DFS College Basketball: Saturday Preview
DFS College Basketball: Saturday Preview

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

For just a moment, let's look beyond the Duke-Virginia game that is featured on both DFS sites. There are plenty of big conference games that could go a long way towards determining regular-season winners (which, if you think about it, is a greater achievement than winning a conference tournament). Marquette is chasing Villanova and hosting the Wildcats. Auburn and LSU both trail Tennessee, and meet in the bayou. That's a game to target below. A game to fade (and to watch) is the Wolverine-Badger tilt in Madison in which every possession will be precious. Let's jump around the slate and examine Saturday's games.

Top Players

Zion Williamson, F, Duke at Virginia ($11,200 DK/$9,400 FD): It's not enough that Williamson is the most enjoyable player to watch. He also provides a wealth of statistics and it is just a shame that DFS sites do not give extra points for rim-rattling dunks. He has 27 points and nine rebounds in the win over the Cavaliers on Jan. 19. Although he scored just 16 points against BC on Tuesday, he filled in with 17 rebounds, four steals, three assists and three blocks. The pack-line defense can't even stop him.

Dedric Lawson, F, Kansas vs. Oklahoma State ($9,800 DK/$9,200 FD): The Jayhawks are falling apart around Lawson, which is going to put the onus on the Memphis transfer. Lawson should get the ball over the court and could dominate the Cowboys. The 6-9 junior has been particularly effective at home and has put up at least 25 points and 10 rebounds in three of his last four games. Legerald Vick will not be available to loosen the Oklahoma State defense, so Lawson should get close to 20 shots.

Jordan Murphy, F, Minnesota at Michigan State ($9,400 DK/$8,600 FD): The Spartans have dropped three straight games. Murphy is likely licking his chops for a chance to extend his six-game double-double streak against an ailing team that has won four of the last five meetings. Last season, Murphy scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the 30-point loss to Michigan State. He is leading the Big 10 with 12.1 rebounds to go along with 14.9 points, and had 16 points and 19 boards in the loss to Wisconsin on Wednesday.

Myles Powell, G, Seton Hall vs. Creighton ($9,100 DK/$8,500 FD): If Powell never had to leave New Jersey, he would be an All-American. In conference play, the 6-2 junior has averaged 25.3 points on 46.4 percent from the field. He had 31 points and four steals in the win over Providence on Jan. 30, which was his second-highest output of the season (after 40 points in the Nov. 22 win over Grand Canyon). As a third banana last season, Powell averaged 18.0 points in the split with the Bluejays.

Value Players

Kihei Clark, G, Virginia vs. Duke ($4,100 DK/$3,900 FD): If Ty Jerome (back) is unable to play for the second straight game, then the Cavaliers will lean on the 5-9 freshman. Clark played 37 minutes in the win over Miami last Saturday. He provided nine points, six assists and five rebounds. Clark would have trouble if Tre Jones is assigned to him, but the diminutive Virginia player can be quietly effective. He only scored two points in 18 minutes in the loss at Duke.

Charlie Moore, G, Kansas vs. Oklahoma State ($3,400 DK/$4,100 FD): As noted above, Vick (personal) will not play Saturday. Moore has been essentially outside the Jayhawk rotation through the majority of Big 12 play, but Marcus Garrett (ankle) will also be out Saturday, so the playing time window is wide open. Moore scored 18 points in 21 minutes against South Dakota on Dec. 18 and averaged 12.2 points for California in 2016-17. He can score when given shot volume and the Jayhawk options are diminishing.

Davion Mintz, G, Creighton at Seton Hall ($5,700 DK/$6,300 FD): Prior to Wednesday's overtime loss to Villanova, the Bluejays knew they would be without Marcus Zegarowski (hand). Ty-Shon Alexander also missed the game after injuring his knee in practice. Someone had to produce in the backcourt and Mintz had his best game. He provided 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the loss to the Wildcats. He played all 45 minutes. Alexander is questionable for Saturday's contest, but Mintz should produce excellently either way.

Kevin Porter Jr., G, USC vs. Colorado ($4,900 DK/$4,900 FD): Since returning from suspension five games ago, Porter has not been a huge producer. He has averaged 7.0 points and 3.0 rebounds, but is capable of so much more. In his first five games of the season, he averaged 14.0 points and 4.0 rebounds against some decent teams (Vanderbilt, Texas Tech). If the Trojans are going to make a move, they are going to need Porter to play a bigger role. He is a high-ceiling, low-floor type of play.

Games/Teams to Target

Auburn (+2) at LSU (o/u 161), 2PM EST: You might not consider either of these Tigers as offensively efficient, but they are both in the top 16 according to KenPom. LSU has been a mild surprise because they rely on underclassmen, including Tremont Waters ($8,600 DK/$8,300 FD) and Naz Reid ($6,500 DK/$7,600 FD). As noted in last week's excellent College Hoops Barometer by Jesse Siegel, Waters has been doing it all for his Tigers. In his last five games, the 5-11 sophomore has averaged 22.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.4 steals. He was terrible against Auburn last year with four points and six turnovers in the lone loss. Kavell Bigby-Williams ($5,000 DK/$6,400 FD) is coming off one of his best games with 14 points and 13 boards. The Auburn backcourt of Jared Harper ($7,500 DK/$7,900 FD) and Bryce Brown ($6,200 DK/$6,800 FD) could be a problem for Waters and friends. Brown had 15 points on five three-pointers in the win over LSU last season. Keep an eye on Chuma Okeke ($6,700 DK/$7,800 FD), who is questionable with a hip injury. Anfernee McLemore ($4,700 DK/$5,100 FD) could be a nice value play.

