This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
DraftKings hadn't put out their Friday evening slate as of early Friday morning, so we'll focus on the FanDuel seven-game contest with the assumption DK will have similar teams available later in the day.
Vernon Carey Jr., F, Duke ($8,000)
Just two weeks ago, Carey was a must-own bargain option, now he sits as the slate's top-priced option. Coming off of his fifth-straight double-double, Carey is elevating his defensive effort and his ceiling in the process, swatting seven shots last time out against Stephen F. Austin, and 13 in his last four games. Carey's a known commodity now, especially against second-tier competition, and only price is a reason to fade.
Kerry Blackshear Jr., F, Florida ($7,700)
Blackshear seems like a safe pivot from Carey with near-identical potential. He's posted five double-doubles in seven games, reaching at least 30 FDP in those five outings. His ceiling isn't quite as high, and his minutes have been lower when playing secondary competition however, and with the Gators 21-point favorites over Marshall, that's a little concerning.
Lamonte Turner, G, Tennessee ($7,500)
I'm not sure what to make of Turner's start to the season, as his daily potential has been dramatically elevated by the 9.2 assists he's averaging, He handed out just 3.8 dimes a year ago so it's beyond fair to question if this can maintain. The total in this contest isn't huge (131.5), but with a near-even spread, we can feel very safe about Turner's minutes and usage.
Tre Jones, G, Duke ($7,400)
Jones has played all but one minute in three of Duke's last four games. While I rarely trust his shooting, and in turn, his scoring potential, this feels like an opportune time to plug Jones into lineups and enjoy at least 30 FDP. I expect the sophomore to lead a spirited Blue Devil effort after their stunning lost to SFA earlier this week, racking up steals and assists while forcing tempo.
Nick Richards, F, Kentucky ($7,300)
This slate has surprising depth at the forward position, so you're not forced to pay up for one with a stable floor like most evenings. Richards rounds out the top-tier, and with Nate Sestina sidelined, Richards looks incredibly safe despite the Wildcats being 21-point favorites. He played 35 minutes in a blowout win over Lamar, and has gone for at least 30 FDP in three straight and four of five. Kentucky simply has no other options in their front court, and Richards comes at a minor discount.
Matthew Hurt, F, Duke ($4,500)
I expect Wendell Moore Jr. ($4,600) to be the more obvious/popular option, so I'm happy to pivot to Hurt. Truthfully, all five Duke starters have usage rates of at least 20 percent, and make for sound options with the highest implied scoring total. Hurt has been largely scoring dependent, and without a true breakout game there is a limited ceiling, but he shouldn't have much issue providing at least 3x return at this price.
Kahlil Whitney, F, Kentucky ($4,100)
The ceiling here may be 15 FDP, but that will work just fine if you want to stack three of the top options above. We mentioned the Wildcats' lack of front court options, and while that's surprisingly led to low minutes for Whitney in a starting role, the 20.4 percent usage isn't awful. He's shooting only 42.4 percent from the floor, a number that has plenty of room for growth. The talented freshman can provide some return and salary relief Friday.
D.J. Carton, G, Ohio State ($5,100)
I like a lot of the Buckeyes' secondary options here in a likely blowout against Morgan State, and C.J. Walker ($4,600), Duane Washington Jr. ($4,500) and Luther Muhammad ($4,200) all are worth consideration. But I like Carton in this spot. He's been a scoring spark off the Buckeye's bench, and may be provided extra second-half run once the game is out of hand, where his 24.6 usage rate can lead to an uptick in production.
Issac Vann, F, VCU ($4,600)
VCU is a tough lineup to target given their depth, but facing Purdue Friday, I expect the team shorten its rotation and ride its upperclassmen more. Vann doesn't score much, which makes him a bit scary to pencil in, but he's been worth double-digit FDP in every game since the season opener, and that stability has plenty of value on the back end of rosters. He'll likely be needed to rebound a bit more than normal here against a big Purdue front, and his ability to contribute in all facets keeps the floor stable, albeit low.
Game to Target
Utah (-16.5) vs. UC Davis, o/u 138, 9:00 p.m. EST
There isn't a clear game to heavily focus on Friday, but this has the second-highest total and a slightly smaller spread than Duke-Winthrop, so we'll spotlight it here. Timmy Allen ($6,900) leads the Utes, and while he's beens lightly more productive at DK, there's plenty of appeal to his near double-double averages and 29.3 percent usage. Both Gach ($5,400) has been incredibly volatile, making for a solid GPP target, carrying a 25.2 percent usage rate. The UC Davis side looks surprisingly okay here for some value even if we believe the Utes cover the spread, and even while knowing the Utes don't allow a huge tempo boost. They do however rank 178th in defensive efficiency, and the Aggies have three starters at sub-6k pricing with usage rates north of 23 percent. Ezra Manjon ($5,800) Matt Neufeld ($5,200) and Joe Mooney ($4,900) all appear to merit consideration when rounding out rosters.
Game to Avoid
Florida State (-1) vs. Tennessee, o/u 131.5, 7:00 p.m. EST
The total here looks rightfully low, with FSU checking in sixth in defensive efficiency and 163rd in tempo, per KenPom.com, and Tennessee registering the 30th-ranked defense and 287th ranked tempo. The two lineups are polar opposite, with the 'Noles being a team we can fade due to the depth of their rotation, while the Volunteers are incredibly top-heavy. Tennessee's five starters are all playing at least 26 minutes and no reserve more than 13.4, so we can at least feel safe in their roles. Outside of Turner above, Jordan Bowden ($7,100) is locked in to a scoring role that seems limited by FSU's defense. Yves Pons ($6,200) and John Fulkerson ($6,100) but have sub 20 percent usage rates and don't rebound at a high level, and given the slate's forward depth, there are better options. Conversely, the 'Noles play seven guys 20+ minutes, led by Trent Forrest ($6,600) and Devin Vassell ($6,000). Forest has provided near 4x value at this price consistently, but lacks upside, while Vassell is heavily scoring dependent. I just see no reason to trust any FSU player given the minutes distribution, but if you're pushing for a contrarian option, freshman Patrick Williams ($5,100) has gone for at least 22 FDP in three of his last four.
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