DFS College Basketball: Saturday Early Games Preview

DFS College Basketball: Saturday Early Games Preview

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

DraftKings comes with six semifinal games to start Saturday, with the SEC, Big Ten and AAC featured, while FanDuel has just those first two conferences included in its early contests. Five of these six games feature spreads within six points, and the totals are tightly packed as well, with five being between 139 and 143.5 points. We're at a point in the conference tournaments where we get a few teams playing for the third time in three days, so tired legs could offer opportunity for opponents.

I had a decent week last Saturday, cashing twice in three tries highlighted by a sixth-place finish in a small tourney during the evening, while also putting up a respectable 256 DKP in the larger main slate to earn some coin. Lets try to stay hot!

Top Targets

Jaylin Williams, F, Arkansas ($8,000 DK, $7,800 FD))

We know that whenever Kentucky's Oscar Tshiebwe ($10,200 DK, $9,300 FD) is present, the slate starts with deciding whether to build around him, or be more balanced. This slate also has Iowa's high-volume Keegan Murray ($9,900 DK, ($9,000 FD) as a high-end option. But if we want the more balanced option, Williams looks like a nice anchor at a discount. Auburn didn't attack A&M's lack of size in its defeat Friday, and I'd be shocked if Arkansas didn't take note. They dictated pace against the Aggies' 198th-ranked tempo, per KenPom, in two regular-season meetings, scoring 76 and 81 points. It led to Williams going for 32.25 DKP and 50.75 DKP. A 4x floor and a 6.5x ceiling? That's a nice building block.

Xavier Johnson, G, Indiana ($7,200 DK, $7,200 FD)

Johnson's usage has surged in March, and he has now taken 10-plus shots in five straight and seven of eight. He's taken more than four 3-pointers only twice in that span, so his legs aren't as important to production in the Hoosiers' third game, as Johnson isn't dependent on his shots falling. He's a driver and an offensive facilitator. The two Big Ten games have the highest totals, so that's where a lot of our focus should be. And Johnson seems to come at a decent discount paired with opportunity, having topped 30 DKP in five of six. Iowa ranks just 98th defensively while playing at the 50th-fastest tempo. 

Mid Tier

Sahvir Wheeler, G, Kentucky ($6,400 DK, $6,000 FD)

Wheeler has averaged 28.75 DKP in his last three games, yet the price dipped from Friday's $6,800 DK and a season-high $8,700 DK. Perhaps some will be scared off by Tennessee's third-ranked defense and middling 158th-ranked tempo, which is certainly valid — this game could be an ugly grind. But even so, give me the guy with the ball in his hands. Wheeler had 13 assists in two regular-season meetings with the Vols, scoring 29 points in the process. If he accounts for that average of 27.5 points for the Wildcats, he'll make managers happy Saturday.

Marcus Bingham, F, Michigan State ($6,100 DK, $5,300 FD)

It's hard to feel confident with the options in this game, as each side is deep and gets production nightly from various players. Bingham is the boom-or-bust option. He's started three consecutive games, showing good upside with 33.75 DKP against Maryland and 41.75 DKP Friday in an upset of Wisconsin. But he hasn't played more than 22 minutes since Jan. 2. Purdue's 244th-ranked tempo isn't going to help, but the Boilermakers also rank just 101st defensively. Bingham is a GPP option only, but if he double-doubles at this price, he's also a slate winner.

Value Plays

Emmanuel Bandoumel, G, SMU ($5,700 DK only)

The price doesn't appear to have caught up with current form. Bandoumel is coming off of three consecutive 30-plus DKP outings. He's started every game this season, and has averaged 35.0 minutes across the Mustangs' last 11, resulting in 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists. He was only marginal in two regular-season meetings with Memphis, going for 19 and 21 DKP, but the minutes lend themselves to stability, and with the Tigers' playing at the 31st-fastest tempo, there remains the potential for a bigger return.

Tony Perkins, G, Iowa ($5,500 DK, $5,200 FD)

Perkins' minutes aren't consistent, so there's plenty of risk involved. But he's started 12 consecutive games and has provided at least 21.0 DKP in six straight, doing so in a variety of ways, four times scoring 13-plus, five times grabbing at least four boards and dishing out 14 assists in the Hawkeyes' last three games. With multiple paths to production, a 3.5x floor while hopefully opening your budget seems fine.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Chris Bennett plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: k30kittles, DraftKings: k30kittles.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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