College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 3/12/21
College basketball's conference tournament week is here, and we have a nine-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: Connecticut Huskies guard James Bouknight is questionable after leaving last night's game early due to an injury. Iowa Hawkeyes forward Joe Wieskamp is questionable with an ankle injury. Arkansas Razorbacks forward Jaylin Williams is also questionable. Meanwhile, Kansas Jayhawks forward David McCormack is out for the Big 12 tournament.
All stats come from KenPom unless otherwise noted.
Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois ($8,500) - Dosunmu should be locked into his full allotment of minutes after returning for the regular season finale (he missed the previous three games). The future pro logged 36 minutes while donning a Batman-esque mask (broken nose). From a rates perspective, there's a ton to like about Ayo. The sophomore has a 29.9% usage rate, 31.3% shot rate (percentage of the team's shots by the player when the player is on the floor), 15.2% defensive rebounding rate, and a 29.9% assist rate. His usage rate, shot rate, and assist rate all rate within the top 75 nationally.
Jared Butler, Baylor ($7,700) - Butler makes for a fantastic complement or alternative to Dosunmu, albeit at a slightly reduced salary. Butler leads the Baylor Bears in usage rate (27.4%), shot rate (26.9%), assist rate (29.0%), and steal rate (4.1%). He's in a pretty good spot as the game with Oklahoma State represents a huge pace-up spot for Baylor. Oklahoma State is 47th in tempo nationally, while Baylor is 186th. Frontcourt mates Davion Mitchell ($6,700) and Macio Teague ($6,500) are also solid plays. Cade Cunningham ($8,200) is also compelling since he's likely to play nearly the entire game (four straight games with 39-plus minutes).
Devontae Shuler, Mississippi ($6,400) - It's hard to ignore Shuler at his salary. He leads the Mississippi Rebels with a 25.9% usage rate and a 29.5% shot rate. Both of those figures lead the Rebels to go along with his 22.6% assist rate. The senior is also a menace at the defensive end, as he owns a 2.8% steal rate. He's also a good bet to play 35-plus minutes on Friday night (something he's done in five out of the last six games). Dru Smith ($6,900) makes for a fine play, and his salary falls between Shuler and Jared Butler.
Luis Rodriguez, Mississippi ($5,200) - The Rebels have the best matchup on this slate (arguably). They square off with the fast-paced and defensive-optional Louisiana State Fighting Tigers. LSU ranks 57th nationally in tempo and 126th in defense. Meanwhile, the Rebels play at a snail's pace (320th nationally), so this is a major pace-up spot for them. Rodriguez is appealing because he's an excellent rebounder and defender. The sophomore has a 7.2% offensive rebounding rate, 21.0% defensive rebounding rate, 2.7% block rate, and a 4.0% steal rate. While his usage rate is rather low (16.8%), the extra possessions in this game should make up for that. He also owns a 14.8% assist rate that ranks second amongst the regular Rebels' rotation players. JD Notae ($5,100) makes for an interesting tournament play if Arkansas elects to play small ball tonight. There are a ton of solid plays with salaries that fall between Rodriguez and Devontae Shuler. Those include Marcus Garrett, RJ Cole (a fantastic choice if James Bouknight can't play), D'Mitrick Trice, Scottie Barnes, Jacob Young, and Ochai Agbaji.
Davonte Davis, Arkansas ($4,400) - The freshman's salary is just way too cheap for his role and production. Davis is averaging .75 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he should pay off his salary in 24.0 minutes (assuming value is 4x of a player's salary). Davis is averaging 30.7 minutes per game over the last six games.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Geo Baker, Brad Davison, Christian Braun, Mark Vital, Trey Murphy III, MJ Walker, Mitch Ballock, Anthony Polite, Trent Frazier, Jarkel Joiner, Leaky Black, and Connor McCaffrey (only if Joe Wieskamp is out).
Luka Garza, Iowa ($9,000) - Usually, picking on the Wisconsin Badgers isn't a great idea. They play extremely slow (325th in tempo) and have one of the nation's top defenses (17th). However, they have not solved the Garza dilemma. The Big Ten Player of the Year has smashed Wisconsin in both outings this season. In those two games, Garza has exploded for 43.6 FanDuel points and 49.2 FanDuel points. He's my top overall play on the Friday night slate.
RaiQuan Gray, Florida State ($6,800) - Gray has always been a solid FanDuel points per minute contributor (0.99 per minute). The one variable that has been holding him back from breaking out is playing time. However, that appears to no longer be an issue, as the Florida State Seminoles have unleashed the beefy forward. He's averaging 30.0 minutes per game over the last eight games. Additionally, he's averaging an impressive 32.9 FanDuel points per game over that same time frame. Barring foul trouble, his presence will be needed against North Carolina's talented frontcourt.
Armando Bacot, North Carolina ($6,300) - Bacot's salary has increased, but there's still some meat left on that bone. The sophomore center is playing the best basketball of his career in March. He's averaging an incredible 1.09 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he should pay off his current salary in 23.1 minutes of action. Bacot has logged 24-plus minutes in four straight games. Arkansas' Justin Smith ($6,100) is also a great play along with Missouri's Jeremiah Tilmon ($6,000). Micah Potter's ($5,800) playing time could spike on Wisconsin, as he's been the main man to defend Luka Garza.
Romello White, Mississippi ($5,000) - White is an elite rebounder and rim protector. He has an 8.5% offensive rebounding rate, 16.3% defensive rebounding rate, and a 5.5% block rate. Additionally, White's 113.3 offensive rating is best amongst the Rebels. Lately, his playing time has skyrocketed. The senior has played at least 31 minutes in five straight games, which is up significantly from his seasonal average (27.7 minutes per game). When considering salary, he's one of my favorite plays on this slate.
Jericho Sims, Texas ($4,600) - Sims has been unstoppable in the painted area for the Texas Longhorns. Over the last three games, the senior is averaging 13.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 0.3 assists, and 3.0 blocks/steals in 29.3 minutes. With David McCormack out for Kansas, look for Texas to try and feed Sims in the post. Frontcourt mate, Greg Brown ($4,900), is an interesting tournament play after only logging 13 minutes last night. He's a classic boom or bust option depending on how he's playing. Kobe Brown ($4,500) rates very similar to Sims and makes for a great source of salary relief. Keegan Murray ($4,700) would also be an outstanding play if Joe Wieskamp is unable to play.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Connor Vanover, Keegan Murray, KJ Buffen, Greg Brown, Balsa Koprivicia, Kobe Brown, Aleem Ford, Adam Sanogo, and Tyler Wahl.
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.