College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 3/10/21
College basketball's conference tournament week is here, and we have a seven-game slate today.
March Madness is only a week 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 NBA contests.
Now that you're in the know, we can attack today's slate, which locks at 6:30 p.m. EST.
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
Relevant injury situation to monitor: Minnesota Golden Gophers center Liam Robbins and guard Gabe Kalscheur are expected to be out, while forward Brandon Johnson is questionable. Louisville Cardinals center Malik Williams is out. DePaul Blue Demons guard Javon Freeman-Liberty, forward Nick Ongenda, and forward Oscar Lopez Jr. are all questionable. Stanford Cardinal forward Osca da Silva is questionable, while guards Bryce Wills and Daejon Davis are expected to be available.
All stats come from KenPom unless otherwise noted.
Austin Reaves, Oklahoma ($8,000) - Reaves has some competition for the top overall guard on Wednesday night's slate. Both Marcus Carr ($8,000) and Carlik Jones ($7,700) (more on him below) are appealing options. However, Reaves has the easiest matchup amongst the three studs. The Oklahoma Sooners will be getting a pace bump against the defensive-deficient and struggling Iowa State Cyclones. The Cyclones are 94th in tempo nationally (Oklahoma is 221st) and 131st in defense (second worst in the Big 12). Reaves leads the Sooners with a 27.4% usage rate and a 27.8% assist rate. He's also a willing rebounder, as he's posting a 15.7% defensive rebounding rate. Iowa State's best player Rasir Bolton is expected to play on Wednesday night, so that increases the likelihood that this game stays competitive. As a result, we can expect Reaves to play heavy minutes (30-plus minutes in 14 straight games).
David Johnson, Louisville ($6,500) - Johnson is an enticing player to target due to his ability to contribute in every major statistical area. The sophomore's 23.3% usage rate is second amongst the Cardinals (trails only Carlik Jones). He is also posting a 14.8% defensive rebounding rate and 19.4% assist rate. Both of those rates rank third or better amongst the Cardinals. There is also some defensive stat upside as Johnson has a 1.0% block rate and 1.8% steal rate. Finally, Louisville is not afraid to ride their stars for the entire game if needed. Both Johnson and Carlik Jones logged all 40 minutes in the regular season finale. Jones is also a good investment tonight.
Matt Bradley, California ($5,900) - Bradley is finally back to playing a full allotment of minutes. The junior is averaging 34.0 minutes per game over the last three games, which is up fairly significantly from his seasonal average of 29.9 minutes per game. In a must situation, I'd expect Bradley to play nearly the entire game. Moreover, Bradley has an insane usage rate of 32.0% (17th nationally), and he also has a 33.1% shot percentage (percentage of the team's shots taken by the player when the player is on the floor). Further enhancing his appeal is that he also has a 15.2% defensive rebounding rate and a 13.4% assist rate.
Samuel Williamson, Louisville ($5,000) - Interestingly enough, the Cardinals cut down their rotation significantly in their last regular season game. Only six players logged 18-plus minutes. I'd expect Louisville to run a similar rotation in their first round ACC tournament game with Duke. In the regular season finale, Williamson played 38 minutes. Williamson's usage rate is just shy of 20% (19.3%), but he's efficient with his opportunities. The sophomore has an effective field goal percentage of 53.7%. He's also one of the Cardinals' best rebounders. Williamson's 8.1% offensive rebounding rate and 23.2% defensive rebounding rate trails only Jae'Lyn Withers.
Tre Williams, Minnesota ($3,800) - Gabe Kalschuer has been ruled out for Wednesday's Big Ten tournament opener. Consequently, we should expect Williams to have an enormous role. Over the last two games, Williams is averaging 14.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.0 blocks/steals in 36.5 minutes (26.6 FanDuel points). Jamal Mashburn Jr. ($4,100) should also continue to log heavy minutes and makes for a fine play.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Elijah Harkless, Boo Buie, Umoja Gibson, Caleb Love, Michael O'Connell, Kerwin Walton, Thorir Thorbjarnarson, Alondes Williams, Jamal Mashburn Jr., Kobe Webster, and Ray Salnave (only if Javon Freeman-Liberty is out).
Matthew Hurt, Duke ($7,500) - Despite the slate consisting of seven games, there is a lack of top-end forwards. Consequently, I'm expecting Hurt to be popular. Hurt and the Duke Blue Devils face off with the Louisville Cardinals. On paper, the matchup isn't great, as the Cardinals play slow (293rd in tempo) and are fairly solid defensively (41st in defense). However, we saw Hurt explode against Louisville back on February 27th. The stretch-four forward went for 37 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal in 43 minutes (49.4 FanDuel points). While I wouldn't expect a repeat performance, Hurt's rates are strong across the board (21.1% usage rate, 24.7% shot rate, 17.4% defensive rebounding rate, 2.1% block rate, and a 1.3% steal rate).
Garrison Brooks, North Carolina ($6,000) - While his ceiling may be capped playing with a bevy of stars in North Carolina's frontcourt (Armando Bacot, Day'Ron Sharpe, and Walker Kessler), Brooks makes for a reliable option on Wednesday night. He owns a 19.1% usage rate, 8.0% offensive rebounding rate, 18.1% defensive rebounding rate, 9.4% assist rate, and a 3.1% block rate. Basically, the senior does a little bit of everything. On tap is a juicy matchup with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Irish have the ACC's second-worst defense (175th), and they may be tired after last night's thrilling win over Wake Forest. The Irish expended a ton of energy erasing a big deficit to beat Wake Forest at the buzzer.
Armando Bacot, North Carolina ($5,600) - When Bacot gets significant playing time, he usually posts a massive box score. It appears, based on the last two regular season games, Bacot will push for 25-plus minutes (barring foul trouble). The Tar Heels center is averaging an impressive 1.03 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he should pay off his salary in 21.8 minutes of action (assuming value is 4x of a player's salary). As noted above, this is a good matchup to target North Carolina.
Jae'Lyn Withers, Louisville ($5,100) - Louisville has little choice but to play Withers extensively with Malik Williams sidelined. Fortunately, his salary hasn't adjusted to his increased playing time. Withers has played 31 minutes in each of the last two games. With Williams in the lineup, Withers played 26 or fewer minutes in each of the three previous games. Withers is an efficient scorer (effective field goal percentage of 59.1%) and a solid offensive player (leads the team with a 116.9 offensive rating). He's also a monster on the glass (11.7% offensive rebounding rate and a 22.8% defensive rebounding rate). When considering salary, Withers is one of my favorite options at forward.
Noah Horchler, Providence ($4,200) - Horchler's salary still hasn't adjusted to his increased role. The Providence Friars forward has logged 25-plus minutes in nine straight games (seven games with 30-plus minutes). His usage rate is rather low (17.4%), but he's an outstanding rebounder and a solid rim protector. The senior has a 10.1% offensive rebounding rate, 20.6% defensive rebounding rate, and a 2.4% block rate. The bottom line is he's under-salaried due to his rates and playing time. Eric Curry ($4,500) is another nice source of salary relief at forward with Liam Robbins expected to miss tonight's game. Pauly Paulicap ($4,600) would be a phenomenal play if Oscar Lopez Jr. and Nick Ongenda are unable to suit up.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Wendell Moore Jr., Brady Manek, Jaiden Delaire (better if Oscar da Silva is out), Brandon Johnson (if he plays), Pauly Paulicap (better if Oscar Lopez and Nick Ongenda are out), and Eric Curry.
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.