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!
Isaiah Whitehead – PG – Brooklyn (FanDuel Price: $3,600)
Most people are looking towards Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, Jeremy Lin, or even Reggie Jackson at the point guard position. If you are dipping down to those aforementioned value picks, consider Nets PG Isaiah Whitehead in that conversation as well. He’s near minimum salary and playing some pretty good basketball at the moment. The playing time isn’t as heavy as we’d like, but Whitehead has hit 20+ FP in three of the past four while hovering in the 23-26 minutes range. We can hope for that type of production in this high-scoring tilt with Oklahoma City. Plugging him in your tournament lineup could allow you to strike a high-upside combination of Westbrook/Cousins/George – for example.
Allen Crabbe – SG – Portland (FanDuel Price: $3,900)
The shooting guard position appears to be one for savings tonight. I’m thinking Victor Oladipo, Jordan Crawford, and (maybe) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will profile as semi-popular picks. Oladipo and KCP have fantastic matchups, and Crawford has been out-producing his minimum price point as of late … Crabbe could get lost in the shuffle despite seeing more playing time with a 30 minute, 24 fantasy point average over the past four. Playing a fast-paced game against a New Orleans team that ranks 20th vs opposing backcourts is encouraging.
Al-Farouq Aminu – PF – Portland (FanDuel Price: $5,200)
There’s actually several decent value power forwards in this slate, and I’m thinking Porzingis, Young, Kanter, and Booker will all hold a heavier ownership rate than Aminu. The Portland forward has been logging 33 minutes per contest over the past six, resulting in 26+ fantasy points in five of them. As I mentioned earlier, this Portland-New Orleans tilt appears to be a fast-paced affair, and the Pelicans rank 23rd vs opposing power forwards. If Aminu holds strong with his recent average (and value threshold) of 26 FP, and the more popular PFs flop, you could find yourself ahead of the pack.
Zaza Pachulia – C – Golden State (FanDuel Price: $4,400)
Going cheap at center is an underrated strategy tonight, as most people will be looking to spend on Cousins or Nurkic. However, taking value with Pachulia unlocks the ability to reach LeBron and Westbrook in the same lineup. You are essentially hoping Zaza can produce 22-25 FP, a range he has surpassed in each of the past two. Hopefully a prime matchup vs Philadelphia (29th vs Centers, 25th in rebound rate) will keep him going. There’s understandably some blowout risk involved, but Zaza should still see his usual 20 or so minutes.