NBA Grind Down: Saturday, February 21st

Welcome to the RotoGrinders NBA Grind Down Article. Each day, we’ll break down all of the matchups with a focus on defense vs. position stats. The Grind Down shows you Vegas lines, defense stats and projected starting lineups for each and every game.

The analysis should point you in the right direction, but it is still up to you to decipher the information and make your own selections. Use this article to help you gain a better understanding of the matchups for the coming week and build from there. We have everything you could possibly need on our Daily Research console for you to be a successful daily fantasy player!

Note: Fantasy Point Average Listed Uses FanDuel Scoring. For more info on FanDuel’s NFL Scoring System, check out the scoring systems section of our FanDuel Review.

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Oklahoma City at Charlotte – 7:00 PM EST

  • Vegas LineOklahoma City -7.5, 197 Over/Under
  • Oklahoma City Proj. StartersWestbrook-Roberson-Singler-Ibaka-Kanter
  • Charlotte Proj. StartersWilliams-Henderson-Kidd-Gilchrist-Zeller-Jefferson
Oklahoma City Charlotte
Vegas Total 197 Vegas Total 197
Vegas Sprd -7.5 Vegas Sprd 7.5
Team Proj. 102.3 Team Proj. 94.8
Team Pace 97.22 Team Pace 95.19
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
DvP Rks PG SG SF PF C DvP Rks PG SG SF PF C
Proj Starter Russell Westbrook Andre Roberson Kyle Singler Serge Ibaka Enes Kanter Proj Starter Mo Williams Gerald Henderson Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Cody Zeller Al Jefferson
Opp. Season 6 19 3 14 5 Opp. Season 26 7 16 21 4
Opp. Last 7 Opp. Last 7


Oklahoma City

The Thunder travel to take on the Hornets, yet are healthy favorites as the road team. Kevin Durant will miss out, but newcomers Kyle Singler and Enes Kanter should slip into the starting lineup. The Thunder are one of only two road teams expected to top 100 points tonight, and if the Hornets can keep this close, there could be tons of fantasy goodness in this contest.

Elite Plays

Russell Westbrook

With Durant already ruled out for tonight’s game, Westbrook becomes one of the top plays on the night. Durant has missed four games over the last few weeks, and Westbrook is averaging over 50 fantasy points a game without him. The Hornets aren’t the best matchup for Westbrook, but he’s proven over time that he is matchup proof.

Secondary Plays

Serge Ibaka

First off, I don’t expect Ibaka to do anything like he did last game, but I do like this matchup for him. There’s a good chance Kanter will slide into the starting lineup tonight, and Ibaka will get to play the 4. Ibaka will be guarded by Zeller and Williams, and should dominate this matchup. The Zeller and Williams combo has given up an average of 48 fantasy points a game over the last three.

Charlotte

The Hornets are pretty heavy underdogs, but should be able to keep the game competitive against a Durant-less Thunder squad. Mo Williams may feature in his first game for his new team, so keep an eye on the lineups before committing to a Hornets point guard tonight.

Elite Plays

None.

Secondary Plays

Gerald Henderson

MKG will likely be back for the Hornets tonight, and hopefully that will scare some people off Henderson. Henderson has at least 28 fantasy points in six of his last seven games, and three of those games featured MKG on the floor. Henderson is still fairly cheap enough around the industry, but really helps out on this slate with not a lot of depth at his position.


New Orleans at Miami – 7:30 PM EST

  • Vegas LineMiami -1.5, 189.5 Over/Under
  • New Orleans Proj. StartersEvans-Gordon-Cunningham-Davis-Asik
  • Miami Proj. StartersDragic-Wade-Deng-Haslem-Whiteside
New Orleans Miami
Vegas Total 189 Vegas Total 189
Vegas Sprd 1.5 Vegas Sprd -1.5
Team Proj. 94.0 Team Proj. 95.5
Team Pace 94.08 Team Pace 91.85
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
DvP Rks PG SG SF PF C DvP Rks PG SG SF PF C
Proj Starter Tyreke Evans Eric Gordon Dante Cunningham Anthony Davis Omer Asik Proj Starter Goran Dragic Dwyane Wade Luol Deng Udonis Haslem Hassan Whiteside
Opp. Season 16 9 4 4 8 Opp. Season 23 15 13 10 7
Opp. Last 7 Opp. Last 7


New Orleans

The Pellies dropped a game against the lowly Magic by 11 points last night, and now travel down the west coast of Florida to Miami to take on the Heat. New Orleans are slight underdogs in what should be a very low scoring contest. Don’t expect a ton of fantasy upside in this matchup against the slow, defensive Heat squad.

