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. 27, 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
Keegan Murray ($9,500) — A solid stars and scrubs slate overall, Keegan Murray highlights the stud tier. The best game environment on the slate, Iowa is a 2-point underdog to Purdue in a game with a 157-point total. Murray has a 23.4% usage rate this year and will play nearly every minute without foul trouble. Purdue presents a tough matchup for the Iowa big man with Zach Edey and Trevion Williams holding down Purdue’s interior defense. However, Murray has a 22.6% shot rate and 21.5% rebounding rate this year. In Iowa’s last three games, Murray’s shot and rebounding rate have also risen to 23.5% and 30.1%. Even in the tough matchup, Murray looks like a strong play.
Chet Holmgren ($9,100) — While Iowa has an excellent game environment, Gonzaga has the highest implied team total on the slate as a 28-point favorite over Loyola Marymount in a game with a 157-point total. Chet Holmgren played 32 minutes in Gonzaga’s most recent game, maximizing his 15.5% usage rate. While there is a minute risk for all of these Gonzaga starters, Loyola Marymount’s 250th ranked defense creates an awesome scoring environment for these starters. In Gonzaga’s last three games, Holmgren has posted a 11.7% shot rate and 25.7% rebound rate. With Drew Timme slightly more expensive, Holmgren has a better price-adjusted value score.
E.J. Liddell ($9,000) — Ohio State is a 7-point favorite over Minnesota in a game with a 137-point total. Another potential stud here, E.J. Liddell leads Ohio State with a 21.2% usage rate, 23.2% shot rate, 20.7% rebound rate and 18.3% assist rate while playing 30-plus minutes per game. Minnesota ranks 123rd in defense overall, but they are particularly bad inside. The Gophers rank 221st in interior defense and 291st in rebounding. This gives Liddell and elite matchup, despite a middling 72 team total on this slate. Liddell is slightly cheaper than USC’s Isaiah Mobley in a similar spot, but both are solid plays.
Payton Willis ($7,800) — On the other side of the Ohio State game, Minnesota has a serviceable 65-point team total and hyper-condensed minutes due to injury. Usage leader Payton Willis has played 40, 37 and 40 minutes in Minnesota’s last three games. He has an 18.5% usage rate on the year and his rates have risen to a 25.5% shot rate, 18.4% rebound rate and 31.7% assist rate for Minnesota. Literally heavily involved in every statistical category, Willis’ involvement is too high to ignore here.
Malaki Branham ($6,500) — One of Ohio State’s young, promising players, Malaki Branham has played 18, 33 and 31 minutes for Ohio State in their last three games. The 18-minute game occurred in a 46-point win over IUPUI, squashing minute concerns. Branham has a 15.6% usage rate, 15% shot rate, 9.9% rebound rate and 14.3% assist rate on the year. Potentially raising Branham’s floor, both Jamari Wheeler and Meechie Johnson are banged up. If either or both miss this game, Branham could walk into elevated usage against Minnesota here.
Tyger Campbell ($6,100) — Like Gonzaga, UCLA is in a potential blowout spot as a 16-point favorite over Cal in a game with a 130-point total. With Johnny Juzang, Jules Bernard and Jaime Jaquez priced at or above $7,000, this looks like a decent time to buy low on Tyger Campbell. While less involved than the four listed above, Campbell has still played 30, 33 and 37 minutes in the last three games, behind his 17.5% usage rate. In this span, he has contributed a 14.8% shot rate, 14.1% rebound rate and 25.8% assist rate for UCLA. While most of his stats come in periphery, Cal’s defense certainly does not cause any fear.
Patrick McCaffery ($5,800) — For those looking Iowa options outside of Murray, Patrick McCaffery has the second-most role. McCaffery has played 28, 31 and 32 minutes, maximizing his 19.4% usage rate. With these consistent minutes, McCaffery has posted a 17.5% shot rate, 7.8% rebound rate and 17.1% assist rate in Iowa’s three most recent games. Jordan Bohannon also plays a similar role at a cheaper price, but he is far more volatile as a shot dependent player.
Rasir Bolton ($4,800) — On a slate full of potential value plays, Rasir Bolton stands out for his role on Gonzaga’s slate-leading 92.5-point implied team total. While minutes have been limited for all of these Gonzaga starters, Bolton still logged 29 minutes in their most recent game. Bolton is mostly a peripheral player with a 11.7% shot rate and 14% assist rate on the year. However, his minutes are more consistent than any of the Gonzaga bench players, providing a strong ceiling/floor combination here.
Tristan Da Silva ($4,400) — Colorado is a 2.5-point favorite over Washington in a game with a 137-point total. While Colorado plays a wide rotation, Tristan Da Silva and Keeshawn Bathelemy has played solid minutes of late. In particular, Da Silva has played 28, 34 and 33 minutes in three straight games for Colorado, maximizing an otherwise pedestrian 11.3% usage rate. However, Da Silva has recently started taking more shots, recording 15.4% in Colorado’s last three games. While risky, Da Silva looks to have a secure role in this offense.
Mason Gillis ($4,300) — Purdue is an interesting team to target in this game against Iowa. Edey and Williams will not play more than 20 minutes. Jaden Ivey is coming off an injury and Sasha Stefanovic is simply overpriced for his role on offense. This leaves Mason Gillis as a potential value play below $5,000. Gillis has played 29, 29 and 43 minutes for Purdue over their last three games. While 9.5% usage rate is horrific, but his peripheral stats have increased of late. In Purdue’s last three, he has accounted for an 8.4% shot rate, 12% rebound rate and 11.4% assist rate for Purdue. Another interesting GPP option could be Eric Hunter, who has recently begun playing more minutes over Isaiah Thompson. All of the Purdue players listed above are solid GPP targets behind their 79.5-point implied team total.
Luke Loewe ($3,600) — Jamison Battle, Eylijah Stephens, Eric Curry and Will Ramberg are all banged up. Some of these players will suit up, but that is not clear as of writing this piece. Involved regardless, Luke Loewe has played 40, 31 and 32 minutes in Minnesota’s last three games. While Loewe only has a 11.6% usage rate, these potential absences raise his floor. Loewe has a 15.2% shot rate and 14.6% assist rate over Minnesota’s last two games while the team has been battling injury.
Charlie Daniels ($3,500) — Another player potentially taking advantage of injury, Charlie Daniels logged 37 and 28 minutes for Minnesota in their last two games. To be more specific, forward Curry is not expected to play, while Battle is a true game-time decision with an illness. Either way, Daniels looks to be the next man up here. If both Curry and Battle miss the game, Treyton Thompson would be the other starter at forward, alongside Daniels. Thompson outplayed Daniels in Minnesota’s most recent game, but Daniels has started over Thompson multiple times this year. Watching the injury report and starting lineup should tip Minnesota’s hand before game-time.
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