College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 1/30/20

Taking on Iowa, Jalen Smith is in a great spot on Thursday. Who else should we be targeting?

College basketball season is in the middle of conference play, and we have a seven-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 7:30 p.m. EST.

Which players should you be targeting, and why?

Relevant Injury Situations: Illinois guard Alan Griffin is suspended. Da'Monte Williams ($3,500) logged 31 minutes in the team's first game without Griffin. While he doesn't possess a high ceiling, he does provide plenty of salary relief if you need it.


Tyler Bey, Colorado ($7,300) - Bey leads the Colorado Buffaloes with a 25.1% usage rate. On top of that, he’s one of the best two-way players in the Pac-12. The versatile guard is averaging 13.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 3.1 blocks/steals in 27.6 minutes. Throw in a date with a brutal UCLA defense (181st n KenPom’s adjusted defense ratings), and Bey becomes an attractive play on this slate. Backcourt mate McKinley Wright IV ($6,600) is also a good option at a slightly cheaper price tag if you can’t afford to spend up for Bey.

Chris Duarte, Oregon ($7,000) - Duarte has posted mind-boggling stat lines in each of the Oregon Ducks' last two games. He recorded 62.2 FanDuel points against the Southern California Trojans and followed that up with 54.7 FanDuel points against UCLA. While the 14 steals and four blocks he recorded in the last two games isn't sustainable, he did score 54 real-life points and collect 17 rebounds across the two. He's firmly in play with a good matchup against the struggling California Golden Bears. The Bears are 130th in KenPom's adjusted defense ratings. Look for Duarte to continue his strong play. Teammate Payton Pritchard ($8,400) is also in a good spot, albeit significantly more expensive.

Tyrell Terry, Stanford ($6,400) - Terry owns a solid usage rate of 25.7%, and he takes 26.9% of the Stanford Cardinal's shots when he's on the floor, per KenPom. He's playing a ton of minutes (at least 30 in eight of the last nine games), which only adds to his appeal. Add in a matchup with Oregon State's atrocious defense, and Terry makes for a sweet choice today. The Beavers are 193rd in KenPom's adjusted defense ratings.

Anthony Cowan Jr., Maryland ($6,000) - Cowan is averaging 0.78 FanDuel points per minute. At that production clip, he should pay off his current price tag in 30.8 minutes of action. The senior guard has logged at least 32 minutes in eight consecutive games. He looks like one of the best mid-tier guard plays on this slate.

Jaime Jacquez Jr., UCLA ($4,800) - The freshman is averaging 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.6 blocks/steals in 24.2 minutes. Predicting UCLA's rotation on a nightly basis is a nightmare. However, Jacquez's minutes have spiked as of late (30-plus in each of the last three). He's scored at least 10 real-life points in four straight games. He's one of the better cheap guards on this slate.

Others guards to consider (below $5,000): Joe Toussaint, Paris Austin, Will Richardson, Jalen Williams, Andres Feliz, D'Shawn Schwartz, Trent Frazier, Gabe Kalscheur, Payton Willis, Tahj Eaddy, Bryce Wills, Darryl Morsell, and Marcus Tsohonis


Jalen Smith, Maryland ($8,200) - This slate is loaded with top-end forward plays (Luka Garza, Tres Tinkle, and Daniel Oturu -- who we will touch on), but it is Smith who I like the most. The Maryland Terrapins' big man has been on absolute tear as of late. He’s averaging 44.13 FanDuel points over his last the three games. I’m expecting his recent domination to continue as the Terps host the Iowa Hawkeyes. Not only is this a major pace-up game for Maryland (the Terrapins are 237th in KenPom’s adjusted tempo ratings while Iowa is 77th), but Iowa isn’t particularly good on defense. The Hawkeyes check in 78th on KenPom’s adjusted defense ratings. I also like Luka Garza ($9,000) and Daniel Oturu ($8,600) as viable alternatives who are a bit more expensive than Smith. I'm not as high on Tres Tinkle though.

Oscar da Silva, Stanford ($6,500) - Da Silva leads the Cardinal in points (16.0 per game) and rebounds (5.7). He also has the propensity to rack up steals and blocks as he’s averaging 2.2 steals/blocks per game. As mentioned above (in the Terry blurb), the matchup with Oregon State is outstanding. Da Silva should have no problem posting a huge stat line against the Beavers.

Killian Tillie, Gonzaga ($6,500) - Despite playing on the road, the Gonzaga Bulldogs are carrying a massive 86.5-point implied team total. You’re going to want to have at least some exposure to Gonzaga, and that’s where Tillie comes in. The senior does a little bit of everything as he’s averaging 13.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.1 blocks/steals in 24.7 minutes. As a result of his ability to contribute in every statistical category, the Gonzaga forward has a stable floor and also provides a strong ceiling. Tillie has recorded at least 21.2 FanDuel points in seven consecutive games. He’s coming off a 44.1-FanDuel-point performance against Pacific. He’s one of my favorite plays on the entire slate. Teammates Joel Ayayi ($6,500) and Ryan Woolridge ($6,100) are viable, too, in the mid-tier guard range. Sharpshooting forward Corey Kispert ($5,700) is also interesting as he’s connects on 43.5% of his three-pointers. That could spell trouble for Santa Clara, a team that does not defend the three-pointer (allowing opposing teams to make 36.4% of their three-point attempts, per KenPom, which ranks 301st in the country).

Kofi Cockburn, Illinois ($6,300) - The seven-foot freshman from Jamaica is an excellent rebounder and an elite shot blocker. He’s also heavily involved on the offensive end as he leads the Illini with a 26.6% usage rate. While he’ll have to contend with Minnesota stud forward Daniel Oturu (draws 5.4 fouls per 40 minutes, per KenPom), Cockburn is simply too cheap for his level of production. Cockburn is averaging 1.03 FanDuel points per minute. He should pay off his current price tag as long as he’s plays 24.5 minutes. The emerging Illini star has played 30-plus minutes in four straight games.

Spencer Jones, Stanford ($4,600) - Jones is interesting simply because he’s cheap and plays a lot of minutes. The Stanford forward is averaging only 0.61 FanDuel points per minute, but he won’t have to do much to be worth the investment at this dirt-cheap price tag. At that production clip, Jones should pay off his current price tag in 30.1 minutes of action. The freshman has logged at least 30 minutes in nine straight games.

Others forwards to consider (below $5,000): Nahziah Carter, Evan Battey, Alihan Demir, Keshawn Justice, DJ Mitchell, Chandler Lawson, Hameir Wright, Grant Anticevich, and Raequan Battle

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.