This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.
Few bracket pools are still alive heading into Monday's National Title game, because, let's face it, few had anyone in the Final Four -- with the exception of maybe UConn -- getting out of the NCAA Tournament opening weekend. Now, we find ourselves with just one game left all college basketball season, with one final shot to play DFS, showdown style.
The biggest general principle for showdown GPPs is you have to be unique -- locking in Sanogo as captain with the "optimal" rest-of-lineup just isn't going to get it done, and even if the chalk plays out, you'll end up sharing the top prizes with hundreds, possibly thousands, of other contestants. In this column, I'll definitely touch on the chalk, but I'll also try to find some of the lesser-used options to help you zig when others zag. Let's dive in.
Adama Sanogo, F, Connecticut ($15,000 Captain, $10,000 UTIL)
Here's your chalk, and a player that could easily wind up 80 percent rostered or greater in cash games. Sanogo has averaged 37.66 DK points/game over five NCAA Tournament appearances, and that's despite fasting from sunrise to sunset for the last three while observing Ramadan. There won't be a need for a halftime power-up Monday, as the late, 9:20 p.m. EST tip is approximately 40 minutes after the sun is scheduled to set in Houston. Narrative aside, Sanogo is as consistent as they come. He hasn't worried about foul trouble all tournament, and has attempted 11 or more field goals in all five games, which has included three double-doubles. Both Nathan Mensah and Jaedon LeDee will attempt to give him all he can handle down low, and while it's admittedly a better frontcourt than UConn has seen most of the tournament, it shouldn't matter.
Jordan Hawkins, G, Connecticut ($12,300 Captain, $8,200 UTIL)
Here's the under-the-radar captain selection. Hawkins was limited to slightly below his season-long and tournament minutes average in the Final Four victory over Miami, as he allegedly came up with a bout of food poisoning (and also allegedly has sworn off Calamari for good). Will this be enough for a sufficient enough decrease in ownership? Let's say Sanogo suddenly has trouble with SDSU's bigs and gets in foul trouble. Hawkins would be in line for the shot volume increase, as he already sports a 25.5 percent usage rate over his last five games -- good for second among rotation players by a sizable margin.
Tristen Newton, G, Connecticut ($10,800 Captain, $7,200 UTIL)
The Huskies are favored by seven points (and potentially rising), and don't run as deep of a rotation as the Aztecs, so it's not too surprising to see them have the four highest-priced players. I group Newton together with Andre Jackson ($11,700, $7,800) because they're similar in a sense that most of the fantasy production doesn't come from scoring. The duo checks in at third and sixth on the team in scoring, but both players average 4.3+ in both rebounds and assists. Both are very much in play, but I lean Newton in cash due to the higher usage rate, lower price and fact that the ball is typically in his hands as the primary point guard.
Matt Bradley, G, San Diego State ($11,100 Captain, $7,400 UTIL)
If you're backing the Aztecs, you start with Bradley. SDSU actually got this far despite Bradley having a cold tournament, but he turned that around Saturday at NRG Stadium by posting his highest scoring total since December. Bradley had just one three-pointer in four tournament games before sinking four Saturday in the same arena where Monday's National Title game takes place. The SDSU scoring has to come from either Bradley, Lamont Butler ($7,000) or Darrion Trammell ($6,600). Consider Bradley the chalk as the usage leader, with the other two representing GPP pivots.
Donovan Clingan, F, Connecticut ($9,000 Captain, $6,000 UTIL)
If you're not captaining Sanogo, you're absolutely rostering Clingan, and may even want to consider putting him in the captain spot. Clingan has been delegated to a backup center role his freshman year, but the 7-foot-2 Connecticut native is averaging an astounding 21.2 ppg, 17.2 rpg and 5.5 bpg per 40 minutes. The problem is he's not getting minutes with Sanogo roaming the paint. Should a scenario such as foul trouble or fatigue set in for Sanogo, Clingan is the type of "secret weapon" Bobby Hurley could deploy for an extended run. Fantasy managers would feast in this scenario.
Micah Parrish, G, San Diego State ($7,800 Captain, $5,400 UTIL)
It seems like people already forgot the days of Parrish recording 24.5 and 24.0 DK points in games against Furman and Alabama, but getting back to this level of production would crush vaue in the UTIL spot at this price. The ceiling isn't high enough for captain consideration, but the 6-6 small forward is a perfectly-reasonable lineup filler that can shoot the three (36.3 percent) and rack up rebounds (3.6 rpg, 4.2 rpg in the tournament).
Joey Calcaterra, G, Connecticut ($4,800 Captain, $3,200 UTIL)
Doesn't it always seem like there's an x-factor three-point shooter off the bench in a National Title game? I'll toss in one more bonus play in Calcaterra, who has shot an incredible 44.0 percent from distance this season and averaging 14.4 mpg in the tournament. Not a high enough ceiling for captain consideration, but an under-the-radar value option that could help you stack the top of your lineups. If a backcourt option goes down or Hawkins is still feeling under the weather, Hurley could easily turn to the composure carried by a fifth-year senior.