College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 1/28/21
College basketball season is in the midst conference play, and we have a four-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?
Relevant injury situations to monitor: Michigan State Spartans forward Gabe Brown is questionable while guard Joshua Langford is likely to be available. Stanford Cardinal guards Daejon Davis and Bryce Wills along with forward Ziaire Williams are all out. Arizona Wildcats guard Bennedict Mathurin is questionable.
All stats come from KenPom unless otherwise noted.
Kendric Davis, SMU ($8,400) - Davis is one of the better guards in college basketball, and he rarely gets the recognition he likely deserves. The junior has a monster 27.2% usage rate and an impressive 44.3% assist rate (ranks second nationally). Davis also rarely leaves the court as he's topped 33 minutes of playing time in eight straight games. Despite the tough matchup with the Memphis Tigers (nation's fifth best defense), Davis should thrive in a pace-up game. Memphis is 61st in tempo nationally while Southern Methodist is 142nd.
James Akinjo, Arizona ($7,600) - The Arizona point guard has been nearly unstoppable as the Wildcats have posted a 3-1 record over the last four games. Akinjo is averaging 18.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 2.0 steals in 36.3 minutes per night over those four games. With Jermarl Baker Jr. lost for the season and rising freshman Bennedict Mathurin's status up in the air, expect Akinjo to play nearly the entire game.
Terrell Brown Jr., Arizona ($6,000) - Brown Jr. has taken over the starting shooting guard spot for the Wildcats with Baker sidelined for the rest of the season. Over the last three games, he's averaging 12.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.0 steals in 30.7 minutes (equates to 25.7 FanDuel points). There are also a few other variables working in Brown's favor tonight. Mathurin (20.2% usage rate) is highly questionable after spraining his ankle in the Wildcats' last game, and Arizona squares off with a depleted Stanford team. All signs are pointing to Brown being a solid mid-tier play.
Christian Braun, Kansas ($4,700) - It's time to take advantage of Braun's discounted salary as his role hasn't changed. He's still starting and logging a ton of minutes (at least 32 minutes of action in four out of the last five games). I'm expecting Braun to show up tonight as this is one of the better matchups he'll see the rest of the season. TCU have the third worst defense in the Big 12 (109th nationally). That should leave the three-point specialist with several open looks from beyond the arc.
Dalen Terry, Arizona ($4,400) - Terry has seen his role increase with Baker out. He has been the first guard to enter the game off the bench in each of the last three games. His role could grow even further if Mathurin is forced to miss tonight's game. Terry would be the logical choice to enter the starting lineup as he was Mathurin's direct replacement in the Wildcats' last contest (Mathurin left the game late in the first half). He's a fine play regardless of Mathurin's status, but he'd be a tremendous value play if Mathurin can't suit up. Michael O'Connell ($4,200) should start at point guard and play the majority of the game for the shorthanded Cardinal.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Caleb McConnell, AJ Hoggard, and Michael O'Connell.
Oscar da Silva, Stanford ($8,000) - Stanford will be without three starters as they travel to Arizona. Da Silva is the Cardinal's best player. His rates are strong across the board, and that's with everyone healthy. Without three starters, da Silva should play as many minutes as he can handle. He played 41 out of 45 possible minutes in Stanford's last game (Wills, Williams, and Davis were also out then) and recorded 37 FanDuel points. His 26.8% usage rate, 18.7% assist rate, 8.8% offensive rebounding rate, and 15.6% defensive rebounding rate all figure to rise.
David McCormack, Kansas ($6,700) - McCormack has slate-breaking upside due to his ability to dominant the paint. The only drawback to McCormack is that his minutes are occasionally limited. If Kansas elects to play small ball, his minutes are at risk since he's more of a traditional post player. However, that concern should be alleviated against the Horned Frogs. McCormack played 23 minutes in the Jayhawks first matchup with TCU this season. He would have likely played 25-plus minutes if the game did not turn into a blowout. In that one, McCormack exploded for 20 points, eight rebounds, one assist, and two blocks.
Azuolas Tubelis, Arizona ($6,200) - The freshman's rates are impressive: 25.4% usage rate (leads team), offensive and defensive rebounding rates are north of 10%, and a 3.2% block rate. Arizona has unleashed Tubelis in the month of January. After averaging 19.0 minutes per game over the first nine matchups of the season, Tubelis has logged at least 28 minutes in six straight games. Take advantage of his salary now, because he's under-salaried for growing role. Joey Hauser ($6,400) is a fine alternative listed between Tubelis and McCormack.
Jaiden Delaire, Stanford ($5,900) - As noted above, Stanford is extremely shorthanded against Arizona. Delaire averages an impressive 0.83 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he should pay off his salary in 28.4 minutes of action (assuming value is 4x of a player's salary). Delaire has logged at least 30 minutes in three out of the last four games.
Spencer Jones, Stanford ($4,800) - Stanford kept a tight rotation and mainly rode their starters when Wills, Williams, and Davis were out against UCLA. Jones was one of those starters and figures to play as minutes as he can handle today. He is one of Stanford's top defenders and is also a capable player on the offensive end with a 108.5 offensive rating. Lukas Kisunas ($3,400) logged a season-high 33 minutes in Stanford's last game. He posted 23 FanDuel points in that one and makes for a fine source of salary relief.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Christian Koloko, Yor Anei, and Lukas Kisunas.
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.