College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 2/26/19
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 10 games. Of the 20 teams on the bill, 7 are in the top 25, while 3rd-ranked Duke visits 20th-ranked Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
|Tuesday, February 26th|
|TCU at West Virginia|
|Providence at Butler|
|#22 Iowa at Ohio State|
|Alabama at South Carolina|
|#3 Duke at #20 Virginia Tech|
|Temple at Memphis|
|Arkansas at #4 Kentucky|
|#19 Wisconsin at Indiana|
|Texas A&M at #13 LSU|
|Syracuse at #5 North Carolina|
Which players should you be targeting and why?
Jeremiah Martin, Memphis ($8,700): In bypassing RJ Barrett at a sky-high price of $9,400, we look to a pair of other high-priced studs at the guard spot, starting with Martin. The Memphis Tigers have an implied total of 81.5 points as 4.0-point home favorites against the Temple Owls, and the 159.0-point over/under is 7 points clear of the next-highest game. Martin leads his squad with a 25.4% usage rate for the year, but that's up to 27.6% in 15 conference games to date. He's also averaging a ridiculous 52.0 FanDuel points over his last four -- a whole 18.6 FanDuel points above his season average and 8.1 more than the 43.9 he tallied in the previous matchup with the Owls back on January 24. Pocket the $700 in savings from Barrett in hopes that Martin keeps it rolling and ends the night as Tuesday's top scorer at his position.
Shizz Alston Jr., Temple ($8,500): With Martin and Alston, you are probably picking one or the other, but as you'll see, there are some obvious value options that could help you go completely stars and scrubs -- at least in tourneys -- and stack both of the top plays in this Temple-Memphis game. The senior guard is using 26.9% of his team's possessions while on the floor, turning that into 18.9 points, 5.1 assists and 31.3 FanDuel points a game. In his last three alone, he's gone for at least 24 points, 5 assists and 39.1 FanDuel points behind usage rates of 26.0%, 46.5% and 30.1%. Plus, the Owls are in a very appealing spot all their own, implied for 77.5 points against a Memphis team ranked 4th in adjusted tempo and 116th in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom.com.
Kareem Brewton Jr., Memphis ($5,700): Returning to the Tigers, you can pair a high-end value play alongside Martin if you so wish. Brewton will benefit from the same high total (1.6 above their AAC average) and, like Martin, has been on fire in recent games. Averaging just 17.4 FanDuel points for the year, the 6'2" senior is putting up 26.3 per contest over his past three games, scoring no fewer than 13 real-world points in any of the three. His minutes have reached or exceeded 30 in four straight, so it appears Coach Penny Hardaway is relying on Brewton's experience, and that shouldn't change with the success he's having.
Ja'vonte Smart, LSU ($5,700): The only team with a higher implied total than Memphis? The LSU Tigers at 82 points. Playing host to Texas A&M, the 22-5 Tigers are 22nd in adjusted efficiency margin and 12th in offensive efficiency, and against the Aggies' 88th-ranked defense, they are favored by a dozen in a game with the only other over/under north of 150 points. That's all great, but what directs us to Smart is the injury to Tremont Waters, who remains uncertain for Tuesday with an illness. He's reportedly making progress, so monitor his status this evening. If he sits, Smart could draw a second straight start in his place. Last game, the freshman went for 29 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists for 44.5 FanDuel points in 44(!) minutes. At his price, he needs just 22.8 FanDuel points for four-times value (4.0 points per $1,000) -- a number he has now hit seven times this year. He's a go-to value option in all formats.
Jermaine Haley, West Virginia ($4,700): In the Big 12, TCU is in Morgantown facing West Virginia. And while the Horned Frogs boast the nation's 40th-best defense, the Mountaineers possess a respectable total (71.0). Furthermore, James Bolden's absence opens up 21.4 minutes, 9.5 shots and 12.2 points per game in addition to 29.3% of the team's offensive possessions. Haley has been up and down in the seven games since Bolden originally went down, but only recently has he seen an uptick in minutes. Over the last four, he has played 33-plus minutes in three, and though he has two duds in that stretch, his most recent showing resulted in 13 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 30.9 FanDuel points. He's more of a tournament play, but if you need to punt a bit at guard, he's your guy.
PJ Washington, Kentucky ($8,600): Since late January, Washington has been one of most talked about players in college basketball. He had a great game against North Carolina and a few others nice showings before then, but a 20-point, 13-board, 47.4-FanDuel-point game against Kansas was the big one. Since then (including that one), he is averaging 35.6 FanDuel points over 31.1 minutes per game -- 6.1 and 2.3 above his season averages, respectively. His usage is up to 26.2% in 14 SEC matchups, and that might be the baseline tonight with Reid Travis (knee) sidelined. Travis has a 17.5% usage and 15.2% rebound share in conference games, and Washington scored 24 points on 13 shots and grabbed 6 rebounds in Travis' first game out of the lineup. Don't be surprised if Washington is the top scorer of them all tonight.
Kouat Noi, TCU ($7,000): The Horned Frogs are in a very good spot against a Mountaineers team allowing 102.4 points per 100 possession (137th) and 75.3 per game (76.5 in conference). TCU managed 98 points in the home meeting between the two, though Noi accounted for only 12 (16.9 FanDuel points). Since then, we've seen the 6'7" sophomore average 25.7 FanDuel points with three games above tonight's salary-implied output (28.0). This is just his second game back from a two-game absence, but in the first, he took advantage of a healthy 36 minutes, notching 20 points and 13 rebounds for 37.1 FanDuel points. He should eat in an pace-up game versus an inferior opponent.
Naz Reid, LSU ($6,800): Given the slate-leading total, we can feel comfortable rostering an LSU player at both the guard and forward spots. That is especially the case with a star freshman in Reid. The big man is first on the team with a 27.1% usage rate with which he's averaged 23.2 FanDuel points (24.4 in SEC games). He disappointed with 13.2 fantasy points at A&M earlier in the year, but we have to note that Reid has shot 4 percentage points better at home, where he's gone for 24.7 FanDuel points per game. According to Hoop-Math, he's also done a lot of damage down low and on putbacks, taking 38.5% of his shots at the rim and converting on 88.9% of his putback attempts there. That's a nightmare combo for the Aggies, who are 316th in the nation in offensive rebounds allowed to their opponents.
EJ Montgomery, Kentucky ($4,600): While Washington will no doubt shoulder more responsibilities with Travis out, it appears Montgomery will be more of a direct beneficiary in the way of minutes and opportunities. The 6'10" freshman has averaged just 14.2 minutes and 11.4 FanDuel points, but he started the last game and played 23 minutes. He ended it with 23.4 FanDuel points against a quality Auburn team. But Montgomery's proven before that he can do damage with minutes. In the previous four games in which he logged 20-plus minutes, he averaged 21.1 FanDuel points, enough for 4.6 points per $1,000 at this bottom-dollar price. If, for some reason, you don't trust that small sample, Duke's Javin DeLaurier ($4,700) is set for a second straight start in Zion Williamson's place. He played 27 minutes and totaled 19.9 FanDuel points against Syracuse.
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.