NBA Grind Down: Thursday, January 10th

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

Boston Celtics at Miami Heat – 7:00 PM ET

Boston Celtics Miami Heat
Vegas Total 212.0 Vegas Total 212.0
Vegas Spread -2.5 Vegas Spread 2.5
Implied Team Total 107.3 Implied Team Total 104.8
Pace Projection +/- -1.1 Pace Projection +/- -0.8
Projected Starters Kyrie Irving Marcus Smart Jayson Tatum Marcus Morris Al Horford Projected Starters Justise Winslow Josh Richardson Rodney McGruder James Johnson Hassan Whiteside
Matchup PG SG SF PF C Matchup PG SG SF PF C
DEFF 3 27 1 18 1 DEFF 11 4 2 1 12
DvsA 11 11 19 18 13 DvsA 3 3 6 2 5

Boston Celtics

Notable Injuries

Aron Baynes (Out)

Boston Celtics Offense

Points Per Game: 112.5 (10 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 107.3 (7 of 8)
Projected Point Differential: -5.3 (7 of 8)

Matchup vs. Miami Heat

Points Allowed Per Game: 105.7 (6 of 30)
Defensive Efficiency: 104.4 (7 of 30)
Rebounding Differential: + 2.3 (9 of 30)
Pace of Play: 101.4 (21 of 30)

The Celtics are playing in the second half of a back-to-back, but they blew out the Pacers last night and didn’t need their starters in the fourth quarter. They are looking for their fifth win in a row tonight, as they head to Miami to take on a Heat team that is ranked ninth or better in points allowed per game, defensive efficiency, and rebounding differential. The Celtics have an implied total of 107.3 points, which is the second on the board and five points below their season average.

Kyrie Irving was one of my favorite tournament plays last night and it didn’t work out. That’s going to happen. We have to take the loss and move on. The good news is that he only logged 23 minutes last night and that the Celtics may need him to be more aggressive offensively. The Heat have an above-average defense and two solid rim protectors in Hassan Whiteside and Bam Adebayo. Over the last four games, Jaylen Brown has averaged more minutes that Marcus Smart, but he’s been the beneficiary of garbage time in blowouts. With this game featuring a 1.5-point spread, I expect Smart to play 28-30 minutes and Brown to play 24-26 minutes. I’ll give the edge to Smart on DraftKings ($4,700) and Brown on FanDuel ($4,200).

Jayson Tatum has only averaged 28 fantasy points over his last four games, but he’s cheap across the industry and we have very few options at power forward. This is a slate where we may not need 6x type of production from every roster spot. If Tatum can score 30 fantasy points here, we should take it and run. Gordon Hayward has averaged 32 fantasy points over his last four games and continues to be under-owned in DFS since he comes off the bench. Marcus Morris is slightly overpriced on DraftKings ($5,600), but stands out as one of the better values tonight on FanDuel ($4,700). Eventually, Al Horford is going come off his minute restriction (hasn’t topped 25 minutes in any of the last seven games), but should be avoided until that happens.

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game L4 +/- Minutes L4 +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
Kyrie Irving $8,400 $9,000 $16,500 41.6 -14.2 32.0 -6.1 1.30 28.7% 3 11 4
Marcus Smart $5,100 $4,700 $8,900 22.4 1.7 26.0 -0.1 0.86 14.4% 27 11 6
Jayson Tatum $6,100 $6,000 $11,800 30.5 -3.9 31.0 -2.3 0.98 20.7% 1 19 27
Marcus Morris $4,700 $5,600 $11,400 26.0 -1.0 27.2 -2.9 0.96 19.2% 18 18 25
Al Horford $6,500 $6,100 $11,800 30.5 1.7 28.2 -5.5 1.08 18.2% 1 13 2
Gordon Hayward $5,500 $5,700 $11,200 25.1 7.2 26.6 0.8 0.94 19.3% N/A 19 N/A
Jaylen Brown $4,200 $4,500 $8,600 22.3 4.8 26.5 0.7 0.84 19.1% N/A 18 N/A
Terry Rozier $4,400 $4,000 $7,400 20.9 9.9 22.9 2.1 0.91 18.7% N/A 11 N/A

Elite PlaysKyrie Irving (GPP), Jayson Tatum (FD), Marcus Morris (FD), Jaylen Brown (FD GPP), Gordon Hayward (FD GPP)

Secondary PlaysKyrie Irving (Cash), Jayson Tatum (DK), Jaylen Brown (FD Cash), Gordon Hayward (FD Cash & DK GPP), Marcus Smart

