NBA Grind Down: Saturday, January 12th

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

Detroit Pistons at Los Angeles Clippers – 3:30 PM ET

Detroit Pistons Los Angeles Clippers
Vegas Total 220.0 Vegas Total 220.0
Vegas Spread 7.0 Vegas Spread -7.0
Implied Team Total 106.5 Implied Team Total 113.5
Pace Projection +/- 1.5 Pace Projection +/- -0.7
Projected Starters Reggie Jackson Bruce Brown Reggie Bullock Blake Griffin Andre Drummond Projected Starters Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Avery Bradley Tobias Harris Danilo Gallinari Marcin Gortat
Matchup PG SG SF PF C Matchup PG SG SF PF C
DEFF 23 1 26 23 26 DEFF 26 21 7 6 16
DvsA 24 24 8 20 28 DvsA 23 20 6 6 12

Detroit Pistons

Notable Injuries

Zaza Pachulia (Out)
Ish Smith (Questionable)

Detroit Pistons Offense

Points Per Game: 106.9 (24 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 106.5 (11 of 16)
Projected Point Differential: -0.4 (9 of 16)

Matchup vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Points Allowed Per Game: 114.3 (24 of 30)
Defensive Efficiency: 108.8 (23 of 30)
Rebounding Differential: + 0.4 (15 of 30)
Pace of Play: 104.0 (9 of 30)

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game L4 +/- Minutes L4 +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
Reggie Jackson 25.0 -5.8 28.1 -1.9 0.89 23.4% 23 24 13
Bruce Brown 12.7 5.7 19.9 8.4 0.64 13.0% 1 24 21
Reggie Bullock 19.0 3.6 30.3 4.2 0.63 15.4% 26 8 14
Blake Griffin 42.5 -0.6 35.9 2.1 1.18 28.3% 23 20 19
Andre Drummond 44.1 -4.9 33.2 1.3 1.33 20.5% 26 28 7
Stanley Johnson 17.0 -1.2 20.7 -4.3 0.82 18.5% N/A 8 N/A
Jose Calderon 8.9 1.4 14.8 4.9 0.60 12.8% N/A 25 N/A
Jon Leuer 9.3 4.4 11.2 2.3 0.83 13.6% N/A 20 N/A

The Pistons got steamrolled in Sacto the other night, and today Blake Griffin will play his first game in L.A. against his former club. Detroit is expected to score 106.5 points today, which is right at their season average.

Ish Smith is questionable. If he’s back, that should knife into the playing time of Jose Calderon. Reggie Jackson really struggled against the Kings, and he doesn’t see enough minutes even with Smith out of the lineup. That said, it’s not like there are tons of options if you’re playing the 2-game early slate. The Clippers are just 23rd in D-rating against point guards this season, and Jackson is reasonably priced. I can get behind him in this spot, even with Griffin back in the lineup. I don’t think Smith’s return has much impact on Jackson’s minutes, so you can play him either way. Speaking of Smith, I’ll take a wait and see approach there.

Bruce Brown has been in decent form (by Bruce Brown standards), but he’s no longer all that cheap and he doesn’t carry a ton of upside. The Pistons wing with the most appeal is Reggie Bullock. Bullock has been the most steady producer on the wing for Detroit and he’s a lock to see 30-plus minutes if this game stays competitive. He’s still inexpensive enough to draw my eye. Stanley Johnson and Luke Kennard are nothing but GPP fliers with Griffin back.

Speaking of Griffin, he and Andre Drummond are both in great spots against a Clipper frontcourt that has been getting decimated by bigs this season. LAC ranks 23rd in D-rating against power forwards and 26th against centers. I figure most will side with Griffin in the #RevengeGame, but Drummond makes for a really appealing GPP pivot if he’s going to be under-owned by comparison. I rarely like to play both together, but on a 2-game slate I think cramming both Griffin and Drummond in together makes plenty of sense. I think they can both pay off in this spot.

