DFS College Basketball:  Saturday Preview
DFS College Basketball: Saturday Preview

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

We're endeavoring to undertake a hefty job with Saturday's article - we'll tackle both of the day's featured slates. FanDuel is only limiting their college hoops exposure to the 12 PM ET slate, so it would seem a bit unfair to ignore those who have bankrolls over there and only focus on DraftKings' late slate.  So - hold on to your hats, we're going to go all-in with both slates!

Slate Overview

12 p.m. EST

Maryland (-20.5) vs. Oakland O/U: 141

Virginia (-23.5) vs. Columbia O/U: 118

Villanova (-19) vs. Ohio O/U: 135

Boston College (-1.5) vs. Belmont  O/U: 147

Temple (-4.5) at LaSalle O/U: 138

St. Johns (-3) vs. Vermont O/U: 142.5 (FanDuel Only)

5 p.m. EST  - DraftKings Only

Tennessee (-1) at Washington O/U: 134.5

Creighton (-9) vs. Louisiana Tech O/U: 141.5

Butler (-10.5) vs. Wofford O/U: 135 *

Indiana (-23 ) vs. Troy  O/U: 145

*Game unavailable on DraftKings Sportsbook at time of writing, odds provided via FanDuel Sportsbook.

Top Players

EARLY SLATE

G Nate Pierre-Louis, Temple (DK $9,100, FD $8,700) at LaSalle

Pierre-Louis has picked up where he left off in his sophomore season, already distinguishing himself with two double-doubles in this first two games. The Explorers really have no one suitable to stop him, and I'm inclined to think that the standout forward will help the Owls beat the 4.5-point spread with ease.

C Jalen Smith, Maryland (DK $8,700, FD $7,800) vs. Oakland

This game could get out of hand, but there's cause to make room for Smith, who's arguably the most recognizable name on the slate, and quite possibly the best overall talent. Smith added some weight in the offseason, which already is reaping benefits. He recorded two double-doubles to begin the season and stuck around late into the blowout games, so I think he's safe to garner similar numbers despite the Terps being huge favorites. There's merit to considering teammate Aaron Wiggins (DK $7,500, FD $7,300) as well, though he's a bit overpriced. Anthony Cowan (DK $6,900, FD $6,800) is a much better Maryland pivot if you think Smith is too expensive.

G Jason Preston, Ohio (DK $8,000, FD $8,300) at Villanova

Preston is the No. 1 reason the Wildcats shouldn't sleep on the Bobcats, as Preston sails into his sophomore season as one of the best prospects out of the Mid-American Conference.  You could make the argument that they haven't played anyone yet, but Preston is a nightly triple-double threat who could cause a few headaches for Villanova on Saturday.

C Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova (DK $7,800, FD $7,000) vs. Ohio

The freshman didn't fare well against Ohio State and his salary took a huge hit as a result.  He was one of my endorsements in that game and while he disappointed me, I'm going to go back to the well with the talented prospect in hopes that he'll right the ship against a weaker opponent. I think he'll start looking worthy of the Preseason Freshman of the Year title he earned this time around.

LATE SLATE

G Ty-Shon Alexander, Creighton ($8,500) vs. Louisiana Tech

Alexander rightly deserves a mention whenever Creighton is featured on a slate.  The dynamic junior makes plays all over the court, and he's just warming up his three-point shot, where he compiles most of his lofty scoring totals. He excelled in a tough test against Michigan earlier in the week with a 20-point, eight-rebound performance where he also tacked on three steals.

F Bryce Nze, Butler ($7,800) vs. Wofford

Nze has been welcomed with open arms at Butler after transferring from UW-Milwaukee last season. After sitting out a year, he jumped right into the starting lineup and started contributing immediately. Despite only being 6-foot-7, he possesses excellent rebounding skills and provides the Bulldogs with a dominating frontcourt presence. The only concern is the presence of previous starter Bryce Golden, who could steal some minutes.

F Isaiah Stewart, Washington ($7,700) at Tennessee

I like Stewart a lot because I think this is a game to load up on. The 6-9 freshman center has made an immediate impact, and although his rebounding totals have disappointed, he's swatted eight balls in just two games and is converting almost 61 percent of his shots.

Value Plays

For college hoops in particular, I identify value plays as targets who fall below the median prices on both sites.  I realize that's a little high for some to consider as a value, but I will strive to go as low as is prudent for the slate.

EARLY SLATE

F Quinton Rose, Temple (DK $5,700, FD $5,900) at LaSalle

There's a lot to like about Rose in this spot.  The senior really came alive in the late stages of his junior season, and I think it's only a matter of time before his numbers rise up to and exceed last season's. He's coming off an encouraging 16-point, eight-rebound game against Morgan State and is a safe bet to see 25-30 minutes every game.

Sylvester Ogbonda, Ohio (DK $4,800, FD $4,100) at Villanova

I predict low ownership for Ogbonda, who is pretty much an unknown quantity after transferring from Georgia Tech.  He certainly didn't catch on there, but we've already seen a bit of what the 6-10 center can do. He's already earned the starting job and although his scoring totals haven't been especially good, he's put together enough in the other categories to give him about 20 FPPG.  He faces a tough Villanova team, but I like him as a flyer with some upside.

