This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
DraftKings has a main slate going off before noon Saturday for the second consecutive week, with Butler-Indiana tipping at 11:30 a.m. EST. Game times are a bit unfortunate unless you reserve an entry Friday night, but there's a ton to be excited about, and managers face two clear questions:
- Who and how many pieces of the Iowa-Gonzaga game to you use/can you afford, as it has a 173.5 total, 19 points more than the closest game and 30-plus more than most others?
- Are we paying up for Luka Garza ($10,000 DK, $9,000 FD) or Charles Bassey ($9,200 DK)?
My answer to the first question is as many as feasible, and the Zags attack isn't prohibitively priced, making using three pieces possible. How many Hawkeyes you use likely is tied to how you answer No. 2. I personally prefer a deeper lineup build and passing on Garza, but there's no reason to fade him. I do like Bassey at the discount to Garza, as that game should also feature ample points.
There's 100 percent overlap with DK's mid-afternoon slate, while their evening three-game contest offers some different names.
Herb Jones, G/F, Alabama ($8,000 DK)
This game has the second-highest total, and the Tide come in with an implied total of 80, so maybe we build a winning lineup through their anchor, and supplement with secondary pieces from the Zags and Hawkeyes. He's been a hair inconsistent for this price, twice returning 25.5 DKP or less, but is coming off of his second double-double of the year and his ability to contribute across the board should lend itself to a 4x return if the Tide are successful in pushing tempo.
Garrison Brooks, F, North Carolina ($6,800 DK, $6,600 FD)
No one is denying that Brooks' 11.7 ppg and 7.7 rpg in the early going have been a disappointment. But his price has fallen from an early season $9,200 to $8,000 to this, which now looks like a discount. Despite the Heels' front-court depth, Brooks is playing 30.8 minutes nightly against real competition (Stanford, Iowa, Texas) and averaging 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in those contests, leading to 27.3 DKP on average. That works out to 4x value, and there's obviously room for more.
Andrew Nembhard, G, Gonzaga ($5,600 DK, $6,500 FD)
I highlighted Nembhard two weeks ago in the Zags' showdown against Baylor, only to see it cancelled. I'm assuming the Zags will have everyone available here, and the price point is going to lead to likely high ownership, almost making this a free square not worth fading. Nembhard is averaging 30.7 minutes, which is the real appeal. With that kind of run in a game with a team-implied total of 88-ish points there should be easy 4x return, if not considerably better. He's not quite as appealing at FanDuel, where Corey Kispert ($7,700 DK, $6,900 FD) is.
Carlik Jones, G, Louisville ($8,800 DK, $7,000 FD)
I'm fading all sides of this contest, as Wisconsin plays at the 26th slowest tempo, and Louisville the 75th out of 357 teams, while they check in at seventh and 27th in defensive efficiency, per KenPom. The Badgers are priced low enough to ignore, but Jones' price and production rate will draw eyes. Surely he'll remain the focal point of the offense, but with an implied total of 64 points, I'm failing to see the upside in Jones, or any other Cardinal. Maybe the team's leading rebounder in Jae'Lyn Withers ($6,000 DK) merits consideration. It's also worth noting the Cardinals haven't played since Dec. 1, so some rust wouldn't be surprising.
Race Thompson, F, Indiana ($6,400 DK)
Thompson's been far too feast or famine for me to justify this price. He's twice topped 40 DKP, but in his four other outings he's been at 21 DKP or less. This game is one of three with a 132.5 total, the lowest on the slate, though the Hosiers are solid (-7.5) favorites, so there should be production available. But Armaan Franklin ($6,000) seems far safer.
R.J. Davis, G, North Carolina ($5,200 DK, $5,500 FD)
It's easy to see Davis' price, pair it with his 30.2 minutes per game, and think it's a nightly safe path to nearly 4x value (he's averaging 20.0 DKP). But Davis is shooting just 38.2 percent, and we've seen him struggle to get off clean shots against bigger opponents. For everything Kentucky hasn't been this year, there's one clear thing it is — long. I expect Davis will labor in this contest.
David DeJulius, G, Cincinnati ($6,400 DK, $6,600 FD)
I simply don't trust Keith Williams ($7,500 DK) at the higher cost, as he simply does nothing other than score. DeJulius has a lower floor, because he's inconsistent in the scoring column, but he's a peripheral stat provider, and at the reduced cost in a game with a decent 141.5 total, he feels likely to produce across the board.
Caleb Daniels, G, Villanova ($4,900 DK)
Daniels plays 27.9 minutes a game, and that alone makes him an anchor on this slate given the cost. He has a 17.5 DKP floor, which is still easily 3x, and with Villanova a heavy favorite in the slate's highest-total contest, what's not to like, other than the fact Daniels' is assuredly chalky.
Dahmir Bishop, G, St. Joseph's ($5,000 DK)
The Hawks are (+21.5) point underdogs, so it stands to reason we can easily overlook Ryan Daly ($9,000 DK) and hunt garbage-time production. Bishop seems to quietly be coming into his own as a sophomore, averaging 9.3 ppg, 3.0 apg and 3.0 rpg. He's yet to provide a 4x return, but is 2-for-3 at the 3.5x mark, which makes him a viable candidate for a Joe's and schmoes lineup.
Toumani Camara, F, Georgia ($7,800 DK)
Nevermind that Camara isn't certain to play due to a lower body injury that cost him his last potential outing. He's double his production from a year ago in just three-pus minutes more action. Maybe he's coming into his own, or maybe it's because Georgia has played Montana, Jacksonville, Florida A&M and North Georgia. Cincinnati, and its 47th-ranked defensive efficiency, looks like a huge step up in class.
Scottie Barnes, G/F, Florida State ($7,300 DK)
Barnes remains long on talent, but the early returns haven't been enough to support this price. His season-high is 29.0 DKP, which is a tick under 4x. That's the ceiling here it appears, as the 'Noles are big favorites (-13.5) in a game with the lowest total (132.5) on the slate. That obviously suggests a deeper rotation as the lead extends, and fewer opportunities for the starters.
Dre Fuller, G, Central Florida ($7,100 DK)
Fuller averaged 6.3 ppg and 3.1 rpg a year ago, and is putting up a diverse 8.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 4.0 apg this season, but none of that suggests he's worth a 7k salary. Florida State checks in with a 15th-ranked defensive efficiency per KenPom, and the Knights have an implied total of about 60 points. That suggests a hard path towards 3x return.