Following a day off Tuesday, the NBA returns Wednesday with a huge 14-game slate for DFS players to attack. 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: LaMelo Ball vs. Washington Wizards – $8,900 DraftKings, $8,800 FanDuel
At less than $9K on both DraftKings and FanDuel, Ball needs to be one of your core plays this evening. Terry Rozier (groin) will miss a second straight tonight, and with the guard inactive for the first time this season Sunday, Ball came alive, posting the 10th triple-double of his career, resulting in a season-high 71.5 DKFP in a season-high 39 minutes vs. the Mavs.
Not having to share the backcourt with a high-usage player like Rozier naturally translates into a larger role for Ball, and in the 89 minutes he has played with Rozier off the floor this season, Ball’s usage has increased by 3.4 percentage points, and his assist rate has risen 5.3 percentage points, lifting him to a tremendous 1.6 DraftKings PPM, via the On/Off Tool.
To put the icing on the cake for Ball, he gets the best matchup to attack for fantasy purposes vs. the Wizards. This season, Washington ranks dead last in defensive efficiency and first in pace. Charlotte hasn’t been much better, ranking 26th in defensive efficiency and this contest is expected to be a shootout, with its total being the second highest on the slate (240.5 points), via the FantasyLabs’ Vegas page.
Furthermore, the Hornets carry the second-largest implied team total on the board (122 points). Another triple-double is certainly possible for Ball tonight, and his ceiling ranks second only to Luka Doncic among guards in FantasyLabs models.
Top Value: Killian Hayes at Milwaukee Bucks – $4,900 DraftKings, $5,400 FanDuel
Hayes is a great bargain tonight with the Pistons shorthanded. For the third straight game, Detroit will be without Bojan Bogdanovic (calf), Alec Burks (forearm) and Jaden Ivey (illness). In these last two games without these three key players, Hayes has produced 33.75 DraftKings points in 34.2 minutes per game. The guard is contributing 0.9 DraftKings PPM with these three players off the floor over the last two seasons and should continue to handle right around 35 minutes in this terrific spot vs. the Bucks.
After being one of the top defenses in the league for many years, Milwaukee has struggled mightily on defense this season with Damian Lillard in town instead of the defensive specialist Jrue Holiday, with the club ranking 26th in defensive efficiency thus far. Opposing guards are putting up huge stat lines against the Bucks on a nightly basis, and Hayes should continue this trend tonight and easily out-produce his current salaries.
Top Ceiling: Malcolm Brogdon vs. Sacramento Kings – $8,200 DraftKings, $7,900 FanDuel
While Brogdon is expected to be one of the most owned players on the slate according to our projections, he remains vastly underpriced for his current role with the Blazers and is good chalk to embrace. Anfernee Simons (thumb) and Scoot Henderson (ankle) will remain unavailable. With these two guards inactive for the last two, Brogdon has started for Portland and has flourished, supplying 50.75 DraftKings points in 39.1 regulation minutes per game. In these starts, the veteran has led the Blazers in assist rate (39.6%) and has ranked second only to Jerami Grant in usage (26%).
The Kings rank 22nd in defensive efficiency, and Brogdon is rating as a top-three value on the slate for both DraftKings and FanDuel in FantasyLabs’ models.
Top Value: Jordan Hawkins at Minnesota Timberwolves – $4,700 DraftKings, $4,900 FanDuel
With CJ McCollum (lung) missing his first game of the season Monday, Hawkins replaced the veteran in the starting lineup and shined with 49.25 DraftKings points across 37.6 minutes vs. the Nuggets. Not only was this the most playing time for any Pelican that night, Hawkins ranked third on the team in usage (25.6%), trailing only Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.
Speaking of Williamson (out, personal), he will join McCollum on the sidelines tonight, and while this is an ugly matchup vs. the Wolves – who lead the league in defensive efficiency – Hawkins’ expected role outtrumps any matchup concerns, and he is one of the best values on the board at these sub $5K price points. Albeit a limited sample of 23 minutes, Hawkin’s usage has skyrocketed 12.1 percentage points to 29.9% with both McCollum and Williamson off the floor this season, via the On/Off Tool.
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Top Ceiling: Lauri Markkanen at Indiana Pacers – $8,700 DraftKings, $8,100 FanDuel
Particularly at only $8,100 on FanDuel, Markkanen is an excellent way to attack the best game environment of the night. The Jazz and Pacers both rank in the bottom six in defensive efficiency this season, and this tilt presents the highest total on the slate (243 points). After being named to his first All-Star team last season, Markkanen has continued to be the Jazz’s main option this season, leading the team with a 26.7% usage rate and 1.3 DraftKings PPM.
