NBA Grind Down: Thursday, April 25th

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

Denver Nuggets at San Antonio Spurs – 8:00p ET

Denver Nuggets San Antonio Spurs
Vegas Total 208.0 Vegas Total 208.0
Vegas Spread 3.0 Vegas Spread -3.0
Implied Team Total 102.5 Implied Team Total 105.5
Pace Projection +/- -3.5 Pace Projection +/- -3.9
Projected Starters Jamal Murray Gary Harris Torrey Craig Paul Millsap Nikola Jokic Projected Starters Derrick White Bryn Forbes DeMar DeRozan LaMarcus Aldridge Jakob Poeltl
Matchup PG SG SF PF C Matchup PG SG SF PF C
DEFF 18 12 5 15 8 DEFF 9 21 19 10 2
DvsA 26 8 20 18 2 DvsA 5 3 4 9 16

Denver Nuggets

Notable Injuries


Denver Nuggets Offense

Points Per Game (L10): 103.4 (27 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 102.5 (2 of 2)
Projected Point Differential: -8.2 (2 of 2)

Matchup vs. San Antonio Spurs

Points Allowed Per Game (L10): 107.5 (7 of 30)
Defensive Rating (L10): 110.5 (20 of 30)
Rebounding % (L10): 50.1 (15 of 30)
Pace of Play (L10): 98.9 (22 of 30)

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game Playoffs +/- Minutes Playoffs +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
Jamal Murray $13,500 $13,500 32.2 -0.9 32.6 0.0 0.99 24.7% 18 26 1
Gary Harris $10,500 $10,500 22.3 3.9 28.8 4.2 0.77 19.3% 12 8 25
Torrey Craig $9,000 $5,700 14.1 3.4 20.0 -0.8 0.71 11.9% 5 20 8
Paul Millsap $10,000 $11,400 28.8 -9.5 27.1 1.9 1.06 18.5% 15 18 27
Nikola Jokic $16,500 $17,400 47.2 2.0 31.3 4.7 1.51 27.0% 8 2 14
Mason Plumlee $6,000 $5,400 23.6 -11.0 21.1 -4.4 1.12 15.6% N/A 17 N/A
Malik Beasley $8,000 $6,300 17.8 0.1 23.2 0.3 0.77 17.8% N/A 20 N/A
Monte Morris $9,000 $6,900 20.8 -1.2 24.0 -1.8 0.87 19.3% N/A 26 N/A

The Nuggets are 3-point favorites tonight in San Antonio with an implied team total of 102.5 points. Jamal Murray has been excellent in the series thus far, averaging 1.01 FP/min while playing mid-30s minutes in competitive games. Point guard has been a weak spot in the Spurs’ defense, and they’re just 18th in D-rating against the position over the last 10 games. He’s obviously going to be popular on a 1-game slate, so I don’t hate pivoting to Monte Morris in tournaments. Morris has also averaged 1.01 FP/min in the series, and he should play mid-20s minutes. He’s one of the more appealing value options available tonight.

Torrey Craig has been most productive (0.92) on a per-minute basis in the series than Gary Harris or Will Barton, but that has more to do with the small sample than anything else. Craig is far from a reliable fantasy commodity, but he’s started the last couple of games and played plenty of minutes. He’s perfectly viable as a salary-saver tonight. Harris’ minutes have been more stable than Barton’s, so I’d prefer Gary in general if forced to choose. Barton has the upside for tournaments, but he’s far from reliable. Malik Beasley comes with sneaky upside off the bench, so he’s fine as a low-owned GPP dart.

Paul Millsap has been mediocre in the series thus far (0.76 FP/min) and his minutes have been steadily declining through each of the first 5 games. He looks a little overpriced on DraftKings, especially considering he’s been up-and-down like this all year long. He’s a more palatable option on FanDuel, but I’m not overly interested there, either. The minutes for Mason Plumlee have also been unreliable, so he’s like Beasley in that I’d only fire him up as a YOLO flier in tournaments. Nikola Jokic has been his usual dominant self. The big man boasts a team-leading usage rate of 25% alongside an average of 1.41 FP/min. The Spurs have been tough on centers all year, but Jokic is a freak. He’s going to be the most popular option on the slate, but I tend to think you still need him. Fading him will instantly give your lineup a different look, though, so it’s not the dumbest strategy in GPPs if he flops.

