NBA Grind Down: Saturday, March 19th

Welcome to the RotoGrinders NBA Grind Down. In this all-encompassing preview of today’s NBA action, every game will be broken down statistically, with several key elements highlighted in our charts.

Vegas lines are broken down to show projected team totals, to give you an idea of who is favored to win, and often more importantly, how many points they’re expected to score. We also provide pace numbers, so you can spot a game that might have a few extra possessions and more opportunities for fantasy points.

We also provide position-by-position matchup rankings for every team, to give you an idea of the players who will be in better situations to succeed. Using Defense versus Position data, every projected starter is listed along with his opponent’s rank in points allowed to players of his position. These color-coded charts will help you spot the best matchups of the night at a glance.

Every game is also broken down by our NBA experts, providing an overview of the game and a selection of players to consider from each contest.

Note: As always, if you want to try a new DFS site, be sure to click through a RotoGrinders link and use our DraftKings promo code and FanDuel promo code to receive the best perks in the industry.


Denver at Charlotte – 06:00 PM by StevieTPFL

  • Vegas LineCharlotte -9, 217.5 Over/Under
  • Denver Proj. StartersMudiay-Harris-Gallinari-Faried-Jokic
  • Charlotte Proj. StartersWalker-Lee-Batum-Williams-Zeller
Denver Charlotte
Vegas Total 217 Vegas Total 217
Vegas Sprd 9.0 Vegas Sprd -9.0
Team Proj. 104.3 Team Proj. 113.3
Team Pace 98.30 Team Pace 97.90
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 Emmanuel Mudiay Gary Harris Danilo Gallinari Kenneth Faried Nikola Jokic Proj Starter Kemba Walker Courtney Lee Nicolas Batum Marvin Williams Cody Zeller
Opp. Season 12 14 21 23 10 Opp. Season 19 27 15 26 13
Opp. Last 7 18 17 18 24 5 Opp. Season 17 27 20 20 4


Denver

The Hornets have been on fire lately, and they come in with nine wins in the last ten games. They are ranked in the top ten in defensive efficiency as a team this season. Charlotte doesn’t allow a lot of second chance points, and they come in with the highest defensive rebound rate. Denver is still not officially ruled out of the playoffs, and will be playing hard to keep that hope alive tonight.

Elite Plays

NONE

Secondary Plays

D.J. Augustin

I love the price point on both major sites for Augustin, and he’s one of the only guys I like in this tough matchup. Augustin has at least ten shot attempts in three of the last four games, and has plated at least 25 minutes in four straight games. When attacking the Hornets, guards is one of the weak points on defense, and they’re in the bottom half against guards in the last seven days. With Gallinari ruled out, I expect Augustin to stay involved in the offense.

FD – $4,600
DK – $4,600

Gary Harris

I don’t feel like Augustin or Harris are elite plays today, but I do think you can play one of them in a GPP format. Harris is averaging over 35 minutes per game in the last 15 days, and seems to be the one safe option for the Nuggets. I’m worried about Batum being on Harris, and that’s why I don’t have him as an elite play tonight. Harris has ten straight games with at least 30 minutes and double-digit actual points.

FD – $5,400
DK – $5,000

Charlotte

Denver is allowing 104.8 points per game this season, and they’re ranked in the bottom ten in defensive efficiency this season. Cody Zeller is the guy you want to watch today, and you need to see if Hawes ends up returning today. If both of these guys are out, I think Marvin Williams is in play. If they both play tonight, I would avoid the big men for the Hornets in cash games.

Elite Plays

Nicolas Batum

Batum is my favorite play in this early game, and he’s been playing great over the last ten games. Batum is averaging over 35 minutes in the last five games, and averaging over 38 fantasy points per game in that stretch. Denver is allowing the fifth most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards over the last three weeks. His price limits his upside in GPPs, but I like his floor for cash games tonight.

FD – $8,000
DK – $7,400

Secondary Plays

I like Marvin Williams if Zeller sits out today, and like him even more if Hawes doesn’t return tonight.


