DFS College Basketball: Saturday Preview & Picks

DFS College Basketball: Saturday Preview & Picks

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

DraftKings is bringing us a three-contest slate, though the main and evening slates overlap. It's an oddly challenging Saturday where we normally see some eight-to-10 games on each docket, but we've only got 10 games overall to digest. Lets dive in.

Early Slate

Four games are situated here, none of which bleed over into the afternoon options. There's 10 points separating the four game's totals, and the largest spread is under six points, so we should have decent parity.

Top Tier

Jesse Edwards, F, Syracuse ($8,900)

Edwards is coming off of a 42.75 DKP outing in a game in which he scored nine points and fouled out in 32 minutes. That seems to show us just how stable the floor is with him. I know he headlines this column, but he was the fifth name I wrote up as it evolved, speaking to how much value we can find elsewhere while taking this high-ceiling, high-floor option. He'll dominate inside as Notre Dame's size counter in Nate Laszewski is more of an outside guy, further solidifying Edwards as a rock solid play despite being the slates' highest-priced option.

GG Jackson, F, South Carolina ($7,900)

Jackson is far from efficient, connecting on only 42.3 percent of his shots, but there's no arguing the volume, as he's taking 15 shots nightly. Simply, the offense runs through him, which creates a stable floor that has double-double upside at a sliding price. Georgetown checks in in the top third on pace and 201st overall in defensive efficiency, per KenPom. 

Middle Tier

Brandon Slater, F, Villanova ($6,600)

The core of the Wildcats' attack is priced down thanks to a difficult matchup against Oklahoma's 27th-ranked defensive efficiency and 343rd-ranked tempo. But due to injury, Villanova has four starters all playing at least 75 percent of the team's minutes. Slater is the second cheapest behind just Chris Arcidiacono ($4,500) and has the far higher ceiling, topping 32 DKP twice already. I'd expect Villanova players to be popular given that the price reduction; Slater is simply the cheapest of that group. Snag a share and move on.

Adrian Baldwin, G, VCU ($6,200)

This price point for Baldwin is the slate's free square. He's only played once since a four-game absence, and the number hasn't elevated to it's usual 7k+ level. He's the Rams' ace, is seemingly a lock for double-digit scoring while also piling up assists and steals. Temple sits in the top third defensively and bottom half in tempo, so there aren't any boosts, but Baldwin has shown 6x potential at this reduced number. Here's to hoping he's overlooked.

Value Tier

JJ Starling, G, Notre Dame ($6,000)

Starling profiles similarly to Jackson above. He's a high-volume guy, averaging 11.6 shot attempts across 33.0 minutes nightly. His success rate is wildly inconsistent, but against the Orange's zone, we'd expect him to either connect more regularly with open looks, or penetrate and earn more peripheral numbers. He's shown a high ceiling, and a 3x floor seems the minimum.

Brandon Johns, F, VCU ($5,900)

The Rams are this slate's continuing gift, as their top-tier options are priced so favorably given season-long production. Johns has scored only 15 points across their last two games but still averaged 18.0 DKP in those outings, a better than 3x return. He'd shown much more upside prior and has multiple paths to production. He's also yet to play less than 25 minutes per game, giving him ample opportunities.

Main/Late Slate

As noted above, DraftKings has a six-game main slate, with tipoff at 4:00 p.m EST, with three of those games doubling down to their evening contests, going off at 7:00 p.m. EST. Pricing seems the same for those six teams across slates. As such, we'll try a slightly elongated approach to this breakdown. Games included on both slates are noted with a *.

Top Tier

Marcus Shaver, G, Boise State* ($8,600)

If paying all the way up is your thing, I side with Shaver Saturday over Kendric Davis ($8,900) due to the Broncos' opponent in Texas A&M being slightly worse defensively and playing at a slightly faster tempo, and Trayce Jackson-Davis ($9,900) as there's a similar ceiling at a substantial discount. Shaver is rebounding at an elite level for a guard, finds ways to create for his teammates and is contributing defensively. Even a down scoring night can yield nice fantasy production.

Cam Spencer, G, Rutgers ($7,900)

Indiana defended their behinds off against North Carolina on Wednesday and now go on the road for a stiff test at Rutgers. If only this were a betting column. Spencer is coming off of a woeful 1-for-10 shooting showing at Miami, but I think he'll bounce back here while the Hoosiers are due a letdown. That he's averaging over three steals, boards and assists just helps stabilize his floor.

Jack Nunge, F, Xavier ($7,500)

There are a host of options to choose from in this 7-8k tier, with Henry Coleman ($7,000) and Tyler Wahl ($7,400) also appealing, but I'll side with Nunge simply for the expected high-scoring nature of this matchup. His team-high 24.1 percent usage rate and leading rebounding production give him a slight edge here over teammates Zach Freemantle ($7,700) and Souley Boum ($7,400)

Middle Tier

Olivier-Maxence Prosper, F, Marquette ($6,700)

Seemingly all of the Golden Eagles' options have some blemishes, but with a 25th-ranked tempo and an expected 70+ point total, we can't ignore them. Prosper needs to stay out of foul trouble, but when he does, he's been wildly productive, scoring 24 points on Baylor and 31 on LIU. He checks in second on the team in usage at 22.1 percent, but fourth in price.

Jaemyn Brakefield, F, Mississippi* ($6,400)

I admittedly struggled when sorting through the middle tier of these slates. Brakefield is far from a must-use option, but I think he'll come with low ownership and seems like he'll produce steadily. He's collected at least seven boards in four straight, creating a floor where we're confident in a 2x return without any scoring. He's inconsistent in that department, but has scored 17 points in three of his last six, giving us the potential for upside.

Tre Mitchell, F, West Virginia ($6,300)

Mitchell is a former blue-chip recruit who is at his third school in three years, but he appears to be again showing his potential. He's gone for 3x this value in three of the Mountaineers last five, twice flirting with 5x. Only fouls have limited him to less than 27 minutes, and he should get a nice boost from Xavier's 38th-paced tempo.

Value Tier

Alex Ducas, G/F, St. Mary's* ($5,700)

It will be difficult to completely ignore this game on the later three-game slate, but we want to avoid it as best we can given Houston's defensive prowess and the expected low-scoring outcome. Still, Ducas is coming off of a game where he scored 25 points, showing upside for this low price. He's put up at least four boards in every game since the Gaels' opener and is a lock for 30+ minutes, suggesting a 3-4x floor.

Dexter Dennis, G, Texas A&M* ($4,700)

Dennis can't throw it in the ocean right now; he's 4-of-21 across his last three games, including 0-of-11 from 3-point range. But he's been a double-digit fantasy producer in all of those outings and his price has dropped $1,200 since the Aggies' last game. He's been worth 3.6x at this price in four of seven with a 10.5 DKP floor. That seems to work here while opening up budgets.

Desmond Claude, G, Xavier ($3,700)

Perhaps this is just column filler or a lazy inclusion, but Claude has played 22+ minutes in three straight, two of which came against Duke and Gonzaga, which suggests he's a meaningful cog in the rotation. This game has the highest total, by far, so we know we want multiple pieces. Given this low price, there's so little risk. 10 DKP is nearly 3x, and we really shouldn't care if he falls marginally short, as he allows ample spending elsewhere.

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. Chris Bennett plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: k30kittles, DraftKings: k30kittles.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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