Elite Plays

None.

Secondary Plays

Tyreke Evans

Evans’ price is a hard sell right now, and the one reason I don’t have him as an elite play. Dragic will likely draw the start for the Heat tonight, and will only have a couple days under his belt with his new team. I expect the Pelicans to attack the backcourt of the Heat, and try to break out of this slump they’re in right now. Anthony Davis is always in play, but I feel like his price tag is a little too high since coming back from injury.

Miami

The Heat are without Chris Bosh due to his scary medical condition, but are still favored slightly over the visiting Pelicans. Hassan Whiteside steps into a bigger role with Bosh out, and newcomer Goran Dragic will shake up the rotation and usage of the offense. This is will be a good game to watch for those scouting out DFS values over the next two weeks, as Dragic could be a difference maker as a true point guard for the Heat.

Elite Plays

None.

Secondary Plays

Goran Dragic

Dragic is likely to start for the Heat tonight, and draws a great matchup against the Pelicans. Since the injury to Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans have ranked in the bottom three against opposing PGs, and rank last against opposing PGs over the last seven games. Dragic is too risky for cash games, but is one of my favorite GPP plays at this price point across the industry.


Phoenix at Chicago – 8:00 PM EST

  • Vegas LineChicago -11, 204.5 Over/Under
  • Phoenix Proj. StartersBledsoe-Knight-Tucker-Morris-Len
  • Chicago Proj. StartersRose-Butler-Dunleavy-Gasol-Noah
Phoenix Chicago
Vegas Total 204 Vegas Total 204
Vegas Sprd 11.0 Vegas Sprd -11.0
Team Proj. 96.8 Team Proj. 107.8
Team Pace 99.19 Team Pace 95.68
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
DvP Rks PG SG SF PF C DvP Rks PG SG SF PF C
Proj Starter Eric Bledsoe Brandon Knight P.J. Tucker Markieff Morris Alex Len Proj Starter Derrick Rose Jimmy Butler Mike Dunleavy Pau Gasol Joakim Noah
Opp. Season 13 2 20 23 15 Opp. Season 10 24 28 8 21
Opp. Last 7 Opp. Last 7


Phoenix

I’m going to take a wait and see approach with Knight being in the starting lineup. It’s hard to predict what kind of rotations Jeff Hornacek will have with his new guard. Bledsoe would be the one guard I’d take a chance on in a GPP, but it makes it very hard to fit Westbrook, CP3, and/or Jordan with him.

Elite Plays

None.

Secondary Plays

P.J. Tucker

Tucker is one of the guys I can trust to see his regular minutes tonight, and is still very cheap on a few different sites. He’s been averaging right at 30 minutes a game, and has at least 22 fantasy points in five straight games. He doesn’t have a lot of upside, but is a solid value cash game player.

Alex Len

Len doesn’t have the best matchup tonight, but with Plumlee being traded, it seems like the Suns are committed to Len. He had a great game against Minnesota last night, but don’t expect him to have 6 blocks again. He’s a GPP play tonight, but has some decent upside with the lack of depth behind him.

Chicago

The Bulls are very heavy favorites at home against the Suns, so a blowout is definitely a possibility here. They are coming off of a loss to the Pistons, and may take out some frustration on a less challenging Suns team that is going through quite a bit of change. Consider the risk that this game gets out of hand before rostering any Bulls tonight.

Elite Plays

Jimmy Butler

Butler looked very fresh in last night’s game, and he’s definitely a player that benifetted from the All-Star break. Butler is averaging 39 minutes a game this season, and is a great cash game play because of his consistency. With all the changes to the Suns, it’s hard to go off DVP, but they have really struggled guarding opposing SGs.

