This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
Today we've got the NIT Quarterfinals on tap. Four games for both DK and FD. Here we go.
Tolu Smith, F, Mississippi St. ($6,600 DK, $6,300 FD)
Mississippi State isn't a great offensive team, but that's okay because Richmond isn't a great defensive team. These two teams match up fairly well against each other, although we have two significant exceptions. First, the Bulldogs have a massive rebounding advantage over the Spiders. Second, Richmond's defense is one of the worst in the country when it comes to guarding against two-point baskets. As it turns out, Tolu Smith leads the team in both rebounding and two-point field goals. Smith ranks third on the team in both minutes and usage rate, so he offers a high floor with nice upside given the matchup advantage. Furthermore, former starting center and second-leading rebounding Grant Golden (12.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg) will miss the matchup with a finger injury, opening the door for Smith even further.
Cam Hayes, G, NC State ($5,500 DK, $5,200 FD)
The Wolfpack is currently expected to score the most points of any team on the slate, making Cam Hayes, their point guard, a strong option. Hayes was inconsistent early in the season, which is understandable considering he's a freshman, but what's most important is that he's finally hitting his stride. In the last seven contests, Hayes is averaging over 11 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals per game. Hayes played a team-high 36 minutes in the previous NIT game, so I'm expecting we'll see him significantly involved once again.
Landers Nolley II, G, Memphis ($6,800 DK, $5,800 FD)
Memphis is currently projected to score almost as many points as NC State, so you may want to consider taking a Tiger or two. Landers Nolley leads the team in both minutes and scoring, a desirable combination for DFS. The Tigers' offensive attack isn't great, but then again Boise State's defense isn't much better. Either way, Nolley should lead the way for a team that has a chance at scoring the most points of any team on the slate.
Emmanuel Akot, G, Boise St. ($7,500 DK, $5,700 FD)
Memphis has the second-best defensive efficiency in the entire country – a tough team to go against, to say the least. Akot has a massive salary discrepancy, mostly because he was inconsistent all season, with the lone exception being his last three games. No doubt he's on a tear, but this is a terrible matchup to take him at such a high salary. Akot has the lowest offensive efficiency on the team and doesn't even lead the team in usage rate. All things considered, Akot carries significant risk today, making him a firm fade on DK. His salary is less of an issue on FD, although I'm still not sure I'd go against this Memphis defense. If you're determined to take a Bronco, I'd recommend Derrick Alston because he's Boise State's best player, and it's not close.
Taveion Hollingsworth, G, Western Kentucky ($6,400 DK, $6,700 FD)
Louisiana Tech plays a relentless defense, ranking No. 28 in the country in terms of adjusted efficiency, and also ranked No. 13 in terms of effective field goal percentage allowed. This is unfavorable news for the Hilltoppers, as they aren't particularly great when it comes to offense. Add all this up and we get a team that KenPom expects will score the fewest points of any team on the slate. Hollingsworth is a solid guard, but ultimately I'm not sure we can rely on him in this matchup.
Kenneth Lofton, F, Louisiana Tech ($6,200 DK, $7,400 FD)
The Bulldogs are in a tough spot. Louisiana Tech has the worst offensive efficiency of any team on the slate, and Western Kentucky's defense is no pushover, as it had the second-best defense in the Conference USA during conference season. This set-up doesn't bode well for Lofton or his teammates, and it goes from bad to worse when Lofton has to match up against Charles Bassey all game. Aside from the challenge of scoring on Bassey, this matchup is a gigantic issue for Lofton because Bassey draws 4.5 fouls per 40 minutes, while Lofton commits 4.7 fouls per 40 minutes. Even if Lofton scores on Bassey, foul trouble will be looming overhead. All in all, far too many red flags for me to consider Lofton.