College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 2/4/19
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 consists of four games. A top-25 clash in the ACC -- Louisville at Virginia Tech -- highlights the short slate.
|Monday, February 4th|
|#15 Louisville at #12 Virginia Tech|
|Penn State at Northwestern|
|#20 Iowa State at Oklahoma|
|West Virginia at #16 Texas Tech|
Which players should you be targeting and why?
Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech ($8,600): At the very top of Monday's slate, the Texas Tech Red Raiders carry the highest implied total at 74.5 points. They are 12-point favorites at home against a struggling West Virginia team, which ranks 98th in KenPom.com's adjusted efficiency margin. What was once a tough "Press Virginia" defense is now allowing 102 points per 100 possessions and 75.1 points per game. Through 22 games, the Mountaineers have allowed 80-plus points eight times -- five in Big 12 play. The Red Raiders average just 70.4 points per game, so a higher total bodes well for all players, particularly star guard Jarrett Culver. An exciting NBA prospect, the sophomore leads the team in points (18.1), rebounds (6.8) and assists (3.7) on a per-game basis, while using 30.6% of his team's possessions and racking up a slate-best 32.4 FanDuel points per game. Lock him in and don't look back.
Talen Horton-Tucker, Iowa State ($7,200): In the Big 12, we also get a good game in Iowa State taking on Oklahoma in Norman. And unlike most of the games out there, this one should be rather high-scoring, sporting a 144-point over/under that stands 6.5 clear of the next-closest game. Both squads are in the top half of the nation in adjusted tempo, and the Sooners' 77th-ranked pace gives the Cyclones a higher floor and ceiling here. There are a lot of candidates, too, but THT is hot. He has 30-plus FanDuel points in two of his last three and has scored 16 or more in three of the last four. The freshman's playing time hasn't been too limited by the reemergence of Lindell Wigginton, so don't be afraid to target him in this spot.
Ahmed Hill, Virginia Tech ($6,400): For viewing purposes, the lone ACC game might be the most appealing of this evening's contests. At home, the 12th-ranked Hokies -- 8th in KenPom's adjusted efficiency margin -- take on the 15th-ranked Cardinals -- also 15th in adjusted efficiency margin -- in a game carrying a 137.5 over/under and a five-point line in Virginia Tech's favor. Both clubs are in the top 30 in adjusted defensive efficiency, but points should still be scoring, so fading this one for daily fantasy games isn't really in the cards. In fact, there are a number of plays to be had, including Hill. The experienced senior is first on the team in minutes per game (34.4) and is averaging 13.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.7 steals. He's increased nearly all of those -- 14.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists -- in nine conference games so far, in large part thanks to a monster 37.2 minutes a game. Hill has played 40 minutes in each of the last two for Va Tech, putting him on the map virtually by playing time alone. Hope that he gets back into double digits and finds his way to four-times value (25.6 points at 4.0 points per $1,000) at this middle-of-the-road price.
Aaron Calixte, Oklahoma ($4,300): Opposite Iowa State, Oklahoma is a 2.5-point underdog on their home floor. However, that shouldn't keep us from rostering their players. And while you won't see any mid- to higher-priced plays here, no one can fault you from paying for a Christian James or Kristian Doolittle (at forward). But there's little value on such a short slate, leaving Calixte in a go-to position playing 23.3 minutes a night. It would also appear that he's taken a big chunk of Rashard Odomes' run off the OU bench. The senior has played 24 and 27 minutes in the last two games, though he's turned that into just 27.1 FanDuel points in total. But again, the high-scoring nature of this game creates opportunity, and you have to pay down somewhere if you do go with Culver at the top.
Vic Law, Northwestern ($8,100): If we're rating games by ugliness, this one would be the clearcut number one tonight. Northwestern and Penn State are 62nd and 71st in adjusted efficiency margin, and both are outside the top 100 in offensive efficiency. Yet on the inverse, they are 38th and 54th in defensive efficiency, allowing just 64.6 and 69.4 points per game, respectively. The low 132.5 over/under is completely justified, and it suggests paying down at forward. But paying up for Law -- and fading, say, Culver -- is a contrarian move for tournaments, and it is one that could pay off. The 6'7" senior owns a team-high 26.2% usage (24.3% in conference), turning that into 29.8 FanDuel points a night and 30-plus on 12 occasions. He's hit a bit of a dry spell of late, but he's still managed two double-doubles in Big Ten play, and he's averaging 31.0 in his team's three home conference matchups.
Kerry Blackshear, Jr., Virginia Tech ($7,300): Hill is a nice target, but if you're looking for spice, his teammate Blackshear is the better upside play. His 26.2% usage rate is second on the team, and his 16.2% rebound rate is first by a sizable margin. His 6.8 rebounds per game have ballooned to 8.1 in conference play, during which the junior has averaged 12.3 points and 25.5 FanDuel points in 29.9 minutes per game. But if we discount a 17-minute, foul-riddled game against Miami, his averages would be much higher. In fact, in his last three games over 30 minutes, he's posted two double-doubles with three games scoring in double figures. If he stays out of foul trouble, he should find a path to a big game once again.
Tariq Owens, Texas Tech ($6,400): Down low for Tech, Owens is as steady as they come. Averaging 24.6 minutes and starting 21 of 22 games, the 6'10" senior is second on the team in rebounding and has turned in 21.0 FanDuel points per game. He's been even better of late, with at least 22 FanDuel points in seven of nine, including back-to-back games with 26.7 and 30.0, respectively. Owens is a great way to get additional exposure to the night's largest total, and if there's a spot to stack -- or at least mini-stack -- Tech is it.
Steven Enoch, Louisville ($5,100): On the flip side of tonight's game in Blacksburg, Louisville could be a team some will fade. That shouldn't be a hard rule, however, because they have a few guys who could alleviate salary at the forward spot. Enoch is one of them, and though he hasn't played big minutes, he's had big games in the past. In each of the last four games he's played 20 or more minutes, he's produced 20-plus FanDuel points with an average of 26.1 over 23.3 minutes. When he's out there, his usage sits at 22.4%, and he does some damage on the boards, grabbing 15.6% of available rebounds and tallying 11.0 per 40 minutes. If you're looking for value around $5,000, you could do a lot worse.
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.