The 2015-16 Fantasy college hoops season is upon and it’s time to take a look at a handful of players to target, both new and old, for Daily Fantasy purposes. There are 351 schools in 32 conferences, so it can be a bit of a daunting task to try and get to know all of them. For DraftKings.com, the pool is limited to eight conferences: the American Athletic Conference (AAC), Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the Pac-12, but in some cases also includes their opponents.
Even with the seven major power conferences, that requires one to know at least 80-100 teams top to bottom, and that’s generally not possible unless you do this for a full-time job. Consider the fact that the National Basketball Association has 30 franchises, and even that can be a tall order to know the entire roster. That’s why this season we are here to help. Not only will we have this comprehensive preview of players to target from the first tip, but each week we’ll have injuries, news and notes and, of course, the hot or not players for DFS purposes. Fantasy College Basketball can be a grind, but we’ll be glad to run point and assist you through the winter and into the mayhem at season’s end.
For more recommendations from me throughout the week, plus tips from other top industry analysts like Drew Dinkmeyer, check out DailyRoto.com for comprehensive free and premium DFS content.
Kris Dunn, G, Providence: Dunn passed up a chance at big money in the NBA Draft to come back to Providence. He was third in the nation with 7.5 assists per game, and he checked in fifth in the country with 2.73 steals per outing. He can also fill up the basket with the best of them, posting 15.6 points per contest. Dunn can do a little bit of everything at both ends, and he has tremendous motivation after an early exit at the NCAA Tournament last season.
Buddy Hield, G, Oklahoma: Hield is the defending Big 12 Player of the Year after posting 17.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while hitting 35.9 percent of his 3-pointer attempts. Early conference POY honors is great, but even more so in a tough Big 12. The Bahamian is going to have some huge stat lines, even in conference play when the matchups are difficult night in and night out.
Ben Simmons, F, Louisiana State ($8,600): The preseason hype on Simmons, the top-rated freshman, has been crazy, but it certainly is warranted. He is a 6-foot-10, 225-pound Australian who only lost one game in his entire high school career. He is a tremendous ball handler who is also very strong and athletic. The Simmons Era starts Friday, Nov. 13, against McNeese State, and he could get off to a huge start if his first exhibition is any indication. He posted 10 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three blocked shots and two steals in just 17 minutes against Southwest Baptist. Simmons will come with a hefty DFS price tag, but he can contribute in so many different categories that he’ll be worth the price most nights.
Kyle Wiltjer, F, Gonzaga ($7,800): Wiltjer elected to return for his senior season, and for that we’re all very thankful. He posted 16.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game last season, and enters the year as a candidate for national player of the year. The downside is Wiltjer plays on a non-power conference team, so generally he’ll only be available when facing top-tier teams and you will not have the luxury of using him against lesser clubs.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Grayson Allen, G, Duke ($6,100): Allen erupted for 16 points in last season’s title game win against Wisconsin, and his return will soften the blow after the departures of Quinn Cook and Tyus Jones. Allen is a versatile backcourt option who is not only expected to light up the scoresheet, but he can dish out dimes and step behind the arc to help DFS players. He and freshman G Derryck Thornton ($6,300) are the new face of Duke hoops.
Amida Brimah, C, Connecticut: Brimah is the nation’s leading returning shot blocker, averaging 3.5 swats per game in 34 outings last season. He posted a respectable 9.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, and an increase in production is expected.
Kyle Collinsworth, F, Brigham Young: Collinsworth is a player with good length who can do a multitude of things. Not only is he is strong offensive threat with his 13.8 points per game, but he managed 8.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game in 2014-15. Collinsworth also dished out 6.0 assists per outing last season.
Monte Morris, G ($7,400) and Georges Niang, F, Iowa State ($8,300): Morris can do a little bit of everything, and that’s the kind of player DFS owners love. He averaged 11.9 points, with 5.2 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. More importantly, he turned the ball over a total of just 36 times in 1,153 minutes. Turnovers are a negative DFS category at Draft Kings, so Morris will never hurt you there. His teammate Niang is also a jack-of-all-trades, dumping in 15.3 points per game while also contributing 5.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. He knocked down 46 triples, too. The I-State duo can be one-stop shopping in DFS.
Jaylen Brown, F and Ivan Rabb, F, California: Brown and Rabb step in and give Cal one of the best frontcourts in the nation, instantly transforming the Golden Bears into a championship contender. Brown will be a strong offensive presence, while Rabb will be a decent scorer and tremendous rebounder.
Marcus Paige, G, North Carolina ($3,000): Paige (hand) has the skills to be one of the most dominant backcourt players in the nation, but his season likely won’t get underway until late November or early December as he recovers from a broken right hand. Joel Berry II ($6,000) and Nate Britt ($5,600) will hold down the fort in Paige’s absence, and could represent tremendous DFS value in a starting role on a high-profile team.
Alex Poythress, F, Kentucky ($5,400): Poythress (knee) is coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. All indications are that Poythress will be back as a valuable contributor for the Wildcats and DFS players. He dropped 17 points in the Blue-White scrimmage while snagging seven rebounds. The veteran will be part of one of the most talented frontcourts in the nation.
SMALL SCHOOL STUDS
If you can get them, especially in early-season games against the bigger-name schools, take a look at some of these small-school studs with big-time games.
DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, G, Illinois State
Ron Baker, G, Wichita State
DeAndre’ Bembry, F, St. Joseph’s
Craig Bradshaw, G, Belmont
Evan Bradds, F, Belmont
John Brown, F, High Point
Schadrac Casimir, G, Iona
Stacy Davis, F, Pepperdine
Anthony Drmic, G, Boise State
Obi Emegano, G, Oral Roberts
A.J. English, G, Iona
Kahlil Felder, G, Oakland
Chris Fowler, G, Central Michigan
Trey Freeman, G, Old Dominion
Marvelle Harris, G, Fresno State
Martez Harrison, G, Missouri-Kansas City
Venky Jois, F, Eastern Washington
Casey Jones, G/F, Chattanooga
Tim Kempton, F, Lehigh
Shawn Long, F, Louisiana-Lafayette
Mamadou Ndiaye, F/C, Cal-Irvine
Lotanna Nwogbo, F/C, Longwood
Teddy Okreafor, G, Rider
Dyshawn Pierre, F, Dayton
Rodney Pryor, G, Robert Morris
Ladarius Tabb, F, Alabama A&M
Tevonn Walker, G, Valparaiso
Thomas Walkup, G/F, Stephen F. Austin