This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
DraftKings has its usual 10-game main slate going off at noon EST on Saturday, wrapping up with a handful of 4:00 p.m. tip-offs. We have a smaller four-game mid-day slate before the evening is capped with a six-game contest. FanDuel counters with an eight-game main slate, seven contests of which overlap. Its four-game mid-day contests include some 4:00 p.m. EST tip-offs that mix with the close of DK's main.
Jalen Johnson, F, Duke ($7,600 DK, $6,200 FD)
We wouldn't normally want to target a game with a 138.5 total, and against a team that ranks 49th in adjusted defense and 300th in tempo, per KenPom. But Johnson is a one-man wrecking crew, capable of contributing in every category available. He's played 30 minutes in just two games due to the blowout nature of his other outings, and has averaged 62.0 DKP. It's unlikely to find that upside at this price, and we are confident a healthy Johnson will see ample run. It certainly feels like a last chance at this price.
Jermaine Couisnard, G/F, South Carolina ($5,900 DK, $5,500 FD)
This game features the highest total, and a low 1.5-point spread, so we know it should be featured in lineup builds. It's easy to target the top options in Sharife Cooper ($9,200 DK, $8,500 FD) and/or A.J. Lawson ($7,600 DK, $6,300 FD), but the 152.5 total should lend itself to value. Couisnard is in a horrible shooting funk, hitting just 26.9 percent in four games since returning. But he's hoisted 13 shots a night, played at least 32 minutes in three of those and averaged 4.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.5 steals. That gives him a safe floor, and if the shots fall and there's a pace boost, there's a clear path to 5x or better. JT Thor ($5,900 DK, $4,900 FD) is appealing on the Auburn side but doesn't have the same upside.
Caleb Love, G, North Carolina ($5,400 DK, $4,800 FD)
Targeting the Heels' backcourt isn't for the faint of heart, as they can rotate five bodies in a variety of minutes. But it's been Love who consistently gets the most chances, and he seems to be finally finding his way. He's coming off of a season-high 37.0 DKP where he contributed across the board, and seems to be using his body better to score in the lane rather than just hoisting freely. He put up a usable 23.0 DKP in an earlier matchup with the 'Pack, and I'm looking for his confidence to continue building Saturday. This could be the last time we see him under 6k for the short term. FanDuel pricing for the Heels is incredibly favorable for a stack, with Garrison Brooks ($7,000 FD, $5,900 FD) the highest-priced option.
Also consider Scottie Barnes ($6,100 DK, $5,800 FD) who should see a minutes increase and is at a decreased salary.
Tyrese Martin, G/F, Connecticut ($7,600 DK, $6,800 FD)
Connecticut checks in at 27th in adjusted defense and 338th in tempo, and Creighton 35th defensively. They put up 150 points against each other earlier, but Vegas doesn't see that happening again with a 137.5 total; nor do I. I love Martin as a player, but he's not a good shooter/scorer, and his recent hot streak for DFS tallies have largely come from 11 steals over his last two. He put up only 16.0 DKP in the prior matchup, making 4x the ceiling.
Duane Washington, G, Ohio State ($7,200 DK, $5,900 FD)
Washington is far more valuable to the Buckeyes than most fantasy lineups. He's a scorer, and that's it, which leads to far too low of a floor, and a limited ceiling to boot. He seems an obvious fade in the slate's lowest total, with Wisconsin ranking fifth in adjusted defense and 340th in tempo.
Samuell Williamson, G/F, Louisville ($5,200 DK, $4,700 FD)
Williamson is undersized and seems destined to struggle against an athletic Duke front. We touched on the low total and defensive prowess of this matchup above. Williamson's game logs are a huge roller coaster, going for 30-plus DKP three times in 10 outings, but no meeting 4x in the other seven contests. That low floor makes him a hard pass for me in a low-scoring contest.
Oscar da Silva, F, Stanford ($8,000 DK, $8,000 FD)
If the Cardinal are suddenly healthy, we can probably move da Silva to the fade category. But given what we know Friday night, he's all Stanford has with Daejon Davis ($6,000 DK, $6,300 FD), Ziaire Williams ($7,100 DK, $6,000 FD) and Bryce Wills ($5,500 DK, $6,000 FD) uncertain. But da Silva is averaging 19.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg overall, and has posted four double-doubles in his last five outings, suggesting great stability.
