College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 3/21/19, Late Slate
March Madness is here. And just because you've had to spend all that time writing, scratching out and re-writing names on your brackets, that doesn't mean the DFS grind stops.
As all year, you can get in on college hoops DFS by playing daily contests at FanDuel today. If you've played NBA DFS before, it's quite simple: pick a total of eight players -- four guards, three forwards and one utility spot you can use for either position. Stay within the $50,000 salary cap and field the team you think will score the most fantasy points.
Where scoring differs from NBA is in the blocks and steals categories, with each worth two FanDuel points apiece rather than the three you get in daily NBA contests.
Now that you're in the know, we can attack Thursday's main slate, which locks at 6:50 p.m. EST and consists of seven games. The only contest with an over/under of 140 or higher is Seton Hall/Wofford at 144.5 points.
|Thursday, March 21st (Late Slate)|
|10) Florida vs 7) Nevada|
|15) Abilene Christian vs 2) Kentucky|
|11) St. Mary's vs 6) Villanova|
|15) Montana vs 2) Michigan|
|10) Seton Hall vs 7) Wofford|
|14) Old Dominion vs 3) Purdue|
|9) Baylor vs 8) Syracuse|
Which players should you be targeting and why?
Myles Powell, Seton Hall ($9,000): As mentioned above, this game provides the most fantasy juice with its slate-high total and mere 2.5-point spread (in the Terriers' favor). Even as underdogs, the Pirates are worth a hard look as they enter the matchup with a 71-point total against a team outside the top 60 in KenPom.com's adjusted defensive efficiency. That isn't all that bad, but when we're talking tourney time it's worse than many others. Plus, in Seton Hall we get a fantasy stud in Powell. The junior guard is averaging 22.9 points and a slate-best 32.95 FanDuel points over 36.0 minutes a game. His 30.6% usage rate ranks first on the team and second in the Big East conference for the year. If anyone's worth paying this kind of price for, it's him.
Tyler Herro, Kentucky ($7,300): It's no secret -- on Thursday, the Kentucky Wildcats will be without arguably their best and most productive player in forward P.J. Washington. That puts some things into question for the Wildcats and those expecting them to run through their region, but it is a bonus for his teammates' fantasy potential. As Washington sits, he takes a team-high 25.0% usage and 14.8 points per game with him. Others will be asked to step up, take more shots and score, which is something they shouldn't have issues doing against 15 seed Abilene Christian. The other Wildcats are the second-worst defensive team on the slate, ranking 122nd for the year, so Herro looks poised for a good game, as his 21.4% usage is bound to increase in the matchup. After averaging 24.2 FanDuel points for the regular season, the 6'5" guard could reach his ceiling, which is 35 to 40 if earlier performances are to tell us anything.
Cody Martin, Nevada ($7,300): Unfortunately (at least for cash games), the masses might have the same thinking with Herro. So, for tournament formats it might prove valuable to pivot to a guy in a not-so-obvious spot. As Nevada takes on a tough Florida team, that guy is Cody Martin -- one of the two Martin twins. While the Gators hold down the ninth-ranked defensive in the country, the Wolf Pack are still at a 68-point total, which is respectable when you consider how low-scoring this slate projects to be. And this one could boast more scoring than expected if the Wolf Pack's higher pace (88th in adjusted tempo) takes control. As for Martin himself, he has played 40 minutes in back-to-back games and averages 34.3 for the season. It's hard to ignore that, especially for an experienced player averaging 26.7 FanDuel points for the year -- just 2.5 below his salary-implied output (29.2 at 4.0 points per $1,000).
Ashton Hagans, Kentucky ($5,600): Much like Herro, Hagans too should benefit in the wake of Washington's foot injury. However, he isn't as much of a scorer, nor is his usage (16.9%) particularly high, so we can expect a more well-rounded stat line from the athletic freshman. After all, he is first on the team in assist rate (27.7%), and his 1.7 steals are quite impressive for a guy averaging 28.2 minutes a game. Abilene averages 12.0 turnovers and gives up 5.6 steals a game to opponents, presenting a good opportunity for a guy of Hagans' skillset. And if we're getting the same player that put up a double-double and 28.2 FanDuel points against Tennessee, we could have the top value of the day.
Buddy Boeheim, Syracuse ($4,400): Other than the Washington injury, today's relevant news includes Syracuse guard Frank Howard being suspended due to (reportedly) a failed drug test. The senior has played a prominent role over the past two years, so his absence will be felt. Howard's 26.9 minutes and 8.3 shots are up for grabs, a chunk of which Boeheim should see. The coach's son stepped up in the absence of Tyus Battle late in the season, turning 29.8 minutes into 19.7 FanDuel points over a four-game stretch. He can really fit up at times, making him an ideal punt candidate for those spending big on Powell and others.
Cameron Jackson, Wofford ($8,100): Opposite the Pirates, the Terriers' 73.5 total is second on the slate and only one of three at or above 72 points. That figure is three shy of Kentucky, though it is nearly 10 whole points below their average output as a team this year. Still, while they face a step up in competition, they get a jump in pace by 3.3 possessions, which could lead to this one hitting the over on the already-high total. In that case, we could expect a big day from Jackson, who is second on the team at 14.6 points per game and adds 7.5 boards, 2.7 assists and 2.5 blocks-plus-steals. He's an efficient 58.1% shooter and possesses a 26.0% defensive rebound rate, a figure that's undoubtedly factored into his four double-double outings this year. Jackson has upside of 45 FanDuel points -- a return of more than 5.0 points per $1,000 at his price.
Ignas Brazdeikis, Michigan ($6,700): Of all teams, the Michigan Wolverines draw the biggest plus matchup against a Montana team ranked 160th in defense -- 38 spots worse than any other team on the slate. That has the Wolverines favored by 15 points and sporting a healthy 72.25 total. What makes Brazdeikis stand out most is his production during Charles Matthews' injury woes. Now, the Canada product has averaged 15.1 points in his first year, but with his team in need of more scoring of late, he's racked up 18.0 points per game in the last six, shooting 52.1% from the floor with 2.7 treys a game. He played 33, 27 and 38 minutes in the team's three conference tournament games, and that shouldn't change with even more on the line for coach John Beilein and company.
Reid Travis, Kentucky ($5,800): Again, we don't get a ton of obvious values around this slate, so we must exploit the Washington situation. And even more directly than Herro and Hagans, Travis should make use of it from his forward position. He is averaging 27.6 minutes a game during this year's campaign, however, he has logged 30-plus minutes 12 times this season, averaging 12.2 points and 7.7 rebounds, including a double-double and two more games with 12 rebounds to his credit. The experienced grad transfer's career is winding down, so what better way to go out than with a big game or two in the NCAA Tournament.
Jermaine Samuels, Villanova ($5,200): In this range, I think it is imperative that you take one of Villanova's two secondary forwards: Saddiq Bey or Jermaine Samuels. Samuels is $200 cheaper and just as -- if not more -- hot as his fellow frontcourt mate. The 6'7" sophomore is averaging 26.8 FanDuel points over the last four games, and going back to February 27 that's up to 27.6 in six contests. Among those, he has a 29-point game against a tournament team, as well as an 11-rebound game and at least 7 boards in each and every one of them. His minutes figure to be in the mid-30s, while his rebound numbers could be key versus a Saint Mary's squad ranked 172nd in rebounding for the year.
Brett Oswalt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Brett Oswalt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username BRO14THEKID. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.