This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
DraftKings brings us our traditional 10-game main slate, tipping between noon and 3 p.m. EST, and boy is it a doozy. Four games have a total of 150 or more (including WVU-OKST at 149.5), and four more check in north of 140. That said, the games with the two highest totals are challenging to stack based on price and depth. Alabama-Georgia is a starting spot, as these two combined for 197 points previously. But picking the Tide option that's going to go off is challenging, and Georgia looks to have mailed it in. LSU-Missouri is the other option, and profiles similarly, as both sides get balanced production throughout their lineups. Cameron Thomas ($7,900 DK) and his scoring prowess seems the safest bet.
Cade Cunningham ($9,800 DK, $8,200 FD) and Sharife Cooper ($8,000 DK) are the slate's biggest injury concerns, and we know Collin Gillespie ($6,300 DK, $6,400 FD) is out. The low total in Providence-Villanova doesn't make it a must target spot, but both Brandon Slater ($4,200 DK, $3,600 FD) and Caleb Daniels ($4,500 DK, $4,300 FD) could offer some decent value sans Gillespie.
There's no shortage of top-end options, so we'll try to find some decent values to allow you to have as many of those in your lineup, while hopefully fading a few that aren't in favorable spots.
Pelle Larsson, G, Utah ($6,000 DK)
With so many high totals, and mainly east coast games on this main slate, I'm trying to think outside of the box and hope many ignore this game. I'd have no issue building around Remy Martin ($8,200 DK) and/or Timmy Allen ($7,800 DK), but Larsson should be a nice secondary piece. He's averaged 24.5 DKP in his last four and gets a bit of a boost against the Sun Devils' 26th fastest tempo and mediocre 133rd defensive efficiency. Perhaps not the upside target GPPs are won on, but low usage seems a near certainty, giving you some differentiation.
M.J. Walker, G, Florida State ($5,200 DK, $5,100 FD)
Walker has gone for 29-30.5 DKP in three of his last five outings, and goes as his shot does, hitting 17-of-36 from the field and 14-of-22 from 3-point range in those successful outings. The two down outings, Walker combined for 24.25 DKP, going just 3-of-14 from the floor and 0-of-9 from 3-point range. The 'Noles are expected to top 80 points, and they likely can't do that without Walker. It's a plus matchup for his outside game, as the Irish rank 305th against the 3-point shot, allowing 36.7 percent. Previously priced as high as $6,600 DK, this looks to be a value spot to buy the dip.
Jamal Johnson, G, Auburn ($5,200 DK)
This is under the assumption Cooper doesn't play for Auburn. In his three-game absence, Johnson has seen 31, 31 and 36 minutes, averaging 24.75 DKP in the process. He's starting to price himself out of being a value, and Mississippi State won't force tempo, but Johnson can contribute across the board and should still ease himself into 4x while allowing for free spending elsewhere.
Trayce Jackson-Davis, F, Indiana ($8,300 DK, $8,300 FD)
Jackson-Davis is all the Hoosiers seem to have, and that appears to be wearing on him as he's averaged just 24.38 DKP in his last two, shooting just 4-of-17 as defenses key on him. It's possible a plethora of questionable Hoosiers return and provide help, which will free up space for Jackson-Davis, but also lesson his offensive onus. This game has the lowest total on the docket, and Indiana is a big eight-point underdog. We know Jackson-Davis can outplay this discounted number, but this doesn't appear to be the spot to risk it happening. For good measure, Purdue checks in 20th in adjusted defensive efficiency.
Nate Watson, F, Providence ($6,000 DK, $6,700 FD)
Casual managers are going to see this price, and Watson's 28.3 DKP average and immediately assume value. And while high upside is what we want on this slate (and Watson certainly has that with three 30-plus DKP in his last 10), this isn't the matchup for that to come out. Villanova plays at the 26th-slowest pace, and the Friars aren't expected to reach 70 points. They held him to 14.0 DKP in an earlier meeting, keeping him off the glass, forcing turnovers and foul trouble. A similar script is why he's priced so favorably.
Eric Curry, F, Minnesota ($4,900 DK, $5,000 FD)
Curry has been more than serviceable in Liam Robbins' ($5,200 DK, $6,900 FD) absence, averaging 22.0 DKP in that span while playing at least 28 minutes. But Robbins looks to be nearing a return, and the threat of split minutes makes this too risky even with the low tag. Robbins would be appealing if we can confirm a full workload, but as is, I'd casually expect a split workload, split fantasy points and minimal at best return on investment.
