Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole
Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole (3) celebrates after making a 3-point basket against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SNEAKY DFS NBA PICKS FOR JAN. 6

Mike Shara

The schedule is light tonight, to say the least. With just four games on the slate, a lot of people would lay off and just wait until tomorrow. Those people are cowards. I suspect you’re not one of those people, are you? After all, you’re here, reading this column. That tells me you’re hungry for some daily fantasy action tonight. Dr Mike is going to do his best to help you out. Take a few of the players listed below and call me in the morning. 

JORDAN POOLE, SG, Golden State ($5,800 on DraftKings)
Steph Curry had an unusually low-scoring effort last night in Dallas on the night the Mavs unveiled Dirk Nowitzki’s statue and retired his jersey, which was very courteous of him. Unfortunately, he will likely not be doing the same thing tonight in New Orleans as they retire…who…David West’s jersey? Well, maybe there won’t be any ceremony tonight in the Big Easy after all, but there probably won’t be any Steph, either. He said after the game it was ‘unlikely’ he would play tonight after tweaking his calf vs. Dallas. Curry is 33 years old and in the midst of a possible MVP season where his team has serious playoff designs and more depth than they’ve had in a few years, so they’re unlikely to take chances with his health in a game they could win without him. Poole has played very well this year, starting almost every game and revitalizing his young career. Tonight, he’ll likely see extra minutes with Curry absent and he gets to do it vs. a Pelicans team near the bottom of the NBA in overall defensive rating. For a guy who is almost guaranteed to start and play 30+ minutes, his salary seems low.

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MARCUS MORRIS, SF/PF, LA Clippers ($5,600 on DraftKings)
With Paul George and Kawhi Leonard out, the Clippers are desperate to find scoring anywhere they can. Since returning from a bout on the Covid list, Morris has been making the most of his extended minutes. In his last four games he has averaged 31 minutes, 19.8 points, 5.8 assists, 3.3 assists and .5 blocks. He also rarely turns the ball over. The shorthanded Clippers have a very tough road matchup tonight, playing at Phoenix, but even if they don’t win the game, Morris seems poised for plenty of opportunities and is available at a salary that is under the average, making his value apparent.

JA MORANT, PG, Memphis ($9,200 on DraftKings)
If you’ve been watching the NBA at all over the last few weeks, you’ve noticed two things about the teams facing each other in Memphis tonight: 1) Memphis has been playing very well lately, winning their last six in a row (and covering the spread in five of those) and B) the Pistons’ rebuild is…going to take a while. Tonight, those two factors will smash into one another in a very favorable way for the Grizzlies’ star point guard. Detroit is playing the second half of a back-to-back tonight, arriving in Memphis from Charlotte early this morning and the Grizz will have an extra day of rest. Last night Detroit allowed 140 points against the Hornets – in regulation time in the first game of the back-to-back! They are near the bottom of the NBA in defensive rating and no one in the league can stay in front of Morant, even when they’re well rested. At $9,200 tonight he is comically underpriced tonight, considering how well he and his teammates have been playing and the quality of opponent they’re facing.

ISIAH STEWART, PF/C, Detroit ($4,600 on DraftKings)
His last game was two weeks ago (Covid), so you might worry about his conditioning for tonight’s game vs. Memphis, but if you’ve paid any attention to Detroit basketball games this season, you know there is never any need to worry about Beef Stew’s level of dedication or effort. He sat out last night’s game in Charlotte even though he was technically available, but the Pistons allowed the Hornets to score approximately 75 points per quarter, so I would imagine Head Coach Dwayne Casey will feel somewhat tempted to return his defensive energy to the lineup against another fast-paced, high-scoring team. With veteran forwards Kelly Olynyk and Jerami Grant still out with injuries, there is plenty of playing time available as the Pistons try to determine which players, they think are part of the future. Stewart should benefit from that as the season wears on. Be sure and check before the game starts that he is indeed playing, but if he is active, he’s a double/double threat at a bargain rate.

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