This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
As it so often does, the college basketball world will turn to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The biggest game in a deep, deep slate will feature what might be the most talented assemblage of players (minus Tre Jones) against what is arguably the best team. The Blue Devils may miss Jones on Saturday, but should welcome back Cam Reddish against Virginia. Reddish did not play on Monday against Syracuse and should be a key piece. The Blue Devils will need to hit some three-pointers to extend the pack-line, although Zion Williamson going against the heart of the defense will be something amazing to watch.
Let's hit some highlights in the DFS slate for Saturday.
Dedric Lawson, F, Kansas at West Virginia ($10,300 DK/$8,800 FD): Lawson will not amaze spectators with his athleticism, but he quietly puts up huge numbers game after game. He is an excellent rebounder and can score in a variety of ways from within the arc. West Virginia has some solid forwards, but will be without Sagaba Konate (knee), which would have made for a drool-worthy matchup. In his last road game, Lawson tallied 17 points, five steals and five blocks in the win over Baylor.
Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue vs. Indiana ($9,400 DK/$8,500 FD): In the battle for the hearts and minds of the Indiana faithful, Edwards should be primed for a big game. He had 19 points, six assists and five rebounds in the blowout win over Rutgers on Tuesday and only played 29 minutes. The 6-1 junior only scored 10 points in the win over the Hoosiers last year, but he is now the focus of the Boilermaker offense. He has hit 11 three-pointers in his last two games.
Nick Rakocevic, F, USC at UCLA ($8,700 DK/$8,400 FD): The word on the Bruins is that they are soft. Even with large freshman Moses Brown, a team with some fight can knock UCLA off its perch. Rakocevic may be made out of nails and loves to hoover up rebounds. In his two games in Los Angeles in Pac-12 play, he had 25.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in the wins over California and Stanford. While it is a nominal road game, the Trojan faithful may travel. In a lesser role last year, Rakocevic averaged 10.0 points and 9.0 rebounds against UCLA.
R.J. Barrett, G, Duke vs. Virginia ($9,800 DK/$8,800 FD): While Williamson will face the teeth of the Virginia defense, Barrett will gain more responsibility with Jones out. The 6-7 guard tallied nine dimes to go along with 23 points and 16 rebounds in the loss to Syracuse on Monday. He will have trouble driving into the UVA defense, but should be able to set up his teammates and get plenty of three-point opportunities. He hoisted 30 shots with Reddish out, but will likely be more efficient in another huge game for Duke.
Braxton Beverly, G, NC State at Notre Dame ($4,800 DK/$5,500 FD): If Markell Johnson is unable to play due to a hip injury, Beverly could take over point guard duties. He complemented Johnson last season with 3.9 assists, but is down to 2.9 as a sophomore. Beverly could add some shots along with ball handling. Notre Dame is a decent home team, but the Wolfpack could get a quality win with Beverly leading the offense.
RJ Nembhard, G, TCU at Kansas State ($3,800 DK/$4,500 FD): Nembhard moved into the starting lineup for Jaylen Fisher, who has since transferred away from TCU, and proceeded to get sick. He missed the win over West Virginia, but should be back for the defensive clash against Kansas State. If Alex Robinson struggles per his usual against Bruce Brown, Nembhard could find some openings. He had 14 points and four rebounds Jan. 9 against Kansas, which isn't bad for such an inexpensive player.
Jordan Goldwire, G, Duke vs. Virginia ($4,600 DK/$3,600 FD): With Jones out, Goldwire may get a bit more playing time. He has been a deep bench player for the Blue Devils, but the 6-2 sophomore has some interesting skills. Goldwire will likely hit his first three-pointer of the season and may play double his eight minutes against the Orange. He probably is not more than a roster filler, but could outplay his modest price.
Thomas Dziagwa, G, Oklahoma State at Iowa State ($3,000 DK/$5,000 FD): An unpleasant season for coach Mike Boynton got a bit worse when he kicked three players, including Michael Weathers, off the team for a violation of team rules. Dziagwa was already starting for the Cowboys, but he should get more shot opportunities, starting against the Cyclones. He has averaged 10.0 points in his last three games and has hit multiple three-pointers in seven straight games and all but one game this season.
Games/Teams to Target
North Carolina (-6) at Miami (o/u 156), 12:00 PM EST: The Tar Heels will almost always be featured in this spot because they have fun when they run. The team likes to get out on the break and use its big players to finish transition opportunities. Miami is only a modestly good defensive team and its starting guards Chris Lykes ($7,600 DK/$7,300 FD) and Zach Johnson ($6,500 DK/$6,700 FD) are not defensively oriented. This could mean good things for Coby White ($6,500 DK/$6,500 FD), who fouled out after scoring 17 points in the win over Notre Dame on Tuesday. Luke Maye ($8,300 DK/$8,100 FD) has double digit rebounds in four straight games with three double-doubles in that span. He averaged 8.0 points and 11.5 rebounds in the split with the Hurricanes last year. Cameron Johnson ($7,700 DK/$7,300 FD) has 15 assists in his last four games to go with his competent but not outstanding scoring. Johnson has not scored better than his 15.5-point average in five straight games.
