NBA Player Models are the cornerstone of our NBA product. They house our projections for each player, but that’s just the start of what you’ll find inside. You will also find our Trends tool and much more.
Let’s dive into our models, position by position, looking at the guys with some of the highest ceiling projections, as well as the players who stand out as values with our projected plus / minus predictive metric.
Also, don’t forget that for large field tournaments you can use our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly build up to 150 queues, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to build your squads by hand.
Note: Projections and Leverage Scores / Ratings may change throughout the day after the publication of this article. Check out the player models directly for any updates.
Upper cap: Trae Young at Sacramento Kings – $ 10,700 DraftKings, $ 10,500 FanDuel
To say Young has been hot lately would be an understatement. He’s poured at least 11 cents into each of his last three contests and just dusted off the Trail Blazers on Monday.
Young left for a career-high 56 against Portland to go with 14 dimes and four boards for a fantastic 77.8 points on FanDuel and 85.0 on DraftKings. That’s the kind of ceiling we can expect with Trae every night, but he gets a boost tonight, facing a Kings team ranked 26th in defense and eighth in pace.
Upper value: Keifer Sykes vs. Brooklyn Nets – $ 3,300 DraftKings, $ 3,700 FanDuel
Indiana has taken out a reduced crew over the last few rosters, and that has led to a lot of DFS value for the guys taking the field.
Keifer Sykes had 22 points, six assists, four rebounds, four triples and one steal in 35 minutes against the Knicks last night after getting 10/5/3/1/1 in 35 minutes against the Cavs on Sunday.
Sykes performed well in two starts, but his value would evaporate if Malcolm Brogdon or Chris Duarte returned to the pitch after their passage through health and safety protocols. Both are GTD tonight, so be sure to check their status throughout the day.
Bonus: Kyrie Irving at Indiana Pacers – $ 8,900 DraftKings, $ 8,000 FanDuel
Kyrie makes her highly anticipated debut tonight, and her price is possibly the lowest of the entire season. 26.9 points, 6.0 assists, 4.8 boards, 2.8 triples and 1.4 steals while making 51/42/90 splits. It’s unclear what its role will be up front, but it’s reasonable to expect it to start, and our model projects it for 28 minutes. I will not have any exposure in cash games, but you can be sure that I will have it in several tournament formations.
Top cap: Donovan Mitchell at the Denver Nuggets – $ 9,400 DraftKings, $ 8,600 FanDuel
Spida enters this one on a three-game streak in which he averages 29.3 points, 6.3 dimes, 5.0 boards and 2.0 steals. With Rudy Gobert (shoulder) and Bojan Bogdanovic (finger) questionable tonight, Mitchell could have additional offensive responsibilities.
Denver / Utah has a 223 over / under, and Spida gets a more / less favorable opponent in this Western Conference showdown. At under $ 10,000 (and under $ 9,000 on FanDuel), it’s not only the highest cap option, but also real value.
Upper value: Anfernee Simons vs. Miami Heat – $ 5,300 DraftKings, $ 5,500 FanDuel
Simons made the show Monday as he fought Trae Young all night and posted a career-high 43 points to go with seven hundred and three boards.
Damian Lillard (abdomen) will be out tonight and has no return schedule. Simons should continue to debut in his absence, and if he continues to play at the level he did on Monday, his price will quickly jump. Enjoy the economy / ceiling combination on the loaded slate tonight.
Upper Cap: Jayson Tatum vs. San Antonio Spurs – $ 10,300 DraftKings, $ 9,300 FanDuel
Our model gives Kevin Durant the highest cap on the slate, but with the return of Kyrie Irving I’m not as comfortable paying for him as I was on previous slates. Instead, I’m going to pivot to the player with the next highest cap, Jayson Tatum.
Tatum gets a huge pace differential and a more / less favorable opponent against a Spurs team who have surrendered 121.3 points per game in their last three games (sixth in the NBA). He is expected to return to the field tonight after a four-game absence in protocols, so check his status for confirmation before whistleblowing.
Upper value: Furkan Korkmaz at Orlando Magic – $ 4,700 DraftKings, $ 6,000 FanDuel
Korkmaz had a career night on Monday, scoring 24 points, 11 boards, six cents, three triples and one steal while recording his first career double-double.
Korkmaz is expected to be in the starting XI again tonight, with Tyrese Maxey still in health and safety protocols. Orlando is fast and poor in defense, giving Korkmaz a more / less favorable opponent and a strong differential in pace. He has solid value on FanDuel, but he’s even bigger on DraftKings at just $ 4.7,000.
Upper cap: Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Toronto Raptors – $ 11,600 DraftKings, $ 11,600 FanDuel
You know the chorus. Giannis is a top option on almost every roster he plays in, and that won’t change tonight against Toronto.
The Greek Freak have scored at least 30 goals in four of their last five games. In his last two games, he’s managed a triple-double and teased another. It’s a low point for Milwaukee, but he gets a more / less favorable opponent.
Upper value: Trey Lyles vs. Charlotte Hornets – $ 4,700 DraftKings, $ 4,800 FanDuel
Lyles cleared protocols and returned to the field on Monday after a three-game absence. Despite Luka Garza’s solid play, Lyles immediately returned to the starting lineup.
Lyles had a strong performance in this contest, and he now has an impressive average of 19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.0 actions, 2.5 assists and 2.0 trebles in two starts this season. With Isaiah Stewart (protocols) still out, Lyles would have to start over. He gets a dream game for opposing crosses tonight when Detroit takes on Charlotte.
Upper Cap: Joel Embiid vs. Orlando Magic – $ 11,200 DraftKings, $ 10,800 FanDuel
Our model gives Nikola Jokic (duh) the edge over Embiid on the slate, but I prefer Embiid tonight for several reasons. Firstly, it’s a bit cheaper on both sites so you can get cheaper versions without losing the edge in taking the savings.
Second, Embiid has recently been heated. He scored his third career triple-double on Monday against Houston with a 31/15/10 line, and he’s now scored at least 30 points in four straight games and five of his last seven.
Finally, Embiid gets a soft defense from Orlando that has been much more generous to opposing centers than Utah. Embiid is the game tonight.
Upper value: Daniel Gafford vs. Houston Rockets – $ 6,400 DraftKings, $ 6,600 FanDuel
Gafford has been important in the Wizards’ last four games, averaging 15.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks over 31.0 minutes while posting two double doubles and three consecutive multi-swat efforts.
Tonight, Gaff gets one of the NBA’s most exploitable defenses when he takes on the Rockets. Christian Wood has only played eight minutes in total in the last two games due to a tantrum and suspension, while Alperen Sengun remains out with an ankle injury.
Gafford has a formidable plus / minus opponent and excellent pace differential, which makes him one of the best values in his position tonight.