Secondary Plays

None.


Toronto at Houston – 8:00 PM EST

  • Vegas LineHouston -2.5, 209.5 Over/Under
  • Toronto Proj. StartersLowry-DeRozan-Johnson-Johnson-Valanciunas
  • Houston Proj. StartersBeverley-Harden-Ariza-Motiejunas-Dorsey
Toronto Houston
Vegas Total 209 Vegas Total 209
Vegas Sprd 2.5 Vegas Sprd -2.5
Team Proj. 103.5 Team Proj. 106.0
Team Pace 95.62 Team Pace 98.66
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
DvP Rks PG SG SF PF C DvP Rks PG SG SF PF C
Proj Starter Kyle Lowry DeMar DeRozan James Johnson Amir Johnson Jonas Valanciunas Proj Starter Patrick Beverley James Harden Trevor Ariza Donatas Motiejunas Joey Dorsey
Opp. Season 2 26 15 19 17 Opp. Season 19 10 17 7 11
Opp. Last 7 Opp. Last 7


Toronto

The Raptors laid the beatdown on the Hawks on Friday, and are riding high with plenty of confidence into this matchup against the Rockets. Vegas slightly favors Houston, but Toronto is playing well and offers a few solid DFS options tonight.

Elite Plays

DeMar DeRozan

James Harden isn’t really known for his defense, and is giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing SGs over the last three weeks. This game features one of the highest totals on the night, and Vegas has it as the closest game of the night. DeRozan has at least 20 actual points in three of his last four games, and at least 33 fantasy points in four straight. He’s one of my top targets on the night, and should be considered for your cash games.

Secondary Plays

Louis Williams

I can’t write a whole article without featuring a few GPP plays. Williams picked up right where he left off before the All-Star break last night, and was able to put up a 40 fantasy point game. He’s way too inconsistent for cash games, but when he gets hot from the field, he has a ton of upside for his price tag.

Editor’s Note: Williams has been listed as doubtful for tonight’s game.

Houston

Dwight Howard remains out, which opens up scoring and rebound potential all over the Houston lineup. The Rockets are home favorites over a tough Toronto squad, and there should be plenty of points in this game.

Elite Plays

James Harden

It’s not big secret that James Harden is one of the best scorers in the NBA. Without Dwight Howard, Harden has put up at least 40 fantasy points in seven of ten games, and at least 50 in four of those games. Harden in a high total with a close spread, should always be considered for cash and GPPs. You can really be contrarian in GPPs tonight if you roll with Harden instead of rolling CP3 and Westbrook.

Secondary Plays

Terrence Jones

Jones played 30 minutes in last night’s game, and I don’t know if I would trust him for cash games. There hasn’t been any news of any setbacks, and Jones will look to build off the good game last night. Jones being healthy really helps this team with Dwight out, but hurts the value of Smith and Motiejunas.


Sacramento at L.A. Clippers – 10:00 PM EST

  • Vegas LineL.A. Clippers -11.5, 211 Over/Under
  • Sacramento Proj. StartersMcCallum-McLemore-Gay-Landry-Cousins
  • L.A. Clippers Proj. StartersPaul-Redick-Barnes-Hawes-Jordan
Sacramento L.A. Clippers
Vegas Total 211 Vegas Total 211
Vegas Sprd 11.5 Vegas Sprd -11.5
Team Proj. 99.8 Team Proj. 111.3
Team Pace 97.20 Team Pace 96.36
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
DvP Rks PG SG SF PF C DvP Rks PG SG SF PF C
Proj Starter Ray McCallum Ben McLemore Rudy Gay Carl Landry DeMarcus Cousins Proj Starter Chris Paul J.J. Redick Matt Barnes Spencer Hawes DeAndre Jordan
Opp. Season 3 16 26 15 16 Opp. Season 28 29 6 20 26
Opp. Last 7 Opp. Last 7


Sacramento

The Kings are really thin at point guard, with youngster Ray McCallum and not-young-at-all Andre Miller likely to feature at the point for Sacramento tonight. That means the offense will run through Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins, who will score or assist on most of the Kings baskets in this high-scoring affair.

