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. San Antonio Spurs – $9,000 DraftKings, $9,100 FanDuel
After a dud on opening night against the Warriors, Westbrook has responded well with back-to-back games of 43 fantasy points or more on both sites.
Now, in a matchup with the San Antonio Spurs, who rank 15th in defensive efficiency, we project Westbrook to have one of the highest ceilings on the slate, making him the highest upside point guard on the slate no matter where you’re playing.
With the news that LeBron James has been downgraded to questionable, there’s a chance Westbrook could see even more usage than the 25.39% he’s projected for, unlocking even more potential.
Top Value: Kemba Walker vs. Philadelphia 76ers – $5,200 DraftKings, $4,800 FanDuel
Walker has yet to have his first big game with the Knicks and has seen just an average of 20 minutes over the last two games, but a matchup with the Ben Simmons-less Sixers makes him the top projected value play on Tuesday’s short slate.
Our model has Walker going for 5.8 Pts/Sal, which would make him the best dollar-for-dollar point guard on the slate. He carries a +5.36 Projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings and a +9.59 on FanDuel. He’s a great universal option, but his 87% Bargain Rating makes him a much better play on FanDuel.
Top Ceiling: Donovan Mitchell vs. Denver Nuggets – $8,700 DraftKings, $8,600 FanDuel
Mitchell leads the way at shooting guard on this five-game slate, matching up with a Nuggets defense which should come in here with tired legs. The Jazz shooting guard recovered after a miserable performance in his season debut to see a 34.3% Usage Rate and rack up 43.8 DraftKings fantasy points against the Spurs.
On Tuesday, our model projects Mitchell to have one of the highest Ceiling Projections, sitting just below Russell Westbrook and Luka Doncic, who are shooting guard-eligible.
Top Value: Lu Dort vs. Golden State Warriors – $4,700 DraftKings, $4,800 FanDuel
There is a whole mess at shooting guard over on FanDuel with so many guys with dual-eligibility possessing great upside for their price, but the one guy who is a constant on both sites is Dort.
The Thunder guard is projected for around 25 points on DraftKings according to our model, which would surpass five times his salary. His slightly lower projected points on FanDuel would still leave him at 5.3X on that site.
On both sites, he’s your best option if you’re trying to save a little cash.
Top Ceiling: Michael Porter vs. Utah Jazz – $6,200 DraftKings, $6,900 FanDuel
Porter is both a great upside play and a fantastic value at this price. He should go for around 30 fantasy points on either site, according to our model, and he has a ceiling in the upper 40s on DraftKings and Fanduel.
He’s clearly your best bet on DraftKings at the price and with the higher projection, though it’s hard to argue with taking him on FanDuel with a +4.21 Projected Plus/Minus and 33.03 minute projection against Utah.
Top Value: Kent Bazemore vs. San Antonio Spurs – $4,200 DraftKings, $3,900 FanDuel
We noted the Spurs’ lackluster defensive performance above, and this will be yet another way to take advantage of that matchup. Bazemore is already a great option when looking at his median projection, but his ceiling could be much greater should LeBron James sit out with an injury.
Top Ceiling: Anthony Davis vs. San Antonio Spurs – $9,200 DraftKings, $10,500 FanDuel
Another guy who was already in line for a big night and could see a boost without James in the lineup is Davis, whose ceiling is among the best at the posistion. We project the big man to see 35.93 minutes with a Usage Rate of 24.31, numbers that could obviously grow with the absence of James.
The Spurs have allowed 48.7 points in the paint on average, making this a high-upside play no matter who’s in the lineup for the Lakers.
Top Value: Doug McDermott vs. Los Angeles Lakers – $4,500 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel
The sharpshooting McDermott is projected to get you more than five times his salary on Tuesday night, and on FanDuel he carries with him a huge +5.86 Projected Plus/Minus. The Lakers have struggled on defense in the early going with a 112 defensive rating, which is 25th in the NBA, making this an interesting spot to play some Spurs. It doesn’t hurt that the total for this game of 223 is the second-highest on the slate, after the 223.5-point total in Warriors-Thunder.
Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Utah Jazz – $10,600 DraftKings, $11,100 FanDuel
The Jazz have allowed a whopping 50 points per game in the paint so far this year to rank fifth-worst in the league and now have to contest an MVP hopeful in Jokic. The big man will come in on the second night of a back-to-back, playing 35 minutes on Monday, but our model loves the matchup too much.
Jokic leads all centers with his Ceiling Projection in our models on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He is a solid leverage play as well, with Leverage Ratings of 82% and 79%, respectively.
Top Value: Mike Muscala vs. Golden State Warriors – $3,500 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel
You won’t find a center down in the bargain bin who’s quite this attractive dollar-for-dollar. The Thunder stretch five is projected to see 18.7 minutes according to our model, with a 20.29% Usage Rate. Without Derrick Favors in the lineup, who will rest, Muscala should be relied upon for production behind Isaiah Roby.
Muscala should score over 18 fantasy points on both sites, carrying a +3.55 Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel and a +3.3 on DraftKings.