NBA Grind Down: Sunday, March 1st - Page Two

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Portland at Sacramento – 6:00 PM EST

  • Vegas LinePortland -5, 204 Over/Under
  • Portland Proj. StartersLillard-Matthews-Batum-Aldridge-Lopez
  • Sacramento Proj. StartersMcCallum-McLemore-Gay-Landry-Thompson
Portland Sacramento
Vegas Total 204 Vegas Total 204
Vegas Sprd -5 Vegas Sprd 5.0
Team Proj. 104.5 Team Proj. 99.50
Team Pace 96.42 Team Pace 97.53
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
Proj Starter Damian Lillard Wesley Matthews Nicolas Batum LaMarcus Aldridge Robin Lopez Proj Starter Ray McCallum Ben McLemore Rudy Gay Carl Landry Jason Thompson
Opp. Season 28 30 6 20 29 Opp. Season 26 18 12 1 6
Opp. Last 7 12 27 20 5 23 Opp. Last 7 27 6 14 16 17


Another game without a big star today pits the Trail Blazers going to Sacramento to play the possible DeMarcus-less Kings. A lot of plays in this game are based on his availability today as if he is out. The blowout factor becomes an issue and I think may take the projections of the Blazers down a bit, as they may only play three quarters. Check the news as Vegas does not share my opinion and has the spread in favor of Portland by only five points.

Elite Plays

Damian Lillard – I think LaMarcus is too highly priced in this matchup where he may not get a full allotment of minutes tonight, but does make a good tournament play since he could go off as well. If I were taking any Portland players, it would be Lillard. He is around the 8K range (under at DK) and should be able to dominate McCallum and Andre Miller here tonight. The price is just too low to ignore on a guy who has 50 point upside when his shot is falling.

Secondary Plays



Even George Karl cannot help this team if Cousins continues to sit, as they really struggle to compete with the rest of the league without their star. What does come out of his injury is that a few very cheap plays are forced into big minutes and are forced to put the ball in the basket, as they are missing one of the highest usage guys in the league. Keep an eye on the news, but DeMarcus is currently doubtful to play. This game should be fast paced regardless, as the total is set high at 204.

Elite Plays

Rudy Gay – He disappointed a lot of us in the last game, as he only put up 23 fantasy points. I think we can go back to the well today with him, since if the Kings want to keep this game close, Rudy needs to step it up big time. The matchup is not the greatest against Batum, but I think the amount of extra shots and rebounds that the absence of Cousins gives should allow for Gay to have a big game.

Jason Thompson – He has been the biggest beneficiary of Cousins going out. In the last two games he has played 33 minutes in each and has totals of 29 and 32 fantasy points. At his around 4K price, this is more than enough to hit value and he should continue to be a solid value play today.

Secondary Plays

Ben McLemore – I do not like him as much as I like Thompson, but McLemore continues to get big minutes and put up a high number of shots. If he can knock down a few of his threes, he should easily reach value, but there is a bit of risk involved, as we have seen 10 point fantasy efforts recently as well.

Oklahoma City at L.A. Lakers – 6:30 PM EST

  • Vegas LineOklahoma City -3, 202 Over/Under
  • Oklahoma City Proj. StartersAugustin-Roberson-Singler-Ibaka-Collison
  • L.A. Lakers Proj. StartersClarkson-Ellington-Kelly-Boozer-Sacre
Oklahoma City L.A. Lakers
Vegas Total 202 Vegas Total 202
Vegas Sprd -3.0 Vegas Sprd 3.0
Team Proj. 102.5 Team Proj. 99.5
Team Pace 97.54 Team Pace 96.73
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
Proj Starter D.J. Augustin Andre Roberson Kyle Singler Serge Ibaka Nick Collison Proj Starter Jordan Clarkson Wayne Ellington Ryan Kelly Carlos Boozer Robert Sacre
Opp. Season 30 20 20 12 25 Opp. Season 29 4 15 25 4
Opp. Last 7 11 1 21 8 21 Opp. Last 7 29 4 9 25 5

Oklahoma City

The big story for this game is the fact that both Durant and Westbrook will be missing. This basically evens the playing field, as two teams will face off against each other with one of the few times in the NBA when no star will be taking the court at all. What this should do is open up a lot of minutes and time for a lot of the Thunder guys, and add that to the great matchup against the Lakers, and we should have some fantasy goodness here.

