NBA Grind Down: Tuesday, February 24th

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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Golden State at Washington – 7:00 PM EST

  • Vegas LineGolden State -4.5, 204 Over/Under
  • Golden State Proj. StartersCurry-Thompson-Barnes-Green-Bogut
  • Washington Proj. StartersWall-Temple-Pierce-Hilario-Gortat
Golden State Washington
Vegas Total 204 Vegas Total 204
Vegas Sprd -4.5 Vegas Sprd 4.5
Team Proj. 104.3 Team Proj. 99.8
Team Pace 101.04 Team Pace 95.75
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 John Wall Garrett Temple Paul Pierce Nene Hilario Marcin Gortat
Opp. Season 7 7 9 3 3 Opp. Season 8 11 8 16 19
Opp. Last 7 18 28 23 13 24 Opp. Last 7 3 27 9 9 4

Golden State

The Warriors are expected to have Stephen Curry back for tonight’s game against the Wizards. This game will be played in Washington, but the Warriors are still 4.5-point favorites. The total for the game is set at 204 points, which is fairly low for a Warriors’ game, considering their pace of play. The reason for the low total is their opponent. The Wizards are stout defensively, ranking tenth in points allowed and fourth in rebounding differential this season. The Warriors are projected to score six points lower than their season average.

Opponent Breakdown (Washington)
Record: 33-23
Points Allowed Per Game: 98 (Rank: 10)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 8
Rebounding Differential Rank: 4

Elite Plays

Draymond Green (FD: $6800, DK: $6700 / MPG: 32 / Usage Rate: 16.3)

Green’s minutes are trending in the right direction. After seeing close to 30 minutes per game for a three-week stretch before the All-Star break, he has now played at least 33 minutes in six of his last seven games. Green draws a tough matchup against the Nene Hilario and the Wizards, but his ability to fill up the stat sheet helps offset that. Green’s price is down and tonight is a great opportunity to buy low on the versatile forward.

Secondary Plays

Stephen Curry (FD: $10000, DK: $9900 / MPG: 33 / Usage Rate: 28.3)

Curry sat out the Warriors’ last game with an ankle injury, but is expected to be back in the lineup tonight. He should be able to pick up right where he left off. He has scored at least 45 fantasy points in six of his last nine games. He also loves playing against top-notch point guards and John Wall certainly fits the bill.

Klay Thompson (FD: $7400, DK: $8000 / MPG: 33 / Usage Rate: 27.7)

With Curry back in the lineup, Thompson’s usage rate will go back down. However, his usage rate on the season is nothing to scoff at. He has a 27.7 usage rate in this offense. Thompson can get hot at any point and he sees a small fantasy boost with Bradley Beal out. The Wizards have allowed the second-most fantasy points to shooting guards over the last week.


Pace of play is the great equalizer in fantasy basketball. While the Warriors are ranked first in defensive efficiency this season, they have allowed the 13th-most points per game due to their fast pace of play. The Wizards are 4.5-point underdogs in a game where they are projected to score 100 points. This isn’t the best matchup on tonight’s schedule, but it’s not the worst either.

Opponent Breakdown (Golden State)
Record: 43-10
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.7 (Rank: 18)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 1
Rebounding Differential Rank: 16

Elite Plays

John Wall (FD: $9100, DK: $8700 / MPG: 36 / Usage Rate: 24.9)

Wall’s home and road splits have become closer as the season has progressed, but he is still averaging over three more fantasy points per game at home. Wall has similar upside to Curry, yet he is considerably cheaper on most fantasy sites. If I’m paying up for one, I’ll give the slight edge to Wall thanks to the friends and family discount. He has only topped 40 fantasy points two times in his last ten games, but I like his chances of hitting that mark tonight.

Secondary Plays

Marcin Gortat (FD: $5400, DK: $5100 / MPG: 29 / Usage Rate: 18.2)

Gortat is having a disappointing season, but he is showing signs of coming out of his prolonged slump. Over his last seven games, he has averaged 25.1 fantasy points per contest. While Andrew Bogut is a very capable defender, the Warriors are ranked 19th against opposing centers this season.

Nene Hilario (FD: $5300, DK: $4700 / MPG: 25 / Usage Rate: 21.8)

It’s hard to trust any player that isn’t guaranteed to play more than 25 minutes on a nightly basis. While I like the fantasy point per minute production that Hilario provides, he has played less than 26 minutes in each of his last five games. The price is right, but he has to do a lot in limited minutes if he’s going to reach value.

