This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
The Feb. 25 college hoops slate is filled with many different options. DraftKings is giving us 11 games to choose from while FanDuel is giving us 10, and only eight of the matchups are overlapping. The DK exclusives are: Dayton at George Mason, Kentucky at Texas A&M, and Memphis at SMU. The FD exclusives are: TCU at Iowa State and DePaul at Xavier.
Some of these exclusive matchups are interesting but ultimately they pale in comparison to what we have available in the common pool of games. The matchups I'm focusing on the most are: Alabama at Mississippi State, Iowa at Michigan State, Duke at Wake Forest, and NC State at North Carolina. All four of these games are expected to have 147-plus points scored so you'll definitely want to take a look at the players involved. I should specifically note that Michigan State, Duke, and Mississippi State are all projected to score 80-plus points in each of their games so these are great building blocks to consider when assembling your roster.
Luka Garza, F, Iowa ($9,200 DK, $9,000 FD)
It's hard to pass on Garza but if there's ever a game to do it – this is it. Iowa is facing Michigan State tonight and the Spartans currently boast the toughest defense in the Big Ten. Since conference play started, Michigan State's defense ranks first in defensive efficiency, effective FG percent, 3-point percent, 2-point percent and shot blocking percent. I would probably take Garza if he was playing anyone else in the conference but I'm passing in this case.
Xavier Tillman, F, Michigan State ($8,700 DK, $8,700 FD)
Unlike Garza, Tillman will have the pleasure of going against one of the worst defenses in the Big Ten. Iowa's defense currently ranks as the third worst in Big Ten since conference season started so I'm expecting Tillman will put on a show. Tillman's expensive price tag is tough to overlook but it seems that he's a relatively safe option considering he'll be at home and playing against an opponent that is lacking on defense.
Obi Toppin, F, Dayton ($8,600)
Toppin had cooled off throughout February but erupted for 45 fantasy points in his previous game against Duquesne. This bodes well for Toppin entering tonight's game as he will go against a much weaker team in the form of George Mason. Dayton is projected to score upwards of 76 points tonight so Toppin should make for a great DFS play assuming he and his teammates meet expectations. I'm definitely considering Toppin in this spot.
Paul Reed, F, DePaul ($8,400)
Reed is having an incredible season but I don't like his prospects for tonight. DePaul is going on the road to take on a Xavier team that is ranked top-20 in terms of defensive efficiency. Xavier is also an excellent rebounding team so I'm expecting Reed to have fewer rebounding opportunities than usual. I'm definitely passing on Reed due to the tough matchup.
Matthew Hurt, F, Duke ($4,900 DK, $4,800 FD)
We once again have another game where Duke is projected to blowout it's opponent and score 80-plus points. Hurt has seen his minutes fluctuate quite a bit lately but has still managed scored 29-plus fantasy points in two of his past three games. He should have another solid game assuming he can stay on the court.
Jericole Hellems, F, NC State ($4,900 DK, $4,600 FD)
Hellems has scored 20-plus fantasy points in three of his past four games. Tonight's contest in Chapel Hill figures to be a fast paced high scoring affair, so Hellems should get plenty of opportunities to once again put up points.
Kevin McCullar, G, Texas Tech ($4,900 DK, $4,600 FD)
McCullar is heating up. He's scored 20-plus fantasy points in four straight games while seeing a significant increase in playing time. McCullar came off the bench for most of the season until two games ago when he was inserted into the starting lineup. McCullar is in store for another great game assuming his playing time remains the same.
Clyde Trapp, G, Clemson ($4,900 DK, $4,300 FD)
Trapp got himself into foul trouble in his previous game but had played 32-plus minutes in four straight games before that. Trapp has nice upside thanks to great rebounding and assisting rates but can also be disappointing at times.
Gabe Brown, F, Michigan State ($3,700 DK, $4,200 FD)
Brown is coming off one of his best games of the season. He's seen his playing time reduced over the past month but that hasn't hurt his efficiency. Brown currently has the highest offensive efficiency rating in Big Ten games among all qualified players (per KenPom). Brown has a real risk of being a complete non-factor but there's also a chance he'll provide tremendous ROI. I'm leaning toward the latter.
Wendell Mitchell, G, Texas A&M ($5,000 DK Only)
Mitchell has the highest shot usage rate on the team and has played at least 33 minutes in each of the last three games. Mitchell certainly has a tough assignment tonight but I still think he's a great option. All things considered, Mitchell is a low-risk player and could be strong pick if he and the Aggies continue exceeding expectations.
