This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
The Dec. 17 college hoops slate consists of several lopsided matchups with only a couple evenly-matched games.
Both FanDuel and DraftKings have nearly identical slates, the only difference being that the latter has opted to include Seattle at Washington and SE Missouri St. at Ohio State. Given that both of these home teams are massive favorites, it's a good idea to consider selecting a player from each home team if you're playing DK.
Looking at the rest of the slate, I'm focusing on the following games: Oklahoma/Creighton and SF/Stanford. These two games have the highest o/u totals and are therefore the safest bets to have high scores. The Temple/Miami matchup has the third highest o/u total on the slate but Temple has a stout defense while Miami plays at a slower tempo, so I'm inclined to avoid that game given those concerns.
Jason Preston, G, Ohio ($8,400 DK, $8,300 FD)
The star point guard is the primary go-to guy and distributor for the Bobcats. He plays almost 37 minutes per game and easily leads the team in usage rate. These two factors have allowed him to score double-digits in every game this season while collecting eight or more assists in all but three games. Preston is normally a great fantasy player but I would avoid him tonight as the Bobcats have a tough matchup against the Boilermakers. Purdue's defense is ranked fifth best in the country according to Ken Pom and his data is predicting the Bobcats to finish the game with 57 points. Preston could still end up with decent production, but he's a high risk given what he's up against.
Obi Toppin, F, Dayton ($8,900 DK, $8,100 FD)
Toppin is an elite scorer who also grabs rebounds and makes defensive plays at an incredible rate. A model of consistency, Toppin has scored 30+ fantasy points in all but one game this season. Tonight he's at home going against North Texas so there's no reason to think he won't have another highly productive game. The one issue is that North Texas plays at one of the slowest tempos in the country, so Toppin might have fewer possessions to work with than usual.
Kristian Doolittle, F, Oklahoma ($8,600 DK, $7,600 FD)
Doolittle has the highest usage rate on his team and has played 38 minutes in each of the last two games. The senior forward is a relentless scorer, having put up double digit points in all but one game this season. He's scored 50 points total in his last two games. Doolittle could potentially thrive in this matchup considering he's Oklahoma's primary power forward and Creighton's defense is weaker in the paint compared to beyond the arc.
Marcus Zegarowski, G, Creighton ($8,500 DK, $7,300 FD)
The sophomore point guard has played at least 30 minutes in every game this season while leading the team in usage rate, assists, and three-point attempts (29-of-71). This should be a high scoring game so Zegarowski seems like an essential pick on FanDuel. He's more expensive on DraftKings but could still be worth it when it's all said and done. With Davion Mintz (ankle) possibly still sidelined and Damien Jefferson ($5,400 DK, $4,600 FD) perhaps not at 100 percent, more usage could land on Zegarowski. However, Denzel Mahoney ($3,000 DK, $3,000 FD) is expected to make his return Tuesday, which could even out the aforementioned factors.
Ibi Watson, G, Dayton ($4,700 DK, $4,800 FD)
The unofficial sixth man for the flyers, Watson is averaging over 22 minutes per game and could see increased playing time in what should be an easy team victory. Watson is averaging nearly 15 points in each of his last four games.
Harlond Beverly, G, Miami ($4,500 DK, $4,500 FD)
He has the highest usage rate on the team but he's cheap because he's only averaging 18.8 minutes per game. He played 26 minutes in his last game while scoring 12 points so he seems to be trending in a positive direction. He's already scored 20+ fantasy points on four separate occasions this season so he has a high ceiling relative to his cost.
Remu Raitanen, F, San Francisco ($4,800 DK, $3,900 FD)
Remu comes off the bench but has played a majority of the game in each of his past three contests, scoring double-digit fantasy points in each one. He's scored 20+ fantasy points on two occasions this season so gambling on him could pay off.
E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio St. ($4,500 DK Only)
The Buckeyes should make quick work of the Redhawks, which means that a player like Liddell is likely to see increased playing time. He's scored 10+ fantasy points in every game since the season opener, and has even scored 23+ fantasy points in four of them.
