Welcome to today’s Playbook article! Looks like we have a really nice slate of games for this evening’s contests as we have a number of top programs taking each other on. I love seeing slates like this early in the season as it allows us to really learn about a team as we don’t have a cupcake that causes us to wonder if any of the stars are going to play much more than 20 minutes. You get a premier program match-up as Duke takes on Kentucky, which should be full of excitement and future NBA stars.
Denzel Valentine, Michigan St ($8,500) – As I said above Valentine on opening night, he is on triple-double watch every time he takes the court. As the season goes on I expect Valentine to become more and more assertive with the ball and he has a shot at being one of the guys with the most 40+ fantasy point games by the end of the season. Obviously this match-up is not the easiest as MSU takes on Kansas, however that is the case with most of the slate tonight. Valentine has done it in big games his entire college career.
Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame ($8,100) – Jackson looked like he has taken a huge step forward as he was absolutely spectacular to begin the season and I would think that Notre Dame runs all over what should be a very gassed UW-Milwaukee team as they are playing their 4th game in 5 nights to begin the 2015-2016 season. The early season “tournaments” are a cool thing, however I think they could do a better job of setting them up as UW-Milwaukee had to win 3 games in 3 nights to take down a small tournament in So-Cal and after traveling, they get to take on the Irish in Notre Dame.
Fred VanVleet, Wichita St ($7,700) – This play is definitely a GPP play as Van Vleet has struggled with a hamstring injury this fall and played just 3 minutes in the opener. He has said he is playing against Tulsa and I have to believe the senior. The safe approach is to go look at Ron Baker and expect him to take on a big roll, however I am a huge fan of FVV and will be rostering him quite frequently this season. This game should provide some excitement as I expect it to be pretty high scoring.
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown ($7,600) – Smith-Rivera is one of those guys that gets stronger and stronger as the game goes on and I always love watching him shoot me up the leader-boards of a GPP late in the game. He is one of the best players in the country in the last 10 minutes of a game as he finds a way to just take over down the stretch. I always want to target players that can get me points in bunches and Smith-Rivera is definitely one of those players.
Other Options – Grayson Allen, Duke ($7,700), Melo Trimble, Maryland ($8,000), Sterling Gibbs, UCONN ($7,400)
Andrew White III, Nebraska ($6,000) – White was the leading scorer for the Cornhuskers in their first game of the season and he took the most shots which over the last couple of years has been a great spot to be in for Nebraska. They tend to let their best players chuck up as many shots as they would like and if that is the case with White, $6K is a steal for him and he probably will be over $7K for most of the season. I expect Villanova to win this game somewhat easily as they are just extremely dangerous, however White should get his opportunities to score.
Jared Nickens, Maryland ($4,600) – Nickens came off the bench to start the season and managed to put up 11 points and 7 boards while draining 3 triples in 23 minutes of action and I think he may end up in the starting lineup as the shooting guard as Rasheed Sulaimon seems more like a 6th man type of a player. This Maryland team is extremely good and they are definitely balanced but I don’t mind paying this small price tag for a piece of their offense.
Pat Birt, Tulsa ($3,200) – Birt is definitely a GPP play as he is super cheap and he is a shooter that comes off the bench. Like I said earlier, I really think this game is going to offer a lot of points and Tulsa is not afraid to fire up a ton of 3’s. Birt had a solid game one of the season and I think he easily pays off his near minimum salary.
Other Options – Jordan Johnson, UW-Milwaukee ($4,800), Jaleen Smith, UNH ($5,600)
Zach Auguste, Notre Dame ($7,800) – I think Auguste might be my top option overall for the night as he really came on towards the end of last year and appears primed for a monster season. When you add in the fact that this is UW-Milwaukee’s 4th game in 5 nights, I think Auguste goes off against them. I like UW-Milwaukee quite a bit this season, however this game could get ugly.
Amida Brimah, UCONN ($7,700) – I just could not decide which UCONN forward that I really liked so I had to list them both. They should dominate the paint against New Hampshire and the rebounds and blocks should come to them as they please. Brimah is a shot blocking machine.
Shonn Miller, UCONN ($7,200) – Miller is a graduate transfer that lead the team in their first game and looks to be a HUGE addition to this UCONN squad. I really like the overall look of the team’s starting lineup and think as the season goes on, Daniel Hamilton becomes their number one option, however it appears that Miller has the hot hands right now.
Daniel Ochefu, Villanova ($7,900) – When you think of Nebraska, you generally do not think of much for size and that makes Ochefu a huge option tonight as he should control the inside in this one. He had a very nice double-double in just 20 minutes of action in the first game of the season and I think he gets us another one tonight.
Other Options – Skal Labissiere, Kentucky ($7,900), Diamond Stone, Maryland ($6,600), Amile Jefferson, Duke ($6,300)
Deyonta Davis, Michigan St ($4,700) – Davis has a big double-double to go along with 5 blocks in the first game of the season and while I expect this one to be a little tougher of a match-up I do think that Davis is for real and is capable of duplicating that game at any time. For just $4.7K, I will gladly take a shot on him.
Derek Willis, Kentucky ($4,200) – Willis has played pretty well off of the bench so far for the Wildcats as he is averaging 22 minutes of action and 12.5 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists so far through 2 games. At just 4200 Willis just needs to see about 15 minutes of action in this one.
J.J. Panoske, UW-Milwaukee ($4,200) – I know I talked about UW-Milwaukee and their grueling schedule, however it is tough to ignore Panoske at this price as he is the team’s leading rebounder and is averaging double digits scoring wise. He should be able to pay off his salary in what should not be much of a game, especially in the second half.
Eric Hamilton, Wichita St ($4,400) – Hamilton played pretty well off the bench for Wichita St in their opener as he managed 13 points and 7 rebounds in 15 minutes of action. This game is going to be a high scoring affair and both teams benches should contribute quite a bit in this one.
Other Options – Jamari Traylor, Kansas ($5,700), Austin Arians, UW-Milwaukee ($4,800), Tanner Leissner, UNH ($5,200)