DFS College Basketball: Saturday Preview

DFS College Basketball: Saturday Preview

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

Main Slate

DraftKings offers its traditional 10-game main slate Saturday, with tip-offs from noon to 3:30 p.m. EST, where the top-end of the backcourt options are littered with questions. Ayo Dosunmu ($9,300 DK, $8,800 FD), who triple-doubled against Wisconsin last time out, Scotty Pippen ($9,000 DK) against a slow-paced Ole Miss and Sharife Cooper ($8,200 DK, $8,700 FD) against Tennessee's third-ranked defense are questionable to play. It can lead to low usage if you're able to make last-second adjustments. Those potential absences also lend themselves to some chalky value plays we may be better off fading in GPPs. Jamal Johnson ($4,800 DK, $4,300 FD) started for Auburn in Cooper's absence, while Jaylin Williams ($5,600 DK, $5,300 FD) led the Tigers in usage against Florida (26.0 percent). Jordan Wright ($5,600 DK) and Maxwell Evans ($5,000 DK) were the beneficiaries of Pippen's absence, while Illinois turned to Da'Monte Williams ($4,200 DK, $4,100 FD).

Targets

Jalen Tate, F, Arkansas ($6,300 DK, $5,400 FD)

The tight spread and the huge 160-plus total make this an obvious game stack, but it's also loaded with high-end options and not many obvious bargains amongst regulars. Tate and LSU's Darius Days ($6,300 DK, $6,300 FD) are priced identically, and you could argue Days has more upside. But not many are as consistent as Tate, who has been between 23.75 and 29.5 DKP in his last five games. Maybe the pace is boosted slightly enough to give Tate more upside than usual, but the floor is rock solid.

Devontae Shuler, G, Mississippi ($6,200)

Shuler is in a wicked shooting slump, hitting just 7-of-41 (17.1 percent) in his last three games. But that smells like opportunity, as his price has fallen to a very manageable level, and that volume isn't going anywhere. Prior to the bad stretch, Shuler exploded for 51.25 DKP against South Carolina, and that upside is rare at this price. This game does have the lowest total on the slate, but that's a result of the Rebels' pace and defense. Vandy doesn't play much defense, allowing a 52.8 effective field-goal percentage, and Shuler looks poised to break out.

Isaac Likekele, G, Oklahoma State ($5,100 DK, $5,700 FD)

Likekele returned from a two-game absence to play 33 minutes against Texas Tech. While he only took one shot, he still managed 19.5 DKP thanks to all-around contributions. The minutes are the appeal, as it's not an ideal matchup. But you have to assume he'll have additional offensive opportunities, which should yield at least 4x, if not more, while coming at a nice discount.

Fades

Micah Potter, F, Wisconsin ($6,800 DK, $5,400 FD)

Potter is on a two-game heater since settling in to his reserve role, but he's done it against high-tempo Iowa and defenseless Northwestern. He's been incredibly efficient (15-23 FG) and only saw 30 minutes once. The Badgers come in seventh in defensive efficiency and Illinois 16th, and we know Wisconsin will want to slow Illinois, something that should be much easier to do if Dosunmo is out. We can also expect Illinois to feature Kofi Cockburn ($8,000 DK, $7,800 FD) heavily in that scenario, setting Potter up for defensive responsibilities and foul trouble potential. He had just eight points and a rebound in the team's earlier meeting.

Jamal Cain, F, Marquette ($6,100 DK, $5,000 FD)

Cain has been incredibly volatile lately, erupting for 40.5 DKP against Butler, but combining for just 39.25 in three other outings. He's been held to no more than 19 DKP in six of the Golden Eagles' last 10 games and put up only 8.8 DKP in a prior matchup with UConn, with only a 16.8 percent usage rate. That game had only 119 points scored, and Marquette is a heavy underdog in this one with the second-lowest implied total. 

Aljami Durham, G/F, Indiana ($5,300 DK, $5,100 FD)

Durham is a mere placeholder here, as I want to fade all things Hoosiers not named Trayce Jackson-Davis ($9,200 DK). Indiana is the largest underdog on the slate, and the game has a low total of 138.5, so things don't set up well for their secondary pieces against Michigan's sixth-ranked defense. Durham has flashed but has been held to less than 20 DKP in seven of his last 10. It seems as though a different player comes through as the Hoosiers' second option nightly, but the low upside given the matchup makes it not worth guessing on. Race Thompson ($5,900 DK, $5,600 FD) and Armaan Franklin ($5,000 DK, $5,100FD) fall into the same category.

Afternoon Slate

A larger than usual eight-game slate awaits DK's afternoon contest, tipping from 4 to 7 p.m. EST. We can expect slightly higher scoring in this slate, as six of the eight games have totals of 140 or higher. I'm personally finding a plethora of frontcourt players to be priced unfavorably high, so perhaps fading pay-ups in favor of a balanced, deep lineup is the path to success.

