This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
Welcome back to another edition of the Thursday preview. We have an absolutely packed slate, featuring another set of late-night of Pac-12 games. College basketball continues to be unpredictable as we inch closer towards postseason play. It's interesting to see the salary disparity between platforms, as we may be seeing some of the biggest gaps of the season.
The list of shared games across both platforms includes Cincinnati/Wichita State, Connecticut/Tulsa, California/Colorado, USC/Arizona, Tulane/Houston, Stanford/Utah. With DraftKings adding Loyola Marymount/Gonzaga and UCLA/Arizona State.
Injuries have taken their toll on some teams on the slate, so it's important to check on a few players ahead of lineup lock. As always, we have plenty of useful tools to help you compile your rosters, especially our advanced daily lineups and lineup optimizer. Let's dive into the slate.
Onyeka Okongwu, USC, F ($8,300 FD, $8,700 DK)
Okongwu comes into the day as the highest-priced option on the slate on both platforms with good reason, as he's achieved a double-double in three of his past four games. The freshman has paced the Trojans to this point in the season, starting in every game he's been healthy to go along with leading the team in usage at 24 percent. He does get a slight boost in matchup against an Arizona team that plays at the 137th-fastest tempo in the country. On the road against a Wildcat defense that comes in at 12th in offensive efficiency, I'm not looking to play Okongwu in my lineup with so many other affordable options at forward Thursday.
Timmy Allen, Utah, F ($7,300 FD, $8,300 DK)
The matchup gives me a slight pause, but I'm liking Allen as my top play of the night Thursday. Allen has put up at least 30 DK points in each of his past five games, and paces the Utes by a wide margin in usage at 29.7 percent. The sophomore usually plays at small forward, which is away from Stanford's stud big man Oscar Da Silva. Allen has been on the floor for 86 percent of minutes and has taken 30 percent of shots while on the floor, and with a close game expected Thursday, I'm rolling with the sophomore in all of my lineups.
Oscar da Silva, Stanford, F ($7,800 FD, $7,600 DK)
The aforementioned da Silva has been on an absolute tear recently, collecting at least 40 DK points in three of his past four games. He's been pacing the Cardinal with a 27.6 percent usage rate this year and has been on the floor for 70 percent of his team's minutes. Utah plays at a slower pace this season, coming in at 246 in tempo per KenPom, but the junior looks to be solid play in all formats at an affordable price.
Tyler Bey, Colorado, G ($7,400 FD, $7,700 DK)
After missing Jan. 23's game against Washington State, Bey has bounced back healthy, averaging 27.8 DK points per contest in his last three. Bey paces the team with a 25 percent usage rate and has been on the floor for 65.3 percent of his team's minutes. He and the Buffaloes face a slower matchup against a California team that plays at the 323rd-fastest pace this season. Bey is a decent play Thursday, but has lacked the upside in Pac-12 play to warrant consideration across all formats.
Remy Martin, Arizona State, G ($8,100 DK)
The junior has enjoyed plenty of success in conference play this season, as he's averaging 33 DK points per contest through eight games. Martin is the unquestioned offensive leader for the Sun Devils, leading the team in usage at 29.7 percent to go along with seeing action in 84.2 percent of his team's minutes this year. Even though UCLA plays at one of the 50 slowest paces in the country, I'm not so concerned with the matchup and have confidence playing Martin in my lineups on DraftKings.
Caleb Mills, Houston, G ($5,100 FD, $5,400 DK)
Mills is highly likely to join the starting lineup for Thursday's game with DeJon Jarreau suspended for Thursday's game. The freshman has played in 55.8 percent of minutes this season, but is leading the Cougars in usage at 28.1 percent. The freshman has been a solid contributor despite only starting seven games this year, averaging 18.8 DK points per contest. Quentin Grimes is also dealing with a hip injury heading into the game, and his absence would push Mills even further into must-start territory Thursday.
