College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 2/20/19
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 eight games, including Wednesday's big rivalry matchup between Duke and North Carolina at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
|Wednesday, February 20th|
|#18 Louisville at Syracuse|
|Florida at #13 LSU|
|St. John's at Providence|
|Northwestern at Ohio State|
|Arkansas at Auburn|
|Butler at #11 Marquette|
|#8 North Carolina at #1 Duke|
|Creighton at DePaul|
Which players should you be targeting and why?
R.J. Barrett, Duke ($9,100): This year's version of the classic ACC rivalry is set to be a high-powered, high-scoring affair. Both Duke and UNC rank in the top 10 in KenPom.com's adjusted efficiency margin and offensive efficiency, and each is within the top 18 in adjusted tempo. Somehow, the Tar Heels actually average 1.8 more possessions per game, which could help to raise the ceilings of Barrett and Zion Williamson ($9,900) that much more. At this moment, the Blue Devils are implied for 86 points as nine-point home favorites in the game with the highest over/under of the night -- by 13 points at that. The Dukies' star freshman is fresh off a triple-double in which he went for 51.2 FanDuel points. He's now tallied 50 or more four times with all of them coming at home, where he's 47.8% from the floor en route to 41.3 FanDuel points a game (4.5 points per $1,000 at this price).
Jared Harper, Auburn ($7,800): Given the high-profile nature of Duke/UNC, other games with high over/unders that would otherwise garner a lot of attention might just fly under the radar. Versus Arkansas, Auburn is one of those teams, sporting an 81-point total of a 150 over/under on their home floor. Tigers guard Jared Harper is the prime target for that one, as he's averaging 28.0 FanDuel points and has 31.9 or more in three of the last five. That includes a 43.2-point outburst three games back against LSU. He has dished out eight assists in two of the last three and at least five in all but two games this calendar year. Fold in the Razorbacks' uptempo style -- 45th in adjusted tempo -- and we could be in for another big performance from Harper.
Justin Simon, St. John's ($6,700): Like Auburn players, St. John's players are likely to carry lower ownership despite a pretty good spot. They're on the road at Providence, but they are just one-point underdogs with a 70.25 implied total. And as we know, they have a bunch of guards worth consideration, as they mainly roll with one-big lineups. Simon is the best choice in light of price and potential though. He has upped his usage to 20.5% in conference play, during which he's averaging 11.4 points and 25.5 FanDuel points over 34.2 minutes a night. In his last four alone, he has two games with 13-plus points and 29.6 or more FanDuel points while averaging 37.3 minutes. Go after the minutes and the upside that come with them here.
Marcus Zegarowski, Creighton ($5,700): Creighton at DePaul is expected to be the most tightly contested game of the evening as it carries a pick 'em spread with both teams checking in at 75 points. On the road, the Bluejays get a Demons team ranked 168th in adjusted defense, putting them last among all teams on the slate. In his last game, Zegarowski seemed limited by a hand injury, but he doesn't need to do much for four-times value (22.8). He's also averaging 19.2 FanDuel points and has a nice 19.3% usage this season. However, he's probably best kept to tournament formats because of the injury concern.
A.J. Reeves, Providence ($4,700): Opposite the Red Storm, the Friars are implied at 71.25 points against a top-50 team by adjusted tempo. That's 4.1 points above their season average, in part because St. John's is allowing 74.8 points a game in Big East play. Specifically for Reeves, a pure scorer, that's good news. The bad news is the same reason he's so cheap: an injury has put a big hurt on his shooting. Since returning from a foot injury seven games ago, the freshman is shooting 31.7% over that span. Before that, though, he shot 48.0% and averaged 19.6 FanDuel points (4.2 points per $1,000 tonight). It is a dice roll, but a calculated one that could help you get maximum exposure to Duke/UNC.
Chuma Okeke, Auburn ($7,700): Again, going after Tigers might not be super popular this evening, but as a contrarian stack Harper and Okeke could pay off big. While Arkansas plays fast, they are 37th in rebounding rate allowed to opponents at 52.5%. The Auburn big man possesses a 13.2% rebound rate himself, all the while averaging 6.8 boards a game and 7.3 (at 14.0% rate) in conference play. Okeke is also playing in the confines of Auburn Arena, where he's shot 53.5% from the floor compared to 42.9% on the road this year. The result has been averages of 11.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 29.5 FanDuel in 14 home games to date. Three of his four double-doubles have come there, too, increasing the chances of yet another double-double against an SEC foe.
Cam Reddish, Duke ($7,500): Yes, Zion is always a great play, but it's hard to fit in that giant price tag on a mid-sized slate of this nature. However, we still need exposure to both sides of this game, and particularly on the Duke side. Reddish hasn't always been reliable this year, but as the other guy in Duke's star trio he has averaged a respectable 23.4 FanDuel points per game on 13.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 steals (in 28.2 minutes). In conference play, though, he's playing 32.5 minutes a game and turning that increase in time into 24.8 FanDuel points despite shooting just 34.0% from the floor and 31.9% from three. But when we narrow the scope to the last five games, we see that he's shooting an improved 41.4% and 36.0% from three on some serious volume. UNC's opponents, on average, take 40.8% of their shots from three and put up 73.3 points a game (73.5 in ACC play). Duke will be looking to Reddish often, and if his shot's falling he could easily pay off in a Duke stack.
Naz Reid, LSU ($6,900): 13th-ranked LSU is one of five top-25 teams in action, and while their matchup with Florida isn't ideal -- the Gators are 10th in adjusted defensive efficiency -- they own an implied total of 73.5. In conference play, they tally 85.3 points per game and have managed 83 or more in each of their five home SEC tilts. Reid, the team's star freshman, is first on the team in usage (27.4%), which has helped him to go for 23.5 FanDuel points per game, though that's up to 25.3 in a dozen conference games. He's also managed four straight games of 26.2 or more when on his home floor in Baton Rouge. He's a top point-per-dollar play at the forward slot.
Marek Dolezaj, Syracuse ($5,700): Of the eight games before us, Syracuse/Louisville is seventh by the oddsmakers' total. The Orange are two-point favorites at home and have just a 67.75 implied total, but this isn't a hard fade given their usual style of play. 'Cuse averages 70.0 points a game and 68.3 in conference play, and they might just benefit from the Cardinals' slightly higher tempo. That goes for Dolezaj as much as anyone, as the big man is playing valuable minutes off the bench and producing across the box score. The sophomore has played 28 and 31 minutes in back-to-back games, working his way to 26.5 and 22.5 FanDuel points, respectively. If you are looking for a higher ceiling, however, Duke's Marques Bolden ($5,800) is just $100 in that high-paced, high-scoring game in Durham.
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.