College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 12/3/18
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 main slate, which locks at 6:30 p.m. EST and consists of four games. At the very top, 9th-ranked Michigan State hosts 14th-ranked Iowa in a game with a juicy 158.0 over/under.
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
Cassius Winston, Michigan State ($8,300): The 158-point total set for the Spartans and Hawkeyes ranks first on the slate by 12.5 points. But that isn't surprising, given the playing styles of both teams. While Michigan State comes in 9th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 90th in adjusted tempo, per KenPom.com, Iowa ranks 23rd on offense and 63rd in adjusted tempo, telling us that the high total's certainly justified. The Spartans' starting point guard should directly benefit from an uptick in possessions, as Winston uses 26.4% of his team's offensive possessions and assists on 41.1% of their made field goals while on the floor, according to Sports Reference. Winston's salary is the third-highest on the slate, but he's already eclipsed 35 FanDuel points twice this season, which speaks to the upside you're getting at a $300 to $500 discount.
D'Mitrik Trice, Wisconsin ($7,700): Unlike its Big Ten brethren, the Wisconsin Badgers don't get such a nice matchup for DFS purposes. While Rutgers is 106th in KenPom's adjusted efficiency margin, they're top 20 in adjusted defensive efficiency, and their 68.4 pace is unlikely to push the pace for the snail-like Wisconsin attack. But still, Trice has the hot hand for the Badgers. Over the last two games, he's averaged 32.2 FanDuel points, 19.0 points and 34.5 minutes, all the while shooting 50% from the floor and 61.5% from three. At this price, 30.8 FanDuel points would equal four-times value, which is definitely in reach with Trice having hit that mark three times already this year. Given the pace of play, however, it would be wise to keep Trice to tournaments only.
Terance Mann, Florida State ($6,700): There's a lot of love for the Big Ten on this slate, but don't sleep on Florida State, a team likely to compete for the ACC title. At 6-1, the Seminoles enter play ranked 11th in the country and 15th in adjusted efficiency margin. They draw a more than favorable matchup at home tonight, as they take on Troy, KenPom's 186th-ranked team (the worst on the slate). The Trojans are 243rd in defensive efficiency and are surrendering 71.6 points per game. Tonight, FSU possesses an implied total of 82.25, giving Mann and company some serious scoring upside. And that's really all you need to think about when locking in Mann, who averages 12.3 points but boosts his fantasy ceiling with 7.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 0.7 blocks-plus-steals. He has 27 points and 25 rebounds over the last 3, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him flirt with 30 FanDuel points here.
Jordan Bohannon, Iowa ($5,800): On the visitors' side of this Big Ten bout, Iowa will need junior guard Jordan Bohannon to show out if they hope to stick with Sparty. So far this year, that hasn't been a problem for him either. In the team's four games decided by nine or fewer points, Bohannon has averaged 24.5 FanDuel points across 35.0 minutes a game, which would be enough for a value of 4.2 points per $1,000. Due in part to a subpar outing last time out (against Wisconsin), his price has fallen $200 in three days, so now is the time to buy in this fantasy-friendly contest.
M.J. Walker, Florida State ($5,400): On a four-game slate value is hard to come by, and tonight's group of teams is no exception. So, we need to look to minutes for any small discrepancies, and that's where Walker comes in. The sophomore guard has played all seven games to date and is averaging a team-high 31.6 minutes. Over the last three, he's logged 42, 31 and 37 minutes, respectively, and while his 16.8 FanDuel points per game won't get you four-times value, the 'Noles high total mitigates the lack of individual appeal.
Jessie Govan, Georgetown ($8,600): Georgetown might be slept on a bit tonight. Their 75.5 implied total is far behind Michigan State and Florida State, but it's still third among the eight teams going. And Liberty, tonight's opponent, is no defense juggernaut, allowing an adjusted 99.8 points per 100 possessions. Govan leads the Hoyas with 12.1 field goal attempts on a 22.6% usage rate, which trails only one of his teammates. The senior has improved his numbers from a year ago, tallying 19.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks (34.8 FanDuel points a game). If you can find enough value to get him on your roster, he's as safe a bet as any tonight.
Tyler Cook, Iowa ($7,500): One player won't be enough to stick with or take down the Spartans, and this game is certainly worth stacking on both sides. Even if that weren't the case, though, Cook has all the appeal of a top play priced in the mid-range tonight. Through seven games, the 6'9" junior leads the squad with a 25.5% usage rate and 9.4 shot attempts per game, which he's converted to 15.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals-plus-blocks (28.6 FanDuel points a game). After not playing 30 minutes in any of the first 3 games this season, Cook has has played 31 or more in 3 of the last 4, and that includes a 37-minute outing against the Badgers -- a game in which he notched a double-double en route to a season-high 39.0 FanDuel points.
Xavier Tillman, Michigan State ($6,200): Michigan State's frontcourt is a tough one to nail down for fantasy purposes. Nick Ward and Kenny Goins are the usual starters, but neither plays more than 25.8 minutes a game, which has allowed Tillman to log 21.0 a night and produce numbers worthy of consideration in DFS. On just a 15.9% usage rate, the sophomore has put up averages of 7.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 blocks (21.9 FanDuel points per game). Over his last two games alone, he's averaged 29.9 FanDuel points on 11.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 steals. In an uptempo game, those peripherals could turn Tillman into the best point-per-dollar play of the night.
Trey Mourning, Georgetown ($5,500): Joining Govan in the G'Town frontcourt, Mourning is a guy who went off the fantasy radar for a short stint. After opening the season with 38.1 FanDuel points and 60 minutes in his first two, the senior put up three straight duds with 27, 20 and 17 minutes in those games. But over the last nine days, he's proven himself viable again, putting together a combined 59.5 FanDuel points in 60 minutes over the last two. Mourning's double-digit rebounding upside is even in play, given the Flames rank 150th in total rebounding and 255th in offensive rebounding so far in 2018.
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.