This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
We have an identical five-game slate going off on both sites at 1 p.m. EST on Saturday. While still using four Big Ten teams, there's a bit more diversity following Friday's all Big Ten schedule, and Gonzaga is on the slate, forcing managers to make a decision. Trust the Zags' tempo and build around their small rotation, or trust that Virginia can dictate pace and keep the game close, fading the Zags offense in the process.
My personal favored pay-ups are Houston G Quentin Grimes ($9,000 DK, $7,600 FD) and picking Illinois F Kofi Cockburn ($8,200 DK, $7,300 FD) or Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis ($9,200 DK, $8,000 FD), who are squaring off in what should be a fantastic interior battle.
E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio State ($7,300 DK, $7,000 FD)
As this column developed, I struggled to find targets in the front court, settling on Liddell as a safe option who could see a slightly elevated ceiling. The game is expected to be the second-highest scoring of the slate, and Ohio State comes in with roughly a 73 point implied total. Liddell leads the Buckeyes in rebounding (6.8 per game) and second in scoring, just 0.1 ppg behind Duane Washington Jr. ($6,300 DK, $5,900 FD), who does little more than score. It's only two games, but the Wildcats are getting pummeled on the offensive boards, allowing 20 to Michigan State and Indiana. Hopefully Liddell follows suit, leading to a fantasy boost.
BJ Boston, G, Kentucky ($6,700 DK, $6,600 FD)
I find Louisville's entire starting five to be undersized, but particularly so in the backcourt, where David Johnson ($7,700 DK, $6,700 FD) and Carlik Jones ($7,900, $7,100 FD) go 6-foot-5 and 6-1, respectively. That should give Boston, Kentucky's leading scorer and rebounder, and G/F Terrence Clarke ($5,400 DK) nice options to post up and get easier shots, as both go 6-7 with length. Clarke makes for a nice value, but with no pace or defensive efficiency boosts, I'll target Boston's safer floor. For similar reasons, fading both of the Cardinals' backcourts makes sense too.
Trey Murphy, G, Virginia ($5,500 DK, $5,300 FD)
This will take a bit of a leap of faith, but I think grabbing a piece of the Cavaliers' offense could be a sneaky low-used play if we think the Zags can force tempo a bit and UVA scores more than usual. Murphy played 32 minutes in the Cavs last game, and with this being Virginia's first real test (no offense to San Francisco), we'd expect a shorter rotation. Murphy has hit 4x value at this number three times in five outings, including two consecutive, and it seems like the floor is at least flirting with that number.
Brandon Mahan, G, Central Florida ($8,000 DK, $6,800 FD)
Mahan is the Knights' leading scorer and rebounder at 22.5 ppg and 5.8 rpg, and is shooting an obscene 60.4 percent from the floor and 52.9 percent from 3-point range. Those numbers are clearly unsustainable, and the matchup Saturday against Houston isn't ideal. The Cougars rank sixth in defensive efficiency and 300th of 357 in adjusted tempo, per KenPom. UCF is the biggest underdog on the slate, and the game has the lowest total. Mahan has been worth 42.8 DKP over his last two, but it's hard to see a repeat, and 4x return seems the most realistic outcome.
Jay Huff, F, Virginia ($6,800 DK, $5,700 FD)
Setting out to write this, I'd have never imagined two Cavaliers being featured. Huff just has such a low floor, reaching better than 3.8x return just once all season. He definitely has boom potential, but the pairing of Corey Kispert ($7,500 DK, $6,900 FD) and Drew Timme ($7,900 DK, $7,400 FD) are going to challenge Huff, likely stretching him on out both ends. Sam Hauser ($6,600 DK, $5,700 FD) is far more stable, especially at FanDuel.
Andrew Nembhard, G, Gonzaga ($6,000 DK, $6,400 FD)
I'm not here to make the decision on using Gonzaga's offense in this contest. I'm just here to say that while I've been successful playing Nembhard as a cheap in previously, this is a spot I'll stay away from him and target the Zags' higher-salaried options who are more of the offensive focal point if I'm using them. This game has a total of 139.5, 34 points less than Gonzaga's game last Saturday. That implied lower total have me staying away from secondary pieces to the slate's top option, as does Nembhard's slow rise in price.