DFS College Basketball: Thursday Preview and Picks (Early)

DFS College Basketball: Thursday Preview and Picks (Early)

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

DraftKings has turned things up for conference tournament week. There are 12 games that make up the just early round of action on Thursday's slate. This includes games hailing from all six of the major conferences for us to dive into before we even get to 2:30 p.m. EST. Exactly half of the dozen early games have totals set above 140, though there are still valuable plays from among this lower-scoring group of games that will find their way into our lineup 

Top Tier

Tyree Appleby, G, Wake Forest ($10,000)

We're going to start things off fairly straightforward by targeting the top fantasy scorer in what's projected to be the second highest-scoring (156.5) matchup of the early slate. Appleby has averaged career highs in points (18.8), assists (6.3) and steals (1.7) during his first campaign with Wake Forest in 2022-23. The 24-year-old guard has also been everything for his team down the stretch of the season, as he's been the only Demon Deacon player to put up double-digit points per game over the past five games. Appleby has scored at least 39.5 DKP in his four most recent outings, so finishing in the mid-thirties should be considered a reasonable floor in what will be a fast-paced game.  

Tolu Smith, C, Mississippi State ($8,300)

This matchup features one of college basketball's best rebounding teams in Mississippi State versus one of its worst in Florida, as the two rank 37th and 302nd in rebounding percentage, respectively. Betting on the Bulldogs to beat up the Gators on the glass should be a winning formula. Smith's team-leading 8.3 rebounds per game don't set him that far apart from teammates D.J. Jeffries (6.2) and Cameron Matthews (5.6). But, Smith is the squad's only player to average double-digit points per game this season at 15.4. A double-double should be well within reach for the 6-foot-10 center, which should net him in the range of at least 30 DKP. 

Middle Tier

Bobi Klintman, F, Wake Forest ($6,300)

Klintman stepped into the starting lineup after junior big man Damari Monsanto sustained a season-ending torn left patella tendon in late February. As a result, The 6-foot-10 freshman has scored between 21 to 34.3 DKP while starting each of the Demon Deacons' past four games, averaging 10.3 points and 9.5 points over these contests. This span of games also includes the first and second double-doubles of Klintman's career. Klintman's not the most efficient scorer with a 40.2 field-goal percentage this season. But, he should have a chance to put up good numbers down low against a Hurricanes squad that gave up a 51.9 two-point percentage to conference opponents. This would also make for some nice double-dip potential on any entry passes that come from the headliner of our lineup in point guard Tyree Appleby.

Jett Howard, F, Michigan ($6,100)

Rutgers does play at a sluggish pace with an adjusted temp of 64.7 during conference play, according to KenPom. However, that hasn't stopped it from allowing the second-highest percentage of three-point attempts to field-goal tries this season at 46.3. That should guarantee a healthy number of looks from beyond the arc for Howard, who's averaged 14.5 points per game as the Wolverines' top three-point specialist this season. The 6-foot-8 freshman has shot 37.1 percent on 7.3 attempts from deep range this season. Howard will have a solid floor of around 20 DKP that should only have room to grow if he does put in an above-average shooting night. 

Bargain Tier

David Joplin, F, Marquette ($5,000)

I like Joplin for many of the same reasons as Jett Howard. The Golden Eagles' sophomore sixth man has converted 38.4 percent of his somewhat limited 4.7 three-point tries per game, as he's averaged just 19.1 minutes per game this season. That's not a lot of room for error, but he figures to see more opportunities versus a St. John's team that ranks first in adjusted tempo (73.6) while also allowing a 36.7 three-point percentage during conference play, per KenPom. This projects to be the most explosive game of Thursday's slate with the over/under set at 161.5, which should mean there's more scoring to go around for role players like Joplin, who averaged 9.2 points and 3.4 boards per game this season. 

Noah Locke, G, Providence ($4,600)

Locke is priced extremely low for a player averaging 29.1 minutes per game this season. The fifth-year senior is the Friars' least productive all-around player with 11.0 points and 2.4 rebounds per game, but his 19.9 percent usage rate over the last five games is nothing to scoff at. Locke's team-high 5.6 three-point attempts per game combined with a 38.2 three-point percentage creates for some solid upside in a game expected to finish with around 143.5 total points. 

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Wollersheim
2022 University of Wisconsin graduate and blind lover of all things college football. Also an unbiased observer of NFL, CFB, NBA and CBB for all teams not located in the cheese capital of the world.
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