College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 1/9/20

Erik Stevenson and the Wichita State Shockers are in a great spot on Thursday night slate. Who else should we be targeting?

College basketball season is entering conference play, and we have a five-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?


Payton Pritchard, Oregon ($7,900) - The Oregon Ducks' floor general has a shot percentage of 26.4 and a usage rate of 27.0, according to Ken Pom. He also checks in at nine in Ken Pom's Player of the Year standings. Up next is a matchup with the significantly faster-paced Arizona Wildcats. Oregon is 306th in Ken Pom's adjusted tempo rating, while Arizona is 103rd. That should lead to extra play-making opportunities for the Ducks' star player.

Cassius Winston, Michigan State ($7,300) - It appears that Winston has finally turned a corner after a slow start to the season. The National Player of the Year candidate has recorded at least 34.8 FanDuel points in three consecutive games. Up next is a date with the Minnesota Golden Gophers' vulnerable defense. The Golden Gophers are 68th in Ken Pom's adjusted defense rating.

Erik Stevenson, Wichita State ($6,800) - I tend to favor players who can contribute in every statistical category, and Stevenson fits that bill. The sophomore leads the Wichita State Shockers in scoring (14.1 points per game) and steals (2.0 per game). He's second on the team in rebounds (5.5 per game) and assists (2.7 per game). Stevenson also plays a ton of minutes, as he's played at least 31 minutes in five out of the last six games.

Jamarius Burton, Wichita State ($5,800) - Burton is averaging .81 fantasy points per minute. At his production rate, he'll pay off his current price tag in 28.6 minutes of action (assuming value is 4x of a player's price tag). Burton has topped 30 minutes in five straight games.

Tyson Etienne, Wichita State ($4,600) - There isn't a ton of cheap value on this slate. The freshman has scored at least 10 real-life points in six out of the last eight games. I'm willing to roll the dice on Etienne in a huge pace-up game for the Shockers. That should lead to extra opportunities for the Wichita State guard. Wichita State is 141st in Ken Pom's adjusted tempo rating, while Memphis is 9th.


Daniel Oturu, Minnesota ($8,700) - Oturu is posting video game like numbers this season. The Minnesota big man is averaging 19.1 points, 12.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 3.6 blocks/steals in 32.9 minutes. Despite the difficult matchup against the surging Michigan State Spartans (ranked third in Ken Pom's team rating), Oturu is the top play on the slate. The sophomore has recorded at least 47.5 FanDuel points in each of the last three games.

Xavier Tillman, Michigan State ($8,000) - Tillman is a force on both ends of the court for Spartans. The junior is averaging 13.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 2.8 blocks/steals in 30.5 minutes. His minutes have increased since Big 10 play started. Tillman has recorded 38, 35, 33, and 36 minutes in four Big 10 games. Logging monster minutes and averaging 1.09 fantasy points per minute makes Tillman a viable alternative to Oturu (plus he's significantly cheaper).

Oscar da Silva, Stanford ($6,700) - da Silva leads the Stanford Cardinal with a 28.0 usage rate. He's also an elite defender. The junior is averaging 2.3 blocks/steals to go with his 17.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 28.6 minutes. HIs minutes are on the rise, as he's logged at least 30 minutes in six consecutive games. The Cardinal forward is averaging .97 fantasy points per minute. He should easily pay off his current price tag (he should exceed value if he logs 28 minutes or more).

Trey Wade, Wichita State ($5,300) - While Wade only averages 8.8 points per game, he's a solid rebounder and defender. The athletic forward will need to log heavy minutes against Memphis's impressive frontcourt. He's averaging .86 fantasy points per minute. At his production rate, he'll need to play around 25 minutes to pay off his current price tag (assuming value is 4x of a player's price tag). The junior has played 30 minutes or more in four out of the last five games. He's one of the better cheap forward options available on this slate.

Brandon Johns Jr., Michigan ($4,200) - Johns is a better play if Isaiah Livers sits out a second straight game. Livers missed the Michigan Wolverines' last game due to a groin injury, and he's currently described as day-to-day. It looks like there's a better chance that he sits out than suits up. Johns was inserted into the starting line up against Michigan State with Livers sidelined. He scored 12 points, grabbed two rebounds, and recorded a steal in 30 minutes. Even if Livers plays, Michigan will need Johns' size on the court as they take on a huge Purdue frontcourt.

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.