After last night’s three-game appetizer, the main course of NBA action has arrived.
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!
Eric Bledsoe – PG – Phoenix (FanDuel Price: $7,600)
Most people will probably look towards Russell Westbrook and a semi-cheap play to fill out the point guard spot on FanDuel. That means Bledsoe will likely slip through the cracks despite a juicy matchup against the Kings. This is an up-tempo draw that should feature a ton of points, and Bledsoe could easily put the Suns on his back en route to some GPP-winning upside. Don’t overlook him!
Victor Oladipo – SG – Oklahoma City (FanDuel Price: $7,400)
Everyone is jumping on the Russell Westbrook (bandwagon), which presumably leaves no followers for Oladipo. Even though he has been disappointing in the preseason, there’s room for Oladipo to thrive against an all-around bad Philadelphia defense. Oklahoma City has talked about playing Oladipo in situations without Westbrook, so he could handle the ball more. That would certainly inflate his upside for tournament purposes. It’s a risk/reward play that could pay dividends.
DeMarre Carroll – SF – Toronto (FanDuel Price: $4,700)
There’s no doubt that small forward is filled with value tonight. Aaron Gordon, Jae Crowder, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are the headline picks in that regard. I believe Carroll belongs in that conversation, but very few people are talking about him. Carroll was a beast in the preseason, and he could step into more offensive responsibilities/minutes with Jared Sullinger out. There’s even some speculation that Carroll could see time at power forward in smaller lineups. Even though the draw against Detroit doesn’t look great on paper, Carroll has some upside by way of extra opportunity this evening.
Ryan Anderson – PF – Houston (FanDuel Price: $6,800)
I’m guessing most people will pass on Anderson, as the salary isn’t exactly agreeable. Power forward is full of value plays like Enes Kanter, Serge Ibaka, and others. While Anderson may not blend as well into a quality lineup, he’s still worth a look in tournaments. We all know he has extreme upside when the 3-ball is falling. A matchup against the Lakers gives him an opportunity to make good, as this is easily the highest scoring game of the day.
Jabari Parker – PF – Milwaukee (FanDuel Price: $6,100)
Parker may be somewhat popular, but I believe his ownership rate will be lower than deserved for similar reasons outlined with Ryan Anderson (loads of value at power forward). This could be a breakout season for Parker, who will enjoy increased usage from the start (Khris Middleton out). While this Milwaukee-Charlotte game is one of the lowest scoring tilts of the night, I believe Parker can find a good chunk of fantasy production within that. Charlotte’s frontcourt is beat up with Kaminsky out and Cody Zeller potentially limited.
Jusuf Nurkic – C – Denver (FanDuel Price: $4,600)
Clint Capela is probably the best cash game value at the position. I’m going that route for cash games, but Nurkic holds some value appeal of his own in tournaments. He’s a fine leverage play in that regard, facing a mediocre New Orleans frontcourt defense. Nurkic has been known as a FP/minute beast throughout his career, and there’s a chance that’ll be on display tonight. In the case Capela gets into foul trouble, Nurkic could be the value to own.