Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon
Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon, back, shoots for a basket over Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Mike Shara

Back in the saddle after taking a day off yesterday (load management), we’ve got 8 different NBA games to choose DFS plays from today – although some contests won’t include all eight because of staggered starting times throughout the day, so be sure to check which players are available in each contest you enter.


MALIK BEASLEY, SG, Minnesota ($4,200 on DraftKings)
The T-Wolves played the Pistons three days ago, scoring 128 points despite missing D’Angelo Russell and Patrick Beverley while facing an overmatched Detroit squad that was missing star rookie Cade Cunningham. Beasley had 18 points, 2 assists and a steal in just 20 minutes in that game and all of the circumstances of Thursday’s game appear to be in play again tonight. Cunningham is again Questionable, as are Russell and Beverley (possibly more playing time for Beasley), only this time Minnesota is at home and rested and the Pistons have traveled to Boston, played a game and flown into Minneapolis since they last met. Detroit is also among the bottom three in the NBA in defending three-point shooters. Those are a lot of favorable factors for such a reasonably priced scorer.

JAMES JOHNSON, PF, Brooklyn ($3,600 on DraftKings)
The Nets are home for today’s game vs. Denver, which means no Kyrie Irving (vaccination status). LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle) and Kevin Durant (knee) remain on the sidelines for Brooklyn while Nic Claxton and James Harden are Questionable and tonight they face…the Joker. Given so many key Nets’ rotation pieces missing tonight, Johnson’s willingness to play physically in the paint and try to push Nikola Jokic around a bit may put him in line for substantial minutes at a discounted price. In three of his last five games, he has scored over 25 DFS points. Of course, in the other two he had less than 10, but for a salary that low you’re not going to get a guarantee. If you need to throw a dart at a cheap player, he’s a target I’d aim for.

AARON GORDON, SF/PF, Denver ($5,500 on DraftKings)
Gordon (hamstring) has sat out the Nuggets’ last two games with a hamstring tweak, but he is listed as probable for today’s game in Brooklyn. When healthy he is a reliable scorer who contributes in other categories as well. He’s averaging over 15 points per game this season along with 2.5 assists and 5.6 rebounds. The Nets are missing a lot of key players today and he’ll be rested and playing on fresh legs. His price was $1,000 higher not even two weeks ago on DraftKings, so there is probably some value to be found here, due to his recent absences. An unexciting play with a bit of upside.

TERRY TAYLOR, PF, Indiana ($5,500 on DraftKings)
On Wednesday he got his first NBA start, rewarding sharp DFS players (ahem…) with 24 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal for $3,500 on DraftKings. On Friday he had 21 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists at a salary of $4,200. The folks at DraftKings are starting to catch on. He’s not nearly as much of a steal as he was earlier in the week, but he’s still a very good play today against Cleveland. The Pacers are looking for anyone to help them in the frontcourt right now and the undrafted rookie out of Austin Peay (!) is giving them a spark right now that they have been otherwise lacking. Catch the wave and keep streaming him while he’s still (reasonably) inexpensive.

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO, PF/C, Milwaukee ($12,200 on DraftKings)
How’s that for a sneaky pick? You may have heard of this Greek dude who plays for the Bucks. He’s pretty good. He is averaging about 70 DFS points per game (!) over his last five. Tonight, he and his Bucks squad will face a Clippers team whose roster is in disarray. Newly acquired players Norman Powell and Robert Covington are not likely to play, Kawhi and PG are likely done for the season and Ivaca Zubac is at best Questionable. That means L.A. will be leaning on a lot of less experienced players tonight, in rotations that will be unfamiliar for all of them. Yes, Giannis played last night in Portland, but with a comfortable lead he was able to rest late and ended up playing just 25 minutes, meaning his freakish legs should be okay to take advantage of mismatches. Let’s be real – bargain shopping isn’t always fun. Sometimes you have to reward yourself with a luxury item. Treat yourself today, my friends.

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