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: Ja Morant vs. San Antonio Spurs – $10,300 DraftKings, $10,100 FanDuel
After missing back-to-back games due to an injury, Ja Morant is expected back for this Western Conference tilt against the Spurs. Before his minor injury, Morant scored 32 or more points in six of his last nine games. He is averaging over 27 points per game for the second-straight season while also averaging a career-high in assists and rebounds. The Grizzlies have won seven-straight games, and Morant is a huge reason for their recent success.
This cupcake matchup against the Spurs is what really sets Morant above the rest of his pricing piers. The Spurs come into tonight with the worst Defensive Rating, as they are allowing a league-high 120.6 points per game. Both teams rank in the top 10 in Pace this season, as this game has a slate-high total of 238.5 points. The Grizzlies have an implied total of 126 points as they are 13.5-point home favorites.
Morant is worth every penny of the $10,000 salary on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Top Value: Jordan Goodwin vs. Chicago Bulls – $3,100 DraftKings, $4,000 FanDuel
The point guard who leads the slate in Projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings is Jordan Goodwin. The second-year pro has played in 32 games for the Wizards while starting in three of them. Goodwin is back in the rotation now due to all of the Wizards’ injuries. Not only is Bradley Beal out, but Kristaps Porzingis, Daniel Gafford, and Corey Kispert are all questionable. Goodwin has played 22 and 17 minutes in the Wizards’ last two games, making him a strong value.
Priced at $3,100 on DraftKings and projected to play 17 minutes, Goodwin has a 92% Bargain Rating. The Bulls rank 20th in Defensive Rating this season but have won eight of their last 12 games. If more of the Wizards starters get ruled out, this game could easily get out of hand, solidifying the minutes for Goodwin.
He is not a high ceiling play, but Goodwin can provide salary relief on a slate that is filled with expensive options in great game environments.
Top Ceiling: Anthony Edwards vs. Detroit Pistons – $9,100 DraftKings, $8,600 FanDuel
Anthony Edwards is questionable to play with a hip injury that has been bothersome for the past two weeks, but he has yet to miss a game this season. Playing against the Pistons, who rank 29th in Defensive Rating, it is hard to see him missing this game due to injury. Edwards has the highest ceiling in our models at the shooting guard position despite being relatively cheap. Prioritize Edwards on FanDuel at $8,600, where he has a 94% Bargain Rating.
Edwards is averaging a career-high in points, rebounds, and assists. A big reason for his success is the absence of Karl-Anthony Towns, who continues to nurse a calf injury. Using our On/Off Tool, Edwards is averaging a team-high +1.8% usage rate and a +0.8 DraftKings Plus/Minus in 905 minutes when Towns is off the court this season.
Make sure he suits up, but Edwards is a great tournament play against one of the worst defensive teams in the league.
Top Value: Duane Washington Jr. at Denver Nuggets – $4,600 DraftKings, $5,700 FanDuel
Duane Washington Jr. drew his first start of the season as the Suns continue to run out make-shift lineups trying to right the ship with all of their injuries. Despite his salary increasing by $400 on DraftKings and $1,000 on FanDuel since last night, Washington Jr. still looks like a strong value on both sites. He has now played 25+ minutes in three-straight games while averaging 19.7 points, five assists, and 17.7 field goal attempts per game. During that time, he has a ridiculous 38.4% usage rate and has made five 3-pointers in back-to-back games.
After a six-game losing streak, the Suns finally got back in the win column last night against the Warriors on the road. This matchup against the Nuggets is much different, but there is a chance that Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton, Cameron Payne, and Landry Shamet are all out again tonight. Keep an eye on our news dashboard to see who is in and out of the Sun’s lineup, but Washington Jr. looks like a great value yet again.
Top Ceiling: Jayson Tatum vs. New Orleans Pelicans – $10,800 DraftKings, $10,600 FanDuel
Averaging a career-high 30.8 points per game, Jayson Tatum continues to take a leap each and every year. He recorded his second triple-double of his career against the slow-paced Mavericks last Thursday. Tatum’s ceiling remains high, while his salary on both sites is barely over $10,500. In an odd pricing tier, Tatum could see lower ownership with DFS players paying up for Giannis and Jokic, while Tatum slips under the crack in a tougher matchup.
The Celtics hold the league’s best record at 29-12 and host the Pelicans, who have emerged as one of the best teams in the Western Conference. The Pelicans have rank fifth in Defensive Rating (110.7), entering tonight’s games. Regardless of the matchup, Tatum is worth getting exposure to with his career-high 32.8% usage rate that ranks as the seventh-highest in the league.
