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. 19, 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
Oscar Tshiebwe ($9,500) — This slate brings stars and scrubs appeal with multiple cheap value plays in solid good environments. The best of the stud tier is West Virginia transfer Oscar Tshiebwe. Rebounding at an unbelievable rate, Tshiebwe accounts for a 16.8% shot rate and 35.1% rebound rate for Kentucky this season. More importantly, his minutes have solidified with 31, 34 and 39 in his last three games. Texas A&M plays solid defense overall, but Kentucky is a 7.5-point favorite in a game with a 144-point total. The Aggies rank 179th in rebounding defense, giving Tshiebwe and elite floor/ceiling combination.
Keegan Murray ($9,400) — With legitimate value in multiple spots, jamming both Tshiebwe and Keegan Murray looks possible today. Iowa is a 3-point favorite over Rutgers in a game with a 151-point total. Murray dominates usage for the Hawkeyes at 24.7%. He also has a 22.6% shot rate and 20.7% rebound rate. Iowa does abide by the “two fouls, sit the rest of the half” mentality. However, Murray has played 35 and 36 minutes in two of his last three games. Without foul trouble, he should play almost the entire game with elite usage. Iowa has a slate-leading 77-point implied team total.
Collin Gillespie ($7,600) — Another elite game environment, Villanova is a 12-point favorite over Marquette in a game with a 140.5-point total. Marquette plays extremely fast with 74.8 possessions on average, which should pace up Villanova a bit. In terms of usage, veteran Collin Gillespie leads the team with a 19.3% usage rate. Prior to Villanova’s 40-point win over Butler, Gillespie has played 35 and 38 minutes. On the year, he accounts for a 21.4% shot rate and 25.1% assist rate for Villanova. Marquette plays solid defense overall, but they often rely on their full-court press to create chaotic situations. With veterans handing the ball for Villanova, this matchup should challenge a younger Marquette team.
Ryan Hawkins ($7,500) — A highly contested Big East showdown, Creighton takes on St. John’s as a 4-point favorite in a game with a 149.5-point total. Already playing above average in terms of pace, Creighton draws one of the fastest teams in the country here. St. John’s currently averages 78.1 possessions per game. On top of that, St. John’s has a clear defensive weakness against the 3, where they rank 266th in 3-point defense. Despite holding the forward designation on DraftKings, Hawkins leads Creighton with 93 3-point attempts. He also shoots 37.6% from beyond the arc, which also paces Creighton. Overall, matchup, game environment and strong rates across the board make Hawkins a solid stud to target here.
J.D. Davison ($5,700) — Another game with an elite total, Alabama is a 4-point favorite over LSU in a game with a 149.5-point total. Both teams play with incredible pace here, which adds to the shootout appeal. While Jaden Shackelford, Jahvon Quinerly, and Keon Ellis are all a bit overpriced here, sixth man J.D. Davison is a potential value play. Despite coming off the bench, Davison has played 30, 26 and 25 minutes in three straight games. Davison is more of a facilitator, but his shot rate has increased over Alabama’s last four games. In that span, Davison accounts for an 11.1% shot rate, 10.5% rebound rate and 25.6% assist rate for Alabama. With the other studs priced above $8,000, Davison offers a cheaper attachment to the Crimson Tide.
Eric Gaines ($5,700) — The major injury news on this slate is Xavier Pinson for LSU. The teams’ starting point guard has now missed each of the last two games and is a game-time decision here. With Pinson out for the last two contests, Eric Gaines has stepped into the starting lineup and played 37 and 34 minutes. Over the last three, Gaines has accounted for a 16.3% shot rate, 12.8% rebound rate and 21.9% assist rate. If Pinson misses again here, Gaines will become one of the better price-adjusted plays on the slate.
Alex O’Connell ($5,600) — For those looking at cheaper attachments to Creighton, Alex O’Connell fits the mold in the mid-priced range. O’Connell plays a consistent role with a 14% usage rate. On the year, he accounts for a steady 17.5% shot rate, 13.7% rebounding rate and 12% assist rate for Creighton. He also plays strong minutes with 36, 29 and 32 in Creighton’s last three games. Most people will likely pay up for Hawkins or pay down for Ryan Nembhard, making O’Connell an interesting contrarian play in this price range.
Dallas Walton ($5,100) — An interesting game for potential value, Wake Forest is a 3-point favorite over Georgia Tech in a game with a middling 140-point total. While stud Alondes Williams steals the show for Wake Forest, Dallas Walton has recently played his way into a major role. Walton has 31, 36 and 38 minutes in Wake Forest’s last three games. More importantly, he accounts for a steady 11.7% shot rate, 16.4% rebound rate and 15.2% assist rate in that span. While this is not the best game environment, Walton’s minute consistency is worth a look in this spot.
Geo Baker ($4,800) — Injured for an early portion of the season, Geo Baker has returned to full health for Rutgers. He has played 36 and 34 minutes in the last two games, maximizing his team-leading 17.9% usage rate. Baker accounts for a 19.2% shot rate and 28.6% assist rate over Rutgers last three games. Already playing with efficient basketball, the Scarlet Knights draw a pace up spot against an up-tempo Iowa team. Iowa also struggles on defense altogether, ranking 148th in defensive efficiency. Looking fully recovered, Baker provides a strong value piece on tonight’s DFS slate.
Ryan Nembhard ($4,800) — Mentioned above, Nembhard looks like the preferred punt option within the St. John’s – Creighton game. Nembhard ranks second on Creighton with a 14.6% usage rate. Recently, Creighton has expanded Nembhard’s role, allowing him to play 36, 32 and 46 minutes in their last three games. In that span, he has accounted for a 26% shot rate, 8.6% rebound rate and 23.1% assist rate. Overall, he looks like the best price-adjusted play on this team.
James Karnik ($3,700) — One of the lower implied team totals on the board, Boston College is a 7-point underdog against Louisville in a game with a 135.5-point total. Interestingly, the Boston College rotation has morphed throughout the year. In their last game, James Karnik stepped up to play 33 minutes. Importantly, Karnik played well, scoring 17 points and securing five boards without a single turnover. Karnik has started 13 of his 15 games this year and he should continue to do so moving forward. While this team lacks consistency, Karnik also provides a path to multiple studs on this slate.
Arthur Kaluma ($3,300) — Creighton’s fourth player getting mentioned in this piece, starter Arthur Kaluma is $3,300 in an elite game environment. Kaluma has played 28, 22 and 28 minutes in Creighton’s last three games. While the minutes look middling overall, Kaluma has nine combined fouls over his last two games. This gives Kaluma room to play even more minutes and potentially maximize an otherwise middling 10.8% usage rate. On the year, Kaluma has a 12.4% shot rate and 11.9% rebound rate for Creighton. With multiple studs looking attractive at the top of the slate, Kaluma also allows multiple elite studs into lineups.
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