College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 11/22/19

Vernon Carey Jr. has been a dominant force for Duke early in the season. Will that continue Friday night, and who else should we be targeting?

College basketball season is upon us, and we have a six-game slate tonight.

March Madness is 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.

Which players should you be targeting, and why?


Tre Jones, Duke ($7,800) – The Duke Blue Devils' point guard is averaging 15.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.8 blocks/steals in only 29.8 minutes of action. With a competitive game on tap with the Georgetown Hoyas, Jones’ minutes should spike up (averaged 34.2 minutes per game last season). The sophomore should have no trouble stuffing the stat sheet against the fast-paced Hoyas (27th in Ken Pom’s adjusted tempo ranking).

Sam Merrill, Utah State ($6,900) – Merrill received plenty of preseason accolades. The reigning Mountain West Player of the Year is averaging 17.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 0.6 steals through four games. His ceiling is enormous in tonight’s matchup with LSU as it projects to be the first competitive game Utah State has played this season. The Aggies have beaten each of their first four opponents by no less than 32 points.

Anthony Cowan Jr. ($6,100) – The Maryland Terrapins' guard has recorded at least 24.3 FanDuel points in every game this season while logging 29.8 minutes per game. His minutes have been kept in check since Maryland has won all four games this season by at least 18 points. The senior averaged nearly 35 minutes per game a season ago. Should his minutes increase, even slightly, his production will crush his current price tag.

Ashton Hagans, Kentucky ($5,700) – The Kentucky Wildcats had only seven scholarship players available in their last game. That might not change tonight as, reportedly, Immanuel Quickley and E.J. Montgomery are both highly questionable. Without Quickley in the fold, Hagans scored 26 points, grabbed five rebounds, dished out five assists, blocked a shot, and recorded a steal in Kentucky’s 82-74 win over Utah Valley.

Desi Sills, Arkansas ($4,300) – Sills ranks third on the Arkansas roster in field goal attempts (39) and minutes played (118). The sophomore guard is in a major shooting slump to start the season as he’s missed 26 of his 39 shot attempts (33% field goal percentage). His shots will start falling soon as he shot 44% from the field a season ago. He’s worth the roll of the dice at his cheap price tag in a matchup with the defensively challenged South Dakota Coyotes (199th in Ken Pom’s adjusted defense ranking).


Jalen Smith, Maryland ($7,500) – The future lottery pick has been a dominant force on both ends of the court. Smith is averaging 15.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 1.3 steals in 27.5 minutes. Tonight’s opponent, George Mason, does not have the personnel to match up with the Maryland big man.

Vernon Carey Jr., Duke ($7,300) – Carey Jr. has flashed his enormous potential in Duke’s last two contests. In those two games, the likely one-and-done college forward has recorded 41.3 and 51.4 FanDuel points -- yet his price is only $7,300 tonight. Play him before his salary skyrockets.

Adrio Bailey, Arkansas ($6,200) – Known for his defensive prowess and rebounding ability, Bailey is a force on both ends of the court. The senior is averaging 1.05 fantasy points per minute this season. He’ll need to log only around 24 or 25 minutes tonight to hit value (assuming value is 4x the player’s price tag). Bailey has recorded at least 23 FanDuel points in four straight games.

Nick Richards, Kentucky ($6,000) – As mentioned in the Hagans blurb, Kentucky is potentially shorthanded in their matchup tonight with Mount St. Mary's. While Richards can be inconsistent (mainly due to foul trouble), his upside is enormous. The junior has recorded 21 points and 10 rebounds in two out of four games this season.

Trendon Watford, LSU ($4,700) – The crown jewel of LSU’s 2019 recruiting class is playing a vital role for the Tigers early in the season. In LSU’s last outing, the freshman had his best game yet as he scored 12 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, had an assist, and recorded a steal in 33 minutes. Watford is underpriced for his talent and role. He’s one of the better value plays on this slate.

Matthew Hiatt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matthew Hiatt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username easternmh. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her 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.