Welcome to the DailyFantasySolutions 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 2 game slate!
Big X Vs. Red Scare
BigX is coming off a 79-74 win over D2 in a hard fought game in which Nick Ward dominated from start to finish. Nick Ward is again the most interesting play for Big X, however DK has inexplicably made him a PG which makes him nearly impossible to roster with all the actual guards on this slate. Perhaps this brings his ownership down and in that case for GPPs, I would certainly want to have a lot of exposure. Javon Bess, Trevon Hughes, and Khalil Iverson all scores over 20 fps in the game against D2 and are very much in play today. I will say that I’m hesitant to jump aboard the Khalil Iverson train because of his price increase and the fact that he normally isn’t going to be the focal point of this particular roster. Keep in mind that CJ Jackson was a huge chalk bust against D2 and in order for Big X to pull this win over Red Scare, he is going to have to perform much better statistically. Vitto Brown is interesting for tournmanets as I expect most people to fade, but at the price of just 3.9K on DK I think he is atleast capable of making value if he starts again. Overall, I’m not exactly crazy about Big X today and I think most of my exposure to them would be concentrated towards Javon Bess and Nick Ward(despite being listed as a PG for some odd reason.)
The Red Scare is comprised of mainly Dayton Flyers alumni with a couple of recent DFS CBB favorites in Trey Landers and Ryan Mikesell. In some ways, this is the tournament that these guys never got when March Madness was cancelled due to Covid-19. Red Scare actually have only 8 active players for this game as Rob Lowery and Justin Tillman will not be playing due to personal reasons. As we have seen already this week, we have a clear edge when guys are out due to a lack of overall information so I would expect to see Lowery and Tillman still draw mild ownership. Let’s break down this Red Scare roster shall we? Trey Landers was a very productive player and a CBB DFS main stay for us all year. He was an 11-7-3 guy and he is ridiculously cheap if he ends up drawing the start. Ryan Mikesell was a regular starter for Dayton while averaging 8-5-2. Darrell Davis was a role player for his first 3 years at Dayton before exploding his senior year for averages of 15-4-3. This is the 2nd year in the TBT for Davis and he is the teams most legit 3 point shooter. Kyle Davis is also playing his second year for the Red Scare and is the teams best lock down defender. He is perhaps best known for shutting down Kris Dunn in the 2015 March Madness tournament and will likely be tasked with shadowing CJ Jackson today. Devin Oliver is one of the most popular Dayton players of the past 10 years and is also playing his 2nd year in the TBT. Oliver is the top play for the Red Scare today as far as I’m concerned. He has achieved great success overseas in the Slovenian league with 2 finals MVPs, 2 league titles, and 1 league MVP award. Oliver is a core play for me in all formats. Also on the roster is former Lville player Ryan McMahon, a 3 point specialist that 44% beyond the arc in college and former Ohio State 7 footer Trevor Thompson who will be tasked with keeping Nick Ward off the glass today.
Favorite Plays: BX: Javon Bess, Nick Ward, RS: Devin Oliver, Trey Landers, Darrell Davis, Trevor Thompson.
The Pick: The Red Scare
House of Paign vs Carmens Crew
In a surprising result to me, House of Paign smacked War Tampa by a score 76-53 behind strong performances from Mike Daum, Malcolm Hill, and Andres Feliz. Billy Garrett was the clear 4th option in the previous game and played absolutely terrible with 3 turnovers to only 1 assist. I can’t advocate using Garrett today, however DK has given him PF/C eligibility so depending on my build, I may have to consider him more simply because I can get another guard into my lineup in a front court spot. Malcolm Hill was one of our top plays last slate and he responded with a 15-4-2 4 steal and 31 fantasy point performance. Carmens Crew is one of the teams many consider to be the tournament favorite, so the matchup is tough but I still like Hill today as he is in the best shape of his life and playing great basketball right now. Mike Daum will have to build on his 21-13 game against War Tampa here and will likely draw the most attention from the Carmens Crew defense. Andres Feliz was unstoppable last game with 20-7 but he falls behind Daum and Hill for me as the best HOP plays. He won’t have nearly as much driving lanes against CC that he did against Tampa. Nobody else on HOP is worth rostering for DFS as the majority of the fantasy production will come from Daum, Hill, Garrett, and Feliz.
As stated above, Carmens Crew is one of the teams many people expect to win the tournament and for good reason. They are the defending TBT champions as well. CC is one of the deepest teams in the TBT and unfortunately this is horrendous for DFS. Let’s go over some of the top options for the team. This is a bitter sweet TBT for CC as it’s expected to be the last for Ohio State legend Aaron Craft. He is the lynchpin for this team and will be in chrage of initiating the offense for the first unit. Last years MVP William Buford is playing in his 4th TBT after scoring 14 in the title game. Jon Diebler will be the teams most consistent 3 point shooter. David Lighty is the glue guy and had 17-7-4 in the title game last year. Newcomers include Washington Husky alum Malik Dime and OSU players Lenzelle Smith and Deshaun Thomas. We are going to want to spread out ownership around on this team because they will run 2 full units decent minutes and should beat HOP with relative ease.
Favorite Plays: HOP: Mike Daum, Malcolm Hill, CC: William Buford, David Lighty, Aaron Craft
The Pick: Carmens Crew
Main Team Core: William Buford, Devin Oliver, Trey Landers(assuming he starts)