College Basketball Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 3/27/21
March Madness is here, and we have a four-game slate Saturday to kick off the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
You can get into all the college hoops hype by playing daily fantasy contests at FanDuel. 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 Saturday's slate, which locks at 2:40 p.m EST.
Which players should you be targeting, and why?
All stats come from KenPom unless otherwise noted.
Quentin Grimes, Houston ($7,800) - The former Kansas Jayhawks' guard leads Houston with a 25.9% usage rate, 28.9% shot rate (percentage of the team's shots by the player when the player is on the floor), 14.9% defensive rebounding rate, 12.3% assist rate, and 2.4% steal rate. Moreover, Grimes is averaging 37.5 minutes per game in the NCAA tournament (season average is 32.6 minutes per game). The matchup with Syracuse's 2-3 zone should be advantageous for Grimes. The zone forces opponents to take a ton of perimeter shots. Grimes is nailing 41.7% of his three-point field goal attempts. Max Abmas ($8,500) is also viable as a high-end guard investment; he's leading the nation in scoring this season (24.5 points per game).
Moses Moody, Arkansas ($6,700) - The Razorbacks managed to advance to the Sweet 16 despite Moody's struggles. I'm expecting the freshman to rebound against the fast-paced and defensive-deficient Oral Roberts Golden Eagles. Oral Roberts ranks 46th in adjusted tempo and 239th in defensive efficiency (by the far the worst among the remaining NCAA tournament teams). Moody figures to get back on track as Oral Roberts has allowed big numbers to lead guards in each of their NCAA tournament games. In the first round, Ohio State's Duane Washington posted 18 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists. In the second round, Florida's Tre Mann tallied 19 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.
DeJon Jarreau, Houston ($6,200) - Jarreau managed to play through a hip injury in Houston's close win over Rutgers last time out. Earlier this week, he returned to practice, which likely indicates that he's feeling much better. The senior is one of the most versatile players in college basketball. He has a 23.6% usage rate, 5.0% offensive rebounding rate, 16.2% defensive rebounding rate, 28.6% assist rate, 2.3% block rate, and 2.9% steal rate. Basically, he's a threat to stuff the stat sheet since he can rack up numbers in all of the major categories. Further enhancing Jarreau's appeal is a pace-up game with an average Orange defense (89th in defensive efficiency). Syracuse is 150th in adjusted tempo while Houston is 324th.
Devonte Davis, Arkansas ($5,600) - As noted this a home-run spot for Arkansas. Davis is averaging 0.76 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he should pay off his salary in 29.5 minutes of action (assuming value is 4.0 points per $1,000 in salary). Devo is averaging 34.2 minutes per game over the last five games. Elsewhere, Alan Griffin ($5,800) has seemingly fallen out of favor with head coach Jim Boeheim. However, if his playing time was to recover, he'd be a major value. I'd only consider Griffin if I'm playing multiple entries in tournaments. Joseph Girard III ($5,500) is rounding back into form. He's worth consideration in tournaments as he has topped 21 FanDuel points in three straight.
Lucas Williamson, Loyola (IL) ($4,700) - Despite averaging just 28.0 minutes per game this season, Williamson has received extended run through the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. The senior has logged 36 minutes in each of the Loyola (IL) Ramblers first two NCAA tournament games. He's considerably under-salaried when considering his tourney workloads. The Ramblers guard has a 17.2% usage rate, 54.3% effective field goal percentage, 15.5% defensive rebounding rate, 13.6% assist rate, and 3.2% steal rate. Williamson is averaging 23.5 FanDuel points over the last four games.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Kareem Thompson, Matthew Mayer, and Carlos Jurgens.
Kevin Obanor, Oral Roberts ($8,300) - Obanor's salary has increased significantly due to his stellar play in the NCAA tournament. From a rates perspective, the salary bump is justified. The junior has a healthy 26.4% usage rate, 26.8% shot rate, 8.3% offensive rebounding rate, 24.1% defensive rebounding rate, and 2.1% block rate. He's also very efficient as he is posting an effective field goal percentage of 57.7%. If he can stay out of foul trouble, he'll likely play the entire game. Obanor has played all 85 minutes in Oral Roberts two NCAA tournament games. While the clash with Arkansas will be challenging (10th in defensive efficiency), the anticipated pace should help ease that concern. Both teams rank inside the top 50 in adjusted tempo. Cameron Krutwig ($8,000) is a safer play. He torched the Illinois Fighting Illini for 45 FanDuel points in his last outing. Meanwhile, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl ($8,200) has topped 30 FanDuel points in six consecutive games, including 50.2 FanDuel points in the first round of the tournament.
Justin Smith, Arkansas ($7,700) - Smith has elevated his game when the Razorbacks have needed him most. Over the last four games, the senior is averaging 21.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 3.0 blocks/steals in 37.0 minutes -- which equates to 37.5 FanDuel points. I'm expecting Smith to have a field day against Oral Roberts' atrocious defense (as noted above). There are six players participating on Saturday with salaries higher than Smith. However, Smith is my second overall best play on this slate.
Jermaine Samuels, Villanova ($6,900) - Samuels is intriguing because of his versatility. He's posting a 7.1% offensive rebounding rate, 19.6% defensive rebounding rate, 16.3% assist rate, 1.2% block rate, and 1.2% steal rate. With Collin Gillespie sidelined, Samuels has been counted on to pick up the scoring load for the Villanova Wildcats. In four games without Gillespie, Samuels is averaging 11.5 field goal attempts per game, which is up significantly from his season-long average of 8.8 shots per game. Quincy Guerrier ($6,800) is also a solid play in Samuels' salary range.
Jalen Tate, Arkansas ($5,000) - Tate is back to playing heavy minutes for the Razorbacks. He's logged 38 and 31 minutes in two NCAA tournament games. The senior is averaging 0.73 FanDuel points per minute. At that production level, he should pay off his salary in 27.4 minutes of action. Throw in the anticipated track meet with Oral Roberts, and Tate will likely be one of the most popular players on the slate. Justin Gorham ($5,700) is a fine play and his salary falls between Tate and Samuels.
Jaylin Williams, Arkansas ($4,800) - Williams made his return to the starting lineup against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the second round. He had previously missed the SEC tournament due to COVID-19 protocols. Williams is a post player who anchors the Razorbacks' defense. The freshman big man tallied one point, 10 rebounds, and four assists in 28 minutes against the Red Raiders. Throw in an incredible matchup, and Williams is my favorite source of salary relief on the Saturday slate.
Other players to consider for salary relief ($5,000 or less): Roman Silva and Adam Flagler.
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.