College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 1/24/19
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 11 games. Among them, get an ACC showdown featuring the 21st-ranked North Carolina State Wolfpack and 23rd-ranked Louisville Cardinals.
|Thursday, January 24th|
|Memphis at Temple|
|Tulsa at Cincinnati|
|#6 Michigan State at #19 Iowa|
|Miami at Syracuse|
|#21 NC State at #23 Louisville|
|Utah at Stanford|
|Washington at Oregon|
|Arizona at USC|
|Colorado at California|
|Washington State at Oregon State|
|Arizona State at UCLA|
Which players should you be targeting and why?
Shizz Alston, Jr., Temple ($8,000): With a 158.0-point over/under, Temple and Memphis lead the way for Thursday's top game total. The Owls are 5.0-point favorites, which gives them the highest implied team total of the slate at 81.5 points. It's an obvious spot but one you have to get exposure to nonetheless. And why not start at the top? Alston, a senior guard, owns a 26.9% usage rate and averages 31.4 FanDuel points -- just 0.1 below the top-priced guard, Cassius Winston ($8,300). He has had a couple down games -- for his standards -- of late, but for the year, he has dipped below 20 FanDuel points only once while tallying 40 or more on four occasions. A matchup with a Memphis team ranked eighth in KenPom.com's adjusted tempo only increases Alston's sky-high ceiling tonight.
Jaylen Hands, UCLA ($7,000): Hands has had a very good start to his sophomore year, and for the most part, that's held up through the first portion of conference play. In five league games, he's averaged 12.8 points, 4.8 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals, which are all down due to facing better competition, but he has shown the potential to go off for double-digit assists. Averaging 25.6 FanDuel points on the year, he has produced 28 or more FanDuel points (4.0 FanDuel points per $1,000 at today's salary) seven times this season -- all coming at home or on neutral courts. He's back at Pauley Pavilion tonight, where his Bruins -- 15th in adjusted tempo -- host the Arizona State Sun Devils and their own fast-paced attack (62nd in adjusted tempo) in what should be a high-scoring Pac-12 affair.
Devon Daniels, NC State ($6,100): If you're looking at games from both a real-world and fantasy standpoint, this one's as good as they come tonight. Not only does it pit two of the top-25 teams in the nation against one another, but the Cardinals are favored by only 5.0 points in a game with a 155.5-point over/under. That leaves the underdog Wolfpack with a nice 75.25-point implied total versus a Louisville squad not known for its defense as much as their teams in recent years. They rank 46th in adjusted defensive efficiency and have surrendered 75 or more points five times this season (68.8 per game). Daniels is a smart way to get in on NC State as teammate Markell Johnson sounds likely to miss another game due to injury. With Johnson out, all others will be asked to step up, and that includes Daniels, who has picked up the pace with three games of 15-plus points over his last five, eclipsing today's salary-implied fantasy total in each of them. His usage rate (24.1%) is also tied for tops on the team, so the opportunity should be there with NC State sans Johnson.
Matt McQuaid, Michigan State ($5,500): Michigan State will again be without junior guard Joshua Langford, who remains without a timetable for his return from an ankle injury. In the six games since Langford's departure, Matt McQuaid stepping up for the Spartans. The senior has played at least 29 minutes in each game, logging 37 in the two most recent games, and is coming off a 27.3-FanDuel-point performance last time out. Fellow teammate Kyle Ahrens is still on a minutes restriction (he saw 12 minutes last game), so the playing time should be there. McQuaid shoots over 40% from three and can be active in the peripheral areas, at times, but looking for value from him really comes down to the Spartans' 81.0-point implied total on the road against a pace-up Iowa team.
Antwann Jones, Memphis ($4,800): On the other side of that projected high-scoring Temple-Memphis affair in the AAC, there are a number of guards to look at for the Tigers. Four are priced at or above $5,400, but Jones is the play at a discounted cost. He averages just three fewer minutes than teammate Raynere Thornton, who enters tonight at $1,400 more, and nine fewer than Tyler Harris, who's up at $5,800. More encouraging is Jones' three most recent games -- a span in which he's played 28, 31 and 25 minutes, tallying 23.1, 13.0 and 19.5 FanDuel points in the process. He requires just 19.2 fantasy points to reach four-times value at tonight's price tag, making him an ideal punt play in tournament formats.
Tres Tinkle, Oregon State ($8,800): Some might gloss over the Oregon State-Washington State game out in Corvallis, but it would be wise not to fade it as some sort of blowout. While the Beavers are 12.5-point favorites at home, blowouts usually don't affect the minutes of big dogs like Tinkle, particularly for an 11-6 Oregon State squad. And minutes are something Tinkle has seen a lot of, averaging 35.6 per game en route to a slate-high 38.4 FanDuel points per game. He averages well over a FanDuel point per minute thanks to averaging 8.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists alongside his 20.4 points a night. His 29.9% usage is high enough to justify a near-$9,000 price, as is the Cougars' combination of pace (47th in adjusted temp) and lackluster defense (272nd in adjusted defensive efficiency).
Jordan Nwora, Louisville ($8,200): NC State is a fantasy haven because of their unique combination of a 17th-ranked tempo, 19th-ranked offense and 71st-ranked defense. The result? The Pack have allowed 70 or more points in 10 games and 80 or more in 3. In conference play, Miami (FL), North Carolina and Pittsburgh have all managed that feat against them -- though two were NC State wins. But that's big for a Louisville team sitting 246th in adjusted tempo. The Cards get the benefit of nearly seven more possessions, which tells us why they have such a high total (80.25). Nwora probably didn't need that boost, but he is even more of an elite play priced in the low-8,000s, already averaging 31.2 FanDuel points behind a 27.9% usage rate and 18.5 points a game. Oh -- and he has 90.6 FanDuel points over his last two games.
Ernest Aflakpui, Temple ($6,000): Given the points involved with this game, you shouldn't be afraid to go at Temple in both the backcourt and frontcourt. Aflakpui doesn't have very impressive numbers for the year, and he's been hit or miss at times, but over the past 10 days, he's all hits. In the last two, he's put together two straight double-doubles en route to 26.4 and 46.5 FanDuel points, respectively. He has one more double-double to his name this year as well as two more games with double-digit rebounds. In fact, he has more games with seven or more rebounds (11) than he does six or fewer (7). Fortunately for him, he'll also draw from Memphis' tempo but even more directly from their middle-of-the-road rebounding (151st in total rebound rate). That could lead to another big night on the boards.
Alfred Hollins, Oregon State ($4,700): A mini-stack of Hollins and Tinkle could prove profitable this evening. Hollins returned to the starting lineup last game and played 35 minutes after playing no more than 27 dating back to mid-December. He posted just 11.6 FanDuel points against Arizona, but Wazzu is more than 250 spots lower on the defensive ranks than Arizona is. The matchup is just too good, especially when you consider Hollins' moderate success in games in which he's seen high minutes. Prior to last game, the sophomore accounted for 32.4, 24.5 and 20.9 FanDuel points in the three games he played 28-plus minutes. He doesn't need much to hit value, and an 81-point implied total allows us to dip this low in the pricing pool.
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. Fa