DFS College Basketball: Saturday Preview

DFS College Basketball: Saturday Preview

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

Main Slate

DraftKings is back with its traditional 10-game Saturday main contest, with games tipping off between noon and 2:30 p.m. EST. Six games come with a total north of 140, not including LSU-Tennessee, which curiously didn't have odds as of this writing.  We have high-scoring Iowa and Luka Garza ($9,500 DK, $9,200 FD) to contend with, and there's also the fun addition of Loyola-Chicago and Drake to the slate.

Targets

Chris Duarte, G, Oregon ($7,400 DK, $8,000 FD)

Duarte looks like a nice value at this number, as we can buy a dip in price thanks to the deeper slate and Duarte's previous ankle injury. He's traditionally near $9,000 at DK and is coming off a 41.25-DKP outing where he played his full minutes after being eased into action. The game has a tight spread, the second-highest total on the slate, and the Wildcats come in just 79th in defensive efficiency at KenPom.com and 207th at defending the 3-point line. Duarte will score enough to provide a stable floor while bringing ample upside. He's obviously less appealing at FanDuel.

Brady Manek, F, Oklahoma ($5,800 DK, $4,600 FD)

Manek seems to have regained his starting role, averaging 10.0 points,11.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 blocks in his last two outings. That seems to far outplay this price, even though it's ascending. This game comes with a nice 143.5 total, and a tight spread, so we can expect some decent minutes and opportunities on both sides. Manek was worth 19.5 DKP in an earlier matchup with the Mountaineers, and that seems like the floor.

Joshua Langford, G, Michigan State ($5,000 DK, $4,400 FD)

Joey Hauser, F, Michigan State ($4,700 DK, $5,400 FD)

I'm going to lump these two together, and your lineup build, and/or site choice, can sort through which is your preferred choice. We know we want at least a piece of the Spartans' lineup, and these two are the best and next priciest options after Aaron Henry ($8,200 DK, $7,400 FD). Langford goes as his 3-point shot does, and he should find open looks against the up-tempo Hawkeyes. He may be best for cash lineups with a stable floor but minimal ceiling. We don't know what we'll get from Hauser minutes wise, but despite a meager 0.25 DKP he's averaged 17.71 DKP in his last four. That flirts with 4x, and there's upside in a plus matchup.

Extra: James Bouknight, G, Connecticut ($6,600 DK, $7,100 FD)

Bouknight's return from an elbow injury is imminent, and it's hard to see the Huskies bringing back their star and not giving him his usual minutes. The matchup isn't ideal, with Xavier's defense (58th) and tempo (179) not targetable, but it's hard to find upside like Bouknight possesses at this number. If he's back, he's a great GPP target, while fading Tyrese Martin ($7,200 DK, $6,400 FD) and R.J. Cole ($6,700 DK, $5,300 FD) seems prudent. This all assumes Xavier can play, as eight of its  last 11 scheduled games have been postponed.

Fades

Sharife Cooper, G, Auburn ($9,000 DK, $8,700 FD)

I successfully faded Cooper in his first meeting with Kentucky, so why wouldn't we follow suit here? The Wildcats' length is a great challenge for the 6-foot-1 guard, as is the 'Cats 23rd-ranked defensive efficiency and 221st-ranked tempo. We know the immense upside Cooper possesses, this just isn't the matchup to pay up for him. 

Roman Penn, G, Drake ($6,900 DK, $6,200 FD)

Truth be told, I'm fading all things Drake, as the game has the lowest total on the slate, and Loyola-Chicago is fierce defensively, ranking eighth in efficiency and 310th in tempo. Drake plays seven guys at least 18 minutes per game, and Penn gets a reasonable amount of his fantasy appeal from assists (5.6 apg). With the low total and pace, Penn's stock seems to take a hit, and 3x may be the best he can do.

Nate Johnson, G, Xavier ($5,200 DK, $5,200 FD)

We mentioned Xavier's inability to get on the court. Assuming this game goes off, it's an incredibly difficult matchup for the Musketeers to find their footing. UConn ranks 45th in defensive efficiency and 334th in adjusted tempo. If going contrarian and using pieces here, it almost has to be Paul Scruggs ($7,300 DK, $7,500 FD) or bust.

Afternoon Slate

DraftKings has an unusually robust mid-day slate that includes seven games, four of which have totals of 145 or better. It's going to be a high-scoring contest where GPPs will have to take some risks. Gonzaga is featured, and we know we want pieces there despite the large spread. As such, I'm going to focus a bit more on value plays with the hope we can identify a few that allow you to grab ample big names. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl ($8,700 DK, $8,000 FD) is my favorite non-Gonzaga option, while Sam Hauser ($8,000 DK, $7,200 FD) seems to come with a likely low usage rate against a defense that routinely chases on the perimeter. FanDuel has included Duke-North Carolina State in its main slate, and it makes for a tremendous game stack, especially when comparing prices across sites.

