This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
FanDuel and DraftKings have an identical four-game early slate, going off at 11 a.m. EST on Saturday. The main slates have some overlap, but there are plenty of marquee matchups and rivalries ready to go off here, which should add a little extra juice and shorten rotations to boot.
Alan Griffin, F, Syracuse ($7,400 DK, $7,100 FD)
Boston College has given up 90-plus in three consecutive games, so loading up on the Orange seems the obvious strategy for this slate. Not surprisingly, it comes with the highest total. With Buddy Boeheim ($7,500) returning, I'll pass on the Syracuse backcourt with minimal conviction and look towards Griffin despite his lack of size. He's topped 31 DKP in three of four, suggesting a stable 4x return, He's done so by scoring 20-plus in consecutive games through stable minutes (30-plus) and 3-point attempts (6 to 9). Truth be told, we're splitting hairs with Griffin and Quincy Guerrier ($7,200 DK, $7,300 FD), who's been equally impressive at a similar cost. It's not impossible to use both, but target savings across sites.
Scottie Barnes, G, Florida State ($5,800 DK, $6,500 FD)
It's probably low-hanging fruit, but until he's priced north of 6k at DK, I'm perfectly fine using Barnes on a nightly basis. The recruiting pedigree is there, giving nightly upside, and through two games, he's been putting up fantasy points in all categories, lending a floor stable. Barnes is shooting only 33.3 percent, so there's clear room for growth, and with the tight spread, I'm expecting a tight rotation from the 'Noles.
Terrence Clarke, G, Kentucky ($5,700 DK, $6,100 FD)
I'm personally intrigued by multiple sides of the Kentucky attack, as they come in as nearly seven-point favorites with the second-highest total against an Irish side that's allowed at least 70 in all three outings and 90 in their most recent against Ohio State. Clarke hasn't played fewer than 31 minutes and has posted at least 24.0 DKP in three of four, suggesting 4x value is easily attainable.
Keith Williams, G, Cincinnati ($7,100 DK, $7,400 FD)
He's the highest priced player for a team that's the biggest underdog in a game with the lowest total. That should be more than enough to look away. He's averaging 17.3 ppg, and while four other Bearcats are putting up between 9.3 and 10.3 ppg, there's little doubt Williams will be hoisting frequently, giving him a stable floor. But he doesn't do much other than score, which caps the ceiling and gives no clear path to 4-5x return.
Steffon Mitchell, F, Boston College ($6,600 DK, $6,300 FD)
Mitchell's appeal is his ability to grab rebounds in bunches, and any scoring he provides is a bonus. He's pulled down only six boards in his last two games after eight or more in his first three, and has scored five or fewer points in three of five games. His 15 point, eight board showing against Rhode Island resulted in an early-season 29.5 DKP high, and that's not going to work at this price, even with the high implied point total. Maybe he's a GPP target, but I fail to see the upside.
Dane Goodwin, G/F, Notre Dame ($6,300 DK, $6,800 FD)
I'm really struggling with Goodwin. On one hand, he's played at least 37 minutes in each of Notre Dame's first three games, and minutes equal production. On the other hand, he's averaging 29.4 DKP largely thanks to seven boards per game. I think his 6-foot-6 frame is going to struggle on the glass and to shoot over Kentucky's length from the perimeter. He's intriguing as a target thanks to a $500 price decrease from the Irish's last outing, but I think I'd trust Cormac Ryan ($5,600 DK, $6,500 FD) and his similar minutes more for production at a reduced tag, particularly at DK.
Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois ($9,700 DK, $8,400 FD)
Dosunmu is the highest priced option on both slates, but it's difficult to fade given his form, when paired with a tight spread and near top total. His floor this season has been 18 points, six rebounds and five assists. At worst, that's 3.5x value, and there's a 4.5x ceiling. An absolute anchor to build around on a slate seemingly void of upside.
Eric Williams, G/F, Oregon ($6,700 DK, $6,600 FD)
Guard eligibility is puzzling at FD, but what isn't is Williams' transition from the A-10 to the Pac-12 with mirroring success. He's averaging 14.0 ppg and 7.8 rpg, the latter of which leads the team. It's resulted in just 1.6 DKP less per game than Eugene Omoruyi ($8,300 DK, $7,200 FD), and that price discount in a lineup as heavy favorites should play well.
Mark Smith, F, Missouri ($6,100 DK, $6,100 FD)
Smith profiles safely, having posted at least 21.75 DKP and 19.7 FDP - 3x value across sites minimum. He's played at least 29 minutes in every game and 34 or more in the past two, and scored at least 15 points in all outings. Cash and GPP players should enjoy the implied stability.
While this game has the highest total on the docket, Clemson's early showing has resulted in an eighth-ranked defensive efficiency, and a 314th ranked tempo per KenPom.com. None of these options are overpriced, and it's likely one pops off for at least 30 fantasy points, but given that none of these options has seen greater than 25 percent usage in the last two games, it's challenging at best to pick the hot hand.
Quade Green, G, Washington ($6,800 DK, $6,400 FD)
The Huskies are simply reeling, and there's no reason to target this lineup. They've got an implied total of just 64 points, and while Green is going to forced into nearly a third of that because of a lack of options, that hinders his ability to provide anything more than scoring. His recent game logs look great, and I don't dispute the floor given expected high usage, but it's a difficult path to any remote 4x ceiling.
Malik Curry, G, Old Dominion ($8,200 DK)
Nah'Shon Hyland, G, VCU ($7,000 DK)
DraftKings exclusive, and this game is a hard, hard pass. The Rams are a heavy favorite, and it checks in with a low 137.5 total. Hyland is VCU's go to option, and regularly has the ball in his hands, but is not much more than a scorer. He'll need hot shooting to reach a 3.5x return. Curry is equally the lead dog, but the Rams' defense will key on him. That likely leads to forced scoring, turnovers, and limited peripheral production.
Alex Barcello, G, BYU ($7,300 FD)
It's unfortunate that this game isn't available across both sites, as Barcello may be my favorite play. A 140ish point game total, a nearly even spread ... and a player leading his team in points and assists, coming off or a 28.6 percent usage and posting 9.4 ppg more than his nearest teammate? Less than 4x would disappoint.