DFS College Basketball: Thursday Preview (Main)

DFS College Basketball: Thursday Preview (Main)

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

Thursday's evening slate is loaded with conference tournament action, with all of the major conferences represented. The two-highest scoring games are likely St. Johns vs Villanova and Vanderbilt vs Alabama, great starting points for selecting your lineup.

Top Players

Armando Bacot, F, North Carolina ($9,500 DK, $8,600 FD)

Armando Bacot has been playing at a higher level over the past month, earning KenPom's "MVP" honors in five of his last 10 games. Bacot is averaging over 22 points and over 14 rebounds through his last three games, so he's certainly as hot as he's ever been. Bacot will also undoubtedly benefit from the matchup against Virginia, as the Cavaliers have struggled defensive rebounds against ACC opponents, recording the fifth-worst defensive rebounding rate in the conference. This was extremely evident when these two teams met earlier this season back on Jan. 8, when Bacot had his best game of the season, scoring 29 points and collecting 22 rebounds in a dominant victory. Bacot led the ACC in both offensive and defensive rebounding rate during conference play, underlining the fact that his rebounding abilities are among the best in the country. He should have another monster game despite Virginia's slow pace. 

Keon Ellis, G, Alabama ($7,300 DK, $6,900 FD) 

Alabama has one of the highest projected point totals on the slate, making the Tide a team you'll definitely want to consider when filling out your lineup. The Crimson Tide appear to have a significant advantage on the inside, as they've made 54 percent of two-point attempts against SEC opponents, the second-highest percentage in the conference. Vanderbilt, meanwhile, is allowing SEC opponents to make over 53 percent of two-point attempts, the third-highest percentage allowed in the conference. Additionally, Alabama also boasts superior rebounding rates on both ends of the court. Keon Ellis leads the team in rebounding and has also been particularly aggressive in his last five games, using at least 20 percent of his team's in four of the games while also scoring in double figures in all five of them. More importantly, Ellis has been so productive over this recent stretch that he's averaging over 33 fantasy points (DK) through his last five games, a total that would be a welcome outcome given his current salary. 

Middle Tier

Eric Dixon, F, Villanova ($6,100 DK, $5,600 FD)

Villanova has a significant rebounding advantage in this matchup, most notably on the offensive glass, where the Wildcats rank No. 80 in the country in offensive rebounding rate, going against a St. John's team that ranks No. 294 in defensive rebounding rate. Eric Dixon not only leads Villanova in offensive rebounds and total rebounds, but Dixon also boasts the highest offensive rebounding rate among all Big East players since conference season started, making him a natural target in this spot. Jermaine Samuels narrowly trails Dixon in total rebounds, so he's another great option if Dixon makes you nervous. He's coming off his worst game of the season, but his long track record suggests he'll bounce back in no time at all. Eric Dixon played well in each of the previous two games against St. John's earlier this season, earning KenPom's "MVP" honors for his performance in the first clash between these two teams.

Dane Goodwin, G, Notre Dame ($5,900 DK, $5,000 FD)

Virginia Tech's defense isn't bad overall, but a closer look reveals that it's struggled to guard the perimeter since conference season started, allowing ACC opponents to make 38 percent of three-point attempts, the second-highest percentage allowed in the conference. The Hokies are facing the wrong opponent given this particular vulnerability, as Notre Dame has established itself as the best shooting team in the ACC, making nearly 40 percent of its three-point attempts during conference play, the highest percentage in the ACC. The Fighting Irish are loaded with shooters, with the Dane Goodwin perhaps being the most effective. Goodwin has made over 44 percent of his three-pointers while attempting the second-most on the team, a strong combination heading into this game. Goodwin leads the team in minutes and has scored the second-most points for the Irish, so he's been a steady offensive presence all season long. He should once again play a significant role. 

Value Plays

Chevez Goodwin, F, USC ($5,500 DK)

I previously targeted Chevez Goodwin in the first matchup against Washington back on Feb. 17, and he nearly had his best game of the season, earning KenPom's "MVP" honors while scoring 24 points and grabbing 9 rebounds in a dominating performance. The matchup notes remain the same, so I'm once again going with Goodwin. Washington has been one of the worst defensive rebounding teams in the country, recording the fourth-worst defensive rebounding rate among all D1 teams. Chevez Goodwin leads USC in offensive rebounding and has the seventh-best offensive rebounding rate among all Pac-12 players during conference play. Goodwin also has the highest usage rate on the team, so we can count on him to attack the basket as long as he's on the court.

Davion Warren, G, Texas Tech ($5,200 DK, $6,700 FD)

This will most likely be a low-scoring game, but, either way, it's worth pointing out that Texas Tech has a substantial advantage in the paint. Since conference season started, Iowa State is allowing Big 12 opponents to make over 54 percent of two-point attempts, the highest percentage allowed in the conference. Coincidentally, Texas Tech is making 54 percent of two-point attempts against Big 12 opponents, the second-highest percentage in the conference. Davion Warren has attempted the second-most two-point attempts for the Red Raiders, so he's a likely beneficiary in this situation. Warren is also playing his best basketball of the season lately, earning KenPom's "MVP" honors in two of his last four games, averaging over 14 points and 4 rebounds during that span. 

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. Steve Peralta plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Buddusky, DraftKings: Buddusky24.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Peralta
Graduated from USC in 2012 while interning for ESPN and FOX Sports. Following graduation, I started working full-time for FOX Sports and been there ever since. Been an avid fantasy player for over fifteen years. In addition to my fantasy teams, you'll also find me rooting for the USC Trojans and New York Yankees.
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