DFS College Basketball: Friday NCAA Tournament Preview

DFS College Basketball: Friday NCAA Tournament Preview

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

Yesterday's March Madness action featured its fair share of upsets, as 2-seed Kentucky and a pair of 5-seeds in UConn and Iowa saw their seasons come to a disappointing end. Another day with huge DFS prize pools continues, with DraftKings headlining their $15 Tourney Special with $20k to first, while FanDuel features the $9 All-American for the main slate with a $5,000 top payout.

Top Players

Jabari Smith, F, Auburn ($8,600 DK, $8,200 FD)

Smith has been on a tear over the last month of the season, averaging 23.7 points and 7.6 rebounds over the last seven games. The projected top pick in this summer's NBA Draft is averaging a whopping 1.18 fantasy points per minute and is shooting 43 percent from three while also getting to the line often. It's a green light matchup against a Jacksonville State squad that only starts one player over 6-7, creating mismatches for the lengthy Tigers.  

Jordan Walker, G, UAB ($7,400 DK, $8,000 FD)

Walker has been the clear go-to option for UAB this season, leading the team with a massive 33.2 percent usage rate and it's hard to imagine the Blazers will be able to afford to keep him on the bench much against Houston. With six consecutive 20+ point scoring games, he provides a reliable floor with his ability to produce in the passing game and on the boards. Walker also provides great value, averaging the ninth most fantasy PPG on the slate with a salary outside the top-20.  

Timmy Allen, F, Texas ($7,300 DK, $7,600 FD)

Allen has taken on a bigger role as the season has gone on, accounting for at least a 27 percent usage rate in seven of the last nine games. All three of his 20-point scoring games this season have come during that stretch in which he's also averaging 6.6 rebounds per game. Texas is the favorite against 11-seed Virginia Tech, a team that has been mediocre defensively and is better at defending the perimeter, with Allen doing just about all of his scoring inside the arc.

Middle Tier

E.J. Anosike, F, Cal. St. Fullerton ($6,800 DK, $7,700 FD)

Anosike has been the star for Fullerton, leading the team with 16.5 ppg, 8.3 rebounds and nine double-doubles. A matchup against 2-seed Duke may look like a fade at first glance, but their strength has been on the offensive end and the Blue Devils could show some early tournament nerves with three freshman starters. Anosike has eight straight games with at least 30 fantasy points and is shooting an efficient 54 percent from two-point range this season.

Tanner Holden, G/F, Wright State ($5,800 DK, $7,900 FD)

Holden is a must-have on DraftKings due to his obvious mispricing, coming in over $2,000 cheaper than on FanDuel. While this is a much tougher test than Wright State is used to, Holden put up 17 points and seven rebounds early in the season at Purdue. The junior wing is coming off a double-double in the play-in game in which he scored 37 points on 73 percent shooting. With the matchup having the highest over/under on the slate, it's one to look at targeting.

A.J. Hoggard, G, Michigan State ($5,000 DK, $5,700 FD)

Starting point guard Tyson Walker exited the Spartans last game early with an ankle injury and Hoggard took advantage of the opportunity, playing a season-high 34 minutes en route to a double-double. While Walker looks like he'll be able to play, it's unlikely that he'll see his usual workload. Hoggard should get plenty of good looks for himself and others with Davidson a lowly 149th in defensive efficiency.

Values

Oumar Ballo, F, Arizona ($4,900 DK, $4,300 FD)

Arizona's bench should get plenty of minutes in a first-round matchup with 16-seed Wright State, as the Wildcats will look to give their starters rest if the game gets out of hand. The 7-foot Ballo has looked excellent this season, shooting 63 percent with a pair of double-doubles in limited action. Wright State doesn't have a single rotation player over 6-9, which should give Ballo some easy looks and a big advantage on the glass.

Nelly Cummings, G, Colgate ($4,800 DK, $5,400 FD)

Cummings leads an efficient Raiders offense, running the point while taking a team-high 26.7 percent of the team's shots when he's on the floor. Colgate has experience in the tournament, holding a double-digit lead at one point against Arkansas last year in which Cummings posted 14 points, four assists and three rebounds, so he shouldn't be overwhelmed by the occasion. The fifth-year senior is a solid three-point shooter at 36 percent this season.

Matt Knowling, G/F, Yale ($4,300 DK, $4,700 FD)

One would think that Purdue should be a strong defensive team with 7-foot-4 Zach Edey in the middle and a likely top-5 NBA pick in Jaden Ivey, but yet the Boilermakers rank only 99th in KenPom's defensive efficiency metric. Knowling played well in the Ivy League Tournament, averaging 11.0 points and 4.5 assists over 31.0 minutes, and is shooting an efficient 62 percent on the season. A quality 20 fantasy point option to complete your lineup.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Pohle
Ryan Pohle is a DFS Product Specialist at RotoWire and has written for the site since 2020.
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