This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
Saturday's contests are a bit odd with the holiday week looming. We have a six-game main slate that includes Tennessee-Villanova and Baylor-Stanford, and then four games that overlap with a separate afternoon slate. Both include VCU-Chattanooga, which creates a fascinating dynamic. Chattanooga is 350th in adjusted tempo, VCU 237th and 22nd in defensive efficiency, per KenPom.com. The Rams allow 49.7 points per game and are fresh off surrendering 37 to Vanderbilt. This game almost screams too clearly to stay the heck away, but no player is priced higher than Malachi Smith ($5,800). There's GPP opportunity, or stupidity, awaiting.
Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue ($7,800 DK, $7,400 FD)
North Carolina likes to push pace, and have shown it isn't much different defensively under Hubert Davis than Roy Williams. They don't move great laterally, are a bit undersized and routinely get beaten by both long balls and off the dribble. Purdue has scored 90-plus points in all three games and Ivey has seen a usage rate north of 30 percent in two. His ability to contribute across the boxscore should keep his floor stable, and the pace/matchup pushes the upside while coming at a modest discount relative to other top options.
Kendall Brown, G/F, Baylor ($7,600 DK, $8,000 FD)
Baylor has scoring depth, and this game has the potential to get out of hand with the Bears being 14-point favorites. But I like Brown's ability to contribute across the board, averaging 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.7 steals. It suggests he'll keep a stable floor by finding different paths to production. I'm not trying to win with these bigger selections, rather not lose. There are just so many guards on this slate who could score 17-20, but not top three boards, assists or steals.
Brady Manek, F, North Carolina ($6,900 DK, $7,200 FD)
UNC's Armando Bacot ($9,000 DK, $8,600 FD) has been a man among boys through three games, but I am a little concerned he'll be in foul trouble squaring off against Trevion Williams ($8,700 DK, $8,400 FD). As such, I think Manek's place as a reserve is irrelevant, and he offers an incredibly stable floor in the slate's highest scoring contest. He's averaging a 4.4x return at this price, and his ability to play inside and out give him multiple paths to production.
Branden Carlson, F, Utah ($6,600 DK)
Carlson is a known commodity not priced as such. He's scored 29.5 to 33.75 DKP in his first three games. Sure, we can argue his 7-foot frame played up against lesser competition, but Boston College likely doesn't present a much more difficult matchup. He's a stable rebounder and shot blocker in his first two years, and the scoring bump with Timmy Allen now at Texas seems legit. Less than 4x would be disappointing.
John Fulkerson, F, Tennessee ($5,600 DK, $6,100 FD)
The Vols have eased Fulkerson into the season as he recovered from a broken thumb, resting him once and playing 22 minutes in the other. But I think he'll play as many minutes as his (lack of) fouls allow as Tennessee doesn't have much size otherwise. He doesn't need much more than 10 rebounds to provide a return, and some stick-back buckets pave a path toward a greater return. This is a guard-dominated lineup, and any one of four options could pop in what should be a tight contest. I'll let others chase upside from the Vols and rely on a stable 25-ish DKP from Fulkerson.
Eric Dixon, F, Villanova ($3,900 DK, $5,500 FD)
Have to assume this is chalk city, but does it really matter at this low of a price? The Wildcats have already played a marquee contest against UCLA, and it saw the bench total 30 minutes in an overtime loss, with starters rarely leaving the court. Dixon flirted with a double-double there and with Villanova a perimeter team first, he's their lone cog in the paint. It's a similar situation to Fulkerson above, in that we can chase 30-plus DKP from any of three or four top options, or find that more safely in other teams while locking in cheap, seemingly guaranteed production.
Honorable mention: Cole Swider, G/F, Syracuse ($4,200); holy cow are there some guys overperforming their number in positive spots Saturday.