College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 2/28/19
College basketball season is in full tilt.
March Madness is less than 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 seven games. There's only 1 ranked team among the 14, and a pair of Pac 12 matchups lead the way in terms of fantasy potential.
|Thursday, February 28th|
|Nebraska at #9 Michigan|
|Connecticut at Wichita State|
|Washington State at Stanford|
|Arizona at Oregon State|
|Minnesota at Northwestern|
|USC at UCLA|
|Arizona State at Oregon|
Which players should you be targeting and why?
Jaylen Hands, UCLA ($7,700): At home, the UCLA Bruins are favored by three points over the USC Trojans, giving them a 78.75-point implied total -- good enough for second on the entire slate. This is expected to be the night's highest-scoring game -- as shown by a 154.5 over/under -- for obvious reasons. While USC ranks 69th in KenPom.com's adjusted tempo, their crosstown rival sits 17th, averaging 72.8 possessions a game and 2.8 more than the already fast-paced Trojans. It's a breeding ground for fantasy points, and Hands should benefit as much as anyone. The 6'3" sophomore sports a 24.0% usage rate and averages 27.4 FanDuel points on 13.5 points, 6.4 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks-plus-steals. He is well-rounded when it comes to production, and his scoring is actually up to 15.3 points per game in conference play. Hands is a lock in virtually all formats tonight.
Remy Martin, Arizona State ($7,300): With only a 67.5-point implied total, Arizona State is in a less-than-ideal spot at Oregon. The Ducks are a severe contrast from the Sun Devils' fast-paced approach, which could hurt Martin and company. However, this is expected to be a close game (2.5-point spread), and if Arizona State can pick up the pace, Martin should pay off. The sophomore is playing big minutes, averaging 33.7 for the year, 35.0 in Pac 12 play and 36.6 in his last five. He's a sure thing for a massive workload as he's running with a 20.4% usage rate and 28.5% assist rate. And as we've seen of late, his ability to score and hand out assists has given him a ceiling of 30-plus FanDuel points, which is enough to counteract the lower-scoring game script in this one.
Daejon Davis, Stanford ($6,400): Also in the Pac 12, the Stanford-Washington State contest has some appeal, though it's primarily one-sided. As 8.5-point home favorites, the Cardinal check in with the slate's highest implied total and the only one over 80 points. Stanford averages just 72.4 points in conference play, showing just how big a bump the Cougars' poor defense gives them. Davis might just end the evening as the top point-per-dollar play on the board. He possesses a 22.7% usage rate against Pac 12 foes, converting 4.1 of 9.4 attempts per night for 12.3 points a game.
Kevin Porter Jr., USC ($5,400): The last meeting between these two resulted in a 80-67 win for USC, but oddsmakers clearly expect this matchup to be closer. That keeps both sides in play for DFS, making this a stackable game. Of all the options on the Trojans' side, Porter might just be the most appealing based on talent and recent production. After dealing with a long injury absence, the stud freshman has logged 30, 23, 19 and 27 minutes in the last four. He hasn't started, yet in that time he's used at least 20% of the team's possessions in each game with a usage rate above 24% in three of them. He's turned in three double-digit scoring games and a double-double last time out. Porter is averaging 21.5 FanDuel points, which is very good when you consider he needs just 21.6 fantasy points for four-times value (4.0 points per $1,000 in salary).
Jules Bernard, UCLA ($4,900): Going right back to that game in L.A., it appears that Prince Ali -- considered day-to-day -- will likely be out again due to complications from plantar fasciitis. That leaves open 24.6 minutes, 7.8 shots and 9.7 points per game in the Bruins' backcourt. And while it's David Singleton who has drawn the start in the last two, Bernard has stepped up with 10 and 20 points off the bench. Over the last three games, the freshman has turned 24.7 minutes into 16.3 points and 22.6 FanDuel points per contest. Two of those three games came against tougher defenses than USC's, which ranks 99th in efficiency and allows 76.3 points per game on the year. If he sees the minutes, Bernard could enjoy another big scoring night.
Tres Tinkle, Oregon State ($8,800): If you're looking for a consistently good producer, regardless of price, Oregon State forward Tres Tinkle is your top option. The coach's son averages a slate-best 37.3 FanDuel points over 35.9 minutes a game and on a bonkers 29.1% usage rate. He uses 4.7% more possessions than the next-closest OSU starter, which has helped him to 14.5 field goal attempts and 19.8 points per game. He is a way better option than Robert Franks, the only other player truly on Tinkle's elite level tonight. While Arizona, Tinkle's opponent, is respectable defensively (48th), they allow 70.5 points in conference and 78.6 in road games.
Nick Rakocevic, USC ($7,500): Returning to the Men of Troy, we're looking up in price at forward at a guy who not long ago was priced well above $8,000. Rakocevic has had a bit of an up-and-down season, though lineup changes have played a role. After a two-game run from the bench, the 6'11" junior has started the two most recent games. He averages right on 30 minutes in starts, which has resulted in 30.7 FanDuel points a game. That would return 4.1 points per $1,000 at tonight's cost. And lucky us, Rakocevic should be low owned after playing 10 minutes due to foul trouble last game.
Oscar Da Silva, Stanford ($6,200): There's nothing suspicious about the Cardinal's sky-high total. Washington State is the worst defensive team on the slate, ranking 292nd in the nation in efficiency and allowing 77.9 points per game (79.5 in Pac 12 play). They're also 158th in rebounding and surrender 10.5 offensive rebounds per game. Da Silva, a 6'9" sophomore, is well-equipped to exploit that weakness, grabbing 5.9 total rebounds per night and 1.5 offensive boards per game in conference matchups. He's also converted 72.7% of his putback attempts at the rim, per Hoop-Math. Look for him to go for double-digit points for the fifth time in seven games.
De'Quon Lake, Arizona State ($3,900): Again, the Sun Devils aren't in the most obvious of spots, but that doesn't keep Lake from being a worthy option in both cash and tournaments. He started last game, notching his second start of the 2018-19 season. In those two, he's played 20 and 21 minutes, going for 20.4 and 18.8 FanDuel points, respectively. If he's placed in a starting role again, 15.6 fantasy points (4.0 points per $1,000) should be nothing. He's shooting an uber-efficient 76.2% from the field this year. Take the savings and pay up for the upside of Tinkle and others.
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.