The field continues to shrink in this year’s NCAA Tournament, and after Sunday’s action, we’ll be down to the Sweet 16.
There have been some standout performances so far in this tourney, with some usual and unsuspecting candidates leading the way. We’re diving headfirst into Sunday’s slate, highlighting our favorite players to reach their fantasy potential to end the second round.
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Now, let’s get into the slate!
March Madness CBB Guard Picks
Top Play: Damion Baugh ($8,000)
Damion Baugh does a little bit of everything right, and the TCU Horned Frogs will need him to meet that standard if they hope to escape Sunday’s encounter against the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Baugh leads the Horned Frogs in assists and steals, ranking second in scoring and third in rebounding. The senior fell two assists and four rebounds shy of a triple-double in Friday’s win over the Arizona State Sundevils. Those complete efforts have been a hallmark of Baugh’s season, and he should carry that momentum into the round of 32.
As expected with metrics such as that, the TCU guard has been prone to excessive fantasy performances, especially toward the end of the season. Baugh put up above-average fantasy points in eight of his last 13 games, going north of 30 seven times and 40 twice.
Gonzaga can push the pace offensively, and that could force the Horned Frogs to a season-best offensive effort. TCU needs Baugh to deliver if they hope to make the Sweet Sixteen.
Top Value: Jordan Hawkins ($6,300)
There is no shortage of guards to choose from on Sunday, with several noteworthy players expected to deliver. Still, Connecticut Huskies guard Jordan Hawkins is underpriced relative to his offensive contributions.
Hawkins ranks second on the team in scoring, with a first-class 16.0 points per game. He’s maintained that production over this recent sample, despite a decrease in shooting percentage. Over his last nine games, Hawkins is averaging 15.0 points per game while knocking down 35.8% of shots.
Hawkins’ underlying metrics remain intact, his workload and shot attempts remain consistent, but his shots aren’t falling. The sophomore guard has fallen below his season-long average shooting percentage of 40.1%, making him a progression candidate to end the season.
We’re anticipating some growth from Hawkins, and that starts with Sunday’s showdown against the Saint Mary’s Gaels. Look for him to outperform his implied salary expectations as his scoring starts to improve.
Be sure to check out all the pick’ems on PrizePicks for the NCAA tourney.
March Madness CBB Forward Picks
Top Play: Oscar Tshiebwe ($10,100)
Kentucky Wildcats forward Oscar Tshiebwe was expected to be a star in this year’s tournament, but few people expected him to shine as bright as he has. We’re anticipating another team-best effort in the second round.
We’re going to have to call Tshiebwe, The Janitor, the way he’s cleaning the glass. The big man has recorded at least 13 rebounds in five straight games, accumulating an astounding 18.0 average across that span. He’s done so without compromising his scoring, as Tshiebwe has maintained a 16.4-point average over the same sample.
When we factor in his solid complementary metrics, which included multiple assists, blocks, and steals in the opening round, Tshiebwe’s fantasy scores have been on an entirely different plane. The senior has exceeded 40 fantasy points in four of the five contests, with a rolling average of 44.0.
The Kansas State Wildcats aren’t a strong rebounding team, ranking 149th in the country. That should give Tshiebwe the leeway he needs to sustain his elite performances and end the day as one of the top-rated forwards.
Top Value: Ansley Almonor ($5,700)
The Fairleigh Dickinson Knights shocked the basketball world when they got past the #1 seed Purdue Boilermakers in the opening round. The victory came as no thanks to Ansley Almonor, who recorded just one point and two rebounds in the win. Nevertheless, we anticipate a much-improved effort from the forward in Sunday’s battle against the Florida Atlantic Owls.
Almonor has been a staple in the Knights’ starting rotation all year. The sophomore plays the third-most minutes while totaling the third-most points and second-most rebounds. Further, he chips in with the occasional assist, steal, and block, making him valuable on both ends of the court.
It’s evident that his Round 1 performance was the outlier in an otherwise successful season. Almonor has exceeded his points average in four of his previous six, resulting in increased fantasy output. That’s yielded at least 25.4 fantasy points in each one of those outings, above his yearly benchmark of 22.2.
Almonor is not nearly as ineffective as we saw on Friday, and he has the chance to rebound against the Owls. Given his low salary and boom potential, Almonor is a true value play that could elevate DFS lineups in any format.
March Madness CBB Flag Plant
Keyontae Johnson ($8,000)
The Wildcats are the higher seed in their second-round matchup against the Huskies but enter the contest as modest underdogs. They will need their best players to step up to pull off the upset, and that starts with Keyontae Johnson.
Johnson is the team leader in points and rebounds, averaging 17.7 and 7.1, respectively, but he’s set the bar even higher over the past month. Since February 11, the forward is up to 19.0 points per game, with robust complementary stats. Although he’s seen a slight decrease in rebounding, Johnson has offset that with improved assists.
Altogether, Johnson remains the primary scoring option for the Wildcats, and he’s performed well under pressure. The senior has eclipsed 32.0 fantasy points in two of his past three and will again be called upon against the Huskies. Given his current form, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Johnson topple his ceiling projections.