DFS College Basketball: Friday Preview and Picks

DFS College Basketball: Friday Preview and Picks

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

The first day of March Madness is over, which means it's time to do it all over again Friday! There are once again 16 games to choose from on this massive opening weekend, as Friday's action tips off at 12:15 p.m. EST and the night's final matchup doesn't start until 10:05 p.m. To match, we're bulking up on the picks for the second day in a row.

All but three of these contests have over of 140 or greater, so there's value all around the board. That said, there's still one massive fantasy performer who's worth putting a fair amount of eggs into one basket for. 

Let's look to finish out the round of 64 strong Friday!

Top Players

Zach Edey, F, Purdue ($11,200)

Edey is the biggest player – both in size and name recognition – in college basketball this season. The 7-foot-4 center is a shoo in to take home the Naismith Award after up 22.3 points and 12.8 points per game en route to leading Purdue to a No. 1 seed this March. A player of Edey's status should be able to dominate the early rounds of tournament action, especially against the nation's shortest average team in Fairleigh Dickinson at 73.4 inches, according to KenPom. Unsurprisingly, the Knights also rank 353rd in two-point rate allowed (56.1) and 359th in adjusted defensive efficiency. 

Ryan Kalkbrenner, F, Creighton ($8,600)

Kalkbrenner is another big man who has drawn the eye of national audiences. While the 7-foot-1 junior actually has the lowest usage rate (20.0) of the Bluejays' starting five, he's been extremely efficient from within the arc, shooting 74.3 percent on two-point tries. This favors well against a Wolfpack squad that ranks 199th nationally in two-point percentage allowed. Creighton and North Carolina are also expected to score 148.5 combined points, making this this fourth-highest scoring game on Day 2 of opening weekend. 

Bryce Hopkins, F, Providence ($8,000)

Hopkins is well known for his potential as one of the revenge stories heading into March Madness. The Friars' leading in points (16.1) and rebounds (8.5) has emerged into a starring role since transferring from Kentucky this past offseason. His price has fallen somewhat heading into Friday's action, as Wildcats big man Oscar Tshiebwe poses one of the nation's most dominant physical presences down low. However, Kentucky has allowed teams to take plenty of looks from within the arc, ranking 249th in opponent two-point rate (64.8). Hopkins has done the majority of his work this season from within the three-point arc, so he should be carrying this Providence squad all around against his old squad. 

Tucker DeVries, G, Drake ($7,700)

DeVries is one of the nation's most productive players this season with 19.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-7 sophomore takes 6.8 of his 14.0 field-goal attempts per game from beyond the arc. His ability to score at multiple levels is another encouraging factor against a Miami squad that has allowed an effective field-goal percentage of 51.3 this season (221st). The Hurricanes also aren't all that remarkable on the boards, and DeVries has posted a massive 31.6 percent usage rate over Drake's last five games. While No. 12 seeds don't always manage to knock off No. 5's, a player like DeVries figures to be the primary contributor if the Bulldogs can pull off a quintessential March upset. 

Middle Tier

Rayshon Harrison, G, Grand Canyon ($6,900)

Harrison's production is far too strong to ignore at this salary. The 6-foot-4 point guard leads the Lopes in points (17.7) and assists (3.6) this season, and he's been even better over the last five games, averaging 21 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists over this span. Harrison's 12.8 field-goal attempts and 6.6 free-throw tries per game should ensure he sees no shortage of opportunities as well. Gonzaga isn't known for its defense either, allowing an effective field-goal percentage of 51.7 (246th), according to KenPom. 

Alijah Martin, G, Florida Atlantic ($6,600)

This matchup holds the third-highest matchup of Friday's slate at 153.0. Memphis has a couple of marquee names that attract plenty of DFS attention in Kendric Davis ($9,900) and DeAndre Williams ($9,500). However, Martin is a much better value, as he leads the Owls' starting rotation in usage rate over the last five games (27.2). He's also making 36.9 percent of his three-point attempts per game this season, and the 6-foot-2 sophomore is coming off a 52.8 DKP outing versus UAB in the Conference USA Championship Game. 

Walter Clayton Jr., G, Iona ($7,400)

Clayton has arguably been the Gaels' best player down the stretch of the season. The sophomore guard and junior Daniss Jenkins form an elite backcourt duo that has led Rick Pitino's squad to 14 straight wins heading into the NCAA Tournament. Over this winning span, Clayton is averaging 18.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.5 steals per game and has put up less than 27.5 DKP just once. He's also the team's leader in usage rate over the last five games at 28.4 percent. Connecticut is one of the best teams across the Power 6 level, ranking in the top 20 for both adjusted offensive efficiency and adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom. Clayton Jr.'s near 4.25x returns still makes him just too hard to pass up at this price. 

Value Plays

Robin Duncan, G, Vermont ($5,200)

Duncan has the highest value of any player on Friday's slate at over 5.5x returns. The 6-foot-5 guard has put up around 30 DKP at an extremely consistent rate this season, averaging 7.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists. Duncan will face a distinct step up in competition against the Golden Eagles. However, Marquette hasn't been extremely stout on defense outside of forcing turnovers, as the team allows an effective field goal percentage of 51.1 (209th), per KenPom. The Golden Eagles also rank 308th in rebounding percentage (47.3). The over/under of 144 is another reason to gravitate toward Duncan at the top of our value tier. 

Fletcher Loyer, G, Purdue ($5,000)

Picking Loyer is getting into the real boom-or-bust candidates at the bargain level. Anyone playing alongside Edey has to sacrifice a lot of leg space while riding in the backseat of this Boilermakers squad. The true freshman has also only converted 32.4 percent of his 5.1 three-pointers per game. Yet, he's still averaging 10.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists while playing 28.8 minutes per game. The total of 145 is also high enough to provide Loyer some upside if he catches fire. 

Great Osobor, F, Montana State ($4,900)

Osobor is an extremely productive primary reserve for the Bobcats. This led the 6-foot-8 sophomore to see increased playing time over the second half of the season, playing an average of 20.7 minutes over the past five games. His 12.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game during this span has also netted Osobor a usage rate of 32.3 percent. The Wildcats aren't particularly good on the defensive glass and play as fast as almost any team in the nation. A quicker moving game could result in Osobor seeing even more opportunities down low. 

Guillermo Diaz Graham, F, Pittsburgh ($4,500)

Diaz Graham saw his first start of the season with starting center Fede Federiko (knee) ruled out for the Panthers' play-in game versus Mississippi State. As a result, Diaz Graham played a season-high 37 minutes while also matching his season high for field-goal attempts. It's always hard to project how production in shooter playing time will project to longer outings, but the 7-foot freshman has logged 0.94 DKP per minute this season. Federiko is once again considered questionable for Friday's 3:10 p.m. EST tipoff, so keep Diaz Graham in the back pocket of your fantasy lineup until official actives become clearer closer to game time. 

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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Ryan Wollersheim
2022 University of Wisconsin graduate and blind lover of all things college football. Also an unbiased observer of NFL, CFB, NBA and CBB for all teams not located in the cheese capital of the world.
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