College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 3/22/19, Late Slate

With Duke taking on an over-matched North Dakota State team, is Zion Williamson worth his sky-high price tag?

March Madness is here. And just because you've had to spend all that time writing, scratching out and re-writing names on your brackets, that doesn't mean the DFS grind stops.

As all year, you can get in on college hoops DFS 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 Friday's late slate, which locks at 6:50 p.m. EST and consists of eight games, including both Duke and North Carolina hosting inferior opponents in North Dakota State and Iona.

Friday, March 22nd (Late)
9) Washington vs 8) Utah State
16) North Dakota State vs 1) Duke
14) Georgia State vs 3) Houston
12) Liberty vs 5) Mississippi State
16) Iona vs 1) North Carolina
9) UCF vs 8) VCU
11) Ohio State vs 6) Iowa State
13) Saint Louis vs 4) Virginia Tech

Which players should you be targeting and why?


RJ Barrett, Duke ($9,500): In a perfect world, you would be able to roster both Barrett and Zion Williamson tonight. But in all likelihood, you can only afford one, and Barrett happens to be the cheaper of the two. He sits $600 cheaper than Zion and allows you to pay down and be contrarian at the forward spot. After all, his 37.98 FanDuel points a game are second on the slate to his fellow Duke star's 41.16, and to the casual fan's surprise, he is first on the team in usage rate (32.4%). Furthermore, his 22.9% assist rate has led to 4.1 assists a game to go with 7.5 boards. The Blue Devils, as 27-point favorites, check in second on the slate with an implied total of 87.75 points, so we can expect Barrett to be involved in quite a high number of buckets in this lopsided 1/16 game.

Coby White, North Carolina ($7,900): White can flat-out score the basketball. In his freshman season, he's averaging 16.3 points on 12.6 shot attempts and 2.4 three-point makes. His ceiling isn't limited either, as the 6'5" guard has turned eight 20-point games and three of 33 or more. But scoring is just the tip of the iceberg for this guy. He's also dishing out 4.2 assists with a 25.5% assist rate and 27.2% usage rate, which plays a big part in his 26.2 FanDuel points per contest. In case you're worried about that number being below his salary-implied output (31.6 at 4.0 points per $1,000), White has really come on late in the season, averaging 31.4 since January 19 and putting up 40-plus four times in that 12-game span.

Tre Jones, Duke ($6,700): Stacking Jones next to a Barrett or Williamson would be a very wise play today. The freshman point guard doesn't command a high number of shots, nor does he put up big points on a nightly basis, but he is averaging 9.3 points, 5.3 assists and a very valuable 2.0 steals a game. Jones has two or more steals in five of his last six, tallying 27.7 FanDuel points per game in that span, a number that would return 4.1 points for every $1,000 at this middle of the road price. And unlike others, he is a near-lock for 35-plus minutes, as he's played exactly 40 in 8 of the previous 12, putting his average at 33.8 for the year.

Kenny Williams, North Carolina ($5,700): Another Tar Heel? Yes -- there's no such thing as too many Blue Devils are Heels today. That is particularly the case for North Carolina because of their game script. Standing as 22.5-point favorites, their 94.5 total is the highest on the slate by 6.75 points, while the 166.5 over/under is the only one to even hit 150. That's a lot of fantasy potential, and it stems from the Gaels' own top-50 tempo (per Expect a few UNC players to enjoy big fantasy days, with Williams a likely candidate because of his workload. The senior guard averages 29.8 minutes for the year and 34.2 in the last 10. He brings all-around production to the table in the form of 8.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.2 blocks-plus-steals per game. If he gets in double figures, he should have no problem paying off his price.

Ben Perez, Iona ($4,900): As underdogs, Iona has appeal too. Because of the projected high pace in this one, their 72-point total is fifth on the slate and ahead of four teams favored to win their respective matchups. They'll benefit from the Tar Heels' extremely high pace of play, which is 3.7 possessions above that of the Gaels'. Perez is an experienced junior with the ability to score in double digits. He gets up 6.1 shot attempts and averages 15.9 FanDuel points a game, but he's exceeded 20 in three of the past six, most notably going for 14 points and 29.5 FanDuel points in the conference final. If you're taking a shot below $5,000, you can't do much better.


Zion Williamson, Duke ($10,100): The Bison are no threat to Williamson's monster production. Not only are they 196th in opponent scoring and 294th in adjusted defensive efficiency, but they rank 278th in total rebounding. The likely number-one pick in the draft isn't one to shy away from the boards, grabbing a team-high 8.9 rebounds and 3.5 on the offensive end alone. Zion has put together 12 double-doubles on the year and has surpassed the 50-FanDuel-point mark six times. In other words, he is worth his price tag if you can find the value. However, we must make note that his minutes could be limited if this blows out too quickly, so maybe keep him to stars-and-scrubs lineups in tournaments.

Neemias Queta, Utah State ($7,700): In pivoting away from all the Duke and UNC love, we move to a game with a much less appealing environment for fantasy production. Against Washington, 9-seeded Utah State is favored by three, but a 134.5 total limits their expected output to 68.75 points. Still, that is in the top half of the slate, which is enough to justify a player like Queta. This season, the 6'11" freshman has averaged 11.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 1.7 assists a game. His block rate is over 10%, and he's first on the team with an 18.6% rebound rate. It's that rebounding prowess that makes him a very good play against the Huskies, who finished the year 274th in total rebounding and 293rd in rebounding rate.

Reggie Perry, Mississippi State ($6,000): Perry is another talented freshman with the ability to do damage on the boards. At 6'10", he is grabbing 7.1 rebounds per game and 2.6 on the offensive end. And despite a slow start to the year, he has totaled 13 10-rebound games and 12 double-doubles to date. He is fresh off a 15-point, 12-board performance against Tennessee, a much better defense than today's opponent, Liberty. For that reason, the Bulldogs' implied total (69.75) is sixth on the slate, keeping them on the radar just enough.

Marques Bolden, Duke ($4,500): Bolden is back just in time for the start of the NCAA Tournament. The experienced junior had missed the ACC Tournament because of a knee injury, but he'll be a welcome sight for Coach K. Fellow big man Jack White will, in all likelihood, be sidelined due to an injury of his own, which could spell more minutes for Bolden. While Bolden averaged just 19.4 minutes this year, White vacates 21.5 a game. So even if Bolden receives five or six of those, that's a nice 25 minutes for a starting center -- and one who averages 15.5 FanDuel points in that role. You also get some upside here in the form of a guy who's racked two double-doubles with multiple games over 20 FanDuel points. All he needs is 18 to return four-times value.

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.