Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo
Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) brings the ball up court in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(EARLY) SNEAKY NBA DFS PICKS FOR JAN. 17

Mike Shara

As America celebrates Martin Luther King Day today (all 50 states celebrating for the first time in history), the NBA continues their love of holiday exploitation for captive television audiences with an enormous number of games being played. If you have the day off with nothing to do, you could just park yourself on your couch and watch NBA action all day long. If you’re on the East Coast and are getting hit with yet another snowstorm, just remember – that snow on your driveway will probably all melt by mid-April, so there’s no need to rush out and shovel right now. Just enjoy the bonus basketball and let nature run its course.

Note: because of the holiday, games today start as early as 11:30 am (which is why I’m writing this article so bleeping early in the day), so make sure you place your DFS bets in time and check to see which games/players are available in each contest you’re entering.

BAM ADEBAYO, PF/C, Miami ($7,800 on DraftKings)
Adebayo has missed the last 22 games with a thumb injury that required surgery, but he and Miami team management have been saying that tonight’s game vs. Toronto has been the goal for him to make his return to action. He’s still listed as Questionable at this point and the game doesn’t start until 7:30 pm, so check to confirm he’s suiting up before you click on his name. He’ll be rusty and on a minutes restriction tonight for sure, but the Heat will be without Kyle Lowry tonight, so scoring will have to come from other sources tonight. Remember that Bam Bam was averaging nearly 40 DK points per game before his injury hit. It’s a gamble, for sure, but this will probably be the last time in his career that Adebayo will be available for under 8 grand. (Teammate Jimmy Butler has played well in his last two games since returning from injuries, and he’ll ostensibly get a boost from Lowry’s absence, too.)

MGM NBA Offer

AYO DOSUNMU, SG, Chicago ($4,800 on DraftKings)
A second-round draft pick out of Illinois in 2022, Dosunmu wasn’t supposed to be playing almost 40 minutes in a game this early in his NBA career (or maybe ever), but the Bulls are without Alex Caruso, Lonzo Ball and Zach Levine with injuries at the moment, so he’s been thrust into the spotlight unexpectedly. He responded very nicely Saturday, scoring 21 points with 10 assists and 4 rebounds vs. Boston. It was by far the biggest DFS points game of his young career and there’s no guarantee he even approaches those totals again today vs. a better Memphis team, but his salary makes him gamble-worthy, considering that Chicago really doesn’t have a lot of other options at the moment.

DAY’RON SHARPE or NICOLAS CLAXTON, PF/C, Brooklyn ($4,200 and $4,700 on DraftKings, respectively)
There’s always some roster drama happening with this Brooklyn team and they’re not taking a day off from that for the holiday either. This either/or situation is all a matter of who’s going to get the lion’s share of playing time this afternoon. Claxton has missed the last three games with a knee issue and is listed as Questionable for today’s game at Cleveland. If he’s active, he’s a good pick. If he decides he can’t go, then Sharpe becomes a great value player himself. The Nets are without three frontcourt players today in Kevin Durant, James Johnson and Paul Millsap and are returning LaMarcus Aldridge to the lineup, who will undoubtedly be on a minutes restriction after recently celebrating his 85th birthday. Durant’s production will be impossible to replace, but his minutes have to be filled and these two young players are going to be given chances to do so. Hell, you might even want to be cheeky and throw both of them into your lineup today. That might work as well.

JARRETT ALLEN, C, Cleveland ($7,700 on DraftKings)
On the other hand of the Brooklyn roster disarray sit the Cavaliers, who will welcome the Nets into The Land this afternoon. With Head Coach Steve Nash’s team looking paper thin and inexperienced in the BigMan Department today, logic dictates that Cleveland’s more experienced center should have an easier day of it. Regardless of matchups, Allen has been playing very well all season long, recording a double/double in six of his last eight games and averaging nearly 38 DK points per game in 2021-22 thus far. He’s still a little undervalued on DraftKings, I think, considering his consistency and the timely opportunity today’s matchups might present him today. His frontcourt partner, rookie Evan Mobley is similarly priced today and might present a similar value. With such a big schedule in the NBA today, DFS contests are often reduced into smaller groups of games, so doubling up on teammates – even at the same position – might be a necessary evil today.

Latest Team / Player News