College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 3/30/21
March Madness is here, and we have a two-game slate to finalize the Final Four 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 Tuesday's slate, which locks at 7:15 p.m EST.
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
All stats come from KenPom unless otherwise noted.
Franz Wagner, Michigan ($7,500) - While we haven't seen a ceiling performance from Wagner, he's been consistent with Isaiah Livers out of the lineup. The lanky sophomore is averaging 29.7 FanDuel points per game in four games without Livers. While his usage rate isn't quite elite (19.1%), he's posting an impressive defensive rebounding rate (19.6%), assist rate (17.5%), block rate (3.2%), and steal rate (2.3%). His playing time is also up significantly during the NCAA tournament. He's averaging nearly four more minutes per game (34.0 minutes per game) than his seasonal average (30.3 minutes per game).
Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga ($7,100) - Despite winning all three NCAA tournament games by 16-plus points, the Gonzaga Bulldogs' floor general has been disappointing from a DFS perspective, averaging 20.6 FanDuel points. However, that should turn around soon as Suggs' rates are exceptional. The freshman has a 25.6% usage rate, 55.0% effective field goal percentage, 18.1% defensive rebounding rate, 23.3% assist rate, and 3.7% steal rate. Additionally, the Bulldogs have an implied team total of 81, which leads the slate by nine points.
Johnny Juzang, UCLA ($6,100) - Juzang has been the catalyst behind the UCLA Bruins' deep tournament run. In four games this Big Dance (counting the Bruins' play-in game), the sophomore is averaging 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 1.0 blocks/steals in 34.3 minutes. He's clearly been given the green light on offense. Juzang is averaging an eye-popping 17.3 field goal attempts per game.
Andrew Nembhard, Gonzaga ($5,400) - Outside of Nembhard's 20.3% assist rate, nothing stands out from a rates perspective. With that said, Nembhard has led the Bulldogs in minutes played in each of the last two games (38 and 36 minutes, respectively). I'm expecting Nembhard to play an important role on Tuesday night. The Southern California Trojans lead the nation in two-point field percentage allowed. They're only allowing opponents to connect on 41.5% of their shot attempts from inside the three-point line. That should lead to an ample amount of perimeter shots by Gonzaga, which is something that suits Nembhard's skill set. The junior is knocking down 34.4% of his three-point field goal attempts this season. Eli Brooks ($5,300) is a viable alternative/complement to Nembhard. He's averaging 26.0 FanDuel points per game over the last three games.
Drew Peterson, Southern California ($4,700) - Peterson is the best source of salary relief on the slate. He's averaging 0.70 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he should pay off his salary in 26.9 minutes of action (assuming value is 4.0 points per $1,000 in salary). Through five tournament games (Pac-12 and NCAA tournament), Peterson is averaging 32.2 minutes per game. Also, Isaiah White ($4,500) exploded for 35.5 FanDuel points against the Oregon Ducks in the Trojans' Sweet 16 win. He's also a fine source of salary relief.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Mike Smith and Isaiah White.
Evan Mobley, Southern California ($8,500) - The future pro is a dominant force on both ends of the court. He has a 23.6% usage rate, 60.0% effective field goal percentage, 9.8% offensive rebounding rate, 19.1% defensive rebounding rate, 14.1% assist rate, and a 9.1% block rate. Mobley has been borderline unstoppable in tournament play. In five tournament games (Pac-12 and NCAA tournament), Mobley is averaging 41.0 FanDuel points per game.
Drew Timme, Gonzaga ($8,100) - The Gonzaga center is a difference-maker on both ends of the court. Timme is posting a 26.9% usage rate (leads team), 26.1% shot rate (leads team), 11.1% offensive rebounding rate (leads team), 19.1% defensive rebounding rate, 14.1% assist rate, and 2.6% block rate. He'll have his hands full with the Mobley twins down in the paint. While the matchup is brutal (as mentioned above), Timme's playing time also figures to rise. In Gonzaga's lone competitive NCAA tournament game, Timme logged 34 minutes (season average is 27.6 minutes per game). Corey Kispert ($7,000) is a fine play, and with the Mobley twins dominating the paint, I'd expect the Bulldogs' sharpshooter to get plenty of looks from the perimeter.
Isaiah Mobley, Southern California ($6,000) - While the matchup with Gonzaga is difficult (7th in defensive efficiency), it's also a major pace-up spot for USC. The Trojans are 234th in adjusted tempo, while Gonzaga is 6th. Additionally, the Trojans are carrying an implied team total of 72 which isn't far off from their seasonal average of 74.8 points per game. The elder Mobley is an elite rebounder and solid rim protector. Isaiah Mobley leads the Trojans with an 11.6% offensive rebounding rate. He ranks second amongst the Trojans in defensive rebounding rate (17.8%) and block rate (3.6%). He's also picked up his scoring during the Big Dance, as he's averaging 15.0 points per game (season average is 9.6 points per game).
Cody Riley, UCLA ($5,000) - The UCLA Bruins will have their hands full trying to defend Michigan's seven-foot center, Hunter Dickinson. Due to attrition/injuries, Riley is the lone starter taller than 6'6". Consequently, he should push for 30 minutes of playing time barring foul trouble. Riley is averaging 0.80 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he should pay off his salary in 25 minutes of action.
Brandon Johns Jr., Michigan ($4,800) - Johns Jr. has filled in admirably for Isaiah Livers, and Michigan hasn't missed a beat during their NCAA tournament run. The junior is averaging 25.5 minutes of action in his four starts. While his salary has increased, he's still worth considering. Johns Jr. is averaging 20.4 FanDuel points as a starter. Also, Chaundee Brown Jr. ($4,500) is a viable source of salary relief. I probably would avoid pairing Johns Jr. and Brown Jr. together. Brown Jr.'s specialty, the three-ball (connecting on 41.1% on three-point attempts), could be handy against the Bruins. The Bruins are allowing opponents to shoot 33.8% from beyond the arc, which is exactly the Division I average.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Chaundee Brown Jr. and Anton Watson.
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.