Below, I will list my FanDuel NBA Pivots away from the conventional, popular selections. Within each write-up, I’ll explain why that player is underrated and how you should approach them during lineup construction. These picks are meant to be utilized as leverage situations in large-field tournaments.
Best of luck!
Pivot: D’Angelo Russell – LA Lakers (FanDuel Price: $6,300)
Russell is a breakout fantasy performer waiting to happen. He has been good as of late with a 34 FPPG average over the past four games. Last night, he posted 31 fantasy points and 22 real points despite shooting 6-18 from the field and 0-8 on threes. When a player has a poor shooting night and can still piece together decent value, that’s a good sign for things to come as the shooting percentage normalizes back to the mean. Even though this isn’t a great matchup, Russell could exceed expectations if the shot is falling.
Pivot: Josh Richardson – Miami (FanDuel Price: $5,700)
Sean Kilpatrick was featured in this spot yesterday (and the posterboy of the article), responding nicely with 33 fantasy points off the bench. I like him again for all formats if Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is ruled out, but his breakout last night may lead to more popularity with otherwise unenthusiastic value plays surrounding him at shooting guard. Penciling in Josh Richardson as a mid-range pick is a way to diversify your lineups in tournaments. The price has risen dramatically, but so has the playing time with Dion Waiters and Justise Winslow all out. Richardson is averaging 36 minutes and 32 fantasy points over the past six games. Playing up in pace against a Lakers team that ranks 28th against backcourt opponents helps the cause.
Pivot: James Ennis III – Memphis (FanDuel Price: $3,700)
JaMychal Green has been ruled out, missing his second straight game. Ennis scooped up most of his minutes last night, producing 26 fantasy points in 32 minutes against an otherwise tough Clippers’ defense. There’s a good chance Ennis sees similar playing time tonight with Memphis rolling out a smaller lineup to counter Golden State. Ennis is near minimum salary with a chance to exceed value for the second straight game.
Pivot 1: Julius Randle – LA Lakers (FanDuel Price: $7,100)
I’m hoping people shy away from Randle due to a tough matchup on paper against a Miami team that ranks third in defensive efficiency against power forwards. That’s not a concern from my point of view, as Miami’s frontcourt is currently dismantled by injury, and Randle could easily take advantage despite the intimidating rank. On top of that, Randle has seen more minutes and usage with Larry Nance out, leading to a 39 FPPG average over the past six games.
Pivot 2: Dario Saric – Philadelphia (FanDuel Price: $4,200)
If Robert Covington (questionable) is out tonight, Saric could see more playing time and usage in Philadelphia’s frontcourt. Even with Covington healthy, Saric has been impressive as of late, averaging 25 fantasy points and 26 minutes over the past four. He’s an efficient fantasy producer who would benefit from extra responsibility in a great matchup if Covington is officially ruled out.
Pivot: Marcin Gortat – Washington (FanDuel Price: $6,500)
Greg Monroe will be a popular value pick. Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid will draw attention above the mid-range pricing category. Marcin Gortat is wedged between them, holding some sneaky-good fantasy appeal of his own. This is a competitive game against a Minnesota team that ranks 21st in defensive efficiency against opposing centers. Gortat’s minutes have risen as of late, leading to a solid 36 FPPG over the past four.