This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
32 games across three slates encompasses our DraftKings Saturday college hoops contests. Usual suspects are featured everywhere, but we've got some pricing surges due to hot play we may want to fade, and hopefully some falling prices in favorable spots we can exploit.
12 seemingly enjoyable watching games start our Saturday, as only two on this slate fail to have totals in the 140-point range. We tip at noon EST in what I believe to be an incredibly deep slate thanks to the plethora of high totals.
Quinten Post, F, Boston College ($7,900)
I'm going about as cheap as I've ever gone in this top tier, which speaks to the depth of this slate. There's certainly no need to ignore the higher priced options, but we can build a really deep lineup Saturday morning, starting with Post. He's in great form, garnering a 31.4 percent usage rate across the Eagles last five, and has four 20+ point scoring outings and two double-doubles in his last six. He'll see a decent pace boost from the Wolfpack, who while ranking in the top third in tempo at 78th, per KenPom, play pretty wide open. His size poses a problem for North Carolina State, and he mobile enough to draw big D.J. Burns ($7,300) away from the basket and create separation for shots.
Wendell Green, G, Auburn ($7,800)
If paying up, especially in frontcourts, I like teammate Johni Broome ($8,900), but Green looks to be in a great spot to put up big scoring numbers. He's averaging 15.2 points (and 5.1 assists) since December 28th, when conference play began. Green also managed 29.8 DKP against Tennessee in that grinder of a game last week, showing the elevated floor without needing to score. But points shouldn't a problem against Alabama and their nation-leading tempo. He went for 42.5 and 36.25 DKP in two meetings with the Tide last year.
Ed Croswell, F, Providence ($6,900)
More tempo creating a nice upside opportunity here for Croswell at a sub-7k price. St. John's plays at the nation's third-fastest tempo, which resulted in an 83-80 Providence win in a previous matchup. Croswell isn't a massive scorer, but he should get into double-digits given the matchup. His 7.3 rebound average is decent, but he's likely overdue a double-digit showing, having not gotten 10+ boards since January 14th. He was worth 31.75 DKP in that previous matchup, which works terrifically at this price.
Tre Mitchell, F, West Virginia ($6,500)
Revenge narrative, anyone? It worked the last time, as Mitchell put up 26.0 DKP in his last meeting with his former school, his second-highest point total across WVU's last six showings. He's wildly inconsistent, resulting in a really low floor. But he's got more upside than the likes of Tanner Groves ($6,100), and as with most nights, the bottom drops off the cliff with regards to forwards pretty rapidly. He's my least favorite pick of this segment, as I'm not confident we can get to 4x. But I don't think he'll bottom out given the opponent.
Brevin Galloway, G, Clemson ($4,900)
Galloway can make for a nice glue guy at this low number, which hasn't caught up in his second game back from a two-game absence following minor abdominal surgery. He's gone for at least 20 DKP in seven of his last eight outings, and the matchup looks favorable as well. We've seen countless opposing guards go at North Carolina, who struggles to stop dribble penetration, and also rank 151st in 3-point defense, giving Galloway multiple paths to production.
Kario Oquendo, G, Georgia ($4,600)
Oquendo is someone I apparently can't quit, as he was featured here last year and turned in a stinker of a 5.25 DKP showing. More ugliness is provided by Kentucky, who rank 264th in tempo and 85th in defensive efficiency. But the price point here is just so low that we don't need much for a return. The status of lead guard Terry Roberts ($8,100) will play major factors here. He's back at practice after missing two games with a concussion. If he doesn't play, offensive onus falls on Oquendo, and he'll be super chalky. If he does play, I'd expect most to completely ignore Oquendo. We've seen the miserably low floor, but the price is down $900, reducing the risk. Oklahoma's Otega Oweh ($3,900) is our bottom barrel option to free up additional spending.
12 more games tip here between 3:00 and 7:00. I find this slate to be far more top heavy, with Trayce Jackson-Davis ($11,300) leading the way. Every time he's present, we have to ask if we can find enough value elsewhere to squeeze him in.
Six of these games have totals of 140 or higher, with Florida-Vanderbilt flirting with that number too. That seems to say there's enough scoring where we can target Jackson-Davis, but I don't think he's a necessity. For multi-entry players, I'd absolutely build with and without. For single-entry, I'm leaning towards fading.
Markquis Nowell, G, Kansas State ($9,100)
In looking for an elite option sans Jackson-Davis, the choice seems to come down to Nowell or Tyree Appleby ($9,200) for virtually the same price. I'm hoping Nowell is a lower used option with some chasing Appleby's last outing. Nowell has certainly cooled since his January tear, but he did go for 45 DKP against Texas Tech previous, doing so with a diverse stat line. We know there's a high floor, high ceiling here, but can we get it with low roster percentages?
Norchad Omier, F, Miami ($8,400)
I worry big time about a let down for the 'Canes here, off big wins at Clemson and at home against Duke. Omier however seems immune to that thanks to his double-double likelihood. Louisville ranks 276th defensively, and also rank 212th in offensive rebounds allowed. He's not a 50+ DKP option, but at nearly $3,000 less than Jackson-Davis, he allows for a more balanced build.
