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: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at Houston Rockets – $10,200 DraftKings, $10,700 FanDuel
After a weak point guard position last night, this eight-game slate features five point guards priced at $10,000 or more on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Picking the right one out of the bunch is critical. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander makes his case for the top spot as he has the highest ceiling at this position on FanDuel and the second-highest on DraftKings in our NBA Models. He is averaging a career-high 30.9 points per game while shooting an impressive 51% from the field.
Over the last five games, Gilgeous-Alexander has proven his upside, scoring over 30 points and over 50 DraftKings points in each contest while shooting 57.7% from the field and 66.7% from behind the arc. The matchup against the Rockets is what really sets Gilgeous-Alexander apart from the rest of the pack. They rank 28th in Defensive Rating, allowing 117.1 points per game. The salary increase on both sites is warranted for this potential All-Star.
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Top Value: Seth Curry at Boston Celtics – $5,000 DraftKings, $4,600 FanDuel
Seth Curry is the player with the second-highest projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel. Priced at $4,600, Curry has a 93% Bargain Rating and is projected to be one of the highest-owned players on the slate. Curry is one of the many players who has stepped up with all of the Nets’ injuries. Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, and T.J. Warren are all out for the Nets once again, making their role players like Curry look even better.
The only drawback for Curry is this matchup against the Celtics, who are nearly double-digit home favorites. This game features the lowest total on the slate at 226.5 points, and the Nets have an implied team total of only 109 points. Scoring may be tough to come by against one of the league’s best defensive teams, but Curry has the potential to get hot against anyone.
Top Ceiling: Anthony Edwards vs. Golden State Warriors – $9,800 DraftKings, $9,500 FanDuel
In Anthony Edwards‘ quest to make his first All-Star game, the third-year guard has been putting on a show in recent games. Not only has Edwards posted a positive Plus/Minus in six consecutive games, but he is averaging over 30 points per game over that span. With Karl-Anthony Towns still out, it has been the Edwards show. Using our On/Off Tool, Edwards has a team-high +1.7% usage bump with Towns off the floor this season.
The Warriors’ defense has improved from the start of the season, but they are still allowing 118 points per game, which ranks as the fifth-highest in the league. It doesn’t help the Warriors’ defense that they play at the fastest Pace (103.3) by far. More possessions equal more opportunities for Edwards to light up the scoreboard.
Top Value: Doug McDermott vs. Sacramento Kings – $3,000 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel
Let’s go dumpster diving with Spurs shooting guard Doug McDermott. He is priced at the stone minimum on DraftKings and has the second-highest projected Plus/Minus on the slate. McDermott has played 20+ minutes in four-straight games, and we have him projected over that mark again tonight. There are plenty of options to choose from in a game with a slate-high 244-point total, including the uber-cheap McDermott.
The Kings may be one of the best teams in the Western Conference, but they also rank 21st in Defensive Rating while playing at the eighth-fastest pace. The Spurs may be 7.5-point home underdogs, but they are still implied to score 118.25 points. Playing around 20 minutes in this environment, McDermott is worth taking a chance on. He is a great salary saver in stars-and-scrubs builds.
Top Ceiling: Jayson Tatum vs. Brooklyn Nets – $11,100 DraftKings, $10,800 FanDuel
Coming in as the second-highest-priced player on both DraftKings and FanDuel, Jayson Tatum has had three-straight games with a 30-point double-double. He’s averaging a career-high 31.3 points per game and is also bringing down a career-high 8.7 rebounds per game. Over that three-game span, Tatum has played 40 or more minutes in each contest as the Celtics have gone into overtime in back-to-back games against the Knicks and Lakers.
The Nets do not pose much of a defensive threat with two of their starters missing. Without Kevin Durant, the Nets’ Defensive Rating drops to 119.0 from 112.4 in the 11 games he has not played this season. Tatum has recorded a double-double in each of the two games against the Nets, and it helps that the Nets rank second-to-last in Rebounding Percentage (47.6) entering tonight’s games.
