College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 3/4/19
College basketball season is in full tilt.
March Madness is less than a month 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 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 three games, each containing a ranked team with only one -- 11th-ranked Texas Tech -- on their home floor.
|Monday, March 4th|
|#2 Virginia at Syracuse|
|#16 Kansas State at TCU|
|Texas at #11 Texas Tech|
Which players should you be targeting and why?
Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech ($8,500): Only one team has an implied total of 70 or more, and that's Texas Tech. Their 71.0-point total is 3.75 above the next-closest team and right around their average (71.5) in Big 12 play. But maybe we should expect more points as they host the Texas Longhorns at home tonight. While the Longhorns are 40th in KenPom.com's adjusted defensive efficiency, it looks like they'll remain without Kerwin Roach II, who has no timetable for his return from suspension. That's forcing Texas to deploy less-experienced players at the guard spots, which is where Culver should be able to take advantage. The sophomore is already hot, averaging 19.4 points and 34.3 FanDuel points over 32.4 minutes a game in the last five. He and the Red Raiders are getting geared up for tournament play, so we can expect another big night from the super-talented Culver.
Alex Robinson, TCU ($8,000): With Texas drawing a very low total as 8.5-point dogs to their in-state rivals, the matchup between Kansas State and TCU appears to be the best overall game to target tonight. The Horned Frogs are 2.0-point home underdogs in a game with a 132.5-point over/under, one point short of the other Big 12 clash on the bill. They still draw a 65.25 implied total against a defense ranked fifth in the nation and a team near the bottom of the barrel -- 335th -- in adjusted tempo. While things could be a bit iffy, Robinson has the floor and ceiling to be worth considering in cash games. On a 23.1% usage rate, the senior is averaging 13.2 points, 7.0 assists and 28.6 FanDuel points per game, an average that's ballooned to 30.6 in the last four outings. That's just short of four-times value -- 4 points per every $1,000 in salary -- at this price (32.0), but there aren't as many rock-solid options on this mini slate.
Jase Febres, Texas ($5,400): Texas isn't in a desirable spot, based on game script and opponent, but that doesn't amount to a complete fade on a slate like this. Febres is an obvious value, playing big minutes at point guard in place of the suspended Roach. In the last three contests, the sophomore is averaging 37.7 minutes a game with no fewer than 35 minutes in any outing. Despite matchups against the defenses of Oklahoma, Baylor and Iowa State in that span, he's converted his opportunities to the tune of 21.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 29.9 FanDuel points per game. He's an especially appealing play in tournaments with the Longhorns likely to carry lower ownership against Tech's number-one ranked defense.
Frank Howard, Syracuse ($5,100): Aside from the Big 12, we get the ACC's Virginia Cavaliers taking on the Syracuse Orange in the Carrier Dome. Both squads are outside the top 250 in adjusted tempo, which plays a big part in a slate-low 123.0-point over/under. But again, we don't have a dearth of games to pick from on Monday night. It's almost impossible to avoid a player or two from each game. And, hey, Howard hasn't been bad anyway. Averaging 16.6 FanDuel points for the year, the senior guard has upped that to 22.6 over the last three. And when we look past an 11-minute game against Louisville, he's at 22.0 over the last four. That's on an average of 29.3 minutes with Howard scoring 10-plus points in three and dishing out six or more assists in two. Now, the Cavaliers' defense is tough, but Howard requires a mere 20.4 FanDuel points for four-times value.
Dean Wade, Kansas State ($7,400): Opposite Robinson and the Horned Frogs, the Wildcats have the higher total at 67.25, 2.25 above what they scored against this same team over a month ago. In that game, Wade tallied 16 points, 6 assists and 27.2 FanDuel points in 30 minutes. That total would be enough for 3.7-times value. Furthering boosting his fantasy potential, however, is TCU's slate-worst defense -- 47th in efficiency -- and slate-topping tempo, which checks in 99th in the nation and 2.8 possessions above the next-fastest team. Wade is playing 29.9 minutes per game and sports a 22.8% usage rate in conference play. That makes him a prime target near the top of a rather lackluster forward position this evening.
Kouat Noi, TCU ($7,100): While Robinson, Noi's teammate, is as close to a sure thing as you can get, Noi is a bit of a dice roll. But he's a calculated dice roll because of his recent play. After going through some rocky patches early on in conference play, the 6'7" sophomore is averaging 30.9 FanDuel points over the last five games. He has two double-doubles and five straight games of 14-plus real-world points in that span. He's played against some defenses, too, so don't be scared away by the Wildcats' grinding D. Noi makes for a nice stacking partner with his point guard.
Tariq Owens, Texas Tech ($5,600): Outside of Culver, Texas Tech is home to a bunch of inconsistent fantasy producers. However, Owens looks like he's rounding into form. Not only has he scored in double figures in five straight, he's seen his minutes go from 27 four games back to 34 the last time out. He's played 30-plus minutes in two consecutive contests, turning that opportunity into 28.2 and 36.6 FanDuel points. Owens posted 25.1 fantasy points in the previous meeting between these two squads back in January, and that was with just three rebounds. Look for the big man, fresh off a 13-board game, to exploit a Texas frontcourt allowing 10.6 offensive boards in conference play.
Braxton Key, Virginia ($4,800): On the road against Syracuse and their zone defense, Virginia is still implied at 64.75 points as 6.5-point favorites. Their offense is the most efficient unit in the country, averaging 122 points per 100 possessions and 71.9 points per game. Their slow pace is always there, sure, but they have scorers and players worth rostering. Key has played primarily off the bench, averaging 21.9 minutes and 17.5 FanDuel points a game. He hasn't gone beyond 18.7 minutes in his last six, either, though it's worth noting that Jack Salt was limited last game due to a back injury, putting his status in question here. If Salt is out, Key could pick up extra minutes in what will likely be a low-possession game.
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.