College basketball is kicking off its 2021 season and DraftKings and FanDuel continue to provide sizable contests for CBB DFS grinders. Examining the slate for Nov. 9, 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 Core Plays | Nov. 9
Armando Bacot ($8,500) — North Carolina looks drastically different in the front court heading into 2021. They lost Garrison Brooks, Day’Ron Sharpe and Walker Kessler. While they added Dawson Garcia and Brady Manek, both play a different stylistic role than Bacot. Bacot only averaged 23 minutes last year in a big man rotation under Roy Williams. New head coach Hubert Davis is expected to unleash Bacot and his elite rates. Last year he averaged 1.13 fantasy points per minute on his elite rebounding. His 18% rebound rate and 12% shot rate should drastically increase this year. North Carolina is a 22-point favorite in an up-tempo game against Loyola-Maryland, adding more intrigue to Bacot as an expensive option.
David McCormack ($7,500) — In one of the slate’s more competitive games, Kansas faces off against Michigan State as a 5-point favorite in a game with a 145-point total. McCormack was already an efficient player last season, averaging 1.09 fantasy points per minute. However, he saw only 23.1 minutes per game while competing with Jalen Wilson. Wilson is suspended, leaving Kansas thin in the front court. Michigan State struggled with interior defense at times last year and returns the usual cast of characters in the frontcourt. With an expanded role, McCormack is a stud worth taking a look at.
Mark Williams ($7,100) — Duke lost some valuable players last year, including Matthew Hurt, Jalen Johnson, D.J. Steward and Jaemyn Brakefield. Williams only played a rotational role last year, but he averaged 1.14 fantasy points per minute in 15.2 minutes. Duke is a 1-point favorite over Kentucky in a game with a 149-point total. Williams’ biggest potential roadblock is incoming freshman Paulo Banchero. Banchero is a five-star recruit and has immense hype. Still, Williams averaged 16.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game over Duke’s final five games last year. This is a deep frontcourt, with Duke also adding former Marquette big man Theo John, but Williams is worth a look in GPPs.
Kenneth Lofton ($6,600) — One of the more interesting games on the slate, Louisiana Tech faces Alabama as a 12-point underdog in a game with a 154-point total. Louisiana Tech already plays near the league average in pace. However, Alabama has shown a willingness to pace up opponents, giving extra intrigue to Louisiana Tech. From there Lofton is priced down. Lofton started out somewhat slowly last year but emerged as a key starter. He posted a 19.7% rebound rate, 15.2% assist rate and 24.7% block rate with involvement in every statistical category. The only worry is a stiff Alabama defense that finished No. 1 in defensive efficiency last year.
TyTy Washington ($5,700) — An incoming five-star freshman, Washington is expected to play a major role for Kentucky right out of the gate. Kentucky has a strong starting five consisting of Sahvir Wheeler and Kellan Grady in the backcourt. However, an injury to C.J. Fredrick reduces Kentucky’s rotation even further. While the rotation is in flux, Washington put up 18 points with a pair of assists and steals in Kentucky’s exhibition game. If the hype is real on Washington, this could be his cheapest price of the season.
Max Christie ($5,600) — Another unknown commodity, Christie is a five-star incoming freshman for Michigan State. The Spartans lost some key pieces this offseason, including their best scorer Aaron Henry. Head coach Tom Izzo ran a nasty rotation last year, with the exception of Henry. It is possible this rotation became a necessity due to an underachieving team. Positively, Izzo let the freshman run in their exhibition game against Ferris State. Christie scored 17 points, while securing four rebounds and three steals. With a lack of viable options at wing, Christie should walk into significant minutes right away for Michigan State, making him an intriguing mid-priced option in a competitive game against Kansas.
Keon Ellis ($4,800) — Alabama is another team that suffered immense losses this offseason, losing Josh Primo, Herb Jones, John Petty, Alex Reese and Jordan Bruner. Last year Ellis played 17.5 minutes per game while starting seven. Alabama does not have a clear starting lineup yet, but Ellis likely is among this group. Ellis also had a strong showing in the Crimson Tide’s exhibition match, putting up 21 points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists. Awesemo’s median projections have Ellis slated for 28 minutes, which might even be low depending on the rotation. He is a strong value play.
Kadin Shedrick ($4,000) — Virginia lost Sam Hauser, Casey Morsell, Jay Huff and Trey Murphy from last year’s roster. While they received Jayden Gardner in the transfer portal, Shedrick is also a candidate for an increased role. Shedrick redshirted in 2019 and battled mono last year, keeping him off the court. Shedrick is a 6-foot-11 big man and contributed more than Francisco Caffaro when healthy. This is a fluid situation and could even finish as a pure rotation. While viable in GPPs, Virginia still plays at a snail’s pace. Still, as a 14-point favorite over Navy, Shedrick is a potential punt in GPPs. This slate does not have a lot of strong value plays, but the mid-tier is solid.
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