Steven Adams,Jakob Poeltl
Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams (4) and San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (25) scramble for a rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


Mike Shara

So…how’s February gone for you? If you live anywhere in the Northeast where I am, I already know that it has been an unpleasant one, weather-wise. Other than that, though – how did your DFS plays go overall this month? It’s been an interesting one for DFS betting but it seems that overall this month I’ve come out ahead, which is probably the most practical way to evaluate your DFS betting. Having a rough night – or two or three in a row – is not necessarily an indicator of anything – nor is going on a little win streak. Rather, you should take a look at how you fared over periods of time – like for a calendar month. If you find yourself in the minus over that (admittedly arbitrary) period, then maybe you’ll need to re-assess your strategies. Hopefully today we can help you finish the month on a winning note!


GORAN DRAGIC, PG, Brooklyn ($4,200 on DraftKings, $4,300 on FanDuel)
You know the drill for Brooklyn home games – no Kyrie Irving allowed, which leaves a gaping hole in their lineup so long as Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons also remain sidelined. I mean, games like tonight are exactly the reason that the Nets fought so hard to sign Dragic recently. In his team debut on Saturday, he only played 14 minutes – but Kyrie was available and was lighting it up vs. Milwaukee. Tonight, they’ll host a banged-up Raptors team that will be missing premium defender OG Anunoby and possibly Fred VanVleet, too. I would bet Dragic sees more minutes tonight and there’s bound to be a little extra fire in him, too, as the Raptors were the team he generally refused to play for this season for some reason. Dragic is a fiery, competitive guy and even if his rationale for snubbing Toronto is hard to grasp, I feel pretty confident that he’ll be wound up for tonight’s tilt. A motivated player with playing time opportunities at that price tag is a great mixture.

THADDEUS YOUNG, PF/C, ($3,400 on DraftKings, $4,000 on FanDuel)
FanDuel seems slightly more aware of Young’s current rotation status for Toronto than DK does, making him especially valuable on DraftKings but perfectly usable on both formats, and his dual positional availability on DK is a nice boon, too. With Anunoby out on Saturday, Young played just 22 minutes but scored 21 points to go along with 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals against Atlanta. Tonight he’s facing a deeply short-handed Brooklyn team that is missing all three prongs of its three-headed monster and isn’t exactly a bastion of tight defense, anyway. Toronto acquired Young a few weeks back (for Goran Dragic, ironically) from San Antonio with every intention of squeezing his veteran presence into their tight rotations and tonight he’s probably going to be used even more liberally than they may have planned for. At this current price, he’s too smart and too useful to ignore.

CHUMA OKEKE, SF/PF, Orlando ($5,500 on DraftKings, $5,900 on FanDuel)
Orlando’s only real battle for the rest of this season is trying to acquire as many ping pong balls as possible in the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery in hopes of procuring the first overall pick. With that ‘plan’ in mind (haven’t they been doing that for the last two decades?) they are seeing what they have in their younger players, and Okeke – a mid-first round pick in 2020 out of Auburn, is one who seems to be benefitting from extended looks. He has averaged over 27 minutes per game over his last four games (up from his seasonal averages) and had a huge game against Houston on Friday with 26 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and a block. Obviously it’s unlikely he repeats that boxscore, but rostering a young player being given a ‘Prove It’ opportunity against a weak Indiana team playing the second half of back-to-back road games looks like a pretty solid investment at that low cost.

STEVEN ADAMS, C, Memphis ($6,000 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel)
Over his last four games, Adams has become a bigger part of the Grizzlies’ rotation, averaging almost 33 minutes – nearly 7 more than his seasonal average – as Memphis tries to solidify itself and get healthy for a deep playoff run. He hasn’t changed anything about his playing style – he still scores sporadically but usually tallies double-digit rebounds and a healthy number of assists whenever he’s out there. Tonight he’ll face the Spurs at home and San Antonio has been pretty generous to opposing centers this season (among the league’s worst). For a salary that’s below average on both formats, he’s an unspectacular but solid play at the 5 position if you don’t want to spend all your money on Giannis.

GABE VINCENT, PG, Miami ($3,600 on DraftKings, $3,900 on FanDuel)
It’s all bargain plays today on Sneaky Picks!! Starting point guard Kyle Lowry has already been declared ‘out for personal reasons’ for Miami’s matchup at home vs. Chicago. Lowry has already missed significant chunks of time this season for the same reason. While we certainly hope everything in his life sorts itself out healthy and happy, we also can’t ignore the fact that Vincent will become the primary beneficiary of his absence. In K-Low’s last extended absence Vincent started 9 straight games, averaging over 30 minutes per game and scored in double digits in 7 of those while averaging 5 assists, a couple of rebounds and more than a steal per game. Those numbers won’t blow anyone away, but at that price, well, maybe you can afford Giannis tonight, after all…

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