DFS College Basketball: Tuesday Preview and Picks

DFS College Basketball: Tuesday Preview and Picks

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

Hey oh! On the heels of a $40,000 total prize pool Monday night, DraftKings is rolling out a $10,000 first-place prize and a $50,000 total prize pool across a 12-game slate that's going to lead to plenty of lineup diversity. Perhaps we're at that point of the season, or perhaps it's just the lull with the NBA All-Star Break lagging until Thursday evening. Either way, we'll take it!

DraftKings also has a three-game late slate that comes with $6,000 in total prizes and a $2,000 first-place prize, numbers we're used to seeing on a nightly basis prior to this windfall. 

Main Slate

This is a doozy of a slate, regardless of the prizes being offered. We have one game of the 12 with a total under 140 points, and that's a Maryland-Wisconsin matchup that has two high-end Terps we've routinely used all year with great success. Only nine of the 24 teams included here have expected totals of 75 points or greater, so we should see a ton of different lineup strategies.

We've also got Creighton's high-end big three, which I saw lineups stack all of to take me down over the weekend, but the Bluejays are facing UConn's elite defense. It seems like a spot to fade Creighton, but it could also result in low roster percentages. I'm going to try and tread lightly here and not take too many shots, but hope for stability. Trust your gut, stack as you see fit and take some chances on this big-money slate.

Top Players

Jamir Watkins, F, Florida State ($7,900)

Over his last seven games, Watkins has a 31.4 percent usage rate while no teammate has one greater than 20.0 percent. He's averaged 17.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.9 blocks across that stretch, giving him multiple paths to fantasy contributions. Twice in this stretch he's flirted with 50 DKP, so we've got potential. He does have foul concerns, five times in these seven games picking up at least four transgressions, but the floor has still been a 3x return at this price, so even a down game won't sink you.

Tyson Walker, G, Michigan State ($7,500)

Walker has scored in double digits in every game but one this season, which was conveniently last week when I highlighted him in this column. The appeal remains the same -- he's remarkably consistent and again in a pace-up spot against Iowa where the Spartans are expected to score 82 points. He has a 29.2 percent usage rate on the year. Take the 30 DKP or better as a stable anchor, and build from there.

Middle Tier

JJ Starling, G, Syracuse ($6,200)

Starling appears to have finally found his footing for the Orange. Over his last seven games, he's played 37.1 minutes, averaging 18.1 points, 2.3 rebounds while taking 13.1 shots and 7.4 3-pointers nightly. He'll face a Wolfpack defense that ranks 211th nationally in 3-point percentage defense, allowing a 34.2 percent connection rate. Starling went for 37.0 DKP in an earlier matchup with NC State, and while it's not ideal to bank on points singularly, he's in a plus matchup to give us 4x strictly based on scoring, where everything additional provides potential.

Efton Reid, F, Wake Forest ($6,200)

We seem to have a decent price break on Reid, so while I'd usually strive to highlight a sub-$6,000 player here, the feeling is Reid is too solid to pass up. He's down $1,300 from his season-high, and the matchup appears in his favor. His 7-foot, 240-pound frame will have a few inches and at least 20 pounds on any defender Pitt can throw at him. He posted a double-double while playing a season-high 38 minutes against the Panthers previously, seemingly speaking to the coaching staff liking the matchup for their big man. Look for a similar result Tuesday.

Bargain Options

Michael O'Connell, G, North Carolina State ($4,800)

O'Connell has started five straight and averaged 28.2 minutes in those starts. He's a facilitator only, seeing a meager 10.1 percent usage rate in those starts, but averaging a diverse 4.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.4 steals. Syracuse plays fast (40th in tempo), doesn't defend at a high level (46th in efficiency, but 266th in effective field goal percentage), and allows assists on 50.8 percent of its opponents' made baskets. O'Connell has been worth at least 14.25 DKP in four of these five starts, with a 30.75 DKP ceiling. He seems worth the risk at this price.

