San Antonio Spurs guard Tre Jones
San Antonio Spurs guard Tre Jones drives during an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

SNEAKY NBA DFS PLAYS FOR JAN. 30

Mike Shara

Technically there are seven games on the NBA schedule today, but it’s likely you’re only going to be able to find DFS contests that include the five later games, so we’ll focus on those. That’s probably for the best, anyway – you’ll want to check injury updates before submitting your lineup officially and games that start at noon ET make that next to impossible for games that night. There’s still plenty of bounty available to you later in the day. Here are a few players I’m currently looking at:

TRE JONES, PG, San Antonio ($3,000 on DraftKings)
Dejounte Murray, currently enjoying one of the quietest All-Star level seasons in the NBA, suffered a knee contusion during the Spurs’ Friday night win vs. Chicago and is out for tonight’s clash with Phoenix. Obviously, that hurts San Antonio’s chances of competing vs. the best team in the league, but it also marks a massive opportunity for Jones, even if he’ll have to face off against Chris Paul. Backup point guard Derrick White (rest) is also sitting out, so Jones will be given the keys to the offense tonight. His last serious playing time came five days ago vs. Houston and he averaged just under a DFS point per minute in that game. With a salary that low and a lack of other options for San Antonio, he’s a must play.

DREW EUBANKS, C, San Antonio ($3,000 on DraftKings)
Let’s face facts – San Antonio was in for a tough game vs. Phoenix tonight already, but with Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Jakob Poeltl (back soreness) all in street clothes, the chances of the Spurs winning look downright bleak. Poeltl’s absence opens a window for Eubanks similar to that of teammate Tre Jones. Eubanks hasn’t played more than 20 minutes in a game in over six weeks, but Phoenix’s star big man DeAndre Ayton could be out tonight, too – and Eubanks has had games where he was productive in short bursts. His best chance to impress Head Coach Gregg Popovich could come tonight. At that price, any production you get is getting you ahead of the game. Who cares if the final score is lopsided. Garbage points count in DFS just as much as they do in close games.

MGM NBA Offer

REGGIE BULLOCK, SF, Dallas ($3,600 on DraftKings)
The Mavs flew to Orlando last night after a blowout win against the Pacers in Dallas and will be missing a few key players tonight against the Magic. Kristaps Porzingis did not travel with the team to receive treatment on an injured knee and Tim Hardaway Jr. recently broke his foot, so Bullock has suddenly become a bigger part of the rotation going forward. The nine-year NBA veteran has averaged 27.5 DFS points and made 10 of 15 shots from three-point range in his last two games and Orlando is among the worst teams in the NBA at defending the three. Another bargain basement price tag for a guy whose role should be significant means another place to accrue value.

CHRIS PAUL, PG, Phoenix ($9,500 on DraftKings)
…and once you’ve accrued those value plays, you need to make sure you spend your big money wisely. The flipside of all the lineup changes and opportunities for San Antonio tonight is the fact that Paul, who’s averaged 21.4 points, 11.8 assists, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals over his last 5 games, now has a second-year, third-string point guard trying to defend him for an entire game. This game looked like a pretty good matchup for CP3 before the Spurs’ injury woes set in. With San Antonio forced to rely on several players who normally wouldn’t even see the floor tonight, this play seems awfully attractive. The only potential downside of this pick would be if Phoenix pulled away in the second half and Paul sat out the fourth quarter without a chance to pad his statistics.

KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS, C, Minnesota ($9,300 on DraftKings)
There’s absolutely no reason you can’t have two studs to anchor your DFS team, especially if you’re smart elsewhere. The “Stars and Scrubs” team-building philosophy is a favorite of a lot of sharp bettors and Towns looks set up for a game where he’s also worth his big salary tonight. After a modest scoring game (at least by his lofty standards) vs. Golden State, KAT might be in line for a bigger output tonight at home vs. Utah. The Jazz are still missing Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, meaning the paint will be a much more welcoming place to play tonight. Utah relies so much on Gobert to cover ground near the rim that his absence is impossible to replicate with one player. They’ll have to switch more but simply don’t have many other good defenders and they certainly don’t have anyone who matches up well at center. Look for Towns to take full advantage of the extra elbow room at a salary that hasn’t taken the mismatch into consideration.

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