Jalen Bridges, F, Baylor ($6,600)
This looks like a game where we want shares, given the nearly 150 point total, but comes with no obvious target. Bridges seems to present stably yet unspectacularly. He's coming off a down game, his first single-digit scoring output in 10 outings, which has lowered his price $300. That game is also the lone time he's failed to return 3.5x in that stretch, further solidifying this profile. Safe, boring production at an average per player price. There aren't many other forwards with that set up.
Dereck Lively, F, Duke ($6,400)
Has Lively's price risen enough that he's not obvious? That's the hope, because we know the matchup will be faded against the slow-paced Cavaliers. It's always a risky proposition to use a guy that doesn't score easily, but the ceiling is so high thanks to Lively's rising minutes and ability to block shots; he has 13 in his last two and 20 in his last four.
Nick Smith, G, Arkansas ($5,900)
Obviously, playing Smith means you'll have to have a pivot should he not suit up. And it's fair to question his minutes in a potential return after missing 13 games. Further, the matchup isn't ideal with Mississippi State ranking 329th in tempo and fourth defensively. But there may not be a bigger upside play all season at a sub-6k price. Smith could see his price shoot up 1K or more simply by returning, and makes for a high upside play for GPPs.
Riley Kugel, G, Florida ($4,900)
Kugel's price isn't rising enough for me to lose interest. He's played at least 24 minutes in five straight starts, garnering 30+ in back to back outings, resulting in at least 22.75 DKP in three of those games. This game won't play fast, but Vanderbilt checks in at just 180th defensively. And at a sub 5k price, there's minimal risk. He's scored in double-digits just twice in this starting stretch, so no there is some volatility and minimal ceiling.
A smaller eight-game slate awaits Saturday evening. Only two games have totals north my magical 140 points, resulting in lineup questions. Stack the high scoring games, take their studs and bargains elsewhere, or take their role players and aces in these lower-scoring games?
There's a ton of forward depth here, with seven of the slate's top eight being frontcourt options. So, grab two, get some cheaper backcourt options and enjoy your nightcap of hoops.
Drew Timme, F, Gonzaga ($9,900)
While I implore you to get creative and try to use both, we're likely forced to decide between Timme and Azuolas Tubelis ($10,100) to start our builds. Timme comes at a small discount, but I just feel better about this game's total being real. The Zags rank 46th in tempo and BYU 41st, and while Arizona will push pace (11th), Stanford won't (266th). These two played to a 1-point game earlier in the year, and if the Cougars can keep it close again, we should get some upside from Timme, who posted 41.5 DKP in that matchup.
Keion Brooks, F, Washington ($8,700)
Given the slates depth of forwards, paying up as noted above isn't a requirement, it just stands out given those top two options in the top scoring games. Brooks is one of the reasons we don't have to pay top top dollar, as he's is so consistent. He's provided between 33.5 and 45.5 DKP in each of the Huskies last eight games. The matchup is pretty gross, as the Cougars come in 59th defensively and 325th inefficiency, but with Washington underdogs against their in-state rival, I'd expect them to lean on Brooks early and often.
TJ Bamba, G, Washington State ($6,800)
The middle tier on this slate is a pretty slippery slope given the plethora of top options, paired with the high level of low scoring games. Truth be told, I struggle to find a path to 4x for Bamba as he doesn't do much peripherally. But he's a volume shooter and scorer for one of the few teams expected to reach 70 points here. Teammate Justin Powell ($7,000) may be a more stable option, should he fit your budget.
Derek Fountain, F, LSU ($6,700)
Fountain looks like a high-ceiling, volatile option for Saturday evening. He's playing well, resulting in an increase in minutes, averaging 15.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.3 blocks across the Tigers last three, playing 31.3 minutes. The volatility comes in essentially everything he'd done previously, which includes just one double-digit showing in his previous eight outings. A&M won't help Fountain's cause, playing at the 214th tempo and locking down for a 67th defensive efficiency ranking. The slate sadly just doesn't offer many middle and below frontcourt options.
Amari Bailey, G, UCLA ($5,800)
Bailey presents rather obviously Saturday night. He's a former $7,000 player whose price hasn't responded to its earlier season number due to injury. He's started three straight since returning from a foot injury, and seems to have his minutes trending upward, playing 27 in the Bruins last outing. He's scored in double-digits in every game since returning, chipping in a few boards and assists. And this contest with Oregon is expected to be tight, suggesting the Bruins will run their best players out as much as possible.
Spencer Johnson, G, BYU ($5,600)
Despite the large underdog role Saturday night, BYU has the slate's third or fourth highest implied total, further highlighting the pace we're expecting and why I favor Timme above. Johnson had a season-high 18 points in an earlier meeting against the Zags, and while we can't anticipate that again, if we continue to trust the tempo, he surely gets to double-digits, something he's done only once in his last five outings. He's been solid in defensive contributions, collecting nine steals in his last three outings. We're seeking 22.4 DKP, something Johnson has provided in six of nine starts. I'll take that favorable percentage.