College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 11/15/18
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 seven games. A matchup stands out between Oregon and Iowa with a 149.5 over/under and just a four-point spread in the Ducks' favor.
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
Jon Axel Gudmundsson, Davidson ($7,900): A pair of one-time Cinderella programs, Davidson and Wichita State, clash tonight in a game with a nice, juicy 149.5 over/under -- the second-highest on the slate. After all, both teams are outside KenPom.com's top 100 defensive teams in terms of defensive efficiency, or translation: points will be scored. For the Wildcats, we get two candidates to lead the team in scoring, however, we'll go with Gudmundsson over teammate Kellan Grady ($8,400). Not only is his name the best in college basketball, but he's $500 cheaper and does more than just scoring. While Grady averages 23.5 points a game, he's grabbing just 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists, while the Icelandic Gudmundsson contributes 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists (36.0 FanDuel points), after averaging 13.2, 7.5 and 5.0 a season ago. His price tag should be over $8K for this matchup.
Desmond Bane, TCU ($7,300): With Gonzaga implied at a giant 87.25 points, many may look past TCU's 77.25 implied total, which doesn't quite separate them from the pack but positions them second on the slate. The Horned Frogs are ranked 21st in the poll and 36th in KenPom's adjusted efficiency margin, and they get the benefit of facing a Fresno State squad 111th in KenPom's ranks and 94th in defensive efficiency. Junior Desmond Bane is the guy here. He is averaging a team-high 13.0 field goal attempts and enters with the highest usage rate (23.4%) among Frogs with 50 or more minutes. He's also averaging 36.5 minutes through two games en route to 29.5 and 33.9 FanDuel points in his first two contests, respectively.
Zach Norvell Jr., Gonzaga ($6,600): As previously mentioned, the Zags have a big total worth targeting in one way or another. Their opponent, Texas A&M, is 65th in all three efficiency categories and, as such, are 16.5-point underdogs on the road in Spokane. The only fear with using a guy like Zach Norvell is the blowout, but he should get enough minutes to meet value. After ending last year on a high note, with 14 or more points in each of Gonzaga's last seven games (all either in the conference tournament or NCAA tournament), Norwell's racked up 31 points through 46 minutes this season. He is averaging 27.7 FanDuel points early on, and his minutes should be closer to 30 this evening with a step up in opponent.
Samajae Haynes-Jones, Wichita State ($6,200): If we're banking on this being a high-scoring close game (which the oddsmakers are), we need to get some assets on both sides. For the Shockers, the best point-per-dollar play looks to be the senior point guard. He's finally getting a sizable role -- 35.0 minutes a game -- and doing work with it early on, averaging 11.0 points, 6.0 assists and 2.5 steals (24.6 FanDuel points). He's coming off of a 29.2-FanDuel-point performance against Providence Friars, which would fly past four-times value. And with a usage rate of 22.8% and an assist rate of 33.6%, there's opportunity for much more against a Davidson defense with the worst defensive efficiency on Thursday's slate.
Mitch Ballock, Creighton ($4,800): By KenPom's calculations, Creighton is the lesser team as they get set to battle Ohio State. However, their rotation is rather thin and finite. As a starter, the 6'5" sophomore guard has played 29.5 minutes per game in the first two matchups of the season, trailing only one Blue Jay in that category. Ballock is mainly just a scorer, with 11.5 points, 3.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game, but had just 3 rebounds and an assist to go with 10 points last time out. But that's really all you're looking for in this price range -- 10-plus points and a few peripherals. And it really only raises his floor that Creighton is around the middle of tonight's slate in implied points (73.00) as 1.5-point home 'dogs.
Bol Bol, Oregon ($8,300): Bol Bol is the most purely talented player on this slate. He's projected as a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, and he's proven his status as one to open the year. Helping to get Oregon off to a 2-0 start, the 7'2" freshman leads the team with 17.5 points and 12.0 rebounds per game, not to mention 3.5 blocks over 26.0 minutes. Sure, the competition hasn't been up to par, but that's the upside you're getting and potentially in more minutes here. If not more minutes, at least the opportunities will be plentiful with the Hawkeyes ranked 51st in adjusted tempo and 86th in defensive efficiency. We shouldn't think twice about rostering the highest-priced forward on a team with the third-highest total on the slate.
Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga ($7,000): Like his teammate, Hachimura is a very viable option at the top-end of the mid-range. He only got two starts and a hair under 21 minutes a game a year ago, but he's started both games to open the year and is averaging 22.0 minutes in spite of 41- and 37-point blowouts in the Zags' favor. He's turned in 42.8 and 24.7 FanDuel points in the first two games with all-around production -- 25.0 points (on 64.5% shooting), 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.0 combined blocks and steals. His 31 total attempts might be the most encouraging sign for his fantasy upside though.
Luka Brajkovic, Davidson ($5,900): Why not get two Davidson starters in your lineup? After all, the international product is below $6,000 despite a starter's role and oodles of talent. After being limited to 18 minutes in the opener, due to fouls, the 19-year-old Austrian turned 23 minutes into 18 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists (28.4 FanDuel points). Like I said, he's started both games, and when he's been on the floor he's used 27.9% of the team's possessions -- more than both Grady and Gudmundsson. An implied total of 76.5 is more than enough for two Wildcats to share the love and fantasy goodness.
Joe Wieskamp, Iowa ($5,700): Opposite Bol and the Ducks, Joe Wieskamp is the mini game-stack play for the Hawkeyes. The freshman has just two games under his belt, but he's played 58 minutes already, averaging 12.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists (18.9 FanDuel points). If he can start eliminating the 2.5 turnovers per game, his floor would be right around 20. The shots (8.0 per game) are there, and the fact that his team is averaging 85.0 points and playing at a high pace only adds fuel to the fire. Don't be scared off by Oregon's defensive numbers -- Iowa will score points here at home.
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.