This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
Fanduel's Friday slate features six games, four of which overlap with DraftKings' seven-game slate. With a few tournaments going on, we'll get a look at how teams adjust to playing back-to-back games. We could see some deeper benches, or some tired legs and pour shooting. As usual, there's a wide variety of point totals, but what spreads are available as of submission don't suggest we'll see too many competitive matchups. The FanDuel slate seemingly lacks top-end options, at least price-wise, while you'll have no trouble finding expensive options at DraftKings.
Before we dive into the slate, here's a quick overview of some of the other lineup-building tools we have to offer here at RotoWire:
- DFS Lineup Optimizer
- Advanced Daily Lineups (for usage rates)
- Recent Trends
- Daily Matchup Info (odds & pace stats)
- Injury Report
Payton Pritchard, G, Oregon ($8,400 FD, $9,000 DK)
The top-priced option on both sites, Pritchard has a 28.0 percent usage rate and is the Ducks' leader in scoring, rebounding and assists. His 5.0 3-point attempts nightly should play well against a Houston squad that allows opponents to connect on 37.8 percent from the outside. But neither side plays fast, with Oregon ranking 247th in tempo and Houston 144th. Given the price, I prefer saving a little and targeting options below Pritchard.
Tre Jones, G, Duke ($7,800 FD, $8,400 DK)
Jones opened the season as a major contributor in all categories with Duke's freshmen a little slow to get up to speed. Thursday's game unfortunately looked a lot more like what we saw from Jones last season however. He struggled with his shot, but offset that by handing out seven assists and grabbing four boards. The game has a huge total (155) and Duke is heavily favored, so Jones should get his, but Jones' floor appears heading in the wrong direction.
Jalen Smith, F, Maryland ($7,500 FD, $8,200 DK)
I was a little surprised to see Smith's usage at only 25.7 percent, as his 31.6 FDP/33.8 DKP averages are coming in just 27.5 minutes. That bodes well for tonight against an overmatched George Mason squad. The Terps are big favorites, but the 6-foot-10 Smith should feast on an undersized Patriots team who start three guards and doesn't have the talent or athleticism to match Smith on the blocks. He's a personal favorite of mine for Friday.
Skylar Mays, G, LSU ($8,000, FanDuel Only)
Mays looks to be in a prime spot to bounce back from his lowest output of the season. That 25.1 FDP he posted against UMBC were a direct result of the blowout limiting his minutes. His 22.6 usage percentage isn't overly high, but with a close game expected and a high total, Mays is poised for a big night.
Nick Rakocevic F, USC ($8,800, DraftKings Only)
Rakocevic's 6-10 frame is going to cause a world of problems for an Owls lineup that starts three guards and has only one forward of 6-7 or greater that plays more than 20 minutes. There's a very strong probability Rakocevic posts his fourth-straight double-double here, making the only hurdle cost.
Christian Vital, G, Connecticut ($8,600, DraftKings Only)
The scare here is the matchup, as Xavier checks in at 16th nationally in defensive efficiency, and a middle-of-the-pack 155th in tempo. As such, Vital's huge 44.25 and 55.5 DKP aren't likely to be matched here, and we should use his last two games as a baseline for tonight's performance. That still suggests around 4x value returned.
Vernon Carey Jr., F, Duke ($7,300 FD, $8,100 DK)
The price isn't the definition of value, particularly at DraftKings, but after a slow start, Carey is living up to his preseason billing. He's posted three straight double-doubles and is coming off of a monster 31 point, 12 board night Thursday in just 22 minutes. His price rose only $400 at FanDuel, and I don't know how you avoid using Carey there. He's a clear cash game anchor, and with Thursday's ceiling, there's GPP appeal too. Friday could be a little more challenging against Georgetown's Omar Yurtseven's ($7,000 FD) size, but he wasn't up to the task Thursday against Texas, fouling out in just 13 minutes.
Wendell Moore, F, Duke ($4,300 FD, $3,900 DK)
A more true value pick from Duke, Moore moved into the starting lineup Thursday and responded with a solid all-around game, posting 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 25 minutes. His 25.6 percent usage is hard to find at this price. A similar showing Friday would have him flirting with 6x value.
DeJon Jarreau, G, Houston ($4,600 FD, $5,400 DK)
While I'm largely off of this game personally, it's hard to overlook Jarreau. He's averaging 22.2 minutes and has a nice 29.5 percent usage. Not further comment necessary. Teammate Caleb Mills ($4,800 FD, $5,700 DK) fits a similar narrative.
Eric Ayala, G, Maryland ($4,200 FD, $4,800 DK)
There's not much flashy about Ayala, but he's been more efficient as a sophomore, averaging 2.4 more points this season in 3.2 less minutes. He's settled in nicely to a reserve role after starting the season opener, putting up 14.6 FDP/16.3 DKP in his last three, which is at worst 3x value. A 21 percent usage rate isn't awful, and he could see a small uptick in run if Mason can't stay close.
Desi Sills, G, Arkansas ($4,300, FanDuel Only)
As noted below, Arkansas has a solid implied total of 75, faces a defense ranking 199th in efficiency, and is favored by 15. That should lead to more opportunities for secondary options like Sills, who is averaging a 21.8 usage rate in 29.3 minutes.
