Karl-Anthony Towns,Kevon Looney
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, left, tries to drives past Golden State Warriors center Kevon Looney during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves won 129-114. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)

SNEAKY NBA DFS PICKS FOR MARCH 4

Mike Shara

Is it getting drafty in here? Oh, no – that’s just the cold chill I’m feeling from looking at some of my picks last night. Brrr. Overall, nothing tragically catastrophic, but just kind of ‘meh’ enough to not really click and put me among the money winners, which sometimes feels worse. It happens. My old high school football coach used to tell me that good defensive backs have to have short memories – when something bad happens, you just bathe yourself in forgiveness and immediately move on. While I understood the theory at the time, I found the practice of it difficult. Let’s see if non-adolescent Mike can finally heed Mr. Modolo’s advice and move on quickly today or not. I have a few ideas that could get me back on track…

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KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS, C, Minnesota ($9,300 on FanDuel, $10,100 on DraftKings)
Perhaps the biggest DFS/Fantasy Basketball news of the week happened last night when Timberwolves star sophomore Anthony Edwards missed Tuesday night’s game vs. Golden State with knee soreness. He’s been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. a short-handed Oklahoma City team, too. While there are other Minnesota players who will see a usage increase while the “Ant Man” is out, none of them have the ceiling of KAT, who averages nearly 1.5 DFS points per minute when Edwards isn’t on the floor. The newly-crowned Three Point Competition Champion had 39 points, 9 rebounds and an assist on Tuesday and his numbers/minutes would have been even higher if the game’s score hadn’t been so lopsided late. His price tonight on FanDuel is particularly reasonable, especially considering he’s facing a banged up Thunder team tonight that really doesn’t have anyone that matches up well against him.

MALACHI FLYNN, PG, Toronto ($3,900 on DraftKings, $6,200 on FanDuel)
As you see, the salary disparity for Flynn tonight is huge, and when that happens it usually means that there is an opportunity lurking. Last night the Raptors played without All-Star point guard Fred VanVleet for the third straight game (knee soreness) and Flynn, Toronto’s late first round pick from a few years back, stepped in for him again. He wasn’t as effective last night vs. Detroit as he’d been in the two before that but tonight they welcome another weak team to Scotiabank Arena in the visiting Orlando Magic. Check to make sure FVV is out of the lineup again tonight (which seems likely) and then confidently plug Flynn into your lineups on DraftKings. On FanDuel he’s too expensive, given his volatility, but for under four grand, he’s an absolute must if Steady Freddy is in street clothes.

TRE MANN, PG/SG, Oklahoma City ($5,500 on DraftKings, $6,800 on FanDuel)
Another pretty large difference in cost on the two formats, and another opportunity. As mentioned earlier, the Thunder are missing several key rotation players right now with Luguentz Dort and Josh Giddey already declared out for tonight and several others questionable this morning. In his last six games while OKC has nursed a myriad of injuries, Mann has been averaging 32 minutes while averaging just over a DFS point per minute. The rookie from Florida, who just turned 21, is gaining experience and improving his efficiency before our eyes. You could justify ignoring his higher cost on FanDuel, but on DraftKings tonight he’s pretty close to a must, too. 

MALCOLM BROGDON, PG, Indiana ($7,600 on DraftKings, $7,200 on FanDuel)
I still think Brogdon is underpriced on both platforms after his recent return from injury. Upon returning to the Pacers’ lineup after missing a month with an achilles injury, Brogdon immediately logged 30 minutes in each of his first two games and then over 40 two nights ago and was on the floor in the final minutes of the overtime game with Orlando. He’s clearly healthy enough to return to his previous usage rates and while his assist rate might drop a bit now that he’s playing alongside Tyrese Haliburton, he’s still averaging nearly 25% in that category so far, so he’s more than viable. He’s averaged almost 45 DFS points per game since returning and tonight Indiana faces a Detroit team that traveled last night after a hard-fought win in Toronto. His salary has gone up $500 on DK since last week, but he’s still a smart play on both formats. 

DARIUS GARLAND, PG/SG, Cleveland ($7,700 on FanDuel, $7,900 on DraftKings)
After missing over two weeks with back issues, Garland returned to the Cavs’ lineup on Tuesday vs. Charlotte and while Cleveland didn’t play particularly well, he was back to his All-Star form, scoring 33 points in 33 minutes to go along with 3 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal. His usage rates tonight should be gigantic, as Caris Levert (foot) is out and Rajon Rondo (toe) is doubtful, meaning most of the ball distribution will run through him and he will be counted on to shoot – and hopefully score – more frequently, too. Cleveland has a tough road matchup tonight against Philly, but his price is still hard to look away from on both formats and his dual position flexibility (FanDuel only) is a nice addition to his appealing package today. 

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