This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
DraftKings' main slate is our traditional 10-gamer at noon EST, running through 3:30 p.m. tip-offs. Half of the games have totals north of 145 points, making for some obvious builds, and I can't touch on all of them here. Certainly don't overlook Illinois' duo of Kofi Cockburn ($9,000 DK) and Ayo Dosunmu ($9,200 DK) or WVU's Derek Culver ($8,400 DK, $8,500 FD). FanDuel has a nine-game main slate with seven games mirroring and two games bleeding into DK's afternoon slate.
Prentiss Hubb, G, Notre Dame ($7,300 DK, $6,300 FD)
The thought of Hubb is to differentiate, as I'm assuming he'll get missed among some of the slate's bigger names. The game comes with a nice 149.5 total, and Hubb leads the Irish in both usage (25.6 percent) and three-point attempts, something he'll get plenty of against Syracuse's 2-3 zone. He took 21 treys in two matchups last year en route to a 30.75 DKP average. His ability to contribute across the board makes him safe, and if he breaks out of a shooting slump, there's 5.5x upside.
Jeremiah Tilmon, F, Missouri ($5,300 DK, $6,200 FD)
Tilmon is expected to return from a two-game absence due to a death in the family, and looks poised for immediate success. He went for 47.0 DKP in an earlier matchup, and that was with the Gamecocks healthy, which they aren't now. Big man Justin Minaya ($5,700 DK, $6,100 FD) is questionable at best after missing a mid-week game due to a concussion, as is Jermaine Couisnard ($4,100 DK, $5,500 FD) due to a foot issue. Mix in that South Carolina plays at the eighth-fastest tempo in the nation, pair it with Tilmon's discounted number (as high as $8,300 previously), and there's enough to like that we can assume high usage. Tournaments could fade that usage, but it's hard to find this upside at the salary.
Noah Locke, G, Florida ($5,200 DK)
This entire column could have featured Gators and Bulldogs, so don't hesitate to stack a matchup that had 176 points scored in an earlier meeting, though it's curiously omitted at FanDuel. UGA's Sahvir Wheeler ($6,700 DK) is priced favorably and has a stable floor, while Florida's Tre Mann ($7,000 DK) went for 40 DKP in the earlier contest. But Locke can be a value despite having a low 18.2 percent usage, having averaged 19.68 DKP in his last 10, failing to reach that number only four times. He went for 26.5 DKP previously, and as a near lock for 30 minutes, he should return 4x or better in a high-tempo contest.
Brandon Boston, G/F, Kentucky ($7,400 DK, $5,300 FD)
Boston has just gotten too expensive. He's flirted with 30 DKP in three consecutive games, but those outings came against Arkansas, Auburn and Vanderbilt, teams that either play fast, don't play defense, or both. Tennessee ranks third in adjusted defense and 239th in tempo, leading Kentucky to an implied total of about 63 points. Boston isn't an effective shooter, managed only 10.5 DKP in an earlier meeting with the Vols and is now $1,200 higher. A 4x return would be Herculean.
James Bouknight, G, Connecticut ($6,400 DK, $7,100 FD)
Bouknight might seem like an obvious target given the upside related to salary. But the Huskies are the slate's biggest underdog in a game with a reasonably low total. He's could return to a normal/full stable of minutes here, but Villanova can dictate a slow tempo. The team's low implied total suggests even if Bouknight leads the way offensively, he's not likely to provide much peripherally. 4x is still reasonable, and we likely won't see Bouknight this low again, but this isn't a smash spot for upside.
Christian Braun, G/F, Kansas ($6,200 DK, $5,000 FD)
Braun enjoyed a four-game stretch of DFS relevance, topping 30 DKP in each contest. But he's come back to reality lately, putting up 18.75 total DKP in his last two. He also went for only 51.5 DKP in the four games prior to his hot streak. Mix in the game's low total thanks to the Red Raiders stifling defense (19th in efficiency, 275th in tempo) and Braun would need an incredibly hot shooting effort to best 3x.
DraftKings' afternoon slate goes off between 4 and 6 p.m. EST, with two games overlapping FanDuel's main contest. And those games (LSU-Auburn, Pittsburgh-FSU) should feature prominently in all lineup builds.
Jared Rhoden, G/F, Seton Hall ($7,600 DK)
Never great when I lead by not trusting myself. I don't love Roden at this number, but it came down to knowing we want a piece of the Pirates offense against a limited Georgetown defense versus trying to find a secondary piece in Auburn's attack against LSU. Auburn shoots a lot of 3s, LSU defends the perimeter well (30.4 percent allowed). So here we are. Roden is in great form, putting up 72.75 DKP in his last two, and the Hall should eclipse 75 points, making him a nice pay down to Sandro Mamukelashvili ($8,800 DK).
