College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 1/10/19

With Tres Tinkle likely out for Oregon State, Stephen Thompson should get a boost in usage against USC. Who else is in a great spot for Thursday's slate?

College basketball season is back! And this year, with it comes the return of college basketball DFS.

March Madness is still two 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. We only have one ranked team in the Michigan Wolverines, and not one game has an over/under of 150 or more.

Thursday, January 10th
Cincinnati at Tulsa
SMU at Connecticut
#2 Michigan at Illinois
Penn State at Nebraska
UCLA at Oregon
Washington at Utah
USC at Oregon State

Which players should you be targeting, and why?


James Palmer Jr., Nebraska ($8,200): At the top of the guard pool, there are two completely worthy candidates above $8,000. SMU's Jimmy Whitt Jr. ($8,400) is worth a look, but taking the $200 discount on Palmer in a home matchup seems like the smart play. The senior's 31.9% usage rate not only leads Nebraska players, but it does so by 10 percentage points. Plus, he's getting up 14.1 shots a game en route to 20.1 points over 32.0 minutes a game. And that's just his averages, as Palmer's played 35-plus minutes in four straight, and over his last five he's scored 25.6 points on his way to 38.0 FanDuel points. Penn State's defense isn't a pushover, ranking 20th in's adjusted defensive efficiency, but the Cornhuskers' total is nonetheless juicy at 73 -- fourth on the slate.

Stephen Thompson Jr., Oregon State ($7,500): As of the latest update, Oregon State's stud forward Tres Tinkle is dealing with an ankle injury and looking unlikely for tonight's game against USC. Despite that, the Beavers carry a 74.5 implied total into a matchup with a 145 over/under, the third-highest of the night. They're still going to score points, and of the team's usual starters, Stephen Thompson owns the next-highest usage rate, at 23.7%. He should absorb some of Tinkle's 28.7% usage and team-high 14.8 field goal attempts, and that's with him already averaging 25.5 FanDuel points on 14.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals a game. He's surpassed his salary-implied total (30 FanDuel points) three times this season, and he's put up 29.6 and 28.6 in his last two games, respectively. The bump he's getting in Tinkle's absence should be enough to increase his upside at this price tag.

Derryck Thornton, USC ($6,300): Opposite Thompson and company, the Trojans aren't in a terrible spot either. Their 70-point implied total is better than four teams (and tied with two others), 4.50 off the Beavers and just 4.75 short of the slate-high mark. It's really understandable when you consider Oregon State's defense ranks outside the top 80 in Ken Pom's rankings. The only pause on Thornton stems from the potential return of Kevin Porter Jr., who's due back from a quad issue that has kept him out since December 1. But with the way Thornton's been killing it of late, it's hard to imagine him not getting enough time to put up the same kind of numbers. Over the last seven games, he's averaged 24.5 FanDuel points -- 2.8 above his season average -- but that moves to 33.9(!) in the last four alone, which includes two in-conference games. You should be able to get him while he's hot and at lower ownership, too.

Thomas Allen, Nebraska ($5,400): Unlike his backcourt mate, Palmer, Allen won't cost a pretty penny this evening, but his workload is hard to overlook on a shorter slate, even in an iffy matchup. Starting 13 of 15 games and playing 28.8 minutes per, the sophomore has yielded 8.7 points, 2.3 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals a game. He's shooting 48.5% from the floor and 39.1% from three, and he's only been more productive at home, where he's averaged 9.3 points on 49.1% shooting, all for 18.7 FanDuel points. He's hit tonight's salary-implied output (21.6) in three home matchups this year.

Zach Reichle, Oregon State ($4,800): While Thompson should indirectly benefit from Tinkle sitting this one out, Reichle is the more direct beneficiary. He has already played a larger role this year, logging an average of 18.5 minutes primarily in a bench role. But he's taken that up a notch recently, as he's played 25 or more minutes in three of the last four. In that time, he's scored in double-figures twice en route to 15.2 FanDuel points per game and two games of 19 or more. He has at least two assists in each of the four, and he managed 25.5 FanDuel points versus Pepperdine. If he starts, or at least sees starter's minutes, Reichle should return four-times value and allow you to roster Thompson and others in the higher price range.


Nick Rakocevic, USC ($8,500): Given the Tinkle ($8,800) news, Rakocevic projects to be the highest-priced forward and the only one with a 30-point floor. He's averaging 33.7 FanDuel points and has managed 30-plus in 10 of 15 games. He's maxed out at 45.7 FanDuel points, which would be enough for 5.37 points per $1,000 tonight. And that's certainly within reach when you consider the 8.6 rebounds and 13.8% rebound rate that Tinkle leaves behind. The team's overall rebounding numbers -- fifth in the nation in total rebounding -- might scare the masses off, but an elite rebounder like Rakocevic, who's averaging 10.1 boards, should eat with Tinkle on the sideline.

Noah Dickerson, Washington ($7,000): On a normal night, going after players in this Washington/Utah clash wouldn't be ideal. The 141.5 over/under isn't eye-popping, and both teams are outside the top 250 in adjusted tempo. However, this slate demands exposure, especially with Utah ranked 291st in defensive efficiency, making them the worst defense on the slate. Dickerson is a game removed from putting up a double-double and 42.9 FanDuel points. He has four other games above tonight's salary-implied output, and he's scored in double-digits in 11 of 14 games (13 starts). With a lack of plays above and below him, Dickerson has tournament-winning upside this evening.

Paul White, Oregon ($5,600): In case you didn't already know, star freshman Bol Bol is sitting out the rest of the year after suffering a stress fracture in his left foot. That's opened up time in the Oregon frontcourt, as the big man was averaging a hair under 30 minutes in nine games. Senior Paul White has stepped up since, averaging 28.6 minutes a game with at least 22 FanDuel points in four of five dating back to December 15. He has scored 10-plus points in those same four games, having hoisted nine or more shots in each. A matchup with UCLA shouldn't present an issue, with the Bruins playing at a top-20 pace and allowing 73.9 points per game.

Louis King, Oregon ($5,600): Given UCLA's style of play, Oregon is now tied for the highest total of the night, checking in at 74.75 points. They are favored by 3.5 without Bol not to mention forward Kenny Wooten. So it seems like the oddsmakers are counting on guys like White and King to continue to produce and benefit from starts. The 6'9" freshman has started the last four games, playing 24 to 34 minutes for an average of 29.3. He hasn't been a highly efficient fantasy guy, but he's fresh off a double-double versus Oregon State, a game in which he finished with 31 FanDuel points. He only needs 22.4 for four-times value, which provides a nice cushion for him to make rostering him worthwhile, with or without his frontcourt mate.

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.