College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 1/18/19

Phil Booth leads Villanova's offense as they sport the night's highest implied total. Who joins him as core plays for Friday's short slate of games?

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 6:30 p.m. EST and includes just three games. Maryland and Ohio State get things tipped off early with a battle of Big Ten foes.

Friday, January 18th
#19 Maryland at Ohio State
Northwestern at Rutgers
Xavier at #22 Villanova

Which players should you be targeting, and why?


Phil Booth, Villanova ($8,500): If there's one rule to follow for this slate it's that you should target Villanova Wildcats. While their matchup against Xavier carries an over/under of just 138.5 points, that's actually second on the short slate, and 74.25 of that is on 'Nova. Their implied total is the highest on the slate by more than three points, which makes them all the more appealing at home. And it all starts with senior guard Phil Booth, who tops the team in points (18.2) and FanDuel points (28.4) per game. His 25.6% usage rate also leads the team, as does his 23.9% assist rate. Over the last six games alone, he's averaging 37.0 FanDuel points across 36.9 minutes per game, making him a stone cold lock tonight.

C.J. Jackson, Ohio State ($7,300): The Ohio State Buckeyes are also at home, where they take on the 19th-ranked Maryland Terrapins. There, they draw an implied total of 71.25 points as three-point favorites, not to mention in the game with the day's highest over/under. Before you go rostering him, though, be sure to confirm he's in the starting lineup. Jackson came off the bench and played 22 minutes last game -- maybe in an attempt to get his shot back -- and failed to justify a $7,000-plus price tag, going for only 17.3 FanDuel points on the road at Iowa. If he does start and get his usual minutes, Jackson makes for a great play, particularly in tournaments following that dud. He's just three games removed from two straight 20-point performances, and he still boasts a 23.8% usage and 25.8% assist rate. Maryland is 46th in's adjusted defensive efficiency, but they have allowed 70 or more points in six games, so you can't be scared off the Buckeyes.

Geo Baker, Rutgers ($6,700): Rutgers and Northwestern square off in what is, by far, the most unappealing game of the night. But as we've touched on this is a short slate so fading a game entirely can be a risky proposition. That is distinctly true for a contest with a 1.5-point spread like this. The Scarlet Knights are underdogs at home, and their total is just 65.75, but Baker is averaging 13.0 points, 4.4 assists, 31 rebounds and 1.9 blocks-plus-steals (23.9 FanDuel points) a game with a 24.5% usage rate and 26.9% assist rate, per Sports Reference. He's had a rough couple of games on the road, but the sophomore guard shoots a higher percentage at home across the board, and his 4.8 assists per game are one more than his average on the road.

Eric Ayala, Maryland ($4,800): In what's projected to be a close contest, the Terps have an implied total (68.25) that ranks third on the slate. And while it's true that Ohio State's defense is the most efficient one on this slate, points will be scored, and again, this is a short slate. If you need value at the guard spot, Ayala can get you 20-plus. Even getting close to 20 should be enough to justify him as a punt. At 4.0 points per $1,000, all he needs is 19.2 FanDuel points at this price.


Bruno Fernando, Maryland ($8,400): Paying up for both Booth and Fernando will be a near-impossible task -- unless you completely punt a spot -- so you will probably have to choose between them. By game script and matchup, Booth's the better play, but Fernando is the better GPP play. He averages the most FanDuel points per game (32.3) of anyone on the slate, and he has put together three games over 40 with nine double-doubles. The pro prospect owns a 23.0% usage rate, 20.3% rebound rate, and his 8.7% block rate has led him to tally 2.2 blocks a game. That extra upside might be worth the risk tonight.

Eric Paschall, Villanova ($8,000): Not far behind Booth, Pascall sports a juicy 24.4% usage rate, which he's turned into 16.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.1 assist and 1.2 blocks-plus-steals a game. He's just short of 28 FanDuel points a game, and he too is averaging near 35 minutes. Eight times has he reached or surpassed tonight's salary-implied output (32.0) with five such games consecutively over the last five. By doing this, you're cornering the scoring market for the Wildcats as they take on a Xavier defense ranked 132nd, per Ken Pom.

A.J. Turner, Northwestern ($5,600): Opposite Rutgers, the boys of Northwestern have a respectable 67.25 total. Don't go out of your way getting exposure, and be smart about it. But one place where we might be able to take advantage is in the frontcourt because of the injury to Vic Law. Law is a game-time decision because of a lower-body injury that forced him to sit Sunday, and others will have to step up if he's out. Law would leave behind 17.3 points, 13.3 field goal attempts and 32.9 minutes a game. Turner, averaging 32.7 minute already, tallied 16.4 FanDuel points against a tough Michigan defense last game, so a weaker opponent and another boost with Law out could lead to even more production.

Jermaine Samuels, Villanova ($4,500): You got the two big studs already, but now we get the value. At a very nice low price, Samuels helps you stack this team and brings some surprising upside. The 6'7" sophomore was reinserted into the starting lineup last game, producing 27.7 FanDuel points with 13 points and 6 rebounds in 26 minutes. That follows a trend that when he's gotten playing he's been really valuable for fantasy. In the four games he's tallied 20 or more FanDuel points he averaged 20.8 minutes. In the two he's played 25 or more, he's gone for 23.1 and 27.7 FanDuel points, respectively. There's no such thing as too much 'Nova tonight.

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.