Miami Heat

Notable Injuries


Miami Heat Offense

Points Per Game: 106.3 (25 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 104.8 (8 of 8)
Projected Point Differential: -1.6 (6 of 8)

Matchup vs. Boston Celtics

Points Allowed Per Game: 105.3 (3 of 30)
Defensive Efficiency: 102.1 (2 of 30)
Rebounding Differential: -0.1 (17 of 30)
Pace of Play: 101.7 (20 of 30)

The Heat have lost two games in a row and are one of the few teams in the NBA with a better record on the road than at home. Tonight’s game against the Celtics would be an easy one to fade in a large slate, but we are dealing with limited options with four games on the schedule. On the season, the Celtics are ranked third in points allowed per game and second in defensive efficiency. The Heat have an implied total of only 104.8 points, which is the lowest of the slate.

Justise Winslow has scored at least 25 fantasy points in nine straight games. He has taken on a larger role in the offense, which has in turn hurt the fantasy production of Josh Richardson. Any projection model that includes season averages is going to give the edge to Richardson, but I’ll gladly pivot to Winslow in tournaments is he’s going to be half as owned. Rodney McGruder, Tyler Johnson, and James Johnson are all stuck around 20 minutes per night, which makes it tough for them to pay off their respective salaries, especially in a matchup against the Celtics.

Dwyane Wade is similar to Kyrie Irving in that he can create his own shot against any defense. I almost prefer to target him in difficult matchups where the Heat need to rely on him offensively. He’s an excellent tournament play and a borderline cash game target on FanDuel. After playing at least 20 minutes in four straight games, Derrick Jones didn’t see the floor against the Nuggets. For now, let’s take a wait and see approach. Hassan Whiteside is always on my radar in tournaments when he’s playing at home (averaging 41 fantasy points per game). He’ll have a big size advantage against Boston, but how many minutes he sees is anyone’s guess. Anytime you are playing a lot of Whiteside, it makes sense to hedge with a Bam Adebayo lineup or two.

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game L4 +/- Minutes L4 +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
Justise Winslow $6,600 $5,900 $11,500 25.7 2.7 28.5 -0.6 0.90 19.9% 11 3 3
Josh Richardson $6,500 $5,800 $11,400 31.6 -4.0 34.8 -1.8 0.91 22.5% 4 3 1
Rodney McGruder $3,900 $3,300 $6,300 19.9 -6.9 28.8 -9.2 0.69 15.4% 2 6 6
James Johnson $4,100 $4,200 $8,500 17.2 -2.2 20.4 -0.6 0.84 18.9% 1 2 28
Hassan Whiteside $7,500 $6,800 $12,500 36.7 -7.0 26.1 -1.7 1.41 20.0% 12 5 8
Dwyane Wade $5,400 $5,100 $9,900 25.9 2.1 25.5 0.1 1.02 26.5% N/A 3 N/A
Tyler Johnson $4,700 $4,400 $8,600 21.8 1.9 25.0 -3.4 0.87 18.8% N/A 7 N/A
Bam Adebayo $4,800 $4,600 $8,800 22.5 5.0 21.3 2.2 1.06 14.9% N/A 5 N/A

Elite PlaysDwyane Wade (GPP), Hassan Whiteside (GPP)

Secondary PlaysDwyane Wade (Cash), Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, Bam Adebayo (GPP)

Noto’s NBA Bets

It was a ho-hum 3-2 night for the bets, but we did hit the moneyline on the Grizzlies. We are nearing closer to our goal of being up 30 units by the end of the week. After the Clippers’ bet from Tuesday night clears, the official tally will be up to 104-66.

Whether you are actually betting the games or just want to test your betting skills, download the SharpSide app or visit the SharpSide desktop site.

Overall Record: 014-66 (+27.2 units)

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’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.

    Interview after $100,000 Win


  • Coorsman

  • maaron83

    All these years I just assumed Dwyane Wade name was spelled Dwayne. Wow!

  • MattKern55

    @maaron83 said...

    All these years I just assumed Dwyane Wade name was spelled Dwayne. Wow!

    “Dwyane Wade is just a poser”

    - Brett Favre

  • Primal

    • Ranked #56

      RG Tiered Ranking

    waiters should play around 22 minutes tonight?

  • Dolphfan10

    Love the picks. Im also gonna roll with Boston tonight. They have been on fire and starters didnt play alot of mins last night cuse of blow out. And there deep. Thanks again lets get this $$$

  • custy

    Does Griffin being out change your DET/SAC over bet?

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