Isaiah Mobley, F, USC ($4,700, DraftKings only)
A little more on this matchup below, but the simple truth is the Trojans have a tremendous size advantage in this contest. Mobley hasn't been an instant impact freshman, but he's still averaging .74 DKP per minute played. He's coming off of his best scoring performance of the year, appearing to get more confident in the collegiate game, and should see an uptick in rebounds here thanks to the size mismatch.
Games to Target
Utah State (-1) at LSU, o/u 154, 7 p.m. EST (FanDuel Only)
There looks to be value galore on both sides here, and the tight spread and high total only add to the appeal. Outside of Mays above, Javonte Smart ($4,800) and Trendon Watford ($4,700) look like terrific secondary plays. Watford has a team-high 25.3 percent usage rate and both are playing nearly 30 minutes a night. The Aggies offer plenty of options too, led by forward Justin Bean ($7,600), who averages a double-double, and leading scorer guard Sam Merrill ($6,900), who is hitting 54.5 percent of his threes. Three others average in double-figures, with Brock Miller ($4,800) looking particularly appealing, averaging 27.0 minutes and and a 23.1 percent usage rate.
Temple at USC (-10.5), o/u 144.5, 11:00 p.m. EST (DraftKings Only)
If you haven't already picked up on this, Temple appears in for a world of hurt on the blocks with Rakocevic, Mobley and Onyeka Okongwu ($8,500) all presenting huge matchup problems against the Owls' guard-heavy lineup that ranks 292nd in offensive rebound percentage allowed. While USC has defended the perimeter well in the early going, it's been largely a product of opponent. Pepperdine's Colbey Ross lit them up for 38 points in their last outing, and Quinton Rose ($6,200) feels a little forgotten by the early-season success Nate Pierre-Louis ($8,300). While probably obvious, steering clear of the Owl frontcourt of J.P. Moorman ($5,400) and De'Vondre Perry ($4,500) is prudent.
Game to Fade
Mount Saint Mary's at Kentucky (-27.5), o/u 129, 7 p.m. EST
The large spread, low total and depth that Kentucky plays with screams stay away. Even with injuries/potential absences for Immanuel Quickley ($6,400 FD, $6,600 DK) and E.J. Montgomery ($4,000 FD, $3,900 DK), Kentucky can comfortably run seven options out on the floor. There appear to be quite a few bargain options here, but confidently picking top performers is a reason to snag one, maybe two players for GPP purposes, and move on. With Quickley sitting Monday, Ashton Hagans ($5,700 FD, $6,300 DK) saw a season-high 37 minutes and produced accordingly. Nick Richards ($6,000 FD, $6,400 DK) saw a similar bump in playing time with Montgomery out. Tyrese Maxey ($5,800 FD, $6,900 DK) has a decent 24.2 percent usage rate, and there's a real chance at solid garbage production from Keion Brooks ($3,800 FD, $4,100 DK) and Johnny Juzang ($3,600 FD, $3,600 DK). For The Mount, Vado Morse ($4,600 FD, $5,800 DK) has some value appeal, particularly on FanDuel. He carries a nice 27.8 percent usage across 31.2 minutes nightly.
I'm also largely off of Maryland-George Mason and Houston-Oregon. The former looks like a probable blowout and I don't think the Patriots are particularly skilled, keeping me from targeting bargain options like Javon Greene ($5,900 FD, $6,800 DK). There is a huge drop off in price following Pritchard in the latter contest, and while Quentin Grimes ($6,500 FD, $7,000 DK) is coming off of a huge game, the Cougars comfortably go nine deep and have previously burned me.
South Dakota at Arkansas (-15), o/u 135.5, 9 p.m. EST (FanDuel Only)
The Razorbacks are largely a two-man attack, with both Isaiah Joe ($7,700) and Mason Jones ($7,400) sporting identical 26.3 percent usage rates. With an implied total fo 75 points, they shouldn't be overlooked against a Coyotes team that ranks 199th in defensive efficiency. A GPP flier on Reggie Chaney ($4,900), merits consideration, as Chaney returned from a 3-game suspension to play 19 minutes Tuesday, a number that could rise here. The South Dakota side doesn't present well against a sound Arkansas defense (30th in efficiency,) but Stanley Umude ($6,100) does have a huge 31.4 usage rate.
Xavier (-5) vs. Connecticut, o/u 133, 9 p.m. EST (DraftKings Only)
The Musketeers are becoming almost too obvious to pen in this section. The options consist of forwards Naji Marshall ($7,600) and Tyrique Jones ($7,400), with guard Paul Scruggs providing a little outside help. Jason Carter ($5,200) could provide some value as he's seen a minutes increase since the team's opener. I'm largely avoiding UConn given Xavier's defensive prowess, but with Alterique Gilbert ($6,000) likely out due to an ankle injury, James Bouknight ($5,600) and Brendan Adams ($4,900) appear in line for a minutes boost.
Montana at Washington (-13.5), o/u 129, 11 p.m. EST (DraftKings Only)
At 1-4, coming off of a loss to NAIA Montana Tech, and shooting just 28.3 percent from 3-point range, we can nearly completely ignore the Grizzlies. Both sides rank 159th or lower in tempo, so the only real reason to reach for some Huskies is likely low ownership for tournaments. Isaiah Stewart ($8,000) and Nahziah Carter ($7,600) are steady though not awe inspiring, but I do have some interest in Quade Green ($5,400), who has increased his DKP in each of his four games.
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