This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
This week is dominated by a series of mini-tournaments, as coaches look to give their teams a taste of what it's like to compete in March. That means early slates, and even back-to-backs for the first time this season for many players.
Before proceeding, I had the list below in my preview for opening night, but I wanted to remind subscribers once more of the various features we offer here at RotoWire — whether there's a write-up like this for a given slate or not.
- CBB Injuries, which can be viewed via our news updates or in grid form (tip: sort by date to see anyone injured for that specific day).
- Subscriber Discord: Included with your subscription, you can join our Discord server to share ideas with other subscribers and root for your collective plays.
- CBB Team Pages: From our Team Stats page, click on any team for an in-depth breakdown of various factors related to the team. Here you can see depth charts, starting lineups over the last five games, a full schedule with results/box scores and various other metrics calculated by RotoWire.
And here are a few more that are DFS specific:
- Lineup Optimizer: Your general lineup-building starting point. Here, you can edit our mathematically-based projections to your liking and use customizable features such as lock/exclude to build lineups that have your own personal touch. "Like" a player to boost his projection by 20 percent. And NEW this season, generate up to 150 lineups for a given slate.
- Daily Matchup Info: This tool organizes the entire slate with sortable columns for things like implied point total and pace. It's a great starting point for figuring out games/matchups to target.
- Advanced Daily Lineups: This feature displays a team's recent starters alongside their usage rates. It shows bench players as well. A high usage rate, reasonable minutes total and below-average price tag typically signals a good DFS play.
Without further delay, let's dive into the Tuesday slate.
Tyler Bey, G, Colorado ($9,100 DK, $8,500 FD)
Even in a game with the second-lowest total on the slate, we can't disregard Bey completely. His usage is tops on the team by a full six percent, plus he's the team's best rebounder and has the second-best shot and assist rates. He has yet to play 30 minutes in a game this season, but it's not as if foul trouble is to blame. Colorado enters this contest as five-point favorites, but if Clemson can keep it close, Bey could be in for a ceiling game against a team that checks in at No. 40 in defense and No. 116 in tempo rating, per KenPom.
Obi Toppin, F, Dayton ($9,000 DK, $8,300 FD)
In a battle between NBA prospects Monday afternoon against Georgia, Toppin shined while Georgia's Anthony Edwards was invisible. Can he keep it rolling in a back-to-back? Possibly, but an undefeated Virginia Tech squad will look to slow down the pace, checking in at No. 322 in adjusted tempo rating, per KenPom. Toppin has shot 50 percent from beyond the arc this year, but the Hokies check in at 12th overall in perimeter defense and 16th overall in opponent effective field goal percentage. Even in what was considered an excellent outing, Toppin registered a season-low 34.0 points on DraftKings. You're paying up for a floor, but I'm skeptical we'll see his 50-point season, which is why I'll probably limit usage to a few GPPs.
Vernon Carey Jr., F, Duke ($8,600 DK, $8,000 FD)
Carey's price has finally caught up to the point where you actually have to think about playing him or not, as opposed to just locking him in automatically. Blowout potential is a risk here, but on paper, the matchup is ideal. Stephen F. Austin doesn't have a frontcourt rotation player taller than 6-foot-9, and while it has compiled decent rebounding marks against inferior competition, the Lumberjacks allow opponents to make 56.1 percent of two-point baskets, good for No. 312 in the nation. As long as he avoids whistles, Carey will feast in the minutes allotted to him. Pair him with Tre Jones ($8,100 DK, $7,500 FD) if you'd like to get maximum exposure to Duke's key offensive pieces – it will just be a big hit on the wallet.
Wendell Moore, F, Duke ($4,800 DK, $4,700 FD)
This is one of the chalkier plays on the slate, especially now that Moore is in the starting lineup and playing in the game with the highest over/under. Moore ranks second on the team with a 24.1 percent usage rate, but the problem has always been minutes. He's now started consecutive games and played 25 and 36 minutes, registering 26.3 and 30.0 DraftKings points, respectively. If that pattern continues, he's your lock of the night. Don't forget he entered the season as ESPN's No. 22 overall recruit.
Derek Culver, F, West Virginia ($5,100 FD only)
This is more of a GPP play, as Culver's minutes are inconsistent and he shares a frontcourt with emerging freshman Oscar Tshiebwe ($6,800 FD). But when the minutes are there, Culver has a usage rate nearly five percent greater than Tshiebwe and uses it to produce more than 1.0 fantasy points/minute. Remember, this is a player that averaged 11.5 points and 9.9 rebounds in his freshman season.
Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn ($6,500 DK only)
Yeah, I'm cheating here and picking a guy over the average salary per player, but I needed a place to mention him and this works best. He has a usage rate comparable to McCormick ($6,900) and Doughty ($8,500), but he doesn't come with a price tag nearly as high. Richmond allows opponents to shoot 35.2 percent from beyond the arc (No. 242), so we want to take advantage of that, as opposed to post players like Austin Wiley ($6,200). Give me the talented freshman, who has averaged 28.65 DK points over his last four. He's shot just 1-for-9 from beyond the arc over that span – a mark we can expect to improve.
