excellent rim protector.
Williams has only played in 20 games this season due to injury, but he has scored double-digit points in three of his last six. He has also recorded a positive Plus/Minus on DraftKings in six of his last eight games. Priced near the stone minimum on DraftKings, Williams is a great salary saver and helps you pay up for Jokic and/or Giannis.
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