The NBA season continues tonight with an eight-game slate. The NBA Player Models are the base of our NBA product here at FantasyLabs. 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 best projections and players standing out as values with our predictive Projected Plus/Minus metric.
Note: Projections, Ownership 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.
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Top Ceiling: De’Aaron Fox at Los Angeles Lakers – $8,300 DraftKings, $9,300 FanDuel
While he is worth attacking on both sites tonight, Fox is a near must-play at only $8,300 on DraftKings, which is a new season low for the guard. After missing five straight games, Fox returned Monday and saw no limitations, finishing with 42 DraftKings points in 36 minutes in a win over the Cavs. The 25-year-old is now producing 47.9 DraftKings PPG this season, thanks to a 33% usage rate, which ranks top-10 in the NBA this season and is a new career high for Fox.
For tonight, the guard is going against the Lakers, who rank eighth in pace and are on the second leg of a back-to-back. Fox is generating 50.2 DraftKings PPG against Los Angeles over the last two seasons (five matchups), and tonight’s game total ranks second on the slate (234.5 points), via FantasyLabs’ Vegas page.
Furthermore, the Kings are one-point underdogs. Over the last two seasons, Fox is producing 45.2 DraftKings PPG when competing in a spread under three points, via the Trends Tool.
Top Value: Dennis Schroder vs. Milwaukee Bucks – $6,800 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel
Schroder is coming off back-to-back quiet outings but should come with low ownership due to this fact and is in a perfect get-right spot Wednesday vs. the Bucks. After being one of the best defenses in the league for many years, Milwaukee has really struggled on that side of the ball this season, with five-time All-Defensive player Jrue Holiday now in Boston. The Bucks currently rank 24th in defensive efficiency, and Schroder exposed them for a season-high 49 DraftKings points just two weeks ago.
The guard has handled a 21% usage rate and a team-high 34.8% assist percentage this season and should continue to receive a large workload tonight, with both OG Anunoby (finger) and Gary Trent Jr. (foot) doubtful for the Raptors. In FantasyLabs’ models, Schroder’s ceiling tonight is approaching 50 fantasy points.
Update: Schroder was added to injury report with a knee injury and is questionable. If he plays without limitations, he will remain a strong GPP target, that should come with very little ownership given the late designation. Now, if Schroder sits, Malachi Flynn would likely start and be a tough value play to ignore in this superb spot vs. the Bucks. With Schroder off the floor this season, Flynn is averaging 0.9 DraftKings PPM.
Top Ceiling: Zach LaVine vs. Orlando Magic – $7,700 DraftKings, $7,900 FanDuel
Amid the rumors that the Bulls have an interest in trading LaVine, the guard is making some serious noise tonight, with DeMar DeRozan (personal) ruled out. With the forward off the court this season, LaVine’s usage has risen 2.9 percentage points to a team-high 30%, via the On/Off Tool. This will be DeRozan’s first missed game this season, but in the seven starts LaVine made without DeRozan last season, the former topped 50 DraftKings points four times.
Even in this tough spot vs. the Magic, who rank third in defensive efficiency, perusing LaVine’s high ceiling in GPPs is a wise move at these sub $8K price points.
Top Value: Max Strus at Portland Trailblazers – $5,600 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
Strus has been a great fit with the Cavs – he has recorded at least 26 DraftKings in seven of his 10 starts this season – and his strong start to the season should continue tonight with Darius Garland (neck) unavailable. With the guard off the court, Strus’ usage and assist rates have increased by 1.3 and 3.2 percentage points, respectively, via the On/Off Tool. The veteran’s season-best 46.75 DraftKings point showing vs. the Pacers came with Garland out of the lineup, and the Cavs’ implied team total is up to 115 points tonight, playing up in pace vs. the Blazers.
Strus should be able to surpass 30 fantasy points in this spot and shouldn’t be overly popular on either DraftKings or FanDuel.
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Top Ceiling: Scottie Barnes vs. Milwaukee Bucks – $9,200 DraftKings, $9,500 FanDuel
Barnes stuffed the stat sheet en route to 51.5 DraftKings in his first matchup of the season vs. the Bucks and should flourish again in tonight’s rematch with the squad. Barnes is having a career season, averaging 48.5 DraftKings PPG, behind a 24.7% usage rate and 23.3 assist percentage.
