College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 12/1/20
College basketball season is finally here, and we have a four-game slate today.
March Madness is a ways off at this point, 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 slate, which locks at 6:00 p.m. EST.
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State ($8,200) - Cunningham was the consensus top overall recruit in the 2020 class. He's posting a solid 30.1% usage rate which leads the Oklahoma State Cowboys, per KenPom. Through two games, the freshman phenom is averaging 20.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.0 blocks/steals in 31.5 minutes of action. Throw in a pace-up game against the Marquette Golden Eagles and Cunningham should have little resistance in posting his third straight monster stat line. Marquette is 62nd in KenPom's tempo rankings while Oklahoma State is 179th.
Carlik Jones, Louisville ($7,300) - Jones is one of several new faces for the Louisville Cardinals this season. The senior is a graduate transfer from Radford and he was a prolific scorer for the Highlanders. Jones averaged 20.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.6 assists in 2019. He's off to a fantastic start with his new team as he's scored at least 15 real-life points in all three games this season. Look for him to continue his stellar play as the matchup with Western Kentucky Hilltoppers isn't imposing. The Hilltoppers check-in at 110th in KenPom's defensive rankings.
Terrance Clarke, Kentucky ($6,600) - Clarke is another high profile five-star prospect for the Kentucky Wildcats. After suffering a stunning loss to Richmond Spiders in Kentucky's latest game, Wildcats' head coach John Calipari has stated that he wants Clarke and Brandon Boston Jr. ($7,600) to step up their aggression on the offensive end. That's a scary thought as Clarke is already posting impressive numbers through two games. Clarke is averaging 13.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.0 steals in 33 minutes. Boston Jr. is also worth a look despite his more expensive price tag.
David Johnson, Louisville ($5,300) - Johnson is averaging nearly .68 FanDuel points per minute. The sophomore should pay off his salary in nearly 32 minutes of action (if we assume value is 4x of salary). Louisville has played at least 34 minutes in two straight games. His production is also likely to rise as the season progresses as he's second on his team in usage rate (21.9% per KenPom).
DJ Steward, Duke ($4,400) - The consensus five-star combo guard posted a jaw-dropping stat line in his collegiate debut for the Duke Blue Devils. Steward racked up 40.8 FanDuel points in 33 minutes to kick off the 2020 season. With Duke losing their top three scorers from 2019, Steward looks like a good bet to help fill that void. The best part is he's extremely cheap on Tuesday night. Christian Braun ($4,500) is also worth a look in a similar price range as Steward.
Olivier Sarr, Kentucky ($6,800) - The former Wake Forest Demon Deacons center possesses a huge ceiling due to his ability to rack up defensive statistics. He's also a significant threat on the offensive end of the court. The seven-foot senior scored 17 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and blocked a shot in 38 minutes of action in Kentucky's last game. The only thing that held him back from a huge performance were his five turnovers. That's uncharacteristic of Sarr as he only averaged 1.6 turnovers in 2019.
Jalen Johnson, Duke ($6,400) - As noted above, Duke lost a ton of production from 2019. Instead of rebuilding, they've reloaded with several highly touted five-star prospects. Johnson fits that bill as he was ranked 12th in ESPN's top 100 freshman prospects for the class of 2020. He had quite a debut for the Blue Devils as the freshman forward went off for 19 points, 19 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 blocks in 35 minutes of game time in Duke's season opener.
Aaron Henry, Michigan State ($6,100) - Henry returned to Michigan State Spartans after testing NBA draft waters for his junior season. The preseason All-Big Ten player has been on fire to start the 2020 season. Through two games, he's averaging 10.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 4.0 blocks/steals in 25.5 minutes of action. With a high profile matchup with Duke on tap, expect his minutes to spike up on Tuesday night. Henry played at least 33 minutes in six out of the last seven Big Ten games in 2019.
Dawson Garcia, Marquette ($5,600) - Garcia is averaging .99 FanDuel points per minute this season. At that production level, he should deliver on his current price tag in 22.4 minutes of action (assuming value is 4x of salary). Garcia has logged 28.5 minutes per game in 2020. The matchup with Oklahoma State will be Marquette's first competitive game of the season. While his efficiency will likely go down, the increase in potential minutes played should help offset that concern. The freshman looks like a solid value play.
Isaiah Jackson, Kentucky ($5,300) - Jackson is another high-profile recruit taking the court on Tuesday night. The five-star prospect earned a starting assignment in the Wildcats' season opener. Jackson scored nine points, collected four rebounds, recorded two assists, and blocked two shots before spraining his ankle. In Game Two, Jackson came off the bench due to the ankle sprain and posted 6 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 26 minutes. He should see significant action against Kansas with Keion Brooks sidelined.
Matthew Hiatt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matthew Hiatt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username easternmh. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her 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.