College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 11/9/18
College basketball season is back! And this year, with it comes the return of college basketball DFS.
March Madness is still four months away, but you can get in all the college hoops hype by playing daily contests at FanDuel today. If you've played NBA DFS before, it's quite simple: pick a total of eight players -- four guards, three forwards and one utility spot you can use for either position. Stay within the $50,000 salary cap and field the team you think will score the most fantasy points.
Where scoring differs from NBA is in the blocks and steals categories, with each worth two FanDuel points apiece rather than the three you get in daily NBA contests.
Now that you know that, we can attack today's slate, which locks at 7:00 p.m. EST and consists of six games, including a showdown between Buffalo and West Virginia, two tournaments teams from a year ago.
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
Jared Harper, Auburn ($8,600): Harper carries the highest price tag of any player on the six-game slate, but he's probably worth over 17% of your cap. Last season as a sophomore, the 5'10" guard averaged 13.2 points, 5.4 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. He averaged 9.1 field goal attempts and 5.9 free throw attempts, and he looks to improve on his numbers this year. In the opener, he went for 20 points, 13 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals (48.5 FanDuel points) in 30 minutes of work. The competition will be stiffer tonight in the Washington Huskies, but Harper's Tigers have a 80.50 implied total at home -- third on the slate. Lock him in as your high-priced guard and move on.
Daejon Davis, Stanford ($7,000): The Stanford Cardinal are one of two teams with a higher implied total (82.25 points) than Auburn, as they're 4.5-point favorites in a game with a 160 over/under. Their opponent, UNC-Wilmington, finished off last season as KenPom.com's 245th-ranked team with the 303rd-ranked defense and 27th-fastest pace. Their style should be a goldmine for fantasy points, and Davis is the Stanford guard to have in your lineup. After accounting for 16 points and 23.6 FanDuel points in the team's exhibition game, Davis turned just 20 minutes into 15 points and 16 FanDuel points. He was in foul trouble, so his minutes should be back up tonight, making him a very nice tournament play at his price.
Matisee Thybulle, Washington ($6,900): Despite somewhat of a letdown on Tuesday, Thybulle is still too cheap for his potential upside. He was in foul trouble in Washington's regular season opener last but still managed 29 minutes and totaled 29.2 FanDuel points partly made up of six blocks and a steal on the defensive end. We're used to seeing those peripherals from the versatile guard, and if he can get his scoring into double-figures in a fairly high-scoring game (150.5 over/under) he should easily pay off his sub-$7K salary.
Talen Horton-Tucker, Iowa State ($4,700): The Iowa State freshman appears to be over an earlier injury, and he drew the start in the team's opener. In it, he played 21 minutes, contributing six points, three rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block all for 21.6 FanDuel points. The production is all you really need from Horton-Tucker at this price point, but the minutes should be up against a more respectable opponent, the Missouri Tigers. After all, the Cyclones are without two players due to suspension and another with a groin injury that required surgery. Iowa State is expected to put up 74.25 points on their home floor, making this a safe spot for a value guy like Horton-Tucker.
Chase Harler, West Virginia ($4,500): Like with Horton-Tucker and the Cyclones, Harler and the West Virginia Mountaineers are in an even higher-scoring spot this evening. Their 83.0 implied total leads all teams on the slate as they sit 10.5-point favorites over the visiting Buffalo Bulls. The junior guard is also a guy that should see more minutes in the event that teammate James Bolden isn't able to go because of a hand injury. In the club's preseason tune-up against Penn State, Harler was handed 34 minutes and a start, with which he scored 10 points along with 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 rebound (19.7 FanDuel points). He's a very nice punt play unless we get news that Bolden's giving it a go.
Esa Ahmad, West Virginia ($8,300): This game's 155.5 over/under might not be enough, considering the uptempo style of the Bulls. Last season, they were 17th in KenPom's adjusted tempo, surrendering 76.2 points per game in doing so. Very, very early results tell us that this year should be more of the same. Buffalo is 13th in adjusted tempo, and in scoring 82 in their first game also gave up 67 to NEC team Saint Francis (PA). All that is to say that Ahmed is among the best of the best plays against them. In the team's scrimmage, he was a monster, with 25 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in 31 minutes (37.4 FanDuel points). He averaged 20.9 FanDuel points in 27.1 minutes a year ago, but he should be more of a focal point and see more minutes throughout his senior season.
KZ Okpala, Stanford ($7,900): Fitting in both Ahmad and Stanford's KZ Okpala is a tough chore, but paying up more at forward over guard seems to be the way to go this evening. Sure, we bypass Wilmington stud Devontae Cacok, but the counterpart here should get you more bang for your buck. Over the team's final exhibition and first regular season matchup, Okpala has amassed 83.3 FanDuel points in 70 minutes. KenPom has Wilmington at 272nd defensively, so Okpala and Stanford should have no problem putting up the points, either meeting or surpassing their high total on the road.
Naz Reid, LSU ($6,500): Naz Reid is a talented 6'10" freshman. ESPN ranked the forward 12th in his recruiting class, and the big man was recruiting by the likes of Kansas and Arizona. He showed off his skills from the jump in game one of the season, scoring 17 points en route to 30.2 FanDuel points in just 21 minutes. That 31-point win over Southeastern Louisiana was a walk in the park, so expect more Reid against UNC-Greensboro, against whom the Tigers are 10-point favorites.
Michael Jacobson, Iowa State ($6,000): Again, injuries and suspensions are impacting minutes in the Cyclones rotation. And forward Michael Jacobson is among those impacted in some way, as he played 26 minutes in the opener. Given the blowout, he might see a few more than that on Friday, which would make him even more of a guy to target. The Nebraska transfer opened up his Iowa State career with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals, bringing his output to 29.4 FanDuel points. If that's what you're getting at $6,000, he's a steal.
Brett Oswalt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Brett Oswalt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username BRO14THEKID. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.