Izaiah Brockington, G/F, Penn State ($6,400 DK)
Three of the four games in DK's afternoon slate are separated by a mere two points in their totals. And I find this matchup the best spot for value, simply because of perception suggesting a slower tempo. Brockington's salary is starting to rise after it bottomed out due to injury and the team's inactive status for an extended period, but he's reached 4x in six of his last 10 and appears a bit of a bargain after his priced topped out at $7,100 previously.
Herb Jones, G, Alabama ($6,900 DK)
It's tough to fade the Tide's pieces thanks to their 13th-ranked offense and 11th-ranked tempo. But Mississippi State will counter that with a 316th-ranked tempo. Jones' price is up $400 despite averaging 25.63 DKP in his last two, a mere 3.7x return. Further, he's topped 30 DKP just twice in his last eight. The ceiling doesn't seem evident, and the floor low enough to look elsewhere.
Jaime Jaquez, G/F, UCLA ($6,700 DK)
It's all about format, as Jaquez is a brilliant cash game play, posting at least 20.75 DKP in eight of his last 10. But he's topped 30 only once in that span, and seemingly offers no upside. UCLA checks in at 332nd in tempo, while Stanford is 12th in adjusted defense. That suggests a low upside grind, leaving Jaquez without GPP appeal.
Isaac Bonton, G, Washington State ($7,900 DK)
Given what I think are some safe values below, paying above Bonton on this slate is certainly in play. As is using Bonton, the values below and a host of other 6-7k options for a hugely balanced lineup. Cal's tempo (304th) is certainly concerning, but it's not a good defensive team. Bonton saw a $400 price decrease thanks to his last outing (14.75 DKP), but had posted at least 37.25 DKP in five straight prior, including 37.75 against the Bears.
Anton Watson, F, Gonzaga ($5,500 DK)
This may be a bit lazy, and we could see Watson with high usage given the price, but there doesn't appear to be much risk. The Zags are huge favorites, and the game has by far the largest total on the slate. We know we want at least some piece of this offense, and Watson has been worth at least 20 DKP in seven of his last 10. Given some garbage time production, and it's hard to find a safer floor for the price.
Amauri Hardy, G, Oregon ($4,500 DK)
Hardy is coming off of a season-high 22 DKP, and that came with Oregon at near-full strength. That won't be the case Saturday, as Chris Duarte ($8,500 DK), L.J. Figueroa ($5,800 DK) and Will Richardson ($3,900 DK) are all out. Hardy will get as many minutes as he can handle, an uptick in usage due to backcourt absences, and the Ducks are big 10-point favorites despite the depleted rotation. He needs only 18.0 DKP for 4x, and 6x wouldn't surprise. He feels like this slate's chalkiest play, but given the cost and what he opens up for the rest of your build, I see no reason to fade. Frontcourt mates Eugene Omoruyi ($7,100 DK) and EJ Williams ($7,500 DK) should shoulder the offense, and are worth consideration.
Jose Alvarado, G, Georgia Tech ($8,500 DK)
This should be pretty obvious, so maybe Alvarado is worth a dart throw in deep GPPs. But he's the slate's highest-priced guard, and he's playing Virginia, who we always fade with its ninth-ranked defensive efficiency and 357th-ranked tempo. The Jackets are nine-point dogs and have an implied total of about 58. Alvarado will have to be very busy in peripheral categories to even get 3x.
Dru Smith, G, Missouri ($6,900 DK)
Smith is on a nice two-game run where he's averaged 34.75 DKP, but it's led to a $1,100 price increase. He provided just an average of 19.19 DKP in his previous four and faces a Vols defense that ranks second defensively and place at the 304th "fastest" pace. No thanks.
Jeremiah Bailey, F, Pacific ($6,200 DK)
Bailey's average of 27.1 DKP looks enticing at this number. But he goes just 6-foot-6, 220, and figures to be severely overwhelmed by Gonzaga's front line. Sure, there could be garbage production, but he's also played only 38 minutes in the team's previous two games while committing eight fouls. I find it an easier path to limited minutes and zero production than I do a 4x return.