College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 3/14/19
College basketball season has now entered into the precursor for the Big Dance: conference tournament play.
March Madness is basically upon us, 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 daily NBA contests.
Now that you're in the know, we can attack today's main slate, which locks at 7:00 p.m. EST and consists of 11 games. Among them, Marquette/St. John's has a ton of appeal as the Big East foes face off in Madison Square Garden.
|Thursday, March 14th|
|Alabama at Ole Miss|
|Penn State at Minnesota|
|Louisville at #3 North Carolina|
|West Virginia at #7 Texas Tech|
|St. John's at #23 Marquette|
|Texas at #17 Kansas|
|UCLA at Arizona State|
|Syracuse at #5 Duke|
|Georgetown at Seton Hall|
|Illinois at Iowa|
|Texas A&M at Mississippi State|
Which players should you be targeting and why?
Myles Powell, Seton Hall ($8,700): There are a variety of places to go on this loaded slate. You could opt for the Red Storm's Shamorie Ponds ($8,900) or stay in the Big East and look for a big scoring night from the Golden Eagles' Markus Howard ($8,600). But smack dab between the two, Powell is as solid -- if not more -- a play as any, and he could end up as the night's top scorer. He's already averaging a hair under 33 FanDuel points per game on the year and in conference play, and his 30.5% usage rate is up there with the nation's top offensive players, jumping to 31.1% when squaring off against Big East foes. The Seton Hall star has also proven his abilities against this Georgetown team, tallying 39 and 41 FanDuel points in the two regular season matchups. His Pirates are fifth on the slate with an implied total of 77 points, so 35 looks like the baseline for the uber-talented Powell.
Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois ($7,100): As with the top tier, the guard position is loaded with guys to consider between $7,000 and $8,000. However, you'll need to take someone in the lower half if you are looking to lock in one of the three hoopers above. Dosunmu is the best of both worlds, averaging a respectable 24.6 FanDuel points per game but carrying the upside of 35-plus at this price. He should also get a bump playing against an Iowa Hawkeyes team operating at a pace just 1.1 possessions slower than the already-fast Fighting Illini. According to KenPom.com, both squads are in the top 67 in adjusted tempo, which speaks to their 166-point game earlier in the year. This one has a 155 over/under, so we should be in for a lot of scoring again. Dosunmu will likely be eyeing the NBA Draft and looking to show out for the final team in his short career, so he's the perfect tournament play given the circumstances.
Mustapha Heron, St. John's ($6,400): Now, getting to what should be another juicy Big East battle, St. John's owns a nice 72.75 total as four-point underdogs to Marquette. That's enough to justify a mini-stack of sorts with this game, but if you are looking to narrow things down and exploit those in the more reasonable price range, Heron's a no-brainer. Following an injury, he struggled throughout late February, but he has seemingly returned to form after going for 18 points and 31.4 FanDuel points versus DePaul last night. He now has two 30-point games in his last six and another of 26.5. Heron had 30.6 when the Johnnies hosted the Eagles earlier this year, and in discounting his injury-related struggles, he is closer to a 25-FanDuel-point guy -- much more than teammate Justin Simon, who will be a more popular play at $100 less and fresh off a big game of his own.
Frank Howard, Syracuse ($5,700): For value, we often have to look to less-than-desirable game scripts. Tonight, that's precisely the case with Syracuse dealing with an injury to Tyus Battle, who will sit out against Duke. And while Buddy Boeheim ($4,500) is expected to soak up a lot of his minutes (like he did last night), Howard should continue to get more opportunities as well. Against Pittsburgh, the experienced senior scored 18 points and ended the game with 25.4 FanDuel points on a 22.6% usage. Duke's defense is remarkably better than Pitt's, but we've seen the Orange's magic in March before. I'd bet on Howard coming out aggressive and repeating his 27.2-FanDuel-point game back against Duke on February 23.
Jules Bernard, UCLA ($4,600): With Prince Ali sidelined (now for the rest of the season), Bernard has been a go-to value for the UCLA Bruins. After playing just 14 minutes on Wednesday, he isn't as easy to stomach, but there are a few factors in his favor. For starters, his price is down $500 from a day ago, and he's just a bill more than Chris Smith. Smith got most of the run yesterday, but his shot was falling as he finished six for seven from the floor. The matchup commanded more size, but Arizona State, tonight's opponent, is much more guard-oriented, allowing us to go back to the freshman in this spot. Despite the short playing time on Wednesday, Bernard had a 34.0% usage rate, which was second only to Jaylen Hands. He gets up shots quickly, and in an uptempo game, he shouldn't have a problem doing the same. The Pac 12 foes are expected to combine for 156 points with the Bruins drawing 75.75 of those at this time.
Jessie Govan, Georgetown ($8,000): As usual, you want to get some serious exposure to this game. With a 151.5 over/under, the Hoyas -- 2.5-point underdogs -- are still expected to put up 74.5 points, according to the oddsmakers. That has them in the top half of tonight's 22 teams, and it's right around the 75 and 77 they've scored in the two teams' previous meetings. Naturally, Govan has eaten up the Pirates in both. Over 25 and 42 minutes (in an overtime game), the senior center produced 32.2 and 35.9 FanDuel points, respectively. His average is at 30.7 in conference games, during which he's taken 13.3 shots per game on a 27.6% usage rate. His block rate also ballooned to 5.1% in those 18 games, and that presents added upside for a guy who's a threat for both double-digit points and rebounds on any given night.
Sandro Mamukelashvili, Seton Hall ($6,800): While his name is a difficult one, the Georgian native has made it look easy in a number of recent games. He hasn't been without his fair share of duds -- 8.2 FanDuel points two games back -- but has managed two double-doubles in the last three, bringing his average to 25.1 in the last eight. If we take that one out, his average jumps to 27.5 in the other seven, including four games above this evening's salary-implied output (27.2). Govan and others will try to keep him from getting his, but Georgetown's 128th-ranked defense and top-20 pace will increase the potential fantasy points out on the floor. After all, that's exactly what has happened in past games, as Mamukelashvili's put up an average of 30.4 FanDuel points in the pair.
Reggie Perry, Mississippi State ($6,000): Mississippi State isn't a sexy team, nor do they have one of the better high-scoring matchups tonight. As they open their SEC Tournament, the Bulldogs go up against a Texas A&M squad ranked 82nd in defense and 187th -- nine spots lower than them -- in adjusted tempo. Nonetheless, a 75-point total would be very obvious for a smaller slate, and given that, we can go here for some high-upside value. The freshman, Perry, has had trouble with being a consistent performer, but he was in and out of the lineup earlier in the year and has since leveled off in 11 straight starts. Since the start of February, he's averaging 26.6 FanDuel points with seven games of at least 24 and three over 30. He packs the power to help take down a tournament.
Aric Holman, Mississippi State ($4,800): Speaking of GPP-mashing potential, Perry's frontcourt mate Aric Holman is worth considering, as well. You could go with either or both, too, as they started together last game, totaling 23 points, 15 rebounds and 48.5 FanDuel points between them. Again, there are points to be had with A&M allowing 71.5 points a game and 73.9 in SEC play. They just surrendered 92 to Mississippi State some five days ago, and you shouldn't expect them to turn things around now with nothing to play for at the end of a sub-.500 campaign.
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.