G Ayinde Hikim, LaSalle (DK $4,500, FD $4,800) vs. Temple

He started out slow against Iona, but starter David Beatty faded in the second game against Penn, where Hikim posted 14 points and an impressive four steals.  If this game gets out of hand, the Explorers might be prone to just let Hikim loose to see what he can do.  

LATE SLATE

Robert Phinisee, Indiana ($5,200) vs. Troy

It will be interesting to see how the guard minutes shake out in Indiana. Phinisee started 29 of 32 games last season, and a lingering abdominal injury has hampered him coming into his sophomore year.  He appeared to be mostly off a minutes restriction as he came off the bench and logged 22 minutes against North Alabama. Aljami Durham and Armaan Franklin will be consistent challenges for his minutes, but Phinisee deserves the starting gig and hopefully, we can get some decent output from him while he's at this price.

Cobe Williams, Louisiana Tech ($5,000) at Creighton

Williams saw his minutes tick up significantly against NAIA Wiley in his second game, so we may see an upward trend as he begins his freshman year.  You can't miss the guy — his bright red dreads light up the court, and as a member of the Texas All-State team, he comes in highly touted. He's definitely worth a flier at this price.

Mubarak Muhammed, Louisiana Tech ($4,800) at Creighton

The 6-7 senior looked great against NAIA Wiley with a 10-rebound game, vaulting him above 30 FP, which is excellent for this price point. Creighton is an excellent rebounding team, but you have to like the upside at this price, and he came on strong off the bench in several games last season.

Games to Target

EARLY SLATE

Boston College (-1.5) vs. Belmont

Since this game has the narrowest spread and the highest O/U line, we should try to get as much exposure as possible, and thankfully there's no shortage of targets from which to choose. The marquee adds for Boston College are senior guard Derryck Thornton (DK $8,400, FD $7,000) and junior forward Steffon Mitchell (DK $7,500, FD $7,400). While I feel that Thornton's price is a little too high on DraftKings, it's more suitably priced on FanDuel, where we could get a little over 4x value relative to his floor.  Mitchell's totals are entirely dependent on his rebounding numbers, and the Bruins rank a meager 283rd in the country off the glass, making Mitchell a reasonable addition in your builds. On the Belmont end, the best high-priced option is center Nick Muszynski (DK 7,700, FD $7,100), who will break into the starting lineup in his sophomore season. I also think there's good value to be had with Belmont's Adam Kunkel (DK $6,600, FD $5,900) who went off for 28 points against Samford earlier in the week. Freshman Jay Heath Jr. (DK $5,800, FD $5,300) has been impressive early for the Eagles, and the as-yet-unknown DFS commodity could be a great value add.

LATE SLATE

Tennessee (-1) at Washington

The sole purpose of heading here is to place your cash on the one-two punch of Lamonte Turner ($8,200) and Yves Pons ($7,800). The Vols lost a lot of talent this offseason, and both of these guys  figure to be the primary contributors.  Turner is a dime-dropping double-double threat, while Pons is a multi-category force who will enjoy a full-time starting gig after starting 13 games last year. The unquestioned top guy for the Huskies is guard Nahziah Carter ($7,200), who's already averaging 18.5 points, five assists and two steals in his first two games. Kentucky transfer Quade Green ($4,500) is a decent budget play who could make some waves in this game as well.

Games to Avoid

EARLY SLATE

Virginia (-23.5) vs. Columbia

The syrupy-slow pace of the Cavs is almost always going to garner a fade call for me, and I'm even more inclined to knock this off my list due to the bench variance we'll likely experience when this game gets out of hand. I understand the allure of going after a superstar guard like Braxton Key, but I don't see any of the players in this game joining my lineups, except for the GPPs, where I could potentially find some bench value.

LATE SLATE

Indiana (-23) vs. Troy

The Trojans live and die by the three-ball, and the Hoosiers will be keyed in on that as the toughest opponent Troy has faced this season. I do think Indiana is a spot where we could get some value, as most of its top guys aren't that expensive, but identifying a Troy endorsement is a risky call, as it could get neutralized by a more polished Indiana squad.

St. John's vs. Vermont (FanDuel Only)

When a game is excluded from one site, it often slips through the cracks, so let me give you FanDuel players a couple targets for this game.

L.J. Figueroa, St, John's ($8,000) vs. Vermont

The senior has looked spectacular in his first three games of the season, averaging 20 points, 5.7 rebounds, four assists and three steals.  It's hard to find a more consistent guy on FanDuel's slate, and he's sure to provide a very solid floor at this price point.

Anthony Lamb, Vermont ($7,700) at St. Johns

Lamb elected to return to school, but he definitely had the numbers to enter the NBA Draft last season. He's one of the best and most consistent players you'll find at the mid-major level and is in line for his third triple-double of the season if he stays this hot.

You can also find some value with guys like Mustapha Heron ($6,900) and Josh Roberts ($6,600) for St. John's. Vermont's Ryan Davis ($5,400) is your second choice for the Catamounts.

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for numerous sports outlets and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
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