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 Wednesday’s 10-game slate starting at 7:00 ET.
Patrick Beverley - LA Clippers (vs. Sacramento)
This play somewhat depends on the status of Lou Williams, who is listed as questionable. If Williams misses another game, then Beverley could step into an expanded role. Lou only logged nine total minutes in Beverley’s last two appearances, helping Pat average 30 fantasy points in 31 minutes over that span. Playing up in pace against a Sacramento team that ranks 28th in defensive efficiency to point guards doesn’t hurt either.
Fred VanVleet - Toronto (vs. Miami)
VanVleet will be ignored by the DFS crowd tonight. He only scored six points last game, as the Raptors didn’t need him in a blowout victory. I’m assuming people will gravitate towards the red-hot likes of Victor Oladipo, D’Angelo Russell, Paul George, or DeMar DeRozan for a similar salary. However, don’t forget about VanVleet, who has flexed legitimate 50+ FP upside several times this season. His opponent, Miami, ranks 22nd in defensive efficiency to shooting guards, and things look much better with Jimmy Butler ruled out.
Malik Beasley - Minnesota (vs. Orlando)
The Timberwolves are thin at the moment with Karl-Anthony Towns, Ricky Rubio, and Juancho Hernangomez all sidelined. That leaves D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley as the top playmakers in this fast-paced offense. The two have been trading big games, but D-Lo will get more DFS love after his 57 FP outburst on Monday. Beasley is fully capable of upside on a much cheaper salary, something he showed with 48 fantasy points vs. Memphis last week. It helps that Orlando ranks 27th in defensive efficiency to shooting guards.
Xavier Tillman - Memphis (at Portland)
Tillman had a chance to step up with Jonas Valanciunas out last game, and he ended up with a mediocre 23 fantasy point showing across 28 minutes. I’m thinking that most people will steer away from him following that letdown. However, let’s keep in mind that Tillman has been pretty efficient prior to that last game, including these two games over the past week: 29 FP in 17 minutes at MIN, 34 FP in 27 minutes vs. PHI. Tillman should continue to see around 28 minutes with Valanciunas out, and I’m expecting him to bounce-back at Portland tonight.
Nikola Vucevic - Orlando (at Minnesota)
Most people will look towards a cheap center like Enes Kanter or DeAndre Jordan. There’s nothing wrong with that strategy, just don’t forget about someone like Nikola Vucevic when building multiple tournament lineups. Even if you forgo the bargain route, similarly priced centers like Clint Capela, Andre Drummond, and Joel Embiid are tempting as well. However, Vucevic carries a strong combination of floor, ceiling, price, and matchup. He’s playing up in pace at Minnesota, who ranks dead last in defensive efficiency to centers.
A few other cheap (but risky) tournament picks include Doug McDermott (PF - IND) and Terrence Ross (SG - ORL). Both depend on scoring to put up serviceable fantasy value, but I like the matchup for Ross and increased opportunity for McDermott.
Dejounte Murray (PG - SA) is one of those underrated recommendations who probably shouldn’t be. This is a 10-game slate with a ton of viable point guards, which includes Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry, and De’Aaron Fox headlining the position. Murray is slightly cheaper than that crowd while still holding 45-50 FP upside. That could be on display against a Golden State team that ranks third in pace and 21st in overall defensive efficiency.