College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 3/2/21
College basketball's regular season is nearing a conclusion, and we have an eight-game slate today.
March Madness is only a few weeks away, but you can get in all the college hoops hype 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 NBA contests.
Now that you're in the know, we can attack today's slate, which locks at 7:00 p.m. EST.
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
Relevant injury situation to monitor: Auburn Tigers guard Sharife Cooper is questionable after missing two straight games. Xavier Musketeers guard Nate Johnson is out for the season. Ayo Dosunmu is questionable after missing two games with a facial injury. Indiana Hoosiers guard Armaan Franklin is likely out.
All stats come from KenPom unless otherwise noted.
Franz Wagner, Michigan ($7,400) - While teammate Hunter Dickinson is the headliner for the Michigan Wolverines, Wagner might be the team's best player. From a rates perspective, Wagner checks all the boxes. He has 19.1% usage rate (effective field goal percentage of 60.3%), 19.7% defensive rebounding rate, 17.1% assist rate, 3.2% block rate, and a 2.6% steal rate. The sophomore has a team-leading 127.8 offensive rating. Further enhancing Wagner's outlook is the game with Illinois is a major pace-up game for Michigan. The Wolverines are 227th in tempo nationally, while Illinois is 70th. Paul Scruggs ($7,700) and Jose Alvaredo ($7,600) are fine options, albeit slightly more expensive than Wagner.
Herbert Jones, Alabama ($6,400) - I just can't quit Jones due to his ability to affect every area of the game (22.0% usage rate, 15.1% defensive rebounding rate, 20.6% assist rate, 3.8% block rate, and 3.3% steal rate). We haven't seen the senior post a monster box score in a while due to (likely) health concerns and foul trouble. If Jones can manage to stay out of foul trouble, he's a good bet to play nearly 35 minutes. This could be the night that Jones posts a slate-breaking score. The matchup with Auburn is a phenomenal spot. The Tigers struggle defensively (102nd in defense nationally) and love to push the tempo (ranked 42nd in tempo). Devontae Shuler ($6,400) is a fine play as well.
John Petty Jr., Alabama ($6,200) - As noted above, this is a great spot for Alabama. Additionally, this game will be played at a blazing pace (Alabama ranks 7th in tempo). Petty Jr. is the Crimson Tide's second-leading scorer (12.8 per game) and third-leading rebounder (5.0 per game). He's also playing 31.3 minutes per game which leads Alabama. Moreover, Auburn has allowed some monster box scores to opposing guards with Sharife Cooper out. In their last game, Auburn allowed 23 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist to Tennessee Volunteers guard Keon Johnson, and 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists to Tennessee guard Jaden Springer. Prior to that game, they were carved up for 19 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals by Florida Gators guard Tre Mann. Jordan Usher ($6,000) and Jaden Shackleford ($6,000) are both solid plays and make for fine complements or alternatives to Petty Jr.
Terrence Shannon Jr., Texas Tech ($4,900) - TSJ appears to finally be over an ankle injury that slowed him down a few weeks ago. The human pogo stick has logged 64 total minutes over the last two games. He's posting a healthy 24.0% usage rate, 25.0% shot rate (percentage of the team's shot taken by the player when the player is on the floor), 15.4% defensive rebounding rate, and a 2.7% steal rate. His outlook is further enhanced due to the matchup with the Texas Christian Horned Frogs. TCU has the Big 12's worst defense (165th nationally). His backcourt mates, Mac McClung ($6,300) and Kevin McCullar ($6,300), are both solid options. I also like Jaden Ivey ($4,900), who's under-salaried despite a tough matchup with the Wisconsin Badgers.
Devan Cambridge, Auburn ($4,400) - This play is contingent on Sharife Cooper missing Tuesday night's game (appears likely). With Cooper sidelined, Cambridge's averaging 14.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.5 assists, and 2.5 steals/blocks in 33.0 minutes over the last two games. Moreover, Cambridge has attempted an eye-popping 30 field goal attempts in those two games. He's clearly under-salaried with his increased role.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Jaden Ivey, Davion Mintz, Eli Brooks, Andre Curbelo, Trent Frazier, Colby Jones, Jordan Goldwire, Mike Smith, Jahvon Quinerly, Dwon Odom, Jamal Johnson (if Sharife Cooper is out), Keon Ellis, and Jonathan Davis.
Moses Wright, Georgia Tech ($8,700) - Wright has an insanely high ceiling as we witnessed over the weekend. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets big man exploded for 57.2 FanDuel points against Syracuse Orange. He has a pretty stable floor, as he's topped 30 FanDuel points in five straight games. He's in a good spot, as the Yellow Jackets face off with a struggling Duke Blue Devils defense. Duke has fallen all the way down to 99th in defense nationally. From a raw points perspective, he's my top overall play by two-plus FanDuel points. Traycie Jackson-Davis ($8,500) and Zach Freemantle ($8,200) are fine pivots off the more popular Wright
Matthew Hurt, Duke ($8,000) - Hurt is putting the Duke Blue Devils on his back and trying to will the team into the NCAA tournament. Over the last five games, the sophomore is averaging 24.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 2.2 blocks/steals in 34.6 minutes. Furthermore, the matchup with the Yellow Jackets should suit Hurt. The Yellow Jackets are atrocious at defending the three-point line, as they're allowing opponents to connect on 37.4% from beyond the arc (ranks 317th nationally). Hurt is one of the nation's top marksmen, shooting 45.8% from beyond the three-point line. I also like Aaron Henry ($8,100), who will likely carry less ownership than Hurt.
Isaiah Livers, Michigan ($7,000) - From a rates perspective, Livers and teammate Franz Wagner are nearly identical (Wagner creates slightly more blocks and steals). Livers has a 19.4% usage rate (effective field goal percentage of 60.3%), 16.3% defensive rebounding rate, 12.2 assist rate, and a 2.6% block rate. Additionally, he leads the Wolverines in minutes played (32.1 per game). His offensive rating of 126.9 trails only Wagner amongst the Wolverines. Livers is one of the safest options on the slate.
Chudier Bile, Georgetown ($6,000) - The versatile Bile can stuff the stat sheet quickly due to his ability to contribute on both ends of the court. Bile is averaging .84 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he should pay off his salary in 28.6 minutes of action (assuming value is 4x of a player's salary). Bile is averaging 30.3 minutes per game over the last four games. His teammate, Qudus Wahab ($5,500), is also an intriguing option and will likely fly under the radar.
JT Thor, Auburn ($4,800) - The Auburn center is an excellent rebounder (7.3% offensive rebounding rate and a 15.0% defensive rebounding rate) and an elite rim protector (5.9% block rate). He's posting a 19.0% usage rate and 20.2% shot rate. He's averaging 0.84 FanDuel points per minute. Thor has played 30 and 31 minutes in the Tigers' last two games, respectively. Barring foul trouble, Thor is a solid bet to play heavy minutes once again on Tuesday night (especially if Sharife Cooper remains sidelined). Race Thompson ($5,800), Isaiah Jackson ($5,800), and Romello White ($5,700) all are compelling plays that have salaries that fall between Thor and Bile.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Olivier Sarr, Wendell Moore Jr., Mark Williams, Jordan Bruner, Gabe Brown, Khalid Moore, and Jacob Grandison.
Matthew Hiatt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matthew Hiatt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username easternmh. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her 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.