College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 2/14/19
College basketball season is in full tilt.
March Madness is still roughly a month 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 five games, including a heavily favored (-20.5) Gonzaga team traveling to Los Angeles to take on Loyola Marymount.
|Thursday, February 14th|
|Tulsa at Tulane|
|#9 Houston at UConn|
|Illinois at Ohio State|
|Arizona at Utah|
|#3 Gonzaga at Loyola Marymount|
Which players should you be targeting and why?
Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga ($8,800): As giant favorites on the road, the Bulldogs come into this game with the night's highest implied total (80.25), 4.75 points clear of the next-closest team. It's a down-pace game for Gonzaga as LMU averages 7.2 fewer possessions per game, per KenPom.com. That and their 75th-ranked defense held the Zags to 73 points in their earlier meeting in Spokane, which resulted in an 18-point win for the third-ranked team in the nation. Clarke posted just 26.6 FanDuel points, but that came in 23 minutes of work due to the blowout. The same blowout potential is there again, however, the Zags are on the road this time, where they've generally had much closer contests. Clarke is averaging 1.34 FanDuel points per minute on a 24.0% usage rate, so the sky is the limit if the minutes are there. Teammate Zach Norvell Jr. ($8,100) is also a great play at a cheaper cost, having posted a team-high 34.6% usage in the two teams' first meeting.
DaQuan Jeffries, Tulsa ($7,600): They rank outside the top 100 in adjusted efficiency margin and adjusted offensive efficiency, but Tulsa draws a great matchup versus a Tulane team ranked below them in both categories and even more importantly ranked 215th in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Green Wave allow 75.4 points per game and 78.1 in conference play alone, so the Golden Hurricane's 75.5 total makes all the more sense. That's exactly four points above their season average and five beyond their average in AAC play, which means more potential for fantasy scoring. Jeffries hasn't had a problem producing, either, averaging 26.1 FanDuel points for the year and 30.1 in his last seven, which includes a 17.5-point showing two games back. He racks up points in nearly all departments, posting a 23.1% usage, 13.4% assist rate and 11.2% rebound rate. Look for him to take advantage of Tulsa's high total and at potentially low ownership nonetheless.
Tarin Smith, Connecticut ($5,300): This evening's game between Connecticut and Houston has the lowest over/under (139.5) of the five games, but it would be wrong to completely fade a game on a short slate like this, specifically with UConn presenting value plays in this case. Top guards Jalen Adams and Alterique Gilbert are going to miss this game, leaving a combined 58.6 minutes, 23.8 shots and 30.0 points to be absorbed by others. In their first game without the two, the Huskies lost 78-71 to Memphis, a game in which Smith made a fourth straight start and played 39 minutes. The senior is averaging 36.5 minutes and 18.4 FanDuel points in those four starts, so while he's underwhelmed a tad, he maxed out at 21.2 last game as he gets more used to a larger workload. We just can't ignore the minutes at this low cost.
Sidney Wilson, Connecticut ($4,400): Those same injuries, along with the suspension to Kwintin Williams, impact the relevance of Wilson for fantasy purposes. The 6'7" freshman made his first start of the year on Sunday, taking 36 minutes for 16 points, 6 boards and 3 blocks (28.2 FanDuel points). At this price, he returned 6.4 points for every $1,000 worth of salary. All he needs for four-times value is 17.6 tonight. Forget about the Cougars' 11th-ranked defense. Lock in Wilson as a punt play and roster as many Zags as you can.
Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga ($8,400): Like most of his teammates, Hachimura played slightly reduced minutes (28) when the Bulldogs hosted the Lions less than a month ago. Since then, he's averaged 29.2 minutes a game despite logging 24 or fewer in that six-game span. He's still managed to average 35.4 FanDuel points -- 1.21 per minute -- with four games at or above tonight's salary-implied point total (33.2 at four-times value). His usage is down to 27.4% in conference play, but his efficiency is up, resulting in 31.9 FanDuel points per game across 28.2 minutes. Now without Killian Tillie for a second time this year, the junior forward should log no fewer than 28 minutes if LMU can keep it close past halftime.
Timmy Allen, Utah ($7,000): Utah isn't a very good team, nor are they any good on defense, allowing 108.0 points per 100 and 74.1 points per game. That could play well for tournament options on the Arizona side of this one, but the Utes' offense is 25th in efficiency and puts up 75.8 a game. Allen is one of the main reasons, as the 6'6" freshman is putting up 11.6 points and 20.9 FanDuel points per game on a 20.1% usage rate. And while that usage remains the same through 11 conference games, Allen has upped his per-game numbers to 14.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.3 blocks-plus-steals and 26.6 FanDuel points. He needs 28 for four-times value here, a mark he's hit three times in his last five and six times in conference play. The Wildcats' defense is okay (53rd in efficiency), but we can't ignore Utah's 73.75 total as 3.5-point home favorites.
Andre Wesson, Ohio State ($5,700): Another home favorite, Ohio State is third on the slate with a 75.25 implied total against Illinois. Tempo is a key reason for that, with the Illini averaging six more possessions per game and entering play 32nd in the nation in Ken Pom's adjusted tempo. Wesson has benefited from more playing time (29.5 minutes per) in Big Ten play, converting his minutes to 20.0 FanDuel points a game. Wesson has also had some of his best games in high-scoring affairs, including a 31-point, double-double outing against Penn State in a 74-70 Buckeyes win. Value is thin tonight, particularly at forward, so rolling with a high-upside play like Wesson is a near-must.
Filip Petrusev, Gonzaga ($4,900): If it wasn't already clear the Zags are stackable tonight given their high total and the landscape of Thursday's rather short, unexciting slate. Petrusev is the guy in value territory as he's picked up minutes in Tillie's stead. In a blowout win, Petrusev turned 21 minutes into 15 points, 5 rebounds and 21.5 FanDuel points -- 4.4 points per $1,000 on today's price. In fact, that's his fourth game of at least 19.6 FanDuel points, and he has put together two more of at least 19. He seems like the better tournament play, in a pivot from cash-game option Corey Kispert ($5,900), who runs $1,000 more but does so while averaging a solid 27.0 minutes and 16.8 FanDuel points on the season.
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.