Tyger Campbell, UCLA, G ($5,400 DK)
The redshirt freshman is coming off a 22-point performance in Sunday's win over Utah, and has played 26 minutes per game across nine conference clashes. Campbell is leading his team in percentage of minutes played at 69.6 percent and has racked up a 17.5 percent usage rate. Campbell and the rest of the Bruins also enjoy a pace-boosted matchup Thursday against an Arizona State team that plays at the 17th-fastest pace this season.
Maddox Daniels (concussion), Colorado: Daniels is doubtful to play as he still resides in concussion protocol. His absence would leave a slight uptick in minutes for Daylen Kountz ($3,300 FD, $3,800 DK)
Quentin Grimes (hip), DeJon Jarreau (suspension), Houston: Grimes missed practice Monday and Jarreau is suspended for Thursday's game. Their absences would lead to an uptick in minutes for Caleb Mills ($5,100 FD, $5,400 DK) and Marcus Sasser ($4,400 FD, $4,500 DK).
Both Gach (knee), Utah: Gach has missed the last two games with the knee issue and is uncertain for Thursday's game. Jaxon Brenchley ($3,900 FD, $4,400 DK) would be in line to start should Gach sit out again Thursday.
Killian Tillie (ankle), Gonzaga: Tillie missed Saturday's game against San Francisco and his status is uncertain for Thursday's game. Drew Timme ($5,800 DK) would be in line for the start should Tillie miss more time.
Game to Target
USC @ Arizona (-10), o/u 140, 9 p.m. EST
It was a challenge finding a game to target with so many low-scoring affairs forecasted for Thursday, but this Pac-12 matchup should be special. Despite the decent-sized spread labeled for the game, both teams sit in the top half of pace in the country this season. Aside from Okongwu, Jonah Mathews ($5,400 FD, $6,100 DK) looks to be bordering must-start territory Thursday, as he's leading the team at 77.4 percent of minutes played per game to go along with a 20.4 percent usage rate. A depth option that looks appealing for the Trojans is Ethan Anderson ($4,500 FD, $4,800 DK). He's started 20 of 22 games this season and he's racked up a 19.2 percent usage rate.
For Arizona, their only fantasy options worth considering this season are all standout freshman in Nico Mannion ($6,300 FD, $7,500 DK), Zeke Nnaji ($6,900 FD, $ 7,900 DK) and Josh Green ($5,100 FD, $6,100 DK). All three players have similar stats and numbers pacing the Wildcats this season, as they've all been on the floor for at least 71 percent of minutes and have racked up at least a 21 percent usage rate. I'm playing at least one in all of my lineups Thursday, but with price tag in mind, my preference of the three is Mannion. He's pacing the trio in percent of minutes played, usage and percent of shots taken this season.
Game to Avoid
California @ Colorado (-17), o/u 127.5, 8 p.m. EST
This game features the lowest total of the slate to go along with a huge point spread. California has been fantasy-challenged this year, sitting at 206 in offensive efficiency and has played at the 323rd-fastest pace this season. Interestingly enough, the Golden Bears have two of the most appealing players on the slate at their current prices. I advised to play Matt Bradley ($6,500 FD, $7,800 DK) last week and it paid off to the tune of 35 DK points. He's played in 83.3 percent of minutes this season to go along with a 27 percent usage rate. Paris Austin ($4,600 FD, $5,000 DK) is an interesting depth play, as he's started the last three games, and has seen at least 30 minutes in the past four to go along with a 22 percent usage rate.
Colorado has been tough to get a read on this season, as it's been a challenge deciding which of Tyler Bey ($7,400 FD, $7,700 DK) and McKinley Wright ($7,000 FD, $7,900 DK) will have a better game on a nightly basis. Bey leads in usage at 25 percent, but Wright has taken more shots while on the floor at 22.4 percent. I would give the nod to Wright if you were inclined to play a Colorado player Thursday, as he's been on the floor for 85.2 percent of his team's minutes compared to Bey's 65.3 percent.
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