Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent
Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent (2) drives to the basket as Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley (20) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Miami. Miami won 113-107. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

SNEAKY NBA DFS PLAYS FOR JAN. 31

Mike Shara

Having not looked ahead in the schedule, I was assuming tonight might be a night off from DFS play, given that it was a Monday night, which is usually a light night in the association. I was surprised/delighted to see that not only are there 8 games to choose from tonight, but there are also some nice buys available, too. Happy Monday, everyone – let’s take advantage of it!

MGM NBA Offer

JOSH GIDDEY, PG, Oklahoma City ($7,300 on DraftKings)
During Friday night’s game vs. Indiana, Thunder starting point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander injured his ankle and will miss multiple weeks in recovery. To this point in the season, Giddey has already been nothing short of special, especially considering he only turned 19 after the regular season started. He has been averaging 13.3 points, 6 assists, 7.5 rebounds and a steal per game in just over 31 minutes per game. SGA’s injury pushed him to play almost 40 minutes Friday night and he responded with a 15/10/5 game, good for 38 DFS points. After two full days of rest, he’ll play extended minutes again tonight at home vs. a road weary Portland team whose roster is being scotch taped together every night. Giddey’s salary hasn’t risen from his last two games, either.

TRE MANN, PG/SG, Oklahoma City ($3,500 on DraftKings)
The Thunder are a difficult team to find players you can rely on from a fantasy point of view. Head Coach Mark Daigneault has one of the youngest rosters in the NBA and he is more than willing to move his starting lineups around nightly, with players’ minutes going up and down from game-to-game without a discernible pattern. Gilgeous-Alexander’s injury gives Daigneault less rotation options, especially at guard, meaning that Mann – a first round pick this year from Florida, will either be giving Josh Giddey a rest or playing alongside him. In Mann’s last game he made 3 three-pointers and had three steals. If he can be a multi-category contributor again tonight at that price, you’re golden.

GARRISON MATHEWS, SG, Houston ($4,200 on DraftKings)
In four of his last five games, Mathews has scored safely in double digits, while chipping in with contributions in other categories as well, and as you see he’s available at a very reasonable price. Kevin Porter Jr. was placed on the Covid protocols list and missed the Rockets’ Friday night game, which led to Mathews playing a season-high 36 minutes. A return from Covid after missing just one game is extremely rare, so it’s probable that Mathews gets some extended run again tonight. At his reasonable salary, he might be worth a play even if KP returns for this game. Houston is more concerned about the future and lottery ping pong balls at this point, anyway, but someone has to play.

FRED VANVLEET, PG, Toronto ($8,700 on DraftKings)
Just two weeks ago, FVV’s salary was as high as 10 grand on DraftKings. He missed two games last week with a wonky knee, but all he’s done since his salary reached that high is to average over 40 DFS points per game. Now, his salary has ‘dropped’ to $8,700. Tonight, Toronto faces an Atlanta team that has been playing better lately, with Head Coach Nate McMillan’s defensive mindset finally starting to manifest and the Hawks’ roster getting healthier. That said, Atlanta is still a bottom 10 defensive team, the Raptors are also finally healthy, and Freddy and his teammates are still trying to get him a spot in this year’s All-Star Game. I expect him to continue to get plenty of floor time (he’s averaging just under 40 minutes per game) and continue shooting the three-ball any time he’s past halfcourt. The volume, efficiency and relatively affordable salary combination he offers make him worth the investment.

GABE VINCENT, PG, Miami ($4,800 on DraftKings)
Kyle Lowry’s mysterious absence from the team continues (tonight will mark eight straight games missed for personal reasons). While we certainly hope all ends up being alright for Lowry and his family, strategically we know that it means a continued boost in playing time for other players – the chief beneficiary appearing to be Gabe Vincent at this point. His salary tonight is as low as it has been in nearly a month despite Lowry’s absence, Jimmy Butler’s questionable status (ankle) and Omer Yurtseven (COVID) being out, too. The Heat may be forced to play smaller at times vs. Boston tonight and Vincent has shown nice ability to shoot from long range (he’s nearly 47% from behind the arc in his last five games), further spacing the floor. His salary tonight is the cheapest it’s been in a few weeks, too, despite his recent successes.

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