College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 1/6/21
College basketball season is entering conference play, and we have a six-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 7:00 p.m. EST.
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
Paul Scruggs, Xavier ($8,000) - The Xavier Musketeers' point guard has struggled in two straight games, however, he's in a prime bounce-back spot as the Musketeers host the St. John's (NY) Red Storm. The Red Storm love to push the pace (16th in KenPom's tempo rankings) and they struggle defensively (137th in KenPom's defensive rankings). Scruggs is posting a 25.1% usage rate and an eye-popping 38.2% assist rate, per KenPom (both lead the team). That should play well in a major pace up game for Xavier (239th in KenPom's tempo rankings).
Luis Rodriguez, Mississippi ($6,900) - While he's only averaging 8.6 points per game, Rodriguez is an interesting DFS target. The sophomore is an excellent rebounder, solid passer, and an elite defender. Rodriguez is averaging 1.033 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, the Mississippi Rebels' guard should pay off his salary in 26.7 minutes. He's averaging 27 minutes per game over the last four games, which should put him in a solid spot tonight.
Devontae Shuler, Mississippi ($6,100) - The senior plays a ton of minutes and puts up a lot of shots. Shuler owns a 24.3% usage rate and a 26.8 shot percentage rate, per KenPom. Both of those numbers lead the Rebels. Additionally, his 21.4% assist rate is also a team-high, per KenPom. On tap is a matchup with the defensive deficient Auburn Tigers. Auburn is 93rd in KenPom's defensive rankings.
Victor Bailey Jr., Tennessee ($5,300) - Bailey Jr. is the Tennessee Volunteers' leading scorer (13.0 per game). The junior is hoisting up 25.5% of the team's shots when he's on the floor, per KenPom (leads team). He also owns a team-best 126.7 offensive rating, per KenPom. He's in a fantasy-friendly spot as the Volunteers will get the benefit of a major tempo boost as they face off the fast-paced Arkansas Razorbacks. Arkansas is 28th in KenPom's tempo rankings while Tennessee is 295th.
Mark Vital, Baylor ($4,900) - Value is hard to find on this slate and that's where Vital enters the picture. His usage rate is relatively low (17.3%, per KenPom) but he's a willing rebounder and an exceptional defender (5.3% block rate and 3.6% steal rate, per KenPom). There's also a good chance that his scoring numbers will improve in short order as Vital is experiencing his worst season shooting the ball. The Bears' senior is only connecting on 42.9% of his field goal attempts which is down 3.0% from last season (and down 3.5% from his sophomore season). There's also a decent chance his playing time will go up with the Bears entering conference play. Vital averaged 26.1 minutes per game last season; he's currently averaging 20.0 minutes this season (Baylor has been involved in a ton of blowouts).
Jamal Johnson, Auburn ($4,800) - Johnson has scored at least 20 real-life points in each of the Auburn Tigers' last two games despite averaging 24.0 minutes per game in those two games. However, that could change if point guard Justin Powell is unable to play tonight. If Powell is out, Johnson would push for 30-plus minutes tonight. Regardless, he's a solid source of salary relief. Johnson is taking a team-high 27.0% of the team's shots when he's on the floor, per KenPom.
Hunter Dickinson, Michigan ($7,600) - Dickinson has been the catalyst behind the Michigan Wolverines' undefeated start. The seven-footer is imposing his will on both ends of the court. Dickinson owns a 25.3% usage rate and he's taking 25.5% of the team's shots when he's on the floor, per KenPom. The freshman also has a team-best 128.4 offensive rating, per KenPom. If that's not impressive enough, he leads the Wolverines in rebounding (8.1 per game) and blocked shots (1.6 per game).
Zach Freemantle, Xavier ($7,500) - Freemantle is taking 27.2% of the Xavier Musketeers' shots when he's on the floor. The Xavier forward is averaging 1.0 FanDuel points per minute, and at that production level, he should pay off his salary in 30 minutes of action. Freemantle has logged at least 34 minutes in four out of the last five games. As noted above, the matchup with St. Johns (NY) is a great spot.
KJ Buffen, Mississippi ($6,100) - Buffen has scored at least 15 points and collected at least 6 rebounds in three straight games. He's played 24 minutes or less in seven out of eight games this season. Despite the limited playing time, Buffen is averaging 27.1 FanDuel points per game over the last five games. There's major upside here as Buffen received 35 minutes of playing time in the Rebels' last outing. If he continues to play anywhere near the 28.9 minutes per game that he averaged last season, he should easily pay off his salary.
JT Thor, Auburn ($4,300) - Salary relief at forward is exceptionally thin on Wednesday night. Thor has a starting assignment and logged a season high 28 minutes in the Tigers' last game. Additionally, he's one of the very few players under $5,000 that has 20 FanDuel points upside (something he's done twice in the last eight games). Ryan Kalkbrenner ($4,400) is also another option. Perhaps Kalkbrenner's minutes get inflated (averaging 13.0 minutes per game) as the Creighton Bluejays may be forced to match size with size as they face off with the Seton Hall Pirates and their 7'2" center Ike Obiagu. Kalkbrenner is averaging 1.2 FanDuel points per minute so he doesn't need a ton of playing time to rack up fantasy points.
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.