College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 1/29/20
College basketball season is in the middle of 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?
Relevant Injury Situations: Xavier guard Quentin Goodin is questionable with a knee injury. Zach Freemantle ($4,100) has started the last two games in his place. Xavier forward Naji Marshall is banged and is listed as a game-time decision. Texas Longhorns will be missing forwards Kamaka Hepa and Gerald Liddell, for the second consecutive game. Kai Jones ($3,600) started in Hepa's place and looks like a decent value if he can stay out of foul trouble (racked up four fouls in only 17 minutes in the last game). Kansas State forward Antonio Gordon is suspended. Arkansas guard Isaiah Joe is a game-time decision after missing the Razorbacks' last game.
Markus Howard, Marquette ($8,500) - Anytime Howard is available, we must seriously consider rostering him due to his insane usage rate. The Marquette star has a usage rate of 38.6%, which ranks second nationally per KenPom. He takes 42.4% of the Golden Eagles shots when he’s on the floor (ranks first nationally). He’s averaging 28.3 real-life points, which also leads the nation.
Skylar Mays, LSU ($6,900) - The Louisiana State guard is intriguing due to his ability to contribute in every statistical area. Mays is averaging 15.7 points (leads team), 4.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.4 blocks/steals in 34.5 minutes (leads team). On tap is a phenomenal matchup with the fast-pace Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama ranks 3rd nationally in KenPom’s adjusted tempo ratings. Mays should have plenty of opportunities to pad the stat sheet. John Petty Jr. ($6,700) is a viable alternative.
Jared Butler, Baylor ($6,100) - Butler owns a usage rate of 26.4% and takes 28.9% of the Baylor Bears’ shots when he’s on the floor, per KenPom. Both of those numbers are best on the team. He’s in a great spot against the fast-paced and defensive-deficient Iowa State Cyclones. The Cyclones are 129th in KenPom’s adjusted defense ratings. Backcourt mate MaCio Teague ($5,700) is also viable at a cheaper price tag.
Paul Scruggs, Xavier ($5,900) - Scruggs has recorded at least 20 FanDuel points in five consecutive games. The Xavier point guard will square off in a pace-up game against Marquette. The Golden Eagles are 38th in KenPom’s adjusted tempo ratings, while Xavier is 185th. Scruggs’ appeal could be further enhanced if Naji Marshall is limited. Marshall, the Muskateers’ leading scorer (16.7 points per game), was banged up in the Muskateers’ last game against Creighton. Tyrique Jones ($7,100) would also benefit if Marshall is limited.
Mark Vital, Baylor ($4,700) - The junior averages .76 FanDuel points per minute. At that production clip, he should pay off his current price tag in 24.7 minutes of action. Vital has played 24 or more minutes in 10 consecutive games. Throw in a major pace-up game (as mentioned in the Butler blurb), and Vital looks like one of the better value plays on this slate.
Others guards to consider (below $5,000): Jalen Harris, David Sloan, DaJuan Gordon, Ibi Watson, Rodney Chatman, Marlon Taylor, Jamal Bienemy, Courtney Ramey, Jermaine Haley, Miles McBride, Rob Phinisee, Jermaine Couisnard, Desi Sills, and Davion Mitchell
Obi Toppin, Dayton ($8,300) - The Dayton Flyers’ star provides a stable floor but also has a huge ceiling. Toppin has recorded 23.5 FanDuel points or more in every game this season. He’s also recorded at least 44.6 FanDuel points in three games. His dominating play should continue as the Flyers travel to Duquesne. The Dukes are 68th in KenPom’s adjusted defense ratings.
Lamar Stevens, Penn State ($7,200) - The Penn State star is a force on both ends of the court. He owns a usage rate of 29.2%, which leads the team. He’s averaging 16.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 2.4 blocks/steals in 29.3 minutes. Throw in a home game (averages 32.96 FanDuel points at home) against Indiana, and Stevens is one of the best forward plays on this slate. I also like Baylor forward Freddie Gillespie ($6,700) if you can't afford to get up to Stevens.
Emmitt Williams, LSU ($6,400) - Williams is averaging .9 FanDuel points per minute. At that production clip, he should pay off his current price tag in 28.4 minutes of action. The LSU forward has played 28 or more minutes in five straight games. Combine that with LSU’s sky-high implied team total of 83 (LSU averages 79.6 points per game), and Williams is one of the better mid-tier forward plays on this slate. Derek Culver ($6,100) and Herbert Jones ($6,000) are solid alternatives to Williams.
Trendon Watford, LSU ($5,900) - LSU’s prized recruit is logging monster minutes (30 minutes or more in six out of the last seven games) and is emerging as a force to be reckoned with moving forward. Watford has topped 21 FanDuel points in seven consecutive games, yet he can be had for under $6,000. Frontcourt mate Darius Days ($5,500) and Justin Minaya ($5,200) also looks like a bargain at lower price tags.
Zach Freemantle, Xavier ($4,100) - Freemantle is likely to make his third straight start with Quentin Goodin listed as questionable for tonight’s matchup with Marquette. Goodin has missed Xavier’s last two games with a knee injury. As of Tuesday, Goodin wasn’t participating in contact drills, which leads me to believe that he’s more likely to miss tonight’s game than suit up. In the two games without Goodin, Freemantle averaged 11.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 blocks, and 0.5 steals in 32 minutes (equates to 25.1 FanDuel points per game). As stated above, Naji Marshall is also banged up, so Freemantle could find himself playing heavy minutes. At his current price tag, he’s extremely intriguing.
Others forwards to consider (below $5,000): Montavious Murphy, Kai Jones, Adrio Bailey, Keyshawn Bryant, Jason Carter, Makol Mawien, and Sam Young
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.