Elite Plays

Rudy Gay

With Collison out still, Gay and Cousins have had an extreme boost in usage. Gay put up 45 fantasy points against Boston last night, and will look to keep it going against the Clippers. The Clippers are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing SFs over the last three weeks. Gay is really one of the only solid SF options tonight, and will likely be highly owned in cash games.

Secondary Plays

None.

L.A. Clippers

The Clippers are very heavy favorites over the Kings, and for good reason. Even without Blake Griffin, the Clips have a ton of talent, and they’re feeling good after a big win over the Spurs on Thursday. The blowout risk is real, but the value options at guard and forward (Barnes, Crawford, Redick) should still be able to hit value if the game is out of hand in the fourth quarter.

Elite Plays

Chris Paul

Since the injury to Griffin, Paul has put up at least 50 fantasy points in three of four games. Since the injury to Collison, the Kings have ranked in the bottom three against opposing PGs. Paul has a great matchup tonight, and still comes at a discount to Harden and Westbrook on most sites. Paul is a very safe play tonight, but also has a ton of upside for GPPs.

DeAndre Jordan

Jordan is playing the best basketball of his career right now, and has at least 56 fantasy points in three straight games. Without Griffin, Jordan has been the focal point of this high flying front court, and has at least 18 rebounds and 22 points. Sacramento has struggled with Centers all season long, and Jordan should have no problem hitting value at this price tag.

Secondary Plays

Jamal Crawford

Without Blake Griffin, the Clippers have rolled some three-guard sets with CP3, Redick, and Crawford. Crawford is playing a solid 30+ minutes a game, and the Clippers are really only using a eight-man rotation right now. Crawford is a solid value play for cash games, and has a great matchup against the Kings tonight.


About the Author

  • Stephen Young (stevietpfl)

  • The long-time host of the popular Morning Grind, Stephen Young, aka stevietpfl is also one of the top NASCAR analysts in the industry. The RotoGrinders lead NASCAR analyst is a multiple time finalist for the Fantasy Sports Writer Association Racing Writer of the Year. Stevie is also a top baseball mind who excels in multiple sports in DFS. He has qualified for multiple live finals including a 3rd place finish at the 2015 FantasyAces Basketball Championship.

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Comments

  • Ross

    Well done Stevie!

  • Jtroberts24

    Well done, but I don’t agree with your analysis on the Bulls game. Youre scared that the Bulls are gonna blow the Suns out and Tom Thibodeau of all coaches is going to rest his starters? Not happening. And the way they’ve been playing defense, I don’t think it’s a blowout. Stop trying to predict blowouts

  • loured

    • 586

      RG Overall Ranking

    Nice post, I think u missed Len against Chicago at min price on DK he is worth a mention

  • stevietpfl

    Morning Grind co-host, Lead NASCAR Analyst

    • 925

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    • 2015 FanDuel MLB Playboy Mansion Finalist

    • 2015 FAWBC Finalist

    @loured said...

    Nice post, I think u missed Len against Chicago at min price on DK he is worth a mention

    Whoops I forgot to paste him in. I wrote it on word. Adding him now.

  • stevietpfl

    Morning Grind co-host, Lead NASCAR Analyst

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    • 2015 FanDuel MLB Playboy Mansion Finalist

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    @Jtroberts24 said...

    Well done, but I don’t agree with your analysis on the Bulls game. Youre scared that the Bulls are gonna blow the Suns out and Tom Thibodeau of all coaches is going to rest his starters? Not happening. And the way they’ve been playing defense, I don’t think it’s a blowout. Stop trying to predict blowouts

    I said it’s possible, the Suns are going through a lot of change right now. I just wanted it to be known, they’re heavy favorites tonight. I think all the Bulls are in play, and Butler is one of my favorite plays tonight.

  • loured

    • 586

      RG Overall Ranking

    Good job All around easy read not much guessing like some of the others I have read.