Targets

D.J. Stewart, G, Mississippi State ($7,500 DK)

Steward has proven he can thrive in high-tempo outings, totaling 43.25 DKP against Alabama in an earlier matchup where he had an obscene 38.9 percent usage rate. He's two fantasy points shy of hitting 4x in five of his last 10, so there is some volatility, as Stewart was held to less than 20 DKP in three of those five remaining outings. But given the Tide's sixth-ranked tempo, I trust the floor while seeking a one-man-show upside.

Jamal Mashburn, G, Minnesota ($5,600 DK)

When hunting value, I often look for stability rather than upside. Mashburn is certainly the former, going for at least 22.75 DKP and at most 26.5 DKP across his last four. His role is secure with Gabe Kalscheur ($4,600 DK) out, and should see at least a small boost thanks to Nebraska's 32nd-ranked tempo. 

M.J. Walker ($5,300 DK, $5,600 FD)/Sardaar Calhoun ($4,200, $3,600 FD), F, Florida State

I'm a UNC fan, and I'm done watching this team's permitter defense. Coach Roy Williams' insistence on playing to the team's offensive strength with two big men leads to a ton of dribble penetration and kickouts by opponents. FSU shot 50 percent from 3-point range in an earlier meeting, and there's no reason to expect a different outcome. Walker went for 21 points (35.8 DKP) in an earlier matchup thanks to 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range but isn't certain to play due to an undisclosed injury. If he goes, he's a preferred target despite some current bad form. If he doesn't, it opens the door for Calhoun, whose role has been growing, having taken nine 3-pointers in his last three, and who comes at a bottom-tier price.

Fades

Day'Ron Sharpe, F, North Carolina ($8,300 DK, $6,100 FD)

There's no doubting Sharpe's talent, current form or that this game has a high total and narrow point spread. But the price has simply become too great. Yes, he's flirted with 30 DKP in three consecutive games and is capable of production across the board. But he also doesn't play enough, not topping 24 minutes in any of his last 10 appearances. The opportunity/usage doesn't match the price, especially against an athletic and long FSU front court that he provided 17.5 DKP against previously.

Matt Bradley, G/F, California ($7,200 DK)

We know Bradley is going to score, but he's been void of any peripheral stats lately, collecting just 11 rebounds and two assists total in the Bears' last three games. Cal is approaching double-digit underdog status, giving it the lowest implied total on this slate. Bradley was worth 30.8 DKP in a prior matchup thanks to hot shooting that saw him post a 21-3-3 line. That's the absolute ceiling, and a sub-3x floor that he's flirted with in five of his last six seems the more likely outcome.

Marcus Shaver, G, Boise State ($5,200 DK, $6,600 FD)  

Shaver's 22.1 DKP average is attractive for casual lineup builds as a low-cost producer. But he's topped 17.3 DKP just once in the Broncos' last seven games. Kudos to DK for putting this game amongst a number of power conference matchups, but there's no potential in Shaver against the Aztecs' 12th-ranked defense that also checks in 292nd in tempo.

Evening Slate

A traditionally Pac-12 heavy evening slate is featured at DK, with Kansas-Baylor sprinkled in among the four-game slate. I can't find any reason to not build around Arizona State's Remy Martin ($9,300 DK) despite the price, as his lowest seven-game tally is 34.5 DKP.

USC's Evan Mobley ($7,400 DK) is the slate's elephant in the room. His poor form has him insanely discounted, and Utah held him in check in an earlier matchup. But even without the discount, he's got 5x upside and seems like a must play.

Targets

Isaac Bonton, G, Washington State ($7,000 DK)

GPP only please. Bonton hasn't proven healthy, but he's routinely priced near $9,000, so if we can get a commitment to minutes he's an immediate must play. But even if Bonton only plays a handful of minutes, this game boasts the highest total, with the Cougars facing an Arizona State defense that ranks 134 nationally while playing at the 16th-fastest tempo. The floor is bottom-tier, but the upside is upper echelon.

MaCio Teague, G/F, Baylor ($5,900 DK)

Teague's price has made him a near must play, as he's peaked at $6,900 previously. As mentioned, the appeal is a stable floor. Teague has hovered around 4x return in seven of his last 10, and given that he rarely leaves the court, should push for more in a game with the slate second-highest total.

Fades

Johnny Juzang, G, UCLA ($6,700 DK)

Juzang is just too inconsistent. He's well worth contrarian GPP additions, but he's had five games with less than 23 DKP and five games with more than 37.75 DKP in his last 10. Colorado has been fantastic at home and is a six-point favorite in the slate's lowest total, setting Juzang up to underperform.

Pelle Larsson, G, Utah ($6,000 DK)

Larson is in the same mold as many above in this column. He's shown promise, but has returned 4x just three times in the Utes' last 10 games. He faces a Trojans defense that ranks 20th in  efficiency and held him to five points on 2-of-6 shooting. There's no clear upside.

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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