The 2022-23 college basketball season continues with a two-game slate on Saturday, April 1: the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four. This column will dive into each game and highlight the top March Madness DFS picks and value plays to target with the help of Stokastic’s CBB DFS projections.
March Madness DFS Picks | Final Four
Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State | March Madness Final Four
Kicking off a Final Four doubleheader, Florida Atlantic takes on San Diego State as a two-point underdog in a game with a 131.5-point total. From a DFS standpoint, both of these teams run wide rotations that hurt their players’ upside in March Madness DFS. The game’s low total also makes fitting in players from this matchup difficult.
The Florida Atlantic Owls have condensed their rotation somewhat when playing in competitive games. No player has benefitted from this more than Johnell Davis ($7,600). Davis has now played 35, 28 and 34 minutes in FAU’s last three games. Tied for a team-leading 18.1% usage rate, Davis’ extra minutes have culminated in an 18.4% shot rate, 20% rebound rate and 30% assist rate over the last three. While expensive, Davis’ elite usage stands out here.
Tied with Davis’ 18.1% usage rate, Alijah Martin ($6,800) has also picked up a few extra minutes. Martin has played 29, 28 and 32 minutes over the last three games. While his 15.4% shot rate, 8.5% rebound rate and 10% assist rate trail Davis’ metrics, Martin stands out as a buy-low because of his steady usage rate.
In the frontcourt, Vladislav Goldin ($6,600) has also played 28 minutes in back-to-back games. Goldin only has an 11.4% shot rate in the last three games, but his 20% rebound rate gives him an outside shot to notch a double-double on any given night. San Diego State holds the size advantage here, so Goldin could have to play extra minutes.
The final two starters are Nick Boyd ($5,500) and Bryan Greenlee ($4,400). Boyd has played 21, 23 and 26 minutes over the last three, providing an 11.4% shot rate, 15.4% rebound rate and 17.5% assist rate. With solid rates, the lack of minutes should make Boyd a solid contrarian pivot. Greenlee logged 21, 27 and 28 minutes in the last three games, but he fouled out of FAU’s most recent contest. Greenlee’s price stands out, but he only accounts for an 8.5% shot rate, 3.9% rebound rate and 15% assist rate over the last three games.
Off the bench, Giancarlo Rosado ($4,500), Michael Forrest ($3,200), Brandon Weatherspoon ($4,100) and Jalen Gaffney ($3,600) round out the rotation. Weatherspoon and Gaffney play the most consistent roles of these players. Weatherspoon notched 19, 22 and 12 minutes over the last three games. In that span, Gaffney logged 18, 17 and 21. Weatherspoon has provided slightly better rates, but both offer pure punt play appeal. Rosado plays fewer minutes with worse rates, making him a GPP pivot only. Forrest played 17 minutes in back-to-back games and comes in at the cheapest price for those considering a pure stars-and-scrubs build.
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San Diego State also runs a nine-man rotation. However, the Aztecs seldom condense minutes, making them a tricky team to evaluate for March Madness DFS. For example, usage leader Matt Bradley ($5,600) has been atrocious over the last two games. He has only logged 20 and 19 minutes over the last two games despite his team-best usage rate of 20.6%. This corresponds with a 14% shot rate, 7% rebound rate and 12.1% assist rate over the last three games. Bradley’s price has fallen a bit here, but he still projects for a decent amount of ownership at this price.
Lamont Butler ($5,900) has logged 29, 22 and 26 minutes over the last three behind a 16.2% usage rate. This coincides with a 14.5% shot rate, 10.5% rebound rate and 30.3% assist rate. Likewise, Darrion Trammell ($5,800) has played 31, 30 and 25 minutes over the last three games. In this span, he accounts for a 20.2% shot rate and 14.9% rebound rate.
Ultimately, any of Bradley, Butler and Trammell could prove viable. Bradley offers buy-low appeal while the latter two have been far more involved of late. For those playing multiple lineups, the best approach may simply be to mix and match these three in lineups.
San Diego State’s other two starters are Nathan Mensah ($5,700) and Keshad Johnson ($5,000). Mensah has only played 19, 22 and 23 minutes over the last three games. Reliant on his 16.3% rebound rate, Mensah simply should not be in the same price range as Trammell, Butler and Bradley. Johnson logged 27, 26 and 17 minutes over the last three games, providing a moderate 9.3% shot rate, 12.3% rebound rate and 9.1% assist rate. While he doesn’t do much on the court, Johnson at least provides a bit of salary relief.
Instead of targeting Mensah or Johnson, looking to the San Diego State bench makes more sense. Jaedon Ledee ($5,300) comes in as the most expensive bench player, but he hasn’t logged more than 20 minutes in the last three games. Micah Parrish ($4,900) has accounted for 16, 28 and 21 minutes. He has a 13% shot rate, 14.9% rebound rate and 9.1% assist rate over the last three games, better than what Mensah, Johnson and Ledee have recorded.
