This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
For better or worse, the college hoops season is nearing its conclusion, with Saturday being our final multi-game slate. As of submission, DraftKings is offering a $20,000 first-place prize for a $15 entry, while FanDuel has $5,000 up for grabs for $9.99 in entry fees.
With known commodities, and the small slate, we're treated to some incredibly enticing pricing across the board and sites. We also know these highly tense contests feature short rotations, and a likely stars and scrubs DFS GPP lineup. There are a few players priced almost too favorably I'm going to single them out before the meat of this column. I'm likely fading them just because of high, high usage expectations. Differentiation, as best we can, is the key Saturday.
Johnny Juzang, G, UCLA ($6,300 DK, $6,600 FD)
The DK number is just begging you to use him, as he's right at the average across rosters. That likely makes him a free square, and the floor is incredibly stable. But what's the upside? Juzang is surely going to hoist, but he's averaging just 3.6 rebounds in five tournament games, and has four total assists, three steals and two blocks.
Corey Kispert, F, Gonzaga ($6,800 DK, $7,200 FD)
Kispert is averaging a fine 29.56 DKP in the dance with a 22.75 point floor. He's equally as safe, and far too obvious. DK has these two priced favorably enough you could probably use them for stability, and still go contrarian. But Kispert seems to be taking a back seat to Drew Timme ($8,100 DK, $8,300 FD), who also has the far better matchup against the undersized Bruins.
Jaime Jaquez, G/F, UCLA ($7,300 DK, $6,500 FD)
That Jaquez is 1k north of Juzang is shocking. He's also priced north of triple-double threat DeJon Jarreau ($7,100 DK, $7,000 FD) and Baylor ace Jared Butler ($7,000 DK, $7,400 FD) which has to lead to bottom-tier usage. He offers a nice diverse game, averaging 6.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 blocks to go along with 14.2 points. He's returned better than 5x this number twice in the dance, and if that happens, paired with other managers passing, there's a winning formula.
Davion Mitchell, G, Baylor ($6,400 DK, $6,700 FD)
Mitchell went for 23.75 DKP in each of Baylor's last two games, and that's forced his price down from a previous high of $8,100. Sometimes the eyes tell more than the stats, and that's how I feel about Mitchell's last outing against Arkansas, where he got his shoulders past defenders with ease and his body to the rim as a result. For a minimal spending increase, Mitchell presents with far more upside than Juzang as a multi-category option on a team expected to win.
Justin Gorham, F, Houston ($5,700 DK, $5,600 FD)
The one spot Houston seems capable of succeeding against Baylor is on the defensive glass, where the Bears rank 273rd nationally in defensive rebounding rate. Enter Gorham, who has 10 rebounds in consecutive outings. Sure, nine of those were of the offensive variety, as Houston ranks No. 2 nationally in offensive rebounding rate. So if Gorham can keep it up on the offensive glass and mix in a few extra defensively, there's a path to 4x here.
MaCio Teague, G/F, Baylor ($6,500 DK, $6,900 FD)
Teague is largely a scorer, a la Juzang above, but he isn't the team's first option, unlike UCLA's star. With minimal peripherals, a Houston defense that ranks first in effective field goal percentage against (43.8) and 11th against the 3-ball (29.2), Teague is going to have to shoot at a season-high clip plus to top 4x.
Andrew Nembhard, G, Gonzaga ($5,000 DK, $5,300 FD)
I feel obligated to include at least one Bulldog, and Nembhard makes too much sense to ignore. He's the cheapest starter, which will make him a lazy plug in. He's gone for 20 or less DKP in three of his four tournament games, and if the Vegas script plays out, there's no reason to think Nembhard sees huge minutes or usage. Two of the Zags top four seems like a better play than casually throwing in their fifth option and staking claim to this offense.
Tyger Campbell, G, UCLA ($4,900 DK, $4,900 FD)
There's no questioning Campbell as a key piece to UCLA, one of which propelled them to the Final Four. But he hadn't reached double-digits in points in eight straight prior to the tournament's prior rounds where he found success. That success resulted in 23.63 DKP on average, a superb 4.8x return. But Campbell goes all of 5-foot-10, and figures to struggle for scoring opportunities against Gonzaga's sizable backcourt, which caps potential. Lineups likely shouldn't be built below Campbell, but they shouldn't count on him as a stable provider either.