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 nine-game slate starting at 7:00 ET.
Ben Simmons – Philadelphia (vs. Chicago)
There are nine games on this slate, so we don’t need to dig deep to find interesting tournament pivots. Simmons is one of those well-aligned plays who will probably have a lower contingency than he deserves. Here’s why: 1) There’s no shortage of viable point guards on this slate. Stephen Curry, Ja Morant, and maybe Jamal Murray are trending as the most popular selections. 2) Simmons has an injury designation next to his name despite being listed as probable. Some people will fear fewer minutes due to playing through a recent illness. However, Simmons has produced 55+ fantasy points in two of his last three, and he could demolish a Chicago team that ranks dead last in defensive efficiency to point guards.
Norman Powell – Toronto (at Minnesota)
Kyle Lowry is doubtful for the Raptors tonight, and Norman Powell stepped up for 43 fantasy points in his absence last game. Most DFS users will lean towards Fred VanVleet and maybe Chris Boucher as chalk plays from Toronto, but don’t forget about Powell. The salary isn’t cheap, but I’m expecting him to be worth every penny while absorbing a heightened role. Facing a bad Minnesota defense serves as the proverbial cherry on top.
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Kyle Anderson – Memphis (vs. Detroit)
Kyle Anderson is an anomaly of sorts. He’s only seeing 25-30 minutes per contest, but that hasn’t held him back in the slightest. Anderson is averaging a whopping 40 FPPG mark over his last five, which includes a sensational 51 FP outing vs. Oklahoma City on Wednesday. On one hand, there’s no way he can keep up that pace. On the other hand, a matchup vs. Detroit (26th in d-eff to SFs) looks good, and the salary is still attainable. Keep Anderson on your tournament shortlist.
Jae Crowder – Phoenix (at New Orleans)
The case for Crowder is similar to that of Kyle Anderson. Both players are only seeing 26-30ish minutes with strong efficiency. Crowder has translated that into 31+ fantasy points in three of his last four games, and his price hasn’t really budged on certain DFS sites (especially FanDuel). Crowder is capable of producing in every statistical category, and I believe he can keep the momentum in a high-scoring matchup at New Orleans.
Willy Hernangomez – New Orleans (vs. Phoenix)
Hernangomez will be popular tonight, but I believe he’s a great pick for large tournaments either way. In other words, I don’t mind taking him as an obvious choice while mixing things up at other positions. Hernangomez provides a nice floor/ceiling combination with plenty of minutes considering Steven Adams is doubtful. Adams left early last game, and Willy poured in 30 fantasy points in 29 minutes. That’s a respectable baseline for tonight’s matchup with Phoenix, and there’s upside for more if Hernangomez has a better shooting night.
Jonas Valanciunas (C – MEM) is a less popular option if you are looking to diversify your holdings at center. He has produced 40+ fantasy points in two of his last three games, and there’s a good chance he’ll top that threshold against a Detroit team that ranks 21st in defensive efficiency to centers.
Jarred Vanderbilt (PF – MIN) has been mentioned frequently in this column series over the last week or so. Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders opted to play Jaden McDaniels down the stretch in their last game, but I still believe Vanderbilt should see the majority of the PF minutes. Vanderbilt posted 29 FP in 23 minutes against Toronto earlier this week, and he could do something similar against the Raptors tonight.