College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 2/7/19
College basketball season is in full tilt.
March Madness is still roughly a month 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 7:00 p.m. EST and consists of eight games. Among them, fourth-ranked Gonzaga hosts an inferior San Francisco team in a game with a 150 over/under and an 18.5-point spread in the Zags' favor.
|Thursday, February 7th|
|#12 Houston at UCF|
|Penn State at Ohio State|
|#25 Cincinnati at Memphis|
|Washington State at Arizona State|
|#20 Iowa at Indiana|
|Washington at Arizona|
|San Francisco at #4 Gonzaga|
|Stanford at Oregon State|
Which players should you be targeting and why?
Jarron Cumberland, Cincinnati ($8,100): With Gonzaga's high 84.25 total, rostering one of Brandon Clarke ($8,400) or Zach Norvell Jr. ($8,200) is definitely in the cards for all formats. But Cincinnati, as four-point favorites against Memphis, checks in with a nice 77-point total, which is two points above the team's season average. The Tigers are 120th in adjusted defensive efficiency and 6th in adjusted tempo, per KenPom.com, so there's a chance we see the Bearcats blow by their implied output. That only boosts Cumberland's already high floor, as the junior is averaging 18.7 points and 29.3 FanDuel points on 13.8 field goal attempts and a 31.4% usage rate(!). His usage is up to 32.2% en route to 22.2 points and 34.4 FanDuel points in nine AAC games. He's one of the best point-per-dollar plays of the night, regardless of price.
Stephen Thompson Jr., Oregon State ($7,900): Oregon State could fly a bit under the radar on Thursday, but they really shouldn't. Facing Stanford, a team ranked 132nd and 103rd in adjusted efficiency margin and defensive efficiency, respectively, the Beavers are expected to score 76 of a potential 144.5 points. And if we're talking scoring, Stephen Thompson is at the forefront for this squad. The senior guard is second among starters with a 24.0% usage rate, with which he's averaged 28.0 FanDuel points behind 15.8 points, 2.0 threes, 4.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals a night. He's increased his scoring to 17.6 per in Pac 12 games, and he's scored at least 20 in three of his last four games. Now is the time to buy Thompson under $8,000.
Luguentz Dort, Arizona State ($6,000): If you thought the Zags were going to pile up the points, the Arizona State Sun Devils surpass them by two whole points, possessing the night's highest total at 86.25. The reason is quite simple: they face a very bad Washington State team. The Cougars are 229th overall and 321st in defensive efficiency, making them the worst defense on the board. That gives Arizona State all that scoring upside, which is exactly what Dort needs to get back on track. After a quick start to the year, the freshman's shot has failed him, as he's now shooting just 38.9% from the floor and 27.9% from three. However, he has flashed upside in that he's managed eight games over 28 FanDuel points. He went for 28.8 last game out, hitting 5-of-12 from the field and 1-of-4 from three for 15 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds in a win over Arizona.
Keith Williams, Cincinnati ($5,500): Williams is another guy who should benefit from a high total in what oddsmakers expect to be a close game. In starting 20 of 22 games, the sophomore guard has averaged 11.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 2.1 blocks-plus-steals in 25.1 minutes of work. He's up to 27.7 minutes a game in conference play, during which he's averaging 19.1 FanDuel points. Before a string of sub-20 FanDuel points games, Williams posted four straight performances of 20.6 or more. He is reliant on scoring, but he's scored in double figures in seven of his last eight, making him a good tournament option in such a good matchup.
Ahmed Ali, Washington State ($4,800): The visiting Cougars aren't a team to completely fade despite their own struggles. After all, their total is at nearly 71 points and the Sun Devils play at a slightly higher pace and rank 70th in adjusted defensive efficiency. Opportunities will be there, and for Wazzu that includes Ali. He was replaced in the starting lineup last week, but that didn't stop him from playing 35 minutes, scoring 18 points and accounting for 38.1 FanDuel points. It seems that he was motivated, and he may be back to starting here. He has single-digit dud potential, but he's the perfect punt for tournaments in a game with a spicy 157.0 over/under.
Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga ($8,500): The Zags' opponent, the San Francisco Dons, are a respectable 44th defensively, but they have given up 80 three times, including 96 to Gonzaga at home back on January 12. In that one, Hachimura used 31.9% of his team's possessions, hitting 9-of-17 shots for 21 points and totaling 31.4 FanDuel points. He has also been on fire in the last four in particular, averaging 21.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 36.6 FanDuel points a game, which wasn't hindered by him playing 16 minutes in a complete blowout of Santa Clara. Oregon State's Tres Tinkle is an option if you have the extra $300 to get up to him.
Juwan Morgan, Indiana ($7,800): Iowa is the ranked team for this one, but Indiana is still a 2.5-point favorite, giving the Hoosiers a 75-point implied total on their home floor. Sure, you can go to Romeo Lanford at guard, but Morgan should get you more bang for your buck. He is averaging 31.8 FanDuel points for the year, and he's right at 31.2 for Big Ten play. His 27.6% usage is also an improvement over his 25.2% mark for the season, which he's capitalized on to the tune of 28 or more FanDuel points in nine straight, including eight of 30-plus. All he needs is 31.2 for four-times value (4.0 points per $1,000), and that's well within reach with the Hawkeyes averaging 3.1 possessions more than the Hoosiers on a per-game basis.
Romello White, Arizona State ($5,600): At the forward slot for the Sun Devils, there are a variety of options ranging from $4,000 up to $8,300. White is right in the value zone in a plus matchup, and he's been more productive than the higher-priced Kimani Lawrence ($5,800). The 6'8" sophomore has scored in double-digits in three of the last five, tallying no fewer than 20.4 FanDuel points in those three contests. He also has at least four rebounds in each of the last 12 games, which speaks to White's duties on the glass. Meanwhile, Wazzu is 308th in the nation in rebounding rate (47.7%).
Sam Timmins, Washington ($4,000): Starting forward Noah Dickerson is considered day to day and termed a game-time decision for Washington's road game against Arizona on Thursday night. That leaves either Dominic Green or Sam Timmins as the key beneficiary, though the latter appeared to be the clear favorite to do so after tallying 20.2 FanDuel points and 24 minutes last time out. In the junior's only other game with at least 22 minutes he scored six points with four rebounds, two blocks and two steals (18.8 FanDuel points) versus Stanford. He has had three games with at least 16 FanDuel points, tonight's salary-implied output at just $1,000 above the minimum.
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.