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.
Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to hand-build your lineups.
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: Russell Westbrook vs. Houston Rockets – $9,900 DraftKings, $9,200 FanDuel
With LeBron James banged up and listed as questionable, Westbrook’s Usage could touch the 33-37% range he saw in the two contests James missed. At this kind of price — particularly on FanDuel, where he checks in with a 92% Bargain Rating and projects to be a great leverage play — it’s hard to fault you for playing Russ in this spot.
Our model projects Westbrook’s ceiling to be the highest at this position on both sites at the time of writing.
Top Value: Kyle Lowry vs. Dallas Mavericks – $7,100 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel
There is a huge discrepancy between the two sites when it comes to pricing Lowry, and if you’re playing on FanDuel is an incredible option at under $6K.
Lowry’s usage crept up to near 18% in his last game against the Grizzlies, and he scored 15 points with eight assists and five boards in just 29 minutes. We have him set at over 32 minutes in this one against Dallas, a team that has struggled defensively in the past two seasons and project him to flirt with 6X value.
Top Ceiling: Donovan Mitchell vs. Sacramento Kings – $8,800 DraftKings, $8,000 FanDuel
Mitchell is the sure-fire highest upside on DraftKings, whereas he has a couple of guys to contend with for that honor over on FanDuel. Still, we project him to be capable of around a 60-point night no matter where you play against Sacramento.
The Kings are once again near the bottom of the league in Defensive Rating, and Mitchell is beginning to heat up. He’s hit at least two triples in his last three games, knocking down four in his most recent effort, which netted him 40 DraftKings points. With an average of 29 real-life points per game in the last couple of contests and his shot heating up, Mitchell could have a big night here.
Top Value: Eric Gordon vs. Los Angeles Lakers – $4,900 DraftKings, $4,200 FanDuel
The Lakers have really regressed on the defensive end after losing Alex Caruso, Kentavius Caldwell-Pope, and Montrezl Harrell. They enter this one with an efficiency rating which ranks 16th in the league after leading the NBA in that department for most of the 2020-21 season.
Gordon should benefit here. He has a +1.27 Opponent Plus/Minus on FanDuel, where he has a wonderful 92% Bargain Rating and a Projected Plus/Minus of 7.33. At this price and in this matchup, Gordon is a solid play.
Top Ceiling: Jimmy Butler vs. New York Knicks – $9,100 DraftKings, $10,400 FanDuel
Butler is a great deal at this price with a projected ceiling that could carry him well over five times his salary. He rates very highly in our tournament model over on DraftKings, where you have the likes of Luka Doncic eligible at small forward. He’s been on fire over at DK with an average of over 50 fantasy points in his last four contests, and he’ll draw some weak Dallas defense on the wing.
Top Value: Jae’Sean Tate vs. Los Angeles Lakers – $5,000 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel
We detailed above how disappointing this Lakers defense has been, so it should be no surprise to see Tate projected to perform at a high level here, given the 30+ minutes he’s projected for. Tate’s floor is relatively high on DraftKings at nearly four times his salary, making him a safe play over there. He has the potential to reach 8X here but should comfortably hit value with a solid Usage Rate projection of 16%.
Top Ceiling: Anthony Davis vs. Houston Rockets – $9,700 DraftKings, $10,000 FanDuel
The Rockets have the third-worst field goal percentage allowed inside 10 feet this year and have been relatively weak on the glass as well, ranking in the bottom half of the NBA. With James banged up, as we mentioned above, Davis could be in line for a big workload. He carries a ceiling of over 55 points into this game on both sites.
Thanasis Antetokounmpo vs. Detroit Pistons – $3,100 DraftKings, $4,200 FanDuel
The Bucks are so depleted that even you and I have made it onto their injury report. Antetokounmpo should see massive minutes here, particularly if his brother Giannis winds up sitting (he’s listed as questionable). At this kind of price, particularly on DraftKings, he’s a must-play and a guy who should be pretty chalky. He carries a +10.2 Projected Plus/Minus on DK, and we project him to flirt with an 8X night, with a ceiling even further above that.
Top Ceiling: Jonas Valanciuanas vs. Phoenix Suns – $8,500 DraftKings, $8,600 FanDuel
The Suns have already slipped just a bit on the glass, ranking ninth in rebounding rate, and are listing Deandre Ayton as questionable for this game. Against a hobbled Ayton, or potentially against JaVale McGee, Valanciunas should produce. We project his ceiling to be around 60 points on both sites with a resounding +6.36 Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel.
Top Value: Dwight Powell vs. Miami Heat – $4,000 DraftKings, $4,800 FanDuel
Powell saw 33 minutes last time out against the Kings with Kristaps Porzingis out of the lineup, and with the big man listed questionable again, he should be in line for big minutes again, according to our projections. The matchup is not great against a staunch Miami Heat frontcourt, but should Powell see the 25+ minutes we project him for; you can expect him to get you at least 5X on both sites.