This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
DraftKings has a 10-game slate going off at noon EST Saturday for their main contest, with FanDuel following with a seven-game slate (Xavier-Seton Hall PPD) where six games overlap. DK has a four-game afternoon contest and a five-game evening contest to boot. Let's break 'em down.
Moses Moody, G/F, Arkansas ($7,500 DK, $7,000 FD)
There should be plenty of value options in this game once we know who is cleared to play, particularly on the Crimson Tide side. But Moody presents as the most stable option, is priced fairly compared to other top options and we know we need piece(s) of this contest with a robust 161.5 total. Choose freely from both sides of this game, but Moody has failed to return 4x only three times to date, and should see an uptick with both teams playing at a top-40 pace.
Dawson Garcia, F, Marquette ($6,700 DK)
Last week, I omitted Creighton-St. John's from the main targets, only to see the Blue Jays put all five starters into double-figures, while Julian Champaigne ($9,100) went off for the defenseless Red Storm. I won't make that mistake here. Garcia is beyond affordable and has failed to return 4x only four times. Mix in a likely tempo boost from St. John's, which checks in 17th nationally in pace, and there's upside.
Mike Smith, G, Michigan ($5,300 DK, $4,700)
It's a slightly risky endeavor to buy in to a guy who doesn't score regularly, but Smith benefits from his supporting cast greatly, having dished out six assists in five consecutive games. This game has the third-highest total on the board, and Smith offers a cheap in that allows you to secondarily flourish on Franz Wagner ($8,400 DK, $7,200 FD) and Hunter Dickinson's ($8,300 DK, $7,500 FD) likely success. Smith has been less than 3.2x return just twice and none in his last seven outings.
Sharife Cooper, G, Auburn ($8,200 DK, $9,200 FD)
Cooper has been superb, but this outing looks like a stern test. His success has come against Georgia (90th defensively, seventh tempo) and Alabama (29th defensively, 16th tempo) while Kentucky checks in 25th and 238th, respectively. There's no doubting Cooper's upside, but his 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame hasn't seen the length Kentucky possesses. The Wildcats can slow the pace, and I expect volume scoring with minimal peripherals from Cooper as he forces the issue.
Ziaire Williams, F, Stanford ($6,800 DK, $6,000 FD)
Outside of a 51.5 DKP explosion against Washington, Williams averaged 22.8 DKP in four other conference games. Mix in Colorado's 15th-ranking defensive efficiency, and there's a struggle to 3x, let alone 4x.
Jair Bolden, G/F, Butler ($6,400 DK)
This game is tied for the lowest total at 139.5, and the Bulldogs are 9.5-point underdogs. The status of top option Chuck Harris ($6,600) remains in doubt, but it seems irrelevant to Bolden. He's averaged a mere 16.69 DKP in his last four, and Creighton's 31st-ranked defensive efficiency shouldn't boost that.
Tolu Smith, F, Mississippi State ($6,600 DK)
This is a tough slate with only four games, with one largely being ignored due to the total. As such, we're trying to find some stable secondary pieces that allow us to afford the likes of Baylor's Jared Butler ($9,200 DK). Enter Smith, who has played at least 31 minutes in five straight, averaging 26.8 DKP. There isn't 5x upside, but there appears to be 4x stability, and in a game with a 1.5-point spread, we are confident in Smith's minutes.
Steffon Mitchell, F, Boston College ($6,300 DK)
Mitchell can be a liability because he doesn't consistently score, but he's pumped in 12 points in three of his last four outings, resulting in 27.1 DKP in that stretch, 4.3x value. He's priced down from an early season high of $8,500 thanks to a calf injury that previously limited him, and offers a stable buy in to the slate's highest total.
Both figure to be relatively chalky. Lewis is priced down due to Covid concerns, but if he plays he's a no brainer, and if he doesn't Locke slots in incredibly as a value. The former is a 30 DKP regular while the later provided 21 DKP in 38 minutes in the former's absence. MSU's 331st-ranked tempo doesn't scream upside, but with a tight spread and stable total of about 140 points, there's little reason to fade.
