NBA Grind Down: Sunday, February 22nd

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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Cleveland at New York – 1:00 PM EST

  • Vegas LineCleveland -15, 197 Over/Under
  • Cleveland Proj. StartersIrving-Smith-James-Love-Mozgov
  • New York Proj. StartersCalderon-Galloway-Early-Smith-Amundson
Cleveland New York
Vegas Total 197 Vegas Total 197
Vegas Sprd -15.0 Vegas Sprd +15
Team Proj. 106.0 Team Proj. 91
Team Pace 94.73 Team Pace 92.73
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
Proj Starter Kyrie Irving J.R. Smith LeBron James Kevin Love Timofey Mozgov Proj Starter Jose Calderon Langtson Galloway Cleanthony Early Jason Smith Louis Amundson
Opp. Season 25 22 1 6 23 Opp. Season 12 21 24 18 13
Opp. Last 7 Opp. Last 7


Cleveland takes the floor for the first game of the afternoon as they get to take on a Melo-less Knicks squad. This game has blowout written all over it, as this depleted Knicks squad are the biggest underdogs of slate, with the Cavs being favored by 15 points. The blowout really hampers the fantasy value of guys like Irving and LeBron, but if you are playing an afternoon-only slate, you may be forced into playing them.

Elite Plays

None – Unless you are playing the early only slate in which LeBron and Irving should be considered, but the blowout is too worrisome here.

Secondary Plays


New York

The Knicks are terrible and are projected to score a slate-low 91 points today. Without Melo, there are a few points and rebounds to go around which does make for some intriguing cheap guys. Hardaway is coming off the bench now, but still was able to hit 30 minutes. He is a cheap play whose minutes will not be affected by the score of the game and should reach value today, and would be the only Knick I may contemplate having in my lineups for this early matchup.

Elite Plays


Secondary Plays


Washington at Detroit – 3:30 PM EST

  • Vegas LineWashington -1, 195 Over/Under
  • Washington Proj. StartersWall-Porter-Pierce-Hilario-Gortat
  • Detroit Proj. StartersJackson-Caldwell-Pope-Butler-Monroe-Drummond
Washington Detroit
Vegas Total 195 Vegas Total 195
Vegas Sprd -1.0 Vegas Sprd 1.0
Team Proj. 98.0 Team Proj. 97.0
Team Pace 95.68 Team Pace 95.60
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
Proj Starter John Wall Otto Porter Paul Pierce Nene Hilario Marcin Gortat Proj Starter Reggie Jackson Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Caron Butler Greg Monroe Andre Drummond
Opp. Season 5 15 22 26 26 Opp. Season 7 7 9 3 3
Opp. Last 7 Opp. Last 7


Washington takes a trip into Detroit to see a new look Pistons squad that should have their post-trade players today. They come into this match up as small two-point favorites and Vegas thinks that it should be played at a Wizards pace as the total is set at 193. The Wizards will likely continue to play without Bradley Beal who missed yesterday’s practice. The bigs of the Wizards also continue to be GPP plays only as they seem to have a 25-minute cap on each.

Elite Plays

John Wall – He is priced at a discount in comparison to the top point guards of the slate, which is due to the fact that he has struggled to hit value recently. The Wizards are coming off a pretty awful 38 point defeat to the Cavs and I think Wall will do everything he can to get a win today, which means he will have to carry the team.

Secondary Plays



Detroit has their point guard going forward in Reggie Jackson and should get to test out the new lineup today against this Wizards squad who has struggled lately. The problem here is the Wizards have been one of the best defensive teams in the league this year and play top 10 defense against each position for the year.

Elite Plays

Reggie Jackson – He is very cheap and has the go ahead from his coach to take the reigns of the team. He is a plug and play today in both the all-day and morning slates even though he has a tough match up.

Secondary Plays

Greg Monroe – His price has dropped to a more playable place especially on FanDuel. He is getting a lot of minutes and makes a good PF play for the morning slate, but I think there are some better, cheaper plays on the all-day slate.