Elite Plays

Serge Ibaka – With Westbrook missing, Ibaka may not get all those open dunks and layups that Westbrook gets him so often in games, but Ibaka will be relied upon to carry this team today against the Lakers. The Lakers are in the bottom third of the league against the PF position in the last 3 weeks and I think Ibaka is the obvious and the right play here.

D.J. Augustin – We have seen what he can do when starting for the Pistons, but I just wish his price would have dropped more at FD. He makes for one of the top value plays at DK, as they dropped it down to $4100 there. Minutes = production in the NBA and that is what we will get tonight from D.J.

Dion Waiters – Waiters will get a lot of extra minutes and needs to pick up some of the scoring left by Westbrook. He is cheap and should easily reach value today.

Secondary Plays

Mitch McGary – If and only if Kanter sits out, McGary makes a decent play tonight. He is cheap and will put up points given the minutes, but he will only get those minutes if the thigh injury keeps Kanter out.

L.A. Lakers

The Lakers are most likely pretty happy that Westbrook does not get to torch them tonight. This has resulted in a pick’em game in Vegas, which is great for the fantasy potential of the Lakers. The total is set at 200, so it will be an interesting game to watch and see who steps up.

Elite Plays

Jordan Clarkson – He seems to have found the groove in his last couple of games, as he has had games of 27 and 33 fantasy points. For his salary, that is hitting value and I think should have an easy time doing that tonight in what most likely will be a sloppy, fast paced affair between these two teams.

Secondary Plays

Wayne Ellington – I pretty much avoid the bigs of the Lakers, as they are tough to get a read on. Ellington on the other hand has stepped up a bit since Nick Young has been out of the lineup. I like Waiters a bit more than Ellington tonight, but he makes an interesting tournament play.

New Orleans at Denver – 8:00 PM EST

  • Vegas LineNew Orleans -5.5, 198.5 Over/Under
  • New Orleans Proj. StartersEvans-Gordon-Pondexter-Cunningham-Asik
  • Denver Proj. StartersLawson-Harris-Gallinari-Lauvergne-Hickson
New Orleans Denver
Vegas Total 198 Vegas Total 198
Vegas Sprd -5.5 Vegas Sprd 5.5
Team Proj. 102 Team Proj. 96.5
Team Pace 94.05 Team Pace 98.47
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
Proj Starter Tyreke Evans Eric Gordon Quincy Pondexter Dante Cunningham Omer Asik Proj Starter Ty Lawson Gary Harris Danilo Gallinari Joffrey Lauvergne J.J. Hickson
Opp. Season 20 28 26 30 24 Opp. Season 17 17 10 8 9
Opp. Last 7 28 25 25 28 25 Opp. Last 7 10 17 8 1 27

New Orleans

It is too bad that Anthony Davis will not get a crack at this Denver squad tonight, but that is the case as another star is out on this slate. The Pelicans are still five-point favorites against the Nuggets with a total of 197.

Elite Plays

Eric Gordon – Evans’ price is a bit too high at the point guard position, especially considering he has not reached value in a while. Gordon on the other hand gives you a good amount of savings from Tyreke with just a bit lower total upside. Gordon has been consistent and should hit around that 30 fantasy point mark.

Secondary Plays

Tyreke Evans – I know I just hated on him, but Evans does have a huge upside. He has been battling illness lately, so hopefully he is over that. He is a secondary play because of his price at the point guard position now, where there are better cheaper options, but he is capable of a monster game, thus making him a tournament play.

Omer Asik – The most healthy big who should get about 30 minutes against a Denver team notorious for struggling inside.


I am going to keep this one short. Really, who knows what is going on with this Denver squad anymore. Just when we thought we had something going with Hickson, he plays under 20 minutes. The team is all over the place and very difficult to trust. Gallo’s price is not that enticing anymore either and I think I will most likely avoid the team altogether. I can see playing Gallinari or Faried, but I don’t think I will.

Elite Plays


Secondary Plays


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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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