New York at Washington – 07:00 PM by StevieTPFL

  • Vegas LineWashington -7.5, 206.5 Over/Under
  • New York Proj. StartersCalderon-Afflalo-Anthony-Porzingis-Lopez
  • Washington Proj. StartersWall-Temple-Porter-Morris-Gortat
New York Washington
Vegas Total 206 Vegas Total 206
Vegas Sprd 7.5 Vegas Sprd -7.5
Team Proj. 99.5 Team Proj. 107.0
Team Pace 95.91 Team Pace 100.49
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 Jose Calderon Arron Afflalo Carmelo Anthony Kristaps Porzingis Robin Lopez Proj Starter
Opp. Season 15 21 26 6 8 Opp. Season 20 16 8 7 18
Opp. Last 7 6 22 4 10 10 Opp. Season 19 26 3 19 13


New York

Washington is fighting for a playoff spot, and they’ve won three straight games heading into the game tonight. They’re ranked 14th in defensive efficiency this season. Washington plays at a much faster pace, and the Knicks will get a small bump playing at a faster pace in this game. The Knicks aren’t officially eliminated from the playoffs, and can’t afford to lose this game tonight.

Elite Plays

NONE

Secondary Plays

Carmelo Anthony

Melo has a tough matchup against the Wizards tonight, but should be a low owned GPP option. He’s averaging over 37 minutes in his last ten games, and has at least 40 fantasy points in even over his last ten games. Washington is ranked seventh against SFs over the last three weeks, but Melo is matchup proof. If the Knicks want to win this game, Melo is going to need a big game tonight.

FD – $8,800
DK – $8,400

Washington

New York is hovering around 12th in defensive efficiency this season, and they’ve been really strong in the frontcourt all season. Carmelo has been really strong on defense this season as well. Bradley Beal and Alan Anderson missed the game on Thursday, and they’re both questionable to play tonight.

Elite Plays

John Wall

Wall is one of two Wizards averaging over 30 minutes per game in the last 15 days, and Porter has a really tough matchup against Melo tonight. Wall has a double double in seven of his last ten games, and has a triple-double in back-to-back games. He’s been playing great, and is putting the Wizards on his back down the stretch. Like I mentioned, the Wizards need every game they can get at this point, and Wall should continue to be the focal point of this offense.

FD – $9,900
DK – $10,00

Secondary Plays

Garrett Temple could be a punt play if Bradley Beal sits out again tonight.


Oklahoma City at Indiana – 07:00 PM by StevieTPFL

  • Vegas LineOklahoma City -3.5, 210 Over/Under
  • Oklahoma City Proj. StartersWestbrook-Roberson-Durant-Ibaka-Adams
  • Indiana Proj. StartersHill-Ellis-George-Turner-George
Oklahoma City Indiana
Vegas Total 210 Vegas Total 210
Vegas Sprd -3.5 Vegas Sprd 3.5
Team Proj. 106.8 Team Proj. 103.3
Team Pace 99.47 Team Pace 99.12
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 Kevin Durant Serge Ibaka Steven Adams Proj Starter George Hill Monta Ellis Paul George Myles Turner Paul George
Opp. Season 10 12 4 11 16 Opp. Season 22 19 10 9 5
Opp. Last 7 11 5 10 18 26 Opp. Season 9 4 12 11 11


Oklahoma City

The Pacers are fighting for a playoff spot, and this should be one of the best games of the night. The Pacers are only allowing 100.5 points per game this season, and they’re ranked third in defensive efficiency this season. Serge Ibaka missed the game for rest on Friday night, but should return to the lineup on Saturday. This game has the third highest total on the night, and has the second closest spread.

Elite Plays

Kevin Durant

Durant and George have matched up seven times now, and Durant has 30 actual points in five of those games. I’m throwing out DvP in this one, and I want exposure to these two stars playing against each other. Durant has over 50 fantasy points in six of the last ten games. There’s not much of a discount from Westbrook, but I like the matchup slightly more for Durant tonight.

FD – $10,400
DK – $10,100

Russell Westbrook

It’s amazing how we don’t even get excited when we see Westbrook put up a triple-double. He’s done it so often this season, and has five in the last ten games. The matchup with Hill isn’t the best, but Westbrook isn’t a guy I’m worried about in a tough matchup. I would rather pay up for Durant tonight, but Westbrook is still an elite option in what should be a great game.