Joshua Ojianwuna, F, Baylor ($3,500)

There are very few sub-$5,000 starters on this slate, and most of those are starters by definition only, and not sound contributors. As such, building from balance rather than top tier and punt plays is my preference. If you're looking to fit in multiple high-end options, Ojianwuna can help balance your budget. Over his last 10 games, he's averaging a usable 15.8 minutes, putting up 5.1 points and 2.6 rebounds. There's volatility, as six times he's failed to reach double-digit fantasy points. At this price, we can stomach that, as there's reasonable expectations he won't be a zero. He earned 9.75 DKP against BYU previously in a game where Baylor scored 81 points. With pace being solid here, if he repeats, that's good enough.

Evening Slate

Three games wrap up our Tuesday contests, and with March rapidly approaching, it's worth looking at. All three home teams on this slate are anticipated to win by at least seven points, with two being double-digit favorites. It gives us some pretty low expected totals on the three underdogs, as they come with expected totals of 65 or less. Accordingly, we'll see heavy roster percentages from Boise State, St. Mary's and Nevada. It's very feasible to load up and/or stack any of those three, as only two players on the slate are priced at $8,000 or greater.

Top Players

Kenan Blackshear, G, Nevada ($7,600)

I don't see a way around not using Blackshear, as he presents as the most stable option on the board. He's taken double-digit shots in nine of his last 12 and comes with a 30.9 percent usage rate in that stretch, averaging a diverse 15.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.7 steals. Despite this matchup shooting out last time, Blackshear went just 3-of-12 from the floor. With Wyoming ranking 316th in effective field goal percentage and 337th in 2-point field goal percentage, where Blackshear lives, I'd expect a big bounce-back effort.

O'Mar Stanley, F, Boise State ($7,200)

Stanley's game logs of late could keep interest low, but for tournament lineups, he's shown immense upside, with 40+ DKP in a quarter of his last 12 games. That's highlighted by a mammoth 30-point, 11-rebound outing against San Jose State last time they met up. While a repeat is unlikely, it's also not necessary at this price. The Spartans simply lack the bulk to contend with the 240-pound Stanley and are also woeful defensively, ranking 299th in efficiency and 328th in effective field goal percentage allowed.

Middle Tier

Brendan Wenzel, G, Wyoming ($6,300)

Wenzel is averaging 40.2 minutes across the Cowboys last six games, putting in 17.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.0 steals. The fact he never leaves the court is the main appeal. This game has the highest overall total, and while that's mainly on Nevada, these two erupted the last time they matched up, ending with a 98-93 final score that saw Wenzel post a 19-7-4 line. Nevada is elite defensively and plays slow, so a repeat isn't likely, but with stable and high minutes, Wenzel shouldn't bottom out.

Chibuzo Agbo, G, Boise State ($6,200)

We noted the Spartans defensive deficiencies in the above portion of this column, but what I conveniently left out is they can't defend the 3-point line, ranking 355th, allowing a massive 38.2 percent success rate. Agbo averages just under six long attempts nightly and hits at a 40.8 percent rate. He should get plenty of open looks here, and rebounds well enough to give us 30 fantasy-point upside.

Bargain Options

Caden Powell, F, Wyoming ($4,600)

Powell gives us a big body that plays, and is priced under $5,000. That's honestly the extent of the analysis, especially if you subscribe to the narrative most lineups will build out from the slate's three heavy favorites. Powell has earned double-digit fantasy points in all but three games this season, but of worry is the fact that those three have come in the Cowboys' last seven games. He fouled out in 19 minutes against Nevada last time, but still managed to return nearly 3x. Not great, but sound enough to plug in and load up elsewhere.

Luke Barrett, G/F, St. Mary's ($3,900)

Barrett is a puzzling case. He averaged 11.0 points and 5.0 rebounds across two games last week, earned his first start of the year as a result and mustered only 4.5 DKP in a game where the Gaels scored 103 points. So, we know there's risk, but it's minimized by the price. The plus side is Barrett offers position flexibility and steady minutes. Alex Ducas is the stable play from this lineup, but Barrett balances the budget.

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. Chris Bennett plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: k30kittles, DraftKings: k30kittles.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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