College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 1/23/19
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 nine games. The top-ranked Tennessee Volunteers are in action on the road versus the Vanderbilt Commodores, boasting a high implied total (79.75) in a game with a juicy 149-point over/under.
|Wednesday, January 23rd|
|Texas at TCU|
|Georgia at #25 LSU|
|#1 Tennessee at Vanderbilt|
|Purdue at Ohio State|
|DePaul at #12 Marquette|
|Wisconsin at Illinois|
|Oklahoma at Oklahoma State|
|Missouri at Arkansas|
|Colorado State at #7 Nevada|
Which players should you be targeting and why?
Markus Howard, Marquette ($8,800): Facing DePaul, Marquette carries an implied total of 80 points into a matchup that features a 150.5-point over/under. That's 0.7 points above their already-high 79.3 points per game -- 53rd in the nation -- and positions them third on the slate, making them one of three teams at or above the 80-point threshold. As if Howard needed a game like this to make him even more appealing, right? The junior guard is averaging 34.1 FanDuel points on 24.4 points, 4.1 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks-plus-steals in 32.2 minutes a game. And that's all accounting for the goose egg he posted two games back when limited to three minutes by a back injury. He's also at home tonight, where he's shot 45.0% from the floor, 44.2% from three and 90.2% from the line for 37.8 FanDuel points through 13 games. The Demons' 137th-ranked defense, per KenPom.com, only increases Howard's ceiling that much more. You can feel free to pivot to teammate Sam Hauser ($8,100) at a nice discount, too.
Desmond Bane, TCU ($7,700): If you haven't heard already, TCU guard Jaylen Fisher has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after suffering an injury and experiencing swelling in his knee. It's unfortunate for both parties, but for fantasy purposes it benefits a few players with Fisher leaving behind a starter spot as well as 24.1 minutes, 9.4 field goal attempts and a 21.6% usage rate. Junior Desmond Bane has been taking on a large role since Fisher's last game back on December 25. Over this five-game span, he's averaging 17.2 points on 13.2 field goal attempts across 33.2 minutes a night. In the last two games alone he's managed usage rates of 27.8% and 32.5%, respectively. For the same reasons, Alex Robinson ($8,100) is an option if you're willing to dish out the extra $400 for his even higher usage and assist rates.
Cody Martin, Nevada ($6,700): They may not be a top-five team, but Nevada is among the better teams on this slate, and their matchup is as juicy as they come. The Colorado State Rams are 207th in Ken Pom's adjusted efficiency margin and their 319th-ranked defense is -- by far -- the worst on the slate. Combine that with the Wolfpack's 23rd-ranked offensive attack and you get a slate-high 84.75 total for the 18-1 Pack. With that, there are players in all price ranges and at both positions, including the lower-priced of the Martin twins, Cody, who has seen his price go down since the start of the year. He has had some down scoring games, which have resulted in lower fantasy totals, too. But in the 10 games he's scored in double digits, the senior has averaged 30.8 FanDuel points. In a high-scoring game, he has a real shot at flying past four-times value (4.0 points per $1,000) on his home floor.
Jalen Harris, Arkansas ($5,700): Not many people will concern themselves with the Arkansas/Missouri game with a mediocre 142.5 over/under. But that could be big for getting a jump on the competition in tournaments. And while Mizzou is one of the slower teams in the country -- 326th in adjusted tempo -- Arkansas is among the 35 fastest teams by style of play. That helps to give them a deceivingly nice 74.75 total at Bud Walton Arena. Redshirt sophomore Jalen Harris is our focus for fantasy purposes here, as he's first on the team with a 35.8% assist rate while dishing out 6.5 a game and averaging 21.7 FanDuel points. His average is short of his salary-implied number (22.8), but not by much. Plus, when he has gotten in double figures he's gone beyond 25 FanDuel points on six different occasions. The floor and upside are there.
Jazz Johnson, Nevada ($5,100): On account of their total rising 3.5 points above the next-highest team total, stacking Nevada isn't a stretch by any means. And that doesn't exclude value plays, especially one as scoring-dependent as Johnson. Off the bench, the junior guard is averaging 11.2 points per game, but he doesn't contribute much elsewhere, totaling a mere 16.1 FanDuel points per game to this point. However, he's eclipsed 20 FanDuel points four times, and in three of those he went for 17 or more points on the scoreboard. Like Martin, he should benefit from a weak CSU defense, and if he gets the 30-plus minutes he's logged in the last two he could easily crush value if his shot is on.
Jordan Caroline, Nevada ($8,300): Closer to the top, Caroline is the stud to target for the Wolfpack. The steady senior is averaging 31.8 FanDuel points and has yet to dip down below 22.8 in any one game, notching a double-double in more games (11) than he has fewer than 10 boards (8). Over his last three alone, he's averaged 35.8 FanDuel points with two double-doubles and averages of 17.7 points and 12.3 rebounds. He has a ceiling well above 40 FanDuel points, which is certainly a possibility as he takes on a Rams team ranked 262nd in total rebounding rate this season.
Admiral Schofield, Tennessee ($7,900): Tennessee is going to be a heavily target team tonight and for good reason. Not only are they a top-tier team, but Vanderbilt ranks outside the top 100 in overall adjusted efficiency margin and defensive efficiency. Of tonight's teams there are only two worse on the defensive end, and it shows in the Vols' appetizing total (79.0). This shouldn't be an absolute bloodbath though; Tennessee is just a nine-point favorite on the road. That means that regulars like Schofield should see their full complement of minutes in a plus matchup. The senior shouldn't be looked down upon in the shadow of Grant Williams ($8,700), either, as he averages 29.8 FanDuel points on 17.4 points and a 26.0% usage rate this season. He's up to a 27.8% usage in five conference games and will look to continue his success against an inferior opponent.
Kavell Bigby-Williams, LSU ($6,100): Sticking in the SEC, LSU is no slouch of a team either. Following a bit of a slow start, they have played themselves into Ken Pom's top 25 behind the nation's 18th-best offense by efficiency. Averaging 82.5 points, the Cats are down for 81.25 of the 151-point over/under between them and the Georgia Bulldogs. It's such a great spot, it's hard to choose from the fantastic mid-range options down low. Bigby-Williams gets a slight edge over Naz Reid ($6,400), though, mostly because of his play of late and at home. He has managed three double-doubles in his last four games, having averaged 34.3 across those three contests. And at home the 6'11" senior is shooting 71.4% en route to 8.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game at The Maravich Center.
Trey Porter, Nevada ($5,000): Porter is another guy that should be able to make good use of Colorado State's inability to grab boards and play solid defense. Among Wolfpack players with 300-plus minutes, he is first on the team with a total rebounding rate of 15.6% and has grabbed 5.2 rebounds (1.5 offensive) in just 18.1 minutes a game. His minutes have suffered when Nevada's gone small, but he's enjoyed good games when his team has scored in bunches. Of the eight games they've tallied 80 or more, Porter has played 20-plus minutes three times with three games over 20 FanDuel points. Missouri's Jeremiah Tilmon ($4,700) is a cheaper option if you want to dip below $5,000 or feel the need to differentiate your lineups more.
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.