FD – $10,600
DK – $10,500

Secondary Plays

NONE

Indiana

The Thunder have the fifth best record in the NBA this season, and they’re ranked 11th in defensive efficiency this season. They’re allowing 102.9 points per game this season, and they’ve been much better at home this season. With the Thunder on the road, I really like the Pacers tonight, and this should be one of the best games of the night. Ian Mahinmi is questionable to play tonight, and Myles Turner could get a very nice bump if he’s out.

Elite Plays

Paul George

The price tag will likely scare some people off tonight, but I love taking stars against each other. George has at least 20 actual points in three straight games against Durant. George has a 30% usage rate this season, and he’s averaging over 65 touches per game. George has been up and down lately, but he does have at least 40 fantasy points in five of his last ten games.

FD – $8,900
DK – $8,300

Secondary Plays

Monta Ellis

The price has finally caught up with Ellis, but I still think he’s in play tonight. Ellis comes in with at least 30 fantasy points in seven of the last ten games, and tends to excel in faster paced games. I think Ellis could be overlooked with Harden, Butler, and Stephenson on the slate. Like I already said, the Pacers are trying to get into the playoffs.

FD – $6,600
DK – $6,000


Brooklyn at Detroit – 07:00 PM by StevieTPFL

  • Vegas LineDetroit -8.5, 210.5 Over/Under
  • Brooklyn Proj. StartersSloan-Ellington-Bogdanovic-Young-Lopez
  • Detroit Proj. StartersJackson-Caldwell-Pope-Morris-Harris-Drummond
Brooklyn Detroit
Vegas Total 210 Vegas Total 210
Vegas Sprd 8.5 Vegas Sprd -8.5
Team Proj. 101.0 Team Proj. 109.5
Team Pace 96.95 Team Pace 97.72
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 Donald Sloan Wayne Ellington Bojan Bogdanovic Thaddeus Young Brook Lopez Proj Starter Reggie Jackson Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Marcus Morris Tobias Harris Andre Drummond
Opp. Season 11 8 5 14 9 Opp. Season 25 23 20 20 24
Opp. Last 7 22 3 14 26 30 Opp. Season 4 30 28 23 15


Brooklyn

The Pistons are ranked in the top 15 in defensive efficiency this season, and they’re still fighting for a playoff spot. Brooklyn is one of four teams officially eliminated from the playoffs, and shouldn’t be putting up too much of a fight tonight. You can’t project blowouts, but I’m worried about this game getting ugly. Willie Reed is the one guy that is day-to-day for the Nets.

Elite Plays

Thaddeus Young

The one bright spot for the Nets this season has been Thad Young. He’s been playing very well, and comes in with four straight games with at least 36 fantasy points. As a Magic fan, I know Tobias Harris isn’t the best defender, and I really like Young against him tonight. Young still might be a little risky for a cash game format, but it’s hard to overlook his 64 touches per game this season.

FD – $7,700
DK – $7,200

Secondary Plays

Sean Kilpatrick

I could easily put Bojan here, but I feel like his price is starting to limit his upside, and I don’t believe he can keep doing what he’s doing. I absolutely love looking for players playing with meaning at this point of the season, and Kilpatrick is very close to signing a deal with the Nets. He’s been playing over 20 minutes per game, and he has double-digit actual points in six of his last seven games. He’s a risky play, but he’s just the type of under the radar play that I like to target this time of the year.

FD – $3,700
DK – $3,300

Detroit

Brooklyn is allowing 104.6 points per game this season, and they’re ranked in the bottom three in defensive efficiency this season. I don’t expect the Nets to put up much of a challenge in this game, but the Piston starters should still play normal minutes tonight. After being questionable on Friday, Reggie Jackson played 34 minutes, and didn’t seem to have a set back. With the Nets being so bad defensively, we want some exposure to the Pistons tonight.

