Welcome to the DailyFantasySolutions free TBT DFS slate preview! For those of you that are asking, “what is TBT?” let me be the first to explain. TBT is a 24-team, single elimination tournament with a prize of $1+ million on the line. As an added bonus this year, the games will be broadcast on ESPN so you’ll be able to sweat all the games like you would any other sport! Games will be played July 4-14 so we will get actual real life 5-on-5 basketball for the next week and a half! The teams are comprised of a variety of ex-college players, former NBA players and overseas ballers.
-Players foul out at 6 fouls (not 5). I know my CBB people are rejoicing at this.
-Games are played in 9-minutes quarters instead of 20-minute halves.
-The Free throw bonus is awarded on a teams 5th foul and subsequent non shooting fouls by the defense in a quarter. However, new to the rules this year; any foul during the Elam Ending that would result in bonus free throws will instead give the non-fouling team one free throw and possession of the ball.
What is the Elam Ending? I’m glad you asked! Pursuant to the Elam Ending, the game clock is turned off at the first whistle with up to four minutes remaining. The teams then play to a target score, with the shot clock still enforced. As the first team to meet or exceed the target score wins, there are no overtime games. The target score is 8 points more than the leading teams/tied score. The winning score can be a walk-off field goal, three point shot or free throw. This rule was mainly created to elminate the constant end of game fouling and free throw shooting that slows games down to a crawl. I’m personally not a huge fan of the Elam Ending, but it’s what the tournament is known for so it’s important to know what it is and how it works.
We will want to target point guards, especially ones with a good history in TBT to be in our core. Some of these teams don’t get a ton of practice time to fully mesh together and this is yet another reason to target high usage guards as they will have the ball in their hands constantly; directing traffic and dictating pace.
We also need to be aware of teams that are super deep since this will cut into usage and minutes. Teams like Carmen’s Crew, Boeheim’s Army and Overseas Elite are notoriously stacked and there is a reason why they’re always competing for the title at the end of the tournament. While this makes for quality basketball, it is an absolute nightmare for DFS so be aware of teams with a deep roster.
Now that we have the what, where, why, and how out of the way. Let’s get to the who, as in who do we play on this first slate? Let’s get down to it and highlight the best plays from the first 4 game slate of the tournament!
Herd That Vs Peoria All-Stars
Herd That is comprised of several Marshall alumni and you can be assured that they will play the fast paced brand of basketball that Dan D’Antoni’s former players are known for. The Herd will be led by Jon Elmore, the sensational scoring machine that was the first player in NCAA history to have over 2,500 points and 750 assists. This style of play suits him very well and he is definitely going to be in my player pool. Former Arizona/Pittsburgh player Ryan Luther is a forward that is very comfortable chucking 3’s and has a tendency to scorch the nets when he is on. Zach Smith is a high flyer from Texas Tech that they’re really excited about having. The coaches for Herd That said to expect a lot rim shaking alley oop atempts so this game should be exciting if nothing else. Former UAB player Chris Cokley has TBT experience from 2 years ago and had a game against Scarlet and Gray where he scored 20 points. Rounding out the roster is former Arkansas player Jacorey Williams and Marshall alum Ryan Taylor(14 & 8 guy in college).
The Peoria All-Stars are another late addition to the TBT after Best Virginia had to pull out due to Covid. They are led by a pair of Bradley graduates Koch Bar and Luqman Lundy. These two were apart of a 2018 NCAA tournament team. The other notable player on this roster is Aaron Menzies; a 7’3″ center from St Marys University.
Favorite Plays: HT – Jon Elmore, Zach Smith, Ryan Luther, Chris Cokley, Ryan Taylor, PAS – Koch Bar, Luqman Lundy
The Pick: Herd That
Sideline Cancer vs Team Hines
The Sideline Cancer is a random collection of former CBB DFS darlings and is filled with playable options. 7 Footer Diamond Stone from Maryland was unfortunately born in the wrong era. He is a dominant low post scorer that didn’t stay in school long enough to develop a jumper that is necessary for today’s pro game. However, the roster that is built around him on this team is filled with capable scorers that should allow Stone to actually use his skills to dominante the paint. Jamel Artis was an 18 ppg scorer while at Pittsburgh and a regular 35 fantasy points per game guy on DK. Rhode Island graduate Four McGlynn has enjoyed success overseas regularly dropping 30 point games in the Portugal league. Remy Abell played college ball for both Indiana and Xavier and has made a name for himself in the Hungary-A Division putting up 14.5 ppg on 54.5% field goal shooting inside the arc. Maurice Creek was a big time scorer at Indiana U before transferring to George Washington and also leading the team in scoring there too. Creek has played in Denmark, Ukraine and Israel professionally and has plenty of scoring upside on a roster that is looking potent offensively. Rounding out this formidable roster is Marcus Keene, a 30 ppg scorer while at Central Michigan. This walking bucket is hardly a one trick pony though as he also averaged 5 rebounds per game and 5 assists per game. A 30-5-5 guy for 7K? Sign me up.
