DFS College Basketball: Thursday Preview

DFS College Basketball: Thursday Preview

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

We'll start off with today's implied team totals. Remember, the slate is down to just three games following the cancellation of a scheduled matchup between Arizona and Washington, as there appears to be a COVID issue on the Huskies' side.

Top Players

Emanuel Miller, F, TCU ($8,500 DK)

TCU arguably has the easiest matchup on the slate. Oral Roberts' defense is near the bottom of the country, ranked No. 276 per KenPom's adj. efficiency ratings, so TCU's offense shouldn't have too much trouble scoring. And for extra assurance, Oral Roberts is one of the worst rebounding teams in the country, which is perfect for TCU because it's been phenomenal at collecting rebounds this season, posting the fourth-highest offense rebounding rate in the country as a team. For these reasons, I like Emanuel Miller, TCU's leading rebounder, in this situation. Miller has played 26-plus minutes in every game this season while also using over 20 percent of his team's possessions when on the court, making him the second-leading scorer on the team. These trends are nothing new for Miller, as he played at Texas A&M last season and finished as the leading scorer and rebounder for the Aggies – and it wasn't close. Miller has a strong track record, so I'm expecting him to have a big game against perhaps the easiest opponent on the slate.

 Max Abmas, G, Oral Roberts ($8,300 DK)

Oral Roberts might be awful on defense, but it actually has the second-highest offensive efficiency rating in its conference, so the Golden Eagles are a proficient group when it comes to scoring. Taking over 36 percent of his team's shots, Max Abmas is the go-to player for the Golden Eagles and has a realistic chance at finishing with the most points of anyone on the slate. Oral Roberts played a few games against lower-level competition early in the season, so it appears Abmas' salary might be a little low due to the reduced playing time in games where the score got out of hand. Oral Roberts is a sizeable underdog in this contest, so Abmas should play most of the game. Last year in the NCAA Tournament, Abmas scored 25-plus points in each game and was on the court for every single minute of all three games, including all 45 minutes in the overtime victory against Ohio State. Last season, Abmas scored 20-plus points in 20 of 26 games against D1 competition, including a couple of instances when he broke 40 points.

Middle Tier

 Darius McGhee, G, Liberty ($7,300 DK, $7,600 FD)

Similar to Max Abmas for Oral Roberts, McGhee is the go-to player for the Flames. McGhee is taking over 36 percent of his team's shots when on the court, the ninth-highest rate in the country. McGhee has been one of the most efficient players in his conference over the past two seasons, and while he's still been productive this season, he hasn't been quite as sharp. This is most noticeable from behind the arc, where McGhee made nearly 40 percent of his attempts last season (83-of-209), but this season he's made just 11-of-49 three-point attempts. Considering his history of being an elite shooter, I'm attributing McGhee's early shooting struggle to bad luck in a small sample size. I know I can't guarantee that McGhee will sink all his three-pointers today, but McGhee's volume should provide a high floor, at the very least.

 Micah Peavy, G, TCU ($6,300 DK)

Taking over a quarter of his team's shots when on the court, Peavy isn't a bad option if you're looking to double up on the Horned Frogs. Peavy's field-goal percentage could be higher, but the volume is still an encouraging sign. While the usage rate isn't bad, the real reason for taking Peavy is his rebounding abilities. Peavy posted the sixth-highest offensive rebounding rate among all Big 12 players during conference season last year, so he can secure rebounds among the best. As noted earlier, TCU has a gigantic rebounding advantage over Oral Roberts, so this seems like the perfect opportunity for Peavy to net a double-double.

Value Plays

 Keegan McDowell, G/F, Liberty ($4,000 DK, $5,800 FD)

McDowell was an impressive shooter last year, making 40 percent of his three-point attempts (36-of-90) over 25 games, and it appears he's testing his limit this year because he's already made 14-of-27 three-pointers through five games this season. Not only is he shooting more frequently, but he's also making even more of his shots. Given this info, it comes as no surprise that he currently has one of the highest offensive efficiency ratings in the country, especially after recording the fourth-highest rating among all ASUN players during conference play last season. McDowell is more of a hit-or-miss player due to his role and skillset, but the gamble could pay off.

 DeShang Weaver, F, Oral Roberts ($3,800 DK)

Riding a hot hand with this pick. Despite playing limited minutes due to blowouts, Weaver has managed to score double-figures in five of seven games this season while racking up defensive stats along the way. Weaver's two best games this season have come in his last two games, tallying 10-plus points, six-plus rebounds, and three-plus blocks in both games. Weaver has also played his most minutes of the season in each contest, indicating an expanding role. All in all, Weaver offers starter upside without too much risk from a salary standpoint.

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. Steve Peralta plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Buddusky, DraftKings: Buddusky24.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Peralta
Graduated from USC in 2012 while interning for ESPN and FOX Sports. Following graduation, I started working full-time for FOX Sports and been there ever since. Been an avid fantasy player for over fifteen years. In addition to my fantasy teams, you'll also find me rooting for the USC Trojans and New York Yankees.
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