Elite Plays

Tobias Harris

Harris is one of my favorite cash game options on the slate, and he’s been very solid since joining the Pistons. Over the last three weeks, Harris has hit at least 4x on FD 80% of the time. Lopez has been solid defensively recently, but Thad Young is a good matchup for Harris. I really like the savings from a guy like Drummond, down to a guy like Harris tonight.

FD – $6,000
DK – $6,400

Secondary Plays

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

I called KCP on the Happy Hour show yesterday, and I’m going back to the well tonight. Brooklyn is allowing the most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards over the last three weeks. Caldwell-Pope has been playing solid minutes all season, and has been playing really well over the last few weeks. KCP has at least 29 fantasy points in five of the last seven games.

FD – $5,300
DK – $5,700


Cleveland at Miami – 07:30 PM by EMac

  • Vegas LineCleveland -3, 209 Over/Under
  • Cleveland Proj. StartersIrving-Smith-James-Love-
  • Miami Proj. StartersDragic-Wade-Winslow-Deng-Stoudemire
Cleveland Miami
Vegas Total 209 Vegas Total 209
Vegas Sprd -3.0 Vegas Sprd 3.0
Team Proj. 106.0 Team Proj. 103.0
Team Pace 95.35 Team Pace 95.75
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 Kyrie Irving J.R. Smith LeBron James Kevin Love Proj Starter Goran Dragic Dwyane Wade Justise Winslow Luol Deng Amar’e Stoudemire
Opp. Season 2 3 16 5 6 Opp. Season 16 7 3 1 1
Opp. Last 7 13 11 15 4 27 Opp. Season 5 20 1 15 8


Cleveland

Though they are on the road, Cleveland is still a slight favorite by virtue of having the best player in this matchup and as the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference standings. It is doubtful that they rest anyone and outside of Mo Williams they are currently a pretty healthy group.

Elite Plays

LeBron James

In his last five games against his former squad, LeBron has been solid with 35.2mpg, 25.2ppg, 5.6rpg, 6.0apg and 1.2 combined blocks/steals. That seems like a good baseline for tonight’s matchup. The Cavaliers have just a two game lead on the Toronto Raptors for the top seed in the playoffs and based on their mental lapses and internal turmoil, home court advantage is going to be important if they want to get back to the NBA Finals. The Heat just don’t have anyone equipped to deal with LeBron and he should be able to control the game as he sees fit.

FD – $9,800
DK – $9,300

Secondary Plays

None, Miami will likely look to shut down everyone else and make King James win the game.

Miami

Miami has been solid at home this season winning two out of every three games. They are projected to score 101 points, though I suspect this game will likely flirt with the under as Miami’s best bet to win is to make Cleveland slog through their defense. Most of the Miami players who actually get the production are fairly priced across the industry and it is tough to find any daily fantasy value from their roster.

Elite Plays

NONE

Secondary Plays

None, this is not an easy matchup for Miami and there are better options in other games. Even for tournaments, the upside is limited for the Heat. If Dwyane Wade is out, then Goran Dragic does deserve consideration as a differentiation play with his increased role in the offense.


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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

  • cappi74

    Nice to see you writing up some bball again Stevie.

  • stevietpfl

    Morning Grind co-host, Lead NASCAR Analyst

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      RG Overall Ranking

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    • 2015 FanDuel MLB Playboy Mansion Finalist

    • 2015 FAWBC Finalist

    @cappi74 said...

    Nice to see you writing up some bball again Stevie.

    Thanks! Emac and I double teamed this one, I love writing, I’ve just been extremely busy getting ready for baseball season. So many offseason moves this year.

  • Alright_x_3

  • omcurban

    good work thanks!!!

  • mlrfo4

    Don’t you think Wade really gets up for this one ?

  • AlexThomas22

    VERY CONFUSED. The Wizards are literally one of the WORST teams defending against small forwards yet this is written under Melo?

    “Melo has a tough matchup against the Wizards tonight, but should be a low owned GPP option.”

    Really? The DvP you list right above this clearly shows the Wizards are the THIRD WORST team at defending the SF. Melo’s game history against them also shows he DESTROYS THEM.

    What am I missing?!

  • joshschreder

    Alex the writers troll you . Just do your own research & trust it.

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