DFS College Basketball: Saturday Preview

DFS College Basketball: Saturday Preview

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

Saturday's slates are about as similar as we've seen this season between the two major sites, as FanDuel has just one exclusive game.  Otherwise, all the other games align.

Michigan (-3.5) vs. Illinois O/U: 140

Auburn (-8.5) vs. Iowa State O/U: 146.5

West Virginia (-12) vs. Missouri O/U: 134

North Carolina (-5.5) vs. Miami (FL) O/U: 146.5

Villanova (-1.5) at Providence O/U: 136

DePaul (-5.5) vs. St. John's O/U: 146.5

Texas (-1) vs. LSU O/U: 143.5

Oklahoma (-1) vs. Mississippi State O/U: 139.5

Louisville (-11) vs. Clemson O/U: 126.5

Syracuse (-6) vs. Pittsburgh O/U: 131.5 (FanDuel only)

Top Players

Paul Reed, DePaul (DK $9,400, FD $8,700) vs. St. John's

Reed is the ideal anchor for both cash and GPP lineups, and one shouldn't blink at his high salary — he's worth every penny.  He's coming off a huge 47 FP game against Creighton, and his last 10 games have been equally superb, averaging 43 FP per game over that span.  Saturday's game is blessed with a high over/under as well, so the pace should definitely keep Reed's numbers high.

Garrison Brooks, North Carolina (DK $8,500, FD $7,500) vs. Miami (FL)

The Tar Heels finally find themselves in a game where their status as a favorite might actually be justified, but it seems like they are fighting for wins on a nightly basis in a disappointing season. When Cole Anthony went down with an injury things looked especially bleak for the Heels, but Brooks has been a bright spot on both sides of the ball. He's coming off a 52 FP score in a hard-fought overtime loss to Virginia Tech, and at this point in the season he is easily North Carolina's most potent fantasy weapon. The Hurricanes rank a dreadful 311th nationally in scoring defense, indicating a field day for Brooks and company.

Kofi Cockburn, Illinois (DK $8,300, FD $6,700) at Michigan

I won't apologize for playing favorites with Cockburn, but FanDuel has him at a discount, making him a lock for me at that price. Even though the Wolverines are favored, I doubt Jon Teske will out-play Cockburn, especially off the glass. I don't mind Teske as a scorer, but at 7-foot-1, he should be a better rebounder than his numbers indicate, and Cockburn's aggressiveness in the paint is special. The freshman also ranks fourth in the Big Ten with 9.3 rebounds per game.

Dru Smith, Missouri (DK $7,600, FD $6,700) at West Virginia

I like searching for low-ownership targets at every salary level, but I think it's especially helpful among the high-priced talents, as the public will often flock to the big names at this price.  Smith will be well-hidden due to the lopsided spread in this contest. While he only averages 12.1 points per game, he's a solid contributor in the secondary categories, and has popped as high as eight assists and five steals this season. Those ancillary numbers can add up quickly, giving the Evansville transfer added value.

Javonte Smart, LSU (DK $6,600, FD $6,200) at Texas

I'm looking for multiple targets in this matchup due to the high over/under and narrow spread, and Smart has the least deviation between his high and low FP numbers, making him a prime cash prospect for me. After a slow start to the season, the sophomore guard has put on the gas, compiling nice rebound and assist numbers along with a more consistent 3-point shot to bolster his scoring totals. He's ideally priced in what should be a hotly contested game.

Courtney Ramey, Texas (DK $6,200, FD $5,400) vs. LSU

I'm going to continue giving exposure to this game with Ramey, who's another attractively priced FanDuel target.  If you exclude his tepid performances against West Virginia and Kansas, the sophomore guard is putting up decent numbers and has now logged four consecutive starts. The Mountaineers and Jayhawks generally had their way against Texas, but this is a much better matchup and Ramey should bounce back with a better total.

Also consider: Collin Gillespie, Villanova (DK $7,400, FD $6,200) at Providence

Value Plays

Romeo Weems, DePaul (DK $5,600, FD $4,800) vs. St. John's

Weems has shown a glimmer of consistency the last two games, logging an 11-point total in each of his last two games. The freshman is a high-variance target, but the slate is a little starved for value and this game's spread and over/under make your borderline values more relevant.

Leaky Black, UNC (DK $5,600, FD $5,100) vs. Miami (FL)

Black is expected to take on an increased role while Brandon Robinson continues to deal with a neck injury.  Although you have to account for the extended time due to a double-overtime game, Black had his first-double-digit scoring total of the season against Virginia Tech.  You can't ask for a better matchup, and if Robinson is out I expect Black to produce a decent total.

Jalen Coleman-Lands, DePaul (DK $5,200, FD $4,600) vs. St. John's

We need to continue clicking on favorable game scenarios as we search for value on this slate, so we'll go back to DePaul for a guard who possess a streaky three-point shot. Coleman-Lands pretty much depends on long-range conversions to bolster his score, and St. John's ranks a mediocre 186th in 3-point defense. The highlight of his January was a 20-point game last week against Butler, and if he can mount a similar total and grab some rebounds against the Red Storm's 238th-ranked rebounding percentage, the senior could be on the way to a value-beating total.

Kai Jones, Texas (DK $3,900, FD $3,600) vs. LSU

With Kamaka Hepa (ankle) out Saturday, I think Jones is probably the most reasonable pivot in this fast-paced scenario.  He's logged a lot more minutes than Will Baker, who would be next in line behind Jones to see a bit more time. It's best to just ignore his tepid output and trust the increased usage due to Hepa's injury.

Syracuse (-6) vs. Pittsburgh O/U: 131.5 (FanDuel only)

Both Elijah Hughes ($7,700) and Marek Dolezaj ($6,100) are the best targets in this game, and Buddy Boeheim ($5,300) is also seeing more minutes of late. The Panthers' best target for the money is Justin Champagnie ($6,000), who's coming off a 32 FDFP score against Boston College.

Game to Target

Michigan (-3.5) vs. Illinois O/U:140

Although there are other favorable games on the slate, I'm making this one my targeted game because I didn't showcase this matchup as much in the article. Zavier Simpson (DK $7,700, FD $7,100) is a steady presence for the Wolverines as their starting point guard, and you can also find additional Michigan value with Eli Brooks (DK $5,700, FD $5,000), who is Simpson's partner in the backcourt.

Game to Fade

Louisville (-11) vs. Clemson O/U: 126.5

The Tigers have a lot of heart, but they also suffer from a syrupy-slow pace that is favored by coach Brad Brownell.  I wouldn't count out the Tigers, but aside from Jordan Nwora and Aamir Simms, I don't see much point in giving exposure to this game.

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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Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for numerous sports outlets and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
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