College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 12/6/18

Marial Shayok and the Cyclones head down the road to take on the high-paced Hawkeyes. Who should you be targeting in tonight's battle for Iowa?

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 7:00 p.m. EST and consists of only three games. Thursday's in-state conflict between Iowa and Iowa State is expected to be a close, high-scoring contest, boasting a 153.0 over/under and a 1.5-point spread in favor of the Cyclones.

Thursday, December 6th
#23 Maryland at Purdue
Iowa State at #18 Iowa
Utah Valley at Arizona

Which players should you be targeting, and why?


Marial Shayok, Iowa State ($8,000): Despite being on the road at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the Cyclones' 77.25 implied total is third on the entire slate, trailing the top spot by just 2.0 points. The reasons for that are quite simple as this game's 153 total is the highest on the slate thanks to Iowa allowing 74.2 points per game and playing at a pace 1.8 possessions faster than Iowa State, per's adjusted tempo. Iowa games are averaging a combined 155.0 points with four games in which they and their opponents have combined for at least 158. With the chance at a fifth, Iowa State's leading scorer and Virginia transfer Marial Shayok is in a smash spot. The senior has turned a 30.7% usage rate into 19.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.5 blocks-plus-steals per game (29.8 FanDuel points), while totaling 30 or more FanDuel points in three of eight games.

Talen Horton-Tucker, Iowa State ($7,700): In rostering Cyclones -- particularly on the guard front -- you can opt for either or both of Horton-Tucker and Shayok. The same game flow will benefit Horton-Tucker, and it may do so even more considering the freshman is knocking down 1.8 threes per game on 5.8 attempts (to Shayok's 1.6 on 4.8). So far this year, the Hawkeyes have allowed eight or more three-point makes in four games, including 10 to Alabama State. Ever since Lindell Wigginton went down with a foot injury, Horton-Tucker's played 30 minutes in all but one game, producing 30.1 FanDuel points per game and maxing out at 57.8 in a road game against Illinois.

Brandon Williams, Arizona ($6,000): It isn't often we get five "relevant" basketball schools and one not-so-notable one, but that's exactly what we got in front of us with Utah Valley traveling to take on the Arizona Wildcats. And while the Wildcats rank 49th in adjusted efficiency margin, the Wolverines enter 155th in Ken Pom's rankings, sitting 195th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 134th in defensive efficiency. That's led to a slate-high 79.25 team total, which Williams should be heavily involved in attaining. The freshman and starting point guard has had a couple duds, but when you eliminate those two games, he's at 25.1 FanDuel points per game, which amounts to 4.18 points per $1,000 of salary. His 23.3% usage is second among starters, and his 24.1% assist rate leads the team. The soft matchup could push him to a high-ceiling performance tonight.

Jordan Bohannon, Iowa ($5,500): To keep up with the Cyclones, the Hawkeyes are going to need to score, and the sportsbooks are expecting them to do just that. If that is going to happen, though, Bohannon's going to have to have a good night. The 6'1" junior is averaging 10.3 points on the year, though he's shot much better -- still not great -- in the team's six wins (35.0%) compared to their two losses (29.2%), and he's been much more active in getting to the free throw line (4.8 in wins to 2.0 in losses). In other higher-scoring competitive games, he's showed out with 26.4 and 32.8 FanDuel points against Pittsburgh and Oregon, respectively, so he's a prime tournament play today.

Aaron Wiggins, Maryland ($5,400): This game may have the second-highest over/under (148.5) on the slate, but it's just not as appealing with how Purdue spreads out minutes and with Maryland expected to score the second-fewest points against a top-40 Boilermakers defense. If anything, getting Wiggins for some salary relief is the way to go. The 6'6" freshman is averaging 26.4 minutes per game, including four games of at least 27 minutes. In those four, he's averaged 24.2 FanDuel points with 10 total steals to go along with 19 rebounds and 10 assists. If he gets the run, he's going to produce. Just don't have high expectations -- his ceiling is capped on the road in West Lafayette.


Michael Jacobson, Iowa State ($7,900): On such a short slate, there's no such thing as having too much of a team like Iowa State. In all likelihood, this one's going to be competitive, and Iowa isn't exactly the best defensive team in the nation. Their 83rd-place ranking in D, per Ken Pom, places them fifth of the six teams going tonight, which boosts the already nice floor of a guy like Jacobson. The 6'8" forward is having a great year so far, averaging 16.8 points along with 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.1 blocks-plus-steals in 29.8 minutes a game. His 22.3% usage rate is the best among the team's forwards, and he's managed to turn that into a team-high 29.1 player efficiency rating (PER) among qualified Cyclones. He's played just 24 and 23 minutes in the last two games, but he's logged 30 or more minutes in four games, tallying 18.3 points and 27.6 FanDuel points per in those four outings.

Tyler Cook, Iowa ($7,800): A wise DFS player likely won't go all in with their bankroll on this slate, so if you're looking to capitalize on a few tournament lineups, don't go without an all-out game stack. And in it, you should run it back at forward with the senior Cook. His 25.0% usage rate is already appealing, as it leads the team, but he could see more of an offensive workload with fellow frontcourt player Joe Wieskamp sitting out practice with a sprained right ankle. Given the rather short turnaround from Monday night, Wieskamp might not be ready, thereby opening up some possessions -- Wieskamp's used 19.2% of Iowa's possession this season -- and shots. The Cyclones are a good defensive team, but they have allowed 70 twice (and 68 to Illinois). Plus, Cook has logged 37 minutes in back-to-back games, and he's averaging 30.1 FanDuel points on his home floor.

Chase Jeter, Arizona ($6,800): Jeter is a perfect stacking option alongside Williams. He should also eat against a non-power conference squad, especially one allowing 7.6 offensive rebounds and 34.2 total rebounds per game to their opponents. Meanwhile, the 6'10" forward/center has grabbed 1.8 offensive rebounds (7.5 total) on his way to 12.6 points per game and the highest offensive rating -- 123.8 points per 100 possessions -- of Arizona's starting five. He isn't super cheap, but Jeter has twice exceeded tonight's salary-implied total (26.8 FanDuel points), most notably going for 34.0 FanDuel points in 19 minutes against a similarly over-matched Georgia Southern team.

Nicholas Baer, Iowa ($5,900): The Wieskamp injury situation could have a trickle-down effect throughout the Hawkeyes' rotation, and Baer is likely the first one in line for more run. The 6'7" junior started 17 games last year and 10 the year before, and he has two games of at least 20 minutes in 2018. He will likely draw the start and log 25-plus minutes, and for him to reach value requires only 23.6 FanDuel points. At his per-minute rate of 0.93 FanDuel points per minute, 25 or so minutes is enough to provide value, something that's hard to find on Thursday's slate.

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.