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

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

Opening round jitters have passed, as have straight upset potential. From here on, style of play and execution will determined who survives and advances. Pick your side and build your lineup around it.

TOP PLAYERS

Ja Morant, Murray State ($10,600 FD, $12,600 DK): Morant's triple-double in Round 1 against Marquette sure didn't disappoint. But at this price, and with there being a $3,000 DK price difference over the next guard, he almost has to match that production here. FSU can be vulnerable to pace, which will help Morant, but the 'Noles can also run a plethora of long, athletic bodies at him. He's too cost prohibitive for me, but a fun player to own.

Dedric Lawson, Kansas ($9,300 FD, $9,600 DK): Lawson put in a double-double in Round 1, something he's done in five of his last eight outings. He's flirting with being a one-man team for KU, and the matchup looks preferable, with a 147 total. Lawson sets up as a great pivot from Morant while providing ample savings.

Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga ($8,900 FD, $9,300 DK): Clarke turned in a workmanlike performance in the Zags' opening round, using defensive totals to help him reach 31.6 FD points. That's usually his floor, as the 12 points he put in were his second-lowest in 17 games, while he's grabbed at least seven boards in all but three of those. Baylor's 78th ranked defensive efficiency is of little concern.

Cassius Winston, Michigan State ($8,700 FD, $9,200 DK): A rare conference clash presents itself, and familiarity shouldn't hurt Winston's floor. He went for 11 points and nine assists in a regular season meeting with Minnesota, and seems likely to regress in his distribution while adding to his scoring tally. A quick look at Winston's game log shows the stability you're paying for.

Carsen Edwards, Purdue ($8,600 FD, $9,100 DK): Edwards had gone for less than 30 FD points in seven of his last eight prior to his opening round 26 point, seven board, four assist outburst. He's proven capable of sustaining that standard, and with Villanova sporting just a 73rd-ranked defensive efficiency, the matchup certainly isn't something to shy away from.

Jordan Murphy, Minnesota ($8,400 FD, $9,000 DK): Murphy is a complete GPP contrarian option for me. Not only is he nursing a back issue, Sparty held him to five points and six boards in 30 minutes earlier in the year. MSU has too much size to throw his way to expect great improvement.

Bruno Fernando, Maryland ($8,200 FD, $8,700 FD): Fernando feasted on an undersized Belmont in Round 1, and despite three double-doubles in his last four games, he's only topped 25.7 FD points twice. LSU has plenty of length and athleticism to bother Fernando, and worse, cause foul trouble. He's not a preferred play for myself as the floor seems worryingly low.

VALUE PLAYS

Jalen Smith, Maryland ($6,300 FD, $6,400 DK): With two double-doubles in his last three outings, Smith is a clear GPP target, having presented plenty a low floor prior. The high total, paired with some skepticism with other Terp options, Smith presents well.

RaiQuan Gray, Florida State ($3,800 FD, $3,600 DK): This is likely a chalky value play, but the price is too low to ignore. Gray will start if Phil Cofer (foot) is unable to play. He played 21 minutes in Round 1 against Vermont, which led to 18.75 DK points. 

Gabe Kalscheur, Minnesota ($4,700 FD, $4,500 DK): Kalscheur saw a huge bucket in Round 1 against Louisville, hitting 8-of-14 from the floor, including five 3-pointers in route to 24 points. It was the first time he topped 18 fantasy points on either site in his eight games, so there's an incredibly low floor. But he put up 17 points and five boards in a regular season matchup with Michigan State, and a gamble on his streaky shooting carrying over to Saturday isn't an expensive one.

Killian Tillie, Gonzaga ($4,700 FD, $5100 DK): More on this game below, but Tillie fits a lot of molds. High over/under, big favorite, and he's working his way back into the rotation. That worked well in Round 1, resulting in 17 points, four assists and two rebounds. At best, he dominates while acclimating. At worst, he chips in off the bench. Either way sets up with a 15-plus point fantasy floor.

