College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 1/7/21
College basketball season is entering conference play, 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 NBA contests.
Now that you're in the know, we can attack today's slate, which locks at 7:00 p.m. EST.
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois ($8,500) - Dosunmu is an interesting player on this slate. First off, I believe he will fly under the radar with Luka Garza on the slate. Due to the lack of viable salary savers, it's very difficult to roster both Dosunmu and Garza. That makes Dosunmu an intriguing target in tournaments. The Illinois star owns a massive 30.3% usage rate, and he takes 32.5% of the team's shots when he's on the floor, per KenPom. Furthermore, he has an impressive 27.1% assist rate. The matchup with Northwestern Wildcats isn't imposing as the Wildcats are 58th in KenPom's defensive rankings.
Joel Ayayi, Gonzaga ($6,900) - Ayayi provides a solid floor with monster upside due to his ability to contribute on both ends of the court. The Gonzaga Bulldogs' guard is playing the best basketball of his career over the last three games. In that span, Ayayi is averaging 18.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.7 blocks/steals in 26.7 minutes. The matchup with BYU isn't a tough one as the Cougars are 71st in KenPom's defensive rankings.
Andre Curbelo, Illinois ($6,100) - The freshman has emerged as one of Illinois' best players this season. Curbelo is averaging 0.94 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he should pay off his salary in 25.8 minutes of action (assuming value is 4x of player's salary). The Illinois guard has logged at least 27 minutes in each of the last three games.
Quade Green, Washington ($6,100) - While the matchup with the Stanford Cardinal is rough (eighth in KenPom's defensive rankings), Green looks like a solid play. The senior owns a 28.6% usage rate and 24.4% assist rate. Quite simply -- players with rates like Green's typically aren't priced in the low $6,000s.
Michael O'Connell, Stanford ($4,300) - This is contingent upon Daejon Davis and Bryce Wills sitting out. Both players are questionable for Thursday night's game. If both guys are out, O'Connell will likely start at point guard. He scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out eight assists, and blocked a shot in 30 minutes with Davis out and Wills sustaining an injury in Stanford's last game. Rob Phinisee ($4,800) is also a viable value play as he'll likely approach 30 minutes of playing time for the Indiana Hoosiers with Armaan Franklin sidelined.
Darryl Morsell, Maryland ($4,000) - Morsell missed the Maryland Terrapins' last game due to a facial injury. While he won't start tonight and probably won't approach his normal workload, his salary has been discounted heavily (he's slated to play unless he has a setback pregame). He's normally priced in the high $5,000s to low $6,000s. The senior is averaging 0.75 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he'll need to play around only 21.4 minutes to pay off his salary. Morsell averaged 30.8 minutes of playing time in the four games prior to his injury.
Luka Garza, Iowa ($9,400) - Garza is averaging only 30.5 FanDuel points over the last two games. However, I'm expecting his recent "cold" stretch to end tonight as the Iowa Hawkeyes travel to Maryland. The Terrapins have one of the worst defenses in the Big Ten as they rank 87th in KenPom's defensive rankings. Garza owns a massive 29.9% usage rate, and he's taking 33.0% of the team's shots when he's on the floor, per KenPom. He's the top overall play on the slate.
Corey Kispert, Gonzaga ($7,000) - Kispert has the second best offensive rating in college basketball (153.5). The senior is lethal from beyond the three-point line as he's connecting on an eye-popping 50.8% of his three-point attempts. The matchup with BYU should be a fantastic spot for Kispert. The Cougars struggle defending the three-ball as they're allowing opponents to connect on 32.8% of their tries from long range (159th in KenPom's rankings). Additionally, Gonzaga is a great team to target as the Bulldogs have a slate-leading 89.00-point implied team total. Teammate, Drew Timme ($7,300) is also a solid play tonight.
Donta Scott, Maryland ($6,900) - Scott owns a 136.4 offensive rating, which is best amongst the Maryland Terrapins. The sophomore is averaging 0.86 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he should pay off his salary in 31.9 minutes of action. Scott has played at least 33 minutes in four straight games. The matchup with Iowa is also a massive pace-up game for Maryland. The Terps are 297th in KenPom's tempo rankings while Iowa is 83rd.
Keegan Murray, Iowa ($4,400) - There's not a lot of value at the forward position on Thursday night. However, Murray is a fine source of salary relief. He'll become an excellent value play if Connor McCaffrey sits out (nursing a sprained ankle). Murray has seen an increase in playing time over the last two games, and he is averaging 11.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists, and 4.0 blocks/steals in 22.0 minutes over that span. Most importantly, the salary relief potentially allows us to unlock Garza. I also think Nate Reuvers ($4,500) makes sense as a value play. While he's struggled, he is talented and was voted to the preseason All-Big Ten team prior to this season.
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.