However, Ledee leads this group with a 15.5% usage rate. Both him and Parrish should be considered contrarian tournament plays. As for the pure punt options, Aguek Arop ($4,200) played 23, 21 and 16 minutes over the last three games. Arop fouled out of the second-to-last game, so he may have a few more minutes unlocked here. He doesn’t do much, but the price is right.
Finally, Adam Seiko ($3,300) has played 23, 21 and 16 minutes over the last three games. Like Arop, he does very little on the court. However, his bargain–bin price tag unlocks most of the slate.
Miami vs. Connecticut | March Madness Final Four
The far superior game environment to target for March Madness DFS gamers, Connecticut is a 5.5-point favorite over Miami. The books have set the total at 149.5. Regardless of your contest size, this is the game to focus on for DFS.
The Miami Hurricanes play the tightest rotation on the entire slate. Deciphering this group can be challenging ahead of a single game, but backing at least one Miami player makes sense. Isaiah Wong ($7,300) leads the team with an 18.3% usage rate and continues to play every minute. Wong accounts for a 22.4% shot rate, 16.7% rebound rate and 9.8% assist rate, making him one of the better price-adjusted plays on the entire slate.
Norchad Omier ($8,100) comes in as the most expensive Hurricane on the board. Omier will play almost every minute barring foul trouble. He accounts for an 11.7% shot rate, 38.2% rebound rate and 14.6% assist rate over the last three games, giving him double-double upside.
Jordan Miller ($7,700) also plays almost every minute. He offers the most consistency of the group, too, as he accounts for a 16.8% shot rate, 13.7% rebound rate and 17.1% assist rate over the last three games.
From there, Nijel Pack ($6,700) and Wooga Poplar ($6,200) round out the starting five. Pack comes in with more shot dependency than any other Hurricane. However, he has now played 36, 35 and 32 minutes over the last three games, elevating his 15.2% assist rate from this year. Poplar has also seen his price rise after playing 33 and 30 minutes over the last two games. While Poplar isn’t quite the value he had been previously, he still accounts for a 14.5% shot rate, 13.7% rebound rate and 14.6% assist rate.
Off the bench, Anthony Walker ($3,500) will play more if Omier and Poplar foul. However, he only saw four minutes in Miami’s last game. Bensley Joseph ($4,000) operates as the true sixth man, but he has only played 13 and 10 minutes over the last two games. Likewise, rotational guard Harlond Beverly ($3,100) logged 8 and 12 minutes over the last two games.
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The Connecticut Huskies have won their last three games by 28, 23 and 15 points. Since they’ve avoided playing in competitive games, they haven’t had to condense minutes as they usually do.
The primary candidate to benefit from a closer game is Adama Sanogo ($8,200). Sanogo has played just 26, 24 and 27 minutes in UConn’s last three games. Impressively, he still logged a double-double in his last appearance. He also finished two boards shy of a double-double in the two previous games. If Miami keeps this game close, Sanogo should approach 30 minutes and become a virtual double-double lock. On the year, he accounts for 19.7% of the shots and 19.2% of the rebounds.
Behind Sanogo, Jordan Hawkins ($6,900) and Andre Jackson ($7,100) lead a deep group of guards. Both will play almost every minute in competitive games. Hawkins is a little more shot reliant behind his 19.3% shot rate. Jackson is the opposite — he accounts for only 11.4% of the shots over the last four games but owns elite peripherals with a 20.2% rebound rate and a 41.4% assist rate over the last three. Both offer solid price-adjusted projections here.
The final two starters are Tristen Newton ($6,400) and Alex Karaban ($6,100). Newton has played 29, 31 and 27 minutes over the last three games, accounting for an 11.4% shot rate, 14% rebound rate and 25.9% assist rate. Similarly, Karaban logged 22, 28 and 32 minutes over the last three games. Karaban tallied four fouls in each of the last two games, which explains his reduced workload. He still accounts for a 10.8% shot rate and a 13.2% rebound rate in that span.
Off the bench, Donovan Clingan ($5,100) continues to produce elite rates in limited minutes. He hasn’t played more than 13 in any of the last three games, but if Sanogo finds himself in foul trouble, he could play closer to 20. Clingan is difficult to click with his limited role at this price point. However, his upside remains undeniable.
As for the bench guards, Joey Calcaterra ($3,700) and Nahiem Alleyne ($3,400) get the most run. Calcaterra has played 13, 12 and 16 minutes over the last three games. In that same span, Alleyne logged 16, 19 and 22. Neither does much on the court, but both have decent usage rates and price points. Expect both to be popular for those taking shots on stars and scrubs builds.