College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 12/29/20
College basketball season is finally here, and we have a six-game slate today.
March Madness is a ways off at this point, 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 slate, which locks at 6:00 p.m. EST.
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers ($8,300) - Harper Jr. plays a ton of minutes, takes a lot of shots, and is a good defender. The junior has a 23.5% usage rate, and he's also hoisting up 31.3% of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights' shots when he's on the floor, per KenPom. Harper Jr. ranks seventh nationally with 23.4 points per game. Despite that, he's likely to go overlooked on tonight's slate with Luka Garza being the obvious chalk play. Due to the lack of low salary value plays, it's unlikely that both Harper Jr. and Garza can be rostered on the same lineup. As a result, Harper Jr. makes for an interesting target in tournaments.
Herbert Jones, Alabama ($6,800) - Jones is averaging 0.91 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he should pay off his salary in 29.9 minutes of action. Jones has logged at least 30 minutes in five out of the last six games.
Devontae Shuler, Mississippi ($6,100) - Shuler looks like an excellent target who won't break the bank. The Mississippi Rebels guard has the ability to rack up monster box scores due to his ability to contribute in every major statistical area. Shuler has a 24.8% usage rate and takes 26.3% of the Rebels' shots when he's on the floor, per KenPom (both are team-high). He also leads the Rebels with a 24.3% assist rate. Up next is a major pace-up game against Alabama. Alabama is 28th in KenPom's tempo rankings, while Mississippi is 232nd.
Jordan Bohannon, Iowa ($4,800) - Playing alongside Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp should yield plenty of open shots for the three-point specialist. However, Bohannon is struggling mightily from the field. The senior is only connecting on 30.6% of his field goal attempts this season, which is down significantly from his last full season (he made 38.1% of his field goal attempts in the 2018-19 season). On the plus side, his floor is relatively stable because he's a willing rebounder (averages 2.7 rebounders per game) and owns a 23.7% assist rate, per KenPom (second-highest on the team).
Geo Baker, Rutgers ($4,500) - The senior was one of the Scarlet Knights' best players last season, as he averaged 10.9 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in 28.9 minutes. Baker missed the Scarlet Knights' first three games this season due to an injury. He appears to be fully healthy, as he's logged 31 minutes in each of the last two games. Take advantage of his low salary now before it inevitably increases. He's a great source of salary relief, and it will be needed with Luka Garza available on this slate.
Luka Garza, Iowa ($9,500) - Garza is a man amongst boys on the basketball court this season. The Iowa forward's salary creates some challenges due to the lack of viable value plays, but the combination of floor and ceiling is too hard to ignore. Garza has tallied at least 37.6 FanDuel points in all nine games this season. He's cleared 50 FanDuel points in four games. On tap is a matchup with the Northwestern Wildcats. Northwestern's 46th ranked defense, per KenPom, isn't an obstacle for the National Player of the Year candidate.
Trevion Williams, Purdue ($7,500) - Williams is the definition of a boom or bust play. His fantasy performances typically hinge on whether the Purdue Boilermakers forward can avoid foul trouble (called for 5.4 fouls per 40 minutes, per KenPom). However, he's worth the investment in tournaments due to his enormous upside. The junior's 34.7% usage rate ranks fifth in the country; he's also taking 35.1% of the team's shots when he's on the floor, per KenPom. Williams also has strong rebounding rates, which further enhances his DFS appeal.
Aamir Simms, Clemson ($6,400) - Simms leads the Clemson Tigers with a 26.7% usage rate, per KenPom. His playing time has been inconsistent because he's found himself in foul trouble more often than not this season (called for 5.8 fouls per 40 minutes). I'd expect that to change as the season progresses because Simms largely stayed out of foul trouble last season (called for 3.0 fouls per 40 minutes a season ago). He's averaging 23.6 minutes per game this season as a result, which is down nearly eight minutes per game from last season (31.6 per game). The senior has the ability to post a huge stat line if he can stay on the floor due to his ability to contribute on both ends of the court.
Miller Kopp, Northwestern ($5,900) - Kopp has been phenomenal in Big Ten play this season. In three conference games, the junior is averaging 13.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.33 blocks/steals in 30.7 minutes. His strong play is likely to continue in a fast-paced matchup with the defensive-optional Iowa Hawkeyes. Northwestern is 132nd in KenPom's tempo rankings, while Iowa is 65th. Iowa is 91st in KenPom's defensive rankings.
Mason Gillis, Purdue ($4,000) - Gillis is the best source of salary relief at the forward spot tonight. He owns a starting assignment and has averaged 26.7 minutes of playing time over the last three games. There's upside here, as the freshman four-star prospect has a healthy 124.1 offensive rating, per KenPom.
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.