NBA Grind Down: Saturday, April 20th

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 Implied 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.

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Legend & FAQ


Philadelphia 76ers at Brooklyn Nets – 3:00 PM ET

Philadelphia 76ers Brooklyn Nets
Vegas Total 232.0 Vegas Total 232.0
Vegas Spread -1.5 Vegas Spread 1.5
Implied Team Total 116.8 Implied Team Total 115.3
Pace Projection +/- -0.8 Pace Projection +/- 0.2
Projected Starters Ben Simmons JJ Redick Jimmy Butler Tobias Harris Joel Embiid Projected Starters D’Angelo Russell Joe Harris DeMarre Carroll Rodions Kurucs Jarrett Allen
Matchup PG SG SF PF C Matchup PG SG SF PF C
DEFF 4 2 DEFF 1
DvsA 13 1 10 26 30 DvsA 20 7 7 19 14

Philadelphia 76ers

Notable Injuries

Joel Embiid (Questionable – Knee)

Philadelphia 76ers Offense

Points Per Game (L10): 115.2 (11 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 116.8 (1 of 8)
Projected Point Differential: 1.6 (2 of 8)

Matchup vs. Brooklyn Nets

Points Allowed Per Game (L10): 115.8 (21 of 30)
Defensive Rating (L10): 108.9 (13 of 30)
Rebounding % (L10): 50.1 (15 of 30)
Pace of Play (L10): 101.6 (11 of 30)

In a surprise move right before tip-off, the 76ers ruled out Joel Embiid for Game 3. Embiid enters Game 4 with another questionable tag, and unless we get word of a decision after Friday’s practice, we may be looking at another decision right before lock. Thankfully, this game is the first on the slate, so we should know. Surprisingly, the 76ers didn’t start Jonah Bolden or Boban Marjanovic, but veteran Greg Monroe in a #revenge game against the Nets. Monroe was effective in his 25 minutes, dropping a full 9/13/1/1/1 line. Monroe is a defensive liability as evidenced by his team worst -5 in the Plus/Minus column, and he did shoot a poor 4-for-13. If Embiid is out again and Monroe gets the start, he would remain an elite punt option but he does carry some risk as the team could easily go to Boban or Mike Scott. Boban was a per-minute beast once again, finishing with a 14/8/1/1/1 line in just 18 minutes before fouling out and he also remains a viable secondary target on this slate. Scott went scoreless in Game 3 but did play 24 minutes and played down the stretch in favor of Monroe. I wouldn’t consider him on a main slate but he carries some value as a punt on a Showdown slate since the coaching staff appears to trust him more than Monroe on the defensive end.

With Embiid sidelined, Game 3 became the Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris show. Simmons quieted his doubters that he’s “average” by finishing with a 31/9/4 line with 3 blocks and 2 steals. The 31 points were a playoff career high and should Embiid get ruled out once again, Simmons is arguably the first player you should plug into your lineups. Per CourtIQ when Embiid has been off the court this season, Simmons averages 1.3 fantasy points per minute. He’s an elite play if Embiid is out and more of a secondary play if Embiid is in. Tobias Harris came out of nowhere for a 29 point, 16 rebound performance. Per CourtIQ, Harris sees a modest +2% usage bump when Embiid is out, so this performance was a bit of a shock. He had scored a combined 23 points in the previous two games and hadn’t been shooting well. If Embiid is out, I hesitate to chase this game and call him an elite play, but he’s firmly on the radar as a secondary option and would be worth some dart throws as your captain in a Showdown game in case he has a repeat performance.

For the second game in a row, Jimmy Butler was a disappointment. He’s averaging 35.3 minutes per game in the postseason so the playing time is there, but he had just a 16/7/2 line in Game 3. I expected more with Embiid out considering CourtIQ shows he has led the 76ers with a 26.3% usage rate when Embiid is off the court, but he took a backseat to Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris. I still think highly of him should Embiid get ruled out, and perhaps it’s the recency bias that has me a bit down on him.

J.J. Redick also dropped 26 points in Game 3 and considering his cheap price, he’s worth a look if Embiid is out. The only blemish in Redick’s Game 3 stat line is that he added no blocks, steals or rebounds, so he’s better suited on sites that award the three-point bonus. Honestly, if Embiid is out, there is plenty of merit to stacking up the 76ers as so much usage opens out. I probably wouldn’t play more than 3-4 in a lineup on the main slate.

