College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 1/21/20
College basketball season is entering conference play, and we have a ten-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?
Markus Howard, Marquette ($8,600) - Howard has an insane usage rate of 38.4% and takes 42.4% of Marquette's field goal attempts when he's on the floor, per KenPom. Both rank first and second in the nation, respectively. Howard averages 28.2 points per game, which leads the nation. Throw in a massive implied team total of 80.5, and Howard is the slate's top play. Backcourt mate Koby McEwen is also worth a look at a much cheaper price tag ($5,000).
Tre Jones, Duke ($7,600) - The Duke Blue Devils' point guard is averaging 0.97 FanDuel fantasy points per minute. At his production clip, he should pay off his current price tag in 31.5 minutes. Jones is averaging 33.3 minutes per game this season. Throw in a phenomenal matchup as the Blue Devils host the Miami Hurricanes. The Hurricanes are 214th in KenPom's adjusted defense ratings. Duke guard Cassius Stanley ($6,600) is also an excellent play.
Ashton Hagans, Kentucky ($7,100) - Hagans has one of the safest floors in college basketball. The Kentucky Wildcats' guard has topped 20 FanDuel points in 14 straight games (12 of those games have been more than 30 FanDuel points). The matchup with Georgia Bulldogs is intriguing. The Bulldogs are 109th in KenPom's adjusted defense ratings. Hagans is one of the top guard plays on this slate.
Anthony Cowan Jr., Maryland ($6,100) - Cowan Jr. leads the Maryland Terrapins in minutes (33.6 per game), points (15.6), and assists (4.2). Cowan Jr. owns a usage rate of 24.7%, which is also tops the team. Due to a shooting slump (10 consecutive games shooting below 50% from the field), Cowan Jr.'s price tag has declined. The matchup with Northwestern Wildcats should provide the senior with plenty of open looks. The Wildcats are 112th in KenPom's adjusted defense ratings.
Nojel Eastern, Purdue ($4,300) - Eastern is a lockdown defender, and his ability to defend all five positions has him playing a large role for the Purdue Boilermakers. The junior has played 27 minutes or more in five consecutive games. He's averaging 22.3 FanDuel points over the last two games despite difficult matchups with Michigan State Spartans and Maryland Terrapins. Other cheap guards worth a look are Darryl Morsell ($4,500) of Maryland and Marlon Taylor ($3,500) of LSU.
Vernon Carey Jr., Duke ($7,700) - Carey Jr. leads the Blue Devils with a 30.2% usage rate. Additionally, he takes 29.1% of Duke's shots when he's on the floor, which also leads the team, per KenPom. The freshman phenom dropped 24 points, nine rebounds, two assists, one block, and one steal in 25 minutes against Miami in the first matchup between these two.
Jalen Smith, Maryland ($7,400) - Smith is an elite rebounder and shot blocker. The future pro is averaging 1.05 FanDuel fantasy points per minute. At his production clip, he should pay off his current price tag in 28.2 minutes. Smith has played at least 29 minutes in four consecutive games. He's one of the top forwards on this slate.
Nick Richards, Kentucky ($6,700) - Richards has scored at least 13 real-life points and grabbed at least seven rebounds in six straight games. The emerging junior is averaging 13.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 0.4 assists, and 2.6 blocks/steals in 28.5 minutes. On top of facing off with Georgia's struggling defense, the matchup is further enhanced as this will be a pace-up game for Kentucky. The Bulldogs are 76th in KenPom's adjusted tempo rating while Kentucky is 201st.
Brendan Bailey, Marquette ($5,700) - Bailey is locked into huge minutes as the Golden Eagles' starting power forward. He's averaging 0.78 FanDuel fantasy points per minute. At that rate, he should pay off his price tag in 29.2 minutes. Bailey has logged 30 minutes or more in five out of the last six games. With Ed Morrow taking a leave absence, Bailey should continue to play a ton.
Omar Payne, Florida ($4,000) - Payne exploded for 19 points, 11 rebounds, one assist, and one block in 32 minutes in Florida's 69-47 win over Auburn. The freshman's price tag hasn't increased despite his breakout performance. Look for Payne to continue his excellent play against defensive-deficient LSU, a team that is 128th in KenPom's adjusted defense ratings. Other cheap forwards worth a look are Matthew Hurt ($4,900) of Duke, Yor Anei ($4,500) of Oklahoma State, Robbie Beran ($4,000) of Northwestern, and Jayce Johnson ($3,800) of Marquette
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.