This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
DrafKings' eight-game main slate is relatively small even by Thursday standards. But, half of these contests have expected totals of 144 or more, giving us some solid options to lock in on. This slate tips off at 7:00 p.m. EST with the two highest expected totals of the night with Memphis - SMU (149.5) and Michigan State - Iowa (147.5). The three-game night slate tips off four hours later and contains the next highest-scoring matchups in Washington State - Arizona (145) and Washington - Arizona State (144). Therefore, we'll look to catch this early wave of scoring before coming back around for this late push of action out on the West Coast.
Branden Carlson, F, Utah ($9,300)
This is likely the least attractive matchup of Thursday's slate, but it could very well turn into Carlson's game. The Utes' leading scorer has posted at least 45.8 DKP in each of the past three games, logging 25, 28 and 21 points while averaging 13.7 field-goal attempts over these contests. The senior 7-footer has also come 1-2 rebounds shy of a double-double in each of these contests. Oregon State ranks 270th in rebounding percentage (47.9) and has allowed an effective field-goal percentage of 48.9, which ranks 126th. Carlson previously notched just one of his two double-doubles this season against the 8-12 Beavers on Jan. 5, so there's no reason to think he can't finish with his fourth consecutive performance of 40 fantasy points or more.
Zhuric Phelps, G, SMU ($7,500)
Phelps has been the centerpiece of SMU's offense this season, as his 16.2 field-goal attempts per game is 4.2 higher than the Mustangs' next closest player, senior Zach Nutall. The sophomore is shooting 38.8 percent from the field on the year. This percentage has taken a dip over the last three games since Phelps returned from a two-game absence with an oblique injury. But, his 33.5 percent usage rate from the past three games is still very hard to pass up in this so-so slate. Memphis also ranks 21st in adjusted tempo (71.7) while SMU ranks 119th (68.5), per KenPom, so Phelps should have even more opportunities to break this shooting slump
Filip Rebraca, F, Iowa ($7,400)
Rebraca is coming off back-to-back rough fantasy performances against Ohio State (19.8) and Maryland (14.0). However, the 6-foot-9 senior posted at least 34.5 DKP in all but one of the prior seven games, including double-doubles in four of the previous five. Rebraca has a tough matchup against this Michigan State squad that ranks 34th in effective field-goal percentage allowed (46.3) and 56th in two-point percentage allowed (46.6). But, the total of 147.5 promises more upside for scoring. His 7.0 three-throw tries and 8.4 rebounds per game over the last five contests should provide Rebraca with a firm floor as well.
TJ Bamba, G, Washington State ($6,100)
Bamba has been the Cougars' top option on offense this season by converting 43.2 percent of his 12.2 field-goal attempts per game. He also immediately reprised this role after missing three consecutive games with a hand injury, taking 18 field-goal attempts en route to 18 points versus Colorado on Sunday. Arizona is a much tougher opponent as the 42nd-ranked team in defensive efficiency (96.2) and the 39th-ranked squad in effective field-goal percentage allowed (46.6), per KenPom. However, with Washington State expected to contribute 69.75 points to this total of 145, Bamba's $6,100 value shouldn't break the bank if he is held to a rough shooting performance.
Devan Cambridge, G, Arizona State ($6,000)
Cambridge is averaging career highs in points (10.5) and rebounds (5.4) in his first season with Arizona State. The 6-foot-6 senior has also scored in double figures in five of nine conference games, including a season-high 18 points against Washington on Jan. 8. The Huskies are 60th in effective field-goal percentage allowed (47.2), per KenPom, but they're also 273rd in rebounding percentage (47.9). Cambridge is hitting a highly-efficient 52.4 percent of his 7.4 field-goal attempts per game, so it's worth taking a flier on what could be another high-upside outing for the Auburn transfer.
Keonte Kennedy, G, Memphis ($5,500)
Kennedy is on a streak of consistent fantasy production, posting between 20 and 21.8 DKP in each of the past four games. The 6-foot-5 senior has moved up into a starting role in place of shooting guard Alex Lomax, who has been out with a groin injury since Jan. 15. As a result, Kennedy has had a slightly bigger responsibility as a three-point shooter, taking 5.3 per game over this span. He is shooting a relatively average 34.3 percent from beyond the arc this season. Memphis is also expected to score 81.25 points, so scoring opportunities should be plentiful for Kennedy in what could be a runaway win for the Tigers.