Cleveland at Detroit – 7:30 PM EST

  • Vegas LineCleveland -6.5, 205.5 Over/Under
  • Cleveland Proj. StartersIrving-Smith-James-Love-Mozgov
  • Detroit Proj. StartersJackson-Caldwell-Pope-Prince-Monroe-Drummond
Cleveland Detroit
Vegas Total 205.5 Vegas Total 205.5
Vegas Sprd -6.5 Vegas Sprd 6.5
Team Proj. 106.0 Team Proj. 99.5
Team Pace 94.82 Team Pace 95.60
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 Reggie Jackson Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Tayshaun Prince Greg Monroe Andre Drummond
Opp. Season 5 13 20 27 27 Opp. Season 9 21 26 19 13
Opp. Last 7 2 11 1 16 20 Opp. Last 7 9 4 14 20 5


The Cavaliers have won eight of their last ten games, which is the best record in the entire Eastern Conference during that stretch. They continue to climb the standings and when all is said and done, don’t be surprised if they move up to the two-seed. They head to Detroit to take on the Pistons tonight. They are listed as 6.5-point favorites in a game that features a total of 205 points. The Pistons are a good rebounding team, but have been average defensively this season.

Opponent Breakdown (Detroit)
Record: 23-33
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.4 (Rank: 15)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 17
Rebounding Differential Rank: 9

Elite Plays

LeBron James (FD: $10600, DK: $10300 / MPG: 36 / Usage Rate: 32.9)

If you were to just look at his game logs over the last couple of weeks, James would be a fantasy disappointment at his price point. He has only averaged 40.2 fantasy points per game over his last six. The key statistic here is that he has only played 30 minutes per game during that stretch. He has averaged 1.34 fantasy points per minute over those six outings. If the Pistons can keep this one close, James should see 35+ minutes tonight.

Secondary Plays

J.R. Smith (FD: $5300, DK: $5000 / MPG: 29 / Usage Rate: 20.3)

Smith may not be the most trustworthy shooting guard in the NBA, but until he stops producing, he will continue to make a solid contrarian play at the position. He has scored at least 25 fantasy points in each of his last four games.

Timofey Mozgov (FD: $5700, DK: $5200 / MPG: 26 / Usage Rate: 15.5)

Mozgov had a rare subpar outing against the Knicks the other night. He only finished with 12 fantasy points in 24 minutes. That game was another blowout though and he has been terrific over the last couple of weeks. Over his last nine games, he has averaged 26.3 fantasy points in 27 minutes per contest.


The Pistons have won six of their last ten games. They are currently one game behind the Nets, who own the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The Pistons draw a tough matchup against the red-hot Cavaliers. The Pistons are sizable underdogs at home and are only projected to score 100 points tonight. Even though the matchup isn’t ideal, there are a few Pistons’ players that make viable targets tonight.

Opponent Breakdown (Cleveland)
Record: 35-22
Points Allowed Per Game: 98.8 (Rank: 13)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 22
Rebounding Differential Rank: 8

Elite Plays

Greg Monroe (FD: $7700, DK: $8100 / MPG: 30 / Usage Rate: 23.7)

Monroe and Drummond are both viable options tonight against the Cavaliers’ frontcourt. Of the two, Monroe is the better target. He has a similar ceiling as Drummond, yet he has a much higher floor. Monroe has scored at least 35 fantasy points in five of his last ten games. He also draws a favorable matchup against Kevin Love and the Cavaliers, who are ranked 19th against power forwards this season.

Reggie Jackson (FD: $4400, DK: $4500 / MPG: 28 / Usage Rate: 22.9)

Jackson played well in his Pistons’ debut. He played 30 minutes and finished the game with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. He should play at least 30 minutes again tonight against a Cavaliers’ team that has been good, but not great against opposing point guards. This pick is all about value. Jackson is still priced as a backup point-guard on the Thunder. He should be one of the first players in your cash game lineup.

Secondary Plays

Andre Drummond (FD: $8200, DK: $7800 / MPG: 30 / Usage Rate: 21.2)

The biggest knock on Drummond is his inconsistency, but he has actually put together a consistent nine-game stretch. He has scored 25 fantasy points in every game and he has averaged 36 fantasy points per game during that stretch. He would typically be a risky cash game option, but center is a thin position. He’s a borderline elite play in both cash games and tournaments tonight against the Cavaliers.