Terrence Shannon, G, Texas Tech ($7,200 DK, $6,000 FD)
Perhaps a lazy fade, but there just doesn't appear to be any upside. We know Shannon will get his, but he's topped 29.25 DKP just three times. The Red Raiders rank fifth in adjusted defense and the Bears third. With Texas Tech being an underdog in a grind-it-out contest, even if Shannon plays as the alpha, how do we get to 5x?
Dane Goodwin, G/F, Notre Dame ($6,100 DK)
Yes, this total represents a bounce back for Goodwin, but how can we justify the price given current form? Goodwin has averaged a mere 13.69 DKP in his last four after 26.3 in his first six. Even with a pace boost, it's hard to see a path to a stable return.
Reece Beekman, G, Virginia ($4,500 DK)
We know to fade anywhere Virginia plays, but it's Clemson that checks in ranked as the best team nationally in defensive efficiency, making this game's total 20-plus points lower than any other on the slate. The tight point spread actually has me interested in the stars, particularly Jay Huff ($6,400 DK). But I'm certainly not chasing secondary pieces. Beekman is surging, averaging 20.5 DKP in his last three, which seems to make him a lazy pay down option in an unfavorable matchup.
Three of the five games included overlap with the late slate at DraftKings. Four of the five games feature double-digit favorites, and similarly, four of five have nearly identical projected totals, which makes picking the top performers a bit more challenging.
David Johnson, G, Louisville ($7,000 DK)
Johnson has just a slightly lower ceiling than Carlik Jones ($8,600 DK), but we'll take the discount. This game has the narrowest spread on the docket, and we're not sure why given Miami's recent blowout at Boston College and how short-handed it is. Johnson averages 13.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg and 4.2 apg, and has bested 4x return five times in 10 outings, though not in his last two. He's the team's leading 3-point shooter at 45.9 percent, and Miami doesn't defend the arch well, hopefully giving him a scoring boost.
Grant Anticevich, F, California ($5,000 DK)
Anticevich has been priced as high as $7,000, and has three games of at least 28.75 DKP. He's labored through an abdominal issue lately, connecting on just 2-of-11field-goal attempts in his last two, but the minutes have been solid. There's no defensive or tempo boost against Utah, but Anticevich is a sound upside play.
Jericho Sims, F, Texas ($4,900 DK)
Kansas State is so undermanned, playing four guys 38-plus minutes at this point, and as a result, undersized, with those four being guards. Sims and Greg Brown ($7,000 DK) should have their way on the interior, and with the lopsided spread, Sims is far less a risk to underperform. He's a point shy of 5x return in three of the Horns' last four outings
Jalen Suggs, G, Gonzaga ($7,400 DK)
Fading any piece of the Bulldogs offense is difficult. But Suggs has the greatest range of production of their top four, hitting 28.75 DKP just once in his last four. We don't think St. Mary's can control tempo, despite ranking 354th of 357 teams, as Gonzaga didn't care about Virginia's pack-line defense. But the volatility paired with a lack of upside makes targeting other Bulldogs the seemingly better play.
Andrew Jones, G, Texas ($7,300 DK)
We just noted the size advantage the Longhorns will have. If that plays out, and they flirt with covering an 18.5-point spread, it's difficult to see the upside in Jones. He's returned 4x only twice in 10 games, and the Wildcats check in at 340th out of 357 in adjusted tempo.
Efe Abogidi, F, Washington State ($5,900 DK)
Abogidi derived a lot of his early season value in block shots, something he's done only three times in his last three games. The freshman has simply labored through the outset of conference play, averaging 20.13 DKP against 32.4 out of conference, having trended down in each of his Pac-12 outings. The price hasn't dropped enough yet.