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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 Feedthroughout the day will keep you in the loop while giving you the subsequent DFS consequences of each information piece.
We’ll take a look at Monday’s 10-game slate starting at 7:00 ET.
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LaMelo Ball – Charlotte (at Washington)
If you read my articles at all, you’ll guess that when I’m looking for a PG play in this price range for my main lineups, it’s at Ja Morant. He’s certainly a great option tonight, but to go with a more contrarian choice, consider Ball. He’s coming off a demoralizing performance in the blowout loss to Phoenix yesterday. He played only 23 minutes and his stats reflected both his inefficiency and the reduced opportunity. Many of us have a strong recency bias, to roster the players playing really well and avoid the players coming off bad games. That, and his salary, will keep Ball’s roster percentage lower than it otherwise might be. This game is one of my favorites to target, with a relatively fast pace, high over/under and narrow spread. In two previous matchups with the Wizards, Ball averages 53 fantasy points per game.
Will Barton – Denver (at Dallas)
These next two are not your typical contrarian picks, but are finding their way into tournament lineups for me tonight for some lower-owned stability. Barton has been really consistent when on the court this season but is in a salary range where it seems too easy to save a little more or spend a little more on flashier options. The Nuggets are small underdogs in one of the lower scoring games, though the over/under has come up a few points since the open. Barton isn’t the most exciting pick, but he’s the right salary at a position I’m not really keyed in on any one player tonight.
Norman Powell – Portland (vs. Atlanta)
This is another position you can easily spend more (Butler, LaVine) or less (KCP, Harris) and Powell is another pretty boring player that is usually rostered at a low level. But, like Barton, he can offer some serious stability with upside tonight. This game should be high scoring and fantasy-friendly. The Hawks are still short-handed, and Portland will be without Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, with Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons in the doubtful-questionable range. I think Dennis Smith Jr. and Larry Nance will be the more popular plays, while Powell has been a leader on offense lately. He should hit at the higher end of his 20-40 fantasy point range.
Kristaps Porzingis – Dallas (vs. Denver) Porzingis rested Sunday, so he should be 100 percent ready to go tonight. He doesn’t get an easy matchup with Nikola Jokic, but in one previous meeting with Denver, he shined, scoring 29 points with 11 rebounds and a full stat sheet. Even with Luka Doncic back, Porzingis should be worth the price tonight. He’s considerably cheaper (around $2k on FD and DK, $10-14 on Yahoo) than Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant, his main competition for spenders at the PF position. That savings makes a big difference in how you can build the rest of your lineup around Porzingis.
Clint Capela – Atlanta (at Portland)
This is a game I keep coming back to. Portland is the league’s worst team in defensive rating and top third in overall fantasy points allowed to opponents. This will be the best matchup in a while for the Hawks, and it’s basically all Trae Young and Capela with Atlanta dealing with myriad injuries and COVID outbreaks. There are a lot of safe, high upside centers tonight, which will dilute the rostership of all. Capela is the cheapest of the bunch I’d consider to have a chance at the best fantasy line tonight.
Tyrese Maxey (PG – PHI) rebounded in a big way for a horrible game in Toronto last week, scoring 25 real points with seven rebounds and four assists last Thursday. The 76ers have had a long stretch to rest, and get a fantasy dream opponent tonight in the Rockets. Houston has the third-highest pace factor, is first in turnover rate and gives up the most overall fantasy points and most fantasy points to point guards. The 76ers are big favorites, but Maxey should be able to post another huge line at a very reasonable salary. I don’t know if he’ll be that low-owned, but it’s a good enough value opportunity not to overlook.
Steven Adams (C – MEM) is the ideal GPP play given his wide range of outcomes. He’s no stranger to letting us down in good spots and surprising in tough ones. He’s coming off a small double-double Friday night and has two days rest leading up to tonight’s bout with the Nets. This should be a high scoring game and both sides project to be targets of DFS lineups tonight, but as noted above, I think a lot of the Memphis backers will go to Morant, leaving Adams the chance to promote your GPP lineups if he has one of his good games.