This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
The Dec. 10 college hoops slate features a mix of conference games as well as a few intriguing non-conference matchups.
For DraftKings lineups, three games stand out: Maryland at Penn State, Nevada at BYU, and Milwaukee at Kansas. The latter two aren't available in FanDuel but are important for DK. The Nevada/BYU matchup has the highest o/u total of the night (153), while Kansas is a 26-point favorite over Milwaukee so it's a good idea to take a Jayhawk or two and take advantage of their easy matchup.
For FanDuel lineups, I'm focusing on three games in particular: Maryland at Penn State, UConn vs Indiana, and Brown at St John's (the latter being exclusive to FanDuel). These games are projected to be the highest scoring games on the FD slate and you'll specifically want to take advantage of the St. John's game. The Red Storm typically play at one of the fastest tempos in the country and should cruise to an easy victory over the Bears.
The other games on the slate are likely to be lower scoring and feature tougher defenses going against each other. That being said, there are still a couple superstar players on some of those teams so you'll want to consider them even if the game isn't very appealing for fantasy purposes.
Tyler Bey, G, Colorado ($8,700 DK, $8,300 FD)
The 6-foot-7 junior is coming off his worst game of the season, as he managed to score just over 20 fantasy points for the Buffaloes in a loss at Kansas this past Saturday. Before the game against the Jayhawks, Bey had scored at least 30 fantasy points in every game this season. Bey makes a significant impact on both ends of the floor, as he's averaging 11.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.9 blocks, and 2.4 steals per game. His only flaw, although minor, is that he averages just 27.9 minutes per game. Nonetheless, he leads his team in usage rate and seems to be matchup-proof so far this season.
Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville ($8,300 DK, $8,000 FD)
The best player on the number one team in the country, Jordan Nwora should always be up for consideration. His matchup against the Red Raiders is a tough assignment but he's Louisville's No. 1 go-to-guy, so don't let the matchup deter you from selecting him. Nwora easily has the highest usage rate on the team and plays 30.1 minutes per game, allowing him to score 21.6 points per game. He's an excellent 3-point shooter (23-for-50 this season) and should be able to take advantage of a Red Raider defense that seems to have a weakness against three-pointers. Texas Tech's defense is ranked No. 13 in overall defensive efficiency per KenPom but is ranked No. 228 against 3-pointers, suggesting that Nwora might be able to take advantage here.
Jalen Smith, F, Maryland ($8,000 DK, $7,900 FD)
Another player who does it all, Jalen Smith has monster stats across the board. While he doesn't lead his team in usage rate (23.9 percent), he nonetheless offers an incredibly high floor as he averages 13.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks during 28 minutes per game. His conference matchup against the Nittany Lions won't be easy, but both teams love to run so Smith should get plenty of opportunities to make plays on both ends of the court.
Yoeli Childs, F, BYU ($9,000 DK Only)
After missing the first nine games of the season due to NCAA suspension, Childs returned with a bang and scored 29 points in just 25 minutes of action against Utah on Dec. 4th. In his second game back against UNLV this past Saturday, he put up 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in just 23 minutes of action. During the course of 32 games last season, Childs played 33.3 minutes per game and averaged 21.2 points and 9.7 rebounds. He produced those numbers with a usage rate of 31.2 percent, so it's likely his current usage rate of 36.8 percent will come down slightly. As if these stats weren't enough incentive to take him, his game against Nevada is projected to be the highest scoring game on the slate and Childs figures to play a central role in the contest. Nevada doesn't have a particularly stout defense and it loves to play at a fast tempo. Childs has a high price tag, for good reason, but it could be worth it all things considered.
Tyler Bey, G/F, Colorado ($8,700 DK, $8,300 FD)
See above, but also note that DraftKings grants him dual-position eligibility.
