This article is part of our FanDuel College Basketball series.
I liked yesterday's new format so much, I decided to model it with respect to Friday's Sweet 16 slate, allowing us to offer some different takes when it comes to cash games versus tournament options.
The theme of Friday seems to be a contrast of styles as up-tempo teams like UNC, Iowa State and Notre Dame face the half court styles of Indiana, UVA and Wisconsin, respectively. We've also got a peaking Gonzaga squad against Syracuse's 2-3 zone. The matchups seem to set up perfectly for tournament game risks, while some of the higher priced options may not be quiet as safe for league play.
If you like a lineup, but disagree with a player or two, head to our DFS Lineup Optimizer, where you can lock-in and exclude players to give a lineup your own personal touch.
Iowa State vs. Virginia (o/u 141)
Wisconsin vs. Notre Dame (131.5)
Syracuse vs. Gonzaga (135)
Indiana vs. North Carolina (158.5)
Cash Game Lineup:
Before looking at the players, the game lineup clearly suggests stocking up on Tar Heels and Hoosiers based on the high scoring total. Personally, I think the total is very low in Gonzaga-Syracuse, and slightly low in Notre Dame-Wisconsin. So in sparing details on betting numbers, I'm definitely not avoiding those two games, especially when it comes to value options.
The top four forwards here are playing at a high level through two Tournament games, and all remain relatively underpriced. Between them, only Nigel Hayes has failed to reach 30 fantasy points in the post season while all have posted at least 21 points nightly. I really like Hayes and Happ against an undersized Irish front line that has struggled to keep opponents off of the offensive glass. Hicks rounds out this group as a value option, having scored in double-digits in four of his last five while continuing to play considerably more minutes than starting center Kennedy Meeks.
My affinity for Yogi Ferrell plays out below, but it's very, very hard to pass on a team's leading scorer and assist man in any format at this price. That it offers the highest total in Vegas should make it even more unanimous. Vasturia concerns me some due to a lack of peripheral stats. He certainly has the potential to completely bust, but at this price, it's not too great of a risk. Perrantes, meanwhile, has struggled some with his scoring, posting over 10 points just once in his last four, but he finds a way to snag rebounds and dish out assists en route to decent totals. On the other side, Dranginis is a similar hussle-stat guy who may not score, but when the game ends, you question the boxscore wondering how he was so statistically successful. At this price, I'd love the 7.5 points and 6.5 boards he averaged last weekend.
It seems a bit irresponsible to bypass the Cylcones completely in both of my lineups given their offensive ability, and it didn't happen strictly because of their opponent; it's really just the way things played out. They're also a top-heavy team and I liked both Sabonis and Johnson more than Georges Niang, especially at a lower price.
I'm not convinced I've done enough outside of that core three however, as UVA's Shayok and Wilkins, along with Indiana's Bielfeldt are strictly role players who have next to no upside. But collectively, they're averaging 14.3 fantasy points in two tournament games and are playing enough minutes to exceed that figure. Give me 50-60 total points from this crew, and this roster has a shot.
This team has clearly been broken down into thirds, and that mid-tier pack will make or break its chances. Paige has plenty of upside despite a season-long shooting slump, and should provide enough steals and assists to keep his floor from bottoming out. Koening is a feast or famine option in the tournament, but proved his scoring capability down the stretch, while Beachem has become a key cog in the Irish's short rotation. Beachem has scored in double digits in four straight while adding 6.5 rebounds in his last two. He previously had five total boards in last three games. He looks like role player well worth a gamble.
Honorable Mention Guards: Demetrius Jackson, NDAME vs. WISCN ($7,100); Joel Berry UNC vs. INDNA, ($6,800); Matt Thomas, IOWST vs VIRG ($6,100); Malachi Ricardson SYRCS vs. GONZ ($6,000); Robert Johnson, INDNA vs. UNC ($4,800)
Honorable Mention Forwards: Troy Williams, INDNA vs. UNC ($6,900); Thomas Bryant, INDNA vs. UNC ($6,700); Justin Jackson, UNC vs. INDNA ($6,000); Vitto Brown, WISCN vs. NDAME ($5,700)