Elite PlaysBlake Griffin, Andre Drummond

Secondary PlaysReggie Jackson, Reggie Bullock

Los Angeles Clippers

Notable Injuries

Luc Mbah a Moute (Out)

Los Angeles Clippers Offense

Points Per Game: 115.6 (4 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 113.5 (6 of 16)
Projected Point Differential: -2.1 (11 of 16)

Matchup vs. Detroit Pistons

Points Allowed Per Game: 109.8 (14 of 30)
Defensive Efficiency: 107.2 (16 of 30)
Rebounding Differential: + 1.9 (10 of 30)
Pace of Play: 101.8 (18 of 30)

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game L4 +/- Minutes L4 +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 20.7 0.4 26.2 -5.4 0.79 16.2% 26 23 26
Avery Bradley 14.9 -2.5 29.0 -3.8 0.51 12.8% 21 20
Tobias Harris 35.3 2.2 34.1 -0.3 1.04 21.7% 7 6 26
Danilo Gallinari 32.3 0.3 31.6 1.5 1.02 21.2% 6 6 20
Marcin Gortat 16.0 6.7 17.0 3.1 0.94 12.8% 16 12 14
Montrezl Harrell 31.7 1.4 25.1 -0.8 1.26 20.3% N/A 9 N/A
Lou Williams 28.8 4.4 25.2 0.3 1.14 30.0% N/A 9 N/A
Patrick Beverley 18.2 2.0 24.7 0.0 0.74 13.2% N/A 23 N/A

The Clippers are 7-point favorites today, but their implied team total around 113 points is actually lower than their season average. I don’t know why, but the playing time for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been trending in the wrong direction. He’s managed to stay productive (for the most part) despite the dwindling minutes, and the Pistons have been struggling to defend point guards all season long. As is the case with Reggie Jackson, I still think you can take a shot on Shai given the lack of positional depth on this slate. Patrick Beverley has a lower ceiling, but he’s a passable pivot that may come in lower owned. I’ll keep fading Avery Bradley, a strategy that hasn’t let me down once all year.

The Pistons haven’t been much better defensively against shooting guards, and this shapes up as a potentially great spot for Lou Williams. He still leads the Clips in usage (32.8%) and he’ll push for 30 minutes in a competitive environment. He’s my favorite Clipper on this slate, all things considered. Danilo Gallinari and Tobias Harris each come with high floors without a ton of ceiling. I don’t necessarily think one is a stronger play than the other. Gallinari is slightly cheaper, while Tobias has the #Revenge narrative going for him. If forced to choose one, I’d likely side with Harris if you have the extra funds.

Montrezl Harrell and Marcin Gortat should see plenty of minutes against the big Detroit frontline. Harrell looks like a particularly appealing mid-range value at $6,700 on DraftKings, while he’s tougher to afford at $7,700 on FD. Gortat was a dud against the Nuggets the other night, but I don’t hate the idea of using him as your FanDuel punt considering he’s been productive for the most part of late. Center is pretty top-heavy on the early slate, so rolling with Gortat in GPPs is an interesting way to differentiate.

Elite PlaysTobias Harris, Lou Williams, Danilo Gallinari, Montrezl Harrell (DK)

Secondary PlaysMontrezl Harrell (FD), Marcin Gortat, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

About the Author

  • Taylor Smith (tcsmith031)

  • Taylor Smith is a native Texan (required by all fellow Texans to report this at all times) and Southern California-based sports writer. He has been playing daily fantasy sports regularly since 2012, going back to the days of DraftStreet (RIP). He specializes in MLB and NBA while dabbling in a few other sports like a true degen when the other two are out of season. He has written about DFS in the past at Bang The Book, and you can find some of his previous work on SB Nation and FanRag Sports.


  • Justin158

    When everyone is a elite player….no one is elite. Lets start targeting elite players to 1 or 2 per team.

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