Cameron Thomas, G, LSU ($6,800 DK, $6,800 FD)
I really hope I'm not missing something. This game has a whopping 160-point total, and with LSU reasonably favored, they are obviously expected to eclipse 80 points. Thomas seems priced down, and I'd expect huge usage. But given that 30 fantasy points seems like a floor, it's like a free square. Feel free to grab as many pieces of this game as you can, and maybe Thomas' lack of peripherals limit his ceiling, but the sheer volume scoring creates a high floor.
Anthony Polite, G, Florida State ($4,400 DK, $4,700 FD)
There's minimal upside to Polite, but he can be a low-cost option to allow for higher targets in your build. He's averaged 21.38 DKP in two games back from injury, and his minutes seem only inconsistent due to one game being a blow out. FSU checks in as favorites in the slate's second-highest total, and while Polite may not reach 30 DKP, he should be good for 20, and makes for a much more reasonable buy in at DK over RaiQuan Gray ($8,200 DK, $6,200 FD), who's much more appetizing across sites.
North Carolina vs. Louisville
There are going to be tremendous values in this game, but as of submission, those are impossible to pinpoint. If you have time until tipoff, GPPs are probably won here. If you're setting and forgetting, you can't use these players. Louisville is playing for the first time since Feb. 1, and its own game notes admit it will be missing multiple players, just not declaring who. That makes David Johnson ($8,000 DK) and Carlik Jones ($7,700 DK) far too risky to pencil in despite UNC's poor perimeter defense. The Heels long and deep frontcourt makes it difficult to trust any of the Cardinals' forwards, but absences will create minutes for other capable Louisville bodies.
On the UNC side, it simply plays too many players to trust options. If we get word on Louisville's frontcourt being shorthanded, Armando Bacot ($5,600 DK) and Day'Ron Sharpe ($5,900 DK) are priced favorably, while Walker Kessler ($3,500 DK) is emerging and at a bottom-tier number.
Azuolas Tubelis, F, Arizona ($7,000 DK)
Tubelis played well over the last week, posting 61.25 DKP in two outings, but this feels like a different beast. USC checks in 11th nationally in defensive efficiency, and while Tubelis might not be paired up against him every possession, the Wildcats still have to contend with the Trojans' Evan Mobley ($9,900 DK). Mobley blocks a plethora of shots and can draw fouls efficiently as well. 4x is a ceiling.
Ziaire Williams, F, Stanford ($6,200 DK)
Williams simply hasn't been himself in three games since returning, averaging just 15.5 DKP. Mix in the Cougars' 40th-ranked defense along with the slate's lowest total, and it's just not an appealing spot even in the deepest of GPPs to expect 4x return.
DraftKings has a larger-than-usual five-game evening slate, three games of which cover FD's 8 p.m. contests. To be frank, I don't love the options, as there's a low-scoring ACC game and some volatile Pac-12 games. Oregon's Chris Duarte ($8,500 DK, $8,500 FD) looks like a terrific building block, but value isn't obvious, at least not for this east coaster who has to be at his son's soccer game at 7:15 a.m. EST in 15-degree weather.
Matt Bradley, G/F, California ($7,500 DK)
Bradley should return to his full minutes after being limited in the Bears' last outing due to illness. If that's the case, he's going to enjoy huge production thanks to a tight/even spread, implied total of 70-plus and a usage rate obscenely high at 34.4 percent. Cal put up 84 points in an earlier matchup with the Huskies, played without Bradley, so you'd it can push that number in the rematch with him.
Cody Riley, F, UCLA ($5,100 DK, $5,400 FD)
I'd prefer to build around the Bruins' higher-salaried options, but Riley should see a bit of a boost thanks to Arizona State's 18th-ranked tempo. He's seen 25-plus minutes in two straight while getting his legs back following injury, and actually leads the Bruins in usage at 26.6 percent. His current form suggests a floor of 4x, making for solid value on a squad with the highest implied total.
Matthew Hurt, F, Duke ($7,800 DK, $8,000 FD)
We know all about Virginia's pack-line defense and slow pace. But it does allow 33.5 percent of 3s to fall, ranking mid-tier (166th) nationally. The problem is that's all Hurt has done lately. He's a ridiculous 16-of-19 from the floor and 9-of-11 from 3-point range in his last two, but has managed just six rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block. With the expected low total, and lack of anything beyond points, he has next to no upside.
McKinley Wright, G, Colorado ($7,400 DK)
Last weekend, DK begged me to play/feature Wright, I did, and failed. Maybe I'm over adjusting, but he's just not in good form. Oregon State held him to 20.75 DKP on Feb. 8, and he's averaged 26.75 DKP in three games since. His usage remains stable, but he can't buy a basket lately and his assists have evaporated, averaging just 4.5 apg in his last four. We've seen his ceiling and it remains, but against a team playing at the 53rd-slowest pace nationally, I can't justify paying for it.