The college basketball season is just a month old, but we have plenty of data to examine already. This weekend doesn’t have the huge match ups of the past couple of weeks, but there are plenty of intriguing games on the slate. This is the the first week with very little college football, other than the Army-Navy game. In the opening post of this column, we’ll look at five players that should outperform their FanDuel contracts on Saturday as well as some bonus Sunday stars.
B.J. Young, guard, Arkansas Razorbacks at Michigan (Draft for $7,200 on FanDuel Today): While the game on the road gives me pause, I think Young is so heavily involved in the Razorback offense that he will get his fantasy points. In his last game, Young decided to pass and had a season-high eight assists to go along with 10 points in the win over Oklahoma. The sophomore is shooting horribly from 3-point range (14.3%), but he is taking 17.0 shots per game. Young won’t take away points from your teams with turnovers because he is averaging just one per game.
Shabazz Muhammad, guard, UCLA Bruins at Texas (Draft for $6,600 on FanDuel Today): Overall, Muhammad may not have lived up to his preseason hype with 16.0 points and 5.6 rebounds, but those numbers aren’t bad. He has not taken more than 13 shots in a game and has been hitting the boards with 23 rebounds in his last three games. Texas is a mess without Myck Kabongo and I think Muhammad will take advantage in this nationally televised game.
Davante Gardner, forward, Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Wisconsin (Draft for $6,500 on FanDuel Today): Last year when Marquette went to the Kohl Center and took a rare road win (at the time) from Wisconsin, Gardner played just 14 minutes, but had eight points and seven rebounds. In his junior season, Gardner continues to come off the bench (after starting the majority of the games last year) and has scored in double digits in all but the most recent game, a loss to Florida on Nov. 29. The Badgers are never a favored opponent, but Gardner has the size and skills to produce in the paint.
Rasheed Sulaimon, guard, Duke Blue Devils vs. Temple (Draft for $6,000 on FanDuel Today): Through eight games, Sulaimon has been very impressive. The smooth 6-4 freshman has scored at least 14 points in his last three games. He added six assists last Saturday against Delaware. While Mason Plumlee clearly is the more important Blue Devil, Sulaimon may be the most important perimeter player for Duke. Temple looked good in shutting down Villanova earlier this week, but Sulaimon should score well on Saturday.
Aaric Murray, forward, West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Virginia Tech (Draft for $5,500 on FanDuel Today): I have been high on Murray all season and I like his match up this weekend against the somewhat undersized Hokies. Murray has not fulfilled my high hopes. He has been in foul trouble, which has been an issue throughout his career. The transfer from La Salle should be able to score on Saturday. His rebounding and shot blocking have been relatively consistent through his first year as a Mountaineer.
Paris Gulley, guard, Milwaukee Panthers at DePaul: There is a simple rule in daily fantasy college hoops: “always ball against DePaul.” The Blue Demons are famously sieve-like on defense. Therefore, you can look at the opponent, even a 2-6 opponent like the Panthers, and take their best scorer. Gulley is returning from a fracture on his left hand, but he has looked fully healthy in his first two games back. The 6-2 senior has averaged 20.0 points, including 24 points against Northern Iowa in his season debut. Sign him up if he is available.
Justin Cobbs, guard, California Golden Bears vs. UNLV: As good as Allen Crabbe (22.4 points, 5.7 rebounds) has been, it has been the rise of Cobbs that has been the biggest surprise of the early season for the Golden Bears. Although Wisconsin held Cobbs to a season-low 11 points on Sunday in Cal’s first loss, he had not scored fewer than 17 points in his first seven games. The Minnesota transfer is getting to the line (6.6 free throws per game) and converting (89.1%). The home game against UNLV should be fast-paced and Cobbs scored 20 points against the Runnin’ Rebels last year (in a game UNLV won at home).
DeVonte Lacy, guard, Washington State Cougars vs. Fresno State: The Cougars needed a secondary scorer to go with Australian big man Brock Motum. They may have found their guy in Lacy, a 6-3 sophomore. Lacy missed three games at the end of November with a knee strain, but he returned on Wednesday against Gonzaga and put up 22 points in the loss. He should be a high upside play against the Bulldogs who have not faced a strong challenge yet this season.