This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
After a brief hiatus for Thanksgiving last week, we're back for another addition of the DFS Thursday night preview. It's quite a light list of games, and both platforms include the same three contests: Furman/Auburn, Louisiana Tech/Mississippi St and Oklahoma/North Texas. Keep in mind as the season goes on, there's a better indication of usage rates, and how teams will fill out their rotations. As always, we have plenty of useful tools to help you compile your rosters, especially our advanced daily lineups and lineup optimizer. Let's dive into the slate.
Reggie Perry, Mississippi St, F ($7,800 FD, $8,700 DK)
Perry is the highest-priced option on DraftKings and second-highest on FanDuel with good reason. The sophomore has averaged 34.9 DraftKings points per game this season, and has been in double-figures each contest. He'll get a nice little bump with Louisiana Tech playing at the 57th fastest pace this season, and the team listed as one of the shortest teams in college basketball. Furthermore, Mississippi St is the second tallest per KenPom, so expect Perry – who's averaging 8.9 rebounds this season – and the rest of the Bulldogs to clean up the glass. Perry is also leading his team in usage at 27.2 percent this season.
Samir Doughty; Auburn, G ($7,100 FD, $8,500 DK)
The senior has been averaging 33.2 DraftKings points this season, and has a ceiling in the 50s like we saw against Cal St. Northridge on Nov. 15 (across just 24 minutes). Despite the Tigers opening as as 12.5 point favorites, Furman is no pushover coming in at 7-2 this season. Doughty has seen a respectable 24 percent usage rate this season and takes 24 percent of shots while on the floor. Furman ranks in the middle of the pack in pace coming in at 174th, so they could elect to slow the pace down on the more rapid Tigers in this one. Other writers have harped on the discrepancies in pricing between platforms, and Doughty's a guy I like on FanDuel, but doesn't warrant consideration on DraftKings at his price there in my opinion.
Clay Mounce, Furman, G ($8,000 FD, $7,500 DK)
Mounce has saved some of his best performances this season against the top two teams on the schedule thus far, as he put up 39 DraftKings points Monday against South Florida and 31.3 DraftKings points against Alabama on Nov. 19. However, he doesn't have the strong ball-dominant numbers as other top guys, as it's perplexing to see him own just a 20.6 usage rate this year. Regardless of that fact, he does have two things going for him: his effective field goal percentage and opponent. Mounce ranks 88th among all D-1 players in effective field goal percentage (64.2), and Auburn plays at the 82nd fastest pace in the country. I'd advise staying away from Mounce on FanDuel, but I'll look to deploy him in tournaments on DraftKings.
Kristian Doolittle; Oklahoma, F ($7,200 FD, $8,200 DK)
The most ball-dominant player for the Sooners this season has racked up a 25.7 percent usage rate, and has averaged 31.9 DraftKings points. Doolittle might face some resistance Thursday, however, as North Texas ranks second-to-last in pace this season per KenPom. He's one of four players on the Sooners that owns at least a 20 percent usage rate when on the floor, so it's tough for me to advise playing Doolittle on Thursday. If you're looking for a better option for Oklahoma, Austin Reaves ($6,800 FD, $7,700) comes in a bit cheaper, and has played in 86.1 percent of minutes compared to Doolittle's 62.1.
Umoja Gibson, North Texas, G ($5,600 FD, $5,300 DK)
Gibson has been sneaky good this season for the Mean Green, averaging 23.3 fantasy points and 30.9 minutes per game. His usage rates reflect his solid start, taking 29.2 percent of shots while on the floor and owning a 25 percent usage rate. Furthermore, Oklahoma comes in as one of the faster-paced teams in college basketball (49th, per KenPom), so Gibson should get opportunities to score and produce in all categories. Despite the total sitting at the lowest on the slate (126.5), I still like Gibson in all formats to provide some variation from some of the more high-profile teams such as Auburn and Oklahoma.
Iverson Molinar, Mississippi St, G ($4,200 FD, $4,600 DK)
The freshman is everything you want in a bargain bin player in DFS. He's started every game this season, averaged 25.6 minutes, and owns a 22.6 percent usage rate. Coupled with his dirt-cheap salary Thursday, he's a must-play for me in all formats. Molinar also draws a great matchup against the 57th-fastest team in the country, hopefully opening the door to more opportunities from a fantasy perspective.
Here are a few players not mentioned above who meet the following criteria: they start, play at least 25.0 mpg, are top 2 on their team in usage rate and are priced less than $5,500, per our Advanced Daily Lineups Page.
Games to Target
Furman @ Auburn (-12.5) o/u 145, 9 p.m. EST
Speed kills in this game as Auburn comes in as the 88th fastest team, and Furman a modest 174th in pace. This game comes in as the highest total of the slate also, which helps make it a clear choice to target. For the Tigers, aside from Doughty ($7,100 FD, $8,500 DK), J'Von McCormick ($6,400 FD, $7,200) dishes out at a ridiculous assist rate of 37.3 percent this year (good for 24th in the nation), and owns a 23.6 percent usage rate. He's averaged a modest 26.1 DK points per game this season, and has played 28.3 minutes per game. A nice mid-tier option comes in the form of Austin Wiley ($5,700 FD, $6,200 DK). He's started all seven games this season, and standing at 6-foot-11, Wiley can take advantage of the shorter Furman squad that is 323rd in the nation in average height this year.
Furman boasts a very nice bargain option in Jordan Lyons ($4,900 FD, $5,900 DK). Not only has he played 83.7 percent of minutes this season, he also leads the Paladins in usage rate thus far at 26.4 percent. The team has used its bench sparingly this season, coming in at 339th in bench minutes, which leads me to starter Alex Hunter ($5,500 FD, $5,000 DK). Though he has just a 15 percent usage rate, he's played in 82 percent of minutes this campaign and gets a the pace-boosted matchup.
Game to Fade
Oklahoma (-5.5) @ North Texas o/u 128.5, 8 p.m. EST
The total in this game is enough for one to shy away entirely – and it's difficult to fade a game entirely with only three on the slate – but the sheer distribution of shots scares me as well. Oklahoma has five players with at least a 19 percent usage rate this season, and has six players with at least 20 minutes per game. De'Vion Harmon ($4,700 FD, $5,500 DK) is the top depth option for the Sooners. But even he plays fourth-fiddle in the lineup with a 17 percent usage rate while averaging 18.7 DK points per game. I'm nervous the Sooners will get bogged down on the road by the second-slowest team in the nation in tempo this year in North Texas.
The Mean Green have used anywhere from six-to-eight players in their rotation this season, as eight players average at least double-digit minutes. The usage rates are even more spread out, with eight players again averaging at least 18 percent usage. One player that catches my eye from the bargain bin is Zachary Simmons ($4,500 FD, $4,600 DK). Not only has he accumulated a 19 percent usage rate and started every game this season, he also comes in 11th in the nation in offensive rebounding rate (17.2) per KenPom. Oklahoma does play at the 50th-fastest tempo in the nation, but as I mentioned before, I could see North Texas really trying to slow the game down and limit the possessions where the more talented team can take over.
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