This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
The college hoops slate for Tuesday, Feb. 18 has the usual 10-game offering except this time we don't have any exclusive games. Both DraftKings and FanDuel are completely aligned.
The two games that require the most attention are Creighton-Marquette and Kentucky-LSU. Both of these games have over/under totals above 150 points so they should be the highest scoring games on the board. A third game, Dayton-VCU, is also worth investigating as that game has the third highest over/under total. All of the other games on the slate have totals below 140 points so they aren't nearly as appealing. That being said, Florida State and Maryland are expected to blow out their opponent, so Seminoles and a Terrapins could turn out to be valuable DFS options.
Markus Howard, G, Marquette ($9,400 DK, $8,500 FD)
Selecting Howard is always tempting and tonight is no different. Marquette is projected to score around 79 points and it's almost a given that Howard will significantly contribute to that total. The question is – will it still be enough to cover his enormous cost? I'm going with yes but don't feel strongly about it.
Obi Toppin, F, Dayton ($8,900 DK, $8,300 FD)
Toppin is a hard player to turn down but tonight's matchup isn't ideal. Dayton is traveling on the road to face a VCU team that is ranked 26th in the country in terms of defensive efficiency (per KenPom). Toppin will undoubtedly put up stats but I'm not sure if he'll score enough to make him worth his gigantic price tag. I'm passing on Toppin due to the matchup.
Jalen Smith, F, Maryland ($8,600 DK, $8,000 FD)
Smith couldn't ask for a better matchup. Northwestern is dead last in the Big Ten in both offensive and defensive efficiency since conference season started. Smith is almost a must-start but I do have minor concern about him playing fewer minutes in the event that the game gets out of hand early. Regardless of this concern, Smith warrants serious consideration.
Mason Jones, G, Arkansas ($8,300 DK, $8,100 FD)
Jones recently scored 38 points against Mississippi State, but I'm not sure if I trust him in this situation. Arkansas is projected to score around 66 points tonight, so that leads me to believe he'll come down after his impressive effort on this past Saturday. Jones is also averaging five fewer fantasy points on the road this season so that doesn't help. I'm passing on Jones because I think his stock is too high and the matchup could be better.
Khadim Sy, F, Ole Miss ($5,300 DK, $5,000 FD)
Sy came through for us last Tuesday after I recommended him so I'm going back to the well. He had a rough game on Saturday at Kentucky but I think he'll bounce back against a much easier opponent. Sy has a usage rate above 20 percent and also has decent rebounding rates. If he can stay out of foul trouble, then I expect he'll be worth the price.
Eric Ayala, G, Maryland ($5,100 DK, $4,600 FD)
Ayala had one of his best game of the season a week ago when Maryland played Nebraska. The only Big Ten team that might be worse than Nebrasksa is today's opponent – Northwestern. Ayala has a chance for another big game given the soft matchup.
M.J. Walker, G, Florida State ($5,000 DK, $4,500 FD)
Walker has one of the highest usage rates on the team and usually approaches 30 minutes of playing time every game. He only played 18 minutes in the previous game on this past Saturday due to a mouth injury but he returned to the game and appears to be fine going forward. Florida State is expected to win handily against Pittsburgh, so I'm expecting Walker to benefit from the favorable matchup.
EJ Montgomery, F, Kentucky ($4,900 DK, $4,600 FD)
Montgomery sees inconsistent playing time although still manages to put up fantasy points thanks to his defensive abilities. LSU has one of the worst defenses in the SEC, so I'm thinking Montgomery might score more than usual considering the situation.
Issac Vann, F, VCU ($4,800 DK, $4,300 FD)
Vann has played 30-plus minutes in each of the past two games. He's also averaging around 20 fantasy points through his last five games. Vann should provide decent value assuming his playing time remains the same.