GAME TO TARGET
Oklahoma at Creighton (-3.5), o/u 153, 8:30pm ET
This game has the highest o/u total on the slate so you'll want to plan accordingly. Starting with the road team, Kristian Doolittle ($8,600 DK, $7,600 FD), covered above, might be essential given his involvement in a high-scoring game. Another great option for the Sooners is Austin Reaves ($8,200 DK, $6,900 FD). He leads the team in minutes played while having the second-highest usage rate. Brady Manek ($7,500 DK, $6,200 FD), another key starter for the Sooners, has the third-highest usage rate on the team and has played over 30 minutes in each of the past three games so he should see plenty of opportunities in this matchup.
For the home team, Marcus Zegarowski ($8,500 DK, $7,300 FD) is your best fantasy bet but don't overlook any of the other Bluejays. Ty-Shon Alexander ($8,300 DK, $7,000 FD) has the second highest usage rate on the team and averages almost 34 minutes per game. Alexander has been scorching hot, scoring exactly 22 points in each of his past two games, and has scored at least 14 points in each of the past four games. Christian Bishop ($6,000 DK, $4,900 FD) could thrive in this game as he has the highest rebounding rate on the team and the Sooners are one of the worst teams in the country at securing offensive rebounds (per Ken Pom). Bishop averages just 21+ minutes per game but has the third highest usage rate on the team. A fourth option, Mitch Ballock ($7,700 DK, $6,400 FD), might have a lower usage rate than we like but he does lead the team in minutes played. The 6-foot-5 guard has attempts the second most three-pointers on the team while making 44.6 percent of them.
GAME TO FADE
Providence vs Florida (-5) from Barclays Center in Brooklyn (NY), o/u 132.5, 7pm ET
This matchup features two teams that are led by their defense and therefore has one of the lowest o/u totals on the slate. I would stay away from this game considering there's a strong chance this is the lowest scoring game of the night. Alpha Diallo ($8,400 DK, $7,500 FD) is the primary scorer for the Friars as he leads the team in minutes played and usage rate. The 6-foot-7 guard also leads the team in points, rebounds, and blocks. If you're going to take a Friar then he is undoubtedly the best option to consider. David Duke ($7,700 DK, $6,200 FD) is second on team in minutes played and his usage rate of 21 percent suggests that he could see a fair amount of opportunities. Duke has made 18-of-34 three-pointers this season so he tends to knock down his shots when he gets them. Starting senior point guard Luwane Pipkins ($6,700 DK, $5,400 FD) is another option as he naturally leads the team in assists and has the third highest usage rate on the team among starters.
For the Gators, their primary contributor is Kerry Blackshear ($7,900 DK, $6,600 FD). The 6-foot-10 forward leads the team in usage rate, points, and rebounds. If you need a guard, then starting point guard Andrew Nembhard ($6,300 DK, $5,900 FD) is also an option. Nembhard leads the team in minutes played and has a usage rate of 20 percent. Another option among starters is Keyontae Johnson ($5,900 DK, $5,300 FD), as he plays about 30 minutes per game and also has a usage rate above 20 percent. Johnson has been heating up lately, averaging over 14 points per game over his last five contests.
Southeast Missouri St. at Ohio St. (-29), o/u 136, 7pm ET
This game easily has the biggest point spread of the night so it's almost a given that the Buckeyes are going to have their way with the Redhawks.
If you're playing DK, Kaleb Wesson ($7,900) should be strongly considered. He is the unquestioned leader of the team and leads them in usage rate, points, rebounds, and blocks. The only potential issue is that if the score gets out of hand too quickly then Wesson might not play as many minutes. If Kaleb is too expensive, a cheaper alternative is his older brother, Andre Wesson ($5,800). The senior forward leads the team in minutes per game and recently had a three-game streak with 22+ fantasy points. Another Buckeye to consider is Kyle Young ($5,900). He's scored 10+ fantasy points in every game this season and has even topped 35+ fantasy points on two occasions. I should also mention D.J. Carton ($5,400) as he has the second highest usage rate on the team and averages 22+ minutes per game.