College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 2/4/21
College basketball season is in the midst of conference play, and we have a four-game slate today.
March Madness is a little more than a month away, 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.
Marcus Carr, Minnesota ($8,100) - Carr rarely leaves the floor and takes a massive amount of shots. The Minnesota Golden Gophers' guard has a healthy 27.9% usage rate and a 32.6% assist rate. He's averaging an incredible 15.5 field goal attempts per game. His game logs have been rather unimpressive as of late as he's struggled shooting the ball. Over the last seven games, Carr has connected on 32 out of 105 field goal attempts (30.4%). At some point, I'm expecting that to turn around as he's posted a field goal percentage of at least 39.3% in each of his first three seasons at Minnesota.
James Akinjo, Arizona ($7,600) - The Arizona Wildcats' point guard elevated his play in the month of January. With starting shooting guard Jermarl Baker Jr. sidelined, Akinjo has become more aggressive on the offensive end of the court. He's taking 13.6 shot attempts since the Baker Jr. injury (up from his seasonal average of 12.5). Additionally, Akinjo is averaging 18.3 points, 2.2 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.7 steals in 35.5 minutes (or 32.3 FanDuel points per game) over the last six games.
Terrell Brown Jr., Arizona ($6,000) - There is some uncertainty here as highly-touted freshman prospect Kerr Kriisa is expected to make his season debut. However, I think Brown Jr.'s role is secure as the starting shooting guard. More than likely, Kriisa's presence would likely bite into Dalen Terry's playing time (more on Kriisa below). Since taking over for the injured Jermarl Baker Jr. at shooting guard, Brown Jr. is averaging 22.8 FanDuel points per game (five games). Throw in a matchup with the defensive-deficient Utah Utes and Brown Jr. is a solid play. Utah has the nation's 93rd-ranked defense. I'm also high on Bennedict Mathurin ($5,900) at a similar salary.
Duane Washington Jr., Ohio State ($5,900) - Washington Jr. could fly under the radar tonight as his box scores haven't been pretty lately. Over the last three games, the junior has connected on a paltry 5 out of 30 field goal attempts (averaged 40.3% from the field last season). The good news is that his playing time hasn't been affected as he's recorded at least 31 minutes of action in seven straight games. He also has a solid usage rate of 25.3%. The matchup with Iowa represents a prime bounce-back opportunity. Not only does Iowa love to push the tempo, but they also aren't particularly attentive on the defensive end of the court. Iowa is 101st in tempo nationally and 117th in defense (Ohio State is 271st in tempo, so it's a decent pace-up game for Washington Jr.)
Kerr Kriisa, Arizona ($4,000) - Kriisa was a highly-regarded recruit from Europe and was finally cleared by the NCAA this week. While it's unknown how much playing time he'll receive, head coach Sean Miller is on record stating "he should provide an immediate injection into the arm." He has been practicing with the team, so conditioning won't be a concern.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Caleb McConnell, Gabe Kalscheur, and Joel Brown.
Luka Garza, Iowa ($9,300) - I feel like a broken record any time Iowa is on the slate. Garza continues to dominate and looks to be closing in on the National Player of the Year award. His floor and upside are nearly unmatched in college basketball. The senior owns a monster 31.0% usage rate. He also has an impressive 11.3% offensive rebounding rate, 18.2% defensive rebounding rate, 11.8% assist rate, and a 5.8% block rate. Add it all up and he's averaging an astounding 1.40 FanDuel points per minute. Additionally, there is enough value on this slate to comfortably roster Garza.
Oscar da Silva, Stanford ($7,800) - da Silva is in a prime bounce-back spot after playing 24 foul-plagued minutes against Southern California his last time out. The Stanford forward faces off with an overmatched California Golden Bears team that is atrocious on the defensive end of the court. The Golden Bears have the nation's 159th-ranked defense. That should bode well for da Silva and his team-leading 26.8% usage rate. He also has an 8.6% offensive rebounding rate, 16.3% defensive rebounding rate, 18.8% assist rate, and 3.0% block rate.
Azoulas Tubelis, Arizona ($6,200) - The 7'1" center is a force in the painted area for Arizona. Tubelis has a 24.5% usage rate to lead the Wildcats. The freshman also has an impressive 11.4% offensive rebounding rate, 18.2% defensive rebounding rate, and 3.0% block rate. He's also seen a significant increase in playing time since the new year started. Tubelis is averaging 30.9 minutes per game over the last eight games, which is up significantly from his seasonal average of 24.6. Jaden Delaire ($6,500) has been incredible with Ziaire Williams out. If Williams sits out again, Delaire is a stellar play.
Brandon Johnson, Minnesota ($5,000) - The senior's role has increased as the season turns towards March while his salary remains on the low end. Johnson is averaging .80 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he should pay off his salary in 25 minutes of action (assuming value is 4.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary). Johnson has played at least 27 minutes in four straight games (averaging 30.5 minutes per game in that time frame).
Branden Carlson, Utah ($4,800) - Carlson is a traditional center who is a solid rebounder and an excellent rim protector. The Utah Utes' center has a 6.7% offensive rebounding rate (leads team) and a 17.9% defensive rebounding rate (second on the team). He owns a 9.6% block rate, which is ranked 31st nationally. While his usage rate of 18.7% is rather low, Carlson is averaging 20.7 FanDuel points per game over the last five games. That's more than enough to pay off his low salary. Moreover, his playing time should be solidified in a matchup with Arizona, as he'll likely be tasked with guarding 7'1" freshman center Azoulas Tubelis. I will note that the forward spot has a slew of forwards in Carlson's salary range that are viable. That includes Spencer Jones ($4,700), Andre Kelly ($4,600), and Kyle Young ($4,500).
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Spencer Jones, Andre Kelly, Kyle Young, Christian Koloko, Both Gach, Justin Ahrens, and Lukas Kisunas (if Ziaire Williams is out).
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.