Atlanta at Milwaukee – 3:30 PM EST

  • Vegas LineAtlanta -4, 196.5 Over/Under
  • Atlanta Proj. StartersTeague-Korver-Carroll-Millsap-Horford
  • Milwaukee Proj. StartersBayless-Middleton-Antetokounmpo-Dudley-Henson
Atlanta Milwaukee
Vegas Total 196 Vegas Total 196
Vegas Sprd -4.0 Vegas Sprd 4.0
Team Proj. 100.3 Team Proj. 96.3
Team Pace 96.10 Team Pace 96.37
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
Proj Starter Jeff Teague Kyle Korver DeMarre Carroll Paul Millsap Al Horford Proj Starter Jerryd Bayless Khris Middleton Giannis Antetokounmpo Jared Dudley John Henson
Opp. Season 1 11 26 9 20 Opp. Season 19 13 17 15 6
Opp. Last 7 Opp. Last 7


The Hawks have some big expectations coming into the second half the season, but they are another team coming off a pretty terrible low in their first game after the break. They will look to bounce back against a Bucks squad who will be without the man who led their defense at the point guard position, Brandon Knight. This game is projected to be the highest scoring and closest game of the early slate today and the Hawks are four-point favorites. I will be focusing on the big men for the all-day slate, but I can see playing a guy like Carroll in the early slate who I like a bit more than Middleton from this game due to price.

Elite Plays

Al Horford – The place to attack this Bucks squad has been on the inside. In the last three weeks they are giving up the most fantasy points in the league to the center position and Horford has 40-point potential.

Secondary Plays

Paul Millsap – Millsap is a very talented big guy who can contribute in multiple categories. He should be able to handle the inside defense of the Bucks and his price has dropped due to some poor recent performances.


The Bucks are coming off a decent win at home to the sputtering Nuggets and will look to make it two in a row after the break against one of the best records in the league in the Hawks. At this point, the news is that MCW is doubtful for this game, which leaves a big gap for Bayless to fill again. Keep an eye on the news though as this is the later game of the slate.

Elite Plays

Jerryd Bayless – Your point guards for the early slate are going to save you a ton of money with Reggie and Bayless getting starts at very low prices. Bayless put up 34 fantasy points in 39 minutes on Friday night and if MCW sits, he should get 35+ minutes again.

Secondary Plays

Giannis Antetokounmpo – He is listed as a secondary play due to his price and potential for a huge game. He does a bit of everything on the court and does not rely strictly on scoring, which can result in some big fantasy games.

Golden State at Indiana – 6:00 PM EST

  • Vegas LineGolden State -6.5, 205.5 Over/Under
  • Golden State Proj. StartersCurry-Thompson-Barnes-Green-Bogut
  • Indiana Proj. StartersHill-Miles-Hill-West-Hibbert
Golden State Indiana
Vegas Total 205 Vegas Total 205
Vegas Sprd -6.5 Vegas Sprd 6.5
Team Proj. 106.0 Team Proj. 99.5
Team Pace 101.20 Team Pace 95.40
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
Proj Starter Stephen Curry Klay Thompson Harrison Barnes Draymond Green Andrew Bogut Proj Starter George Hill C.J. Miles Solomon Hill David West Roy Hibbert
Opp. Season 14 25 5 1 12 Opp. Season 8 8 8 17 19
Opp. Last 7 Opp. Last 7

Golden State

This is an interesting fantasy game as it pits the highest scoring offense against a slow paced Pacers team that is allowing the sixth-fewest points in the league per game. With that said, Vegas has this as a pretty close game as the Warriors are only seven-point favorites with a total of 205.

Elite Plays

None – Right now, Klay has not been putting up numbers enough to hit value. I can see playing Draymond at the SF position, but he has a tough matchup for his price.

Secondary Plays

Editor’s Note: Stephen Curry is OUT tonight.

Stephen Curry – If there were one position to attack this Pacers squad, it would have to be at the point guard position. Over the last three weeks, they are an above average matchup for point guards, and they happen to be facing one of the best in the league today. Curry is a secondary play only due to the fact that if Durant is out again, Westbrook is the top play at the position.


The Pacers are in a much better spot than the Warriors are today, as they will play far up in pace today. They are coming off a win on Friday over the Sixers, but will have a much tougher matchup today against one of the top teams in the league. They did not come out of that win unscathed though as Stuckey had an ankle sprain. He is listed as questionable at the moment and if he sits, his 25-30 minutes should be spread around to guys like Miles and Watson.

