NBA Grind Down: Thursday, April 18th

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 – 8:00 PM ET

Philadelphia 76ers Brooklyn Nets
Vegas Total 227.5 Vegas Total 227.5
Vegas Spread -2.5 Vegas Spread 2.5
Implied Team Total 115.0 Implied Team Total 112.5
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 16 21 28 20 DEFF 1 12 8 24 7
DvsA 13 1 10 26 30 DvsA 20 7 7 19 14

Philadelphia 76ers

Notable Injuries

Joel Embiid (Questionable)

Philadelphia 76ers Offense

Points Per Game (L10): 115.2 (11 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 115.0 (2 of 6)
Projected Point Differential: -0.2 (3 of 6)

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)

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game Playoffs +/- Minutes Playoffs +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
Ben Simmons $9,900 $7,700 $14,400 42.1 -1.2 34.2 -3.2 1.23 22.6% 4 13 16
JJ Redick $5,500 $4,800 $9,900 25.5 -15.4 31.3 -7.8 0.82 20.7% 16 1 28
Jimmy Butler $8,200 $7,200 $13,800 37.1 4.0 33.6 0.7 1.10 22.2% 21 10 17
Tobias Harris $6,800 $6,100 $11,700 35.2 -7.5 34.7 0.2 1.01 21.3% 28 26 17
Joel Embiid $11,000 $9,800 $18,300 53.7 -5.9 33.7 -11.1 1.59 29.6% 20 30 18
Mike Scott $4,200 $3,600 $6,800 12.1 4.2 17.7 9.4 0.68 13.0% N/A 26 N/A
T.J. McConnell $3,500 $3,200 $6,000 16.7 -6.9 19.3 -6.3 0.86 15.8% N/A 13 N/A
Boban Marjanovic $5,800 $4,700 $8,700 15.6 12.8 11.7 5.1 1.33 20.0% N/A 29 N/A

The 76ers picked up a huge win in Game 2 to even the series at 1-1. Joel Embiid is listed as questionable once again, but he played in each of the first 2 games, so I expect him to suit up again tonight. The Sixers are 2.5-point favorites, and their implied team total of 115 points is the second-highest on the slate.

I’m going to write this under the assumption that Embiid will play. Ben Simmons has seen his upside capped with the Sixers at full strength since the acquisition of Tobias Harris, but he did post a triple-double in Game 2. Simmons has averaged 1.14 FP/min since the start of February (around when Harris was acquired). Brooklyn has been stingy in terms of limiting the fantasy production of opposing point guards, but Simmons obviously isn’t your standard point guard. $9,900 is a bit of a rich price tag on FanDuel, but Simmons carries plenty of appeal for me now that he’s just $7,700 on DraftKings.

Jimmy Butler followed up his 36-point effort in Game 1 by contributing a whopping 7 points last time out. Butler has averaged 1.04 FP/min since the beginning of February, and the Nets rank 20th in defensive rating against small forwards over the last 10 games. Butler looks a little overpriced around the industry given his occasional disappearing act, but he’s plenty viable in all formats on a 3-game slate. J.J. Redick has been quiet in this series, but he’s cheap enough at this point to where I think he’s a perfectly fine value play.

Tobias Harris has been absent in this series, but it’s hard not to notice the fact that his price has been slashed considerably. $6,100 on DraftKings is a pretty substantial discount on a guy that has been routinely priced in the mid-$7k range since joining Philly. Embiid has only played 24 and 21 minutes across the first 2 games, but he’s an outstanding enough per-minute producer to still be worth spending on assuming he suits up tonight. Embiid has averaged nearly 1.70 FP/min since the start of February, and we know centers against the Nets is about the best possible micro matchup.

Mike Scott and Boban Marjanovic look like cheap options worth consideration, though Boban’s price tag is starting to get up there.

Elite PlaysBen Simmons (DK), Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid

Secondary PlaysBen Simmons (FD), J.J. Redick, Mike Scott


Brooklyn Nets

Notable Injuries

Allen Crabbe (Out)

Brooklyn Nets Offense

Points Per Game (L10): 117.8 (8 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 112.5 (4 of 6)
Projected Point Differential: 0.3 (2 of 6)

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)

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game Playoffs +/- Minutes Playoffs +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
D’Angelo Russell $8,000 $8,200 $15,000 37.4 -11.4 30.2 -3.2 1.24 31.4% 1 20 5
Joe Harris $4,500 $4,500 $8,600 22.4 -12.0 30.2 -2.3 0.74 16.0% 12 7 14
DeMarre Carroll $4,500 $4,600 $9,000 20.0 0.3 25.4 1.2 0.79 17.1% 8 7 1
Rodions Kurucs $3,700 $3,500 $6,900 16.5 -5.9 20.5 -3.4 0.80 16.1% 24 19 17
Jarrett Allen $5,200 $4,300 $8,100 27.8 -9.9 26.2 -9.7 1.06 14.3% 7 14 10
Spencer Dinwiddie $4,900 $5,300 $10,200 27.1 -4.7 28.1 -0.2 0.96 24.8% N/A 20 N/A
Caris LeVert $5,600 $5,400 $10,200 26.9 0.6 26.6 -4.9 1.01 23.8% N/A 20 N/A
Treveon Graham $3,600 $3,200 $6,200 11.8 -3.2 20.4 1.0 0.58 12.3% N/A 7 N/A

The Nets are 2.5-point ‘dogs tonight, so Vegas likes Brooklyn’s chances of keeping this one close. Brooklyn’s implied team total of 112.5 points is the third-lowest on the slate, as well.

D’Angelo Russell hasn’t played all that well so far in this series, but the Sixers’ struggles against pick-and-roll guards this season have been pronounced. If D-Lo is going to go off in this series, I like his chances of doing so in the Nets’ first home game tonight. Russell boasts a usage rate north of 35% since the beginning of February, and his price has come down to more palatable levels around the industry. The guard positions are pretty deep tonight, so if Russell is going to go a little overlooked I love him for GPPs in this spot.

Spencer Dinwiddie has been solid through the first 2 games, while Caris LeVert has been up-and-down. The minutes are more secure for Dinwiddie at this point, but I do like the upside that comes with LeVert if he can get it going. Dinwiddie for cash games and LeVert for GPPs seems like a decent rule of thumb in this situation. Joe Harris is a bit like J.J. Redick in that he’s going to have to have his shot falling in order to pay off. I’d just rather play Redick at a similar price point, but Harris isn’t a bad option in his own right. I like the minutes upside for DeMarre Carroll here, assuming the game stays close. I’d also take Carroll over Harris, is forced to choose one. Guys like Rodions Kurucs and Jared Dudley feel too thin, even on a short slate. The return of Dudley could also lead to another DNP for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Embiid is a fine defender, so Jarrett Allen doesn’t really stand out as a great option assuming Embiid is in the lineup. He’s cheap enough on DraftKings to be worth a flier, but I’m not overly excited about it. Ed Davis was limited to just 6 minutes in Game 2 as he deals with an ankle injury. Given the risk, I think Davis is only viable in GPPs.

Elite Plays – D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert (GPP)

Secondary PlaysJarrett Allen (DK), DeMarre Carroll, Joe Harris

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.

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