Elite PlaysNikola Jokic, Jamal Murray

Secondary PlaysMonte Morris, Will Barton, Torrey Craig, Paul Millsap, Gary Harris

San Antonio Spurs

Notable Injuries


San Antonio Spurs Offense

Points Per Game (L10): 110.6 (20 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 105.5 (1 of 2)
Projected Point Differential: -6.2 (1 of 2)

Matchup vs. Denver Nuggets

Points Allowed Per Game (L10): 104.3 (3 of 30)
Defensive Rating (L10): 108.0 (9 of 30)
Rebounding % (L10): 52.4 (2 of 30)
Pace of Play (L10): 98.5 (26 of 30)

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game Playoffs +/- Minutes Playoffs +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
Derrick White $11,000 $12,600 23.9 5.5 25.8 2.7 0.93 17.3% 9 5 22
Bryn Forbes $8,000 $7,200 18.9 -3.4 28.0 0.5 0.68 16.2% 21 3 3
DeMar DeRozan $14,500 $15,900 39.9 -2.1 34.9 -0.6 1.14 26.9% 19 4 24
LaMarcus Aldridge $15,000 $14,700 39.5 -2.1 33.2 -0.1 1.19 24.3% 10 9 1
Jakob Poeltl $10,500 $8,400 17.0 6.3 16.5 9.6 1.03 12.5% 2 16 11
Rudy Gay $9,500 $9,900 28.0 -8.5 26.7 -3.3 1.05 20.0% N/A 16 N/A
Patty Mills $8,500 $4,500 18.0 -3.2 23.3 -3.7 0.77 18.2% N/A 9 N/A
Marco Belinelli $6,500 $3,900 16.7 -5.4 23.0 -3.9 0.72 18.3% N/A 3 N/A

The Spurs are 3-point favorites in a do-or-die Game 6 at home tonight. Derrick White has been awfully quiet since his explosion in Game 3, and he only played 22 minutes in the last game as Gregg Popovich opted to give his veterans more playing time. Denver is top-10 in defensive rating against point guards over the last 10 games, but I still like White quite a bit at his mid-range price point. I’d be overweight on White in GPPs if his back-to-back clunkers are going to lower his ownership. The minutes are there for Bryn Forbes, but it’s hard to get excited for a guy averaging a paltry 0.54 FP/min so far in this series. I’d rather take a chance on Patty Mills, who should be able to approach value on his cheap salary in the 20ish minutes he’ll see off the bench.

DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge were both mediocre in Game 5, and LMA has been the better per-minute producer (1.20 FP/min to DeRozan’s 1.13) in the series to this point. The Nuggets are a defense that has struggled more against wings than against bigs in general this season, so in tournaments I like DeRozan to Aldridge at what should be lower ownership. Both are elite options in a vacuum, though Aldridge has flashed a higher floor in the series to this point.

Rudy Gay has seen his playing time dip as the series has advanced, while Marco Belinelli and Davis Bertans haven’t played much of a role at all. Gay is the “safest” option, but he’s also the most expensive by wide margin. I’d take a shot on Belinelli given his proclivity for getting hot offensively, while Bertans is probably an option to be fading. Jakob Poeltl has averaged 0.93 FPPM in the series and he’s been a perfectly fine source of salary relief. The Spurs need big bodies to throw at Jokic, and Poeltl has taken that job and done well so far. Poeltl is easily my favorite cheap option in this game.

Elite PlaysLaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, Derrick White, Jakob Poeltl

Secondary PlaysPatty Mills, Marco Belinelli (GPP), Rudy Gay

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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