Duke, Kansas, Michigan State, and Kentucky are college basketball’s top four teams, and they open the season with the now annual curtain raiser, the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 5. That highlights the opening night of the college basketball season, and in honor of the new season, we’ve put together DraftKings lineups for opening night. We have Showdown picks for both Champions Classic games, along with lineup advice for the seven-game NCAA CFB DFS main slate, which features other high-major teams, such as Oregon, Georgia Tech, NC State, and Utah.
Both of our Showdown lineups center around a potent scorer at the off-guard position, Ochai Agbaji for Kansas and Rocket Watts for Michigan State. In our main slate lineup, we stack both Oregon and Georgia Tech to try and find a contrarian look to contests that could still play a lot of players from the top four teams, despite plenty of potential for production elsewhere.
Duke vs. Kansas DraftKings Showdown advice
CAPTAIN (1.5x price, 1.5x points): Ochai Agbaji, Kansas ($6,400). Agbaji was a revelation last year after Kansas was forced to burn his redshirt midway through the season. He should be locked in as a starter this year, and his shooting gives him a chance to light up the scoreboard in a hurry.
FLEX: Vernon Carey Jr., Duke ($10,200). One of the country’s top freshman will have people wanting him to be Zion Williamson or R.J. Barrett. He doesn’t have to be one of them to be worth his price on opening night.
FLEX: Tre Jones, Duke ($9,200). With Jones’ three classmates drafted after being one-and-done, he’s back for an increased usage rate on a Duke team that will rely on his leadership and playmaking out of the gate.
FLEX: Udoka Azubuike, Kansas ($8,000). Azubuike is basically unguardable by anyone else in college basketball. If he can avoid foul trouble and keep pace in this game, he’s a great bet for a dominant double-double.
FLEX: Devon Dotson, Kansas ($7,200). Dotson should run the show for Kansas this year and gain more responsibility with the ball in his second year on campus. We’ll take both point guards in a game that should be very up and down.
FLEX: Matthew Hurt, Duke ($5,200). Hurt probably will start, a second Minnesota native in Duke’s starting lineup with Jones. He’s an athletic wing player whose price will surely rise if his exhibition-slate starting role continues into the regular season. We’ll snag him while he’s cheap.
Michigan State vs. Kentucky DraftKings Showdown picks
CAPTAIN (1.5x price, 1.5x points): Rocket Watts, Michigan State ($9,300). One of the best names in college basketball, Watts will start at the off guard while Joshua Langford is out, and we’ll take a scoring guard as our captain in this lineup, too.
FLEX: Cassius Winston, Michigan State ($10,400). Winston is in early conversation for top player in the country, and Michigan State will run everything through him. He’s not priced too highly to avoid.
FLEX: Xavier Tillman, Michigan State ($9,000). Tillman should have a big role in the Spartans’ frontcourt early in the season after playing 24.1 minutes per game in his sophomore season and averaging an even 10 points per game.
FLEX: Kahlil Whitney, Kentucky ($8,600). Whitney was one of the most highly sought after recruits in this freshman class, and he should have a big role right away at Kentucky.
FLEX: Johnny Juzang, Kentucky ($6,000). Juzang’s role with the Wildcats is less certain, but if he’s given the appropriate workload, he’s as good a bucket getter as Kentucky has.
FLEX: EJ Montgomery, Kentucky ($5,800). Nick Richards’ injury leaves room in the frontcourt for a player like Montgomery to step into. We’ll take some guaranteed production on the glass from our cheapest play in this game.
DraftKings lineup advice: College basketball opening night
G Payton Pritchard, Oregon vs. Fresno State ($7,200). We have two of Oregon’s best players in the most one-sided matchup of opening night, and we can’t do that without star point guard Pritchard.
G Ochai Agbaji, Kansas vs. Duke ($6,400). Like we said above, Agbaji is locked in as one of the best offensive players for Kansas.
G Jalen Harris, Nevada vs. Utah ($5,100). Harris is eligble for Nevada after sitting out last year as a transfer, and he should slot right into the starting lineup as one of the Wolfpack’s best scorers.
F Shakur Juiston, Oregon vs. Fresno State ($5,600). We’ll take a possible pick-and-roll partner with Pritchard in a game the Ducks should roll.
F Matthew Hurt, Duke vs. Kansas ($5,400). Hurt’s too cheap for a probable Duke starter who was one of the best players in this year’s freshman class.
F James Banks III, Georgia Tech @ NC State ($8,300). We’re taking the odd road stack of the Yellowjackets at NC State. Banks is a walking double-double who can also shoot it from outside, and the Wolfpack defense will struggle mightily with him.
UTIL (G) Jose Alvarado, Georgia Tech @ NC State ($7,000). Most of Banks’ buckets should come off dimes from Alvarado, who’s a solid scorer with an outside stroke himself.
UTIL (F) Manny Bates, NC State vs. Georgia Tech ($4,800). Bates missed last season due to injury but was a top-100 recruit in last year’s freshman class. Expect him to take on a large role to start this season, something he’s already had in the exhibition slate.