This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
We've got a massive college hoops slate on our hands today. FanDuel is giving us eight games to choose from, and DraftKings is adding on two more. Villanova is expected to score the most points of any team on the shared slate, a perfect starting point for today's preview.
Jermaine Samuels, F, Villanova ($6,500 DK, $6,100 FD)
The Wildcats have the fifth-highest offensive efficiency rating in the country and they're taking on the worst defense in the Big East. Villanova uses a balanced attack, so any of the starters could have a big game. One note that might make a difference: St. John's defense is the worst in the conference at guarding against two-point baskets as well as not struggling at times with rebounding. For these two reasons, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl ($8,400 DK, $7,900 FD) is the best option for this game, although I also really like Samuels as he has a similar skillset but comes with a much lower salary. Samuels also has the highest offensive efficiency rating on the team.
Noah Locke, G, Florida ($5,000 DK, $4,700 FD)
This game has one of the highest over/under totals on the board, so any key Gator or Tiger could pay off big. For a cheaper option in this game, Locke isn't a bad flier as his salary is lower than usual due to a recent two-game lull. Locke was consistently scoring 20-plus fantasy points before the recent bump in the road, so this appears to be a perfect time to take advantage of a lower salary as Locke and the Gators will likely play in a shoot-out against a soft defense. Locke averages the second-most minutes on the team so he should have plenty of opportunities to make plays.
Kofi Cockburn, F, Illinois ($8,500 DK, $8,300 FD)
KenPom is projecting Illinois to score the second-most points of any team in the common pool of games, making it another team that deserves lineup consideration. The usual decision in this spot comes down to Dosunmu or Cockburn. Sometimes you can't go wrong with either option, although today I'm leaning Cockburn because Michigan State's defense is noticeably weaker against two-points baskets. Cockburn should be able to take advantage.
Cameron Thomas, G, LSU ($7,400)
LSU is expected to score the most points of any team on the slate, making the Tigers an essential consideration for any DK contest. Thomas, when on the court, has the highest percentage of shots taken of any player in the SEC, and he also has the fifteenth-highest offensive efficiency rating in the conference, a potent combination. Thomas led the game in scoring the last time LSU played Georgia, and there's no reason to think he won't do it again.
Devontae Shuler, G, Mississippi ($7,000 DK, $6,500 FD)
Mississippi has the second-worst offense in the SEC so this one will likely be a struggle. The game itself has the lowest over/under number on the board, a risky option for DFS prospects. Shuler had meager production in his last two games, and this doesn't seem like a great matchup for a bounce-back performance.
Jamorko Pickett, G, Georgetown ($8,000 DK, $7,200 FD)
Pickett and the Hoyas are facing the best defense in the Big East, and, as a result, Georgetown isn't expected to crack 70 points today. Connecticut matches up well with Georgetown, so it will be a challenge for Pickett to do enough to provide value for DFS players. All in all, it appears we're better served using the salary on a player with a more favorable matchup and more optimistic projections.
Aaron Henry, F, Michigan State ($7,700 DK, $7,100 FD)
Illinois is explosive on offense, but its defense has been just as dominant, ranking No. 9 in the country in terms of adjusted efficiency (per KenPom). Michigan State has the second-worst offense in the Big Ten since conference season started, so this is another one that could get ugly. With a loaded slate of games, picking a Spartan, especially with a high salary, is a tough sell. Better off taking a chance on one of the other nineteen teams.