Indiana at Oklahoma City – 8:00 PM EST

  • Vegas LineOklahoma City -6.5, 204.5 Over/Under
  • Indiana Proj. StartersHill-Miles-Hill-West-Hibbert
  • Oklahoma City Proj. StartersWestbrook-Roberson-Singler-Ibaka-Kanter
Indiana Oklahoma City
Vegas Total 204.5 Vegas Total 204.5
Vegas Sprd 6.5 Vegas Sprd -6.5
Team Proj. 99.0 Team Proj. 105.5
Team Pace 95.50 Team Pace 97.53
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
Proj Starter George Hill C.J. Miles Solomon Hill David West Roy Hibbert Proj Starter Russell Westbrook Andre Roberson Kyle Singler Serge Ibaka Enes Kanter
Opp. Season 26 6 15 21 4 Opp. Season 13 25 5 1 12
Opp. Last 7 21 10 16 8 18 Opp. Last 7 7 21 17 23 13


The Pacers have won seven of their last ten games and find themselves only one game out of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. They will have their hands full tonight though, as they head to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder. The Pacers are 6.5-point underdogs in a game that features a fairly high total of 204 points. This will be a pace-up game for the Pacers, as the Thunder play at the eighth-fastest pace in the NBA.

Opponent Breakdown (Oklahoma City)
Record: 31-25
Points Allowed Per Game: 98.6 (Rank: 11)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 10
Rebounding Differential Rank: 2

Elite Plays

George Hill (FD: $5400, DK: $5200 / MPG: 24 / Usage Rate: 25.9)

Hill has seen an uptick in minutes since coming back from injury. He played 30 minutes the other night against the Warriors and should see a similar amount tonight. He has exceed value in four of his last eight games and he draws a favorable matchup against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season.

Secondary Plays

David West (FD: $6700, DK: $6700 / MPG: 30 / Usage Rate: 22.1)

West draws a tough matchup against the physical Serge Ibaka, but West is a physical player himself. He will not be intimidated in the slightest. West has been quiet in his last two games, but had averaged 33.7 fantasy points per game in his previous eight. He’s a viable cash game target tonight against the Thunder.

C.J. Miles (FD: $4700, DK: $4500 / MPG: 25 / Usage Rate: 23.9)

Andre Roberson will likely defend Miles to start the game. While that’s not a great matchup to exploit, Roberson typically sees limited action. The rest of the game, Miles will match up against the likes of Dion Waiters and Kyle Singler. Miles can catch fire at any time and he provides great upside for a player at his price point.

Oklahoma City

The Thunder have won eight of their last ten games and are finally in the playoff picture in the Western Conference. There is still plenty of season to be played and they will certainly have their sights on catching a few of the teams ahead of them. Even though Kevin Durant will not play tonight, the Thunder have a good chance of picking up their seventh win in a row. In terms of the matchup, this one is less than appealing. The Pacers are ranked sixth in points allowed per game and fifth in rebounding differential this season.

Opponent Breakdown (Indiana)
Record: 23-33
Points Allowed Per Game: 97.2 (Rank: 6)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 11
Rebounding Differential Rank: 5

Elite Plays

Russell Westbrook (FD: $11100, DK: $11000 / MPG: 33 / Usage Rate: 36.1)

Westbrook without Durant is a no-brainer tonight. You can afford to fade him in tournaments, but don’t try to outsmart the field by fading him in cash games. He will likely be 80% owned in cash games tonight. If you fade him and he has another big outing, it’s going to be tough to catch the rest of the field. Lock him into your cash games and move on.

Secondary Plays

Serge Ibaka (FD: $7200, DK: $7600 / MPG: 33 / Usage Rate: 19.2)

After scoring 37 and 47 fantasy points in his last two games, the masses will likely flock to Ibaka at power forward tonight. While I’m not sure that I will completely fade him, I’m not as high on him as most. He has been inconsistent all season long and I have a tough time paying a premium for a player in a bad matchup. The Pacers are ranked number one against power forwards this season.

Enes Kanter (FD: $6200, DK: $6000 / MPG: 27 / Usage Rate: 24.9)

Kanter has been a nice fit for the Thunder. He has averaged 33 fantasy points per game in his first two starts with the team. His usage rate will likely go down once Kevin Durant comes back, but he should get plenty of scoring opportunities in the meantime.

Toronto at Dallas – 8:30 PM EST

  • Vegas LineDallas -4, 205.5 Over/Under
  • Toronto Proj. StartersLowry-DeRozan-J.Johnson-A.Johnson-Valanciunas
  • Dallas Proj. StartersRondo-Ellis-Jefferson-Nowitzki-Chandler
Toronto Dallas
Vegas Total 205.5 Vegas Total 205.5
Vegas Sprd 4.0 Vegas Sprd -4.0
Team Proj. 100.8 Team Proj. 104.8
Team Pace 95.97 Team Pace 96.85
Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters Matchup – Opponent DvP Ranks and Projected Starters
Proj Starter Kyle Lowry DeMar DeRozan James Johnson Amir Johnson Jonas Valanciunas Proj Starter Rajon Rondo Monta Ellis Richard Jefferson Dirk Nowitzki Tyson Chandler
Opp. Season 24 4 13 11 14 Opp. Season 18 9 17 8 11
Opp. Last 7 14 16 13 11 10 Opp. Last 7 12 13 21 15 12