GAMES/TEAM TO TARGET

Maryland vs. LSU (-2) o/u 145.5

We've touched on a few marquee Terps, but G Anthony Cowan ($7,100 FD, $7,500 DK) remains  unmentioned. If the game forces its way over, we could be looking at a shootout between Cowan and a soon-to-be-name Tiger guard. If only he were a hair cheaper. Eric Ayala ($4,900 FD, $4,600 DK) has scored 12 points in each of the Terps two postseason games, and offers some value if you're buying into pace here.

The LSU side presents plenty of opportunity, and is my preferred lineup stack, if that's your path. Anytime Tremont Waters ($7,800 FD, $8,300) DK) is a sub-8k option anywhere, he's in my lineup, and I expect a more balanced showing from him after his second-half disappearance against Yale. But no Tiger is cost prohibitive, and there isn't an apparent matchup to shy away from. Naz Reid ($6,800 FD, $7,300 DK) Skylar Mays ($6,600 FD, $6,500 DK) and Ja'vonte Smart ($6,400 FD, $6,200 DK) are all in play, but Kavell Bigby-Williams' ($6,500 FD, $6,000 DK) current form may make him the right choice for cash and GPP players alike.

Baylor vs. Gonzaga (-13) o/u 148

The blowout potential is concerning, but with Baylor confidently scoring against Syracuse's zone in Round 1, they are capable of scoring with the Zags for a bit. There isn't a Bear player priced above Makai Mason ($6,500 FD, $6,300 DK), which makes Baylor a team to stack if you believe they stay close. Mark Vital ($6,300 FD, $6,000 DK) and Jared Butler ($6,000 FD, $6,000 DK) are in play, while the Zags side is hard to get multiple pieces of with the four highest-priced options, led by Clarke and Rui Hachimura ($8,500 FD, $8,500 DK). The game is a contrast of styles, but a Baylor-heavy lineup is  affordable, and could lead to GPP success thanks to the Zags' propensity to run. 

GAMES/TEAMS TO FADE

Florida vs. Michigan (-6.5) o/u 123, 5:15 p.m, et

The next lowest total Saturday is 14 points higher, and this game actually opened at a 118 number before being bet up. That alone says stay away, but the way both teams disperse their minutes and production make things even worse, as there is no anchor on either side to lean on. Ignas Brazdeikis ($6,700 FD, $6,600 DK) and Jon Teske ($7,000, $6,500 DK) look to be the most stable Wolverines for cash games, while Kevarrius Hayes ($6,500 FD, $6,100 DK) is in play for the Gators if you're looking to go for low ownership. But there's such a limited upside it seems best spending that money elsewhere. Michigan's Charles Matthews ($5,800 FD, $5,600 DK) may be the game's best bargain given form, having topped 20 FD points in six of his last 10, including a 34-point outing in the opening round against Montana.

Wofford vs. Kentucky (-5) o/a 138, 2:40 p.m, EDT

The total opened at 141.5, and the immediate decline is noteworthy. On the Terrier side, Fletcher Magee ($7,100 FD, $,7,600 DK is simply a scorer who is going to draw defensive-minded Ashton Hagans. Magee hasn't recorded an assist or rebound in either of his last two games, which negates the 22.0 ppg he's posted in that span. F Cameron Jackson ($8,100 FD, $8,100 DK) has shown well of late, and performed fairly against the likes of UNC and Kansas back in November, but the Wildcats' front line isn't one to gamble against at that price.

On the UK side, it's all about P.J. Washington's ($8,000 FD, $8,000 DK) status. If he plays, he makes E.J. Montgomery ($4,600 FD, $4,200 DK) and Nick Richards ($3,900 FD, $4,200 DK) useless, while chipping in against Reid Travis ($6,300 FD, $5,900 DK) And if he doesn't play, the aforementioned three will battle for rebounds and inconsistent scoring chances. Tyler Herro ($7,600 FD, $6,800 DK) brings a stable floor regardless of Washington's status, and one could argue a ceiling if this turns into a shooting contest, but not one I'd willingly bet on with a lack of peripheral stats available.

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
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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