This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
The Jan. 14 college hoops slate is another big one. Similar to last Tuesday, DraftKings is using nine games for its contests while FanDuel is going with 10. This time around we have seven games overlapping. The two DK exclusives are TCU-West Virginia and San Diego State-Fresno State. Neither of these matchups are appealing for DFS purposes, as both games feature elite defensive units (specifically WVU and SDSU) and therefore have lower over/under totals. The Mountaineers and Aztecs are clear favorites, so I'd lean on those players if you want part of the action.
Meanwhile, FD has three exclusives: Missouri-Mississippi State, LSU-Texas A&M and Virginia Tech-Wake Forest. The latter is easily the most appealing game of those three as it has the highest o/u total with a matchup that favors scoring.
Among the common pool of games, I'm focusing on Kansas-Oklahoma, DePaul-Villanova and VCU-Dayton. These three games have the highest o/u totals and are likely to be higher scoring. Outside of these three matchups, I'm also intrigued by Duke as it's expected to score about 73 points against a Clemson team that's coming off an emotional victory over North Carolina. Duke has the second-most efficient offense in the country (per KenPom), so it's definitely worth a look.
Paul Reed, F, DePaul ($8,900 DK, $8,600 FD)
Reed has one of the highest fantasy ceilings in college basketball. He averages 40 fantasy points per game while surpassing 50 fantasy points on a couple occasions. Reed's matchup against Villanova isn't favorable as the Wildcats have a clear advantage on the boards. I'm passing on Reed on DraftKings but softly considering him on FanDuel.
Obi Toppin, F, Dayton ($8,600 DK, $8,000 FD)
Toppin is questionable with an ankle injury but "hopes to play." The NBA lottery prospect usually demands fantasy consideration, but I'm firmly passing on him. Injury issue aside, Dayton faces VCU — the best defensive unit in the Atlantic 10 this season. Too much risk given the price tag.
Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville ($8,500 DK, $7,700 FD)
Nwora always seems like a great option, but I have reservations. The Cardinals scored just 64 points in their last game against Pittsburgh earlier in the season, and Tuesday's game is on the road, so it won't be any easier. That said, Nwora played well in his last game against the Panthers, so it wouldn't be surprising if he had another great game. I'm considering him in FanDuel contests but looking elsewhere if I'm playing DraftKings.
Reggie Perry, F, Mississippi State ($7,900 FD)
Perry averages a double-double and has scored 20-plus fantasy points in every game this season. Perry is worth consideration given his high floor, making it unlikely he'll sink your lineup. The only issue with Perry is his ceiling might be lower because the Bulldogs have a tough matchup. Missouri's strength is its defense, and the Tigers usually slow the game, so those factors won't help Perry when it comes to fantasy points.
Jack White, F, Duke ($4,000 DK, $4,600 FD)
White's coming off his best game of the season and could see increased playing time with Wendell Moore sidelined indefinitely. White is a gamble but could pay off.
Al-Amir Dawes, G, Clemson ($5,000 DK, $4,500 FD)
Dawes is a significant contributor for the Tigers as Clemson's starting point guard. Duke will try to push the pace of the game, so Dawes might benefit from that if the game becomes a shootout.
Clyde Trapp, F, Clemson ($4,000 DK, $3,800 FD)
Trapp missed the first 10 games of the season and didn't play much in the first two games after returning from injury. This has changed in the last three games, as Trapp has played 28-plus minutes in each game while averaging about 16 fantasy points per game. Trapp doesn't come without risk given the opponent but could pay off assuming he continues to see significant playing time.
Brad Davison, G, Wisconsin ($5,900 DK, $4,800 FD)
While not much of a value in DraftKings formats, Davison offers decent upside with his FanDuel price. He leads his team in minutes played, so he'll have plenty of opportunities to collect fantasy stats throughout the game. The matchup isn't easy, but I think he's worth the gamble in FanDuel contests.
Micah Potter, F, Wisconsin ($5,700 DK, $4,900 FD)
Potter's usage rate of 30 percent is highest on the team. He missed the first 10 games of the season due to eligibility issues but has been highly involved in all six games played in spite of limited playing time. He played 28 minutes Saturday and scored 24 points, so he has a chance to pay off big.
Malik Williams, F, Louisville, ($4,800 DK, $4,800 FD)
Williams has a usage rate of 22 percent, though only plays about a half of each game. He has a favorable matchup, so I think there's a decent chance he has a solid fantasy day.
GAMES TO TARGET
Kansas (-6) at Oklahoma, o/u 140, 9 p.m. EST
This game has the highest total on the board and features two teams that love to run up and down the court. The X-factor is Kansas' defense, which is ranked third best in the country per KenPom.
Devon Dotson ($8,100 DK, $7,500 FD) leads the team in minutes played and possessions used. I'm sure he'll be a popular pick. Udoka Azubuike ($7,600 DK, $6,900 FD) is a matchup nightmare for most teams because of his size and strength, and Oklahoma is one of the worst teams in the country at offensive rebounding. Ochai Agbaji ($5,800 DK, $5,300 FD) plays the second-most minutes on the team and has a usage rate around 18 percent. He leads the team in three-pointers made and attempted (26-of-66), so he's a good option if you're looking for a shooter. Marcus Garrett ($5,500 DK, $5,200 FD) has a high assist rate while having similar usage to Agbaji. A potential value play is David McCormack ($4,500 DK, $4,600 FD), who has usage rate higher than 25 percent but only averages 16.3 minutes per game. A boom-or-bust player due to restricted playing time.
