College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 1/2/19
College basketball season is back! And this year, with it comes the return of college basketball DFS.
March Madness is still two months away, but you can get in all the college hoops hype by playing daily contests at FanDuel today. If you've played NBA DFS before, it's quite simple: pick a total of eight players -- four guards, three forwards and one utility spot you can use for either position. Stay within the $50,000 salary cap and field the team you think will score the most fantasy points.
Where scoring differs from NBA is in the blocks and steals categories, with each worth two FanDuel points apiece rather than the three you get in daily NBA contests.
Now that you're in the know, we can attack today's main slate, which locks at 6:30 p.m. EST and includes seven games. The night is highlighted by Oklahoma at Kansas in a matchup of both Big 12 foes and top-25 squads.
|Wednesday, January 2nd|
|Seton Hall at Xavier|
|#24 Nebraska at Maryland|
|Georgetown at Butler|
|#11 Texas Tech at West Virginia|
|Northwestern at #8 Michigan State|
|#23 Oklahoma at #5 Kansas|
|Utah State at #6 Nevada|
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
Cassius Winston, Michigan State ($8,100): We get quite a few stud guards tonight, but of them Winston seems to be the best investment at his price. While three others are priced above him at his position (eight overall), Winston is averaging only 2.2 fewer FanDuel points per game than the top-priced guard, Nevada's Caleb Martin ($8,700), and a mere 0.1 below the second-highest guy, Seton Hall's Myles Powell. Even without referencing others above him, Winston is worth consideration based on his own doing. He sports a solid 25.1% usage rate and assists on 42.1% of the team's made baskets while on the floor. He plays 30.6 minutes a game and averages 7.5 assists, ranking him fourth in the nation in that category. Michigan State's 78.00 total is fourth of all teams tonight, but it trails the top team by 1.25 points. Don't forget about them -- especially Winston -- when building your lineups.
Kamar Baldwin, Butler ($7,400): Averaging 72.4 points a game this season, the Butler Bulldogs are in for a booming night if the oddsmakers have it right. Their 79.25 total is tied for the top mark on the slate as they and the Georgetown Hoyas are expected to total 150 points between them, also tying them for second on the slate. That's the kind of team you want exposure to, and it starts at the top with Baldwin. He's been in a bit of a shooting funk (38.9% in last four), but the Hoyas' defense is 105th in the nation, per KenPom.com, and second of the teams in action. They also rank 14th in adjusted tempo, further boosting the potential for a guy like Baldwin, who leads Butler with 15.6 points per game.
Quentin Goodin, Xavier ($6,400): Lost in the shuffle of all the high-total games and ranked squads in play is Xavier/Seton Hall which carries a 143 total that comes in as the third-lowest one of tonight's games. The Musketeers are 3.5-point favorites, so their 73.25 total is up there quietly in the top five. There's no reason to fade that, though there aren't a lot of intriguing options. However, Goodin is and could very well be the best point-per-dollar play on the board. To start the year, this price would have made sense, but over his last four dude's been money. In averaging 38.1 FanDuel points, he's tallied 16.5 points per game with six-plus assists and at least two steals in each. Starting play in conference, the competition will be a little higher, but there isn't a ton of risk for an obvious value guy in this price range.
Devon Dotson, Kansas ($5,800): Everyone and their brother is going to be targeting Sooners and Jayhawks this evening -- and for good reason. This Big 12 clash features a slate-high 150.5 over/under and a spread (7.5 in Kansas' favor) that would lead us to believe that this one will remain close throughout. Now, OU is seventh in adjusted defensive efficiency, but KU's implied at a healthy 79 points. Actually, only one time have they failed to score 72 or more points this season. Near the bargain bin area, Dotson is a guy who can help round out your lineup while also giving you exposure to this matchup of ranked squads. It's unlikely that he'll pop off for 30-plus FanDuel points, but all you need from him is 23.2 for four-times value.
Jazz Johnson, Nevada ($5,500): Tonight, the ninth-ranked Nevada Wolf Pack play host to the Utah State Aggies as they open up conference play. And in case you haven't followed along since their run last March, this team is really good and quite versatile. While they start a traditional lineup with Trey Porter at the five, junior guard Jazz Johnson comes off the bench and averages more minutes (26.9) in three-guard sets. He's contributed 12.3 points and 16.7 FanDuel points per game on the year, but he's been particularly effective over the last three games. In that time, he's averaging 20.3 FanDuel points with 41 points on 66.7% shooting (9-of-11 from three). A matchup with a 148.5-point over/under against a team averaging 3.8 more possessions per game is the type of contest Johnson and his scoring should thrive in.
Jordan Caroline ($8,200): Going from a value play to a core stud, we stick with that Nevada squad in double-double machine Jordan Caroline. The undersized senior forward is averaging close to a double-double with eight such games. The result has been 31.9 FanDuel points per game and six outings above this evening's salary implied total (32.8 FanDuel points). He's also logged at least 37 minutes in six straight games, and as long as this one stays close that should be the case once again. And with the Pack pegged for 79.25 points, a big night for Caroline is very likely.
Udoka Azubuike, Kansas ($6,500): Following a four-game absence because of an ankle injury, the star big man returned last week, going for 23 points, 9 rebounds and 37.8 FanDuel points in 20 minutes. Eastern Michigan wasn't the toughest of opponents, but it proved that Azubuike is now healthy, and he we can throw him in lineups as we would at the start of the season. However, at that point in time he was running us around $8,000, so he's just too cheap to pass up today. And while his minutes aren't consistent, this a blow-up spot either way. Oklahoma is expected to be without starter Jamuni McNeace as he battles an ankle injury. That will force Lon Kruger to play backups in the frontcourt, which should help the seven-footer to eat down low on the glass. A double-double from Azubuike could be the way to a tournament win tonight.
Josh LeBlanc, Georgetown ($6,200): Opposing Butler, Georgetown is still going to score points. The Bulldogs are 60th in adjusted defense, which leads to a respectable 70.75 implied total on the Hoyas' side. The talented freshman is averaging just south of double-figures (9.8 points a game), but he leads the team with 8.1 rebounds per game, along with 1.1 assists and 2.4 blocks-plus-steals. He's turned in three double-doubles with three more games of 10 or more rebounds. En route to averaging 24.4 FanDuel points, he's accounted for no fewer than 20 in any of the last six games, which includes a 42.7-point outburst last time out. Target the hot hand in this high-total game.
Kristian Doolittle, Oklahoma ($5,100): If the Sooners are going to keep this close, they'll need someone to step up with McNeace and his production missing. Enter: Kristian Doolittle. The 6'7" forward is averaging just 7.2 points and 5.8 rebounds over 22.4 minutes, but he's played 34 minutes in back-to-back games, in which he's totaled 20.5 and 27.8 FanDuel points, respectively. Both numbers are beyond tonight's salary-implied number (20.4), and with McNeace out it wouldn't be surprising for him to flirt with 35 minutes again. Kansas' eighth-ranked defense can be scary, but both teams average at least 72.5 possession a game, so the tempo favors scoring in a big way.
Brett Oswalt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Brett Oswalt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username BRO14THEKID. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.