College basketball season is in full swing, and DraftKings and FanDuel continue to provide sizable contests for CBB DFS grinders. Examining the slate for March 25, a number of core plays stand out. In this piece I’ll be locating top plays from each college basketball matchup and determining the top CBB DFS picks for your DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.
For a more in-depth look at all the data, check out Matt Gajewski’s expert projections that will help take your CBB DFS lineups to the top of the DraftKings and FanDuel leaderboards.
CBB DFS Picks: DraftKings + FanDuel Core Plays | March 25
Charles Bassey ($10,200) – Unlike many College Basketball DFS slates, today’s four-game NIT slate sets up perfectly for a stars-and-scrubs approach. Bassey is the premier stud on the slate, priced north of $10,000. However, this slate presents at least five players below $5,000 with consistent minutes and usage, so we can afford that tag. Western Kentucky is a 1-point underdog to Louisiana Tech in a game with a 136 total. Bassey will play 30-plus minutes in every game where he isn’t in foul trouble. He has a 15.9% usage rate this season but continues to make strides with his involvement. In Western Kentucky’s last three games Bassey accounts for a 26.1% shot rate and 34.9% rebound rate. Louisiana Tech plays strong defense across the board. They allowed Bassey to score 24 and 14 points in their two prior meetings this year. Bassey recorded a double-double in both spots.
Isaiah Stevens ($7,900) — Colorado State has the third-highest implied team total as a 1.5-point underdog to North Carolina State in a game with a 146-point total. Colorado State runs their offense through David Roddy ($8,500) and Stevens. While Roddy is firmly in play, Stevens offers a price break and actually has the advantage with his 18.3% usage rate. In Colorado State’s last three Stevens has a 24.1% usage rate, 13% rebound rate and 35.5% assist rate. With North Carolina State ranking outside the top 200 in 3-point and interior defense, hitting one of the Colorado State studs makes sense.
D.J. Stewart ($7,300) — With a usable 69.5-point implied team total, Mississippi State is a 2.5-point favorite over Richmond in a game with a 136.5-point total. Similar to Colorado State, most of Mississippi State’s usage flows through their two studs in Stewart and Iverson Molinar ($6,900). While Molinar has a slight edge in usage on the season, Stewart actually has taken on the most consistent role of late. Stewart has played at least 33 minutes in three straight games for Mississippi State. In that span he provides a 23.7% shot rate, 15.3% rebound rate and 47.4% assist rate. With ample value, picking off one of the Mississippi State studs provides strong value today on DraftKings and FanDuel.
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Tolu Smith ($6,600) — While Stewart and Molinar have the best usage rates on Mississippi State, the best matchup actually comes from the interior plays. Richmond ranks 319th in interior defense and recently lost forward Grant Golden for the season. With Abdul Ado ($5,700) barely involved, Smith looks like the GPP play to target in this spot. Smith has a 15% shot rate and 20.7% rebound rate in Mississippi State’s last three games. After scoring double-digit points in two of his last three games, Smith warrants GPP consideration over the likes of Stewart and Molinar in the same offense.
Isaiah Crawford ($6,500) — On the other side of the Western Kentucky matchup, Louisiana Tech has a 1-point advantage. They also draw a Western Kentucky defense that ranks 272nd defending shots beyond the arc. With Bassey roaming the paint, this matchup makes sense. After these teams split their season series, the 3-point shooting could make the difference. Despite his listing as a forward on DraftKings, Crawford actually shoots 39% from 3. He also has the third-most 3-point attempts on the team, taking direct advantage of this matchup. Crawford has at least 31 minutes in three straight games, with a 15.9% usage rate. Now accounting for a 15.9% shot rate, 20.7% rebound rate and 15.8% assist rate, Crawford draws intrigue as a mid-priced option on FanDuel and DraftKings.
Cam Hayes ($5,500) — North Carolina State has the highest implied team total on the slate, taking on Colorado State. After battling injuries to Devon Daniels and Thomas Allen, the Wolfpack continue to play a narrow distribution of minutes. Jericole Hellems ($6,000), D.J. Funderburk ($6,300) and Manny Bates ($6,700) all play consistent roles. However, none particularly stand out from a usage perspective. Meanwhile, Hayes has played at least 27 minutes in three straight games and brings salary savings. Hayes also accounts for 15.9% of North Carolina State’s shots in their last three games. With upside from the shot rate in the slate’s highest team total, Hayes is a reliable mid-priced option.
Boogie Ellis ($5,000) — With the second-highest implied team total on the slate, Memphis has a 4.5-point advantage over Boise State in a game with a 143-point total. Both teams play with an above-average pace, giving this game added DFS intrigue. Memphis plays a nine-man rotation, but the starters typically run in the upper 20-minute range. Falling firmly in this category, Ellis has played at least 27 minutes in three straight games, eclipsing 30 in two of those. Ellis provides a solid 17.3% usage rate on the season, though lately he has functioned primarily as a shooter. He has a 19.7% shot rate in Memphis’ last three but only accounts for 10.6% of the assists. Still, this elevated shot rate gives Ellis a solid ceiling on the team with the second-highest implied team total.
Marcus Shaver ($4,900) — On the other side of the Memphis game, Boise State has a middling 69.25 implied team total against Memphis’ top-ranked defense. Compounding matters, Boise State recently lost Abu Kigab and Max Rice to injury. The condensed minutes bring value play Shaver into consideration. Shaver saw his minutes jump back to 35 after playing a reduced role of late. In that game Shaver scored 13 points while showing peripheral upside. While the matchup is tough, Shaver’s consistent minutes make him a potential value to consider on today’s DFS slate.
Kalob Ledoux ($4,600) — For those looking at cheaper attachments to Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs shortened their rotation towards the end of the season. After missing a series of games in the middle of the season, Ledoux has returned to his starting role. He has played at least 30 minutes in each of Louisiana Tech’s last three games while providing a 15.7 usage rate. Isolating those last three contests, Ledoux provides a 15.2% shot rate and 12.8% rebound rate. Ledoux also shoots 40% from 3, directly exploiting Western Kentucky’s biggest defensive weakness.
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