Round 2 of the tournament continues with a full eight-game slate on Sunday, March 19. 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: NCAA Tournament Round 2
Saint Mary’s vs. Connecticut
Connecticut is a 4-point favorite over Saint Mary’s in a game with a 127.5 total. Saint Mary’s plays a tight rotation led by Logan Johnson ($8,500). However, this price is simply too much in this game environment, with other viable studs on the slate. The same goes for Mitchell Saxen ($7,100) and Alex Ducas ($7,400). Kyle Bowen ($5,900) and Aidan Mahaney ($5,300) are more in play as potential value plays, but this whole team is overpriced.
The same goes for UConn due to the game environment. Adama Sanogo ($7,700) also hasn’t played consistent minutes this year. Jordan Hawkins ($6,300) is a shot reliant mid-priced option, while Andre Jackson ($6,100) continues to function as a buy-low after fouling out of UConn’s second-most recent game.
Michigan State vs. Marquette
Michigan State is a 2.5-point underdog to Marquette in a game with a 140 total. Joey Hauser ($7,400) leads Michigan State and matches up against a soft Marquette interior defense. He projects strong enough to target here, with more double-double upside than Tyson Walker ($7,300) and A.J. Hoggard ($7,800). Hoggard could be a pay-up to be contrarian. Jaden Akens ($5,200) and Malik Hall ($5,100) are potential value options, but both cede plenty of usage. Hall has solid rates, but his minutes haven’t been consistent.
Marquette has a usage dominator in Tyler Kolek ($9,400), who has legitimate double-double upside via assists. A bit overpriced, Kolek should be contrarian. Oso Ighodaro ($7,300) possesses the most double-double upside, but his 13% shot rate leaves a little to be desired. Kam Jones ($6,500) is a little more shot reliant than the former two players, but he should reach 30 minutes. Olivier-Maxence Prosper ($6,700) does a little bit of everything at a similar price. Finally, Stevie Mitchell ($4,200) and David Joplin ($5,000) are outside considerations as value options.
Creighton vs. Baylor
Creighton is a 1-point underdog to Baylor in a game with a 145.5 total. Creighton plays a tight rotation consisting of Ryan Kalkbrenner ($8,400), Trey Alexander ($6,400), Baylor Scheierman ($8,400), Ryan Nembhard ($6,800) and Arthur Kaluma ($7,000). Honestly, all five are in play due to the tight rotation. Kalkbrenner and Kaluma exploit a weakness on the Baylor interior. However, Alexander is the sharpest value play.
Baylor lives through three guards in Adam Flagler ($8,100), L.J. Cryer ($6,600) and Keyonte George ($5,900). George is a strong buy low after ending the year limited due to injury. Flagler and Cryer are efficiently priced for their respective usage. Jalen Bridges ($6,800) has also gotten increasingly involved and offers more double-double upside.
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Miami vs. Indiana
Miami enters this game as a 1.5-point underdog to Indiana in a game with a 145 total. Norchad Omier ($7,900) returned from injury to immediately play 36 minutes. He offers elite double-double upside. Jordan Miller ($8,300) and Isaiah Wong ($7,500) both are strong price-adjusted plays. Wong leads the team with an 18.5% usage rate. Nijel Pack ($5,800) is more of a pure shooter, but he also is cheap. Wooga Poplar ($5,100) lacks the elite minutes, but he does a little bit of everything.
Trayce Jackson-Davis ($10,900) still projects among the best plays of the slate despite the price tag. He has a 21.4% usage rate and will play every minute. Miami is also outside the top 200 in interior defense. Miller Kopp ($4,700) is cheap enough to potentially use as a value. Race Thompson ($5,600) and Jalen Hood-Schifino ($7,600) are as efficient priced options for tournaments.
Fairleigh Dickinson vs. FAU
Fairleigh Dickinson is the biggest underdog on the slate, at 15.5 points to Florida Atlantic in a game with a 149 total. Fairleigh is led by Grant Singleton ($7,000) and Demetre Roberts ($7,400). Roberts has a slightly superior usage rate at 20.1%, giving him a bit of an edge. Ansley Almonor ($5,700) is also a potential GPP option, but Fairleigh Dickinson extends their rotation to nine players. Overall, Singleton and Roberts are the only players with secure minutes.
Florida Atlantic also plays a nasty rotation consisting of nine players. Johnell Davis ($7,100) and Alijah Martin ($6,700) are the usage leaders here, but neither plays consistent minutes. In a competitive game, both could touch the low 30’s, providing some potential leverage for GPPs. Aside from the top two, Jalen Gaffney ($3,700) has played 20, 28 and 22 minutes over the last three games.
Kentucky vs. Kansas State
Kentucky is a 3-point favorite over Kansas State in a game with a 144.5 total. Oscar Tshiebwe ($10,100) has elite double-double upside in every matchup and this is no different. Jacob Toppin ($7,800), Cason Wallace ($7,700), Antonio Reeves ($6,200) and Chris Livingston ($6,100) continue to play every minute as well. Toppin has some double-double upside himself, but Wallace looks like a superior play with his point guard duties.
Kansas State plays primarily through Markquis Nowell ($9,200) and Keyontae Johnson ($8,000). Both will play every minute behind 21.2% and 16.3% usage rates. Cam Carter ($4,100) could be a potential value play, but the rest of the Kansas State bench does not deserve much consideration in a rotation.
TCU vs. Gonzaga
TCU is a 4.5-point underdog to Gonzaga in a game with a 156 total. Emanuel Miller ($7,200) possesses the most double-double upside and he faces Drew Timme’s ($9,300) putrid defense. Damion Baugh ($8,000) has taken quite a bit of usage from Mike Miles ($6,900) explaining the price gap. JaKobe Coles ($4,900) provides a potential value option after playing 24 minutes in TCU’s last game.
Gonzaga will rely more on Timme in competitive games. With a 20.6% usage rate, a full minute projection puts Timme firmly in play. Anton Watson ($7,500) has also taken on more usage and will play every minute. He provides a better straight up projection, compared to Julian Strawther ($7,900). Malachi Smith ($4,700), Rasir Bolton ($4,800) and Nolan Hickman ($4,900) all provide potential value options in mid-20’s minute projections.