Game to Target
Alabama at Mississippi State (-3.5), o/u 157.5, 9pm ET
This game easily has the highest over/under total on the slate, making it a ripe matchup for DFS consideration. Add in the fact that we have a small point spread and it seems that there's plenty of great options all around.
Starting with the road team, we have starting point guard Kira Lewis Jr. ($8,300 DK, $8,200 FD) who is by far the team's most involved player. John Petty Jr. ($7,600 DK, $7,300 FD) is arguably the team's best shooter, although Jaden Shackelford ($6,300 DK, $5,500 FD) would likely have something to say about that. Herbert Jones ($5,400 DK, $5,000 FD) recently came back from an injury and isn't playing as many minutes before he got injured. Alex Reese ($5,100 DK, $4,600 FD) takes 22.2 percent of his team's shots while on the court although doesn't play as much compared to other starters.
For the Bulldogs, we have a double-double machine known as Reggie Perry ($8,500 DK, $8,000 FD). Nick Weatherspoon ($6,000 DK, $5,800 FD) and Tyson Carter ($5,900 DK, $5,200 FD) both use almost 25 percent of their team's possessions while on the court. Robert Woodard II ($6,300 DK, $5,600 FD) plays the most minutes on the team and is an excellent shooter as he's made 29-of-61 attempts from behind the arc this season. D.J. Stewart Jr. ($5,400 DK, $4,700 FD) and Abdul Ado ($5,100 DK, $4,400 FD) have lower usage rates compared to other starters but usually see plenty of time on the court to make up for it.
Game to Fade
Kansas State at Baylor (-14.5), o/u 124, 8pm ET
This game has the lowest over/under total on the slate and it's not close. The Wildcats are projected to score around 55 points while Baylor should score close to 70. I'm staying far away from this one but if you want action on it then here are your options:
Xavier Sneed ($6,900 DK, $6,300 FD) and Cartier Diarrra ($7,000 DK, $6,100 FD) play the most minutes on the team while having the highest usage rates. These two players are the only real reliable options for K-State. Makol Mawien ($4,600 DK, $4,500 FD) and David Sloan ($4,200 DK, $4,300 FD) play fewer minutes but have the next highest usage rates on the team. Any other Wildcats are too risky to even consider.
For the Bears, we primarily have Jared Butler ($7,500 DK, $6,200 FD) who leads the team in usage rate by a wide margin. Freddie Gillespie ($7,100 DK, $6,200 FD) has the highest offensive efficiency rating on the team (per KenPom) although has a lower usage rate compared to other starters. MaCio Teague ($6,900 DK, $6,000 FD) recently came back from an injury so there's a chance he plays fewer minutes as this will only be his second game back since the injury. Davion Mitchell ($6,100 DK, $5,500 FD) is the team's starting point guard and leads the team in minutes. Mark Vital ($5,800 DK, $5,000 FD) plays fewer minutes compared to other starters although he's a productive rebounder.
Memphis at SMU (-3.5), o/u 143.5, 9pm ET
This game has the highest over/under total among all the exclusive matchups so it seems it's the best option outside of the common pool of games.
For the Tigers, Precious Achiuwa ($7,900) significantly leads the team in minutes played and usage rate. Alex Lomax ($5,400) usually comes off the bench but is a great point guard when on the court as he has the fourth highest assist rate in the AAC since conference play started. Lester Quinones ($5,200) averages the second most minutes on the team. Boogie Ellis ($4,700) takes 21.7 percent of his team's shots when on the court. Damion Baugh ($4,300) typically starts the game at point guard but averages fewer minutes per game than Lomax. Note: SMU has the worst defense in the AAC this season so Memphis players should get a slight boost thanks to the matchup.
For the home team, Kendric Davis ($8,100) leads the charge as starting point guard. Davis has the highest assist rate in the AAC since conference play started so he's definitely one to consider. Tyson Jolly ($7,000) leads the team in minutes and uses the second most possessions on the team. Isiaha Mike ($7,000) is the best shooter on the team. Feron Hunt ($6,400) leads the team in rebounding. Emmanuel Bandoumel ($4,100) has seen a significant increase in playing time over the past several games. He's hit-or-miss but could pay off big if the ball bounces his way.
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