This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
DraftKings has its usual 10-game main slate Saturday beginning at noon EST, while FanDuel counters with a nine-game main slate, all of which are overlapping games. We have some unconventional matchups to look forward to thanks to the SEC-Big 12 Challenge. There are four games with totals over 150 points, making for some obvious games to target in Auburn-Baylor, Arkansas-Oklahoma State, Alabama-Oklahoma and Texas Tech-LSU, and only three games have a spreads of more than one possession. GPPs are going to have some star-studded, high scoring totals.
Given the condensed nature of the slate breakdowns, I'll do my best to look outside of these games, but hot players like Herb Jones ($7,600 DK, $6,500 FD) and/or Mac McClung ($7,300 DK, $6,200 FD) are obvious options at less than top pricing. These games are also clear spots to target some values and take stars in other contests, with De'Vion Harmon ($5,700 DK, $5,500 FD) being among my favorite.
Matthew Hurt, F, Duke ($7,800 DK, $7,600 FD)
Maybe a bit bold of a call give Hurt is in the game with the lowest total. But that should lead to low usage, making Hurt an appealing GPP option, with the floor safe enough for cash lineups too. The Blue Devils rank 34th in adjusted offense, and Clemson has been woeful defensively since returning from hiatus, allowing 80-plus in three straight before clamping down on Louisville last time out. He's had a 3.3x floor in his last 10, four times returning right about 5x.
Alyn Breed, G, Providence, ($5,800 DK only)
This could be a little risky, as we don't know if Georgetown will play, which it hasn't since Jan. 9. But if the Hoyas play, we can target rust to the point where the narrow spread feels suspect. Breed has averaged 28.25 DKP in his last three, playing all but 10 minutes in those games combined. Jared Bynum ($4,400 DK) is nearing a return, which could cut into those minutes, but Georgetown's 109th-ranked defensive efficiency should lend itself to a 5x floor.
Scottie Lewis, G, Florida ($4,900 DK, $6,400 FD)
Talk about chalk city, but I don't see a way to avoid Lewis. He put up 24.75 DKP in his return, an easy 5x value, and you have to figure he'll see a bit more run in this games that figures to be close and will see West Virginia's extended defense. This is a player who's routinely $7,000 or higher at full strength, and I'll be content to use him as a free square. He's far less appealing/a borderline fade at FanDuel.
Izaiah Brockington, G, Penn State ($7,500 DK, $6,200 FD)
Fading Wisconsin's sixth-ranked defensive efficiency and 331st-ranked tempo is a DFS mainstay. Brockington's expense and form make it even easier. He's curiously risen $1,000 since his last outing, where he provided just 25.75 DKP against Ohio State. He's reached 4x at this salary, just three times in his last 10, and the matchup clearly doesn't support that level of success.
Scottie Barnes, G, Florida State ($6,400 DK, $5,600 FD)
Barnes just seems overpriced. He's a tremendous talent capable of erupting at any point as an all-around contributor, but he's played no more than 23 minutes in six consecutive games, failing to return 4x in four straight and five of six, and failing to return 3x in three of seven. He's simply not being given the opportunity, or performing enough to justify this salary.
Jaylin Williams, F, Auburn ($5,600 DK, $5,100 FD)
Despite his season-long average being better, Williams has made 4x just twice in his last six and four times in his last 10. I'm personally fading all of Auburn, including Sharife Cooper ($9,200 DK, $9,000 FD), against Baylor's vaunted defense (first nationally per KenPom.) Williams is trending in the wrong direction and looks like a lazy value play for casual managers in a game with a robust 158.5 total, but the Tigers are almost two-touchdown underdogs.
Three games here overlap across sites, with DK including Xavier vs. Butler, while FD has insisted on listing a cancelled Texas vs. Kentucky as the fourth option.
Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue ($5,400 DK, $4,500 FD)
This game has the highest total, so if we aren't using Marcus Carr ($8,800 DK, $8,500 FD) and/or Trevion Williams ($8,200 DK, $7,800 FD), Ivey makes a lot of sense. Heck, he probably makes sense even if using those high-priced options. He started in Sasha Stefanovic's ($6,100 DK, $5,100 FD) absence, and returned 26.25 DKP. That flirts with 5x, and there's no expectation his role changes. With a boosted pace, relative to the slate, a repeat performance is the expectation.
Jaden Springer, G, Tennessee ($5,600 DK, $4,600 FD)
Springer is arguably the Vols' best/most important player, and isn't priced as such. He's an efficient scorer who can contribute in across the board, giving him a stable floor. With a narrow spread, expecting the cream to rise to the top makes sense. Springer played 30 minutes in his first start prior to injury, and 4-5x is in play.
