This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
26 games are included across DraftKings' three Saturday slates. I've been on a bit of a nice streak this week, which included entering a lineup with all six players from Wednesday's column into a single entry tournament and finishing 21st. That works for me and my low-stakes self. Let's see if we can keep the momentum rolling.
We've got points galore to start our Saturday. This 12-game slate has eight games with point totals north of 140, and just Iowa State-Oklahoma State looking like the one to ignore, sitting at just 123, as the other games sit comfortably in the upper 130s. It's going to take a lot of points to win a tournament here, so we'll need to choose some less obvious upside, and look for balanced lineups more than a stars and scrubs approach. As this section of the column came together, that strategy fell into place nicely, as we've got some names not often listed. Perhaps we get lots of low-usage from guys in favorable spots in hopes of taking down a big win?
Brice Sensabaugh, F, Ohio State ($8,000)
Sure, Iowa's Kris Murray ($9,600) is the obvious target in this game, but as noted above, I want a deep lineup here. So I'll take the discount on Ohio State's best player in the game with the highest total, sitting at a massive 155 points. Sensabaugh takes 34.5 percent of his team's shots and has turned in three straight double-doubles to boot. With the expected scoring, he seems a lock for 4x with a 5x ceiling or better.
Devin Carter, G, Providence ($7,700)
Carter is in a groove. Over his last seven games, he's scored in double-digits in each outing, five times going for 18 or more. It's resulted in a 35.1 DKP average, a cool 4.6x return thanks to steady peripheral production. DePaul comes in 79th in tempo and 159th in defensive efficiency, per KenPom, so there's no reason to expect Carter to cool off. He also posted a 47 DKP outing against the Blue Demons during this hot streak. A repeat would surprise, but he's got room to slide down and still impress.
K.J. Adams, F, Kansas ($6,600)
Adams needs 19.8 DKP for a 3x return, and he's gone for 19.5 DKP or better in 12 straight games, twice showing a 35.5 DKP ceiling. TCU is stout defensively, ranking 19th, but play at a 48th-ranked tempo, which should keep Adams from bottoming out at least. Kansas has the slate's third-highest implied point total, and Adams seems to give us a cheap in to their lineup with minimal risk.
Miles Kelly, G, Georgia Tech ($6,000)
Loyal readers know I thoroughly enjoy targeting volume shooters against Syracuse's 2-3 zone. Perhaps Kelly doesn't fit the intro narrative of upside, but he leads the Jackets in scoring, 3-pointers made and attempted. He's in a shooting funk (9-for-33 over his last three) and hasn't offered much peripherally (seven rebounds, six assists, five steals), but we know the volume will be available. Syracuse ranks 163rd in 3-point percentage defense and we know Kelly will be largely ignored, so if a few shots fall, he'll easily provide a 4x return.
David Singleton, G, UCLA ($5,700)
This should be a fun game tipping early on the West Coast, and I like Singleton as a value at this price point. He's moved into the starting lineup for the last six games and scored in double-digits four times. Somewhat surprisingly, he's been worth 4x only once in that span but has hit 19.5 DKP or better five times, a reasonable 3.4x return. With Arizona's 11th-ranked tempo, the thought is that will carry him to an outing that won't win you a tournament single-handedly but can provide better than average production while freeing up your budget.
Tyrin Lawrence, G, Vanderbilt ($5,700)
I'll fully admit the 142-point total seems a tad suspect given the two team's middling tempos, but Lawrence has oodles of upside at this number, which also limits his downside. Over the last two games, he's hoisted 30 shots and averaged 21.0 points, five rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals. He's not directly impacted by Liam Robbins' absence, but Robbins not playing surely implies the volume remains. Jordan Wright ($6,500) may be the safer play from the Commodores but lacks upside.
Points, points and more points. That's the running theme between our first two slates Saturday. This afternoon slate includes nine games, tipping between 3:00 and 6:00, and all but two SEC contests have totals in the 140s or more, led by Alabama-Missouri at a huge 161.5, followed by North Carolina-North Carolina State at 153.5.
Armando Bacot, F, North Carolina ($10,400)
Take everything I said above about balance and paying down, and throw it out the window! It's obviously slate-specific, and Bacot just seems like he's in a class of his own on this slate even at the top-tier price. No other option within $1,500 has the same floor or ceiling. He's a guaranteed double-double, has a 34.25 DKP floor across his last 10 (sans getting injured at Virginia), and absolutely destroyed North Carolina State last season for 46 points and 31 rebounds in two meetings. I don't anticipate the presence of Wolfpack big man D.J. Burns ($6,800) changing that much.
Mark Sears, G, Alabama ($7,700)
This looks like a nice spot for a bounceback outing for Sears. He's scored just 15 points across the Tide's last two games but averaged 18.6 points in their previous five. Alabama is expected to produce 85 points in this game, thanks in part to Missouri's lack of defense. They rank 184th in efficiency, 36th in tempo, 282nd in effective field goal percentage, 292nd in 3-point percentage defense and 235th in 2-point percentage defense. Volume and tempo elevate the floor and offer upside.
