This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
The Feb. 11 college hoops slate has the usual assortment of 10 games with one exclusive game each for DraftKings and FanDuel. The DraftKings exclusive is Missouri-LSU while FanDuel is offering Nebraska-Maryland. Both games have the same over/under total although Maryland is projected to score a few more points so you'll want to keep that in mind.
All things considered, the games I'm targeting (in order) are: UNC-Wake Forest, Dayton, Kentucky, and NCSU-Syracuse. These games (or teams) have the highest projected point totals so naturally they are ripe for DFS consideration. Dayton and Kentucky specifically are expected to score the most points tonight while winning by 10-plus points. It certainly behooves any DFS player to have a Flyer and/or a Wildcat in their lineup. The same note also applies to LSU and Maryland although those are exclusive games so you'll only have one of them available depending on the site.
John Mooney, F, Notre Dame ($9,400 DK, $8,600 FD)
Mooney is without a doubt the best rebounder in the ACC and therefore has an incredibly high floor. He's also scored 10-plus points in every game since December so he certainly knows how to put the ball in the basket. All that being said, Mooney has an extremely difficult matchup tonight. Virginia has the fourth best defense in the country (per KenPom) while playing at the slowest pace in the country. Needless to say, these are the last things you want to deal with when considering a player for a DFS contest. I'm firmly passing on Mooney given the extreme circumstances.
Xavier Tillman, F, Michigan St ($8,800 DK, $8,300 FD)
Tillman has scored 33-plus fantasy points in each of his past six games and is generally a safe pick. Tillman is almost matchup-proof thanks to his versatility, but tonight won't be easy. Illinois has the third best rebounding rates on both offense and defense in the Big Ten since conference season started. On top of that, Illinois has the 25th best defense in the country (per KenPom) so Tillman will have his work cut out for him. I'm passing on him because of the tough matchup.
Fatts Russell, G, Rhode Island ($8,700 DK, $8,100 FD)
Russell is an exceptional point guard and an elite defender. He's also an excellent shooter, having made 28-of-64 three-point attempts since A10 conference play started. This is notable because Dayton is much weaker at guarding the perimeter compared to inside the paint. Russell can likely take advantage of this. Rhode Island will probably lose tonight's game but I still think Russell is a great DFS option.
Obi Toppin, F, Dayton ($8,300 DK, $8,300 FD)
Toppin is one of the most dynamic scorers in the country. Dayton is projected to score around 79 points tonight so I'm expecting Toppin will once again light up the scoreboard. That being said, his matchup isn't great on paper. Rhode Island boasts the best defense in the Atlantic 10 since conference play started, so Toppin might have to work harder than usual. Toppin is reasonably priced so I'm definitely considering him although the matchup does make me hesitate.
Jalen Smith, F, Maryland ($8,500 FD)
Smith finally came down to Earth on this past Saturday against Illinois. Before the game on Feb. 7, Smith had scored 38-plus fantasy points in five-straight games. He was bound to have a bad game (for his standards), but I think it's fair to say he'll probably bounce back tonight. Nebraska is arguably the worst team in the Big Ten and it plays with the fastest tempo in the conference. The perfect combo for Smith and DFS players. The only risk here is that Smth could play fewer minutes than expected if Maryland takes a commanding lead early in the game. In any event, Smith demands strong consideration.
Ibi Watson, G, Dayton ($4,700 DK, $4,500 FD)
Watson sees inconsistent playing time as Dayton's sixth man but he makes his minutes count when he gets them. Watson currently has the 15th-best offensive efficiency rating in the country among all players that use at least 20 percent of their team's possessions (per KenPom). Moreover, Dayton is expected to win by 10-plus points tonight so Watson has a legitimate shot at seeing additional playing time.
Khadim Sy, F, Ole Miss ($5,000 DK, $4,900 FD)
Sy has a usage rate above 20 percent and is also active on the boards. Prior to his last game, he had scored 20-plus fantasy points in four straight contests. His only issue is foul trouble, as he commits 6.3 fouls per 40 minutes. If he can stay out of foul trouble, then I expect he'll be worth the price.
Manny Bates, F, NC State ($4,900 DK, $4,600 FD)
If you're in the mood to gamble, check out Bates. He doesn't score many points but he's a blocking machine who also pulls down his fair share of rebounds. He recently missed a couple games due to a concussion and was being eased back into the lineup. His last game at Miami was his first start since the injury and he had his best game of the season as he scored 30-plus fantasy points in 29 minutes. His playing time remains unpredictable, but the freshman could provide great value if he sees a similar number of minutes.
EJ Montgomery, F, Kentucky ($4,600 DK, $4,400 FD)
Montgomery is another player that sees inconsistent playing time, although he still manages provide a reasonable fantasy floor thanks to his rebounding and blocking abilities. Kentucky is expected to win by a big margin and score around 78 points tonight, so Montgomery might benefit from the soft matchup.
