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 nine-game main slate starting at 7:00 ET.
De’Aaron Fox - Sacramento (vs. LA Lakers)
Fox has been up and down from a production standpoint lately. That has me thinking that people will shy away from him on tonight’s expanded nine-game slate with a loaded point guard position. However, I’ll keep the Sacramento floor general on my tournament watchlist. The matchup is a good one against the Lakers, who rank first in pace and 27th in defensive efficiency to point guards. The last time these two teams met (Jan. 4), Fox came through with 39 fantasy points in 33 minutes. That is a perfectly acceptable line with upside for more. Fox has flown above that mark in four of his last six games, and this is a great spot to get back on track.
Tyler Herro - Miami (at Atlanta)
Kyle Lowry is back, but Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are still out for Miami. Herro is no stranger to picking up the scoring slack vacated by those guys. Case in point, Herro came through with 33 real points and 52 fantasy points at Phoenix on Saturday. Yes, there’s a wide range of fantasy outcomes for this guy, but it’s nice to know that he has legitimate 40-50+ FP upside when things are going his way. That could easily be the case while facing an Atlanta team that ranks dead last in defensive efficiency to shooting guards.
Gordon Hayward - Charlotte (at Philadelphia)
Kelly Oubre Jr. is ruled out for the Hornets tonight. Whenever Oubre is out or limited, that calls for a boost in playing time for Hayward. To be more specific, Oubre did not play Monday vs. Milwaukee, and Hayward had 27 fantasy points in 36 minutes. Oubre was limited to 12 minutes at Washington on Jan. 3. Hayward ended up with a massive outing of 49 fantasy points in 38 minutes. I’m thinking we could get closer to the range of that latter performance tonight at Philadelphia. The 76ers currently rank 24th in defensive efficiency to the small forward position.
Chuma Okeke - Orlando (at Washington)
Wendell Carter and Mo Bamba are both listed as out tonight. That means Okeke could see full starter minutes in the Orlando frontcourt. That was the case on Sunday against Washington, and Okeke came through with 35 fantasy points in 34 minutes. Mind you, Bamba played 27 minutes in that contest. There’s reason to believe that Okeke could replicate that performance with upside for more against the same Washington team tonight. It helps that the Wizards currently rank 26th in defensive efficiency to power forwards.
Jakob Poeltl - San Antonio (vs. Houston)
Poeltl is a borderline cash play for his mid-range salary. However, the DFS support for centers is usually pretty reasonable, especially with nine games on the slate. Poeltl finds himself in a great matchup with the Rockets, who rank dead last in defensive efficiency to centers, 21st in rebound rate, and third in pace. The San Antonio big man is averaging a solid 34 FPPG mark over his last seven games. I’m betting he’ll exceed that with ease in this noteworthy draw.
Lonzo Ball (PG - CHI) was in yesterday’s GPP Pivots column, and he came through for us with 44 fantasy points vs. Detroit. Ball will continue to fly under the radar at a competitive point guard position, as most people will be looking towards DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, or Nikola Vucevic from this Chicago team. Don’t forget about Ball, who could continue to thrive in a high-scoring matchup with Brooklyn tonight.
Nicolas Claxton (PF/C - BKN) is questionable, but I’m keeping an eye on him for tournaments if he’s playing. Claxton is cheap across the board despite hitting 30+ fantasy points in six of his last nine games. His opponent, Chicago, currently ranks 28th in defensive efficiency to power forwards. Claxton could be looking at quality minutes (if playing) with LaMarcus Aldridge out.