Grant Basile, F, Virginia Tech ($7,100)
Frontcourt options aren't plentiful on this slate, so I'm leaning towards paying up for two of them. Basile isn't a true pay up and likely gets ignored amongst bigger names at this price point, but he's dropped in price thanks to a down outing against defensive Virginia, which I won't knock him for. He's seeing big usage (27.2 percent across the Hokies last five) and Virginia Tech is injury-plagued, creating a small rotation of essentially six men. Bastille has three double-doubles on the year, giving him potential for a big return. Clemson defends decently but ranks just 123rd against the 3-point shot. Look for Bastille to force Clemson's big men to guard him on the perimeter.
Darin Green, G, Florida State ($6,600)
Green's role for the 'Noles seems unquestioned; he's taken double-digit shots in 12 straight games, playing less than 38 minutes just twice in their last eight games while providing double-digit points in nine of 13. He's had a 42.0 DKP ceiling and 19.75 DKP floor in that stretch, so there's certainly a range with regards to his peripherals and upside, but a 3x return should be a floor in a game with a 145.0 point total.
Allen Flanigan, G, Auburn ($5,900)
I'm going to this well again. Flanigan has been a mainstay in my columns here since entering the starting lineup for the injured Chris Moore, and as long as he's priced under $6,000, I see no reason to deviate. He's coming off of a disappointing 19.3 DKP outing against LSU, which was simply a result of foul trouble, as he needed only 23 minutes to be disqualified. Still, across his last four games, he's averaging 12.8 points and 6.8 rebounds across 30 minutes. This game figures to be a slow grind, with Auburn 168th in tempo and South Carolina 335th, but the Gamecocks also don't defend, checking in 228th in efficiency. Flanigan's rebounding ability creates stability, and as long as he remains on the floor, he'll score enough to flirt with a 4x return.
Brevin Galloway, G, Clemson ($5,700)
Galloway presents as an emergingly stable option at a low-end price point. He's seen 30+ minutes in five of seven since a one-game removal from the starting lineup and has responded with stable production, putting up 20.8 DKP or better in six of those outings. Both teams are expected to score 70 points here, allowing more confidence in Galloway's floor, which otherwise seemed a tad lower than usual given the Hokies' 243rd-ranked tempo.
Five games are available for our nightcap, with four of them predictably being of the West Coast variety. Tips span from 8:00 p.m to 11:00 p.m. EST. Unlike earlier in the day, points are going to be at a premium here. No game has a total higher than 139, with Utah leading the way with a 73.25 implied total. The ultimate question will be whether you're building around Florida's Colin Castleton ($9,500), who is $1,200 more than the next highest-priced option.
Branden Carlson, F, Utah ($8,500)
And my answer to the above question is no, I'm not in on Castleton. He's white-hot with consecutive double-doubles, blocking eight shots in those two as well. But the price difference is too great for me to support in a matchup with Mississippi State. He doesn't need to score a ton, but the Bulldogs are ninth defensively and rank 317th in tempo. Carlson on the other hand is in similar form, going for 45 DKP or better in three of four. And it's an obviously better matchup, with Washington being 79th in defense and 97th in tempo.
Drew Peterson, G, USC ($8,200)
Peterson is just so rock solid nightly, posting 28 or more DKP in six of his last seven. He gives us potential in all statistical categories sans blocks, which hopefully creates some stability in yet another game on this slate where defense is plentiful, and tempo likely isn't. He may not reach 4x at this price, but 3.5x return as a safe anchor won't hurt any style of a lineup build.
Harrison Ingram, F, Stanford ($6,600)
Ingram lands here for the second straight Saturday, and that's because his form is rounding out nicely, averaging 29.8 DKP in his last three. His price has only rose $400 during this streak and it appears he's elevating his game. It's a little nerve-racking to spend on a guy who doesn't score points consistently, but his floor rounds out with eight or more boards in three straight and six assists in two straight. He'll get no pace boost, but he did average 28.0 DKP in two games against the Ducs last season.
D.J. Jeffries, F, Mississippi State ($6,300)
Jeffries leads the Bulldogs in minutes, and at this price on this difficult, low-scoring slate, that's enough to target. He simply can't throw it in the ocean offensively, shooting just 33.7 percent from the floor, but he's been productive of late, averaging 25.4 DKP across his last six, right at a 4x return. That includes an 11.5 DKP showing against Tennessee. Perhaps we chalk that up to the Volunteers' defensive prowess, but it's important to point out the floor here can be really low. UF is 13th defensively, and Jeffries went for only 7.3 DKP against them last year. The play is form over matchup.
Devan Cambridge, G, Arizona State ($6,100)
The Sun Devils play all five of their starters 26+ minutes, and Cambridge is the cheapest. Pair that with a recent surge from him, and there's a path to 3-4x return. Cambridge has averaged 24.8 DKP in his last four, almost exactly what we're looking for. There simply aren't any plus matchups on this slate. All teams defend decently, so I don't think we're going to need huge scoring to cash, or potentially win. It allows us to build a little more high-floor, lower-ceiling lineups, take 20 some DKP and move on.
Jermaine Couisnard, G, Oregon ($5,900)
Couisnard lands here more as a buyer-beware than a real recommendation. I omitted him from Wednesday's column and wanted to fade in my lineup, but at $5,300, that was difficult to do. And he came in at a massive 49.2 percent ownership in my tournament. He's had one monster game, but otherwise has averaged 17.19 DKP. Pair it with Stanford's 264th-ranked tempo, and it's difficult to see another explosive showing. I think he's still priced low enough where casual players will plug him in and move on. I'm urging caution. Perhaps not the point of this column, but I felt it worthy to highlight nonetheless.