Bucks Basketball
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo dribbles the ball against the Phoenix Suns during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Sneaky NBA DFS Picks For February 14

Mike Shara

It’s Valentine’s Day today, so if you’re going to be making DFS picks today, my advice is to set your lineups just before you go out for dinner and then forget about them. Don’t check your phone until tomorrow morning – think of the anticipation! Besides, NBA schedulers did all the romantics out there a favor – tonight’s nine game schedule is maybe the least watchable slate of games that I’ve ever seen (Orlando/Denver, Detroit/Washington, Sacramento/Brooklyn, Portland/Milwaukee…it just goes on and on). So once you’ve made your bets it might actually be better for your love of basketball not to watch any of this slop. Stay married tonight, place your bets and keep your focus on your partner and away from the TV.

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KILLIAN HAYES, PG
Detroit ($4,400 on DraftKings)
Since being the seventh overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft, it’s fair to say that Hayes has struggled to find his place thus far in his nascent pro career. A hip injury early in his rookie season forced him to miss major time and this year he has looked tentative playing alongside star rookie (and fellow point guard) Cade Cunningham. Recently, however, Pistons Head Coach Dwayne Casey moved Hayes to the second unit and his play has generally been more productive. In three of his last five games he has scored over 28 DFS points, peaking with an 11 point, 12 assist, 3 steal night on Friday vs. Charlotte. Tonight Detroit is playing in D.C. against a floundering Wizards team that will be re-jigging it’s lineup to accommodate new players. This is a battle of terrible teams, but Hayes’ increasing confidence is a good sign and few things help a player’s confidence quite like a trip to Washington right now.


TERANCE MANN, SF/PF, LA Clippers ($4,300 on DraftKings)
Tonight the Clippers play at home vs. Golden State, perhaps the NBA’s premier defensive team, so this isn’t a matchup play so much as it is an opportunity play. I think there is still value in selecting Mann at such a low price. Recently acquired Clippers wingman Norman Powell has just been diagnosed with a foot fracture, meaning that the third year pro Mann will again be inserted into the starting lineup. His minutes have increased in each of his last three games (he was up to 35 on Saturday vs. Dallas after Powell’s injury) and he has remained better than a point-per-minute player even as his playing time increased. At that salary, a tough opponent doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t be interested. The short-handed Clips will need him to contribute heavily just to remain competitive – and he fills the difficult small forward position for you reasonably.

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO, PF/C, Milwaukee ($12,000 on DraftKings)
Yes, he’s expensive tonight – and every night – but he’s your sweetheart on Valentine’s night. The Bucks are hosting Portland, who rank among the league’s bottom three or four defensive teams and Giannis has been on a bit of a tear lately (even by his lofty standards), averaging over 1.8 DraftKings points per minute (!) over the last month or so. The Bucks are predicted to be the highest scoring team in the league tonight and he should be the chief beneficiary of the scoring frenzy. If the game turns out to be a blowout, he could sit late in the game, but by then there’s a good chance he’ll have already gotten you elite returns.

QUENTIN GRIMES, PG, New York ($3,000 on DraftKings)
With starter R.J. Barrett missed with an ankle injury for a second straight game, Grimes has stepped in and started twice for the Knicks and held his own. Saturday vs. Portland he contributed a very nice line of 20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in 37 minutes and tonight on DraftKings his salary somehow remains at the minimum $3,000! The rookie out of the University of Houston looks to have another open road to plenty of minutes tonight, as Barrett remains sidelined for this game at MSG vs. Oklahoma City. Playing Grimes tonight is almost a must and makes picking someone like Giannis or Nikola Jokic very manageable. Even though he’s projected to be owned in over 50% of leagues, don’t overthink it.

COREY KISPERT, SG, Washington ($4,100 on DraftKings)
With all of Washington’s recent roster shakeups, it now looks like Raul Neto and Ish Smith will be sharing duties at point guard, but shooting guard Kispert appears to have a clear path to playing at least 30 minutes per game going forward this season. The 15th overall pick in this year’s draft, the Wizards selected him mostly for his outside shooting ability, but he has shown glimpses of his passing skills lately, too – he had 6 assists to go along with 20 points on Saturday vs. Sacramento. Tonight he’ll face the league’s worst defensive team in Detroit, and though he’s not likely to have as diverse a box score every night, he will get plenty of chances – and tonight’s opponent is about as plum a chance as possible.

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