College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 1/14/19

With Zion Williamson in a less-than-ideal matchup, Ethan Happ is tonight's top option as Wisconsin faces Maryland. Who else is in play on Monday?

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 five games. It's headlined by an ACC clash between the top-ranked Duke Blue Devils and the Syracuse Orange.

Monday, January 14th
#13 Florida State at Pittsburgh
Syracuse at #1 Duke
Wisconsin at Maryland
Texas at #7 Kansas
Baylor at Oklahoma State

Which players should you be targeting, and why?


RJ Barrett, Duke ($8,700): Barrett really shined in the Blue Devils' last-minute win Saturday over Florida State. With Zion Williamson dealing with an eye injury and and foul trouble, Duke's "other" star freshman went for 32 points and totaled 36.6 FanDuel points in 40 minutes. That marked Barrett's 12th game with 20-plus points and the eighth over tonight's salary-implied total of 34.8 FanDuel points. He's been as consistent as they come, posting only a single game below 28.7 fantasy points. Now, Syracuse boasts a solid defense -- 16th per's adjusted efficiency -- but on their home floor, the Blue Devils own a slate-high 81.25 implied total. Coach K noted that Williamson is likely to play on Monday, but in the event he gets into foul trouble or is limited at all, Barrett should eat once again.

Trey McGowens, Pittsburgh ($6,900): Outside of the projected blowout between Duke and Syracuse, the Pittsburgh-Florida State game carries the highest over/under of the night at 143 points. That's six points higher than the next-closest team, and despite the matchup with the Seminoles, someone's going to score for Pitt. McGowens has been on fire recently, shooting 58.2% from the floor and 38.9% from three over the last five games. He's averaging 33 FanDuel points in that time, and in the only game he didn't score 16 or more, he still managed to contribute with 7 assists and 5 boards, which resulted in a nice floor of 22.5 FanDuel points. Also working in the freshman's favor is venue as McGowens has shot over 50% at home while averaging 14.5 points in 27.0 minutes a game.

Lindy Waters III, Oklahoma State ($6,700): Given a slate-low 135-point over/under, this game doesn't scream, "Stack it!" Neither Baylor nor Oklahoma State are expected to reach 70 points, which makes sense with the two averaging 71.2 and 70.5 points per game, respectively. However, neither is inside the top 30 in defensive efficiency, and by projected workload and production, there are a couple guys to note on the Cowboys' end. That starts with Waters, who enters this evening averaging 33.4 minutes per game. The junior guard has turned that big playing time into 11.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.3 and 23.2 FanDuel points on a per-game basis. But that doesn't capture the whole picture, though, as Waters has played 39 and 38 minutes in his last two, and he's put together five games of more than 30 FanDuel points this season. He's a great tournament play in the middle tier of tonight's guard pool.

Terance Mann, Florida State ($6,600): For the visiting 'Noles, there are a few ways to go -- in the backcourt particularly -- but Mann might have the highest ceiling of all the options. He has two games of more than 35 FanDuel points this year, and his 30.3 minutes per game rank first on the team. He's also averaging 11.6 points to go alongside 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 blocks-plus-steals. While that alone isn't all that appealing, Pitt's allowed more than 80 points in three straight games, and FSU's pegged for the second-most points (74.25), according to the oddsmakers.

Thomas Dziagwa, Oklahoma State ($5,200): Joining Waters is the cheaper Dziagwa, who has been down a bit in the fantasy department of late. He hasn't tallied 20 or more FanDuel points since December 8, and that's in spite of playing 31-plus minutes in each of the last four. A big part of his opportunity lies in Michael Cunningham's decision to transfer, thereby opening up 18.3 minutes and 7.0 shots a game. Dziagwa is averaging 8.6 attempts on the year, though he's averaged 9.7 over the last six contests. His shooting has been off, but if that turns around, he could play a big part in the Cowboys' middle-of-the-pack total (69.5) on what looks to be a low-scoring slate.


Ethan Happ, Wisconsin ($9,200): We talked about Barrett and Williamson ($9,100), and both are certainly candidates for your highest-priced stud, but Happ is all alone on his team and producing big numbers in his own right. Averaging 41.0 FanDuel points on the dot, the 6'8" senior is averaging 20 points and a double-double, along with 4.8 assists. His 34.8% usage rate is 12.6 percentage points higher than the next-closest starter, not to mention 1.4 percentage points and 6.0 percentage points higher than Barrett's and Williamson's, respectively. Maryland is a solid team, but they're outside the top 50 in defense and have allowed 70-plus in six games this season. Happ's Wisconsin Badgers are implied at 66.75 points on the road, but even that might be enough when you consider his production in all phases of the game.

Dedric Lawson, Kansas ($8,900): Obviously, if you are going Happ or Lawson, you're choosing them -- or one of them -- over a Barrett or Zion. But that is a fine problem to have. With Kansas facing Texas, a top-50 team and top-15 defense per KenPom, their players could fly under the radar even as they take the floor at Phog Allen Fieldhouse. And in Lawson you're getting a guy who has averaged 38.2 FanDuel points with eight games already exceeding that season average. His 6'8" frame and versatile skill set could cause some trouble for the more conventional bigs of Texas, which could spell a big night for Lawson and the seventh-ranked Jayhawks.

Jaxson Hayes, Texas ($6,200): Speaking of those Texas bigs, Hayes is a talented one. A 6'11" freshman, he's averaging 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 22.2 minutes a game this year. But he's been much better than his 21.4-FanDuel-point average would indicate. He's started only the last five games, but in that time, he's played more than 30 minutes three times and has topped 27 FanDuel points twice. The blocks upside is real, and if the 'Horns -- 7.5-point underdogs -- hope to stay in this one, they'll need the youngster to play big against Lawson and company.

Phil Cofer, Florida State ($5,300): After dealing with an injury to begin the year, Cofer has played in six games, and his minutes are trending upward. On the heels of three straight games of 25-plus minutes, he logged a season-high 34 in FSU's narrow loss to Duke. In that game, he tallied 21 points, 7 rebounds (and 5 turnovers) and 24.4 FanDuel points. At this price, that's enough to exceed four-times value (4 FanDuel points per every $1,000 in salary), though that's not even taking opponent into consideration. Pitt is 34 spots lower than Duke in adjusted defensive efficiency, so there shouldn't be a shortage of points in this game. As long as Cofer is around 30 minutes again, he should find it easy to hit value. The senior is a year removed from averaging 12.8 points and 20.2 FanDuel points in 29.3 minutes a game.

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.