This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
Kentucky and Tennessee will dominate college basketball headlines Saturday, but it may not be the best game to target for DFS purposes unless you're expecting another blowout (by either team). The later slate could be just as intriguing, with Nevada at Utah State and Gonzaga at St. Mary playing big games with bracket implications. And while it's easy to talk about the top players on the slate, I found numerous value options that could decide a GPP or two.
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin ($9,100 FD, $11,000 DK): It feels like Happ has burned me too many times, but that may only be in my head. He's this expensive for a reason, reaching at least 37 DK points in six of his last seven games. It was no different in the first meeting against Penn State, when he had a career-high 24 shot attempts en route to 22 points, eight boards and four assists. While he should reach 35 fantasy points, the matchup doesn't feel like it will produce a huge 50-point outing. The Nittany Lions at least have bodies to throw at Happ with Lamar Stevens, Mike Watkins and John Harrar. The best thing about Happ is that when you spend on him, you have a 90 percent chance that he won't bust.
Cassius Winston, Michigan State ($8,800 FD, $9,600 DK): The smarter play, at least at DraftKings, may be to ride Winston instead. He's also extremely consistent with at least 30 DK points in his last nine starts, but at least 44 in each of the last two games without Nick Ward. He had 52.5 DK points in the first meeting against Indiana (overtime included) and there's no reason the Hoosiers will slow him down if Michigan couldn't in Ann Arbor. In fact, Winston's been a little safer than Happ and if it's a close game in the final minute, he'll rack up free throws, something Happ can't benefit from.
R.J. Barrett, Duke ($9,200 FD, $10,900 DK): Barrett costs a lot, but you're paying for the best floor on the slate and 50-point upside. I still like him even if Zion Williamson plays and especially if he doesn't. Barrett struggled at Virginia Tech, but Miami doesn't pose the same threat as one of the worst defenses in the ACC, highlighted by the second-worst effective field goal percentage against. The Hurricanes just gave up 76 points at Wake Forest and could easily give up 90 to Duke.
Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga ($8,500 FD, $8,800 DK): Gonzaga's frontcourt dominated the first meeting against St. Mary's and that could easily happen again due to the talent discrepancy. Hachimura may not be as explosive as teammate Brandon Clarke, but he's guaranteed at least 30 fantasy points and after hitting 39.8 DK points in the first meeting in just 24 minutes, he could easily hit 50 if the game is competitive. Jeremiah Martin has been awesome, but I'm not sure I want to spend on him at Cincinnati.
Yor Anei, Oklahoma State ($5,300 FD, $5,300 DK): Anei could be slightly under the radar, though the matchup is prime for him. Throw the last game out because he was in foul trouble, but prior to that he had at least 20 DK points in four of five starts including one against Kansas when he played 38 minutes. Once again, Anei has to be on the court because of his size, as he's the only regular OK State player above 6-foot-7. He oddly isn't a great rebounder, but the minutes will be there as he tries to contain Mitch Lighfoot and Dedric Lawson.
Mitch Lightfoot, Kansas ($4,800 FD, $4,200 DK): On the other end of Anei, Lightfoot had nine rebounds in only 20 minutes in the first meeting and could match that total after playing 31 minutes last game. If you need to save a few bucks, Lightfoot is the preferred play with at least 19.5 DK points in four of his last five games.
Jase Febres, Texas ($4,800 FD, $4,300 DK): This one is a little too obvious, but he still needs to be mentioned as his salary hasn't caught up to his current usage. Febres has started the last two games for suspended Kerwin Roach and is averaging more than 30 DK points per contest in that period.
Kyle Ahrens, Michigan State ($4,100 FD, $4,200 DK): If Matt McQuaid misses out due to a sprained ankle, Ahrens could see up to 30 minutes and would be the second-best shooter on the court for MSU outside of Winston.
Javin DeLaurier, Duke ($4,400 FD, $4,300 DK): If Williamson isn't available, DeLaurier is a straightforward option and has played 53 minutes the last two games. He wasn't great against VT, but no one was for Duke, and that will change against Miami. If he can put up 20 fantasy points, which he did at Syracuse, that's good enough for the price.
