NBA Grind Down: Thursday, December 1st - Mavericks at Pistons

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Dallas Mavericks at Detroit Pistons – 7:00 PM ET

Dallas Mavericks Detroit Pistons
Vegas Total 221.5 Vegas Total 221.5
Vegas Spread -8.0 Vegas Spread 8.0
Implied Team Total 114.8 Implied Team Total 106.8
Points +/- 5.3 Points +/- -2.3
Position PG SG SF PF C Position PG SG SF PF C
Projected Starters Luka Doncic Spencer Dinwiddie Tim Hardaway Dorian Finney-Smith Dwight Powell Projected Starters Killian Hayes Jaden Ivey Bojan Bogdanovic Isaiah Stewart Marvin Bagley
D EFF 30 25 7 21 22 D EFF 18 1 15 29 1

Dallas Mavericks

Notable Injuries:

None

Dallas Mavericks Stats:
Pace of Play: 96.1 (30 of 30)
Offensive Rating: 112.7 (13 of 30)
Implied Total: 114.8 (1 of 2)
Rebounding Rate: 47.6% (29 of 30)

DET Matchup:
Pace of Play: 99.9 (17 of 30)
Defensive Rating: 117.8 (29 of 30)
Rebounding Rate: 48.8% (25 of 30)

Note: The team stats above are from the 2022-23 season.

Happy Thursday everyone! If you were looking for a quiet night in sports, your wishes were granted. We have a single NBA game and a single NFL game on the schedule.

The Mavericks are coming off of a nice win against the Warriors, but have been a tale of two teams this season. They are 9-3 at home and 1-7 on the road. In total, they are 10-10 in the standings with a point differential of +1.8 per game. Tonight they travel to Detroit to take on the Pistons, who are ranked 17th in pace and 29th in defensive rating. The Mavericks are listed as 8-point favorites and come into the game with an implied total of 114.8 points, which is 5.3 points above their season average.

With only one game on the slate, we will be talking about showdown strategy. On DraftKings, we have a Captain spot that rewards 1.5x fantasy points, but costs 1.5x the salary. On FanDuel, we have MVP, STAR, and PRO spots that reward 2x, 1.5x, and 1.2x fantasy points. The difference between the two sites is that FanDuel doesn’t have a salary multiplier. On DraftKings, all players are viable for the Captain spot. On DraftKings, you want your three highest scoring players to be featured in your three multiplier spots.

We’ll start with Luka Doncic, who is not a player that I would look to fade in any format this evening. He’s essentially a lock for the MVP spot on FanDuel (especially if you are playing cash games) and he’ll likely be the highest owned Captain on DraftKings. He’s projected for 61 fantasy points in this game. The next closest is Jaden Ivey at 32 fantasy points. This is not a situation to get cute, as Doncic is head and shoulders above the rest of the options in this game.

After that great stretch of games, Spencer Dinwiddie has been held under 30 fantasy points in six straight games. This is certainly a slump-busting type of matchup, but the form is concerning. Tim Hardaway was inserted into the starting lineup on Tuesday and for now, it looks like the move will stick. He’ll likely see a lower usage rate playing among the starters, but that’s offset by his increased playing time. He’s one of the top per-dollar options tonight on FanDuel.

Dorian Finney-Smith got off to a very slow start this season, but has really picked up his play over the last couple of weeks. He should play big minutes tonight and is only $4,800 on DraftKings. Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber, and Davis Bertans are all in a similar boat, as they are much better values on DraftKings than they are on FanDuel. If you are using Luka at Captain, you’ll likely need to punt a position or two and the likes of Powell ($2,200), Kleber ($3,800), an Bertans ($1,000) all rate out as nice point-per-dollar options.

Christian Wood could be a nice way to differentiate lineups tonight. We all wish he had a higher minute floor, but he continues to be productive in his 25-27 minutes off the bench each night. This is a good matchup and don’t forget, this is also a revenge game if you are into that sort of thing. Reggie Bullock seems out of favor at the moment, so I prefer Josh Green if you are looking to differentiate with a wing player off the bench.