Here are a few players not mentioned above who meet the following criteria: they start, play at least 25.0 mpg, are top 2 on their team in usage rate and are priced less than $5,500, per our Advanced Daily Lineups Page. Note: As the season continues, these plays will more frequently come from smaller schools entering the player pool for the first time, resulting in a new set of risks.
Naheim Alleyne, G, Virginia Tech ($5,300 DK, $4,800 FD)
AJ Green, G, Northern Iowa ($5,300 FD)
Spencer Haldeman, G, Northern Iowa ($4,600 FD)
Matt Neufeld, F, UC Davis ($5,000 DK, $5,100 FD)
Ezra Manjon, G, UC Davis ($5, 600 DK, $4,900 FD)
Kareem South, G, California ($4,600 DK, $4,000 FD)
Game to Target
Duke vs. Stephen F. Austin is the clear choice here with an over/under of 150, but since we've touched on a few Duke players in the previous two sections, we'll go another direction. Don't forget about Auburn vs. Richmond if you're playing on DraftKings, as that game checks in with a total of 145.5, good for second-best on the slate.
Virginia Tech vs. Dayton (-4), o/u 135, 8 p.m. EST
This falls in the second tier of totals after he aforementioned games, but unlike the others, we have a projected close matchup here. I mentioned Toppin above, but Dayton has three other players to choose from that average double figures – Rodney Chatman ($6,800 DK, $5,800 FD), Jalen Crutcher ($7,200 DK, $6,300 FD) and Ryan Mikesell ($6,100 DK, $5,000 FD). Comparing prices between sites is one way to find value, and with softer pricing on FanDuel so far this season, any one of those players could be considered a bargain.
While those are all fine plays, I'm more interested in the value that presents itself on the Virginia Tech side. The Hokies are a team that gets 49.7 percent of their total points from the perimeter – the second-highest mark in the country. Dayton is allowing its opponents to shoot 38.5 percent from beyond the arc, which lands the team outside the top-300. Top-priced Landers Nolley II ($7,800 FD) leads the team in three-pointers made, but one of the values mentioned above – Naheim Alleyne ($5,300 DK, $4,800 FD) – is second. Alleyne had a career-best 20 points last week, and has registered 20.0 or more DK points in four of five games since entering the starting lineup. PJ Horne ($4,300 FD, $5,000 DK) is 10-for-19 from beyond the arc this season, and could be another option for salary relief. The same logic could apply to Wabissa Bede ($6,800 DK, $6,000 FD), but he has a usage rate that's basically equal to Horne's, and Bede comes with a major price hike.
Game to Fade
California (-11.5) vs. UC Davis, o/u 126, 10 p.m. EST
This game's total did gain a few points since the line opened, but it's still the lowest of the day, and the implied total for UC Davis is dead last by almost double digits. To make matters worse, Cal runs a rotation that goes nine deep. FanDuel has also left starter Lars Thiemann ($3,800 DK) out of the player pool. Usage leader Matt Bradley ($6,100 FD, $7,400 DK) has the highest ceiling of the bunch, but if you really want a piece, I'd also consider Kareem South ($4,600 DK, $4,000 FD), who is second on the team in usage. The grad transfer from Texas A&M-CC opened the year with three consecutive double-digit scoring games, but proceeded to disappear when the competition got tougher. He could be back against a UC Davis team ranked No. 292 in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency. There are some possible value plays on the UC Davis side mentioned above, but Calfornia's slow pace (No. 340) almost makes overtime necessary in order to achieve 4-5x.
BYU vs. Kansas (-10), o/u 142.5, 10:30 p.m. EST
BYU remains without its best player in Yoeli Childs, and while Jalen Hill and the Bruins couldn't take advantage Monday, I'd be willing to wager Udoka Azubuike ($7,900 DK) can. Azubuike should be relatively well-rested, as he needed just 19 minutes to put up 15 points and seven rebounds against Chaminade on Monday. He's logged seven or more rebounds in each game this season, and has yet to score below 24.0 on DraftKings. That kind of floor against an undersized team with mediocre defensive marks is a recipe for success. I couldn't fault anyone wanting to use team leader Devon Dotson ($8,000) either, but I think the opportunity lies in the post here. Silvio De Sousa is also an interesting GPP option at $4,300, as he'd stand to benefit the most on the off chance Azuibuike gets a few quick whistles. He's talented, but the minutes just aren't there.
While the BYU guards can knock down shots, I'm not as crazy about TJ Haws ($6,400 DK) or Jake Toolson ($7,000 DK) as I was yesterday, especially at those prices. Kansas is allowing opponents to shoot just 27.1 percent from the perimeter, and is the ninth-best defensive team in the country according to KenPom. Maybe take a flier on a guy like Zac Selijaas ($4,600 DK) – a bench player with back-to-back efforts of 20+ DK points – but I'm not trying to force any BYU players into my lineups.
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