NBA Grind Down: Wednesday, December 5th

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 Orlando Magic – 7:00 PM ET

Denver Nuggets Orlando Magic
Vegas Total 206.5 Vegas Total 206.5
Vegas Spread -5.5 Vegas Spread 5.5
Implied Team Total 106.0 Implied Team Total 100.5
Pace Projection +/- -1.8 Pace Projection +/- -2.4
Projected Starters Jamal Murray Torrey Craig Juancho Hernangomez Paul Millsap Nikola Jokic Projected Starters D.J. Augustin Evan Fournier Jonathon Simmons Aaron Gordon Nikola Vucevic
Matchup PG SG SF PF C Matchup PG SG SF PF C
DEFF 21 12 8 17 14 DEFF 6 5 14 8 7
DvsA 10 6 20 20 3 DvsA 14 1 3 16 20

Denver Nuggets

Notable Injuries

Will Barton (Out)
Gary Harris (Out)

Denver Nuggets Offense

Points Per Game: 110.2 (14 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 106.0 (17 of 20)
Projected Point Differential: -4.2 (17 of 20)

Matchup vs. Orlando Magic

Points Allowed Per Game: 107.4 (6 of 30)
Defensive Efficiency: 106.3 (14 of 30)
Rebounding Differential: -4.0 (25 of 30)
Pace of Play: 101.1 (23 of 30)

We kick off tonight’s ten-game slate with the Nuggets and Magic in a game that features a low spread and a low total. The Magic used to be one of the most exploitable matchups for DFS, but that hasn’t been the case this season. Orlando is ranked 23rd in pace of play and sixth in points allowed per game. The Nuggets have an implied total of only 106 points, which is the fourth lowest of the slate and 4.2 points below their season average.

Gary Harris has been ruled out of tonight’s game, which gives a significant boost to Jamal Murray, Malik Beasley, and Monte Morris. Neither player sees a huge FP/min boost in his absence, but both should see an uptick in playing time. We can safely project Murray to play minutes in the upper 30s against a Magic team that is ranked 21st in efficiency against point guards. Beasley and Morris should fly under the radar given all of the value available in a ten-game slate and are both worth a look in tournaments.

Juancho Hernangomez should see an uptick in playing time as well, but he’s priced appropriately across the industry and the Magic are ranked eighth in efficiency against small forwards this season. Paul Millsap has been in solid form over his last four games, averaged 29 minutes and 35 fantasy points during that stretch. He’s an intriguing tournament play, but is still a little too volatile to trust in cash games. As usual, center is one of the deepest positions of the slate. I’ll always condone playing Nikola Jokic in tournaments, but Nikola Vucevic has transformed into a very good defender (4th out of 30 in DRPM) this season.

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game L4 Minutes L4 FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
Jamal Murray $7,000 $6,700 $12,300 30.6 0.5 34.1 3.4 0.90 23.6% 21 10 12
Torrey Craig $3,700 $3,000 $6,000 10.4 4.2 15.8 2.7 0.66 11.2% 12 6 7
Juancho Hernangomez $5,000 $4,400 $8,500 18.8 6.6 25.3 3.8 0.74 12.6% 8 20 24
Paul Millsap $6,800 $6,500 $12,300 30.6 4.2 26.9 2.5 1.14 19.6% 17 20 20
Nikola Jokic $9,400 $9,200 $16,900 42.8 -0.7 29.7 -0.4 1.44 25.0% 14 3 4
Malik Beasley $3,800 $3,500 $7,200 12.3 4.1 18.3 3.8 0.67 15.3% N/A 6 N/A
Monte Morris $4,400 $3,700 $7,700 19.9 -0.2 24.1 0.7 0.83 17.6% N/A 10 N/A
Mason Plumlee $5,400 $3,900 $7,900 20.8 5.9 17.1 1.5 1.22 16.9% N/A 20 N/A

Elite PlaysJamal Murray (GPP)

Secondary PlaysJamal Murray (Cash), Malik Beasley, Monte Morris (DK), Paul Millsap (GPP), Nikola Jokic (GPP)

Orlando Magic

Notable Injuries

Timofey Mozgov (Questionable)

Orlando Magic Offense

Points Per Game: 105.8 (25 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 100.5 (20 of 20)
Projected Point Differential: -5.3 (18 of 20)

Matchup vs. Denver Nuggets

Points Allowed Per Game: 102.7 (2 of 30)
Defensive Efficiency: 102.4 (4 of 30)
Rebounding Differential: + 5.7 (2 of 30)
Pace of Play: 100.5 (27 of 30)

The Magic have won six of their last ten games and have worked their way back to .500 on the season. While that’s encouraging, the matchup is quite the opposite. The Nuggets have played at the fourth slowest pace of any team in basketball and are ranked fourth or better in points allowed per game, defensive efficiency, and rebounding differential. Despite playing at home, the Magic have an implied total of only 100.5 points, which is the lowest on the board and 5.3 points below their season average.

The larger the slate, the more picky we can be with our selections. The fact that a few key players have been ruled out already really opens up some obvious plays. Unless you are building multiple tournament lineups, the Magic are a team that we can easily cross off our list of potential targets. The Nuggets are ranked 14th or better in efficiency against all five positions on the floor. There are better point-per-dollar targets at each and every position tonight, so why force any Magic players into our lineups in such a bad matchup?

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game L4 Minutes L4 FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
D.J. Augustin $5,200 $4,400 $8,900 21.8 1.7 27.2 0.1 0.80 18.0% 6 14 10
Evan Fournier $5,200 $5,300 $10,900 26.4 -7.1 30.1 1.5 0.88 23.2% 5 1 11
Jonathon Simmons $3,900 $3,500 $7,300 15.6 -1.5 21.6 1.5 0.72 18.9% 14 3 17
Aaron Gordon $7,300 $6,800 $12,400 33.3 -3.0 32.3 -2.1 1.03 20.5% 8 16 1
Nikola Vucevic $9,500 $8,700 $15,700 44.1 3.7 30.9 0.6 1.43 25.5% 7 20 6
Terrence Ross $5,500 $5,000 $9,800 23.5 7.0 25.4 3.2 0.92 21.9% N/A 1 N/A
Jonathan Isaac $4,900 $4,200 $8,500 20.6 3.0 23.1 6.4 0.89 14.7% N/A 20 N/A
Jerian Grant $3,600 $3,300 $6,300 14.1 -2.3 19.6 1.1 0.72 14.2% N/A 14 N/A

Elite Plays – None

Secondary Plays – None

Noto’s NBA Bets

We are coming off of another profitable night of bets. We’ll look to keep it going in tonight’s ten-game slate. 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: 30-24 (+293.81)

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.

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