Welcome to the Big Dance everybody! The tournament we have all been waiting for is here and it is going to be an exciting couple of weeks as we see who can emerge and put a scare into Kentucky.
We have money up for grabs at all different price points today. Take your shots to be the big winner below in college hoops.
We have 16 games on the slate as the field of 64 gets underway. The O/U’s range from 120 to 150 so there is plenty of options out there. Which small school is gonna pull off the upset? Which little known player is going to come out and shoot lights out? It is such an exciting time and we have plenty of money to be won! So lets get to the guys that I think need to be in your lineups.
- Jerian Grant, Notre Dame ($9,200) – Grant is just so active on the court and is capable of doing it all for the Irish. He also gets to take on a very up-tempo Northeastern team is coming off of a 41 fantasy point game against North Carolina. This game has an O/U of 140 with a spread of 12.5, which would lead me to believe that this game should stay “close” for most of the game and I just do not see Grant’s minutes being limited due to a blow out in any way. But since I brought it up, that is one thing we have to be careful of with the top seeds in the early rounds as they generally are sizable favorites.
- D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown ($8,400) – DSR might be my favorite play of the day as he gets to face an Eastern Washington team that tries to score a lot of points and play at the 24th rated tempo in the nation. DSR does so much for Georgetown and is capable of approaching a triple double any time he steps onto the floor. He is coming off of just a 15.5 fantasy point game but has shown us 50 fantasy point upside and he is not afraid to take control of a game.
- Tyler Harvey, Eastern Washington ($8,200) – Harvey lead the country in scoring and gets to play Georgetown in what should be the highest scoring game of the night. One knock on Harvey is that he pretty scoring dependent but he basically plays all 40 minutes, jacks up 20 shots with 10 of those coming from three and he will at times contribute 5-10 assists/rebounds. He went for 50.25 fantasy points just a week ago and is the type of player that could explode during the NCAA tourney as I think this game offers some upset potential.
- Thomas Walkup, Stephen F Austin ($8,000) – All the signs point to avoiding Walkup in regards to match-up as Stephen F Austin got paired with Utah to start out their return to the Big Dance. I am a huge fan of Walkup as he does everything but shoot threes for the Lumberjacks. He plays a lot bigger than his 6’4 frame and has 3 double doubles over his last 10 and has gone for 36+ fantasy points in 7 of his last 10 games.
- Karl Cochran, Wofford ($7,300) – Wanted to go a little off the board on this pick as Wofford gets a tempo boost taking on Arkansas. He rebounds the ball very well for a guard and he makes threes at a 37% clip, while taking nearly 8 of them a game this season. He takes roughly 33% of the teams shots, grabs 23 of the rebounds and assists on 21 of the made baskets. I think he offers us a ceiling of about 35 points but the more important thing is a floor around 25, which is a great thing to have at $7.3K.
- Josh Hart, Villanova ($5,200) – Hart has been Nova’s most consistent player of late as he has gone for 21+ in 4 straight games with a high of 30.75. This game has the second highest O/U of the day and Hart should see plenty of minutes even in a blowout as he should be on the court late as the team’s 6th man. He is shooting the ball exceptionally well and he is also rebounding extremely well for a guard.
- Bryce Scott, Lafayette ($4,500) – Scott doesn’t have anything that stands out in terms of being a large part of the offense but he does shoot the three at a 40% clip and has shown the ability to knock down 5+ threes and grab 8+ rebounds in a game which is a nice thing to see out of a $4.5K player. He is coming off a 10.75 point performance but prior to that had gone for 20+ in 6 of 7 games played with a high of 36.
- Jared Johnson, Stephen F Austin ($3,800) – I am not sure what to think in regards to Johnson as he is extremely cheap at $3.8K but his minutes have ranged from 2 to 21 over his last 10 games but he offers an insanely high shot % of 32.4 when he is on the court. When he steps out, he plans to score and is not afraid to get shots up in a hurry. Over his last 3 games, he has averaged 20 minutes per game and has put up 57.75 fantasy points in those games.
- Jarell Martin, LSU ($10,000) – Martin gets to take on an NC State team that is extremely guard dependent and he should be able to eat alive the interior and draw foul after foul. His $10K price tag is not all that appealing and I think that is what makes him a great GPP play as he will be pretty under owned and should be able to offer up a near 35 point floor. He is coming off of an 18 and 16 double double last time out and this game should be one of the most entertaining of the day.
- Georges Niang, Iowa St ($8,500) – Niang has really stepped up recently and has been averaging about 34 fantasy points per game over his last 5. UAB really has nobody that can check Niang and he should be able to do what he wants on the offensive end and should be able to grab himself 7+ rebounds. I think he is one of the safest plays of the day and is able to get you 28+ without really doing too much.
- Brice Johnson, UNC ($7,700) – Johnson is one of the first guys I plugged into my lineups for Thursday as has been shooting the ball very well and quietly goes about his business inside. He is able to score with both hands around the basket and even though Harvard plays a solid defense, I do not think they offer the type of defense that can shut down the UNC paint attack. He offers us a 45 fantasy point upside and should be very safe with a 26+ floor.
- Venky Jois, Eastern Washington ($7,500) – What an impressive name for a pretty impressive interior player who should be one of the few that can take it to Josh Smith on the interior. He is coming off a 15.75 fantasy point game but prior to that had 5 double doubles in his previous 6 games while averaging about 37 fantasy points per game.
- Markus Kennedy, SMU ($6,600) – Kennedy’s price is just so beautiful and I am going to find it extremely hard to not roster him in everything. I just love his floor as it sits around 24 fantasy points which is basically what he needs to hit value and I would think he sees closer to 30 minutes in this game as he averages a little more than a point per minute of action. As we saw last year, he is capable of exploding and putting up 40+ fantasy point games and I am patiently waiting for that to happen, what better time than the Big Dance.
- Lee Skinner, Wofford ($5,800) – Skinner gets a nice tempo boost in taking on Arkansas and he offers us what appears to be a very nice floor. He has scored between 21.5 and 28.5 fantasy points in 7 straight games. He isn’t going to blow us away with upside but he is going to get us value on his $5.8K and not hurt our salary cap too much. He takes 20% of the shots, rebounds at a 25% clip and does not foul very much. He is a virtual lock for a 14 and 8 type of line.
- Jonathan Holmes, Texas ($5,000) – Holmes seems to have bounced back from a mid season concussion and strange play following it. He has put up 51.25 fantasy points over his last 2 games, with 30.75 of those coming in his last game against Iowa St. Butler can definitely be beat in the paint and Holmes grabs about 11% of the offensive rebound opportunities so he is a good bet for a few put backs.
- Mikael Hopkins, Georgetown ($4,800) – Hopkins is more of a gut feeling as there is nothing in his recent play that suggests he is going to break out. This game should be pretty high scoring and I think Hopkins will be needed to take on the likes of Jois and Miljkovic. Over his last 10 he has a high of 32 and a low of 2.5 but has shown that when given 20+ minutes he is able to contribute across the board and offers us 20-25 fantasy point upside in this one.
That’s what we have for today and hopefully its a great day for you guys. Hit me up on twitter, @Razzle11Grinds, if you have any questions or even news to share. I will certainly do my best to share injury news.