This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
As usual, the Saturday slates are vastly different between the two major DFS sites, but since there are only eight games available, we'll tackle both start times, beginning with the DraftKings -only five-game slate that kicks off at 12 p.m. EST.
12 p.m. Overview
Syracuse (13.5) vs. Bucknell O/U: 135.5
Virginia (-16.5) at UMass O/U: 114
Seton Hall (-30) vs, Florida A&M O/U: 130
Memphis (-3.5) vs. Mississippi O/U: 145
Arizona State (-2.5) vs. St. John's O/U: 157.5
Elijah Hughes, Syracuse ($7,700) vs. Bucknell
Hughes has a favorable defensive matchup and also possesses one of the stabler floors of the available elites. He's a pure shooter who can also make significant contributions in the other ancillary categories. The 6-foot-6 senior piles on the assists — seven in his last game against Cornell, giving him 20 dimes in four games.
Precious Achiuwa, Memphis ($7,300) vs. Mississippi
One of the bigger headlines of the week involved the suspension of James Wiseman, and although Achiuwa is already at a premium price, he's off to a great start in his expanded role, with a 16-12 double-double against Arkansas- Little Rock. Until Wiseman returns in mid-January, the 6-9 freshman will be a consistent presence in the frontcourt and should pull down a good rebounding number Saturday — the Rebels barely scratch the top 100 in total rebound defense.
Breein Tyree, Mississippi ($7,200) at Memphis
Tyree is a mainstay in the Rebels' backcourt and ultimately elected to return for his senior year after testing out his prospects for the NBA. Memphis represents their most difficult challenge to date, but the team looks much improved from last year and is off to a 4-0 start. Like Hughes, Tyree provides one of the more stable floors on the slate and will provide good assist numbers alongside his scoring average of 14.3 points per game.
Sandro Mamukelashvili, St, John's ($6,800) at Florida A&M
This is definitely one of the most lopsided matchups on the slate, but it should be a great opportunity for the 6-11 junior to dominate inside early and often. He was a fairly consistent double-double threat last season, and this could be the spot where records his first one of the season.
Alonzo Verge, Arizona State ($5,300) at St. John's
The junior-college transfer's salary likely will start matching his production soon, but he's still at a very favorable price. He joined the team and earned a starting gig in the backcourt right away, and averaged 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and an impressive 2.3 steals over his first three games.
Joe Girard, Syracuse ($5,400) vs. Bucknell
The freshman as found himself thrust into a starting role with Jalen Carey sidelined, so he's a value add to consider based on opportunity alone. He's already shown an ability to pop off with a big number when he's hot, with a 28-point showing last week where he also drilled five threes.
Paul Newman, Bucknell ($4,900) at Syracuse
I'll refrain from making a joke about his name, but I will say that the 6-9 junior is seeing a lot more opportunity in a starting role with the Bison this season. After toiling for two years as a role player, he's already gotten off to a nice start, especially off the glass. If he can sink a few more shots, he's got a shot at a double-double against a Syracuse interior that's decent, but not spectacular.
Darian Jones, Florida A&M ($3,900) at Seton Hall
As I looked for deep value, Jones came up on my radar. The former transfer for Tulane is a regular contributor for the Rattlers and is now a regular starter. Don't expect earth-shattering numbers, but we need a pick at this level to afford our higher-priced selections. (You'll find him listed as DJ Jones on the site.)
Game to Target
Arizona State at St. Johns
With a high O/U and a narrow spread, it's the obvious go-to choice on this slate, and there's a slew of players who haven't yet garnered a mention the article. L.J. Figueroa ($8,200) is St. John's primary weapon and can offer you dual eligibility. Mustapha Heron ($7,200) and Rasheem Dunn ($6,000) are two other great targets for the Red Storm. For the Sun Devils, Jaelen House ($7,200) and Romello White are viable, and Rob Edwards ($6,200) offers value if his long-range ball gets hot.
Game to Fade
Virginia at UMass
Although the team is loaded with talent, pace is always going to be a big problem with the Cavs. They average just 58 points per game, so it's hard to give them a lot of exposure when they're active.
5 p.m. Slate Overview
SMU (-1.5) at UNLV O/U: 128 (DraftKings Only)
Purdue (-20) vs. Jacksonville State O/U: 135
Gonzaga (-27.5) vs. Cal State Bakersfield O.U: 140.5
Because this slate is so small, we won't identify a target/fade candidate, but the fact that we have two potential blowouts (and that's all FanDuel has) makes for a difficult slate to predict, especially when we look at second-half usage.
Isiaha Mike, SMU (DK $8,200 at UNLV (DK only)
I like Mike a little better than Tyson Jolly, mostly due to a more reliable floor over the first four games. Mike has started every game for the Mustangs since transferring from Duquesne two seasons ago. He's a nightly double-double threat, and his court time has been constant. Due to the narrow spread you can almost guarantee the starters will be on the floor for most of the game, which you can't get from the other two games.
Filip Petrusev, Gonzaga (DK $8,000, FD $7,700) vs. Cal State Bakersfield
I think Gonzaga is still reeling from the surprising beatdown they suffered from Texas A&M, and will keep their starters on the floor longer than usual and make no assumptions about any further opponent's strength. Petrusev's court time has been consistent in close games and blowouts, and the 6-11 sophomore should dominate inside against a weak defense.
Jahaad Proctor, Purdue (DK $6,700, FD $6,800) vs. Jacksonville State
Purdue has a few nice spots to target, but I favor Proctor. It has been a nightly struggle for him to regain the 3-point stroke, but his scoring and rebound totals have been consistent enough to have a regular impact He offers a generally reliable floor.
Anton Watson, Gonzaga (DK $6,200, FD $6,100) vs. Cal State Bakersfield
Even though Killian Tillie has returned from injury, there seems to be little need to give him an extended run as he returns to health. My take is that Tillie will give way to Watson as this game gets out of hand, and could give us a respectable total.
Also consider: Ryan Woolridge, Gonzaga (DK $7,300, FD $7,200)
Corey Kispert, Gonzaga (DK $5,800, FD $5,900) at Cal State Bakersfield
After going off for three games, Kispert was shut down in the loss to Texas A&M and also struggled with his shot against Texas-Arlington. He's due for a bounceback on Saturday against a weak opponent.
Eric Hunter Jr., Purdue (DK and FD, $5,500) vs. Jacksonville State
With Hunter making his way into the starting lineup, he's a great value at this price. The sophomore started out hot but in the last two games, he got a bit lost in the offense. The minutes are there for him to turn things around Saturday.
Cameron Allen, Cal State Bakersfield (DK $5,200, FD $4,700) at Gonzaga
Allen will be a bit outmatched by Gonzaga, but he's the floor general for the Roadrunners and should put up a decent number of points and assists as Gonzaga ends in its second unit.
Jacara Cross, Jacksonville State (DK $4,900, FD $5,000) at Purdue
It's rare that you'll see this kind of production down in the basement, but Cross jumps out as a player who has strung together some good point/rebound numbers this season. He's only netting 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, but he provides some affordability for you to reach higher-priced targets.