The Raptors will look to bounce back tonight, after losing two straight. They have a tall task ahead of them though, as they face the Mavericks in Dallas. The Raptors are 4-point underdogs in a game that features a total of 204 points. This is one of the best matchups on the schedule. The Mavericks play at a quick pace, they are ranked 21st in points allowed per game, and they have the worst rebounding differential in the NBA.

Opponent Breakdown (Dallas)
Record: 38-20
Points Allowed Per Game: 100.7 (Rank: 21)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 14
Rebounding Differential Rank: 30

Elite Plays

James Johnson (FD: $4500, DK: $4700 / MPG: 21 / Usage Rate: 16.5)

Johnson should be one of the more popular plays at small forward tonight. His minutes are trending upward, he has been very productive recently, and his price is still sub-$5k on both FanDuel and DraftKings. The one takeaway from last night’s game against the Pelicans was that he played 35 minutes even with Lou Williams back in the lineup.

Secondary Plays

DeMar DeRozan (FD: $6700, DK: $7300 / MPG: 33 / Usage Rate: 28)

DeRozan has been held in check in each of his last two games, but had topped 33 fantasy points in each of his previous four contests. His price is still reasonable across the industry and he should be able to use his size advantage over Monta Ellis in the post. DeRozan has a very high usage rate in this offense and is a reliable cash game option tonight.


The Mavericks will be without Chandler Parsons again tonight. Richard Jefferson will draw the start in his place, while Al Farouq Aminu should also see a small boost in his absence. Both are decent value plays, but it’s hard to rely on either given their low floors. The Mavericks are 4-point favorites tonight against the Raptors. They are projected to score 105 points, which is right around their season average.

Opponent Breakdown (Toronto)
Record: 37-19
Points Allowed Per Game: 100.3 (Rank: 19)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 16
Rebounding Differential Rank: 17

Elite Plays


Secondary Plays

Monta Ellis (FD: $7200, DK: $7100 / MPG: 34 / Usage Rate: 28)

At this point, it’s tough to trust anyone on the Mavericks. They are a very deep and talented team. Their talent level hurts the production of individual players. If you want some exposure to the Mavericks tonight, Ellis is the preferred play. He is the one player on the team that sees 34 minutes per game and has a usage rate over 25.

About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.


  • mrkcorral

    Hey notorious, great stuff as usual.

  • DK_Ninjaaaaa

    Any thoughts on Jonas Valanwhatever tonight? Not a great matchup in paper vs Tyson chandler but the mavs are a terrible rebounding team. Reasonable to expect 5x or 6x value at $5,100 on DK?

  • Notorious

    Lead RG Analyst

    • 291

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    • 2013 FanDuel WFBBC Finalist

    mrkcorral, TY good sir!

    DK_Ninjaaaaa, LOL at the Valanwhatever. I don’t mind him as a tournament play tonight. Plus, if Patrick Patterson is ruled out again, he should see an uptick in minutes.

  • JacksoWolfman

    What do you think about Scola as a contrary play at PF. David West has been struggling since the ASB and he has a relatively low floor for his price.

  • Agent47

    Thanks as always for the info and insight! What are your thoughts on Rodney Stuckey tonight as a contrarian play? He has been on fire the past couple of games and could maybe take advantage of Waiters much like Miles.

  • Notorious

    Lead RG Analyst

    • 291

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    • 2013 FanDuel WFBBC Finalist

    JacksoWolfman, While I love Scola’s fantasy point per minute production, it’s hard for me to trust a guy that struggles to crack 20 minutes each night. He’s a decent value play, but he’s not really on my radar.

    Agent47, I like the thought process there. Definitely don’t mind Stuckey as a contrarian play tonight.

  • ghaegle

    Love these breakdowns and the information is extremely helpful. However, after looking at winning line-ups night in and night out on Draftkings it boggles my mind how lucky some people get. I honestly think they pick their line-ups with their eyes closed.

  • Mbrave3

    Would you go Gortat or Valanciunas?

  • Troybianchi

    What you think about Kevin love tonight in a great matchup Monroe Gona have a tuff time defending his 3

  • grover123

    thanks bro always helpful.hope to see you in expert chat later,thanks

  • tenzley

    Thanks for the great stuff Notorious! Always enjoy when you do the grind down

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