Jazz Timberwolves Basketball
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) goes around Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gay (8) in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)


Mike Shara

Well – how did you do on Valentine’s Day? No – not in that way – I meant your DFA plays. I’m not your therapist, I’m your DFS picks consultant. Let’s not get the relationships confused. At the risk of oversharing, my night was…mixed…and let’s just leave it at that. As always, though, it’s a new day today – another chance to lay our bets, if nothing else (see what I did there?). This evening there are 7 games on tap – which should be more than enough bounty for us to get our confidence back on track. Here are a few players that I see as possible values this morning:


DARIUS GARLAND, PG, Cleveland ($7,400 on DraftKings, $7,700 on FanDuel)
He has missed four of his last six games due to back discomfort, but was a full participant at Monday’s practice so he should be good to go tonight vs. Atlanta. Cleveland hasn’t played since Saturday, so he’ll have had plenty of rest and treatment and, let’s be honest – if he’s going to want to play in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game (which he undoubtedly will – it’s his first ASG appearance), he’s not going to be very popular with his team if he doesn’t play in the games leading up to it. The Hawks are a pretty great opponent to line up against for him tonight, as their team defensive strategy is generally terrible – especially against opposing point guards. Even with all those factors in play, Garland’s salary is somehow $2,000 lower on DK than it was less than 3 weeks ago. I’m sure the injury affected that, but it still seems too low in both formats. I’d pounce. 

JONAS VALANCIUNAS, C, New Orleans ($6,700 on FanDuel, $7,500 on DraftKings)
This is more of a value play on FanDuel, obviously – and I wouldn’t say he’s a must-play tonight as he will be playing the second half of a back-to-back (though both games are at home, so he hasn’t had to travel). Despite being one of the better teams in the Western Conference, the Grizzlies don’t present a particularly tough matchup for opposing centers, and JV is generally playing over 30 minutes per game while averaging over a point per minute in return. Those are productive numbers, but hardly flashy ones. If you find yourself unable to afford Embiid or Towns tonight at C, there’s a steady floor here and some ceiling possible for a pretty reasonable cost.

REGGIE BULLOCK, SF/SG, Dallas ($4,100 on FanDuel, $4,700 on DraftKings)
An especially good deal on FD today, Bullock has been playing huge minutes every game for the Mavericks ever since Tim Hardaway Jr. broke his foot. Over his last nine games he has averaged 17 points (including 4.3 three-pointers) and 4.9 rebounds. He doesn’t do much for you in any defensive categories, but for that bargain salary – especially on FanDuel – he’s a nice upside play today, especially if Jimmy Butler (Questionable – shoulder) doesn’t suit up for Miami. He is a shooter who can go off on any night and has some very useful roster flexibility at positions that can be tough to fill inexpensively.

JORDAN NWORA, PF, Milwaukee ($3,000 on DraftKings, $3,500 on FanDuel)
Tonight the Bucks are facing Indiana at home, coming off of a somewhat embarrassing loss to Portland last night in their own arena. Giannis was a surprise scratch last night with ankle issues (of course he was – I had him picked as a guy I was going to lean on last night). Tonight his status is still questionable, although I suspect the Bucks are likely to err on the side of caution with him, knowing that they have a big game vs. Philadelphia coming up Thursday. Milwaukee has just lost Pat Cannaughton for a month or so after having hand surgery and as a result Nwora was the beneficiary of more playing time last night, playing at a point-per-minute level for 24 minutes. The second-year pro out of Louisville looks like he’ll get another shot at bonus playing time tonight and has an appealing matchup vs. Indiana yet his DK salary remains at the bargain basement level. Rostering him allows you to also take one of the big fishes in the pond, like…

KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS, C, Minnesota ($9,800 on DraftKings, $9,900 on FanDuel)
He got into a bit of foul trouble on Sunday vs. Indiana, which led to him only playing 22 minutes and recording one of his lowest DFS points nights of the season. His salary remains below 10 grand tonight as a result, but I think the matchup/rest/motivation factor for him will be a huge factor tonight. He had a monster night two days earlier vs. Chicago, with 27 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks and Charlotte has no one on their roster that matches up well against him tonight. The Hornets play at a frantically fast pace but remain a bottom five defensive team overall and KAT’s projected points/dollar for tonight look high. If you can’t afford to shop in the Luka/Embiid price range tonight, Towns is a very nice consolation prize who should reward you handsomely while not being owned at too high a rate, coming off a disappointing game two nights ago.

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