College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 1/19/21
College basketball season is entering conference play, and we have a seven-game slate today.
March Madness is a ways off at this point, but you can get in all the college hoops hype by playing daily contests at FanDuel today. If you've played NBA DFS before, it's quite simple: pick a total of eight players -- four guards, three forwards, and one utility spot you can use for either position. Stay within the $50,000 salary cap and field the team you think will score the most fantasy points.
Where scoring differs from NBA is in the blocks and steals categories, with each worth two FanDuel points apiece rather than the three you get in NBA contests.
Now that you're in the know, we can attack today's slate, which locks at 7:00 p.m. EST.
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
Relevant injury situations to monitor: Florida Gators guard Scottie Lewis is out. That news should solidify Tyree Appleby and Noah Locke as viable low-salary guard plays. Miami (FL) Hurricanes guards Kam McGusty and Earl Timberlake are expected to play while Chris Lykes is out. Timberlake makes for an intriguing value play. Maryland Terrapins guard Eric Ayala will play but will come off the bench. Michigan Wolverines guard Eli Brooks is questionable. Mike Smith and Chaundee Brown Jr. would make for solid value guard plays if Brooks sits out for the second consecutive game.
All stats come from KenPom unless otherwise noted.
Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois ($8,200) - The junior is posting an incredible 30.5% usage rate, and he's also taking 32.5% of the Fighting Illini's shots when he's on the floor. If that's not impressive enough, Dosunmu has a 26.8% assist rate. The Illini star rarely leaves the floor, which further enhances his appeal. Dosunmu is averaging 34.6 minutes per game. The matchup with the Penn State Nittany Lions is a good one. Penn State ranks 83rd in KenPom's defensive rankings (third worst in the BIG 10).
Justin Champagnie, Pittsburgh ($7,800) - Champagnie is back to dominating after missing a month due to an injury. In three out of his last four games, the sophomore has scored at least 20 real-life points and collected 16-plus rebounds. That doesn't figure to change as he's taking 30.6% of the Pittsburgh Panthers' shots when he's on the floor. Champagnie also owns a 12.7% offensive rebounding rate and 28.1% defensive rebounding rate. All three of those clips rank within the top 80 of college basketball. He's my top overall play on the Tuesday slate.
Herbert Jones, Alabama ($6,500) - Jones left last Tuesday's game with the Kentucky Wildcats after eight minutes due to a sprained wrist. Fortunately, he did not miss any time and returned to the lineup in Saturday's win over Arkansas. The senior leads the Alabama Crimson Tide with a 24.7% usage rate. He's also an effective rebounder (5.9 per game) and a force on the defensive end of the court. Jones has a 3.9% block rate and 3.2% steal rate. He's in a good spot as the matchup with the LSU should be a fast-paced affair. Both teams are in the top third of college basketball in KenPom's tempo rankings. I also like Cameron Thomas ($7,300), who is priced between Jones and Champagnie.
Jaden Springer, Tennessee ($4,900) - Springer was a five-star shooting guard prospect in the class of 2020. The freshman is averaging 0.91 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, Springer should pay off his salary in 21.5 minutes (assuming value is four-times a player's salary). He's averaging 23.7 minutes per game over the last three games. The matchup with Florida is a major pace-up game for the Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee is 309th in KenPom's tempo rankings while Florida is 92nd.
Tyree Appleby, Florida ($4,700) - As noted above, Scottie Lewis will miss Tuesday night's game. In two games sans Lewis, Appleby is averaging 34.5 minutes per game -- up significantly from his season-long average of 25.6 minutes. He's averaging 20.9 FanDuel points per game in those two games, which is more than enough to pay off his low salary. Appleby's salary has not adjusted to his role increase. Backcourt mate Noah Locke ($4,200) also benefits from Lewis' absence. Locke logged 77 minutes over the last two games with Lewis out. The salary for Darryl Morsell ($4,000) is very appealing now that he's back to his normal starting role.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Jeremy Roach, Keon Johnson, Mike Smith (better if Eli Brooks is out), Chaundee Brown Jr. (only if Eli Brooks is out), Trent Frazier, Noah Locke, Ithiel Horton, and Darryl Morsell.
Quincy Guerrier, Syracuse ($8,100) - Guerrier is turning into a star for the Syracuse Orange. He has an impressive 130.3 offensive rating. The sophomore leads Syracuse with a 9.7% offensive rebounding rate and a 20.5% defensive rebounding rate. He's recorded at least 39 FanDuel points in four out of the last six games. While his salary has risen significantly, he's still a solid play. The matchup with the Hurricanes certainly looks like a great spot for Guerrier. Miami is allowing their opponents to connect on 36.0% from beyond the arc; Guerrier is shooting 35.5% from behind the three-point line. Additionally, Miami ranks 233rd in the country in effective field goal percentage, which should lead to a lot of misses and, as mentioned above, Guerrier is a fantastic rebounder.
Hunter Dickinson, Michigan ($7,500) - The freshman has worked his way into the National Player of the Year conversation. Dickinson has solid rates across the board. That includes a 25.2% usage rate (leads team), 12.5% offensive rebounding rate, 20.3 defensive rebounding rate (second on the team), 7.4% assist rate, and a 5.5% block rate (leads team). I'm expecting the Michigan Wolverines' big man to bounce back against the Maryland Terrapins after struggling against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday. Maryland's defense is 86th in KenPom's defensive rankings, which is second-to-last in the Big 10.
Isaiah Livers, Michigan ($6,200) - Livers is averaging 0.82 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he should pay off his price tag in 30.2 minutes of action. Livers is averaging 30.8 minutes per game this season. Additionally, he's averaging 11.0 field goal attempts over the last three games, which is up from season-long average of 9.9 per game.
Collin Castleton, Florida ($6,000) - Castleton has an enormous ceiling due to his ability to contribute in every major statistical category. He has a 23.3% usage rate, his rebounding rates are north of 12%, and he has an eye-popping 9.8% block rate. I should also mention that he's recorded 36.4 FanDuel points and 50.5 FanDuel points over his last two games. Take advantage of his mid-tier salary now, because it'll likely increase significantly soon. Frontcourt partner Anthony Duruji ($4,700) is a decent source of salary relief if you need the savings at a forward spot.
John Harrar, Penn State ($4,500) - Harrar has a starting assignment and has seen his playing time spike as of late. The senior forward has played at least 27 minutes in each of the last two games, which is significantly higher than his season-long average of 22.1 minutes. Over the last two games, Harrar is averaging 11.5 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 0.5 blocks. His salary doesn't reflect his increased minutes.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Anthony Duruji and Elijah Olaniyi.
Matthew Hiatt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matthew Hiatt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username easternmh. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.