This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
Zion Williamson, F, Duke vs. Georgia Tech ($9,100 FD, $11,000 DK): Georgia Tech may play slow and have a good defense, but that doesn't matter against Duke. Williamson is the safest play on the slate with close to a guarantee to hit 40 FanDuel points, which he's easily done the last five games that he's finished. RJ Barrett is also a consideration but hasn't been as efficient, and the return of Tre Jones doesn't help since he won't touch the ball as much. Sure, Barrett could easily reach 40 FD points, but he has a wider range of outcomes and it makes more sense to go with Williamson in cash lineups due to less unpredictability. As a reminder, when Jones was playing, Barrett had a run of three straight games without at least 30 FD points, something Williamson has never had a problem with.
Markus Howard, G, Marquette at Xavier ($9,900 DK): Oddly, this game isn't on the FanDuel main slate, but Howard will get plenty of love at DraftKings after reaching 45.5 fantasy points in their first meeting. Even when he's had bad performances, Howard has still produced, reaching 38 fantasy points last game with eight turnovers. And while Marquette is on the road, Xavier's three-point defense has been bad all season, allowing 36.0 percent from deep. Of note: Quentin Goodin, one of the players likely to defend Howard, was injured in the last meeting and only played 20 minutes. If you need a reason to fade Howard, that may be it.
John Mooney, F, Notre Dame vs. Virginia ($8,200 FD, $9,200 DK): Mooney has provided some of the best value of anyone over his last five games, averaging 19.6 points and 15 boards. While his price is reduced because of matchup, it's rarely a good idea to back someone against Virginia (other than Williamson and Barrett). And because Mooney has been Notre Dame's only consistent offensive threat, there's a good chance he gets double-teamed by the likes of Jack Salt and Mamadi Diakite every time he touches the ball. That said, the Irish could be held to 50 points and Mooney might still get half of them.
Bruno Fernando, F, Maryland at Illinois ($8,500 FD, $8,900 DK): If you want to test your luck in some GPPs, Fernando may be the guy in what could be the perfect matchup. The Illini not only have terrible defense and no rim protector, but they also play fairly fast. That's perfect for an athletic big man like Fernando, who could have his way against Giorgi Bezhanishvili or anyone Illinois throws at him. Plus, Fernando has shown he can put up big games, grabbing a double-double more often than not including a 25-point, 13-rebound performance against Indiana.
Games/Teams to Target
Iowa State at Ole Miss (-1) o/u 146, 12 p.m. EST: Other than Kansas, Iowa State hasn't played a team with a higher tempo than Mississippi since conference play began. The Rebels have either run teams off the court or are getting run off themselves. Both teams are built the same way with a focus on small ball and that should lead to a fun game. Marial Shayok ($7,700 FD, $7,900 DK) looks expensive, but Ole Miss struggles to defend the three and doesn't have anyone that can match his length on the perimeter. The problem is that you're hoping for another 20 points or else he won't make value. That's why Nick Weiler-Babb ($6,200 FD, $6,300 DK) is the best play on the Cyclones. Since he's playing more than 35 minutes every game and accrues stats in every category, he rarely busts. Michael Jacobson ($6,100 FD, $6,300 DK) and Lindell Wigginton ($6,000 FD, $5,900 DK) are a little riskier since they can each go for 30 fantasy points or struggle to reach 10. The question mark for Ole Miss is Breein Tyree ($7,100 FD, DK), who is dealing with a shoulder injury. He should play, but Bruce Stevens ($4,900 FD, DK) and D.C. Davis ($3,800 FD, $3,200 DK) could get extra minutes, either way. Davis isn't a huge threat, but he doesn't cost anything and has played 51 minutes the last two games. Terence Davis ($7,800 FD, $8,600 DK) is too inconsistent to trust at a high price, while Devontae Shuler ($5,700 FD, $6,000 DK) has flopped the last few games.
Arizona State at USC (-2.5), o/u 150.5, 8 p.m. EST: This should be a fun game as long as Arizona State shows up, unlike Arizona on Thursday. The Trojans have played better defense in recent home games, but I'm banking on ASU to end that in what could be a high-scoring, competitive game, similar to ASU's win at UCLA. Nick Rakocevic ($8,500 FD, $9,100 DK) will be the guy to consider having at least 40 fantasy points at both sites in his last four home games. After he feasted on Arizona for 27 points and 12 boards, he could again have his way with the Sun Devils against the smaller Zylan Cheatham ($8,100 FD, DK) and Romello White ($5,300 FD, $5,200 DK). If you want to save money, Kevin Porter Jr. ($5,000 FD, $5,500 DK) is in the mix again and could see more than the 18 minutes he had last game. Shaqquan Aaron ($5,500 FD, DK) has also picked up his game with 16 boards and 12 assists in the last two. Cheatham is fairly expensive, but he's beasting on the boards and USC doesn't rate well on either end in that area. If you want a safe, cheaper pick, Rob Edwards ($5,100 FD, $5,300 DK) has at least 17 DK points in nine of the last 10 games. The other possibility is Remy Martin ($6,800 FD, $6,400 DK), though he's a bit expensive for a guy that's been all over the place. He has 19 assists in the last two games, but he had just four assists in the prior two.
Also, if you're playing in the midday slate, I'd use just about anyone on Tennessee. That game would be in this category, but I can't trust any West Virginia player in this spot.
Games/Teams to Avoid
Kansas State (-4) at Texas A&M, o/u 129, 2 p.m. EST: There are a few games to ignore in the early slate with Florida at TCU, Virginia at Notre Dame and Northwestern at Wisconsin not much different than this one. The difference is that you may not want to back either team in this game. Kansas State not only plays slow, but it also has the fourth-most efficient defense in the country. That doesn't bode well for Texas A&M, which ranks near the bottom of the charts on both offense and defense in the SEC, and scored just 43 points in its last home game. Wendell Mitchell ($6,100 FD, DK) may be the most logical player to back since his price is still fairly cheap despite surpassing 22 FD points in four of the last five games. Otherwise, it's hard to spend on Savion Flagg ($7,400 FD, DK) given his recent struggles. For the Wildcats, Barry Brown ($7,300 FD, $7,500 DK) is most reliable, averaging 15.4 points and 4.2 boards per game, but there's little reason to spend on a player from this game. Otherwise, K State has a deep team that usually spreads production, with Dean Wade ($6,900 FD, $7,000 DK) still overpriced.
Syracuse at Virginia Tech (-6), o/u 136, 8 p.m. EST: Both of these teams play slow and things could get ugly in this game. Virginia Tech has great shooting numbers, but Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($8,300 FD, $8,300 DK), Justin Robinson ($7,400 FD, $7,100 DK) and Ahmed Hill ($5,900 FD, $5,900 DK) all cost a little too much. While they could all go off against the zone, they could also easily repeat the performance they had against Virginia. The best play for the Hokies may be Kerry Blackshear ($7,200 FD, $6,600 DK) because he could feast on the offensive glass, Syracuse's worst trait. Outside of Tyus Battle ($7,700 FD, $7,400 DK), production has been hit-or-miss for the Orange, and that'll likely be a problem against this defense, which does most things well outside of guarding the three. Frank Howard ($6,000 FD, $5,400 DK) and Paschal Chukwu ($5,800 FD, $4,700 DK) may be the most reasonable plays for Syracuse since their prices are still low.