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game Playoffs +/- Minutes Playoffs +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
Ben Simmons $10,300 $8,500 $15,600 42.1 5.7 34.2 -0.7 1.23 22.7% 4 13 16
JJ Redick $5,500 $5,000 $9,900 25.5 -9.5 31.3 -4.2 0.82 20.7% 1 28
Jimmy Butler $7,800 $7,200 $13,800 37.1 1.9 33.6 1.8 1.10 22.2% 2 10 17
Tobias Harris $7,700 $6,500 $12,200 35.2 0.8 34.7 0.7 1.01 21.3% 26 17
Joel Embiid $10,900 $9,700 $17,900 53.7 -5.9 33.7 -11.1 1.59 29.7% 30 18
Mike Scott $4,000 $3,500 $6,900 12.1 1.6 17.7 8.3 0.68 13.1% N/A 26 N/A
Boban Marjanovic $5,800 $4,900 $9,600 15.6 12.4 11.7 5.6 1.33 20.1% N/A 29 N/A
“(player-popup #james-ennis-iii)James Ennis III $3,600 $3,100 $6,000 14.2 -3.5 21.2 -5.5 0.67 11.4% N/A 4 N/A

Elite PlaysJoel Embiid (if he plays), Greg Monroe (if Embiid is out and Monroe starts), Ben Simmons (if Embiid is out)

Secondary PlaysJimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, J.J. Redick (if Embiid is out)


Brooklyn Nets

Notable Injuries

Ed Davis (Questionable – Ankle)

Brooklyn Nets Offense

Points Per Game (L10): 117.8 (8 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 115.3 (2 of 8)
Projected Point Differential: 3.1 (1 of 8)

Matchup vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Points Allowed Per Game (L10): 117.4 (24 of 30)
Defensive Rating (L10): 108.9 (13 of 30)
Rebounding % (L10): 51.7 (4 of 30)
Pace of Play (L10): 102.6 (8 of 30)

The Nets were over-matched in Game 3 and now find themselves in a 2-1 hole. The 76ers were only up seven points to start the 4th quarter so this game was competitive. Even without Joel Embiid on the other side, the Nets continue to limit Jarrett Allen’s playing time to 21 minutes in Game 3. He managed a 15/6/2 line in those 21 minutes, but he’s just hard to trust in this series as the Nets continue to give Jared Dudley (17 minutes), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (15 minutes) and Ed Davis (10 minutes) playing time. Davis did leave the game early (again) with his ankle injury so if he’s out in Game 4, RHJ should remain in the rotation with him, Allen and Dudley splitting the center minutes. I wouldn’t trust any of them on a main slate but all three would be viable options on a Showdown format, with my preference being Allen, RHJ and Dudley, in that order (assuming Davis is out). Even if Davis plays, it’s fair to question how effective he’ll be now that he’s left early twice with his ankle injury.

D’Angelo Russell overcame his difficult individual matchup against Ben Simmons to finish with a 26/4/3/2 steal line over 30 minutes. He took a team-high 26 shots and posted a 40% usage rate for the second time in this series. I still have a hard time paying up for Russell on a main slate with someone like Simmons a better option if Embiid is out. I still continue to view Russell as a secondary option just factoring in his matchup, price tag and the other guard options on the slate.

Caris LeVert was a bright spot in the Nets’ Game 3 loss, finishing with 26 points in just 28 minutes. Both he and Spencer Dinwiddie (26 minutes) continue to see solid run off the bench, but even after this offensive outburst, I have a hard time considering LeVert more than a secondary play given his somewhat limited minutes and scoring dependency. LeVert and Dinwiddie have flashed big upside, but the Nets are so deep that it’s unlikely they ever reach 30+ minutes. Between the two, I’m now finding myself liking LeVert over Dinwiddie as it seems like LeVert is fully healthy and taking more initiative on the offensive end.

Joe Harris and DeMarre Carroll continue to start, but I’m not interested in either on the main slate given their low floors and low ceilings. Rodions Kurucs is also not on my radar despite his starting role as he continues to get phased out when the Nets roll with a three-guard lineup.

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game Playoffs +/- Minutes Playoffs +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
D’Angelo Russell $8,100 $8,100 $15,400 37.4 -7.3 30.2 -2.3 1.24 31.4% 1 20 5
Joe Harris $4,000 $4,400 $8,600 22.4 -11.0 30.2 -1.9 0.74 16.0% 7 14
DeMarre Carroll $4,400 $4,200 $8,700 20.0 -3.6 25.4 1.6 0.79 17.1% 7 1
Rodions Kurucs $3,700 $3,300 $6,100 16.5 -6.4 20.5 -2.7 0.80 16.1% 19 17
Jarrett Allen $5,100 $4,700 $8,700 27.8 -7.5 26.2 -8.1 1.06 14.2% 14 10
Spencer Dinwiddie $4,700 $5,000 $9,500 27.1 -6.3 28.1 -0.8 0.96 24.8% N/A 20 N/A
Caris LeVert $6,400 $5,500 $10,600 26.9 6.4 26.6 -2.9 1.01 23.7% N/A 20 N/A
Treveon Graham $3,600 $3,100 $6,000 11.8 -4.9 20.4 -2.3 0.58 12.3% N/A 7 N/A

Elite Plays – None

Secondary PlaysJarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Deep GPP only if Ed Davis is out), Caris LeVert, D’Angelo Russell

(On a Showdown slate, you can also consider Joe Harris and DeMarre Carroll as secondary plays)

About the Author

  • Allan Lem (fathalpert)

  • Allan Lem (aka fathalpert) began playing fantasy sports in high school and transitioned to DFS in 2015. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Economics and lives in California with his wife and two kids. He dreams of winning a big tournament so he can try cashing one of those giant cardboard checks at his local bank.

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