Targets

Jeremiah Tilmon, F, Missouri ($6,000 DK)

This looks like a tremendous opportunity to buy low. Tilmon is in a three-game funk where he's averaged only 19.1 DKP, but that's still a 3x return as his price has plummeted from an $8,300 ceiling. He put up 39.75 DKP in an earlier meeting with the Razorbacks, whose front line is depleted. They also are ranked 22nd in the nation in pace, further giving Tilmon a boost. He's proven capable of exploding for an 8-9x return at this price.

Thomas Allen, G, North Carolina State ($4,800 DK, $4,100 FD)

Duke has allowed 184 points across its last two games, which makes the 149.5 total feel light. It's taken Allen a few games to get comfortable in a newfound offensive roll with Devon Daniels out for the year, but he's been 51.25 DKP in his last two games. He's doing so in a variety of ways, not making him reliant on his shot going through the hoop. Current form and game flow suggest 5x is attainable.

Jeremy Roach, G, Duke ($5,100 DK, $4,500 FD)

Roach has had his fair share of stinkers (three games of 7.0 DKP or less in his last 10), but otherwise has been a stable producer, seven times topping 4x at this price. We noted Duke's defensive issues, but it is favored here and has also scored 176 points in its last two. Roach profiles incredibly safely on numerous metrics and can be a stable anchor.

Fades

Matthew Hurt, F, Duke ($6,900 DK, $7,300 FD)

I'm not trying to just break down this game, but there's so much appeal with the high total and value pricing. Hurt doesn't fit that mix, however, even though he's discounted from his usual 8K. It's all about his lack of work on the glass, as he hasn't had more than four boards in four consecutive games. He can still provide valuable floor spacing against the Wolfpack's front line, but that line of DJ Funderburk ($5,600 DK, $4,900 FD) and Manny Bates ($6,800 DK, $6,000 FD) is far too physically imposing to give Hurt a ceiling, as he'll be relegated to nothing but a scorer.

Caleb Love, G, North Carolina ($6,600 DK, $5,000 FD)

Love has improved, but he isn't playing well enough to justify this cost. His usage is high, having taken 10-plus shots in seven consecutive games, but he's only manage 3x in two of his last three. He's turnover prone, with at least four in four of his last six, and with UNC a sizable underdog in the slate's lowest-total contest, there's not a clear path to upside. I expect mistakes, and plenty of forced shots against Virginia's pack-line defense.

Seventh Woods, G, South Carolina ($4,600 DK)

By and large, we want to fade most/all Gamecocks, as Mississippi checks in 17th defensively and 314th in tempo. But Woods looks poised to be a lazy pay down option given his current form. There's no questioning he's emerging late for USC, averaging 20.06 DKP across his last four, and I'd even argue he's still favorably priced. But there's next to no upside, and Woods will be in charge of forcing tempo, something he's proven incapable of doing in previous spots. Turnovers, or a half court offense, don't lend themselves to value.

Evening Slate

A four-game slate wraps up Saturday, where the Pac-12 features prominently. Unlike the afternoon, there isn't a game with a total north of 140, so we can expect lower winning scores.  My lineup build would be more around mid-tier depth rather than stars and scrubs.

Targets

McKinley Wright, G, Colorado ($7,700 DK)

Cal's tempo does Wright no favors (317th), but Wright has had just three games under 3.5x in his last 10. He posted 36.5 DKP in his last outing against the Bears and looks like he can provide similar stability and upside to those priced above him.

Bryce Wills, G, Stanford ($5,200 DK)

This game is tied for the highest total, and with the Cardinal decently favored, there should be some value in Wills, who's likely in line for stable minutes in his third game back from injury. He's been priced as high as $7,000, and at this tag there's a clear path to 5x against a marginal Utah defense that ranks 92nd in efficiency.

Fades

D.J. Rodman, F, Washington State ($6,700 DK)

Rodman's price has simply gotten too rich. He's played 67 minutes in the last two games, but it's resulted in 48.75 combined DKP. That's a 3.6x return at its peak. Mix in the fact that the Cougars are the slate's biggest underdog and have the lowest implied total, and there's no appeal outside of low usage, contrarian GPPs.

Grant Anticevich, F, Califorina ($5,400 DK)

The Bears are double-digit underdogs, and have an implied total about just 61 points. Anticevich had only 8.25 DKP in an earlier meeting with Colorado, and those two factors are enough to pass on his current form that's seen 58.5 DKP in his last two outings.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Chris Bennett plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: k30kittles, DraftKings: k30kittles.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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