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!
D’Angelo Russell – PG - LA Lakers (FanDuel Price: $6,000)
There’s a decent selection of cheap point guards tonight, and I believe that’s where most people will be looking. That leaves mid-range guys like Russell with a likely suppressed ownership rate despite some realistic upside. We know Russell is capable of amassing 40+ FP on any given night, and this matchup inspires extra confidence. The Lakers will be hosting Dallas in a tight, high-scoring game tonight. The individual draw against J.J. Barea is good for Russell, as he’ll have a clear path to shoot over the shorter guard.
Zach LaVine – SG - Minnesota (FanDuel Price: $5,900)
Most people will probably look at the game log and run away, as LaVine had a disappointing 9.4 FP performance last Sunday. However, I’m willing to categorize that as an outlier, as he has been between 27-36 fantasy points in four other contests this season. The matchup against Brooklyn exudes confidence, as they don’t have wing defenders capable of slowing LaVine down. I’m thinking the reigning Slam Dunk Champion bounces back tonight, and he makes for a solid tournament acquisition.
Harrison Barnes – SF - Dallas (FanDuel Price: $5,700)
I’m not sure what Harrison Barnes’ ownership rate will look like tonight, but I’m willing to utilize him for both cash games and tournaments. A fast-paced, high-scoring matchup against the Lakers should inspire upside. Barnes’ game log suggest a bit of inconsistency with a wide range of outcomes, but he should be on the higher end of that spectrum in a welcoming draw.
Solomon Hill – SF – New Orleans (FanDuel Price: $3,900)
If you are looking for a deeper sleeper at the small forward position, Solomon Hill may be your guy. He’s unlikely to create a ton of profit potential, but you are only looking for around 20-22 fantasy points to hit value at this cheap salary. Hill has been over 30 minutes in three of the past four games, averaging a solid 26 FPPG over that span. The fact that Lance Stephenson is out creates stability in those minutes.
Trevor Booker – PF - Brooklyn (FanDuel Price: $5,300)
Trevor Booker is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. Forrest Gump jokes aside, Booker’s game log suggest a fair amount of volatility, but upside of 35-38+ fantasy points as well. For that reason alone, I believe he should be considered in tournaments. Blowouts have curbed his minutes and subsequent fantasy totals at certain points over the past few weeks, but a home matchup against an unpolished Minnesota squad (at least for now) should remain competitive. Booker is a great FP/minute producer, and he should see 30+ minutes to churn out a decent fantasy performance. Of course, rotational patterns are somewhat of a concern with Brooklyn going with a “platoon approach” that sometimes curbs starter minutes.
Julius Randle – PF – LA Lakers (FanDuel Price: $6,300)
Randle is a beast capable of upside in any given game. I’m expecting him to outwork Dirk Nowitzki on the board at both ends of the court. He has always been a solid fantasy point/minute scorer, and there’s a chance he’ll pick up more playing time with Larry Nance Jr. doubtful (concussion). That would help his profit potential within this inviting game environment.
Tristan Thompson – C – Cleveland (FanDuel Price: $4,800)
This is certain a risk/reward play, as Thompson could get into foul trouble against Dwight Howard. However, we also need to realize that Howard’s presence could keep Thompson on the floor, as Cleveland is less likely to go small against the Hawks rotation. That could lead to more minutes and fantasy opportunities. Thompson has been surpassing his value threshold over the past five games, including a sweet 41 FP performance vs Boston last Thursday.