College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 3/13/19
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 six games, including two matchups with over/unders of 150 or more.
|Wednesday, March 13th|
|Oklahoma State at TCU|
|Georgia at Missouri|
|West Virginia at Oklahoma|
|Stanford at UCLA|
|Northwestern at Illinois|
|DePaul at St. John's|
Which players should you be targeting and why?
Shamorie Ponds, St. John's ($8,700): One of the two games with a 150-plus total, St. John's/DePaul boasts a slate-high 154 over/under as the Big East foes face off at Madison Square Garden. That gives the Red Storm a juicy 79.5 implied total -- 2.75 points beyond the next-closest team. And for Ponds and the Red Storm it's practically a home game with them already playing five games at the Garden during the regular season. In those games, they have averaged 74.4 points per game, scoring 78 or more three times. The junior guard has posted 31.8 FanDuel points per game with three games of 33.7 or more and two above the 40-point threshold. Against the Blue Demons, he tallied 29 points (on 8 of 15 shooting) and 30.9 FanDuel points in his only game (at DePaul 10 days ago) against them this year. His 27.3% usage rate is tops among the team's usual rotation players, and that jumps to a monster 29.2% in conference play. You have to have Ponds in your lineups tonight.
Jaylen Hands, UCLA ($7,700): We should really be hammering two games at multiple spots, and -- as with St. John's and Ponds -- the UCLA Bruins' go-to guy is Jaylen Hands. Averaging 13.7 points, 6.3 assists and a total of 27.2 FanDuel points a game, the sophomore owns a 24.2% usage rate, and he's upped his fantasy production ever so slightly to 27.7 in 18 Pac-12 games. Versus tonight's opponent, the Stanford Cardinal, Hands has averaged 22.0 points and a whopping 36.7 FanDuel points in two earlier meetings. With the Bruins at a total of 75.25 points, Hands is at a very reasonable price given his 35-to-40 point upside.
Jermaine Haley, West Virginia ($6,500): While you'll want to follow the masses to St. John's, UCLA and others, to differentiate yourself and get a leg up in tournaments you will have to venture to other options. Among those games below a 150 over/under, West Virginia/Oklahoma has the highest total, but some of the players involved simply seem under-priced. Despite the underdog Mountaineers' total sitting below 70 (69.5), because of OU's top-25 defense, that is still in the middle of the pack for this short and rather low-scoring slate. Haley, the transfer from New Mexico State, wasn't involved much too start the year, but he's come of late. At the tail end of averaging 8.8 points and 16.7 FanDuel points in Big 12 play, the 6'7" guard erupted for 19.6 points and 35.4 FanDuel points in the last five. He has played at least 29 minutes in each, including a 23-point, 35.7-FanDuel-point outing just over 10 days ago against this same Sooners team. Ride him while he's hot.
Jamal Bieniemy, Oklahoma ($5,200): In the same game, Bieniemy is another big-time scorer who presents nice value. There isn't a lot of value below this price range at guard, but with a pair of guys around the same price you should have enough. After all, the freshman has managed 20 or more FanDuel points in three of the last five with one of those a respectable 17.4. His optimal output (20.8 at 4.0 points per $1,000) is certainly in play, particularly against a WVU defense ranked 137th in the NCAA, playing at the 66th-fastest pace and allowing 78.8 points per game in conference play this year.
Jules Bernard, UCLA ($5,100): The game script is favorable, according to the oddsmakers, but the Cardinals are also 76th in KenPom.com's adjusted tempo, which is lower than the Bruins 17th-ranked pace, but it should help to keep the game flow quick and favor piles of points. They're also allowing 71-plus points per game and have given up 92 and 80 in their two games against UCLA. That puts Bernard directly on our radar, as the freshman has stepped into minutes of late, and he's produced well (15.0 points and 22.3 FanDuel points in the last four) in the absence of an injured Prince Ali. In fact, he made his first career start last time out, taking 32 minutes for 20 FanDuel points. And he's been out-playing Chris Smith, which bodes well even if Ali returns.
KZ Okpala, Stanford ($7,600): As mentioned above, Stanford already plays at a nice pace, but that gets a bump of 2.8 possessions per game with UCLA on hand. Plus, the Bruins aren't a stiff defense, having allowed 102.6 points per 100 possessions and 80.9 points per game in conference play. You should have at least one Cardinal in your lineup, and it's probably worth paying the price for Okpala. The sophomore has had his ups and downs this season, but for fantasy purposes he brings as much upside as anyone. The big man has nine performances above today's salary-implied output (30.4), three of which went for 40-plus. In his two games against UCLA he's averaged 33.9 FanDuel points with two 20-point games and a double-double.
Paul Reed, DePaul ($6,600): In this game, you have to have exposure on both sides, in some way, shape or form. Reed, a 6'9" sophomore, is more of a tourney play, as you can gather from his 19-minute game against the Johnnies last time, when he was saddled with fouls and ultimately fouled out in 24 minutes with just four shots to his credit. But he's had big games as well. That goes back to his first game at St. John's, in which he tallied 18 points and 10 boards en route to 35 FanDuel points. Including that one, he has hit or surpassed 30 points 10 times with three of 40-plus. At this price, he needs just 26.4 for four-times value, and if that wasn't appealing enough he gets a bump in pace from a team ranked outside the top 100 in defensive efficiency and 51st in adjusted tempo.
Lamont West, West Virginia ($5,300): We can look to the West Virginia frontcourt for some salary relief, too. West has had two big games in a row, which should make him a chalky but necessary value play in this price range. Against Iowa State and Oklahoma State, the junior yielded 30.9 and 20.6 FanDuel points in 36 and 35 minutes, respectively. Those minutes are especially hard to ignore with West playing 34 or more in five of the last six for the Mountaineers. Not many -- if any -- players can you get that type of playing time for less than even $6,000.
Emmitt Matthews Jr., West Virginia ($4,400): On the other hand, if you are looking for more of a pure punt play to help you go more top-heavy elsewhere, West's teammate is your guy. Matthews, a 6'7" freshman, has been getting more run as the season's gone on, a predictable move by Coach Bob Huggins as he sees the end of a lost season in sight. Though he's averaged just 13.9 for the year, he has started the last seven games and has logged at least 21 minutes in all but one. He's turned 24.3 minutes into 12.0 FanDuel points per game, however, the last three have seen him average 9.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 20.7 FanDuel points. That would equate to 4.7 points per $1,000, which is a nice value to have on your roster this evening.
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.