This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
I thought last week was big, but man, DraftKings is outdoing itself this week. We have a 12-game main slate tipping at noon EST, an 11-game mid-day slate going off at 3:30 p.m. and a six-gamer starting at 8. Twenty-nine teams, 145 starters. There's no shortage of options or chances to differentiate.
Unless you're really feeling frisky, we can cut this 12-gamer down to no more than nine, ignoring Texas Tech-Kansas State, Rutgers-Maryland and Texas-Iowa State, all of which have totals between 120.5 and 135. After that, we have to choose between tight spreads in moderately lower-scoring contests or higher-scoring affairs that could be more one-sided.
Colin Castleton, F, Florida ($9,000)
Among the top of the top tier, there's nothing to dislike about Oscar Tshiebwe ($9,600) or Paolo Banchero ($9,700) outside of salary. I'll never trust Wendell Moore ($9,500) at this number, and I think Dereon Seabron ($9,300) can get some open space and just be a compiler. That leaves Castelton as an overlooked option. I think the Gamecocks are a live underdog, so there's no doubting usage for Florida's big man. South Carolina is defensive minded, ranking 33rd in efficiency, per KenPom, but isn't afraid to run, coming in at 32nd in tempo. They're severely undersized, however, and Castleton should feast as such. Low usage, and big opportunity ... I think.
Ochai Agbaji, G, Kansas ($8,100)
Agbaji over Christian Braun just for a lower price. He's not a diverse player, which doesn't always lend itself to fantasy production. But with Kansas a heavy favorite in what should be a decent pace, the Jayhawks figure to flirt with 80 points. Agbaji gets 20-plus, of those, creating a nice floor. I'm not sure he gets to 4x, but 3.5x would be a huge disappointment, making for a stable anchor.
Bryce Aiken, G, Seton Hall ($6,700)
We know we want as much of this game as we can afford, with an even spread and the slate's highest total. When not stacking, the normal lineup build would be stars from this game, and values elsewhere, but I'm backing Aiken to buck those trends. He needs 26.8 DKP to hit 4x, a number he's surpassed in five of six, with his failure resulting in 25.0 DKP. He's scored 22 in three of the Hall's last four, and the up tempo nature of this game should lend itself to additional assist opportunities.
Jimmy Boeheim, F, Syracuse ($6,100)
Boeheim's price peaked at $7,900, so now he's a huge discount. He's had at least 28.25 DKP in five of six and is not just scoring reliant, grabbing at least five boards in all of those outings. The Orange rarely rotate from their starting five, so minutes will be consistent. And with the 'Cuse expected to flirt with 80 points, there's appears a stable floor.
A.J. Griffin, F, Duke ($5,300)
I don't think the Wolfpack stand a chance against Duke, and while I expect Duke's starters to thrive, I love Griffin's growth. He's scored in double-digits in four straight, posting at least 18.0 DKP in six of seven. He only needs 21.2 for a 4x return, and I expect extended run with the Blue Devils controlling the scoreboard.
Eric Gaines, G, LSU ($5,300)
LSU is likely to be without Xavier Pinson ($6,600) due to a knee injury. Gaines started in his absence Wednesday and posted 23.5 DKP, his third consecutive 20-plus point fantasy outing. With the Tigers expected to flirt with 80 points, Gaines has ample paths to success at a bargain number, as he averaged 2.0 steals and 3-plus rebounds and assists to go with any potential scoring.
When compared to the main slate, there are distinctly lower point totals in the majority of the games. Alabama and Gonzaga highlight, and it seems unlikely you can win without a piece or two of those lineups, but picking the right names seems like a random draw given their talented depth. As such, it presents as a GPP friendly slate to get weird and target or potentially stack some different games.
Drew Timme, F, Gonzaga ($9,000)
The Zags have scored at least 110 points in consecutive games and 95-plus in four straight. Maybe that suggests we should take multiple 7k pieces from this starting lineup, but there is just no down side to Timme, who's gone for 80.25 DKP total in his last two. Priced as the slate's fifth-highest option, he has a great floor with the potential to pop.
Jahvon Quinerly, G, Alabama ($8,100)
I'm not suggesting using both Quinerly and Timme, but they make for a nice core duo. Mississippi State is 90th in defensive efficiency and 316th in tempo, so Alabama's three-guard lead isn't a must play. But I think it can force enough of the issue offensively to gain an advantage, and Quinerly performs across the board enough to be stable, averaging 4.4 assists and 3.6 rebounds to go with 15.4 points.