Player DK POS FD POS MIN/G +/- FP/G +/- USG% +/- TS% +/- DK/M +/- FD/M +/- MIN (P) DK (P) DK/$ FD (P) FD/$
Luka Doncic $14,400 PG $17,000 PG/SG 37.4 1.6 63.0 0.6 37% -3% 61% 0% 1.68 -0.05 1.62 -0.08 38 60.6 4.21 56.8 3.34
Spencer Dinwiddie $7,400 PG/SG $11,500 PG/SG 32.0 -4.6 31.1 -5.1 22% 3% 60% 5% 0.97 -0.02 0.94 -0.05 31 30.1 4.06 29.0 2.52
Tim Hardaway $6,200 SG/SF $9,000 SG/SF 24.1 -1.0 19.0 -3.9 22% -3% 48% 6% 0.79 -0.13 0.76 -0.17 31 24.4 3.94 23.4 2.60
Dorian Finney-Smith $4,800 SF/PF $9,500 SF/PF 33.3 -0.3 19.8 7.2 12% 2% 55% 4% 0.59 0.22 0.60 0.23 32 20.8 4.34 20.6 2.17
Dwight Powell $2,200 C $6,500 C/PF 17.1 -3.7 12.2 -2.1 13% -1% 70% 13% 0.71 0.04 0.75 0.10 17 11.6 5.26 11.7 1.80
Christian Wood $8,000 C $12,500 PF/C 25.5 1.4 29.4 -3.8 27% -1% 63% -20% 1.15 -0.20 1.11 -0.14 26 31.3 3.92 30.1 2.41
Maxi Kleber $3,600 PF/C $8,500 PF/C 24.9 1.3 13.6 3.3 9% 0% 57% 26% 0.54 0.10 0.56 0.08 25 15.9 4.41 16.2 1.90
Josh Green $3,200 SF $6,500 SG 19.5 1.9 13.2 1.7 12% 2% 75% -3% 0.68 0.02 0.68 -0.01 19 12.7 3.97 12.9 1.99
Reggie Bullock $2,800 SF/PF $6,500 SG/SF 28.0 -7.9 12.3 -6.2 10% -1% 42% -19% 0.44 -0.13 0.44 -0.14 15 7.9 2.84 7.7 1.19
Davis Bertans $1,000 PF $6,000 SF 8.6 3.5 7.1 0.0 19% -8% 66% 24% 0.82 -0.24 0.73 -0.23 6 4.6 4.56 4.3 0.72

The +/- columns show the difference between this season’s averages and the last three games.

Elite PlaysLuka Doncic, Tim Hardaway (FD)

Tournament TargetsTim Hardaway (DK), Spencer Dinwiddie, Christian Wood

Viable PuntsDorian Finney-Smith, Dwight Powell (DK), Maxi Kleber (DK), Davis Bertans (DK)


Detroit Pistons

Notable Injuries:

Jaden Ivey (Questionable)
Cade Cunningham (Out)

Detroit Pistons Stats:
Pace of Play: 99.9 (17 of 30)
Offensive Rating: 109.2 (25 of 30)
Implied Total: 106.8 (2 of 2)
Rebounding Rate: 48.8% (25 of 30)

DAL Matchup:
Pace of Play: 96.1 (30 of 30)
Defensive Rating: 110.8 (11 of 30)
Rebounding Rate: 47.6% (29 of 30)

Note: The team stats above are from the 2022-23 season.

The Pistons picked up a couple nice wins on the road last week, but have lost three games in a row and have dipped to 5-18 overall with a point differential of -8.6 per game. They have a brutal matchup tonight against the Mavericks, who are ranked dead last in pace and 11th in defensive rating. I suppose matchups don’t matter much when we can’t pivot and target other games on a single-game slate. The Pistons are sizable underdogs at home and have an implied total of only 106.8 points.

Personally, I expect to have a lot more exposure to the Mavericks than I do to the Pistons. I expect the field to do the same, so the way to differentiate might be to load up on the Pistons. Very few lineups will have more than two or three players from Detroit. One option is to use Luka Doncic at Captain and MVP, use one other player from the Mavericks, and then use four players from Detroit. At the very least, it will help you differentiate a bit in large-field tournaments.

