College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 11/20/18
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 8:00 p.m. EST and consists of five games. The night's most notable contest takes place in Maui and features two top-10 teams in the top-ranked Duke Blue Devils and eighth-ranked Auburn Tigers.
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
RJ Barrett, Duke ($8,300): At first glance, Barrett immediately stood out as tonight's top point-per-dollar play at the top of the price pool. He is the second-highest priced guard and is tied for the fourth-highest price of all players. But he certainly shouldn't be. After getting all the hype that comes with the top player in a recruiting class, the 6'7" freshman has averaged 35.0 FanDuel points with at least 30.2 in every game. And that's despite an average of just 29.0 minutes a game due to blowouts over inferior opponents early on. He's averaging 1.2 FanDuel points per minute, and he should be over 30 minutes on Tuesday. As they meet Auburn in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational, the Blue Devils are only 10.5-point favorites on FanDuel Sportsbook. And I say only because Duke has yet to win a game by fewer than 22 points this season.
Zach Norvell Jr., Gonzaga ($7,000): Norvell found his way into this article yesterday, and he's someone I've been adamant about targeting while he's priced at or below $7,000. So back to the well we go as he and the Gonzaga Bulldogs get set to battle the Arizona Wildcats out in Hawaii. The standout sophomore has started off the year on the right note, averaging 17.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 steals over 26.0 minutes a game. He's up to 28.5 FanDuel points per game although he too has been limited by blowouts -- an average margin of 26.8 points -- in favor of the third-ranked Zags. In the three games he's logged 28-plus minutes, he's averaging 20.0 points and 31.4 FanDuel points, which is what we should expect more of tonight with a 10-point spread and 77.25 implied total for Gonzaga.
Savion Flagg, Texas A&M ($5,700): After averaging just 15.6 minutes a game as a freshman, sophomore guard Savion Flagg is producing 29.6 FanDuel points across 32.3 minutes. He has turned 13.5 field goal attempts and 5.3 three-point attempts into 15.5 points per game on a 55.0% true shooting percentage and 21.2% usage rate. This evening's matchup comes with a particularly juicy over/under, as A&M sports a 72-point total in what projects to be a close game (3.5-point spread in favor of Washington) up in the TCL Vancouver Showcase.
Matisse Thybulle, Washington ($5,600): So far this season, Thybulle has been a bit of a disappointment both on the floor and in the fantasy ledger. His 6.0 points, 1.8 assists and 2.0 steals are all down from a year ago, when he averaged 24.1 FanDuel points over 32.3 minutes per contest. He's at a mere 21.6 in 30.5 minutes a game this year, and he was limited to 23 minutes last game for what we can only assume was a coach's decision. However, he's due to bounce back. He's still tallying a combined 4.8 steals and blocks per game, so if he can better his 30% shooting there's upside to be had at this price. That makes Thybulle a great tournament play, but if you have the money you could pay the extra $300 for Tre Jones ($5,900) in cash formats.
Tyler Williams, San Diego ($4,600): The San Diego Toreros are not a household college basketball name, but don't sleep on them. With a 74-point total, they are four-point favorites over the Colorado Buffaloes, who check in 91st overall and 106th in KenPom.com's adjusted defensive efficiency. Williams, the team's starting two-guard, is averaging big minutes (34.3) and putting up 18.5 FanDuel points per game. That's even more impressive considering his 37.5% shooting, which comes on the heels of 44.5% shooting in his junior year. Lock him in and pair him with one of the high-priced Blue Devils.
Zion Williamson, Duke ($9,300): Speaking of those Dukies, Zion Williamson leads the slate with an average of 44.0 FanDuel points and a sky-high price tag. Paying up for Zion might not be a necessity, though, as I prefer Barrett at $1,000 cheaper, but who can fault you for chasing Williamson's ridiculous early-season numbers. On a 30.3% usage rate and 52.6 player efficiency rating (PER), he star frosh is yielding 37.9 points, 16.2 rebounds, 4.3 blocks, 3.8 assists and 3.0 steals per 40 minutes. All that has amounted to 1.87 FanDuel points a minute, so a 30-minute workload could go a long way toward justifying an 18.6% cut of your salary cap.
Cam Reddish, Duke ($7,400): The common perception is that Reddish, the third-ranked player in his class, is also the third-best fantasy option among Duke's big three. As a result, he seems to fall by the wayside, particularly after playing limited minutes in three of their four games, including just 21 a night ago. On a per-minute basis, he's racking up 1.26 FanDuel points per minute in 22.0 minutes a game. He is attempting 12.5 shots a game with a 29.3% usage that trails only Williamson and Barrett, along with the value that stems from 2.3 steals a game. This should be an uptempo matchup, with both Auburn and Duke averaging 73-plus possessions per 40 minutes, thereby increasing his fantasy ceiling.
Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga ($6,800): For some reason, Hachimura's price is down from last game, when he returned 25.0 FanDuel points at a $7,000 salary. At that price, that's below 4.0 points per $1,000, but to get that baseline of four-times value, all he needs is 27.2 FanDuel points here. And so far, he's hit that mark once and fell short by fewer than one point, all the while averaging 14.0 field goal attempts on a team-best 31.2% usage rate. His opponent, Arizona, is 52nd in defense but 182nd in total rebounding. Averaging 8.1 rebounds per 40, Hachimura could supplement his scoring with a sizable rebound total tonight.
Chase Jeter, Arizona ($6,200): The Duke transfer is coming off a big game last night against Iowa State, as he went for 28.4 FanDuel points in 31 minutes. That makes it three of four games with 25 FanDuel points, including two double-double performances and two straight with two blocks. The Wildcats will need an A-plus game to advance -- or at least keep it close against -- past KenPom's sixth-ranked Bulldogs, and Jeter might be the answer. I'd limit him to tournaments only, though; Gonzaga is 17th in defensive efficiency and boasts six players with a 10% rebounding rate or higher.
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.