NBA Grind Down: Sunday, March 8th

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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Chicago at San Antonio – 1:00 PM EST

  • Vegas LineSan Antonio -9.5, 191.5 Over/Under
  • Chicago Proj. StartersBrooks-Snell-Dunleavy-Gasol-Noah
  • San Antonio Proj. StartersParker-Green-Leonard-Duncan-Splitter
Chicago San Antonio
Vegas Total 191 Vegas Total 191
Vegas Sprd 9.5 Vegas Sprd -9.5
Team Proj. 91.0 Team Proj. 100.5
Team Pace 95.50 Team Pace 95.81
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
Proj Starter Aaron Brooks Tony Snell Mike Dunleavy Pau Gasol Joakim Noah Proj Starter Tony Parker Danny Green Kawhi Leonard Tim Duncan Tiago Splitter
Opp. Season 13 1 1 22 17 Opp. Season 23 4 17 19 9
Opp. Last 7 28 1 11 2 26 Opp. Last 7 29 11 9 15 15


The early game has the beaten up Bulls traveling to San Antonio to play the Spurs. The Bulls are big underdogs in this game, as they will continue to play without their stars Rose, Butler and Taj Gibson. This would be a game that you might ignore on a full slate, but there will be many playing early-only slates today. If this is the case, I could see playing Aaron Brooks, who is still cheap at FD, and possibly Mike Dunleavy if you would like to take a GPP flyer on a guy who has made value in his last two games.

Elite Plays

Nikola Mirotic – Depending on the site you play on, Mirotic is still pretty cheap across the industry. I like him at sites where his 5x salary continues to be around the 25-27 point range, which he should be able to hit today. His minutes will be there regardless of the outcome of this game and I expect his good streak to continue this afternoon.

Secondary Plays

Joakim Noah – Pau is just too expensive right now for his recent production. I continue to think he is going to take over this team with all the injuries, but he has actually done the opposite and has not reached value in any of his last five games. In comes Joakim Noah, who is finally playing like the defensive player of the year from last year. He is most likely going to get minutes around 30-35 and should continue to fill up the stat sheet in all areas.

San Antonio

The Spurs have had the opposite luck of the Bulls recently. They are fully healthy for one of the first times this season and have their starting five playing together for a nice streak of games lately. They still play Spurs-type basketball, though, and that results in a nine-point spread with a low total of 192. If you are playing the early only slate, Tony Parker makes a decent, cheap GPP play, as well as Danny Green who is very cheap at DK. Lastly, Tim Duncan’s salary has come down big time, especially at DK.

Elite Plays

Kawhi Leonard – I, like the rest of the DFS community, really hate playing many Spurs in my lineups. The guy I have found myself playing a good amount in the past few games is Leonard. He seems to finally be healthy and has put up FD totals of 46, 35, 44, 38 and 36 in his last five games. Without Butler, the Bulls really do not have a guy to guard Leonard today and have had a middle of the road defense against the small forward position this year.

Secondary Plays


L.A. Clippers at Golden State – 3:30 PM EST

  • Vegas LineGolden State -8, 214 Over/Under
  • L.A. Clippers Proj. StartersPaul-Redick-Hamilton-Hawes-Jordan
  • Golden State Proj. StartersCurry-Thompson-Barnes-Green-Bogut
L.A. Clippers Golden State
Vegas Total 214 Vegas Total 214
Vegas Sprd 8.0 Vegas Sprd -8.0
Team Proj. 103.0 Team Proj. 111.0
Team Pace 96.77 Team Pace 100.93
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
Proj Starter Chris Paul J.J. Redick Jordan Hamilton Spencer Hawes DeAndre Jordan Proj Starter Stephen Curry Klay Thompson Harrison Barnes Draymond Green Andrew Bogut
Opp. Season 6 6 16 16 19 Opp. Season 4 14 26 17 15
Opp. Last 7 13 5 24 11 20 Opp. Last 7 10 14 18 24 3

L.A. Clippers

As a Bulls fan, it is sad to say, I will be really looking forward to this second game of the day slate and it should be the game to target of the first two. The game has the biggest over/under of the whole day, set at 217. Both teams have high-powered offenses, as the Clippers score the second-most points per game, just behind the number one offense, the Warriors. Injuries will play a factor today for the Clippers, as Blake is out until later this week and Jamal Crawford will sit today as well. The Crawford injury should give more minutes to Austin Rivers as well as Matt Barnes, if he suits up, which could make them cheap GPP plays. Lastly, Spencer Hawes could provide some salary relief, and I think I like him as the best cheap center option on the early slate.

Elite Plays

Chris Paul – Paul has been absolutely destroying the league since Blake Griffin got hurt. He has been especially good since the All-Star break and has put up at least 44 fantasy points in his last six games. This is the perfect type of game for Paul to continue to hit 50 fantasy points as the tempo should be up and down, and Curry does not play the best defense in the league. Paul looks like the top option on the morning slate today.

