We have the first two games of the NCAA Tournament tonight, both being play in games for a 16 seed and a 12 seed. Also on this slate are three NIT games that provide us with some exciting matchups. The article below will highlight a few of my top plays from todays slate, and analysis as to why I am targeting them for my FanDuel and DraftKings lineups.
D’Moi Hodge (Cleveland St): DK 5.5k
Hodge is going to be a cash game staple for me tonight at his price tag. Hodge has a solid 25% usage rate to go along with a 28% shot rate. Not only is Hodge an effective offensive producer, he ranks inside the top 20 in the nation in steal rate, however, Xavier does a decent job of taking care of the ball. Both Cleveland State and Xavier are in the top half of the country in tempo, making this one of the stronger games to target. Hodge at times this year has flashed some massive upside this year, though against much easier competition than he will see tonight.
Colby Jones (Xavier): DK 8k
If you want a player that offers tons of production in multiple categories and will play as many minutes as he can handle, Jones is your guy. He also gets the added benefit of facing far inferior competition today, in Cleveland State. He has had two 40+ dkpt games over his last 5 games, so the upside is definitely there. As far as the Guards priced in the 8k range go, Jones is by far my favorite of the bunch. Although he does not quite have the upside of Mosley or Maldonado, he has a much better matchup than either and offers a very safe floor with enough upside for cash games and SE contest. If you are looking for low floor/Massive upside plays then I would find the extra salary and get up to Maldonado (WYO) or Mosley (MZST).
Scotty Pippen (Vanderbilt): FD 8.3k
Pippen is an absolute stud, and should have no problems posting massive numbers vs. this Belmont team. On the season Pippen has a 35% usage rate with a shot rate of 33%. Belmont has been average defensively in the frontcourt, but have really struggled defending the perimeter. They are allowing teams to shoot nearly 35% from three. I expect Pippen to put up tons of shot in this game, and expect this game to have some good tempo to it, as Belmont is in the top 100 in tempo and Vandy is just outside the top 100 according to Kenpom. Pippen will be a core play for me on FanDuel.
Zach Freemantle (Xavier): DK 6.8k
Freemantle is probably one of my favorite GPP targets tonight. He comes in priced under 7k, off the heals of a very impressive performance where he posted 14 points, 13 rebounds and 3 stocks .. good for 42 dkpts. Cleveland State is not strong in the frontcourt, which could lead to massive days for the likes of Freemanlte, Nunge and Jones. Nunge is probably going to be the safer play, and someone that I would target in cash games, however, in tournaments I am going to have plenty of Freemantle. Freemantle and Nunge could both cruise to double/doubles here. Long story short, make sure you get some exposure to Xavier tonight.
Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana): DK 9.3K ; FD 8.6k
TJD has been someone Karma nation has played a ton this year, and today should be no different. Despite the increase in salary, he comes in as one of the stronger forward plays on the slate. Wyoming, though long in the frontcourt, are not very good at defending the position, nor do they affect many shots on the inside. TJD not only is a scoring threat, he has very good rebounding rates and elite shot blocking rates. I would expect to see him play north of 35 minutes here, assuming he avoids foul trouble. I expect him to easily reach 4x his salary here with 6x upside.
Jacob Groves (Oklahoma): DK 4k ; FD 4.7k
If we are looking at playing TJD, Jones or some combination of Mosley, Nunge and Maldonado, you are going to need some solid value pieces. That is where Jacob Groves comes into play. Groves has played really solid minutes over the last month of the season, playing 25+ minutes in 6 of his last 7 games. Today he gets to face Missouri State, which is a major step down in competition, compared to the Texas Tech and Baylor squads Groves has faced over the last few weeks. At his price, and in this matchup, 4-5x should be very easy for him to obtain.