College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 12/7/18

Led by Desmond Bane, TCU draws a favorable matchup on the road against USC. Which players should be at the top of your list for tonight's three-game slate?

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, highlighted by a showdown in Los Angeles between TCU and USC.

Friday, December 7th
Massachusetts at Providence
Oral Roberts at Missouri

Which players should you be targeting, and why?


Luwane Pipkins, Massachusetts ($8,700): Basically, for tonight's slate your elite stud options come down to Massachusetts' Luwane Pipkins or USC's Nick Rakocevic. We'll get to the latter in a minute, but as it pertains to Pipkins the dude can flat-out score. On a ridiculous, team-high 30.8% usage rate (according to Sports Reference), the junior guard is averaging 19.9 points on 14.7 field goal attempts and 7.9 from three, en route to 36.8 FanDuel points. He has even added 6.6 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals, providing a floor of 27.1 FanDuel points and a ceiling of 53.3 through nine games. Even in a tough road game against Nevada, he showed out with 30 points and 42.4 FanDuel points. His opponent, the Providence Friars, is nothing to be scared off of, either, as they rank 68th in's adjusted defensive efficiency.

Desmond Bane, TCU ($7,900): Bane is coming off a down game and could carry lower ownership than he should, which is especially appealing below $8,000. While Alex Robinson's on a hot streak and Jaylen Fisher's popping now that he's healthy, the 6'5" junior is still first among TCU starters with a 20.4% usage rate. He's averaging 15.3 points on 11.6 shot attempts, while knocking down 1.4 of 4.1 three-point opportunities per game. He's also tied for second on the club with 6.1 rebounds, to go with 3.4 assists and 2.0 blocks-plus-steals (30.1 FanDuel points per game all total). The Trojans play at a pace 2.5 possessions faster than TCU, so the Frogs should benefit from the style of play, particularly for a scorer like Bane.

A.J. Reeves, Providence ($6,000): Pipkins is almost solely the reason for a nine-point spread in what is a rather lopsided matchup. However, if he's going to keep it within reach the Friars are going to provide big value. Their 79-point implied total is first on the slate in a game with a juicy 149.0 over/under. And furthermore, the Minutemen are outside the top 200 in defensive efficiency and play at a respectable tempo (109th). Reeves has been inconsistent in his freshman campaign, so keeping him to tournaments would be wise. After all, he's flashed 30-plus upside twice this season, and this is as much a high-ceiling spot as any.

Derryck Thornton, USC ($5,800): In the area between low- and mid-priced players, we get an obvious value in USC's Derryck Thornton. Fellow guard Kevin Porter, who has started 3 games and averaged 21.8 minutes a game, is not expected to play in this game, which could see Thornton push 30-plus minutes for a third straight game. The junior has logged 30 or more minutes in 3 total games, averaging exactly 25.0 FanDuel points in them. He also has a game of 25.2 FanDuel points in 27 minutes. Basically, when he gets the court he's productive, boasting averages of 14.0 points, 6.1 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals per 40 minutes. USC's 73.5 total is definitely in play and makes Thornton a must-play in this price range.

Maliek White, Providence ($4,700): Value below the $5,000 -- or even $5,500 -- mark is hard to come by on this short slate, but if you're looking to get up to one of the top guys White can help get you there. He isn't a full-time player nor has he started a game this year, however, what he has done is log 22 or more minutes in 4 straight, including 24 in back-to-back games. Over that span, he's averaging 13.0 FanDuel points with two games of 15.4 or more. He needs just 18.8 to meet his salary-implied value (4.0 points per $1,000), but you're hope is that he'll get you double-digits while the studs you pay up for blow past theirs.


Nick Rakocevic, USC ($8,800): Rakocevic is going to be the top dog on almost any slate with USC as one of the teams in action. To this point, he's averaging a slate-high 37.6 FanDuel points, making him and Pipkins the only two players above 35 per game. The versatile big man has turned a 23.5% usage rate, 20.2% rebound rate and 10.1% assist rate into 15.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists on a per-game basis. And as we like to see, he's adding 2.8 blocks and 0.9 steals a night -- that's 7.4 FanDuel points alone -- on the defensive end. He could go lower-owned with the lack of solid value, but he should be worth every dime at home, where he's averaged a double-double and 41.7 FanDuel points through six games.

Nate Watson, Providence ($6,600): At the other slot, we're going back to the well with a familiar face in Nate Watson. In his last game, we targeted the sophomore big man against Boston College, and he returned big-time numbers with 36.5 FanDuel points in 30 minutes. He notched his first double-double along with his second straight game of two-plus blocks. The soft matchup only boosts his chances of another big game, as his 22.1% usage rate tells us he'll be heavily involved in the time he's on the floor.

Jeremiah Tilmon, Missouri ($6,000): The Missouri/Oral Roberts billing is the only one with a double-digit spread this evening, at -17.0 in the Tigers' favor. As far as stacking or targeting both sides goes, this isn't great for DFS. However, value should present itself with Mizzou getting 77.25 points of the 137.5 over/under on their home floor. Ranking 330th in defensive efficiency, Oral Roberts is the worst defensive team on the slate, having allowed 79.1 points per game in 2018. Tilmon's someone who could surely take advantage, boasting the second-highest usage (23.4%) on the team and posting two double-doubles in his past three games. He's shown the ability to hit 30 FanDuel points against weaker competition, so why couldn't he do it again in the spot.

Mitchell Smith, Missouri ($4,300): Joining Tilmon is Mitchell Smith as somewhat of punt play. The price alone allows you some serious flexibility, but he's also seen minutes in the 20s the last two games. It's the second and third time that's happened this year, and he's managed to turn those into 18.4 and 11.2 FanDuel points, respectively. He needs just 17.2 FanDuel points for four-times value on a short slate that could demand a play this low to get the 40-point upside of a Rakocevic or Pipkins.

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.