College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 2/3/21
College basketball season is in the midst of conference play, and we have a eight-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: Kentucky Wildcats guard Terrance Clarke, North Carolina State forward DJ Funderburk, St. John's (NY) Red Storm guard Greg Williams, Texas Christian guard Francisco Farabello, and Providence Friars guard Jared Bynum are all questionable. Louisiana State forward Darius Days and North Carolina State guard Devon Daniels are out. Virginia Tech guard Tyrece Radford remains suspended indefinitely.
All stats come from KenPom unless otherwise noted.
Justin Champagnie, Pittsburgh ($9,000) - Champagnie's floor and upside combination can only be matched by Luka Garza in college basketball. The Pittsburgh Panthers forward has impressive rates across the board. Champagnie checks in with a 23.8% usage rate (second-best on the team), 10.5% offensive rebounding rate (leads team), 27.0% defensive rebounding rate (leads team), 12.4% assist rate, and a 5.2% block rate. Add it all up, and the sophomore is posting a slate leading 1.24 FanDuel points per minute. He's easily the top overall play on Wednesday night.
Herbert Jones, Alabama ($6,900) - The versatile Jones can stuff the stat sheet because he's a major force on both ends of the court. The Alabama Crimson Tide senior is averaging an impressive 0.98 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, Jones should pay off his salary in 28.2 minutes of action (assuming value is 4x of a player's salary). Jones is averaging 35.6 minutes per game over the last three games. He's my favorite play when considering salary on this slate. David Duke ($8,300), Alan Griffin ($8,200), and Carlik Jones ($8,100) are decent plays in the low $8,000 range if you're looking for someone with a salary between Jones and Champagnie.
Mike Miles, Texas Christian ($5,600) - We typically don't see players with Miles' rates salaried in this range. Miles plays a ton of minutes (34-plus minutes in four straight games) and owns a 24.0% usage rate. He's taking 25.9% of the Horned Frogs' shots when he's on the floor. The freshman also has a 21.4% assist rate. I'm expecting Miles to be very popular after dropping 49.5 FanDuel points against Missouri in his last game. John Petty Jr. ($6,200) and Javonte Smart ($6,400) are nice options who fall between Miles and Jones' salaries.
Jaden Shackelford, Alabama ($5,500) - It appears that Nates Oates and the Crimson Tide are content with playing Shackelford 30-plus minutes (played 31 and 36 minutes in the last two games, respectively). Moreover, Shackelford is one of the safer plays at his current salary. The sophomore has recorded at least 20.7 FanDuel points in seven straight games. Up next is a juicy spot, as the Crimson Tide face off with Louisiana State. Louisiana State has the nation's 146th-ranked defense (second-worst amongst SEC teams).
AJ Reeves, Providence ($4,600) - Reeves flashed his upside in the Friars' last outing, scoring 28 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and dished out 5 assists in 38 minutes (41.5 FanDuel points). Usually, the players under $5,000 can be a roller coaster ride. However, Reeves has a solid floor thanks to his massive amount of playing time. He has recorded at least 12 FanDuel points and logged at least 33 minutes in nine straight games. I will note that even if Jared Bynum is back, I'd still be comfortable with Reeves. Bynum will likely be on a minutes limit once he does return to the lineup.
Other player to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Samuel Williamson, Vince Cole (better if Greg Williams is out), Shavar Reynolds Jr., Myles Cale, Caleb Daniels, Chuck O'Bannon Jr. (if Francisco Farabello remains out), Hunter Cattoor, Davion Mintz, Braxton Beverly, Trey Murphy III, Wabissa Bede, Josh Primo, and Nahiem Alleyne.
Jay Huff, Virginia ($7,400) - Huff is averaging an impressive 1.12 FanDuel points per minute thanks to his ability to contribute in every major statistical category. At that production level, the Virginia Cavaliers center should pay off his salary in 26.4 minutes (assuming value is 4x of a player's salary). Huff is averaging 27.8 minutes per game over the last four games. Further enhancing his appeal is a significant pace-up game against North Carolina State. North Carolina State is 137th in tempo nationally, while Virginia is 357th. North Carolina State also struggles defensively, as they check in with the nation's 93rd-ranked defense.
Keve Aluma, Virginia Tech ($7,000) - Aluma has carried the Virginia Tech Hokies with Tyrece Radford suspended indefinitely. In two games sans Radford, Aluma is averaging 21.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.5 blocks/steals in 33.5 minutes. The matchup with Pittsburgh will also be a pace-up spot, which further enhances Aluma's appeal. Pittsburgh is 131st in tempo, while the Virginia Tech Hokies are 282nd.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova ($6,900) - The appealing part about the Villanova Wildcats is that they usually stick to a seven-to-eight man rotation, and the starters play heavy minutes. Robinson-Earl is averaging 33.2 minutes per game, and he has a 23.4% usage rate. The Wildcats forward is also taking 24.8% of the team's shots when he's on the floor (team-high). Additionally, he's a solid rebounder (17.6% defensive rebounding rate that's second-best on the team) and a willing passer (11.1% assist rate). Then add in a major pace bump for Villanova, and Robinson-Earl makes for a great forward play. Villanova is 327th in tempo, while their opponent, St. John's, ranks 13th.
Matthew Alexander-Moncrieffe, Oklahoma State ($5,000) - The freshman posted back-to-back double-doubles with star teammate Cade Cunningham sidelined. The good news is that his role didn't change with Cunningham's return. Alexander-Moncrieffe remained in the starting lineup and logged 32 minutes against Arkansas last Saturday. Despite the major role increase, his salary has barely moved. Kaylib Boone ($5,300) is also an interesting value play if he remains in the starting lineup on Wednesday night. Manny Bates ($6,000) will be a major value if DJ Funderburk misses his second straight game. His salary falls between Robinson-Earl and Alexander Moncrieffe.
Alex Reese, Alabama ($4,200) - The senior has a starting role and will be participating in the best game environment on the slate. Both Louisiana State and Alabama love to push the pace, as Alabama is 9th in tempo, while Louisiana State is 77th. Moreover, Reese has seen a solid increase in playing time as of late. Reese is averaging 25.0 minutes per game over the last three games, which is up significantly from his seasonal average of 15.7 minutes per game.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Abdoul Karim Coulibaly and Josh LeBlanc Sr./Shareef O'Neal (depends on which player starts for the injured Darius Days).
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.