Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole
Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole, right, is defended by San Antonio Spurs guard Tre Jones during the second half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SNEAKY NBA DFS PICKS FOR JAN. 14

Mike Shara

Nine games on the schedule tonight, including a really interesting matchup of serious playoff contenders as the Warriors limp into Chicago without Draymond or Klay on the back end of a back-to-back (tough game) after being massacred in Milwaukee last night. There are some potentially great DFS matchups percolating for that game and others tonight, so let’s dig in and have a look…

COLE ANTHONY, PG, Orlando ($7,800 on DraftKings, $7,600 on FanDuel)
Did anyone notice that Anthony was one assist away from a triple/double on Wednesday vs. Washington? No. Why? He plays in Orlando. Admittedly, his shooting was inefficient two nights ago (6 for 17), but he still ended up with 19 points. If he’s a little more accurate tonight (it would be hard not to be) against a Charlotte team that loves to push the pace, he should have plenty of scoring chances and distribution opportunities, too. For a salary that remains that low, he’s a recommendation for tonight for sure. He’s averaging over 40 fantasy points per game over the last two weeks and the Magic have no one to take playing time away from him right now.

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JORDAN POOLE, PG/SG, Golden State ($5,000 on DraftKings, $5,100 on FanDuel)
You’ve seen him in this column before and he has disappointed at times, for sure. However, he’s going to see an increase in playing time tonight, with Klay Thompson (rest), Draymond Green (calf injury) and Gary Payton II (back) all reportedly going to sit out the big game tonight in Chicago. The Warriors were obliterated last night in Milwaukee, but I’d expect a better effort tonight from a Golden State team that has genuine championship aspirations. Poole should be a big part of that resurgence, and while he’s not going to fill up the stat sheet and win you DFS money tonight, he won’t do anything to hurt you, either, for such a reasonable rate.

MARVIN BAGLEY JR, PF, Sacramento ($4,800 on DraftKings, $4,400 on FanDuel)
Poor Marvin. No one is ever going to forgive him for being drafted ahead of Luka and Trae (and others). It will be the first thing on his bio when he retires and this year, he hasn’t done much to change that grievous mistake by the Kings. With that said, two nights ago vs. the Lakers, Bagley played his most minutes in a long while, racking up 16 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal in 30 minutes of playing time. If he sees the same amount of court time tonight against a Rockets team that plays at the fastest pace in the NBA, he’s likely to exceed the value of his salary on both formats.  That’s what you want, right? Then you can go and spend your salary money on bigger fish. Like, say…

FRED VANVLEET, PG, Toronto ($10,000 on DraftKings, $9,700 on FanDuel)
I suppose it is a combination of his diminutive stature – he’s generously listed as being 6”1’ in the Raptors’ Media Guide – and the fact that he’s playing in Canada, but FVV is not getting nearly enough love in America from the media or on DFS platforms. The fact that he’s currently only in 8th place at his position in the Eastern Conference All-Star Team voting makes this blatantly apparent. Check out his steadily excellent performance this entire season or just look at his last 5 games for proof. He has been averaging over 28 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals the last two weeks. Tonight, he faces a very young Detroit team that is in the bottom third of the NBA in defensive rating and is allowing over 111 points per game on the season. Freddie and his teammates will be looking to sway All-Star voting and get him a spot at the ASG in Cleveland in February, so look for his usage and numbers to continue to be high, especially with favorable matchups like this one.

ONYEKA OKONGWU, C, Atlanta ($4,800 on DraftKings, $3,900 on FanDuel)
He’s still a real bargain on FanDuel tonight, especially considering that he just missed a double/double on Sunday vs. the Clippers. Atlanta faces the Heat on the road tonight, which certainly is no easy matchup for the second-year big man from USC, but Miami will still be without Bam Adebayo in the middle, so that should help “The Big O” s chances of making statistical contributions.  He has only appeared in 8 games so far this season, starting just 3 of those so he is still finding his rhythm, but the Hawks are without starting center Clint Capela again tonight due to the Covid protocols, so Okongwu will get plenty of chances to prove himself worthy of a rotation spot, even when Capela returns.  Especially on FD, his price tag stood out to me as an opportunity for value.

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