Nah'Shon Hyland, G, VCU ($5,200 DK, $4,600 FD)
This value pick is mostly contingent upon the status of starting point guard Marcus Evans, who missed the team's previous game on this past Saturday due to a knee injury. Hyland started in place of Evans and played 30 minutes in the game against Richmond. Hyland didn't play very well in that contest but will have plenty of opportunities for redemption in tonight's game if Evans is once again unable to play.
Ryan Mikesell, F, Dayton ($5,300 DK, $4,800 FD)
Mikesell managed to score 21 fantasy points in Dayton's last game against VCU and that was with just one single made field goal. Mikesell has a chance to put up even more fantasy points assuming he can make more field goal attempts this second time around.
Game to Target
Creighton at Marquette (-2.5), o/u 154, 8:30pm ET
These two teams have had the best offensive efficiency in the Big East since conference play started. Both teams prefer playing at a fast tempo. A lot to like here.
Starting with Creighton, point guard Marcus Zegarowski ($7,500 DK, $6,500 FD) always warrants consideration since he's usually the most involved. Denzel Mahoney ($5,500 DK, $5,200 FD) has the highest usage rate on the team but sees inconsistent playing time. Ty-Shon Alexander ($8,000 DK, $6,900 FD) and Christian Bishop ($5,100 DK, $FD) are two more starters that have usage rates above 20 percent. Mitch Ballock ($7,200 DK, $6,200 FD) plays the most minutes on the team and is arguably their best shooter. Damien Jefferson ($5,700 DK, $5,400 FD) offers a decent fantasy floor as he plays over 26 minutes per game while taking 18.9 percent of his team's shots while on the court.
For the home team, we first and foremost have Markus Howard ($9,400 DK, $8,500 FD). If you're not sold on Howard, Koby McEwen ($6,800 DK, $5,900 FD) leads the team in assists and has the second highest usage rate on the team. Sacar Anim ($7,100 DK, $5,500 FD) leads the team in minutes played while taking 22.5 percent of his team's shots while on the court. Brendan Bailey ($5,800 DK, $5,300 FD) and Theo John ($5,200 DK, $4,500 FD) are Marquette's two other starters and could provide great value if the game turns out to be high scoring as expected.
Game to Fade
Purdue at Wisconsin (-4), o/u 122, 7pm ET
This is your textbook Big Ten matchup. These two teams have the slowest tempos in the conference. They're both ranked top-20 in the country in terms of defensive efficiency. Not what you want for a DFS contest. In any event, if you're looking to be contrarian, here are your options:
For Purdue, Trevion Williams ($6,600 DK, $5,700 FD) has the highest usage rate on the team but has played fewer than 30 minutes in all but one game this season. Matt Haarms ($5,600 DK, $4,700 FD) has the second highest usage rate on the team but hasn't played more than 20 minutes in a game since Jan. 21 against Illinois. Eric Hunter ($5,800 DK, $4,800 FD) plays the most minutes on the team and is arguably their best shooter. Jahaad Proctor ($5,400 DK, $4,500 FD), Sasha Stefanovic ($4,800 DK, $4,300 FD), and Nojel Eastern ($4,700 DK, $4,800 FD) are all pretty similar in terms of usage rates and playing time.
For the Badgers, starting point guard D'Mitrik Trice ($6,700 DK, $6,100 FD) leads the team in minutes played and three-point attempts. Brad Davison ($5,200 DK, $5,600 FD) plays the second most minutes while taking 18.4 percent of his team's shots while on the court. Micah Potter ($6,000 DK, $4,900 FD) and Nate Reuvers ($6,600 DK, $5,800 FD) have the highest usage rates on the team but don't see as many minutes compared to other Badgers. Aleem Ford ($5,400 DK, $4,700 FD) has seen a significant increase in minutes since Kobe King left the team. Brevin Pritzl ($5,200 DK, $4,500 FD) is the epitome of a hit-or-miss player. This should be an ugly game but everyone is so (relatively) cheap that there could be value if you hit on the right player.
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