This is the highest total Markkanen has competed in this season and in totals of 235 points or more last year, the forward was outstanding with 46 DraftKings PPG, via the Trends Tool. Markkanen thrived against the Pacers, averaging 49 DraftKings PPG across two matchups.
Top Value: Michael Porter Jr. vs. Golden State Warriors – $6,500 DraftKings, $6,400 FanDuel
With FantasyLabs projections slating him to be less than 5% owned on both DraftKings and FanDuel, Porter Jr. is a sharp GPP target. The forward has been brilliant as of late, scoring 42 DraftKings PPG in his last three starts. During this time, Porter Jr. has ranked second only to Nikola Jokic in usage for the Nuggets (26.4%), and he has shot 54% from the field and 45.8% from three-point range.
With Jamal Murray (hamstring) sidelined tonight, Porter Jr. should continue to operate as Denver’s No.2 option and has 40 fantasy point upside, despite this being a subpar matchup vs. the Warriors. With both Murray and Bruce Brown (signed with the Pacers this offseason) off the court over the last two seasons, Porter Jr. is generating 1.2 DraftKings PPM.
Top Ceiling: Julius Randle vs. San Antonio Spurs – $8,100 DraftKings, $7,800 FanDuel
While Randle has been mocked for his poor shooting this season – he is shooting 19.4% from the field – the forward has been great in almost of every other category, making him a strong fantasy asset. In his seven starts this season, Randle has notched six double-doubles and has topped 40 DraftKings points four times. The ex-Laker has continued to see a large workload – is averaging a 27.6% usage rate and a 23.1% assist percentage – and is providing 1.2 DraftKings PPM. Randle is coming off his best shooting performance of the season (44 DraftKings vs. the Clippers) and is in a superb spot Wednesday vs. the Spurs, who rank second-to-last in defensive efficiency and second in pace.
The Knicks carry their highest implied team total of the season in this spot (115.75 points), and Randle is supplying 46 DraftKings PPG when playing behind an implied team total of at least 112 points over the last two seasons via the Trends Tool.
Forecasted for single-digit ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel, Randle is an elite GPP play for this huge slate.
Top Value: Jae Crowder vs. Detroit Pistons – $3,900 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel
As the expected replacement starter for Khris Middleton (rest) tonight, Crowder is an appealing punt play. With Malik Beasley struggling Monday vs. the Nets, Crowder saw 30.2 minutes off the bench and closed the game with the starters, resulting in 24.25 DraftKings points for the veteran. Crowder should see a similar workload tonight as a starter and should be able to grind out over 5x value.
The forward is collecting 0.8 DraftKings PPM this season and 24 DraftKings PPG for the last 10 occasions he has surpassed the 25-minute mark.
Top Ceiling: Nikola Jokic vs. Golden State Warriors – $11,700 DraftKings, $12,100 FanDuel
With Murray out for the first time this season Monday, we saw a vintage performance from Jokic, with the center tallying a triple-double of 79 DraftKings points. With Murray off the court this season, Jokic’s assist rate has jumped 5.2 percentage points to an eye-popping 43%, and he has scored a whopping 2.0 DraftKings PPM, via the On/Off Tool.
As for his matchup, Jokic is facing the Warriors, who rank 12th in defensive efficiency. That being said, Golden State will be without Draymond Green (personal), which certainly softens this matchup, and the Nuggets will be at home, where Jokic has been unstoppable the last two seasons, producing 9.0 more DraftKings PPG than when competing on the road.
The superstar, far and away, brings the highest ceiling on the slate in our projections and is a must-play tonight.
Top Value: Kelly Olynyk at Indiana Pacers – $4,500 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel
Starter or not, Olynyk is a tremendous value play tonight, with Walker Kessler (elbow) doubtful. As noted above, this matchup with the Pacers sports the highest total on the slate (243 points), and Olynyk should be in line for 25-30 minutes with the Jazz missing Kessler. In the seven contests Kessler missed last season, Olynyk contributed 34 DraftKings points in 28.6 minutes per game.
Olynyk is amassing 1.1 DraftKings PPM this season and should have zero issues beating his current salaries against this Indiana club that ranks third in pace.