College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 12/19/19

Vernon Carey headlines the Thursday night slate. Who else should we be targeting?

College basketball season is upon us, and we have a three-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 ($7,600) - Jones is menace on both sides of the court. The sensational sophomore contributes in every statistical category while also playing nearly the entire game. Jones is averaging 15.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 2.5 blocks/steals in 34.5 minutes. With the Duke Blue Devils carrying a slate-high implied team total (82.5), Jones is the top guard on the slate.

Anthony Cowan Jr., Maryland ($7,100) - Cowan Jr. leads the Maryland Terrapins in minutes (32.5 per game), points (16.5 per game), assists (4.3 per game), and steals (1.4 per game). He also leads the team in field goal attempts, as he's hoisted up 19.3% of the team's shots this season. The matchup with the Seton Hall Pirates is advantageous to Cowan Jr. and the Terrapins, as the Pirates are down their two best players.

Samir Doughty, Auburn ($6,300) - Doughty is averaging 17.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.5 blocks/steals in 31.8 minutes. His price tag has decreased dramatically after two rough games. He couldn't make a shot in the Auburn Tigers' last game against the Saint Louis Billikens (made 16.7% of his field goal attempts) and turned the ball over six times in the game prior to Saint Louis. With an implied team total of 79.75, it's a good time to target the Tigers' leading scorer.

J'Von McCormick, Auburn ($6,100) - With a slate high over/under of 151.5, you're going to want a good amount of exposure to the Auburn and North Carolina State game. The Auburn point guard has recorded 21.8 FanDuel points in six straight games. McCormick topped 31.6 FanDuel points in three of those games. Yet his price tag is only $6,100.

Quincy McKnight, Seton Hall ($5,000) - The Seton Hall Pirates will be without their top two leading scorers (as noted above). Powell will be forced to play as many minutes as he can handle. As the Pirates' third-leading scorer (9.6 points per game), Powell is the logical choice to step up and fill part of the scoring void. Jared Rhoden ($4,800) and Myles Cale ($4,500) are also two candidates to see increased minutes and offensive responsibility. They're both good values on this short slate in addition to McKnight.


Vernon Carey Jr., Duke ($8,500) - With several value plays available, the freshman phenom is not particularly difficult to pay up for on this slate. Carey Jr. is putting up monster numbers despite only playing 23.8 minutes per game. He's averaging 18.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, 0.6 assists, and 2.8 blocks/steals. Once again, he's the top play on the slate.

Jalen Smith, Maryland ($7,900) - With the Pirates' Sandro Mamukelashvili out, Jalen Smith should have a field day with the Seton Hall interior defense. The Pirates will likely assign Romero Gill to defend Smith. However, this is a huge mismatch, as Smith should take advantage of the lesser athletic Gill. Smith is a good bet to crack 30 FanDuel points for the fourth consecutive game.

Austin Wiley, Auburn ($5,900) - The Auburn big man can rack up fantasy points in a hurry, as he's averaging 1.17 fantasy points per minute. At his current production, he'll only need to play around 20.5 minutes to pay off his price tag (assuming value is 4x of a player's price tag). The senior has played at least 22 minutes in three straight games. Wiley is one of the best rim protectors in the country.

Matthew Hurt, Duke ($4,600) - When his jumper is falling, the highly touted freshman has 30-plus FanDuel points upside. The matchup with the Wofford Terriers is perfect for the sharpshooter. The Terriers are brutal defensively, as they rank 250th in Ken Pom's adjusted defense metric. Hurt is one of the better value plays on this slate.

Wendell Moore Jr., Duke ($4.400) - Moore Jr. is a boom or bust play. The freshman has NBA talent but has struggled at times with consistency. As a result, his minutes are dependent on his effectiveness in any single game. Perhaps he's starting to turn the corner as he's played at least 25 minutes in three out of the last four games. He's also recorded 24.9 FanDuel points in three out of the last four games. Moore Jr. is worth the gamble at his bargain basement price tag.

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.