College Basketball Single-Game Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 1/8/21 (Purdue at Michigan State)
In a traditional FanDuel college basketball lineup, you have a $60,000 salary cap to roster eight players. In the single-game setup, the salary cap is the same, but the lineup requirements are different.
You select five players of any position, but not all lineup slots are the same. One of your players will be your MVP, and his FanDuel points are multiplied by two. You also select a STAR player, whose production is multiplied by 1.5, and a PRO, whose points are multiplied by 1.2.. Two utility players round out the roster, and they don't receive a multiplier to their production.
This makes the five players you select important in more than one way, as you need to focus on slotting in the best plays in the multiplier slots rather than just nailing the best overall plays of the game.
At The Top
Aaron Henry, Michigan State ($13,500) - At this point, Henry is the one Michigan State Spartans player who is a good bet to log at least 30 minutes of playing time per game. The junior has been phenomenal in each of the last two games. Over the that span, he's averaging 23.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 4.0 blocks/steals in 33.5 minutes. Additionally, Henry is leading the Spartans with a 26.7% usage rate, per KenPom.
Trevion Williams, Purdue ($13,000) - Williams owns an eye-popping 34.0% usage rate (six nationally, per KenPom), and he's taking 34.7% of the Purdue Boilermakers' shots when he's on the floor. He's also a beast on the glass as he owns a 17.4% offensive rebounding rate and 29.6% defensive rebounding rate, per KenPom. As a result, I'm assuming the junior will be the most popular play at the MVP slot. The matchup with Michigan State is also a major pace-up game for Purdue. The Boilers are 301st in KenPom's tempo rankings while Michigan State is 65th.
Joey Hauser, Michigan State ($12,000) - Hauser makes for a contrarian MVP play as he's struggled over the last two games. However, he can rack up fantasy points in a hurry due to his ability to contribute on both ends of the court. The junior is averaging 1.05 FanDuel points per minute. We have yet to see Michigan State extend Hausers' playing time as he's averaging only 23.2 minutes per game. However, if he ends up playing 27 or more minutes, he could easily outproduce both Henry and Williams. It would seem like he's capable of playing larger minutes, so it may not be a conditioning concern. Hauser averaged 28.3 minutes per game in his last season at Marquette.
In The Middle
AJ Hoggard, Michigan State ($10,500) - Hoggard has replaced Rocket Watts as MSU's starting point guard. The freshman's playing style has been compared to former Spartan and current NBA player Denzel Valentine. Hoggard has played well in his first two career starts and has seemingly solidified the position for Michigan State. He is averaging 18.8 FanDuel points in 24.0 minutes in his two starts.
Brandon Newman, Purdue ($10,000) - Purdue has 10 players who average at least 10 minutes per game. Newman is the starting small forward, and he's logged the third most minutes for the Boilermakers (26.1 per game). I like him in this matchup as Michigan State is allowing opponents to connect on 35.1% of their three-point field goal attempts. Newman is shooting 41.7% from beyond the arc, per KenPom.
Eric Hunter Jr., Purdue ($8,500) - Hunter's usage rate (24.8%), percentage of shots (26.2%), and assist percentage (21.9%) trails only Trevion Williams' marks among on Purdue, per KenPom. His 2.5% steal rate leads the team. However, his salary is priced below four of his teammates' salaries. As noted above, Hunter and the Boilermakers receive a pace bump in this game. He's an intriguing target on Friday night.
At The Bottom
Malik Hall, Michigan State ($8,000) - Hall is coming off a season-high 27 minutes in the Spartans' latest outing. His role is relatively secure as he's played at least 16 minutes in all 11 games. The sophomore is a solid rebounder as he's sporting an offensive rebounding rate of 11.0% and a defensive rebounding rate of 19.1%, per KenPom. His minutes could spike up as he'll be needed to keep Purdue's Williams off the glass. Williams ranks inside the top 30 nationally in offensive and defensive rebounding percentage, according to KenPom.
Rocket Watts, Michigan State ($7,500) - The sophomore was moved to the bench after losing the starting point guard job to AJ Hoggard. As a result, Watts has played just 15 minutes per game in each of the last two. He's probably better suited to come off the bench as Michigan State is lacking a scoring option among their reserves. Watts is taking 30.1% of the Spartans shots when he's on the floor, per KenPom. He's worth the roll of the dice and could smash value at his current salary if Hoggard or Joshua Langford get in foul trouble (which would probably result in Watts playing minutes into the low-to-mid 20s).
Jaden Ivey, Purdue ($7,000) - Ivey is the riskiest play amongst the low-salary players. The freshman is averaging just 15.0 minutes per game this season. However, he's averaging .070 FanDuel points per minute, which means he doesn't need a ton of playing time to pay off his salary. He's one of the few players under $8,000 with upside to get to 20 to 25 FanDuel points. Thomas Kithier ($7,500) is a safer option if you can afford the extra $500. He's recorded at least 10 FanDuel points in four straight games.
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.