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.
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. New York Knicks – $10,500 DraftKings, $9,900 FanDuel
Westbrook is the clear-cut upside play at point guard against a Knicks defense which has struggled to defend opposing guards this season. It also helps that LeBron James will be missing, considering the massive bump in Usage which Westbrook saw with James sidelined last week.
Our model believes Westbrook should be plenty capable of reaching the 70-point plateau.
Top Value: Cory Joseph vs. Miami Heat – $3,900 DraftKings, $4,100 FanDuel
It’s true that Joseph is cheaper on DraftKings, but he’s still going to have a projection around seven-times salary on both sites. The Pistons will be playing this game without Killian Hayes, which has opened the door for more Joseph minutes of late. He’s averaged nearly 33 minutes over the last three games and even drew the start in this weekend’s loss to the Lakers. The veteran guard hasn’t offered the most production from a fantasy perspective, but he should be locked into big minutes.
That’s why our model is so high on him.
Top Ceiling: CJ McCollum vs. Denver Nuggets – $7,800 DraftKings, $7,600 FanDuel
Keep an eye out for injury news here with Nikola Jokic banged up. Without him this year, the Nuggets’ defense has crumbled, allowing more than 12 additional points per 100 possessions. Regardless, McCollum leads the charge in terms of ceiling at Shooting Guards on DraftKings, and he’s the best option of the guys who aren’t also eligible at small forward on FanDuel.
He carries a +5.73 Projected Plus/Minus over there, making him a solid option across the board.
Top Value: Alec Burks vs. Los Angeles Lakers – $4,200 DraftKings, $4,500 FanDuel
The newly-anointed “Mr. Fourth Quarter” has been good for around 20 fantasy points per game over the last two, and he’s seen a hefty complement of minutes lately with 25 or more in five of his last six outings. Burks’ ability to shoot the ball should be important against a weak Lakers defense, and the pace of this game should benefit everyone involved.
Top Ceiling: Jimmy Butler vs. Detroit Pistons – $9,700 DraftKings, $10,100 FanDuel
The Pistons rank 24th in defensive efficiency entering play on Tuesday, and Butler enters as one of the more consistent commodities in DFS. He’s red-hot, scoring 44 or more fantasy points on both sides in his last four outings, excluding one injury-shortened game. While he’s always provided a decent floor given his minutes, our model sets him as the highest-upside play at this position.
Top Value: Talen Horton-Tucker vs. New York Knicks – $5,900 DraftKings, $6,000 FanDuel
Horton-Tucker should be one of the clear beneficiaries of the injury to LeBron James. With the pace the Lakers play with, he should have plenty of opportunities to shoot the ball. He should have a relatively easy time scoring as well, considering his +1.77 Opponent Plus/Minus on FanDuel and +0.45 on DraftKings.
This is a great matchup for a guy who should see more minutes and Usage, and our model projects THT to exceed 5X easily.
Top Ceiling: Julius Randle vs. Los Angeles Lakers – $10,000 DraftKings, $10,500 FanDuel
The Lakers have added Anthony Davis to the injury report, which makes Randle the easy call in this spot for multiple reasons. First of all, it’s hard to recommend a hobbled Davis, who may not play and wasn’t even performing all that well in the absence of LeBron. Second of all, no Davis means the lane should be clear for Randle to absolutely dominate in the paint.
Our model sets him as the highest-upside play on both sites by a comfortable margin, and he’s stronger on FanDuel, with his 91% Bargain Rating.
Top Value: Jeff Green vs. Portland Trail Blazers – $3,900 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel
It’s slim pickings at power forward and center on this slate when it comes to value. Green has the benefit of facing one of the worst defenses on the slate and carries an average of 30 minutes per game into the one over his last two outings with Denver. He’s outperformed our projections in five of the last eight games, and his +2.22 Opponent Plus/Minus here on FanDuel illustrates the upside he has on this short slate.
Top Value: Nikola Jokic vs. Portland Trail Blazers – $11,400 DraftKings, $11,300 FanDuel
I made note of Jokic’s injury status above, and if he can’t go (and Davis can’t go), then you’re looking at Bam Adebayo as the highest-ceiling play at center. It’s worth talking about this matchup for the Denver big man, though. He carries a +1.79 Opponent Plus/Minus into this one on DraftKings and +3.32 on FanDuel.
Our model sets his ceiling as the highest of any player on both sites, gearing up to face a 25th-ranked Blazers defense which he’s historically dominated.
Top Value: Larry Nance, Jr. vs. Denver Nuggets – $3,600 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel
The price has caught up with Nance on FanDuel, where he is a good, not great, option. He’s going to be a fantastic value on DraftKings, however, given the fact that he is well south of $4,000 and locked into 20 or more minutes. Nance has reached 39.75 DKFP during his hot run, during which his shooting has been vital to Portland’s success. This is another spot to watch the status of Jokic because without him, Nance could be one of the plays of the slate. We have him as a near-6X play on DraftKings.