He is a great way to differentiate your lineups while still having incredible upside.
Top Value: Taurean Prince at Detroit Pistons – $3,200 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel
Another value play that looks much better on DraftKings than FanDuel is Timberwolves’ forward Taurean Prince. Since returning from injury, Prince has seen his minutes increase in three-straight games, as he scored 14 points in his last game while shooting 6 of 10 from the floor. Having a price tag $1,200 cheaper on DraftKings compared to FanDuel is noticeable. Prioritize Prince on DraftKings, where he is priced near the minimum and has a 97% Bargain Rating.
Prince ranks third on the team in increased usage rate with Karl-Anthony Towns off the floor. If Anthony Edwards is unable to play, he looks even better. Prince has averaged two made 3-pointers in his last three games, which increases his floor on DraftKings. Similar to Goodwin, Prince is another bargain bin play that will help the tight salary cap on DraftKings.
Playing against this Pistons defense will also help anyone look like a great play.
Top Ceiling: Giannis Antetokounmpo at Atlanta Hawks – $11,800 DraftKings, $11,600 FanDuel
The highest priced player paired with the highest ceiling on both DraftKings and FanDuel is Giannis Antetokounmpo. Priced under $12,000 on both sites feels like a bit of a bargain for the Greek Freak. He ranks third on FanDuel for the highest projected Plus/Minus despite being $11,600. Giannis also has the second-highest usage rate in the league at 38.3% while averaging a career-high 31.7 points per game while shooting over 52% from the field for the seventh-straight season.
With Clint Capela out for the Hawks, Giannis should have a field day against this weak frontcourt. They are allowing 53.4 points per game in the paint this season, which ranks as the fifth-highest in the league. The Hawks also have the fifth-worst Rebounding Percentage making this an elite matchup for Giannis. Khris Middleton being out boosts the ceiling of Giannis.
He is simply too cheap for this spot against a team that will have no answer for him in the paint.
Top Value: Xavier Tillman vs. San Antonio Spurs – $3,500 DraftKings, $3,900 FanDuel
Flipping the script, Xavier Tillman is a value play that looks much better on FanDuel than he does on DraftKings. Priced below $4,000 on both sites, Tillman is preferred on FanDuel due to his power forward and center eligibility. Tillman came back into the rotation with Brandon Clarke sidelined, who is still out for tonight’s game. Over the last four games, Tillman is averaging 8.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 24.8 FanDuel points per game while shooting 52% from the field.
Playing against a Spurs frontcourt that has allowed 54.7 points per game in the paint, which ranks as the third-highest in the league is a great spot to get exposure to Tillman. Even though the rest of the Grizzlies’ frontcourt is healthy, Tillman is still projected to play 18 minutes and be a strong value option. It is hard to predict blowouts, but the Grizzlies have a 13.5-point spread could mean extra playing time for Tillman, who will be the center in the second unit.
Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Phoenix Suns – $11,600 DraftKings, $11,500 FanDuel
It is pretty crazy how a back-to-back MVP can put up five total field goal attempts and still have such an impact on the game. That is what Nikola Jokic did last game against the Lakers, recording his league-high 11th triple-double of the season with 14 points, 16 assists, and 11 rebounds. He had 58.75 DraftKings points while making all five of his field goal attempts. Even with a healthy Nuggets roster, Jokic is averaging 1.73 DraftKings points per minute this season.
There is potential that Suns center Deandre Ayton sat out last night’s game to be ready to face Jokic tonight. Or maybe his ankle is that bad, and he won’t be able to play this game either. Jokic is in a great spot regardless, but playing against Jock Landale and Bismack Biyombo would boost his ceiling even more. The Suns may have just recorded their first win of 2023, but they are seven-point road underdogs against the Nuggets, who are a league-best 17-3 at home.
Top Value: Rudy Gobert at Detroit Pistons – $7,100 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel
Even though Rudy Gobert has a salary of over $7,000 on both sites, he has the highest Projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings and FanDuel tonight. The Pistons are another team who are allowing a plethora of points in the paint, with 54.6 per game this season. The status of Isaiah Stewart and Jalen Duren is in question, which could make this an even better spot to target Gobert. If Anthony Edwards is unable to play, Gobert looks even better, so make sure to monitor the news.
In his first season with the Timberwolves, Gobert is averaging a double-double for the seventh-straight season with 14 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. He is second behind Domantas Sabonis in rebounds this season, and his upside has increased with Karl-Anthony Towns out of the lineup. Over the last three games, Gobert is averaging 20 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 44.3 DraftKings points per game, making him a great value on both sites tonight.
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