J.J. Redick – He has a very tough matchup against Klay Thompson today, but it is tough to ignore the fact that Jamal Crawford will not be suiting up for the game. Redick is getting more minutes than anyone on this Clippers squad, as he has been over 40+ in three of his last four. Minutes = production, especially for someone who can shoot as well as Redick. I think he is a guarantee to reach value today.

Secondary Plays

DeAndre Jordan – He is a tough one today, as he is the premium center option on the early slate, but has only hit 35 points in his last two games. At his price, he needs to be in the 45-50 point range to reach value. Combine this with the fact that he has one of the tougher center matchups against Bogut today and there is a little risk with spending so much salary on Jordan. With that said, prior to these two games he was on a streak of a lifetime and clearly has 50-point potential.

Golden State

The injuries to some of the big Clippers names have resulted in a eight-point favorite status for the Warriors this afternoon. These top two offensive teams are in middle of the league in points allowed per game, which should result in a very fun game to watch. With the early-only slate, I can see playing Klay Thompson, who can always go off, but has struggled to pay off his salary recently. I can also make a play on Andre Iguodala, who is cheap, getting close to 30 minutes per game, and should reach value for his salary. Lastly, you are going to need some value on the slate and Andrew Bogut could provide some salary relief, but not a whole lot of upside.

Elite Plays

Stephen Curry – This game should be a battle between two of my favorite point guards to watch. In recent matchups that we have had to choose between the two, I usually pick Paul because of his defense, yet, looking back at the game logs, it has not impacted Curry much. In the two games against the Clippers, Curry is averaging 21 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds. If you can somehow fit both in your lineup, you are going to have a great base of points to go off of today, yet I still like Paul a bit more.

Draymond Green – Other than the game against Brooklyn where he only put up 25 fantasy points, Green has been crushing it lately. He seems to be a lock for about 40 fantasy points, which is exactly where he needs to be to pay off his salary at some sites. If Barnes sits, Green is an even better play today.

Secondary Plays

This game has a huge total, but it is hard to look past Curry and Green. I like Iggy as a good punt as well as Klay as a guy that could end up launching a number of threes today.

Charlotte at Detroit – 6:00 PM EST

  • Vegas LineDetroit -1, 193.5 Over/Under
  • Charlotte Proj. StartersWilliams-Henderson-Kidd-Gilchrist-Zeller-Jefferson
  • Detroit Proj. StartersJackson-Caldwell-Pope-Prince-Monroe-Drummond
Charlotte Detroit
Vegas Total 193 Vegas Total 193
Vegas Sprd 1.0 Vegas Sprd -1.0
Team Proj. 96.3 Team Proj. 97.3
Team Pace 95.35 Team Pace 95.64
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
Proj Starter Mo Williams Gerald Henderson Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Cody Zeller Al Jefferson Proj Starter Reggie Jackson Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Tayshaun Prince Greg Monroe Andre Drummond
Opp. Season 3 17 20 29 29 Opp. Season 8 15 2 18 5
Opp. Last 7 1 30 7 30 13 Opp. Last 7 20 8 12 5 7


We go from the highest projected game to one that should have very low totals. The Charlotte Hornets have looked very good recently since the trade for Mo Williams, who has been playing fantastic. The Hornets are looking to make it five straight today in Detroit in a game that is basically a pick ‘em at this time. Both of these teams are scoring at the bottom third of the league per game, yet neither is a great defensive squad, which gives us a few spots to attack.

Elite Plays

Mo Williams – He has basically been a plug and play recently and I think will be very highly owned for cash games today. That is for good reason, as he has put up totals at least 33 fantasy points in each of his last five games and his price, although rising, is still playable.

Al Jefferson – Jefferson is really starting to play well and has put up a three 40+ point fantasy games in his four games. He has a great matchup against the bigs of the Pistons who have the 29th ranked defense against the center position on the year. He makes for an elite option at the position tonight.

Secondary Plays

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – He has been pretty consistent recently getting 35 minutes per game and putting up close to 30 fantasy points in those contests. This is exactly where we need him to be for value and should continue that today against Detroit.


Detroit has not had as much recent success like the Hornets have. Detroit has lost their last five games and will look to get back on track at home tonight. The game is not one of the highest projected scoring games tonight, as the total is set at 192.

Elite Plays

Greg Monroe – He is a bit expensive today, but he is going to be a very tough guard inside for Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller. In the previous matchup, Monroe had a 23/12 game and should come close to that number again.

Reggie Jackson – He is going to have one of those huge games we are waiting for, but until then, hitting 30 fantasy points should is fine for the price we are paying. Charlotte’s point guard defense has been trending down since Mo took over the helm.

Secondary Plays

Andre Drummond – He is always worth a mention due to potential, but I am always in fear of the quick foul situation. He is a GPP play today.

