Welcome to the NBA GPP Pivots article, where we’ll be looking to uncover some sneaky-good DFS plays away from the popular selections. These recommendations are usually risk/reward commodities meant to be used in large-field tournaments. Typically, blending these low-owned hidden gems with well-aligned staples contributes to a viable GPP strategy.
Keep in mind that the following player write-ups were constructed earlier in the day, and sometimes injury/rest situations can alter the fantasy landscape. Monitoring our NBA News & Headlines Feed throughout the day will keep you in the loop while giving you the subsequent DFS consequences of each information piece.
We will be looking at Friday’s 11-game slate starting at 7:00 ET.
LaMelo Ball - Charlotte (vs. Chicago)
We all know the deal with LaMelo Ball. He has a legitimate range between 20-45+ fantasy points, and that erratic nature has been on display over the last week. However, there’s room for optimism tonight, as he’ll face a Chicago team that ranks dead last in defensive efficiency to point guards. The Bulls also rank second in pace this season, and this is the highest over/under (229) of the night. Needless to say, this is a spot where LaMelo could finish towards the higher end of his fantasy range. Keep him in mind for tournaments.
Kevin Huerter - Atlanta (at Minnesota)
It seems that Huerter’s price has relaxed on DraftKings after he was listed for $8k+ earlier this week. The Atlanta wing carries a mid-range salary on all three DFS sites, and I believe he has some upside in this rematch with Minnesota. Huerter posted 46 fantasy points against the Wolves on Monday, and I really like his prospects against this bad Wolves’ defense (26th vs. SGs). Huerter’s upside would grow if Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter (both questionable) are out, but he’s a fine GPP Pivot either way.
RJ Barrett - New York (at Sacramento)
Barrett is brimming with confidence at the moment, translating to a strong 38 FPPG average over his last three. Tonight makes for one of his best matchups in recent memory, as the Kings rank dead last in team defensive efficiency. Despite all of those positives, I’m expecting Barrett to have a tame contingency on this 11-game slate while Jaylen Brown, Victor Oladipo, and Kawhi Leonard get plenty of attention. Don’t sleep on Barrett.
Lauri Markkanen - Chicago (at Charlotte)
Markkanen is another guy who seems buried in the player pool despite having plenty of things working in his favor. His salary rests at a non-imposing mid-range level while seeing near full minutes after missing two weeks due to COVID protocols. The prospect of 33-35 minutes at Charlotte (dead last in defensive efficiency to power forwards) signals a breakout performance.
Mitchell Robinson - New York (at Sacramento)
Robinson has been up-and-down this season, as he sometimes let Julius Randle post most of the stats in New York’s frontcourt. However, Robinson has always been capable of efficient fantasy lines, and he’s now seeing regular minutes around 32-34. That could easily translate to a solid return at Sacramento, who ranks 25th in defensive efficiency to centers.
Remember, we have 11-games on this slate. You don’t have to overthink tournament options, as some players will naturally slip through the cracks. Jamal Murray (PG - DEN) and Aaron Gordon (PF - ORL) could be among them. Murray is always a threat to post 45+ fantasy points, but he has taken more of a secondary role behind Nikola Jokic this season. If Murray decides to step up in a competitive game at Phoenix, he could post a decent return on his relaxed salary … Gordon has absorbed a larger offensive role with Markelle Fultz out, which has translated to 44+ fantasy points in three of his last five outings. His opponent, Indiana, ranks 20th in defensive efficiency to power forwards.
Are you looking for sneakier, low-cost options? Doug McDermott (SF - IND) has been stepping up for the Pacers with Oladipo out of town and LeVert/Warren still sidelined. He has posted 30+ FP in two of his last five, and we all know he can put the ball in the basket.
Minnesota’s frontcourt rotation seems to change almost every game. We aren’t sure who will see an extended run with Karl-Anthony Towns and Juancho Hernangomez out. Jaden McDaniels (PF - MIN) stepped up last game with 32 fantasy points in 26 minutes vs. Orlando. I believe he has earned himself solid minutes again tonight, but I’m not sure if Coach Ryan Saunders feels the same way. Either way, keep him on your tournament radar as a cheap filler with upside.