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 six-game main slate starting at 7:00 ET.
Lonzo Ball - New Orleans (at LA Lakers)
The matchup doesn’t look great on paper, as Ball is taking on his former team. However, the Pels’ point guard is coming off one of his best games of the season, dropping 57 FP in 40 minutes against the Rockets last Sunday. His minutes have consistently been in the 34-38 level, which creates some fantasy intrigue, especially given Ball’s modest DFS salary.
Josh Richardson - Philadelphia (at Houston)
Richardson has been playing some pretty good basketball, hitting 35+ fantasy points in three of his last four. He should continue to see heavy playing time with James Ennis doubtful. Richardson and the Sixers find themselves in a high-scoring tilt at Houston - who ranks 24th in defensive efficiency to shooting guards. That could translate to another strong showing, and Richardson makes sense as a tournament fallback from the expensive shooting guards of this slate.
Tobias Harris - Philadelphia (at Houston)
Harris has been playing through a nagging hip injury, causing him to produce only 22 and 14 fantasy points respectively over the last two games. Philadelphia hasn’t played since Tuesday, so Harris has had a chance to heal in the meantime. He doesn’t carry an injury designation into this game, but potential fantasy backers are still nervous about the situation. If Harris comes out strong, he’ll have a chance to outperform a salary that has dipped over the past week. It helps that he’s taking on a Houston team that ranks 28th in defensive efficiency to centers.
Khem Birch - Orlando (vs. Miami)
Birch would gain more DFS traction if Aaron Gordon (questionable) was out. In fact, he could be considered through all formats if that’s the case. As things stand, Birch is an interesting tournament value who could see more minutes with Jonathan Isaac sidelined. He made the most of 25 minutes on Wednesday, coming through with an efficient 25 FP showing. His opponent, Miami, ranks 20th in defensive efficiency to power forwards.
Ian Mahinmi - Washington (vs. Portland)
Mahinmi produced 29 and 45 fantasy points respectively (28 minutes in each contest) before putting up an 8 FP dud on Wednesday. However, I’m thinking Mahinmi can get back to that 30 FP range tonight against a Portland team that ranks dead last in defensive efficiency to centers. He’ll need to stay out of foul trouble (that’s the risk), but there’s plenty of opportunity for the big man to thrive in Washington’s injury-plagued frontcourt.
D.J. Augustin - PG - Orlando (vs. Miami)
Jonathan Isaac is out and Aaron Gordon is highly questionable. If “AG” is out, Augustin could be called upon to pick up some of the offensive slack. That has been the case over the last two games, as DJ posted 32 and 47 FP respectively with 29 and 31 minutes. Take note that Michael Carter-Williams is also sidelined, meaning Augustin will be asked to handle the ball more than usual.
JaVale McGee - C - LA Lakers (vs. New Orleans)
If Ian Mahinmi scares you (or he’s a tad too expensive), then you can fall back on McGee in tournaments. The Lakers’ center will only see 15-20 minutes of action, but he occasionally catches fire to post some insane efficiency. Playing up in pace against a New Orleans team that ranks 25th in defensive efficiency to centers could provide enough of an opening to make that happen. McGee is risky due to the low playing time, but this is a solid matchup for him to make some fantasy noise.