College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 12/21/18

Buffalo and Marquette are set for a high-scoring affair Friday night. Can you afford to pay up for C.J. Massinburg?

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 includes seven games. A top-25 tilt between Buffalo and Marquette comes in with the highest over/under (153.5), making it a game to target on Friday night.

Friday, December 21st
Illinois St. at UCF
Oregon at Baylor
#24 Furman at LSU
#14 Buffalo at #20 Marquette
Oklahoma at Northwestern
Providence at Texas
Penn State at Alabama

Which players should you be targeting, and why?


Markus Howard, Marquette ($8,500): Of all seven games on Friday's slate, the matchup between Buffalo and Marquette is the only one featuring two top-25 schools. Oddly enough, the Bulls are ranked six spots higher, yet the Golden Eagles are favored by 2.5 with the second-highest implied total, at 78.0 points. Enter: Markus Howard. The 5'11" junior is averaging 23.2 points, 4.5 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals (34.2 FanDuel points) per game, while using 32.7% of his team's offensive possessions. The Bulls bring in a top-40 defense, by's adjusted efficiency ranks, but they will help create more possessions as they average 2.5 more possessions per game than do the Golden Eagles. Howard's floor is around 25 with basically unlimited upside in this one.

C.J. Massinburg, Buffalo ($8,200): In the same game, you could either stack the two top guards or take the $300 discount in Massinburg. Marquette has the weaker defense of the two -- allowing 95.5 adjusted points per 100 possessions -- and Buffalo's still implied at a solid 75.5. This should be some form of a shootout, which is certainly friendly for DFS purposes. Massinburg's already averaging 31.0 FanDuel points in 32.8 minutes per contest, which he's accomplished on 12.3 field goal attempts and a 22.2% usage rate. He even adds in 7.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.6 blocks-plus-steals, and he's coming off a 42.1-point outing against a much tougher matchup in Syracuse.

B.J. Taylor, UCF ($6,800): Illinois State is by far the worst team of tonight's 14 squads. Not only are they 157th overall in Ken Pom's adjusted efficiency margin, but their 189th-ranked defense is the only one beyond the top 97 as they've allowed 77.8 points per game on a mere 70.9 possessions per 40 minutes. B.J. Taylor, with his 17.7 points a game, leads a UCF team averaging 76.3 points per game and an adjusted 108.4 points per 100 possessions. His Knights sport the third-highest total (77.25) on the board, of which Taylor should play a big part in on his home floor tonight.

Terrell Allen, UCF ($5,800): Rostering two Knights isn't out of the question, given their high total and inferior opponent. That's especially the case when you can get a guy like Allen at $1,000 cheaper than his teammate. He only uses 13.4% of the team's possessions -- 11th on the team -- but he's knocked down 52.2% of his field goals and 56.0% from three, all the while assisting on field goals at a team-high 28.7% rate. He needs just 23.2 FanDuel points for four-times value, and he's surpassed that three times already this season.

Maliek White, Providence ($5,300): This isn't a no-brainer cash-game play because Texas' defense is for real. They're ninth in adjusted efficiency nationally, and that's good enough for the top mark on this evening's slate. However, this is a prime tournament spot with White stepping in recently for an injured A.J. Reeves (foot). In back-to-back starts he's tallied 28.6 FanDuel points with 17.0 points, 5.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds over 30.5 minutes per game. If he can keep up that production on the road in Austin, you're getting well over four-times value for a guy at this price.


Matt Rafferty, Furman ($9,200): Plain and simple, it's going to be hard to fit Raffery in. He's priced $600 above any other active player, and there isn't tons of -- at least reliable -- value in the $4,000 to $5,000 range. If you're taking on the risk, though, the senior forward is putting up a slate-best 43.6 FanDuel points on a 21.9% usage and 138.5 offensive rating. Furman's 8.5-point 'dogs at LSU, but the Tigers' 97th-ranked defense still provides a 70-point implied total in the sportsbooks. And if we know anything with Rafferty, he's capable of a 50-burger any night.

Nick Perkins, Buffalo ($7,300): Stacking this game alongside some value plays could be the way to the top of a tournament. The over/under is a full five points higher than any other game, and the two offenses rank inside Ken Pom's top 33 teams. Down in the mid-range, Perkins has put together five games beyond tonight's salary-implied total (29.6 FanDuel points) with only a single game below 20.7. He comes with a very solid floor, and with his ability to go for 20-plus points and a double-double, could reach as high as 35 to 40 FanDuel points in the event Buffalo pulls the upset on the road in Milwaukee.

Jamuni McNeace, Oklahoma ($5,800): McNeace failed to pay off on Tuesday, as he committed four fouls and appeared to struggle in shaking off the rust of a two-game absence a week ago. Prior to his injury, McNeace averaged 22.5 FanDuel points in 27.4 minutes a game. However, in the five games he played 28 or more minutes he averaged 27.6 FanDuel points, or 4.75 points per $1,000 at tonight's price. Oklahoma has a respectable 70-point total tonight, so we can look for McNeace to get back on track now another three days removed from that ankle issue.

Louis King, Oregon ($4,100): As with Providence, Oregon also has a less appealing total, at a slate-low 63.75 points. A big reason for that is Bol Bol's (foot) absence. The Ducks will also be without Abu Kigab (foot) in the frontcourt, which sends more minutes in the direction of King. Last time out, he logged 24 minutes en route to 18.2 FanDuel points -- 4.44 points per $1,000. King's 21.1% usage makes him attractive in a spot start as well, so don't be afraid to roster him to help fit in a guy like Howard, Massinburg or Rafferty.

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.