NBA GPP Pivots: Tuesday 5/18

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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 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 Tuesday’s two-game slate starting at 6:30 ET.

NOTES

There are only two games on this play-in tournament slate, meaning we have fewer opportunities to go against the grain. Still, we can find meaningful leverage on this abbreviated slate. The key injury situations revolve around Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams, and Raul Neto - who are all questionable. Domantas Sabonis is technically listed as questionable even though the reports suggest he’ll probably be a full-go. After all, this is a must-win setting for the Pacers and Hornets.

GPP PIVOTS

T.J. McConnell - PG - Indiana

Okay, so recommending a guy who has posted 41+ FP in three straight games isn’t a sneaky strategy by any stretch of the imagination. However, most people will be worried about McConnell seeing fewer minutes if Malcolm Brogdon ends up playing. That’s legitimate, and there’s a good chance Brogdon will try to play in this do-or-die scenario for the Pacers. Even if Brogdon is a go, the Pacers will likely still need McConnell to keep a heavy role. If you recall, T.J. has had several games where he returns 35+ FP value in just 25 minutes. Even though he might not hover around 40 minutes (which enabled him to go bonkers in the last three games), I’m still expecting McConnell to post respectable value with somewhere near a 30-minute role.

*UPDATE: Caris LeVert has been ruled out. This will likely keep McConnell in an expanded role for Indiana's backcourt - regardless of the Brogdon situation. TJ is less sneaky now, but obviously viable through all DFS formats.

Ish Smith - PG - Washington

This is a deeper value play that could go unnoticed in tournaments. As mentioned earlier, Raul Neto is questionable for Washington. Most people will shrug that off as inconsequential news. However, if Neto is out, that would help secure Ish Smith’s role around 25 minutes. Smith is averaging 27 minutes and 28 fantasy points over his last four games, and Neto’s absence would help his quest of sustaining those numbers for the fast-paced Wizards.

Cody Zeller - C - Charlotte

Are we doing this? Are we really going to do this? Zeller is not a fun DFS play, but you need to keep an eye on him (for tournaments) while seeing around 30-35 minutes. The Pacers really miss Myles Turner, as they currently rank 22nd in defensive efficiency to centers and dead last in rebound rate. Zeller could certainly benefit, and there are limited center options on this two-game slate.

*UPDATE: Bismack Biyombo is starting over Zeller. Obviously, this hurts Zeller's fantasy viability. Biyombo can be considered the value tournament play now, as the Hornets want him to limit Sabonis on the defensive end.

QUICK NOTES

Some people will gravitate to Devonte Graham (SG - CHA) as a tournament play. You could do worse, but I’m hesitant. Graham had a nice game with Charlotte near full-strength at New York last week (40 FP in 40 minutes), but LaMelo Ball only played 20 minutes in that contest. In other words, Graham has a difficult path to step up as Charlotte’s go-to scorer, which is what he needs for fantasy relevance.

Here’s a quick vote of confidence in Doug McDermott (PF - IND). He has benefitted from more playing time while averaging 25 FPPG over his last five. McDermott depends on scoring for almost all of his fantasy output, so there’s some risk. However, averaging 28 minutes and a 22.36 USG% over his last five is encouraging.

Davis Bertans (PF - WAS) isn’t a fun DFS pick either, but he could be a reasonable value filler at power forward. He started for Raul Neto over the past few games, but it appears that Neto’s status hasn’t really impacted his playing time: he’s usually around 30 minutes regardless. While Bertans hasn’t been efficient with that playing time, we still need to keep an eye on him due to the role and DFS salary.

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