The purpose of this article is to outline potential popular selections at every position, then give some sneaky pivot plays with lower ownership rates for tournament consideration. Essentially, it’s your traditional “Tournament Picks” segment with an emphasis on getting away from those groupthink selections of the day.
In other words, I’m playing devil’s advocate in going against the grain. Hopefully, this will help find some lower-owned pivot plays to accompany the popular, well-aligned picks in your FanDuel lineups.
Pivot: Ricky Rubio – Minnesota (FanDuel Price: $6,800)
Rubio is in a similar price range as popular selections like Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving, which is exactly why I’m expecting him to be overlooked in all formats. This is a fast-paced, insanely high-scoring game environment vs the Warriors, and Rubio should have plenty of chances to rack up peripheral stats. While Golden State ranks average in defensive efficiency against opposing point guards, they have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to that position. This suggests that volume usually outweighs efficiency against the Warriors, which is exactly the appeal with Rubio tonight. He’ll have plenty of open-court opportunities, which is the strength of his playing style.
Pivot: Devin Booker – SG – Phoenix (FanDuel Price: $6,400)
We can’t forget about Devin Booker’s upside, especially looking at a competitive home matchup (Memphis favored by 2 – over/under of 204). Booker had a down performance at Utah, but we can ignore that blowout loss against a sound defensive team. The Grizzlies, through all of their injuries, are unraveling on the defensive end, slipping to 19th in defensive efficiency against opposing shooting guards. With exception of the Utah blowout, Booker is averaging 36 fantasy points over the past eight games. It’s conceivable to believe he can approach that range tonight.
Pivot: Matt Barnes – Memphis (FanDuel Price: $6,400)
We’ll need to check Barnes’ status before clicking him into our lineups. He served a one-game suspension on Saturday, and supposedly should be ready to go this evening. We haven’t received official word on that, so be sure to confirm the starting lineup before rolling with Barnes. However, there’s a positive to this mess as well. Barnes has been listed as “out” on FanDuel for majority of the day, meaning people have subconsciously written him off and glossed over his name. He still has upside for this short-handed Memphis team, seeing steady minutes and hitting 30+ fantasy points in back-to-back games. The matchup looks good against a Phoenix team that ranks 27th against opposing power forwards.
Pivot: Myles Turner – Indiana (FanDuel Price: $4,900)
Earlier in the day, it appeared that Taj Gibson would be a relatively safe value power forward with Pau Gasol out. Well, Gasol has been upgraded to a game-time decision, introducing a cloud of doubt over Gibson’s fantasy prospects. With this news, it makes sense to hunt for other values at the position, and Myles Turner seems like the next best thing. Granted, his minutes have been all over the place, which will likely throw off the masses. However, he saw 31 minutes (26 FP) with Mahinmi and Hill both active, which is a promising indication moving forward. The matchup is poised for profit potential if he sees 30+ minutes, given that Philadelphia ranks 25th against opposing power forwards, 29th vs centers, and 29th in rebound rate.
Pivot: Tyson Chandler – Phoenix (FanDuel Price: $4,700)
By scanning articles throughout the industry, it appears that most people are determined to spend up at the Center position. That’s not a bad cash game strategy if you can make the salaries mesh, and Drummond is my personal preference within the aforementioned popular group. However, going cheap with Tyson Chandler in tournaments and/or cash games isn’t a bad idea either. Not only are you gaining access to upside at other positions through salary cap relief, but Chandler actually seems like a pretty safe play. He had one bad game in a blowout loss at Utah, but otherwise he has produced 33+ fantasy points in three straight. Memphis’ injury-plagued frontcourt has fallen to 19th in defensive efficiency vs opposing big men over the past ten games.