DFS College Basketball: Saturday Preview

DFS College Basketball: Saturday Preview

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

We've reached the final regular-season weekend of the year and DraftKings treats us to a slate that features 30 games across three slates. FanDuel counters with a 10-game main slate that's more spread out throughout the day, but all games overlap.

I continued my incredible ability of picking players in good spots who can't make shots last week, resulting in just one cash in three contests. One of these days, the shots are going to fall and a bigger payday is in store.

Before we get to the breakdown, can I vent about position eligibility? For the second week in a row, Walker Kessler ($8,800 DK, $8,100 FD) and Armando Bacot ($9,900 DK) are both listed as guards. Clemson's P.J. Hall ($7,500 DK) and Oklahoma's Tanner Groves ($6,400 DK) are also only guard eligible. I'd welcome an explanation from someone smarter than I.

Main Slate

There's no easing into Saturday, as DraftKings jumps right in with 13 games from noon to 2:30 p.m. EST. The two highest-priced options square off against each other in a rematch where Oscar Tshiebwe ($9,900 DK, $8,800 FD) got the best of Colin Castleton ($9,400 DK, $8,200 FD) in a prior meeting, outscoring him by a massive 35.5 DKP. As is always the case, Tshiebwe should only be faded in large GPPs to differentiate, or if you really can't find the right values to absorb his cost.

Top Targets

Jaylin Williams, F, Arkansas ($8,600 DK, $8,500 FD)

Williams is becoming Oscar Tshiebwe light. He's turned in seven consecutive double-doubles, and is a mere six rebounds away from 16 straight, dating to Jan. 8. He managed 41.0 DKP in a previous matchup with the Volunteers in a game that saw only 106 total points scored. Expecting another slugfest and fading both sides' high-octane guards and targeting Williams and his ability to contribute some ugly production is likely a low-used contrarian strategy. 

Jabari Smith, F, Auburn ($8,300 DK, $8,700 FD)

It will be hard to pair either player with Tshiebwe, so if you're building around him, just skip to the next section. And Walker Kessler is the only real option with similar upside to Tshiebwe, but if you're looking for stability and a bit more balance in your builds, Smith merits attention. He seems to be asserting himself more offensively lately, scoring at least 27 in four of the last five, resulting in 40-plus DKP in each. The Tigers scored 81 last time against South Carolina, which plays fast enough (42nd in tempo, per KenPom), so there's every expectation Auburn does so again. Smith only needs 33.2 DKP to reach 4x, and form and matchup suggest he'll sail by that.

Middle Tier

Xavier Pinson, G, LSU ($6,200 DK, $5,600 FD)

I went to the Pinson well last Saturday and was unsuccessful, but I'm willing to go back this weekend for a variety of reasons. Pinson has at least five assists in four of five, which allows him to score points in a variety of ways. He has also hoisted 20-plus shots in two of three, and 10-plus in five of six. Yes, they aren't falling as often as I'd like, but that volume remains massive at this price point. Pair it with an opponents' 14th-ranked tempo, which gives stability with upside.

Isaiah Wong, G, Miami ($6,100 DK)

Targeting Syracuse's 2-3 zone has been successful all season, with the Orange ranking 221st in defensive efficiency and 200th in 3-point percentage allowed. Wong ranks second on the 'Canes in 3-point attempts, and while his conversion rate isn't as high as some Hurricane teammates, he can expect more open looks. Wong has been priced as high as $7,800 and has 40 DKP upside, with a seemingly stable 4x floor even if he's really only a scorer.

Values

TyTy Washington, G, Kentucky ($5,800 DK, $5,800 FD)

Washington looks like this slate's free square. I'd expect massive usage given his price hasn't returned to pre-injury highs ($8,800), but there's next to no risk, and if Washington pops and you don't have him, you won't find similar upside in this tier. He's taken at least 10 shots in both games back from injury and played 35 minutes in a tight matchup with Arkansas. Just a repeat of the 28.25 DKP he posted against Florida is more than enough for a 4x return.

Sydney Curry, F, Louisville ($4,900 DK)

You might need to monitor things up until lineup lock with Curry, as his last outing represented his first start in five games. But given form, Curry figures to be a lineup mainstay for the Cardinals, having posted 46 points and 18 rebounds in his last two outings, averaging 36.75 DKP. He won't likely carry that big upside in a matchup with Virginia and its 358th-ranked tempo, but at a sub-5k price, he doesn't need to. 

Afternoon Slate

Eleven games await the middle slate Saturday at DraftKings, with tipoffs 3-6 p.m. EST. Duke-North Carolina is the obvious highlight. It features two high-scoring teams with limited rotations, giving us as much stability as possible. The rest of the slate also is loaded with low tempo, strong defensive squads, making it difficult to find terrific, must-use options. 

I don't see a clear target, but I believe Arizona players will be overlooked. And there are some stable sub-4k options that can allow for a Joes-and-schmoes lineup build, with Jeremy Roach ($3,900) and Pelle Larsson ($3,600) among my favorites.

Top Targets

Javon Freeman-Liberty, G, DePaul ($9,600)

Nothing about this matchup is appealing, with Connecticut ranking 33rd defensively and 273rd in tempo. But Freeman-Liberty is the DePaul production. He's hoisted 20-plus shots in five straight, and is more than capable of chipping in across all other categories, averaging 7.5 boards, 3.1 assists and 1.8 steals. With UNC's Armando Bacot ($9,900) priced higher in a game where he doesn't matchup well, Freeman-Liberty may be the slate's safest bet.