Bryce Nze, F, Butler ($6,200 DK only)
This game features the top-tier stars of Xavier against Butler's balanced yet unpredictable attack. Nze seem's the safest, as he averages nearly a double-double. He's been worth 4x in four of the Bulldogs' last five, and 5x in two of those.
Keve Aluma, F, Virginia Tech ($7,300 DK, $6,700 FD)
Aluma has been pretty darn consistent this season but has struggled against Syracuse's zone and Louisville's physicality. That doesn't seem to suggest stability against the Cavaliers' pack-line defense. UVA appears to be trending in the right direction, come in as the slate's biggest favorite and the game has the lowest total. That further seems to set Aluma up for disappointment.
Ochai Agbaji, G, Kansas ($6,700 DK, $5,900 FD)
This may be recency bias, as Agbaji burned me in lineups last Saturday. But he's topped 30 DKP just once in his last eight outings. He's in a big-time shooting funk, hitting 41.7 percent or less from the floor in six of seven. Mix in Tennessee's second-ranked defensive efficiency, and it's difficult to see upside.
Paul Scruggs, G, Xavier ($7,100 DK only)
Butler can slow this game, as evident by the tight spread and moderately low 132.5 total. The Bulldogs rank 324th in adjusted tempo, per KenPom, and a less-than-targetable 56th defensively. Scruggs is also in a bit of a funk, having failed to score more than 11 points in four straight while handing out four or less assists in three of those (6.3 apg average on the season). It's led to no more than 25.25 DKP, and this doesn't appear to be the spot for a breakout.
This should be a fun nightcap, with four games featured at DK, all with totals north of 140, and only one with a spread greater than two possessions.
Dylan Disu, F, Vanderbilt ($7,000 DK)
South Carolina checks in ranked 16th in tempo, which gives the Commodores a nice pace boost. The Gamecocks aren't a lock down team defensively at all, allowing 80-plus in two of their last four, and I'll target Disu's safer floor over Scotty Pippen ($8,200) potential upside. Disu has been within 1.25 DKP of 4x in eight of his last 10 games, and has a 6x ceiling.
Michael O'Connell, G, Stanford ($5,900 DK)
What a time to be alive when a guy averaging 4.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg and 2.3 apg is a near must-play. The Cardinal are incredibly short-handed, with Ziaire Williams, Daejon Davis and Bryce Wills to miss Saturday, as they did Thursday. O'Connell has stepped in, playing 78 minutes in his last two, averaging 24.5 DKP in that span. He's seen a $1,100 price increase since Thursday, but that production is still better than 4x, and seems set to be this slate's free square.
Jalyn McCreary, F, South Carolina ($4,700 DK)
This takes a bit of a leap of faith, as we wouldn't normally target reserves. But McCreary is emerging for an undermanned South Carolina and has averaged 20.75 DKP in his last two despite not playing 20 minutes in either outing. I don't trust the secondary pieces in the Notre Dame-Pittsburgh game, so when looking for a value play, McCreary fits the bill in a contest with a close spread and the highest total on the docket.
Damien Jefferson, F, Creighton ($6,600 DK)
The Blue Jays rank ninth in adjusted offense and get a pace boost against DePaul's 25th-ranked tempo. But they are just so deep it's hard to trust Jefferson in this spot. His game logs are littered with nearly 6x returns sprinkled in with barely 2.5x. As the biggest favorite on the slate, I'm not looking to have too many pieces of this offense, and find Marcus Zegarowski ($7,000 DK) safer, and Mitch Ballock ($5,200 DK) a better bargain with similar potential.
Dane Goodwin, G, Notre Dame ($6,000 DK)
Goodwin is a streaky shooter who doesn't chip in immensely in other categories, which has resulted in around 3x return just once in his last seven outings. This doesn't appear to be a spot for him to warm up from behind the arch, as Pitt ranks 17th at defending the 3-point shot, allowing just 28.2 percent from long range. Neither side will force tempo, further limiting any potential upside.
Pauly Paulicap, F, DePaul ($5,500)
This sets up as a prove-it game for Paulicap, making him a sound GPP option in what could be the last time to get in low. He's coming off a 16-point, 16-rebound, 42.0-DKP outing, but had put up a total of 47.75 DKP in his prior three outings. Creighton has ample size and bodies to throw at the Blue Demons, and Paulicap's floor could be less than 2x.