Christian Vital, G, UConn ($8,400 DK, $7,000 FD)
The senior guard leads his team in almost every major category (per game): minutes (30.5), points (14.8), rebounds (8.3), and steals (2.9), and is second when it comes to usage rate (26 percent). In spite of these numbers, it remains difficult to justify his high price tag in DK contests, as he hasn't scored more than 30 fantasy points in any of his last three games and none of those previous opponents compare to Indiana. Hard pass with DK, soft consideration with FD.
Devonte Green, G, Indiana ($6,300 DK, $5,900 FD)
Has good value in FD, could be worth the price tag in DK. Green has the second highest usage rate on his team and is tied for most points per game (14.8).
Justin Smith, F, Indiana ($5,900 DK, $5,700 FD)
Smith has the highest usage rate out of all five starters for the Hoosiers and has the potential to have a monster game any given day. He often scores 20+ fantasy points and even scored 40+ fantasy points in the season opener against Western Illinois.
Sean McDermott, F, Butler ($5,500 DK, $5,000 FD)
He's played the second most minutes on the team and is averaging 11 points per game. He might have a low usage rate but he knocks down his shots when he gets opportunities. In Butler's last game against Florida, he scored 16 points, had seven rebounds and three assists. His next opponent, Baylor, has a stout defense but it's slightly weaker against 3-pointers, so McDermott will likely have some opportunities to take advantage of that. He's made 18-of-40 three-point attempts so far this season.
GAME TO TARGET
Maryland (-1) at Penn State, o/u 144, 7pm EST
This game has the potential to be a fantasy gold mine. Both teams like to run, and Penn State most recently allowed 106 points to Ohio State this past Saturday. On the Terrapin side, we already discussed Jalen Smith ($8,000 DK, $7,900 FD), but you'll also want to strongly consider taking Anthony Cowan Jr. ($7,800 DK, $6,900 FD). Cowan leads the team in minutes (32 mpg), points (16.6 ppg), assists (4.4 apg), steals (1.4 spg), and perhaps most importantly – usage rate. Another significant contributor for the Terrapins is Aaron Wiggins ($6,500 DK, $5,500 FD). He's second on the team in minutes played (29.4 mpg), and has the third-highest usage rate of all the starters, enabling him to score 10.5 points per game and grab 5.7 rebounds each contest.
For the Nittany Lions, the best overall option is Lamar Stevens ($8,000 DK, $7,500 FD). While he's not the most efficient scorer, he easily has the highest usage rate on the team, and plays 28.1minutes per game. The second highest usage rate on the team belongs to Mike Watkins ($7,900 DK,$7,600 FD). The 6-foot-9 forward plays in just over half of each game (22.9 mpg) but leads the team in rebounds (9.1 rpg) and blocks (3.8 bpg) to go with 10.7 ppg. Another solid player for the Nittany Lions is Myreon Jones ($6,000 DK, $5,400 FD). Jones' usage rate is on the lower side but still leads the team in minutes (30 mpg) while averaging 13.1 points, 3 assists, and 1 steal per game.
GAMES TO FADE
Louisville (-7) vs Texas Tech (at Madison Square Garden), o/u 131, 7 pm EST
This game has a low total and for good reason: both teams feature stout defenses and play at slower tempos. Not a good recipe for fantasy success.
If you're determined to pick a player in this matchup then, aside from Jordan Nwora, you might want to take Dwayne Sutton ($6,800 DK, $5,900 FD). Sutton leads his team in minutes (31.3 MPG) and rebounds (8.3 rpg) so he's active throughout every game. His usage rate isn't as high as we'd like but he's still averaging 9.4 points per game so he's taking advantage of every opportunity. Similarly, Ryan McMahon ($5,000 DK, $4,500 FD) plays 29.9 minutes per game while averaging 10.2 points and 2.1 assists per contest. He's particularly sharp at shooting beyond the arc, making 25-of-50 three point attempts this season, and that could come in handy against a Red Raiders defense that seems to have a weakness against good shooters.