Don't ignore Mike Miles, G, TCU ($7,800)
Tanner Groves, F, Oklahoma ($7,200)
Groves' number kind of lands him in no mans land; there's enough volatility with his current form to not justify this price, but he's also shown more than enough upside to make him a usable choice. This game figures to be tight, and with TCU not having much size, it's a favorable spot for Groves to find offensive success.
Jayden Gardner, F, Virginia ($6,300)
The middle tier of this slate is where you're going to win GPPs, as I'm struggling to find clear values. Gardner's form is poor, going for 21.5 DKP or less in three of five. But he also has 41.5 DKP potential, has taken at least nine shots in nine straight, and gets a Wake Forest side that checks in in the top third nationally in tempo. He's been priced as high has $8,100, giving him upside in this one.
Don't ignore Malik Williams, F, Louisville ($6,300)
Henry Coleman, F, Texas A&M ($5,800)
Playing any Aggie can be fool's gold, as their nightly rotations fluctuate so greatly we have no idea what to expect. And I also expect a much better effort from Missouri after their mid-week debacle at Arkansas. But Coleman is on a three-game heater where he's had a 24.5 DKP floor and 42.25 DKP ceiling. The Tigers don't appear to have enough size to battle this former top recruit, so we just need Buzz Williams to continue giving him minutes in order to return a potential slate breaker.
Shane Dezonie, G, Vanderbilt ($3,200)
Dezonie started in place of Rodney Chatman in Vanderbilt's last game against Kentucky, and provided 12.0 DKP in 20 minutes. That flirts with 4x, but let's consider that opportunity with a softer matchup Saturday. Vandy are road favorites with an implied total flirting with 80 points against a UGA defense that ranks 288th in efficiency. At this number, there's no downside, and a breakout game is possible.
Four of our six games have double-digit favorites. That seems to suggest a Joes-and-schmoes approach where we can take top-tier talent to do their thing, and round out lineups with some bench options that could see extended run.
Armando Bacot, F, North Carolina ($9,100)
I'm not sure there's a more automatic play throughout the day Saturday than Bacot. He's posted five consecutive double-doubles, has 39 rebounds in his last two outings, and has been less than 40 DKP just three times all season. He's already abused Georgia Tech for 42.25 DKP and is simply playing at a different level.
Johnny Juzang, G, UCLA ($7,400)
The Bruins are monster favorites, but don't offer many sure bets or high-priced options. Juzang continues to see big-time usage, taking at least 10 shots in every game to date. Averaging a career-high five rebounds, if a few shots beyond normal fall, he's posting 30-plus DKP with ease.
Nysier Brooks, F, Ole Miss ($6,900)
Admittedly, I didn't intend to have one player per game for this slate, but so it is. I don't love Brooks due to his limited offensive repertoire, but he has two things going for him: minutes and guaranteed rebounds. Brooks has seen 34-plus minutes in five straight, grabbing 49 boards in the process. Auburn has size but spaces things out, which should create room for Brooks in the paint defensively and a continued stable floor.
DJ Horne, G, Arizona State ($6,100)
You have to love Horne's usage paired with his price. He's taken between 10 and 18 shots in the last six games, playing at least 29 minutes every time out. Admittedly, he doesn't do much more than score, but volume creates 2x, and minutes add the chance to secure peripherals. In a game with a near even spread, Horne seems to offer a floor and ceiling.
Jacob Young, G, Oregon ($5,900)
Young hasn't been super efficient, shooting only 45.6 percent overall, but he's started six consecutive games. for the Ducks, posting 26.6 DKP in his last three. It's not an ideal matchup against a Trojans' defense that ranks 23rd defensively and 219th in tempo, but the number is low enough that a 23.6 DKP (4x) return seems a fair expectation.
Justin Kier, G, Arizona ($3,900)
The well-traveled transfer from George Mason by way of Georgia makes for a a nice low risk option here. Arizona is roughly a 20-point favorite, and should flirt with 90 points Saturday. Kier should get a few meaningful minutes in the first 30, and then all he can handle down the stretch. A known 3-point marksman, Kier doesn't need much for a 4x return.