Michael Flowers, G, Washington State ($8,300)

My intro at the top of this column is really playing out on this slate. The defensive nature of the majority of this slate has me targeting high-volume options as my building blocks; can we please make a few shots! Flowers has taken 48 shots in the Cougars' last three games, leading to 71 points. Mix in at least four assists in four straight, and he seems safe at worst. Oregon's 95th-ranked defense and 164th-ranked tempo is borderline targetable on this slate too.

Middle Tier

Jordan Goldwire, G, Oklahoma ($6,500 DK, $6,900 FD)

His price has risen to a near uncomfortable level, but the fact remains we need 26 DKP to return 4x, a number Goldwire has been within three points of in seven of the Sooners' last 10 games. He doesn't pass the eye test as a lead scorer, but the Sooners are giving him that opportunity. Pair that with at least two steals, and the appearance is a safety net with limited upside.

Javon Pickett, G/F, Missouri ($6,300)

Georgia is woeful defensively, ranking 306 in efficiency and 336th in effective field goal percentage allowed (54.4 percent), making them a daily target for production against. Pickett has pulled down at least three boards in four straight while handing out at least two dimes, pairing nicely with his volume shooting/scoring. With two 30-plus DKP in that stretch, there's upside to go with the matchup-created floor.

Values

Marcus Carr, G, Texas ($5,600 DK, $5,100 FD)

I expect the Longhorns to play to Kansas' 72nd-ranked tempo, as they did in an earlier meeting when they scored 79 points. There are ample choices given Texas' limited rotation, but Christian Bishop ($6,200 DK, $6,100 FD) seems to have too much volatility, Courtney Ramey ($5,000 DK, $4,900 FD) too low a ceiling and Andrew Jones ($5,900 DK, $5,300 FD) too low a floor given his poor form. Carr is the last man standing. He was good for 23.5 DKP in an earlier meeting with the Jayhawks, better than 4x if we get a repeat, and he's taken 10-plus shots in seven of 10, suggesting he'll have continued opportunity. 

Mike McGuirl, G/F, Kansas State ($5,400 DK, $5,400 FD)

The Wildcats got only 12 minutes from their bench last time out, showing how limited their rotation is. McGuirl got a fun 40 minutes despite the game being a blowout, and there's little reason to think he won't see huge minutes here as well. He's not without risk, having scored in double-digits just three times in his last seven. But he's also done that in three of his last four. With Markquis Nowell ($7,900 DK, $7,800 FD) set to miss Saturday's game, we can take solace in McGuirl's steady opportunity. 

Evening Slate

A more manageable six-game slate awaits the evening crowd. Three games predictably feature the Pac-12, but with second tier conferences in mid-tournament flow, we're without Gonzaga and column mainstay Drew Timme. Two Big East games and one SEC round out this contest.

Top Targets

Justin Lewis, F, Marquette ($8.400)

This is the clear game to stack Saturday evening, with Marquette ranking 29th in tempo, and St. John's second. The latter has a widely varying rotation outside their top two, making me content to build around the Marquette star. Lewis has at least seven rebounds in seven straight and 10 of 11, taking 10-plus shots in every game since Jan. 7, setting up a clearly stable floor with the prospect for more.

Jabari Walker, F, Colorado ($8,000)

If Jaylin Williams is Oscar Tshiebwe light, then perhaps Walker is Jaylin Williams light? He has only one double-double in his last three, but six in his last eight. Somehow, he's priced $700 lower than his peek during this streak, and pairing that with prior success against Utah (43.25 DKP), there's a high floor/high ceiling and a hair of a discount, with six players priced higher.

Middle Tier

Henry Coleman, F, Texas A&M ($6,500)

The middle tier of this slate seems highly volatile with few sure things. Coleman fits that narrative precisely, giving us a 37.75 DKP ceiling and 6.25 DKP floor in his last five games. But the Aggies are surging, winning three straight by at least 10 points, and if that's to continue, they'll need Coleman to flirt with a double-double. It's a difficult matchup against the Bulldogs' front line of Tolu Smith ($7,000) and Garrison Brooks ($6,300), but that should at worst ensure Coleman sees as many minutes as he can handle. 

Dante Harris, G, Georgetown ($6,300)

The name of the game continues to be volume, which Harris has more of than most in this tier. He's taken at least 10 shots in eight consecutive games and 16 of 18, creating a 3x floor if he connects on just a third of those opportunities. But he's not one-dimensional, averaging 3.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.6 steals, further bolstering said floor while allowing for a 5.5x ceiling when at his best.

Values

Emmitt Matthews, F, Washington ($5,700)

There's absolutely no shame in taking Husky star Terrell Brown ($9,100), locking this game in and getting value elsewhere. I just prefer the opposite strategy. Oregon State has lost 17 consecutive games and ranks 320th in defensive efficiency, which sets up secondary Washington pieces for success. Matthews has three games with 30-plus DKP in his last five. His other two games resulted in a total of 22.75 DKP, so there's clear volatility. Thus, we'll bank on the Beavers defense being a sieve. 

Dwon Odom, G, Xavier  ($3,800)

Using Odom can open up plenty of spending elsewhere. Georgetown is a woeful opponent, having lost 19 straight, ranking 226th defensively while playing at the nation's 39th fastest tempo, Sure, the likes of Colby Jones ($7,900) are attractive at the upper tier, but Odom has quietly double-digit fantasy points in five straight, with 18.5 DKP being the ceiling. That works terrifically with this price, and the matchup couldn't be more favorable.

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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