Out of the pool of Red Raiders, then I'd suggest Kyler Edwards ($6,400 DK, $6,000 FD), a 6-foot-4 sophomore who leads the team in minutes played (31.4 mpg) and averages 10.5 points, and 3.8 assists per game. Similarly, Davide Moretti ($6,100 DK, $5,000 FD) is another comparable option in that he's second in minutes played (30.5 mpg) while averaging 13.8 points per game. It's also important to note that Texas Tech's biggest contributor is Jahmi'us Ramsey ($7,800 DK, $7,100 FD), but he's a game-time decision and has missed the last two games. Even if the star freshman does suit up, it's difficult to know how many minutes he'll play coming off a hamstring injury.
Northern Iowa at Colorado (-10), o/u 126, 9pm ET
Outside of Tyler Bey, there isn't much to look at here. Colorado's defense is one of the best in the country right now and Northern Iowa prefers to slow the game down. Not what you want for a fantasy game. The Buffaloes should dominate this matchup, so there might some value on Evan Battey ($5,700 DK, $6,300 FD) or McKinley Wright ($6,700 DK, $5,200 FD). Both players are regular contributors for Colorado and could benefit from the weaker competition.
Brown at St. John's (-13), o/u 148, 7pm ET
Strongly recommended for FanDuel lineups. The Red Storm should cruise to an easy victory, and with a higher o/u total, it's highly advisable to take a couple St. John's players.
The most expensive player, perhaps surprisingly, is Brandon Anderson ($7,200) for the Bears. As their senior point guard, Brandon plays over 37 minutes per game, while averaging 20.5 ppg, 3.9 apg, and 4.4 rpg. These are nice numbers, but the Red Storm will easily be his toughest opponent so far this season. Brandon will have plenty of opportunities but it might not matter given the talent disparity between the two teams.
A better option for this game is LJ Figueroa ($7,000), the Red Storm's team leader in minutes, points and steals per game. He will no doubt be a key component for St. John's in what figures to be a blowout. Another player of note is Josh Roberts ($6,200), a defensively-oriented forward for the Red Storm. He has started all ten of his team's games and is averaging 8.7 rebounds, 7.7 points, and 2.6 blocks per game. The other starters for the Red Storm are Mustapha Heron ($5,200), Julian Champagnie ($6,700), and Nick Rutherford ($4,600). St John's has started the same five players in all 10 games this season, so any of them are good options to consider given the matchup.
Nevada at BYU (-7.5), o/u 153, 9pm ET
This game features the highest o/u total on the slate so you'll want to plan accordingly. For the Cougars, aside from Yoeli Childs, you'll also want to consider Jake Toolson ($7,100), as he plays a team-high 34.5 minutes per game with the third highest usage rate on the team. He averages 15.4 points and 3.6 assists while hitting 40.4 percent of his three point attempts (21-for-52). Another player sure to contribute to the Cougars' cause is TJ Haws ($6,200). He plays over 30 minutes per game and has the second-highest usage rate on the team, so he'll no doubt play a significant part in the contest. A better value pick though might be Alex Barcello ($5,800). His usage rate is lower but he still averages over 10 points per game while also playing over 30 minutes per game.
On the other side, we have Nevada. The Wolfpack have scored at least 98 points in each of their previous two contests, so they know how to score and love to run. Jalen Harris ($8,200) leads the team in usage rate and has been on fire lately. In his last five games, Harris has scored at least 40 fantasy points in every game. Another key player for the Wolfpack is Jazz Johnson ($6,800). Johnson plays the most minutes on the team and has the second-highest usage rate. He has scored at least 28 fantasy points in each of his last five games.
Milwaukee at Kansas (-26), 0/u 138, 8pm ET
If you're playing DraftKings, then picking a Jayhawk or two is essential. The last time they played a home game against a team on Milwaukee's level was on Nov. 15 against Monmouth and Kansas won 112-57. The primary option here is Devon Dotson ($8,100) as he leads the team in usage rate and minutes played. The other notable option here Udoka Azubuike ($7,700), who's scored at least 24 fantasy points (DK) in every game this season while scoring 40+ on two occasions.
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