College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 3/29/21
March Madness is here, and we have a two-game slate to kick off the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
You can get into all the college hoops hype by playing daily fantasy contests at FanDuel. If you've played NBA DFS before, it's fairly similar: 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 Monday's slate, which locks at 7:15 p.m EST.
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
Relevant injury situations to monitor: None.
All stats come from KenPom unless otherwise noted.
Jared Butler, Baylor ($7,500) - Butler has struggled with his shot through three rounds of the NCAA tournament. The Baylor Bears point guard has knocked down just 14 out of 40 field goal attempts (35%). That is significantly lower than his season average of 47.1%. If his shot starts falling, watch out because the junior's rates are impressive across the board. Butler has a 27.3% usage rate, effective field goal percentage of 56.9%, 11.3% defensive rebounding rate, 27.9% assist rate, and a 4.0% steal rate.
Butler is my top overall play on the Monday night slate. Ethan Thompson ($7,200) has topped 30 FanDuel points in three straight games (all three opponents ranked 20th or better in defensive efficiency). Quentin Grimes ($7,700) may go overlooked on this slate (25-plus FanDuel points in five straight games).
Moses Moody, Arkansas ($6,800) - The freshman leads the Arkansas Razorbacks in scoring (17.0 per game) and minutes played (averaging 33.8 minutes per game). He is second in rebounding (5.8 per game). Moody is averaging .84 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he should pay off his salary in 32.4 minutes of action (assuming value is 4.0 points per $1,000 in salary). Moody has logged 34-plus minutes in 11 consecutive games. On the other side of the court, Davion Mitchell ($7,000) makes for a solid alternative. He has scored at least 12 real-life points in nine straight games (and at least 20.7 FanDuel points in 14 consecutive games).
DeJon Jarreau, Houston ($6,400) - The human pogo-stick is one of the most versatile players in college basketball. He has a 23.6% usage rate, 5.1% offensive rebounding rate, 16.4% defensive rebounding rate, 29.4% assist rate, 2.3% block rate, and 2.9% steal rate. Basically, he's a threat to stuff the stat sheet since he can rack up numbers in all of the major categories. He's been outstanding on the court despite battling a hip injury. The senior is averaging 29.8 FanDuel points over the last two games despite practicing on a limited basis.
Marcus Sasser, Houston ($5,600) - Sasser is second amongst the Houston Cougars with a 24.8% shot rate (percentage of the team's shots taken by the player when the player is on the floor). He's also a willing passer (13.9% steal rate) and capable of racking up steals (2.7% steal rate). The Cougars have the best matchup amongst the four teams playing on Monday night. They clash with an Oregon State team that is in the midst of an incredible run. However, they're the only team ranked outside the top 30 in defensive efficiency.
Mark Vital, Baylor ($5,200) - Vital rarely gets mentioned by the national media as the Bears are led by a trio of standout guards. He's not counted on the offensive end of the court and that's reflected by his rather low usage rate of 15.4%. However, Vital is the player that does all the "dirty" work. He is an exceptional rebounder and an elite defender. He is posting a 13.9% offensive rebounding rate, 19.8% defensive rebounding rate, 4.2% block rate, and a 2.6% steal rate.
The showdown with Arkansas is a good spot to target Vital because it's a major pace-up spot for the Bears. Arkansas is 17th in adjusted tempo while Baylor is 179th. The anticipated extra possessions should help offset his low usage rate concerns.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): JD Notae, Matthew Mayer, Desi Sills, Tramon Mark, and Zach Reichle.
Justin Smith, Arkansas ($7,900) - Smith has elevated his game when the Razorbacks have needed him most. Over the last five games, the senior is averaging 19.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 2.6 blocks/steals in 37.4 minutes -- which equates to 36.0 FanDuel points. He's easily the top overall forward play on the slate and it's not particularly close.
Justin Gorham, Houston ($6,000) - Gorham finally stayed out of foul trouble and recorded a double-double in Houston's win over the Syracuse Orange in the Sweet 16. The senior big man will push for 30-plus minutes barring foul trouble. The foul concern should be eased as Oregon State does not have any frontcourt players that are proficient in drawing fouls (Warith Alatishe and Roman Silva are both drawing a paltry 2.8 fouls per 40 minutes).
While Gorham's usage rate is rather low, he's incredibly efficient with the ball (effective field goal percentage of 55.3%). He leads the Cougars with a 131.7 offensive rating. Finally, he's an excellent rebounder and leads the Cougars in both offensive rebounding rate (15.2%) and defensive rebounding rate (19.2%).
Jalen Tate, Arkansas ($5,800) - Tate is back to playing heavy minutes for the Razorbacks. He's logged 38, 31, and 38 minutes in three NCAA tournament games. The senior is averaging 26.6 FanDuel points per game during the NCAA tournament. While the matchup with Baylor is difficult (27th in defensive efficiency), Tate is my favorite forward play (when considering salary).
Roman Silva, Oregon State ($4,800) - The forward position leaves a lot to be desired on Monday night. Enter Roman Silva. Silva has seen a major role increase during the NCAA tournament. He's played 25-plus minutes in all three tournament games (up from his seasonal average of 16.0 minutes per game). In the NCAA tournament, Silva is averaging 9.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists, and 2.3 blocks in 28.0 minutes (equates to 20.3 FanDuel points per game).
Jaylin Williams, Arkansas ($4,600) - This play is risky since the Razorbacks elected to roll with Desi Sills over Williams (and JD Notae) in their Sweet 16 win over Oral Roberts. Consequently, Williams started the game but was limited to only nine minutes of action. I believe Williams' playing time has a decent chance to rebound as Arkansas will need his defense in the paint. Baylor overcame a seven-point halftime deficit by driving the ball and getting into the lane against the Villanova Wildcats.
One of Desi Sills, Jaylin Williams, and JD Notae will play heavy minutes while the other two will be lucky to reach 10. Head Coach Eric Musselman stated that he felt "Notae was pressing too much" so he put in Sills. Figuring that situation out may be key to the slate.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Fabian White Jr. and Adam Flagler.
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.