  • JeffElJefe

    • 370

      RG Overall Ranking

    • $1M Prize Winner

    • x2

      2019 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    Stevie with the Grind Down article! Awesome!

  • stevietpfl

    Morning Grind co-host, Lead NASCAR Analyst

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    • 2015 FanDuel MLB Playboy Mansion Finalist

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    @JeffelJefe said...

    Stevie with the Grind Down article! Awesome!

    Just filling in the the Man! Way to pick up a seat to South Beach, we will have some drinks for sure!

  • floridaflyers

    Great work!

  • JeffElJefe

    • 370

      RG Overall Ranking

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    • x2

      2019 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    Thanks dude. Absolutely.

  • Gutterbug

    Isn’t derozan technically a 3 and won’t be draw coverage from Ariza?

  • Randybackman

    Good stuff @Stevietpfl, what do you think about Haslem? Worried that Spoelstra will explore different rotations without Bosh. Plus Dragic gotta eat too. At minimum price it’s tough to pass with so many big money players on the short slate.. Thoughts?

  • stevietpfl

    Morning Grind co-host, Lead NASCAR Analyst

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    • 2015 FanDuel MLB Playboy Mansion Finalist

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    @Gutterbug said...

    Isn’t derozan technically a 3 and won’t be draw coverage from Ariza?

    James Johnson has been starting at the 3 for Toronto. I don’t see why they would change that up.

  • stevietpfl

    Morning Grind co-host, Lead NASCAR Analyst

    • 925

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2015 FanDuel MLB Playboy Mansion Finalist

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    @Randybackman said...

    Good stuff @Stevietpfl, what do you think about Haslem? Worried that Spoelstra will explore different rotations without Bosh. Plus Dragic gotta eat too. At minimum price it’s tough to pass with so many big money players on the short slate.. Thoughts?

    If he starts again, I don’t mind him as a punt play. I would project him in the 12-19 range.

  • cmore

    Dj has been on fire but you’re not worried about foul trouble against DMC?

  • eyenoahdude

    Anyone like Pau tonite?

  • Barbarian

    • RG Season Long Champion: NBA

    thanks!… filling in/mixing up it is always nice… and the format is simply great!

  • Mmirza23

    Position scarcity at PF, I like Pau and AD because everyone below them is suspect

  • Mmirza23

    Thoughts on Casspi? He logged 31 min yesterday? Min price

  • Mgomps33

    Actually it’s the east coast of Florida.

  • stevietpfl

    Morning Grind co-host, Lead NASCAR Analyst

    • 925

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2015 FanDuel MLB Playboy Mansion Finalist

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    @Mmirza23 said...

    Thoughts on Casspi? He logged 31 min yesterday? Min price

    In GPPs I don’t mind it, It’s a new coach, so we have to be careful on rolling him out in cash games.

  • Knicksfan718

    2013 DFBBC Finalist

    • 2013 FanDuel WFBBC Finalist

    I love casspi. And singler tonight, who is starting for the thunder. Thoughts on singler for gpp? Worth the slot?

  • ISTACKBREADPEOPLE

    What about plays at Center? having trouble there. Safe to roll out Noah in GPP’s? Other than that I like Jordan but will people pay up for him because of his recent play or stop at Whiteside?

  • stevietpfl

    Morning Grind co-host, Lead NASCAR Analyst

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      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2015 FanDuel MLB Playboy Mansion Finalist

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    @Knicksfan718 said...

    I love casspi. And singler tonight, who is starting for the thunder. Thoughts on singler for gpp? Worth the slot?

    Singler is going to be the 4th or 5th option on offense on a new team tonight. He’s min price, but I think I’d rather play a guy like Casspi over him.

  • stevietpfl

    Morning Grind co-host, Lead NASCAR Analyst

    • 925

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2015 FanDuel MLB Playboy Mansion Finalist

    • 2015 FAWBC Finalist

    @ISTACKBREADPEOPLE said...

    What about plays at Center? having trouble there. Safe to roll out Noah in GPP’s? Other than that I like Jordan but will people pay up for him because of his recent play or stop at Whiteside?

    Personally, if I haven’t paid up for Jordan, I’ve been risking Len.

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