As a fantasy writer, I am never sure whether I should look back at previous posts and report on how I did. I always check to see how I did, but whether you, the reader, care is questionable. On one hand, it seems to add transparency to the writing and maybe we can both learn from my mistakes. On the other hand, it seems somewhat self-indulgent (and braggy if I hit on all of my picks).
You can let me know if you want me to post past results at firstname.lastname@example.org (or @PerryMissner on Twitter). In any case, Elijah Pittman and Juwan Staten were decent picks last week. Leslie McDonald has forever earned my enmity. Here are this week’s picks for your FanDuel battles.
SATURDAY EARLY GAMES
Michael Carter-Williams, guard, Syracuse Orange vs. Temple (Draft for $7,600 on FanDuel)
Coming into the season, the title of best point guard in the nation was open. After 10 games, the competition is close. Carter-Williams has made many people wonder (including me) why he was unable to get any playing time as a freshman last year. The 6-6 point guard is averaging 10.7 assists to lead the nation. That would represent the highest average in the last 10 years. Granted, conference play has not started and Temple is a pretty good defensive team. MCW has five straight double-doubles and I don’t think the Owls will be able to break that streak.
Kadeem Batts, forward, Providence Friars at Boston College (Draft for $6,800 on FanDuel)
The Friars have been a great source of fantasy goodness because of their short bench. They have been winning as well with six straight wins. They will hit the road for the first time since mid-November as they face a former Big East team in the Eagles. Batts has been playing very well, especially in his last three games in which he has averaged 21.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. The 6-10 junior still gets heavy minutes even with Arizona transfer Sidiki Johnson eligible. Batts should see at least 30 minutes and provide at least 35 points on FanDuel.
Branden Dawson, guard, Michigan State Spartans vs. Texas (Draft for $6,300 on FanDuel)
Dawson, a 6-6 guard, is one of my favorites this season. He looked like he had star appeal in the opener against Connecticut, but has not quite taken off yet. Dawson is big enough to post up most of the Longhorn guards and he is quick enough to run around the Texas forward. The Longhorn win over North Carolina may have been more about the Tar Heels than the Longhorns. Look for Michigan State to win with Dawson offering close to a double-double with a handful of assists and steals.
Johnny O’Bryant, forward, LSU Tigers at Marquette (Draft for $6,200 on FanDuel)
I spent a lot of time touting O’Bryant prior to last year and the 6-9 forward went mild. He has made a nice jump in his sophomore season and is averaging 13.1 points and 9.0 rebounds. The Tigers handed Marquette their first loss last year, but O’Byrant did not score in 14 minutes. However, under new coach Johnny Jones (who came from North Texas), O’Bryant appears to be taking on the Tony Mitchell role. If the sophomore can stay out of foul trouble, he should have a solid game against the Golden Eagle frontcourt.
Jordan Bachynski, forward, Arizona State Sun Devils at Texas Tech (Draft for $6,100 on FanDuel)
Generally, I don’t like to take bigs on the road where they can easily get in foul trouble. However, match up trumps this worry and Bachynski should be a man among boys against the Red Raiders. The 7-2 junior has made a nice leap and is averaging 10.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 4.8 blocks. On Dec. 8, the Canadian had a triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 blocks in the win over Cal State Northridge. Texas Tech does not have much size, so Bachynski should be a great play.
SATURDAY LATE GAMES
Tamir Jackson, guard, Rice Owls vs. TCU (Draft for $7,200 on FanDuel)
Jackson came to Rice at the same time as Arsalan Kazemi in what was supposed to be the rise of the Owls under coach Ben Braun. Kazemi left after last season and is now on Oregon. For this year’s Owls, Jackson is the lead scorer. He has taken at least 15 shots in his last six games and has scored at least 18 points in five of the games. Jackson started slowly against Chicago State on Wednesday, but finished with 22 points in the overtime win. The 6-3 guard had 13 points and seven rebounds against TCU last year, and he could could double his scoring numbers on Saturday.
Scottie Wilbekin, guard, Florida Gators at Kansas State (Draft for $5,800 on FanDuel)
Wilbekin began the season under suspension and has only started two games, but he has been an important part of the Gator backcourt. The 6-2 junior spent his first two seasons in Gainesville as a reserve, but is now playing starter’s minutes. He is only averaging 8.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists, but I like the way Florida matches up with Kansas State. Wilbekin and Angel Rodriguez should have a good battle and I think the Gator guard will come out on top statistically.
Nigel Spikes, forward, Marshall Thundering Herd at Kentucky (Draft for $5,4000 on FanDuel)
I am going with deep sleepers on my last two picks. Spikes is a 6-10 fifth-year senior for the Thundering Herd who will be matching up against the young and talented Wildcat bigs. However, I am going to give the nod to experience with Spikes. He has been a solid rebounder for Marshall with 8.7 rebounds per game to go along with 7.0 points and 1.3 blocks. If you are looking for a low priced option and would take a huge flyer on a player, make a move for Spikes when he plays at Rupp.
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