Welcome back guys. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA sleeper picks for February 1st, 2017. Tonight we get a huge slate with 13 games to attack. Be sure to follow all the injury news up until the 7:00 PM EST lock tonight, to see if any new injury news comes up. As always if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know or on Twitter. Hunta512.
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C: Jonas Valanciunas: (5,400) Tonight Valanciunas is in a real nice spot vs a Celtics defense that always seems to allow huge games to opposing big men. They give up the 13th most DK points to centers, allow the 4th most rebounds a game, with an opponent +/- of 3.02 points. Big Val has already dominated this defense averaging 34.1 DK points in their two games this season, with a huge game of 18 points and 23 rebounds just a few weeks ago. (50.75 DK points)
Tonight he comes with a very affordable salary of only $5,400. At this salary, he needs to hit 27 DK points to return value, which is something he has done in his past three games. His minutes are always hard to predict because he usually isn’t used at the end of the game if the opposing team is playing small. But with Al Horford back for The Celtics, Valanciunas should play 27-30 minutes to matchup with the big man. If the minutes are there, he should approach 30 DK points tonight with upside against this defense.
SF/PF: Dario Saric: (4,400) The Sixers will be without both center Joel Embiid (knee) and SF Robert Covington (hand) tonight vs The Mavs. There is no word of who will start in place of Covington, but with him and Embiid both sidelined, there is a ton of minutes and usage to go around to this Sixers team. Saric would be the most likely candidate to draw the start for Covington, but even if he doesn’t, he should still log 25-30 minutes tonight. In the two other games this season that both players have missed, Saric is averaging 34.4 DK points in 26.2 minutes, with a high 27.8% usage rate. In those games, he leads the team scoring 1.3 DK points per minute, with a nice 13.6 DK points +/-.
Now I am not expecting 35 DK points of out him tonight with The Sixers playing down in pace vs The Mavs who rank 9th vs SFs, but I think 25 DK points is fair projection for him with the minutes and usage he should see tonight. Unless you are willing to pay at SF tonight, there isn’t really that many appealing options. Saric at only $4,400 is a risk that makes sense to me with the games he has had with both Covington and Embiid out this year. If he still comes off the bench, I would only target him in GPPs, but if he is inserted into the starting lineup, he would become a very nice value that would be viable in all formats tonight.
PF/C: Dirk Nowitzki: (5,000) Dirk struggled the other night vs The Cavs, only putting up 19 DK points, but before this he was on a roll, averaging 35 DK points over his last two games. I’m going to give him a pass on the other night with him being an older player, playing on the second night of a back to back. Tonight with no game last night or tomorrow, he should be ready to go vs The Sixers who will be without their best defender, starting center Joel Embiid. Nowitzki will start at center in this great matchup with The Sixers, who allow the 3rd most DK points to centers this year.
With Mavs center Andrew Bogut out (hamstring), Nowitzki should play 25-30 minutes tonight, and return five times value with 30+ DK point upside vs this Sixers defense. He is nice value tonight at only $5,000, that is expected to come with a low ownership of only 5-8%. (via Fantasy Labs) Back up PF Dwight Powell is also in play after putting up 32 DK points in 29 minutes vs The Cavs with Bogut out. At $3,500 he is a viable punt, but is definitely a risky option with how unpredictable Head Coach Rick Carlisle has been with his back up big man rotations this season.
Also Consider: Dwight Powell, Brandon Jennings, Ron Baker, Willy Hermangomez (great value if Porzingis is out again), Yogi Ferrell (core value at only $4,000), Channing Frye, Norman Powell, Ersan Ilyasova, Tim Hardaway Jr., Victor Oladipo, P.J. Tucker, Emmanuel Mudiay (if active), Kenneth Faried (if Jokic is still out), Gary Harris, and Jahill Okafor.