The 22-year-old’s activeness on the defensive end always gives him a huge ceiling – Barnes has recorded multiple defensive stats in all but two starts this season – and having some shares of the forward is a must against the defensively in pet Bucks tonight.
Top Value: Corey Kispert vs. Dallas Mavericks – $4,000 DraftKings, $4,200 FanDuel
While not the most exciting play, Kispert is one of the best cheap forward values available tonight. The wing has supplied 20.5 DraftKings PPG in his last four – while shooting 41% from beyond the arc – and should continue to see right around 25 minutes off the bench tonight, with Delon Wright (knee) remaining out for the Wizards.
Ranking 25th in defensive efficiency and seventh in pace, Dallas is an elite spot for Kispert, and this tilt’s total is one of the highest we have seen this season at 244.5 points, which is the highest on the board tonight by a notable 10 points. Over 20 fantasy points is a realistic outcome for Kispert in this matchup, and he is an appealing, cheap way to gain exposure to the top game setting of the night.
Top Ceiling: Jayson Tatum at Philadelphia 76ers – $10,100 DraftKings, $10,600 FanDuel
The Celtics are a team to monitor closely on Wednesday. Both Jaylen Brown (illness) and Kristaps Porzingis (knee) are questionable, and Boston being without at least of one of these starters feels inevitable, which would lift Tatum’s already massive role to new heights. Brown notably missed the shootaround this morning, and given this, he feels less likely to play of he and Porzingis. Brown has matched Tatum with a 30% usage rate this season, and with the former off the floor, Tatum’s usage has skyrocketed a team-high 8.6 percentage points, and he has contributed 1.5 DraftKings PPM.
Now, with just Porzingis off the floor, Tatum has still been an elite fantasy player, scoring 1.43 DraftKings PPM. As you can see, with either of Brown or Porzingis missing, Tatum will be an awesome spend tonight. That would become an extremely difficult fade if both those players end up sitting. With both Brown and Porzingis off the court, Tatum’s production has increased to 1.6 DraftKings, thanks to an eye-popping 40% usage rate, via the On/Off Tool.
Top Value: Patrick Williams vs. Orlando Magic – $3,900 DraftKings, $4,300 FanDuel
If Williams replaces DeRozan in the Bulls’ first unit tonight as expected, he will be one of the best punt plays to consider this evening. Williams is fresh off a season-best showing of 31.25 DraftKings points in 27 minutes vs. the Bucks on Monday, and is amassing 0.84 DraftKings PPM with DeRozan off the floor this season, thanks to a 1.3 percentage point boost to his usage rate.
Plus, in the eight games Williams played without DeRozan last season, he was effective, with 25.1 DraftKings points in 30 minutes per game.
Top Ceiling: Anthony Davis vs. Sacramento Kings – 10,200 DraftKings, $11,500 FanDuel
Davis is having a tremendous season, scoring 52.6 DraftKings PPG and recording a double-double in eight of his 10 starts. The big man has received a 25% usage rate and is the NBA’s leader in blocks per game at 3.3. Overall, Davis is generating 1.5 DraftKings PPM.
On the menu for tonight is a matchup with the Kings, who rank 18th in defensive efficiency. Davis dominated them for 65 DraftKings points in Sacramento back at the start of the season and will now meet the division foe on his home floor tonight. Albeit a limited sample of five home games and five away games, Davis has been 13.9 DraftKings PPG better on his home floor than when on the road this year.
The Lakers’ implied team total ranks third on the slate (118.25 points), and Davis has a ceiling of well over 60 fantasy points tonight.
Top Value: Bobby Portis vs. Toronto Raptors – $5,700 DraftKings, $5,700 FanDuel
With Jae Crowder (groin) inactive for the first time this season Monday, Portis benefited the most for the Bucks, posting a double-double of 39.5 DraftKings points in 25.3 minutes off the bench vs. the Bulls, marking his fifth straight effort of at least 25 points. Crowder will remain sidelined tonight, and with the veteran absent from Milwaukee’s second unit, Portis should continue to be Milwaukee’s featured player off the bench.
With Crowder off the floor this season, Portis’ rebound rate increases 2.3 percentage points, and he has scored 1.2 DraftKings PPM. The Raptors aren’t an easy matchup – they rank fourth in defensive efficiency – but Portis’ size is needed for this matchup, and he is a player that gets overlooked, given he comes off the bench.