South Carolina (+10.5) at LSU (o/u 155), 6:00 PM EST: It would make sense if you thought South Carolina was a defense-oriented team. Their best known player, Chris Silva ($6,900 DK/$7,200 FD), was the Defensive Player of the Year as a junior, but the 6-9 senior has not been able to stay on the court. He fouled out after 13 minutes in the win at Vanderbilt on Wednesday. He is a frustrating DFS player to roster, so maybe Malik Kotsar ($5,900 DK/$5,700 FD) would be better. Unfortunately, Kotsar has accrued four fouls in his last two games. It's contagious. Freshman A.J. Lawson ($6,300 DK/$6,400 FD) scored 24 points in the win over the Commodores. Lawson may be asked to check Tremont Waters ($8,000 DK/$8,100 FD), who has been producing nicely. The 5-11 sophomore has averaged 17.4 points, 8.8 assists and 3.2 steals over his last five games. Naz Reid ($6,200 DK/$6,500 FD) has a high ceiling and a low floor, making him a decent tournament pick. He may get a lot of free throws going against Silva and Kotsar.
Alabama (+13.5) at Tennessee (o/u 154.5), 2:00 PM EST: Sticking in the SEC, we have the scrappy Crimson Tide going against the best team in the conference. Tennessee is deep and big. It starts with Grant Williams ($9,800 DK/$8,900 FD), who can do a little of everything. The unfortunate thing is that he has a propensity to foul in big games, which can limit his playing time. If Williams has to sit, the Volunteers can rely on Admiral Schofield ($8,200 DK/$7,900 FD). The 6-6 forward is knocking down 46.2 percent of his three-pointers and has not been held under 12 points since Nov. 13. He might be a better option than Williams. Lamonte Turner ($5,400 DK/$5,800 FD) is coming off a 21-point game and his finding his rhythm. If Alabama is going to have a chance, Kira Lewis ($6,300 DK/$5,800 FD) will need to be ridiculous. The 6-3 freshman has hit some big shots for the Tide, but was limited to nine points in Wednesday's win over Missouri. Alabama center Donta Hall ($7,500 DK/$7,600 FD) should be active on defense and on the boards. He has five double-doubles in his last six games.
Games/Teams to Consider Fading
Michigan (-1.5) at Wisconsin (o/u 125), 12:00 PM EST: If "Big Ten" is a brand, then it connotes defense. That image is not always true, but defense should be emphasized Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center. The Wolverine defense continues to be one of the stiffest in the country, so even a player like Ethan Happ ($10,900 DK/$9,000 FD) might have trouble producing. He did have 29 points and seven boards in the loss to the Wolverines last season. D'Mitrik Trice ($6,600 DK/$6,400 FD) has had some uneven shooting games, but has averaged 15.0 points in his last two games with a combined 15 three-pointers. Wolverine freshman sensation Ignas Brazdeikis ($7,200 DK/$7,000 FD) has not been putting up huge numbers in Big Ten play, but has hit 50.0 percent of his shots in his last two games. Zavier Simpson ($6,800 DK/$7,100 FD) has been scoring extremely well with 40 points in his last two games. Jon Teske ($6,400 DK/$6,600 FD) will do battle with Happ in the paint. The Wolverine center has back-to-back double-doubles in the wins over Illinois and Northwestern.
Texas Tech at Baylor (o/u 123.5), 6:00 PM EST: Like Michigan, Texas Tech has an elite defense. The Red Raiders continue to be atop the KenPom rankings for defensive efficiency. Both Texas Tech and Baylor play at a slow pace, so the score won't get too high. Scoring won't be a problem for Jarrett Culver ($9,200 DK/$8,500 FD). He leads the Red Raiders with 18.8 points and had 20 points along with 16 rebounds in the loss to Iowa State on Wednesday. Other than Culver, they have a bunch of role players. South Dakota transfer Matt Mooney ($6,000 DK/$5,800 FD) has taken almost half as many shots as he did last year. Tariq Owens ($5,900 DK/$6,600 FD) has swatted 14 shots in his last two games, but any offense he supplies is gravy. The Bears are without their leading scorer Tristan Clark due to a knee injury. Mario Kegler ($5,500 DK/$5,500 FD) has been disappointing, but he could be a nice surprise. King McClure ($6,200 DK/$6,500 FD) had a 29-point explosion against Oklahoma State on Monday and could continue to score well.
Houston at South Florida (o/u 130), 8:00 PM EST: It has been awhile since South Florida had much of an influence in college basketball. The team has been competitive in American Athletic play and beat Connecticut and Tulane at home without much problem. They dropped games at Temple and Cincinnati, but have some interesting players. Weber State transfer LaQuincy Rideau ($8,500 DK/$8,300 FD) had a triple-double against the Owls last Saturday with 10 steals. He is third in the nation with 3.3 steals and leads the Bulls with 14.6 points and 5.7 assists. If you are looking for a forward, maybe Alexis Yetna ($7,800 DK/$7,700 FD) could fill a slot. The 6-8 sophomore is averaging 12.8 points and 10.4 rebounds. He does foul quite a bit and was eliminated from the last home game against the Green Wave. Oh, there is another team playing and they only have one loss? Well, the Cougars are led by a pair of long-distance snipers. Corey Davis ($7,000 DK/$7,300 FD) and Armoni Brooks ($6,900 DK/$7,100 FD) have combined to hoist over 300 three-point shots and have converted 37.6 percent. Davis has scored 20 points in back-to-back games and averaged 16.0 points against the Bulls last season.