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.
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: Stephen Curry at Los Angeles Clippers – $10,500 DraftKings, $9,800 FanDuel
Last game, it was the Klay Thompson show as he poured in 33 points in the first half, but Stephen Curry is still the top option for this Warriors team. In his previous four games since returning from injury, Curry averaged 22.3 field goal attempts per game and a 33% usage rate. Curry continues to lead the league with five made 3-pointers game while shooting 43.6% from behind the arc. Priced at $9,800 on FanDuel, Curry has a 97% Bargain Rating.
This is a matchup of contradicting styles of play as the Warriors lead the league in Pace (102.7), while the Clippers rank 24th. Curry has played against the Clippers once this season and nearly had a double-double with 22 points, nine assists, and six rebounds in their 124-107 victory. The Clippers also allow opponents to shoot 36.4% from the perimeter, which is bad news when playing Curry and Thompson, arguably the two best shooters in the league.
It was also Curry’s birthday yesterday, so that indicates more fantasy points are coming today, right?
Top Value: Patrick Beverley vs. Sacramento Kings – $4,800 DraftKings, $4,700 FanDuel
Patrick Beverley has been a great addition to the Bulls’ roster, as he has started all eight games since joining the team. He is shooting 50% from the field and is coming off a game where he made 4-of-5 3-pointers against the Rockets. Beverley also has recorded a double-double in two of his last four games, one of which is by rebounds and assists. He plays big minutes and can provide fantasy points in a variety of ways, making him a great value play.
Beverley has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel at the point guard position, but it is his teammates Alex Caruso and Coby White that look much better on DraftKings priced over $1,000 cheaper. All of these guards are in a great spot against the Kings, who rank 26th in defensive rating and first in offensive rating.
Expect a high scoring game as this matchup has the highest projected total on the slate at 236.5 points, with the Bulls as one-point underdogs.
Top Ceiling: Kyrie Irving at San Antonio Spurs – $10,200 DraftKings, $9,500 FanDuel
Kyrie Irving has point guard and shooting guard eligibility on both DraftKings and FanDuel, making him easy to fit in all lineup builds. However, for starters, Irving is questionable to play, so we’ll need to monitor his status the closer we get to lock. However, Luka Doncic remains out with an injury as the Mavericks have lost nine of their last 12 games. Plummeting down the Western Conference standings, the Mavericks are one game from missing the play-in tournament.
Sure, the Mavericks could beat the Spurs without Irving and Doncic, but they can’t run out a subpar lineup as the Spurs beat the Magic by 18 points last night. Irving has missed back-to-back games and hasn’t played since last Wednesday. If he can suit up, this is a great spot to target the high ceiling guard without Doncic, as the Spurs rank last in defensive rating (119.2) while allowing a league-high 122 points per game this season.
If Irving can’t play, Jaden Hardy looks incredible on both sites.
Top Value: Tim Hardaway Jr. at San Antonio Spurs – $6,600 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel
Sticking with the Mavericks, Tim Hardaway Jr. is another Mavericks guard who is questionable to play after getting injured last game. He did come back in that game but struggled against an elite Memphis defense. However, before that game, Hardaway Jr. had three-straight games of double-digit positive Plus/Minus performances where he averaged 38 DraftKings points per game while shooting 55% from the field and from behind the arc.
Hardaway Jr. has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel, where he is priced under $6,000, resulting in a 97% Bargain Rating. Luka Doncic ranks second in both scoring and usage rate this season, so without him, there is plenty of opportunity to go around. Hardaway Jr. has taken advantage of that recently and this is a great matchup to fill it up.
Get exposure to whichever Mavericks guards are healthy, but Irving and Hardaway Jr. look fantastic.
Top Ceiling: Anthony Edwards vs. Boston Celtics – $9,400 DraftKings, $9,300 FanDuel
Timberwolves All-Star Anthony Edwards has scored exactly 32 points in three consecutive games while attempting 25 field goals per game. Edwards has also scored over 50 DraftKings points in back-to-back games as the lead option for the team, with Karl-Anthony Towns still without a timetable to return. Among the pay-up options, Edwards has the lowest projected ownership on both sites, which makes him a very strong tournament play given his upside.
The biggest reason for the lower ownership is this matchup against the Celtics, who rank fourth in defensive rating this season. The Timberwolves are 4.5-point home underdogs as they have lost four-straight home games. However, Edwards has played considerably better at home and seems to shine against elite teams. In their matchup at the end of December, Edwards scored 30 points while shooting 52% from the field.