Elite Plays

George Hill – He did not have to show us anything on Friday as all the Pacers starters got extra rest in the big win. It has been said, though, that his minute’s restriction has been lifted and I would expect him to play around 30 minutes tonight. With his salary, he has a great match up against Curry today and should reach value.

Secondary Plays

C.J. Miles – He is always a GPP play these days and has proved why over his last 4 games. He plays about 25-30 minutes per game and has scored 26, 12, 20 and 3 points over the last four respectively. If his shot is falling, he can pay off his low salary, but that is always a big “if”.

Philadelphia at Orlando – 6:00 PM EST

  • Vegas LineOrlando -8, 189 Over/Under
  • Philadelphia Proj. StartersCanaan-Richardson-Covington-Richard Mbah a Moute-Noel
  • Orlando Proj. StartersPayton-Oladipo-Fournier-Frye-Vucevic
Philadelphia Orlando
Vegas Total 189 Vegas Total 189
Vegas Sprd 8.0 Vegas Sprd -8.0
Team Proj. 90.5 Team Proj. 98.5
Team Pace 98.07 Team Pace 95.96
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
Proj Starter Isaiah Canaan Jason Richardson Robert Covington Luc Richard Mbah a Moute Nerlens Noel Proj Starter Elfrid Payton Victor Oladipo Evan Fournier Channing Frye Nikola Vucevic
Opp. Season 27 4 29 24 27 Opp. Season 23 29 25 30 30
Opp. Last 7 Opp. Last 7


In the past, this has been one match up that has always been ridiculously filled with fantasy goodness. The Sixers are ranked 22nd in the league in points allowed while the Magic are ranked 24th. Neither team scores a ton of points, but both should get a boost from the matchup tonight.

Editor’s Note: Luc Mbah a Moute is uncertain to play tonight after missing the team trip to Orlando for personal reasons. Henry Sims will start.

Elite Plays

Isaiah Canaan – The coaching staff has said that Canaan will be the starting PG today. He is minimum priced and makes for a great value play in what is a decent matchup in his first start. He did show a bit of potential when he filled in at times for the Rockets, and I think should easily exceed value tonight.

Nerlens Noel – He exploded out of the gate on Friday with a 47 fantasy point effort. While nine blocks are basically out of the question, he does have a much better matchup against the Magic, who are terrible inside. He should be able to take advantage of the seventh-best matchup for the PF position today and makes a good mid-tiered option.

Secondary Plays

Robert Covington – Coming off a very difficult match up against the Pacers, Covington had a very poor game. He will look to bounce back here tonight and should have a good opportunity to make value. He is getting the minutes and has had over 30 fantasy points in four of his last six games. His price is what concerns me a bit and makes him a secondary play.


Orlando wins the matchup lottery today as they get to play the Sixers. The early line has them at eight-point favorites and no total has been set at the time of this article. Orlando is coming in with some confidence after a win over the Pelicans and should continue that winning attitude today as Philly is in the bottom third of the league against all positions. Keep an eye out for news on Tobias Harris today, as he has missed their last three games with a knee injury.

Editor’s Note: Tobias Harris will start tonight’s game.

Elite Plays

Nikola Vucevic – He is the highest priced center today, but I think that is for good reason. He has 50-point upside and probably about a 35-point floor in this game tonight. Vuc has had some big games against the Sixers including averaging 20 points and 15 rebounds in three games against them last year.

Victor Oladipo – He is getting good minutes, especially with Harris out of the lineup, and is putting up around 30-35 fantasy points per game which is just reaching value. This type of game should lead to a few more steals for Oladipo and fastbreak points so I think he will be closer to that 35+ point area. Shooting guard is a position without many studs today, so Oladipo looks to be one of the safer options.

Secondary Plays

Elfrid Payton – He has really come on this year as one of the better young point guards in the league. His last four games he has had games of 35, 25, 32 and 27 which are good numbers for his salary. He makes a decent mid-tiered PG today if you are not paying up for the big guys.

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About the Author

  • Ryan138 (Ryan138)

  • Ryan (Ryan138) is from Chicago and has been playing fantasy sports for over 10 years. He has been playing daily fantasy sports for over 2 years since he was introduced to Daily Joust in late 2010. In the last year, Ryan has risen into the Top 100 of the RotoGrinders leaderboards by playing at DraftDay, DraftKings and FanDuel in all the major sports.


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