For the Sooners, the three primary contributors are Austin Reaves ($7,500 DK, $6,300 FD), Kristian Doolittle ($8,200 DK, $7,200 FD), and Brady Manek (7,200 DK, $6,100 FD). These are the only regular starters with usage rates higher than 20 percent, so they're responsible for most of the production. Manek is the primary shooter, attempting and making the most three-pointers on the team (34-of-83). Oklahoma plays a tight rotation, so the other only player I might consider is sixth man De'Vion Harmon ($4,600 DK, $4,500 FD).
DePaul at Villanova (-10.5), o/u 139, 8:30 p.m. EST
Villanova's offense is ranked ninth in the country (per KenPom) and DePaul likes playing a fast tempo. This game has the potential to go way past the projected number. The only caveat is that Wildcats like to play slower on offense, which could limit the number of possessions depending on game flow. Note: if you like this matchup then you'll definitely want to make it a point of emphasis in FanDuel contests because the players are all consistently cheaper.
For the road team, aside from Paul Reed ($8,900 DK, $8,600 FD), point guard Charlie Moore ($8,400 DK, $7,300 FD) is a decent option as he actually leads the team in minutes and usage rate. Jaylen Butz ($6,400 DK, $5,500 FD), Romeo Weems ($5,400 DK, $4,700 FD), and Jalen Coleman-Lands ($5,200 DK, $5,000 FD) are in a lower tier but also worth consideration. Coleman-Lands is the team's most consistent shooter, so if he gets hot then he might provide extra value. And speaking of value, Darious Hall ($4,400 DK, $4,200 FD) is the team's sixth man and has had moments of being a fantasy asset this season. I should also note that Villanova's defense is weaker in the paint, which could benefit DePaul's front court.
The Wildcats play with a tight seven-man rotation, providing several decent fantasy options. Four players have usage rates higher than 20 percent: Collin Gillespie ($7,200 DK, $6,300 FD), Jeremiah Robinson-Earl ($7,200 DK, $6,100 FD), Saddiq Bey ($7,400 DK, $6,300 FD) and sixth man Justin Moore ($5,200 DK, $4,700 FD). Of these, I prefer Robinson-Earl because he's Villanova's leading rebounder, and DePaul has been vulnerable on the defensive glass this season. Another starter who should be considered is Jermaine Samuels ($6,000 DK, $5,600 FD), a versatile forward who does a little bit of everything on both sides of the ball.
GAME TO FADE
Texas Tech (-3.5) at Kansas State, o/u 122.5, 8 p.m. EST
Kansas State is ranked last in the Big 12 in offensive efficiency. Texas Tech is known for their defense. Kansas State is ranked top 40 in defensive efficiency. I'm staying away.
If you're determined to have action, then I'd start with the better team: Texas Tech. Jahmi'us Ramsey ($7,900 DK, $7,000 FD) leads the team in usage rate and plays at least 30 minutes in almost every game. Chris Clarke ($7,500 DK, $6,500 FD) leads the team in rebounds and assists. Kyler Edwards ($6,700 DK, $5,700 FD) and Davide Moretti ($5,600 DK, $5,400 FD) both average more than 32 minutes per game.
For the home team, you only have three legitimate options: Cartier Diarra ($7,400 DK, $6,600 FD), Xavier Sneed ($7,600 DK, $6,200 FD), or Makol Mawien ($5,000 DK, $4,500 FD). These three players lead the team in usage rate and no one else on the team is higher than 20 percent.
Virginia Tech (-2.5) at Wake Forest, o/u 139, 9 p.m. EST
During ACC play this season, Wake Forest has the worst defensive efficiency while also playing at the second-fastest tempo. This is a combustable combination, so there's a reasonable chance that scoring will escalate. It should be noted that Virginia Tech prefers playing at a slower tempo but that might not matter if the Demon Deacons continue their trend of not playing defense.
For the Hokies, the primary option is Landers Nolley II ($6,800) — and he might be my top pick. Nolley leads the team in minutes played and has one of the highest usage rates in the country at 32 percent. Nolley has scored more than 30 fantasy points several times this season, and I expect him to reach that number as he's going against a weaker defense. The next Hokie to consider is Tyrece Radford ($5,600), who actually has the highest offensive rating in the country among all qualified players (per KenPom). Radford's usage rate is only about 16 percent, but that's a minor concern given his exceptional offensive efficiency. If you're looking for value, Wabissa Bede ($4,800) is a great option as the team's starting point guard. Jalen Cone ($4,200) and P.J. Horne ($4,100) are also gambles but could pay off given the matchup.
If you like the home team, then the best options are Brandon Childress ($6,200) and Olivier Sarr ($6,400). The former is the team's starting point guard while the latter is a rebounding machine, nearly averaging a double-double. Sarr has the potential for an enormous fantasy payout but has a major red flag in that he commits 4.8 fouls per 40 minutes. This means that Sarr might sabotage a lineup if he can't stay on the court. Chaundee Brown ($5,600) is normally a decent third option but is unlikely to play with a leg injury. Another starting player worth consideration is Andrien White ($4,500), the most consistent shooter on the team. Anyone else is simply not worth the risk.