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 tool and so much more.
Let’s dive into our models, going position-by-position, looking at guys with some of the highest Ceiling Projections, along with players who are standing out as values with our predictive Projected Plus/Minus metric.
Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates.
Top Ceiling: Russell Westbrook at Oklahoma City Thunder – $9,300 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel
After a dud in his Lakers debut, Brodie has turned it around across his last three games, and he posted his best game of the season in the Lakers’ overtime win over the Spurs last night. With LeBron James (ankle) out, Westbrook rolled for 33/10/8/3.
James is questionable tonight (as is Anthony Davis), and the Lakers face Westbrook’s former team, giving him some added juice and motivation against a team ranked 27th in defensive rating (113.9).
Top Value: Davion Mitchell at Phoenix Suns – $4,200 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel
The Baylor product has been a standout early in his NBA career, showcasing his abilities as a premier defender. He’s logged at least 31 minutes in two straight games and provided at least 20 fantasy points in each contest. He swiped a career-high four steals last Friday and went off for a career-high 22 points Sunday.
Whether scoring or swiping, Mitchell has plenty of upside, especially at his advantageous price on both sites.
Top Ceiling: Jaylen Brown vs. Washington Wizards – $7,800 DraftKings, $8,800 FanDuel
Brown has been quite impressive this season, and he’s gone for at least 30 points, nine boards, three assists, and three swipes in two of three games played. Brown’s price is quite affordable for a player with at least a 49-point ceiling on both sites.
He’ll get a chance to add another strong performance to his season resume against the Wizards in a matchup with a healthy 225.5 over/under — the third-highest on the slate.
Top Value: Grayson Allen vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – $4,400 DraftKings, $4,800 FanDuel
Allen is playing the best basketball of his career, averaging 13.3 points, 4.0 boards, 2.0 dimes, and 1.0 steals across 28.5 minutes. Aside from the assists, those are all career-best numbers for the Duke product.
With Donte DiVincenzo (ankle) still out, Allen should continue to start and log productive minutes. He’s got a 34-point ceiling on both sites, making him a strong value at his price.
Top Ceiling: Kevin Durant vs. Miami Heat – $10,500 DraftKings, $11,000 FanDuel
Durant has taken over early in the season, commanding a 32.9% usage rate (tied for fourth in the NBA) and averaging a whopping 31.0 points, 9.8 boards, 5.8 dimes, and 1.8 combined blocks/steals thus far.
Miami ranks first in defensive rating (92.6), but Durant’s heavy usage and massive stat lines more than make up for the below-average matchup. He’s the highest ceiling option at SF on tonight’s slate.
Top Value: Khris Middleton vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – $7,800 DraftKings, $8,200 FanDuel
Middleton is a little pricey for a value play, but he’s projected for at least 5.4 Pts/Sal on both sites. In addition to the value, he’s also one of the highest-upside plays on the slate, with a projected ceiling of at least 60 fantasy points.
So far this season, Middleton is averaging a career-high 21.3 PPG to go with 4.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.5 steals. His unique combination of pricing and ceiling makes him a tremendous value against the Timberwolves in a game that should see a lot of scoring (229 over/under).
Top Ceiling: Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – $10,800 DraftKings, $11,200 FanDuel
The matchup between the Bucks and Wolves figures to see a lot of offensive opportunities across the board, as both teams are top-six in pace, and the 229 over/under is the second-highest on the slate.
Giannis has averaged 24.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 3.1 combined blocks/steals this season, and our Models rightfully give him an 80-point ceiling tonight.
Top Value: Larry Nance vs. Memphis Grizzlies – $3,800 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel
Nance is projected for 28.25 minutes tonight, which would be a huge boon to his fantasy value, as his season-high in minutes is 21 thus far. If Norman Powell (knee) misses another game, Nance should have extra opportunities in a favorable game environment.
Memphis/Portland has a 234 over/under – easily the highest on the slate. The Grizzlies have the worst defensive rating in the NBA (117.1), and Portland sports the fastest pace at 107.5. Nance hasn’t been too productive to start the season, but that could change tonight in a great “get-right” spot.
Top Ceiling: Karl-Anthony Towns at Milwaukee Bucks – $10,100 DraftKings, $10,900 FanDuel
Coming off his best game of the season, Towns is in a fantastic spot against the Bucks in what figures to be a fast-paced, high-scoring game. This season, KAT is averaging 29 points, 9.3 boards, 3.7 assists, 2.3 blocks, and 1.3 steals.
He can do a bit of everything, as evidenced by his ridiculous 32/14/7/2/2 line against the Pelicans on Monday, and it’s no surprise that he’s got such a lofty ceiling on tonight’s slate.
Top Value: Deandre Ayton vs. Sacramento Kings – $6,600 DraftKings, $6,800 FanDuel
Ayton has started the season slowly, but it’s important to remember that he averaged 16.3 points, 10.8 boards, and 1.2 blocks over his first three seasons. The upside is there, but he hasn’t had a big game yet.
Sacramento offers Ayton the chance to break out of his slump, as the team sports the fifth-worst defensive rating (113.3) and has allowed some big games to opposing big men thus far.
Rudy Gobert went for 17/20, and Jusuf Nurkic went 20/14 against the Kings. Could Ayton be the next big man to go off against Sacramento?