Bucks Trail Blazers Basketball
Portland Trail Blazers forward Justise Winslow brings the ball up against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

SNEAKY NBA DFS PICKS FOR FEBRUARY 8

Mike Shara

Finally we have a bevy of DFS options on the slate for tonight – none of this 4-or-5-games-to choose-from nonsense. It’s a massive 10 game cornucopia of games. Surely to God we can find a few places to sneak around and discover some hidden gems. It’s not as easy as it might appear, though – there are not a lot of standout options. I have a few thoughts, anyway. Whether they end up being good or not…

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JUSTISE WINSLOW, PF, Portland ($3,000 on DraftKings)
He was the only one of the three players acquired by the Blazers after Friday’s trade that sent Robert Covington and Norm Powell to the Clippers to actually see court time on Sunday. He played 20 minutes against a tough Bucks defense in a brand new system with all new teammates and still acquitted himself well enough. The Blazers are rebuilding – at least for the rest of this season and seeing what they’ve got that’s worth keeping. Remember that Winslow is still just 25 years old and was a top ten pick in 2015 before injuries derailed a promising start to his career. He may have landed in the perfect spot for him to get himself back on track. At that salary, he’s a must play tonight against a bad Orlando team and plenty of minutes available.

JAVALE MCGEE, C, Phoenix ($3,400 on DraftKings)
DeAndre Ayton returned to the Suns’ lineup recently after missing significant time with an ankle injury, although he has not returned to his pre-injury levels as far as playing time goes. In his last four games, the former first overall pick has averaged just 24 minutes. Some of this is due to foul trouble and blowout games, but no matter the reason it has meant an increase in responsibility for McGee. The 34 year-old back up big man has been productive on a per minute basis and in yesterday’s game vs. Chicago he logged 22 minutes and had 16 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. The Suns have another tough road matchup against Philly tonight and I wouldn’t count on similar production from McGee, but I wouldn’t expect Ayton to suddenly play 40 minutes in the second half of a back-to-back, either. Another guy who rounds out your roster really cheaply but also has the potential of upside.

JOHN COLLINS, C, Atlanta ($6,900 on DraftKings)
He’s now starting to get more minutes at center and he has also been closing out games for the Hawks, meaning his minutes have now gone safely into the 30’s per game, which obviously adds to his value. He had a great game vs. Dallas on Sunday, finishing with 22 points and 18 rebounds and tonight he’ll face an Indiana team that has struggled to find stability at their power forward and center positions due to injuries. The Hawks are projected to score 118 points tonight, in which case his relatively modest salary could make him a plus for your lineup. He’s been battling a heel issue – so keep an eye and make sure he plays, but he played well Sunday with the same ailment, so he should be good to go. Star teammate Trae Young at $9800 on DraftKings looks like it could be a good play today as well. 

DOMANTAS SABONIS, C/PF, Indiana ($9,400 on DraftKings)
His last two games he has only averaged 27.5 minutes per game, which has brought his salary cost down for tonight’s matchup with Atlanta. Don’t read too much into those minutes, though. He ran into a bit of foul trouble in the first half of Sunday’s game vs. Cleveland (which he doesn’t often do) and the game before that was in the second half of a back-to-back blowout loss at Dallas, but he’d played 44 minutes the night before. The point here is that after fighting through an ankle injury and Covid list stint, Sabonis is returning to his former beast form and he’s doing it at a temporarily reduced rate. You should take advantage of this brief window tonight. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s over 40 minutes again – the Pacers might be trying to showcase him before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

DWIGHT POWELL, C, Dallas ($4,700 on DraftKings, $4,600 on FanDuel)
I know…a lot of big guys on the list today, but some of them can be power forwards or Utility guys on today’s roster if you really want to use all of them. Dallas is without three key rotational guys tonight vs. Detroit – Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr and Maxi Kleiber are all officially in street clothes. Powell has replaced Kleiber as the Mavs’ starting center for the last two games and rewarded them nicely, averaging 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.5 steals and a block. He’s nearly a point-per-minute player anyway and tonight he faces a Pistons team that is in the bottom third of the NBA in center efficiency. He’s not as inexpensive as he was four days ago, but there is probably still value here, depending on how high his ownership level gets. 

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