Wednesdays in January and February are excellent for college basketball fans. Thursdays are pretty good as well with the Pac 12 filling out the schedule. Yet, for me and for most people, it is all about Saturday. I can sit on my couch all day and barely move a muscle. It may not be good for my skeleton and it may rot my brain to some extent, but I am peaceful and happy. Isn’t that all anyone can ask for? Here are the nine players I’ve added to my team on FanDuel who I will be rooting to victory on Saturday:
Murphy Holloway, forward, Ole Miss Rebels vs. Missouri (Draft for $7,900 on FanDuel): Which team has the best record in the SEC? Why if it isn’t the Rebels from Ole Miss. Coming off a win over Tennessee in which they scored 92 points, Ole Miss may be legit. They will be tested Saturday against Missouri, but the 6-7 Holloway should have his way on the interior since the Tigers will be without Laurence Bowers. Players like Alex Oriakhi will still clog the paint for Mizzou, but Holloway should be able to get his sixth double-double in the last seven games. The fifth-year senior has averaged 15.7 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 1.6 steals though 14 games and the only thing that can stop him on Saturday is fouls.
Shabazz Napier, guard, Connecticut Huskies at Notre Dame (Draft for $7,700 on FanDuel): Napier is a excellent player for FanDuelists to look at. Despite standing just 6-1, Napier has averaged 7.7 rebounds over his last four games. We knew he could score, we thought he could pass, but did we know he could board? No, we didn’t. After having a few quiet games in the early part of December as the Huskies beat overmatched competition, Napier has started scoring big numbers again. He equaled his season high with 29 points in the overtime loss to Marquette on New Year’s Day. Over his last five games, Napier is averaging 17.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 2.6 steals. Last year, he had 16 points and five assists in the win over Notre Dame at the Joyce Center.
Ben McLemore, guard, Kansas Jayhawks at Texas Tech (Draft for $7,600 on FanDuel): There are two schools of thought on a player coming off a career game. One is that he will likely regress and disappoint. The other is that he is hot and should continue to play well. McLemore had 33 points in the overtime win against Iowa State on Wednesday and was unconscious from the field (10-12 FG, 6-6 3-pointers, 7-7 FT). He only had three rebounds and one assist, but he has shown in past games that he can provide a wealth of stats. The athletic wing should have little problem with the Red Raiders. McLemore may not score 33 points, but he may have more than 33 fantasy points.
Victor Odalipo, guard, Indiana Hoosiers vs. Minnesota (Draft for $7,200 on FanDuel): There are a lot of people who are praising Odalipo of late. While I don’t want to see like a smirking smart guy, I’ve liked Odalipo since he was a freshman. He has always had elite athleticism and been able to play excellent defense. This season, the 6-5 wing has added fantasy production to get everyone to notice. He has scored in double digits in his last 13 games and has hit 67.2% of his field goals and 47.8% of his 3-pointers, which is a marked increase over his first two years. The Hoosiers will be tested by Minnesota and Odalipo averaged 11.0 points and 7.0 rebounds against the Golden Gophers last year in two games.
JayVaughn Pinkston, forward, Villanova Wildcats at Syracuse (Draft for $6,400 on FanDuel): Pinkston has two strikes against him since he comes off the bench and is playing at the Carrier Dome on Saturday. Yet, it is hard to dislike what the 6-7 sophomore is doing for the Wildcats of late. Pinkston has averaged 15.4 points in his last seven games and had a season-high 26 in the win over St. John’s on Jan. 2. Last year, the 260 pounder had 12 points in 19 minutes off the bench against Syracuse. He joined the starting lineup in the following game and had some big games down the stretch.
Quinn Cook, guard, Duke Blue Devils at North Carolina State (Draft for $6,200 on FanDuel): The last two games from Cook have been a synopsis of what he can and can’t do. Last Saturday, he did not score in 38 minutes against Wake Forest. He missed all 11 of his shots, which may have led to extra shots at practice. Cook rebounded on Tuesday with a career-high 27 points in the win over Clemson. So which Cook is the real guy? The answer is always somewhere in between. This is a big game in Raleigh for the Blue Devils. In 2011-12, Cook only had two points in nine points in his only appearance against the Wolfpack.
Kaleb Tarczewski, forward, Arizona Wildcats at Oregon State (Draft for $5,700 on FanDuel): The Wildcats may have suffered their first loss on Thursday against Oregon, but they will have to rebound to take out the Beavers on Saturday. Arizona was supposed to have a great recruiting class, but none of the freshman have distinguished themselves. Tarczewski was supposed to be the jewel of the freshmen since he is a seven-footer with offensive skills. He came into Thursday averaging 6.1 points and 5.9 rebounds in 22.0 minutes. Fouls have not been an issue over the last five games after he fouled out twice in a row. Tarczewski should have a nice size advantage against Oregon State and have a nice game as a low-cost player.
Wally Judge, forward, Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Cincinnati (Draft for $5,600 on FanDuel): It seems many years ago that Judge was the heir apparent for Michael Beasley with Kansas State. Things have not gone well for either player as the NBA has not come easily to Beasley and Judge left Manhattan after two disappointing seasons. While he hasn’t exactly been reborn with the Scarlet Knights, he is a functional player who is providing 7.6 points and 6.6 rebounds. Cincinnati is a perimeter-oriented team, so Judge could get some easy baskets on the offensive glass and could have a nice rebounding game if he can stay out of foul trouble.
Montrezl Harrell, forward, Louisville Cardinals vs. South Florida (Draft for $5,500 on FanDuel): When you are running out of money on your salary cap, you may need to take a flyer on a player like Harrell. He will start for the Cardinals against the Bulls with Chane Behanan out with a high ankle sprain. The 6-8 freshman had 14 points on Wednesday against Seton Hall in his second start of the season (and first since the opening game). Harrell is athletic, big, and has some decent offensive skills. He is hitting more of his field goals (63.4%) than his free throws (58.6%), and has scored in double digits four times even in limited minutes.