College basketball season is in full swing and DraftKings and FanDuel continue to provide sizable contests for CBB DFS grinders. Examining the college basketball DFS slate for Jan. 18, a number of core plays stand out. This piece will locate the plays from each college basketball matchup and determine the top CBB DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.
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CBB DFS Picks: DraftKings & FanDuel Fantasy Basketball
Armando Bacot ($9,000) — While Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis rightfully deserves consideration in the stud tier, North Carolina’s Armando Bacot could be an interesting contrarian pivot. North Carolina currently sits as a 2.5-point favorite over Miami in a game with a 157-point total. In comparison, the Wisconsin vs. Northwestern game has a middling 137-point total. Improving matters further, Bacot draws an elite matchup against Miami’s 280th ranked interior defense and 327th ranked rebounding defense. Already accounting for 18.4% of the shots and 28.1% of the rebounds this year, Bacot enters a smash spot here.
Christian Braun ($8,000) — Kansas enters this slate as a 3.5-point favorite over Oklahoma in a game with a 144-point total. Remy Martin looks unlikely to play here, opening up additional usage for the Kansas studs. Highlighting this list, Christian Braun has experienced a breakout season in 2021. The veteran accounts for an 18.2% shot rate, 17% rebounding rate and 19.5% assist rate for Kansas this season. While Oklahoma plays solid defense across the board, Kansas’ 73.75-point implied team total is worth targeting here.
Kameron McGusty ($7,600) — On the other side of the North Carolina game, Miami brings a 77.25 implied team total as a slight underdog against the Tarheels. Slightly less expensive than the true studs, McGusty still has an 18.1% usage rate, 20.9% shot rate, 19.2% rebound rate and 15.6% assist rate this year. McGusty has played fewer than 36 minutes in any of Miami’s last three games with the Hurricanes significantly reducing their rotation. North Carolina is slightly worse at defending guards, giving McGusty multi-category upside here.
Nysier Brooks ($7,500) — Ole Miss already ruled out Jarkel Joiner and Robert Allen for this game, narrowing their rotation. As a 9-point favorite over Missouri in a game with a 134-point total, this creates potential value for the remaining Rebel players. In particular, Nysier Brooks has stepped into a larger role in the frontcourt. Brooks has played at least 35 minutes in three straight games, while accounting for 18.4% of the shots and 32.6% of the rebounds in that span. Missouri’s primary defensive weakness occurs in the interior, where they rank 255th. This should create another strong environment for Brooks to succeed.
Jaylin Williams ($7,000) — One of the best game environments on the slate, Arkansas is a 10.5-point favorite over South Carolina in a game with a 148-point total. After messing around with the rotation earlier this year, the Razorbacks appear to have finally settled down. In the frontcourt, Jaylin Williams has at least 31 minutes in two of Arkansas’ last three games. The team’s primary rebounder, he accounts for a 29.3% rebound rate over the last three games. Williams lacks some of the same upside of those listed above him with a low shot rate. However, this game environment could coax him into a ceiling performance. He makes some sense in large field tournaments based on the game environment.
Cole Swider ($6,600) — A fairly strong game environment on tonight’s slate, Syracuse has a 3-point advantage over Clemson in a game with a 147-point total. More importantly, Syracuse plays one of the tightest rotations in the country. The cheapest of these options is Cole Swider, who has played 40, 38 and 40 minutes in three straight games. Swider has the fourth highest usage rate among the Syracuse starters, but he still accounts for a 17.6% shot rate and 19.3% rebound rate for the Orange. Clemson plays decent defense across the board, but the betting markets do not seem to think that will matter here.
A.J. Griffin ($5,500) — Another strong game environment, Duke hits the road as a 5-point favorite to take on Florida State in a game with a 145-point total. Duke’s offense flows through studs Paolo Banchero, Wendell Moore, and Trevor Keels, but A.J. Griffin has recently taken on a larger role. Griffin has now played 27 and 36 minutes in back-to-back games for the Blue Devils. He has also accounted for a 14.4% shot rate and 11.8% rebound rate in that span. While he will not project as well as others in this range, Griffin plays an emerging role for a team with a strong implied team total here.
Matthew Murrell ($5,400) — A more direct beneficiary of the Joiner absence, Matthew Murrell has played at least 37 minutes in two of Ole Miss’ last three games. Already accounting for a 14.3% usage rate this year, Murrell’s stats have spiked without Joiner. In the Rebel’s last three games, Murrell has a 17.8% shot rate, 16.9% rebounding rate and 12.5% assist rate. Looking at increased minutes again here, Murrell provides a potential mid-priced option for today’s DFS slate.
Davonte Davis ($5,200) — For those looking at mid-priced Arkansas options, Davonte Davis looks to have played his way out of the doghouse with 33, 28 and 37 minutes in Arkansas’ last three games. Davis only has a 15% usage rate this season, but Arkansas has not played with consistent starters until this month. In the last three games, Davis has displayed consistent usage across statistical categories with a 15.1% shot rate, 18.1% rebound rate and 33.3% assist rate. More importantly, he gives cheaper access to Arkansas’ near-80-point implied team total.
RayQuan Evans ($4,500) — On the other side of the Duke game, Florida State is a 5-point underdog in a strong game environment. Florida State actually looks like they might have some value to potentially target with Malik Osborne expected to miss this game. RayQuan Evans looks like a potential value piece after played 30 and 28 minutes in Florida State’s last two games. Osborne does not exactly play the same position, but he vacates 10.7% of the shots and 19.1% of the rebounds. Even a slight usage bump to Evans makes him a potential value piece on today’s slate.
Au’Diese Toney ($4,200) — For those looking to completely punt with Arkansas, Au’Diese Toney finds himself in a similar situation to Davis. Toney has played 39, 20 and 29 minutes over Arkansas’ last three games. While he has a lower usage rate than Davis, he also comes with a cheaper price. Toney still only has a 9.7% shot rate and 13.8% rebound rate this year, but he provides an entry point to a team with a massive total here.
Javon Pickett ($4,200) — For those looking at pure value pieces, Javon Pickett is egregiously underpriced for Missouri. The Tigers are 9-point underdogs, giving them a low 62.5-point total. However, Pickett has played 37, 33 and 39 minutes in Missouri’s last three games. Pickett is mostly a shooter with an 18.9% shot rate in Missouri’s last three games. However, he has added in a 10.1% rebounding rate and 11.6% assist rate, giving him more consistency. Without too much cheap value on this slate, Pickett looks likely to hit 30+ minutes.
Tre Mitchell ($3,300) — Perhaps the riskiest value piece on today’s slate, Tre Mitchell sits at $3,300 for Texas. This game environment is horrific with Texas sitting as a 10.5-point favorite over Kansas State in a game with a 124.5-point total. However, Mitchell’s price has dropped after he played a limited role due to injury in Texas’ last three games. Mitchell now looks healthy after a 16-minute outing in Texas’ most recent 9-point loss. Mitchell has a strong 18.2% usage rate when on the court, making minutes his issue. With Texas recently narrowing their minutes, Mitchell could return to 20+ minutes in a favorable matchup here.
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