Miami (+18) at North Carolina (o/u 157), 12PM EST: As noted in this space before, the Tar Heels love to run. It nearly goes without saying that extra possessions equal bigger numbers. If only coach Roy Williams would not reach into his bench as deeply, as no Tar Heel is playing more than 29.5 minutes. Luke Maye ($8,200 DK/$8,400 FD) is on the rise. He has double-doubles in his last two games and bashed NC State for 31 points and 12 rebounds. Coby White ($7,000 DK/$8,100 FD) was held to eight points in the win over Louisville last Saturday, but bounced back with 21 points. He adds 4.2 assists. Nassir Little ($5,100 DK/$6,500 FD) grew up in Florida, so he may have some extra motivation for the Hurricanes. Little continues to be limited by his minutes. Anthony Lawrence ($7,000 DK/$7,600 FD) is an interesting player for Miami. He had 11 points and 12 rebounds in the win over Notre Dame on Wednesday after going silent against Virginia last Saturday. Coach Jim Larranaga shortened the rotation against the Irish and Dejan Vasiljevic ($5,000 DK/$6,400 FD) put up 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Utah at UCLA (o/u 155), 5PM EST: If the home team gets to determine the pace, then this could be a game to watch. Per KenPom, UCLA is 17th in the country in adjusted tempo and will try to push the turtle-like Utes. The Bruins are 3-2 at home in conference, but have not been held below 73 points. The trio of Kris Wilkes ($7,600 DK/$7,600 FD), Moses Brown ($7,300 DK/$7,400 FD) and Jaylen Hands ($3,000 DK/$7,700 FD) have been effective at home. Wilkes was held to eight points in the loss to Colorado on Wednesday. It was the first time he had been held to single-digit scoring. Brown should take advantage of his size if the game slows down. He had 17 points, eight boards and four blocks against the Buffaloes. Over his last five games, Hands has averaged 11.6 points, 6.6 assists and 1.6 steals. For Utah, Sedrick Barefield ($6,700 DK/$7,200 FD) has the green light. He has taken at least 13 shots in his last four games and averaged 17.3 points. Jayce Johnson ($5,300 DK/$6,000 FD) is a nice value who has offered 11.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in his last three games.

Games/Teams to Consider Fading

Wisconsin (+5.5) at Michigan (o/u 118), 12PM EST: Value your possessions! Everyone growing up in the Midwest learns that lesson, perhaps by watching Big 10 basketball. The Badgers ended the Wolverines' undefeated season three weeks ago and Wisconsin has not lost since. Ethan Happ ($11,000 DK/$9,200 FD) was enormous in the win at the Kohl Center. He had 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. He has not scored more than 18 points in the last five games, but had two double-doubles and a triple-double. The Badgers do not have a great second option, but Nate Reuvers ($4,800 DK/$5,900 FD) had nine points, eight rebounds and seven blocks in the win over Minnesota on Wednesday. Increased physicality has not bothered Michigan freshman Ignas Brazdeikis ($6,800 DK/$7,600 FD). He has hit 12 three-pointers in his last four games and averaged 18.3 points. Zavier Simpson ($7,100 DK/$7,800 FD) has become a triple-double threat. He accomplished the feat against Ohio State on Jan. 29 with 11 points, 10 boards and 12 assists. Simpson has followed that game with two games of at least 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Charles Matthews ($6,100 DK/$6,800 FD) is a name player who is not producing. In his last six games, he averaged 7.8 points and 7.5 rebounds.

Kansas State (+2.5) at Baylor (o/u 125.5), 6PM EST: That magic pixie dust that coach Scott Drew has been sprinkling on his team after Tristan Clark was lost for the season seemed to run out Wednesday against Texas. The Bears had won six straight games, but Makai Mason ($6,500 DK/$7,400 FD) was not fully healthy, and his ankle injury held him to five points on 1-of-7 from the field. He had lifted expectations with 40 points in the win over TCU on Saturday. With Mason ailing, Jared Butler ($5,400 DK/$5,800 FD) took on a bigger role in the offense. He scored 13 points on 14 shots against the Longhorns. Kansas State has dealt with injuries, but seem to be whole now. Dean Wade ($7,700 DK/$7,200 FD) has averaged 16.4 points and 5.4 rebounds, and seems to be healthy after injuring his foot earlier this season. Barry Brown ($7,500 DK/$7,500 FD) has scored 18 points in back-to-back games and played all 40 minutes against Kansas on Tuesday. Keep an eye on backup guard Cartier Diarra ($4,500 DK/$4,200 FD), who has scored in double digits with two three-pointers in three straight games.

Virginia Tech (+1) at Clemson (o/u 129), 12PM EST: Let's think back to last Saturday. The Hokies definitely played a strong game, but their opponent did not show up. At least, that is how it seemed as NC State was held to an incredible 24 points in the entire game. The Hokie defense is good, but it isn't that good. The Wolfpack's ineptitude helped, and Louisville scored three times as many points against the Hokies on Monday. Justin Robinson ($7,400 DK/$8,000 FD) will likely miss the game with a foot injury, so the team will lean on forward Kerry Blackshear ($7,100 DK/$7,900 FD) for offense. With Robinson out, Blackshear has averaged 17.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in the last two games. Wabissa Bede ($4,100 DK/$5,100 FD) moved into the starting lineup for Robinson, but was held scoreless in 38 minutes against the Cardinals. Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($8,500 DK/$8,300 FD) has provided 17.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals in his last three games. Clemson has a nice one-two punch with Marcquise Reed ($8,400 DK/$8,200 FD) and Elijah Thomas ($7,500 DK/$7,900 FD). Reed had 28 points and 10 rebounds in the loss to the Hokies last season. Thomas has averaged 13.8 points and 7.8 rebounds in his last five games.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Perry Missner
Missner covers college basketball for RotoWire. A veteran fantasy sports writer, he once served on the executive board for the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.
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