DFS College Basketball: Thursday Preview

DFS College Basketball: Thursday Preview

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

Nine games on the DraftKings slate today, as well as a four-game evening set. Let's take a look at implied totals before examining a few picks from each pricing tier.

Top Players

Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue ($8,200 DK)

Purdue currently has the number one offense in the country, per KenPom's adjusted efficiency ratings, so the Boilermakers remain an intriguing DFS option, even going up against a stout defense like Indiana. The Hoosiers' defense is more stout on the interior, as they're allowing opponents to make just 41 percent of two-point field goal attempts, the fourth-best rate in the country. For this reason, I'm expecting Purdue to lean on their backcourt in this contest. Jaden Ivey is Purdue's leading scorer, so he's grown accustomed to leading the team this season, although his athleticism will likely be needed even more in this contest considering the strength of Indiana's defense. Ivey also has the 19th highest offensive efficiency rating in the country among all players at use at least 24 percent of their team's possessions when on the court, which is even more impressive considering he also leads the team in minutes. Purdue certainly has a challenge on their hands today, but win or lose, Jaden Ivey should play a critical role in Purdue's scoring total, especially given the matchup.

 Adama Sanogo, F, Connecticut ($7,800 DK)

This pick is all about the matchup. Butler's offense is a major issue this season, ranking last in the Big East by a wide margin in terms of its adjusted efficiency rating, per KenPom. The Bulldogs particularly struggle when it comes to allowing blocked shots, as they currently rank in the bottom-15 of the country in terms of the worst shot block rate allowed. This is an ideal matchup for Connecticut because the Huskies' defense is blocking shots at the third-highest rate in the country. Adama Sanogo has blocked 14 total shots in his last four games, so he should significantly benefit from this matchup. In fact, these two teams just played each other two days ago and Sanogo scored 13 points with 15 rebounds and 4 blocks, among other stats. If we get anything close to a repeat performance then Sanogo will provide plenty of value at his current price. Sanogo has been on a tear lately, scoring 13-plus points, grabbing 15-plus rebounds, and blocking 3-plus shots in each of his past three games. Based on today's matchup, I'm expecting his hot streak to continue.

Middle Tier

 Dalen Terry, G, Arizona ($6,100 DK)

Stanford's offense isn't bad by Pac-12 standards, but the Cardinal are about as careless with the basketball as any team in the country, ranking 15th in overall worst turnover rate. Dalen Terry leads the team in steals, so he's a natural beneficiary in this matchup. Terry has also has the second-most assists on the team, which is another positive sign because the Wildcats are projected to score 80 points today, so Terry should be able to continue raking up assists, as he's averaging over 5.0 per game in his last three contests. Terry probably won't be the leading scorer today, but his wide skill set provides a strong floor, and a big payout in the event that Terry puts up more shots than usual. I should also note, if budget permits, Azuolas Tubelis or Christian Koloko are also options I'd strongly consider based on the matchup.

 Jarod Lucas, G, Oregon State ($5,800 DK)

Jarod Lucas has been scorching hot over the past month, scoring 24-plus points in four of his past six games. Oregon State is facing a Washington team that's logged the third-worst adj. defensive efficiency in the Pac-12 through five conference games, so Lucas shouldn't have too much trouble meeting his usual scoring expectations. Lucas leads the team in minutes, points, and he also has the highest offensive efficiency rating on the team by a wide margin, so all signs point to another productive outing for the shooting guard.

Value Plays

 Anton Watson, F, Gonzaga ($5,500 DK)

To no one's surprise, Gonzaga is once again projected to score the most points on the slate. The Bulldogs are also expected to participate in the biggest blowout of the day, so Anton Watson, Gonzaga's unofficial sixth man, should have plenty of time to fill out the stat sheet. Watson is coming off a strong game, posting a double-double in his previous contest last Saturday, and has also scored nine-plus points in eight straight games, so he's locked in even though he might not see as many minutes as the starters. Among his Bulldog teammates, Watson has the highest offensive rebounding rate, highest steal rate and second-best assist rate, so he should continue stuffing the box score whenever he's on the court. 

 Jamal Bey, G, Washington ($5,200 DK)

Washington is going against the worst defense on the slate, in terms of KenPom's adjusted efficiency ratings, so the Huskies have a good chance at putting up a few more points than usual. Terrell Brown will likely do most of the damage, but if you're reluctant to take him at his lofty salary, or if you want to gamble on someone with less risk, I'd suggest Jamal Bey, coming off an impressive game against Stanford. Bey also recently had an impressive game against Utah, a defensively challenged team similar to Oregon State. In total, Bey has scored in double figures in 7-of-14 games this season, so he's capable of scoring when called upon. This pick has more volatility than usual, but could pay off if you're looking to fade the Beavers. 

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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