Quincy Guerrier, F, Syracuse ($4,600 DK, $4,700 FD)
Guerrier is averaging around 19 fantasy points in his last six contests and could have more if he wasn't plagued by foul trouble. The sixth man for the Orange is an effective player when he's on the court, but the only problem is that he's currently committing 5.8 fouls per 40 minutes. The good news for tonight's matchup is that NC State has one of the lowest free throw rates in the ACC so that would suggest Guerrier might be less likely to find himself in foul trouble.
Adrio Bailey, F, Arkansas ($4,500 DK, $4,600 FD)
Bailey has seen an increase in minutes since Isaiah Joe went down with a knee injury on Feb. 1. Joe is now ruled out indefinitely after having his knee scoped so Bailey should continue to see an increased role for the time being. Bailey might also benefit from this matchup because he's particularly adept at stealing the ball, and Tennessee actually has the worst offensive turnover rate via steals in the entire SEC. The only red flag with Bailey is that he commits 5.2 fouls per 40 minutes so foul trouble is always a risk.
Game to Target
North Carolina (-1.5) at Wake Forest, o/u 149.5, 8pm ET
The game with the distinction of having the highest over/under total goes to UNC-Wake Forest. Both teams love to run and are evenly matched, so there's a lot to like.
Starting with the road team, the best option is freshman phenom Cole Anthony ($8,500 DK, $7,800 FD), as he has one of the highest usage rates in the entire country. Garrison Brooks ($7,600 DK, $7,300 FD) plays the most minutes on the team but is currently listed as questionable after suffering an eye poke in the previous game this past Saturday. Armando Bacot ($7,000 DK, $7,000 FD) is another significant contributor with a usage rate above 20 percent. Leaky Black ($5,700 DK, $5,700 FD) has started all but one game this season but sees fewer minutes compared to other starters.
For the home team, we first have Olivier Sarr ($7,600 DK, $6,700 FD) and Brandon Childress ($7,300 DK, $6,100 FD). These two players use the most possessions on the team so they will likely provide most of the offensive production. Chaundee Brown ($5,800 DK, $5,600 FD) comes off the bench but averages the second most minutes on the team. Andrien White ($5,400 DK, $4,700 FD) is the best shooter on the team, having made 45-of-115 shots from behind the arc this season. Isaiah Mucius ($4,400 DK, $3,900 FD) sees inconsistent playing time but has scored 20-plus fantasy points in a few games this season.
Game to Fade
Notre Dame at Virginia (-4.5), o/u 123, 9pm ET
This game has the lowest o/u total on the slate and it's not even close. In fact, KenPom is projecting the game to have a 118 points, so oddsmakers are taking an optimistic view on this game. As noted earlier, Virginia has a top-four defense in the country while playing at the absolutely slowest tempo out of all 353 teams. I would recommend looking elsewhere for DFS points but if you're determined to have action in this game then your options are:
John Mooney ($9,400 DK, $8,600 FD) leads the Irish in usage rate and was already discussed. Prentiss Hubb ($6,100 DK, $6,000 FD) and T.J. Gibbs ($6,500 DK, $5,600 FD) see the most minutes on the team. Dane Goodwin ($4,900 DK, $5,100 FD) is the team's sixth man and takes 22.8 percent of his team's shots while on the court. Juwan Durham ($5,200 DK, $5,000 FD) and Rex Pflueger ($4,800 DK, $4,500 FD) are the other two starters but are generally less involved than the other players already mentioned.
For the home team, we have Mamadi Diakite ($7,000 DK, $6,300 FD) and Kihei Clark ($6,900 DK, $6,100 FD) leading the way. Braxton Key ($6,600 DK, $5,800 FD) and Jay Huff ($5,500 DK, $5,200 FD) are right behind them in terms of minutes played and usage rate. Tomas Woldetensae ($4,400 DK, $4,500 FD) is averaging around 20 fantasy points per game in his last four contests. Note: Notre Dame has the worst three-point defense in ACC games this season so Virginia's shooters might benefit from the matchup.
Nebraska at Maryland (-17), o/u 144.5, 8:30pm ET
Maryland is expected to score over 80 points tonight so it's probably in the best interest of FanDuel players to consider taking a Terrapin or two.
If you're interested in the Huskers, Cam Mack ($7,100) is easily your best option. The next best options are Haanif Cheatham ($5,400) or Dachon Burke Jr. ($5,300), although I should note both players are currently listed as game-time decisions. If either players sit out then that could open the door for more minutes for players like Jervay Green ($4,800), Yvan Ouedraogo ($4,800), or Thorir Thorbjarnarson ($4,500).
For the home team, I already discussed Jalen Smith ($8,500) but starting senior point guard Anthony Cowan, Jr. ($7,000) is another strong option. Maryland generally plays with a tight six-man rotation so any of the following players could provide great value: Aaron Wiggins ($5,300), Darryl Morsell ($4,800), Eric Ayala ($4,100), or Donta Scott ($3,900). The latter two players are bigger gambles but could see more minutes and involvement if the Terrapins jump out to a big lead.
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