The main injury to keep an eye on here is Jaden Ivey. He has missed the last three games with a knee injury and is listed as questionable for this game. With Ivey and Cade Cunningham both out, Killian Hayes has averaged 32 minutes and 37 fantasy points over his last three games. If Ivey is out again, I don’t mind going right back to Hayes on DraftKings ($7,600). If Ivey is active, he becomes the preferred target over Hayes on both FanDuel and DraftKings.

Bojan Bogdanovic has been ice cold over the last two games, but has soaked up a ton of usage while Cunningham has been out. He went on a stretch where he was scoring 35+ fantasy points every game. He’s affordable and arguably has the highest upside of any player not-named Luka on this slate. Isaiah Stewart and Marvin Bagley are starting alongside one another, but continue to cut into each other’s playing time and fantasy production. I’ll lean toward the cheaper of the two, which is Stewart.

Saddiq Bey has really fallen out of favor in Detroit. After starting most of last season and to start this season, he’s stuck playing a reserve role off the bench. He projects as one of the worst per-dollar options on the board. Alec Burks has flashed some upside recently and could be worth a look in tournaments or if Ivey is unable to suit up. My favorite contrarian play in this spot is Jalen Duren, who is capable of averaging a fantasy point per minute and who could see 20+ minutes off the bench.

Player DK POS FD POS MIN/G +/- FP/G +/- USG% +/- TS% +/- DK/M +/- FD/M +/- MIN (P) DK (P) DK/$ FD (P) FD/$
Killian Hayes $7,600 PG $13,000 PG 23.6 8.5 19.9 17.1 18% 4% 42% 9% 0.84 0.31 0.85 0.34 30 25.9 3.41 25.9 1.99
Jaden Ivey $8,400 SG $14,000 SG 31.8 31.3 23% 52% 0.98 0.96 32 32.3 3.84 30.9 2.20
Bojan Bogdanovic $7,800 SF/PF $10,500 SF/PF 31.5 -5.2 29.6 -8.9 24% 6% 64% -10% 0.94 -0.15 0.88 -0.19 32 31.0 3.97 28.7 2.73
Isaiah Stewart $6,800 PF/C $11,000 C/PF 27.0 -1.0 29.1 1.1 17% 10% 61% 7% 1.08 0.08 1.06 0.01 26 24.1 3.55 23.8 2.17
Marvin Bagley $7,200 C $12,000 PF/C 23.9 3.6 24.8 8.3 20% 4% 63% -3% 1.04 0.17 1.05 0.11 25 22.9 3.17 22.4 1.87
Alec Burks $5,800 PG/SG $10,000 PG/SG 20.6 -1.4 22.6 -5.6 27% 1% 61% -8% 1.10 -0.21 1.07 -0.24 19 20.2 3.47 19.4 1.94
Saddiq Bey $7,000 SF/PF $9,500 SF 30.6 -3.9 24.6 -4.4 20% 5% 55% -9% 0.80 -0.05 0.79 0.00 25 20.1 2.87 19.1 2.01
Jalen Duren $4,200 C $7,500 C 22.1 -1.5 18.8 -4.3 12% -1% 58% 4% 0.85 -0.15 0.89 -0.18 21 16.4 3.91 16.5 2.20
Isaiah Livers $3,400 PF $6,500 PF 20.2 6.7 12.1 2.1 12% -2% 55% -1% 0.60 -0.07 0.60 -0.04 18 10.7 3.16 10.5 1.62
Cory Joseph $2,400 PG $7,500 PG 14.4 5.0 11.3 3.6 15% 5% 53% 8% 0.79 -0.02 0.78 -0.03 4 3.2 1.32 3.1 0.42

The +/- columns show the difference between this season’s averages and the last three games.

Elite PlaysBojan Bogdanovic

Tournament TargetsKillian Hayes, Jaden Ivey, Isaiah Stewart

Viable PuntsAlec Burks (DK), Jalen Duren, Isaiah Livers (DK)

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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 RotoGrinders.com’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.

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