Utah at Brooklyn – 6:00 PM EST

  • Vegas LineBrooklyn -1.5, 187.5 Over/Under
  • Utah Proj. StartersExum-Ingles-Hayward-Favors-Gobert
  • Brooklyn Proj. StartersWilliams-Brown-Anderson-Johnson-Plumlee
Utah Brooklyn
Vegas Total 187 Vegas Total 190.0
Vegas Sprd 1.5 Vegas Sprd 9.0
Team Proj. 93.0 Team Proj. 90.2
Team Pace 92.77 Team Pace 94.54
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
Proj Starter Dante Exum Joe Ingles Gordon Hayward Derrick Favors Rudy Gobert Proj Starter Deron Williams Markel Brown Alan Anderson Joe Johnson Mason Plumlee
Opp. Season 16 27 10 24 13 Opp. Season 7 13 9 11 1
Opp. Last 7 27 16 15 26 30 Opp. Last 7 11 6 3 12 5


This game features two slow-paced teams that gives us the lowest total of the slate at 187. There is not a whole lot of fantasy goodness in this game, especially with some much better matchups coming up. If you are going to take players, the Jazz may be the team to look at as the Nets are a middle of the league defensive squad this year.

Elite Plays

Rudy Gobert – His price has risen to a point where I think I like Al Jeff a bit more due to pricing, but Gobert has proven that he can grab 15 rebounds against anyone. I think his price will continue to rise a bit more into the $8,000 range so we are still getting a bit of value at this point. Brooklyn has the 30th ranked defense against the center position in the last three weeks.

Secondary Plays

Derrick Favors – Since the Kanter trade, Favors has been getting 30+ minutes each night and has returned with pretty solid production as well. I think he can continue that today against the Nets whose inside defense has really struggled as of late.


Brooklyn has the worst matchup on the slate and have also really struggled in their past few games. Utah is ranked in the top three against every position except for the PF position in the last three weeks. Tonight’s slate is big enough to avoid them completely tonight.

Elite Plays


Secondary Plays


Boston at Orlando – 6:00 PM EST

  • Vegas LineBoston -1, 197 Over/Under
  • Boston Proj. StartersSmart-Turner-Crowder-Bass-Zeller
  • Orlando Proj. StartersPayton-Oladipo-Harris-Frye-Dedmon
Boston Orlando
Vegas Total 197 Vegas Total 197
Vegas Sprd -1.0 Vegas Sprd 1.0
Team Proj. 99.0 Team Proj. 98.0
Team Pace 98.57 Team Pace 95.84
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
Proj Starter Marcus Smart Evan Turner Jae Crowder Brandon Bass Tyler Zeller Proj Starter Elfrid Payton Victor Oladipo Tobias Harris Channing Frye Dewayne Dedmon
Opp. Season 22 7 30 20 27 Opp. Season 19 2 24 26 24
Opp. Last 7 9 13 30 1 18 Opp. Last 7 14 17 22 28 28


Back to a game with much better fantasy potential as the Celtics are traveling down to Orlando to face the Magic. Avery Bradley did not travel with the team yesterday and looks to be out for another game. This gives his 30-35 minutes to a few different guys today. The Magic allow the seventh-most points per game at 102.9, but have been improved in recent weeks.

Elite Plays

Jae Crowder/Evan Turner – These two guys are the main beneficiaries of the injury to Avery Bradley right now. They both played about 30+ minutes in the last game without him and both reached value as well.

Secondary Plays

Isaiah Thomas – Thomas makes a great GPP play today, as his price is at a point where I think I would rather play Mo and Reggie for cash games if I wanted a guy around that price point. It is tough to ignore what he has been doing recently getting close to 30 minutes and getting about a point per minute in those games.


The big question mark here is the status of Vucevic. If he sits, it allows for the other Magic to have huge games as evidenced by Friday night’s Oladipo explosion. The total of this game is average at 199, but the Magic are only one-point favorites, meaning it should be close throughout. If Vucevic is playing, he is an elite option at the center position against a Celtics squad he should be able to dominate on the inside. If Vucevic sits, Channing Frye becomes a great punt play coming off a 45-point performance.

Elite Plays

Victor Oladipo – I think he makes an elite play regardless of the status of Vucevic, but just has a higher upside if he sits. With no Bradley, Oladipo should have a much easier time on the ball and attacking the basket and his confidence should be sky high coming off two 47+ fantasy point performances.

Secondary Plays

Tobias Harris – Harris is a guy whose value right now is very dependent on the status of Vucevic. If Vuc sits, Harris should easily reach value and becomes a great play. If Vucevic plays, Harris becomes a GPP-only play.

Elfrid Payton – Payton is worth a mention here today as he has put up 33 and 35 in the last two games and is playing on a slate with not a whole lot of low priced PGs. He is a GPP only mention here.

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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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