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 massive 13-game slate starting at 7:00 ET.
Coby White - Chicago (vs. Atlanta)
Most people will fixate on the other point guard from this game: Trae Young. However, don’t forget about Coby White and his convenient mid-range salary. There’s capable upside in this matchup, as Atlanta ranked fourth in pace and 24th in defensive efficiency to point guards last season. White can produce in every statistical category, and he could check in with 40+ fantasy points if his shot is falling. He’ll certainly have opportunities to impress in this high-scoring opener.
Fred VanVleet - Toronto (vs. New Orleans)
You don’t have to think too far outside the box for NBA DFS tournaments. There will be popular plays at a given position, then next-in-line options who could be overshadowed. VanVleet will likely take a backseat to the likes of Luka Doncic, Zach LaVine, Devin Booker, and others at the PG/SG spot. However, FVV is firmly on my tournament radar, especially in this matchup vs. New Orleans. The Pelicans ranked second in pace and 25th in defensive efficiency to backcourts last season. VanVleet holds legitimate 40-50 FP upside, and he’s significantly cheaper than those aforementioned plays.
Malik Beasley - Minnesota (vs. Detroit)
If you are looking for a cheaper shooting guard in tournaments, perhaps Malik Beasley could be useful. He’ll probably be underutilized on tonight’s 13-game slate, as most people will look towards D-Lo or KAT from the Wolves. However, Malik will hold a prominent role for Minnesota, and he should see plenty of open looks with the defense collapsing on the T-Wolves’ superstars. Beasley will see enough minutes and peripheral numbers to put up respectable value, but his upside depends on if the three-pointers are falling.
Mikal Bridges - Phoenix (vs. Dallas)
Bridges makes for an interesting value filler to help you reach for the superstars of this slate. Admittedly, he’s a better play on FanDuel for only $4,300. Bridges should see 30-35 minutes tonight, and there’s a chance for him to scoop up more opportunities with the productive-likes of Kelly Oubre Jr. out of town. A high-scoring matchup with Dallas doesn’t hurt, as the Mavericks ranked 27th in defensive efficiency to small forwards last season. Bridges probably won’t singlehandedly win you a tournament, but he could post respectable value while helping you unlock upside at another position.
Darius Bazley - Oklahoma City (at Houston)
Bazley had some terrific games in the bubble last August, most notably producing back-to-back 43 FP efforts. While I’m not expecting that level of output, Bazley should be able to pay off his bargain salary. It’s hard to pinpoint his role on this team, but he could legitimately see somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-30 minutes for OKC. That could make things interesting while taking on a fast-paced Houston team that ranked 23rd in defensive efficiency to power forwards last season.
UPDATE: Rockets-Thunder postponed. Michael Porter Jr. of the Nuggets makes for an interesting mid-range tournament pivot at power forward tonight. Otherwise, Nerlens Noel makes for a nice bargain on FanDuel for $3,900.
Jonas Valanciunas - Memphis (vs. San Antonio)
People will be swarming towards Karl-Anthony Towns, Andre Drummond, and John Collins (DK) at center tonight. Don’t forget about Jonas Valanciunas for a fraction of the cost, and he could legitimately fall into that top range if things go his way. “JoVal” can be a fantasy beast when healthy, occasionally posting 50-60 fantasy points. Tonight’s matchup vs. San Antonio could help him get there, as the Spurs ranked 25th in defensive efficiency to centers last season.
When looking towards “good chalk” in tournaments, guys like John Collins (PF - ATL) and Luka Doncic (SG - DAL) are at the top of my list - in order of preference. It’s probably easier to pivot away from Doncic’s cumbersome salary, but he also carries insane upside in this matchup.
Guys like Dejounte Murray (PG - SA) and Patrick Williams (SF - CHI) make for nice value prospects through all formats. They’ll help you squeeze in the high-dollar players mentioned in this article, allowing you to get creative with GPP Pivots as well.
For more ideas across all positions, visit Renee Miller's NBA DFS Plays column featuring top plays, bargains, and strategy insight for tonight's slate.