Team Hines is also packing a powerful roster full of known commodities. Wisconsin alum Ethan Happ is someone you should already be familiar with. Happ is the all time leading rebounder at Wisconsin and 1 of only 6 players in NCAA history to record 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 400 assists. He was regularly 10K+ in CBB DFs and a threat to hit 50 on any given night. This team is littered with other EL players such as Alec Peters and the legend that the team is named after Kyle Hines. The sneak of the slate is going to be William & Mary stud Marcus Thornton. He was a 20 ppg scorer and is a career 40% 3 point shooter. He can literally get his shot off at any time making him a very dangerous scorer. This game has track meet written all over it and should be a great stacking target for DFS purposes.
Favorite Plays: SC – Diamond Stone, Jamel Artis, Mo Creek, Marcus Keene, TH: Marcus Thornton, Ethan Happ
The Pick: Team Hines ML
Men Of Mackey vs Heartfire
The Men of Mackey is the Purdue Alumni team and unfortunately for them they have been decimated by covid withdrawals. The lates to withdrawal from the tournament is Johnny Hill. This leaves them with plenty of other options though. Jacquil Taylor is a 6’10” center that averaged 8 and 9 with 2 blocks per game after transferring from Purdue to Hofstra his senior year. Isaac Haas is a 7’3″ center that averaged 14 and 6 his senior year. Needless to say, MOM is going to be clogging the middle for their opponent. other notable players are Justin Dentmon from Washington Huskies, Lamont West from Missouri State and Ethan Stair from Mercer. Stair is going to fly under the radar on this slate but at 5.7K he is deserving of consideratino for your lineup after averaging 15-9-2 his senior year of college.
Heartfire will counter Mackey’s height with a a 7 footer of their own in Isaiah Austin. He was a defensive stalwart at Baylor averaging over 3 blocks per game. Doolittle is fresh off a 16-9 senior campaign with Oklahoma, Jordan Adams was a 17 ppg scorer at UCLA and bounced around the league for a couple years, and Branden Dawson was a 4 year player at Michigan State known for his ridiculous dunks and shot blocking ability.
Favorite Plays: MOM: Ethan Stair, Isaac Haas, Jacquil Taylor, Jon Octeus, HF: Kristian Doolittle, Isaiah Austin, Tweety Carter
The Pick: Heartfire ML
Power of the Paw vs Armored Athlete
Power of the Paw is the Clemson alumni team theat features one of my favorite Clemson players of all time in Marcquise Reed. He was a 20-5 guy his senior year and was someone that could be relied upon for consistent fantasy production. His former teammate Elijah Thomas is also on this team and is priced ridiculously cheap especially if he draws the starting nod. Thomas was a feast or famine type of player in college however, either dropping 40+ or getting into foul trouble. Lucky for us, this tournament allows 6 fouls instead of 5. Donte Grantham has G-League experience and averaged 14-7 his last year with the Tigers. Gabe Devoe and Tevin Mack are both high volume scorers that can get hot in this format and should be in our player pool today. POTP offers a plethora of fantasy options today and I think the optimal build will end up with atleast 2 of these players.
The roster for Armorded Athlete is a bit underwhelming at first glance and on the surface it seems like they’re a bigger dog than what Vegas currently has them as. Notable players include Coty Clarke(Arkansas alum), John Roberson(Texas Tech alum), and talented guard Scott Machado(a career 12-4-7 guy while at Iona).
Favorite Plays: POTP: Marcquise Reed, Elijah Thomas, Donte Grantham, Gabe Devoe, Tevin Mack, AA: Scott Machado
The Pick: Power of the Paw Point Line
Cores By Site:
Fanduel Core: Marcquise Reed/Jon Elmore/Marcus Keene
Draftkings Core: Marcquise Reed/Marcus Thornton(if starting)/Elijah Thomas