Expect Edwards to do whatever he can offensively to keep the Timberwolves competitive.
Top Value: Troy Brown Jr. at Houston Rockets – $4,600 DraftKings, $4,800 FanDuel
With LeBron James and Anthony Davis out tonight, the Lakers are going to be searching anywhere and everywhere for production. They have won eight of their last 11 games, so keeping the momentum is important for the Lakers to continue their uphill climb in the Western Conference standings. In his first season with the Lakers, Troy Brown Jr. has started a career-high 39 games and has scored 25+ DraftKings points in five of his last seven games.
Despite the injuries to James and Davis, the Lakers are still three-point road favorites against the Rockets, who are the cellar dwellers in the Western Conference. This total has dropped to 230 points, but that is still respectable as the Lakers rank second in the league in Pace this season. The Rockets rank 29th in Defensive Rating while allowing 118.3 points per game.
Brown Jr. is a cheap way to get exposure to a Lakers team without their two superstars.
Top Ceiling: Jayson Tatum at Minnesota Timberwolves – $11,000 DraftKings, $10,800 FanDuel
A loss on the road against the Rockets was unexpected for one of the best teams in the league, but the Celtics have been reeling lately losing four of their last six and holding a one-game lead over the 76ers for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Jayson Tatum was exceptionally bad in their last game, shooting 8-of-22 from the field. It was the first game in the month of March that Tatum failed to reach double-digit field goal makes.
This is a great bounce-back spot for the Celtics and, specifically, Tatum. After scoring an NBA record 55 points in the All-Star Game, Tatum has averaged a double-double with 28 points and 10.8 rebounds per game since the break. The Timberwolves may have Rudy Gobert in the paint, but they also rank 27th in rebounding percentage (48.3%) this season. With Robert Williams still out due to injury, Tatum has a massive rebounding upside in this spot.
Tatum has 10 Pro Trends on FanDuel and 9 on DraftKings, which is the second-highest on both sites.
Top Value: Jarred Vanderbilt at Houston Rockets – $5,900 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel
Jarred Vanderbilt is another Lakers forward worth getting exposure to without LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Vanderbilt hasn’t been with the Lakers for long but has already made a major impact on both ends of the floor. He has recorded at least one steal in all but one game since joining the team and will likely be put into more of a scoring role for this matchup with James and Davis out. Vanderbilt has the highest Projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel tonight.
Vanderbilt has shown massive rebounding upside with games of 17 and 13 on the Lakers. Surprisingly the Rockets are one of the better rebounding teams in the league, but they may be without their center Alperen Sengun who is questionable with a groin injury.
Priced under $6,000 on DraftKings and FanDuel, Vanderbilt will likely be one of the highest-owned players on both sites, but he is a great value play in all formats.
Top Ceiling: Joel Embiid at Cleveland Cavaliers – $11,400 DraftKings, $12,000 FanDuel
With Anthony Davis out against the Rockets, Joel Embiid is the clear-cut best center on the slate despite playing against the Cavaliers’ frontcourt. After starting the season 12-12, the 76ers have won 33 of their last 43 games, including five in a row as Embiid is solidifying himself as a legit MVP candidate. Embiid currently leads the league in scoring averaging a career-high 33.4 points per game while shooting 53.9% from the field on 20.5 field goal attempts.
The Cavaliers rank third in the least amount of points scored in the paint with 46.1 per game, but they are likely playing without Jarrett Allen once again. Embiid is also playing on two days rest, which has seemed to benefit him greatly. In the last five games coming off of two days of rest, Embiid is averaging 37.2 points per game while shooting 60% from the field.
Embiid has the highest ceiling in our NBA Model and will look even better if Allen is ruled out.
Top Value: Sandro Mamukelashvili vs. Dallas Mavericks – $3,100 DraftKings, $3,900 FanDuel
Time to go dumpster diving. Sandro Mamukelashvili is priced near the minimum on both DraftKings and FanDuel but is one of the better value plays on the slate. He joined the Spurs earlier this month and has played 16 or more minutes in four of his five games played while recording a positive Plus/Minus in each game. Mamukelashvili is a 6’10” center who is shooting 7-of-15 from behind the arc while making two 3-pointers in three of those five games.
Not only can Mamukelashvili shoot the ball, but he is also a good rebounder. He has recorded seven rebounds in back-to-back games and now will get a matchup against the Mavericks, who rank 29th in rebounding percentage (47.4%) and 20th in points allowed in the paint per game.
Mamukelashvili is projected to play a little over 19 minutes tonight and has the highest Projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings among all players.