This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
We're down to four-game slates in DFS college basketball, and while there's plenty of starpower available to put in your lineups, Thursday's slate also features three top-10 KenPom defenses (and five of the eight teams are in the top-20). Expect floor games to be in play for the big names and pick your spots carefully. Let's take a look at some of the top plays.
Editor's Note: Chart accurate as of 3/22 posting date.
Drew Timme, F, Gonzaga ($8,000 DK, $9,000 FD)
With Paolo Banchero ($8,300 DK) checking in as the highest-priced player on the DraftKings slate but also facing the nation's top defense, we turn to the Zags for pay-up options. Your first decision is between Timme and Chet Holmgren ($8,700 DK, $8,900 FD), but I'm rolling with the more experienced Timme here. Over his last 10 games, Timme has a usage rate nine percent greater than Holmgren and is seeing ever so slightly more minutes. Holmgren has been a little more efficient with the minutes given but costs $700 more for a 4.2 fantasy ppg increase. Either option (or both, as recommended by our DFS Lineup Optimizer) is perfectly fine.
Andrew Nembhard ($7,600 DK, $7,200 FD)
As much as I wanted to branch out and include an Arizona player like Bennedict Mathurin ($7,500 DK, $7,800 FD), I simply couldn't pull the trigger after watching the Houston defense completely frazzle all of the Illinois backcourt options Sunday. Instead, I'll double up on the Zags, who have an implied total 7+ points higher than second-place Arizona at time of posting. Arkansas has a respectable defense, but a top-30 pace, along with Gonzaga's No. 1-ranked tempo, means this game will be a shootout. Nembhard is the floor general and minutes leader, making him the perfect pairing with whatever frontcourt option you select.
Justin Moore, G, Villanova ($6,300 DK, $5,800 FD)
We can't ignore Villanova, as Michigan has the lowest adjusted defensive efficiency rating on the slate and second-lowest remaining in the field (per KenPom). The challenge with the Wildcats is picking out which player, as four starters in a tight rotation have a usage rate north of 20 percent. I'll roll with the numbers again and select Moore – a player $600 cheaper than Collin Gillespie but with a usage rate 2.4 percent higher over Villanova's last 10 games. He also leads the team in three-pointers attempted over that span. Michigan is good, but not great, in that area.
Kevin McCullar, G, Texas Tech ($5,400 DK, $4,800 FD)
This is a player who has been to a National Championship game before and won't back down from the moment. The price on McCullar is a bit depressed due to the fact he's missed time at various stages of the season with an ankle injury, but he's started the last three games and logged 20 or more DK points in each.
Au'Diese Toney, G, Arkansas ($4,400 DK, $4,900 FD)
The production hasn't been there of late, but at least the minutes have been, and sometimes that's all you can ask for from a $4,400 player. Since missing one game with an ankle injury and surprisingly returning for the SEC tournament, Toney has logged 38 or more minutes in four consecutive contests. That included a season-best 38.0 DK point effort against LSU, and while he faces a much tougher defense here, at least he'll get a tempo boost, with Gonzaga the second-fastest paced team remaining in the field and sixth-fastest in the nation.
Jeremy Roach, G, Duke ($5,000 DK, $4,800 FD)
Taking a point guard against a team that forces turnovers like Texas Tech is a risky proposition, and Roach will most definitely cost you a few turnover points. But he's started both games of the tournament so far, logging 35 and 37 minutes. If A.J. Griffin (ankle) is limited in any way, we can tack on a few more shots for Roach, who is a cheaper option than Wendell Moore ($7,300 DK, $6,300 FD) or likely starting lineup replacement Trevor Keels ($5,300 DK, $4,600 FD). Roach is also the only rotation player other than Banchero with a usage rate north of 20 percent over the last 10 games.