This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
The tournament heads into the second round over the weekend, giving us a much more manageable eight-game main slate that spreads the entire day, from Baylor-UNC at 12:10 p.m. to Gonzaga-Memphis at 9:40 p.m. Only two games tip off before 5:15 however, so it's largely a prime-time contest. It's a bit of a weird slate, with only two games coming with a total north of 140, the two previously mentioned. Can we find someone that unexpectedly forces tempo? Or are we forced to load up on Bears, Tar Heels, Bulldogs and Tigers?
James Akinjo, G, Baylor ($8,100 DK, $7,400 FD)
Akinjo likely doesn't have the upside of an Armando Bacot ($9,200 DK, $8,800 FD) or Chet Holmgren ($9,100 DK, $9,200 FD), but he's seems to present with a 4x floor at a nice discount. He's played 35-plus minutes in every game but one since the start of February, including Thursday's blowout win over Norfolk State. It's resulted in eight games of 30-plus DKP, with Akinjo capable of putting up numbers in points, assists and steals. Baylor has shown they'll play at a higher tempo as their opponents dictate, which North Carolina certainly will. He looks like an easy choice for stability.
Drew Timme, F, Gonzaga ($7,900 DK, $8,700 FD)
What gives with this price? Timme was a monster in Gonzaga's opener, earning 53.75 DKP by going for 32 points and 13 rebounds, and his price fell some $400? Memphis isn't afraid to play up tempo, ranking 40th per KenPom, and their roster has the athletes to compete with the Zags, so Timme shouldn't see a reduction in minutes, but moreso a possible uptick. The only thing not to like is the anticipated monstrous huge usage.
Johnny Juzang, G, UCLA ($6,500 DK, $6,100 FD)
Juzang remains in poor form, having shot better than 40.0 percent just once since February 12, a span of nine games. But it's hard to argue with his opportunities, as he's failed to take 10+ shots just three times all season. This game looks like it'll be a grind, with neither side expected to score more than 65 thanks to ninth and 12th ranked defenses, and the nation's 20th and 95th slowest tempos. So we'll target the high usage option that will volume score, with minutes leading to rebounds and steals by default.
Alex O'Connell, G/F, Creighton ($5,800 DK, $5,400)
On a slate with this many low totals, we're looking for usage/opportunity. O'Connell's 18.6 percent usage rate isn't great, but he's taken at least 11 shots in each of the Blue Jays' last five, failing to reach 20 DKP just once. Creighton is going to have to score if they have any shot at an upset, and O'Connell will be needed for that to happen. A few shots fall, paired with five rebounds, and we've got a usable option.
Landers Nolley, G/F, Memphis ($5,700 DK, $5,000 FD)
We noted in the intro we want shares here, and I do hope this column can offer some differing opinions and not just focus on the two smash games on the slate. Nolley is far from a sure thing, and their's ample reason to feel confident in Memphis' Jalen Duren ($6,600 DK, $7,200 FD) at a very favorable number. But I can also argue he'll potentially struggle with the Zags' front line, forcing Memphis to be more perimeter oriented. Nolley appears healthy, seeing 32 minutes Thursday, impacting the game across the board. If this game gets up and down the court as we expect, Nolley is in a spot to out perform his price.
Justin Minaya, F, Providence ($5,600 DK, $4,500 FD)
This games seems a reasonable target; Richmond plays five players the entire game and Providence seems likely to counter with similar minutes for defensive purposes. Enter Minaya, who has been a lock down defender who figures to be tasked with guarding Tyler Burton ($7,300 DK, $6,800 FD) with some regularity. Minaya has at least 16.0 DKP in his last seven games. That's not terrific, but it's 3x. Trust the minutes allowing Minaya to stumble into production, and chase bigger points atop the slate.