Top Value: Eric Gordon vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – $5,300 DraftKings, $5,000 FanDuel
Eric Gordon stands out as one of the best values of the day on FanDuel, where he is projected to be one of the highest-owned players on the slate. He is playing over 30 minutes a game recently while scoring double-digit points in 12 of his last 14 games. Over that span, Gordon has averaged 15.1 points per game with a couple of 24-point performances mixed in.
The main reason Gordon looks so good is guards Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green are both out with injuries. Using our On/Off Tool, Gordon has seen a team-high +9.4% usage rate bump and has averaged just under a fantasy point per minute with both players off the floor this season. He looks awesome as a pairing with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in this fast-paced game against the Thunder. They rank third in Pace and Gordon loves to shoot the rock.
Top Ceiling: Domantas Sabonis at San Antonio Spurs – $9,900 DraftKings, $9,600 FanDuel
Despite receiving plenty of criticism, maybe the trade for Domantas Sabonis was worth it for the Kings. They are currently the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, and Sabonis leads the league in rebounding with 12.4 per game. His career-high 7.1 assists per game have helped propel him to six triple-doubles, which is the third-most in the league. Priced under $10,000 on both DraftKings and FanDuel, Sabonis is simply too cheap in this matchup.
The Spurs are the worst defensive team in the league and it isn’t particularly close. They rank last in Defensive Rating while allowing a league-high 122.3 points per game. Opponents are shooting a ridiculous 51% from the field and 40.3% from behind the arc against them. They’re also allowing the most points in the paint with 55.3 per game and a league-high 26.6 assists per game. Sabonis could easily record his seventh triple-double of the season tonight.
Top Value: Keegan Murray at San Antonio Spurs – $5,100 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel
Let’s stick with the Kings’ frontcourt and look at Keegan Murray as a value play. Murray had arguably the best month for a rookie this season. In January, Murray averaged 14 points per game while shooting 51% from the field and 49.5% from behind the arc. He had three double-doubles over that span, including 13 rebounds in his last game. He has become a knockdown 3-point shooter, making 3.2 per game in his last month of action.
Murray can also excel in this matchup against the pitiful Spurs defense. With 61.9% of his field goal attempts coming from behind the arc, Murray can get it cooking from distance. He has started all but two games this season and has averaged 36.1 minutes per game over his last seven games. Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox deserve a lot of attention, but Murray fills a power forward position as one of the better values on the slate.
Top Ceiling: Joel Embiid vs. Orlando Magic – $11,200 DraftKings, $11,500 FanDuel
Playing the Magic at home for the second consecutive game, the 76ers are nearly double-digit favorites after losing by 10 points in their last game. Joel Embiid is going down the LeBron James route of being questionable for nearly every game and will randomly sit due to soreness. Make sure to monitor our news dashboard in case Embiid is unable to suit up tonight, but Embiid managed to post his third-straight double-double with 30 points and 11 rebounds in his last game.
Surprisingly the Magic defense has been strong both on the glass and in the paint this season. Luckily for Embiid, he is as matchup-proof as it gets and has a ceiling playing against any defense. The 76ers have won 20 of their last 25 games as Embiid continues to dominate. He is averaging a league and career-high 33.6 points per game while shooting 53.4% from the field while attempting 21.1 field goals a night. Even though he is the most expensive player on the slate, he is worth the price tag. If he can’t play, lock in 76ers point guard James Harden.
Top Value: Alperen Sengun vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – $8,800 DraftKings, $8,300 FanDuel
Alperen Sengun is much more expensive than the typical “value”, but he needs to be brought up given his slate-high projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel. Priced at $8,300, Sengun has a 94% Bargain Rating with 12 Pro Trends. There is a lot working in his favor playing against a very small Thunder backcourt that has allowed 51.4 points per game in the paint this season.
Sengun has recorded a positive Plus/Minus on FanDuel in 20 of his last 23 games. He may be eligible at center only, but it is hard to deny how good of a play he is, especially without KPJ and Green out of the lineup. With those two out, Sengun has a 22.5% assist rate this season. For the Rockets to be competitive, Sengun needs a huge game, so don’t be surprised if he messes around and records his third career triple-double.
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