Jalen Hudson, Florida ($4,500 FD, $4,600 DK): Hudson's price has yet to pop and that could happen if he has another good game. He scored 17 real-life points last game and has hit double digits in five of his last six. This game could be low scoring, but Georgia has the worst defense in the SEC in terms of efficiency.
Games/Teams to Target
LSU (-1.5) at Alabama o/u 148.5, 12 p.m. EST: Tremont Waters ($8,200 FD, $9,000 DK) is set to return, but I'd probably avoid him and see how it plays out. In his absence, Skylar Mays ($7,000 FD, $6,500 DK) and Javonte Smart ($6,100 FD, $5,300 DK) played bigger roles and are undoubtedly more comfortable in the offense than before. Kavell Bigby-Williams ($6,400 FD, $5,600 DK) dominated in the first game against 'Bama with 42.8 DK points and is worth using again, with more consistent court time in the past couple weeks resulting in at least 25 DK points in the last four games. Naz Reid ($6,900 FD, $7,100 DK) is the GPP look since he's more expensive and has been more unpredictable. Alabama is usually a mixed bag but still presents a few value options, especially if Dazon Ingram sits with a quad injury. I'd consider John Petty ($4,900 FD, $5,500 DK) first since he's starting again and has 22 boards in the last three games, though his FanDuel price is more friendly. Tevin Mack ($4,700 FD, $4,800 DK) is on the edge of consideration, but probably only if Ingram doesn't play.
Gonzaga (-9) at St. Mary's o/u 145, 10 p.m. EST: The late slate is littered with defensive teams, but I think this one could have the most points. St. Mary's prefers to play slow while Gonzaga runs more than most. The biggest difference between this game and the last one is that the Gaels should be more competitive at home after shooting a miserable 15-for-58 in the first meeting. The Zags have a fine defense, but the Gaels should still come close to 70 points, 20 more than in the first matchup. For GPP, you can look at any of their high scorers, but I have my eye on Tanner Krebs ($5,000 FD, $4,600 DK) and Tommy Kuhse ($4,900 FD, $4,500 DK), who both should get around 30 minutes. Krebs is more of a shooter and a better bet to make value, though Kuhse had 12 points in the first matchup. Outside of the top two guys for the Zags, both Zach Norvell ($7,800 FD, $7,600 DK) and Josh Perkins ($6,900 FD, $6,900 DK) should be set for nice floors. Perkins is the preferred option mainly because he's cheaper and could rack up assists if they attack down low as expected.
Games/Teams to Avoid
Pittsburgh at Virginia (-19), o/u 123.5, 2 p.m. EST: I'm not sure I'd touch anyone in this game and that's especially the case for Pittsburgh, which may struggle to reach 50 points. It's not any easier on the other side since Pitt also plays fairly slow and the Hoos are often all over in production. Ty Jerome ($8,000 FD, $7,700 DK), Kyle Guy ($7,100 FD, $7,000 DK) and De'Andre Hunter ($8,300 FD, $7,300 DK) can all have big games, but never at the same time because they only get so many possessions. If anything, the cheaper guys are more desirable. Mamadi Diakite ($6,000 FD, $5,100 DK) could even be a cash play in DK with at least 22 points in the last three games. With others like Braxton Key ($4,900 FD, $5,000 DK), Kihei Clark ($4,200 FD, $4,100 DK) and Jay Huff ($4,100 FD, $3,700 DK), neither production nor playing time is a given. Huff may be the best gamble, having played 17 minutes in each of the last two games.
Georgia at Florida (-11.5), o/u 134.5, 8:30 p.m. EST: Outside of Hudson, there isn't a ton of value in this game. Georgia has better fantasy players, but it's hard to suggest any of them in DFS after it scored just 52 points in the first meeting and no one topped 10 points. As for the Gators, their production is often varied and it's hard to find value, especially since upside is limited, as well. They could have five or six players reach 20 fantasy points, but Hudson is the only one worth using because of price.