College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 11/13/18
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're in the know, we can attack today's slate, which locks at 7:00 p.m. EST and consists of four games. At the forefront of this short slate is a clash between LSU and Memphis, which sports a slate-high 160.5 over/under.
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
Tremont Waters, LSU ($8,300): The 22nd-ranked Tigers are off to a very good 2-0 start after wins over Southeastern Louisiana and North Carolina-Greensboro to open the season. But after facing two non-power conference teams, LSU will come up against Memphis in their third game of 2018. However, Memphis sits just 110th in KenPom.com's adjusted efficiency margin, 12 spots below UNC-Greensboro. They're also 119th in defensive efficiency early on, which leads to the Tigers' slate-high 85.5 implied total at home. Naturally, Waters is expected to be a big part of that total, as he's second on the team with 15.0 points per game while adding 6.0 assists, 5.5 steals and 1.0 rebounds through two contests. The sophomore was limited to just 23 minutes in a season-opening blowout, but he logged 36 minutes in a close one last time out, producing 44.2 FanDuel points with that big workload.
Shizz Alston, Jr., Temple ($7,000): A lot of people may sleep on Temple and their 74.25 implied total, but it's still a top-four mark, and they're at home hosting a Georgia team that just allowed 76 to Savannah State. Per KenPom, the Owls are 242 spots ahead of the weaker MEAC squad in terms of adjusted offensive efficiency, so points shouldn't be hard to come by for Temple. And if they're lighting up the scoreboard, Alston is the best play on the team. Through two games, he leads the team in field goal attempts (15.0) and points (21.5) per game en route to using a team-high 25.9% of offensive possessions while also assisting on 36.8% of the Owls' made field goals when he's on the floor. Plain and simple, Alston's a steal at this price.
Jordan Bone, Tennessee ($6,000): LSU may own the highest total of the night, but there's really no question about which team is the best overall squad playing on this slate; it's the fifth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers. Through two games, Rick Barnes' team is averaging 86.5 points with the nation's 14th-most efficient offense, led by junior point guard Jordan Bone. After playing a moderate role a year ago, Bone has stepped in to play 27.0 minutes a game with 14.0 points, 5.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals (27.1 FanDuel points) through a pair of games. His usage is up to a career-high 27.6%, and same goes for his 32.4% assist rate. A 78.5 implied team total doesn't hurt things either.
Paul Scruggs, Xavier ($5,400): Xavier's implied total is 6.5 points short of Tennessee and a whole 13.5 off of LSU's slate-setting pace, but there's no reason to actively avoid all Musketeers. A 72-point total is nothing to scoff at, especially in a game where they're just 1.5-point underdogs at home against Wisconsin. But cheap exposure is the exposure I'd like to get in this one, and that comes in the form of 6'3" sophomore Paul Scruggs. Averaging 29.0 minutes a game in back-to-back starts to open the year, Scruggs is averaging 29 FanDuel points after dropping 39.7 against Evansville. He was limited to 24 minutes in Xavier's first game due to foul trouble, though he still managed 18.2 FanDuel points on across-the-board production (five points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals). Scoring is a bonus for a guy like Scruggs, who looks to be the main assist man on the team this season.
Alex Lomax, Memphis ($5,000): If you want to get to the high-floor, high-ceiling plays from LSU and Tennessee, getting two cheap guards could be the way to go on today's slate. After all, LSU isn't expected to run away the battle of the Tigers, with Memphis implied at 75.0 points -- fourth on the slate -- despite being 10.5-point 'dogs. Somehow and from somewhere, they're going to get points, and getting a starter, Lomax, at a bench player's price could unlock the top studs tonight. In a 15-point win to start the season, the freshman drew the start and played 21 minutes, but Memphis coasted and played 10 strong. This game's competitive level will be much higher, which should force coach Penny Hardaway to play Lomax more after he proved that he can contribute, turning in eight points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block against Tennessee Tech. More importantly, he shot the ball nine times, used 24.4% of his team's possessions and assisted on 30.1% of made buckets. He will be a driver of the offensive flow this evening.
Grant Williams, Tennessee ($8,500): The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets possess KenPom's 38th-ranked defense, but it's early and the Jackets are facing a top-five team -- a big step up from Lamar, who they bested 88-69 in their opener at home. In other words, there's no reason to shy away from Tennessee's high total in Knoxville. Rolling out the Vols' top scorer alongside Bone isn't a bad way to take advantage either, as Williams enters Tuesday with the team's second-highest usage rate (25.5%) and a player efficiency rating (PER) of 36.8 -- nearly 15 clear of his mark from a year ago, when he won SEC Player of the Year. The junior's efficiency has led to 35.9 and 48.5 FanDuel points in his first two outings, and at 29 and 34 minutes, that's good enough for a 1.34-point-per-minute clip. That type of efficiency should regress, though there's not reason to believe William's fantasy goodness will stop tonight.
Naz Reid, LSU ($8,000): Unlike his SEC foe, the 19-year-old Reid is still relatively new to college basketball, but you wouldn't know it from his early returns. Following up a 30.2-FanDuel-point performance (in 21 minutes) in his first collegiate game, the big man went for 37.9 FanDuel points as he played 32 minutes in a much closer game on Friday night. Reid's price has increased with his play, but now it's just reasonable and no longer a complete robbery. Plus, a juicy high-paced matchup should help to further his potential ceiling tonight.
Nicolas Claxton, Georgia ($6,500) Georgia might be a forgotten team tonight. They will not only play down in pace against Temple, but they're a team that rolled out basically every single player on their roster last game, including five players in the 20s and seven others with at least 10 minutes played. But let's not overlook a guy like Nicolas Claxton, who started and played 20 minutes in the opener. And when I say played, I mean the dude balled out, putting up a double-double (yes, in 20 minutes) with 15 points, 13 rebounds, 5 blocks and 2 assists (42.6 FanDuel points all total). Claxton proved himself in the team's exhibition games, too, so expect to see the sophomore in there for 25 or more minutes, which is enough for an efficient shot-blocking big like him.
De'Vondre Perry, Temple ($4,800): Stacking this Temple/George game doesn't sound appealing, but the value is too much to ignore, with Perry possibly coming in as the best point-per-dollar value. The 6'6" forward started the team's first two games, producing 20.4 and 30.0 FanDuel points across 31 and 28 minutes, respectively. He hasn't scored more than seven points, but he's had at least five rebounds along with two and six assists not to mention a block in each. Playing time equals opportunities, and opportunities turn into fantasy points, people. And in a game with the second-highest over/under on the night, it's worth chasing all the opportunity that comes with Perry and his high floor.
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.