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: T.J. McConnell – Philadelphia (FanDuel Price: $5,800)
There are 14 games on the docket tonight, meaning the opportunity cost is high at seemingly every position. However, I believe McConnell is a strong value candidate despite that, and he’ll likely be underrated with most of the ownership falling towards Darren Collison at a similar salary. Collison isn’t necessarily a sure-thing with blowout risk and the potential for Ty Lawson to return (listed as questionable). McConnell has been a quietly strong fantasy candidate as of late, hitting 29+ fantasy points in three straight. He’s facing a Boston team that ranks 20th vs opposing point guards, and his usage will continue to climb with Joel Embiid sidelined.
Pivot: Marcus Smart – Boston (FanDuel Price: $5,800)
There’s seemingly an endless number of mid-range shooting guards who could plausibly generate 40+ fantasy points (Barton, Booker, Oladipo, L.Williams). I’m thinking Smart will be the least popular member of that selected group. Avery Bradley and Jaylen Brown are out yet again, meaning Smart will see a solid 35-38 minutes of playing time. Parlay that with a strong matchup playing up in pace vs Philadelphia, and you have a high-upside situation similar to the one Smart posted 43 FP in last week (at Portland 2/9).
Pivot 2: Danny Green – San Antonio (FanDuel Price: $3,900)
Green has been frequently mentioned in this column as a value filler, and the offer still stands. He’s seeing 30+ minutes per night, only needing 20-25 fantasy points to post a solid return for this near-minimum price. Facing an Orlando team that ranks 20th vs opposing shooting guards should help him fall within that range.
Pivot 1: Robert Covington – Philadelphia (FanDuel Price: $6,400)
As I touched on earlier, Joel Embiid will miss another game, and that causes a ripple-effect of usage throughout Philadelphia’s lineup. Most people will be looking for Nerlens Noel to pick up the slack. He’ll certainly see an uptick, but there’s a chance Covington is the real winner. The price has risen to a point where most people will have a case of sticker shock. However, Covington has averaged a strong 32 FPPG over the past four with Embiid out. There’s a chance he could get it going in this high-scoring draw at Boston.
Pivot 2: Aaron Gordon – Orlando (FanDuel Price: $4,500)
As you’ve probably heard, Serge Ibaka has been traded. Coach Vogel already mentioned that Gordon will be seeing more time at power forward in lieu of this move. That’s good news for his fantasy production, as Gordon will likely generate a higher usage with more rebounding opportunities. However, we aren’t exactly sure how the minutes will correspond, and the matchup vs San Antonio doesn’t look great tonight. I’m guessing most people will take a wait-and-see approach because of those uncertainties. That leaves a nice leverage situation for those thinking this move will unleash Gordon’s fantasy upside regardless of the matchup.
Pivot: Marvin Williams – Charlotte (FanDuel Price: $5,100)
Everyone is gushing over Frank Kaminsky with Cody Zeller and Miles Plumlee ruled out yet again. However, let’s not forget that the frontcourt injury situation also helps Marvin Williams. Granted, Williams has been volatile as of late, but hints of upside have emerged (39 FP on 2/4, 28 FP on 2/7). The former second overall pick is extremely shooting dependent, making him a risky proposition. However, the matchup is pretty good against a Toronto team that ranks 27th vs PFs (although the addition of Ibaka could change that).
Pivot 1: Guillermo Hernangomez – New York (FanDuel Price: $5,700)
The center position is loaded tonight, meaning some very good plays will likely slip through the cracks. I’m thinking Hernangomez will fall into that category. Joakim Noah has been ruled out, and Hernangomez will start in his place. He has been splitting time with Kyle O’Quinn at center, but “Willy H.” is the more efficient FP/minute producer to spark upside in tournaments. The price isn’t exactly cheap, but Hernangomez has real 35-40 FP upside while (hopefully) seeing around 28-30 minutes.
Pivot 2: Kelly Olynyk – Boston (FanDuel Price: $4,600)
The Boston frontcourt situation is usually a mess, and I’m hoping that sentiment will harbor in some DFS enthusiasts’ minds, leaving Olynyk with a lower-than-deserved ownership rate. Kelly has been strong as of late, earning more playing time with an efficient 28 FPPG in 26 MPG over the past three. That trend could continue against a Philly team that ranks dead last in defensive efficiency vs opposing centers and 22nd in rebound rate (without Joel Embiid as well).