College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 1/27/21
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?
All stats come from KenPom unless otherwise noted.
David Duke, Providence ($8,100) - Duke is a great option at the top of the salary range. He'll play nearly the entire game (averages 37.3 minutes per game) and has a monster usage rate (27.7%). He's also a willing rebounder (16.5% defensive rebounding rate) and an excellent passer (26.4% assist rate). Add it up and Duke has a sturdy floor with considerable upside. He's recorded at least 23.7 FanDuel points in all seven Big East conference games. He's cleared 40 FanDuel points in three of those games.
Marcus Zegarowski, Creighton ($7,000) - After logging 36 and 38 minutes in back-to-back games, it's clear that Zegarowski's hamstring has fully healed. I always love targeting the junior because he rarely leaves the court and takes a ton of shots. Zegarowski owns a 23.5% usage rate (second-highest on the team) and 23.2% assist rate (leads team). While it's a pace-down game for the Creighton Bluejays, the matchup with Seton Hall isn't imposing. The Pirates are 73rd in defense nationally.
DJ Carton, Marquette ($6,100) - Carton's usage rate (23.4%) and assist rate (24.1%) are similar to Zegarowski's. He's also playing a ton of minutes, as he's logged 35 minutes in each of the last two games. However, he's significantly cheaper than Zegarowski. The sophomore isn't afraid to let it fly, as he's averaging 11.0 field goal attempts per game over the last five games. Additionally, the matchup with Providence is relatively solid because the Friars rank 82nd in defense nationally.
Dwayne Washington Jr., Ohio State ($5,900) - CJ Walker's return probably lowers Washington Jr.'s ceiling slightly. However, he still owns a 25.5% usage rate, and he's taking 28.2% of the Ohio State Buckeyes shot attempts when he's on the floor (leads team). Additionally, his 19.3% assist rate trails only Walker amongst the Buckeyes. Up next is a phenomenal spot for Washington Jr. and the Buckeyes, as they host Penn State. Not only will this be a pace-up spot for Ohio State (Ohio State is 286th in tempo, while Penn State is 152nd), but they should have plenty of open looks against Penn State's vulnerable defense. The Nittany Lions have the nation's 77th-ranked defense.
AJ Reeves, Providence ($4,400) - Reeves should continue to play heavy minutes especially with Jared Bynum out, and he provides a solid floor. Reeves has played at least 33 minutes in seven straight games. He's also recorded at least 12 FanDuel points in all seven of those games. The matchup with Marquette is intriguing, as they struggle defensively. The Golden Eagles rank 89th in defense nationally. The bottom line is he's simply too cheap for his current role. I should also note that Mitch Ballock ($4,500), CJ Walker ($4,500), and Darryl Morsell ($4,700) have salaries slightly higher than Reeves. Ballock, like Reeves, plays a ton of minutes but has struggled shooting the ball this season. Walker is back from injury and is the Ohio State Buckeyes' starting point guard. Morsell has resumed his normal starting role and played heavy minutes after returning from injury. His salary hasn't quite adjusted to pre-injury level. All three guards are solid sources of salary relief.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Myles Cale, Nick Honor, Clyde Trapp, Mitch Ballock, CJ Walker, and Darryl Morsell.
Sandro Mamukelashvili, Seton Hall ($8,200) - Mamu checks all the boxes on Wednesday night. He plays a ton of minutes, takes a ton of shots, and is in a pace-up spot against Creighton. The Seton Hall Pirates center has a 28.9% usage rate, he takes 29.4% of the Pirates shots when he's on the floor, and he's averaging nearly 35 minutes per game. On top of that, he's a willing rebounder (18.2% defensive rebounding rate) and passer (21.9% assist rate). Seton Hall ranks 237th in tempo nationally, while Creighton is 114th. There is enough value on this slate to comfortably roster both Mamu and Duke.
EJ Liddell, Ohio State ($7,800) - This should be a great spot for the Buckeyes' forward. The opponent, Penn State, struggles shooting the ball (170th in effective field goal percentage nationally) and has trouble defending the paint (allowing opponents to convert 56.0% of their two-point shot attempts). That sets up well for Liddell, who is an outstanding rebounder and does a lot of his work in the post. Liddell leads Ohio State in defensive rebounding (20.4%), and he also has an effective field goal percentage of 53.9%. I will also note that Liddell owns a healthy 25.2% usage rate.
Aamir Simms, Clemson ($6,200) - From a rates perspective, Simms is a strong play. The Clemson Tigers senior has a 25.3% usage rate, 11.6% offensive rebounding rate, 14.7% defensive rebounding rate, 20.8% assist rate, 3.4% block rate, and a 2.5% steal rate. The one drawback is that Simms tends to get into foul trouble, as he's called for 4.7 fouls per 40 minutes. However, the mid-tier forward position is pretty watered down, so Simms looks like the best of the lot. He's the one player with 40-plus FanDuel upside with a salary below $7,000 (besides the player listed below).
Jalen Tate, Arkansas ($5,800) - Tate will be extremely popular on Wednesday night after his 52-FanDuel-point performance over the weekend. The senior continues to get it done on both ends of the court for the Arkansas Razorbacks. He has a 21.0% usage rate, 27.8% assist rate (leads team), and a 2.5% steal rate. The matchup with the Mississippi Rebels isn't ideal, as the Rebels rank 15th in defense nationally. They also play at a snail's pace (275th in tempo nationally), but Tate's salary is too low.
John Harrar, Penn State ($4,800) - The senior has become a vital part of Penn State's rotation ever since the new year started. Harrar has logged at least 25 minutes in five straight games. While his usage rate is rather low (17.2%), he is posting an impressive 113.6 offensive rating. I should also mention that Harrar is an excellent rebounder. Harrar has corralled at least nine rebounds in five straight games. I also really like Ryan Kalkbrenner ($4,800) and Kyle Young ($4,600) as sources of salary relief at forward.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Ryan Kalkbrenner, Kyle Young, and Jimmy Nichols Jr..
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.