DraftKings' afternoon contest includes five games, highlighted by a Duke-North Carolina rematch, and a top-10 matchup of Ohio State-Illinois. The availability of the Illini's Ayo Dosunmu ($9,000 DK, $8,600 FD) is the slate's elephant in the room. His potential absence would lend itself again to the appeal of Andre Curbelo ($6,600 DK, $4,800 FD), Trent Frazier ($5,500 DK, $4,800 FD) or possibly Da'Monte Williams ($4,400 DK, $4,500 FD).
Absent Dosunmu, there doesn't appear to be high upside with the top-priced options. This slate lends itself to a more balanced lineup where a plethora of mid-tier options plays better than a stars and scrubs type lineup.
Justice Sueing, F, Ohio State ($6,100 DK, $4,900 FD)
Perhaps this is a reach, but here's the thought process. The game has the highest total on the slate, and the Buckeyes are favored (despite having lost three straight). E.J. Liddell ($8,000 DK, $7,400 FD) was dominant in an earlier matchup (38.3 DKP) but isn't in great form and has to battle Kofi Cockburn ($7,300 DK, $7,700 FD), while Duane Washington ($6,800 DK, $5,500 FD) is merely a scorer, capping his fantasy upside. Enter Sueing, who had a diverse nine points, seven boards, four assists and two steals in an earlier matchup. His usage fluctuates more than I'd like, but given the expected tempo, I trust Sueing to score more than usual while chipping in across the board.
Caleb Love, G, North Carolina ($5,800 DK)
There's no way Love shoots as well as he did in a previous matchup with Duke (4-of-5 3pt). But the Blue Devils are one of the few teams that will try to match UNC's desired tempo, and that's where Love thrives. He's a big bodied guard that excels in transition and attacking the basket, and figures to have ample chances to do that here. Mix in some boards, steals and assists, and Love can easily return 5x if not more. Leaky Black ($4,800 DK) also looks solid, as the expected pace can lend itself to his ability to distribute, and a few easy baskets to boot.
Jordan Goldwire, G, Duke ($5,400 DK)
Goldwire is the opposite of Love above, as there's next to no upside, but a seemingly stable floor that can provide stable returns and allow for splurging elsewhere. He just doesn't feature offensively for the Blue Devils to offer a ceiling. But given the expected pace, his distribution and ability to disrupt defensively should set him up for production. Goldwire has at least four assists in eight straight and nine of 10, and at least two steals in eight of 10. He managed 23.0 DKP in an earlier matchup despite scoring only seven points.
Mark Williams, F, Duke ($7,000 DK)
There's no doubting Williams' long term potential, as we're seeing him break out over the last three games. But those outings didn't come against a front line as big and deep as UNC possesses. Williams went for 17.5 DKP in 14 minutes in their earlier matchup, doing so with a plethora of boards and a handful of blocks. Even if we double his minutes, something he's seen lately, the ceiling is 5x as opposed to some of the 6-7x lines he's posted recently. Williams' limited offensive repertoire makes him too volatile in this matchup.
Jaime Jaquez, G/F, UCLA ($6,400 DK, $5,900 FD)
Jaquez appears to be the most stable Bruin in a volatile fantasy lineup, having gone for at least 17.5 DKP in 10 straight with a 37.75 DKP ceiling. But that low floor came in an earlier matchup against the Trojans, where the Bruins posting a mere 48 points. USC checks in 15th in defensive efficiency and 216th in tempo, while UCLA is at 93rd and 333rd, respectively. This is going to be a low-scoring grind that won't lend itself to fantasy success.
David Johnson, G, Louisville ($6,100 DK, $6,100 FD)
Johnson has topped 17 DKP just once in his last four outings despite taking 52 shots. We know the drill when it comes to facing UVA — we simply don't play (m)any of their opponents. Carlik Jones ($7,900 DK, $7,800 FD) is an obvious fade as well, but he seems more likely to at least score out of necessity. Johnson, though not a full-time starter last year, managed only nine points in two meetings with the Cavs. There's just no path to 4x, and the floor could be as low as 2x.