This article is part of our FanDuel College Basketball series.
Finally the Big Dance has arrived and we're now approaching day two of the opening round. We're going to dive into some FanDuel values for Friday's slate of games, but let's first refresh everyone on the rules and format.
FanDuel gives members a $60,000 budget to construct a nine-player team, which includes five forwards and four guards. There are no flex players included. It breaks down to an average of $6,667 worth of salary to spend on each player in your lineups.
The scoring format for FanDuel is:
Point Scored = +1 PT
Rebound = +1.2 PT
Assist = +1.5 PT
Block = +2 PTs
Steal = +2 PTs
Turnover = -1 PT
The early and late contests have yet to be split up on FanDuel, but much like Thursday' format, the early contests will be the first eight games, and the late contests will be the second eight games with a break in the middle. Below is a list of both the early and late games.
New Mexico State vs. Kansas
Georgia vs. Michigan State
Wyoming vs. Northern Iowa
Buffalo vs. West Virginia
Indiana vs. Wichita State
Belmont vs. Virginia
UC Irvine vs. Louisville
Valparaiso vs. Maryland
Oklahoma State vs. Oregon
Robert Morris vs. Duke
Davidson vs. Iowa
Albany vs. Oklahoma
Coastal Carolina vs. Wisconsin
St. John's vs. San Diego State
North Dakota State vs. Gonzaga
Dayton vs. Providence
The contests for the tournament are much different than the regular season ones because there are new teams and new players that were not previously included on a regular basis. The small schools that won their conference tournaments to punch a ticket to the dance are now included, which brings a wide variety of new players and price tags. Be sure to do a little extra investigating and dig into these smaller teams to find the hidden gems that will bring you solid production at a low cost. With that being said, here are a few players that should give you a good start:
Luke Nelson, Guard, UC Irvine ($5,800)
Nelson and No. 13-seeded UC Irvine enter a showdown with Louisville on Friday having won seven of their last nine games. The sophomore guard from England comes in averaging 10.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game over an average of 29.1 minutes. In his last three contests he's averaged 26.4 fantasy points per game, including a 31.1-point performance against UC Santa Barbara. Nelson has played very well of late, and the Anteaters will need quite a lot out of him if they expect to beat Louisville.
Evan Bradds, Guard, Belmont ($7,300)
Bradds is a 6-6 sophomore with a ton of game. He averages 14.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, and he tallied 32.2 fantasy points in the Ohio Valley Conference title game against Murray State. Bradds went for 21 points and 11 rebounds in that game, and he's been on a tear. Belmont drew Virginia in their opening round matchup and they'll look to Bradds and teammate Craig Bradshaw to knock down shots if they want to advance. Bradds offers great production and a ton of value for the price tag attached to him.
Pascal Siakam, Forward, New Mexico State ($7,600)
Siakam measures at 6-foot-9, which makes him the fourth-tallest player on the Aggies' roster. This team is huge, and Siakam is just one of many big fellas in the frontcourt. The freshman forward is from Douala, Cameroon, and he's had a spectacular freshman campaign, averaging 13.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. Over his last four contests he's averaged 26.9 fantasy points per game, and has been the Aggies' most consistent player during the second half of the season. New Mexico State drew an undersized and banged up Kansas Jayhawks team in the opening round of the dance. Siakam should produce solid numbers on Friday as the Jayhawks will struggle to match the overall size of the Aggies.
Josh Adams, Guard, Wyoming ($6,200)
Adams is a junior guard that averages 33.5 minutes per game, which is good for third on the team. Over his last three games, Adams has averaged 28.2 fantasy points which is solid production for his corresponding price tag. He shoots 44 percent from the field and makes 1.4 three-pointers per game on average. Many opposing defenses like to key on his teammate and star forward Larry Nance Jr., which allows plenty of open opportunities for Adams and the others around him. Wyoming gets Northern Iowa in the first round, and they'll need solid production out of Nance and Adams if they want to compete.
Nemanja Djurisic, Forward, Georgia ($6,300)
Nick Zeisloft, Guard, Indiana ($5,100)
Shannon Evans, Guard, Buffalo ($7,500)
Darien Walker, Guard, Valparaiso ($5,700)
Jack Gibbs, Guard, Davidson ($8,400)
The Wildcats enter Friday's opening-round matchup against Iowa ranked sixth in the nation in scoring at 79.9 points per game. Gibbs is one of the main contributors, averaging 16.3 points per contest. Scoring is not all Gibbs does though, as he also averages 3.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game to go along with 1.6 steals over 29.8 minutes. He shoots 48 percent from the field and a gaudy 44 percent from long range, which makes him very tough to guard. Over his last five games, Gibbs has averaged 32.7 fantasy points per game, and he should have a favorable matchup against the Hawkeyes on Friday. His price tag is a bit higher than some of the others, but based on his production, he's been worth every penny.
Sam Rowley, Forward, Albany ($7,600)
Rowley is a 6-6 senior forward that does it all for the Great Danes. He enters Friday's contest with solid averages of 14.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. He also shoots 51 percent from the floor and 81 percent from the free-throw line, which will come in handy late in the game if things are close. In the Great Danes' last five games, Rowley has averaged 30.3 fantasy points, and they'll need much of the same on Friday against a tough Sooners team that's been battle tested all year. Rowley led Albany to a 24-8 record this season on their way to an AEC Conference Championship. He should be of good value on Friday evening.
A.J. Jacobson, Guard, North Dakota State ($5,600)
Jacobson is a very talented freshman that started and played very well from day one for the Bison. He enters Friday's contest averaging 22.9 fantasy points per game over his last five, which is great production for a player with his price tag. Jacobson is second on the team in scoring at 11.9 points per game, to go along with 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists. The Bison drew Gonzaga, who enters the dance as a solid No. 2 seed. Gary Bell Jr. is the Zags' best defender, and he'll likely guard Jacobson's star teammate, Lawrence Alexander. If this is the case, Jacobson will be guarded by Kevin Pangos, who isn't the best on-ball defender. We look for good production out of Jacobson in his first career tournament game.
Badou Diagne, Forward, Coastal Carolina ($5,800)
Diagne enters the tournament averaging 9.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, which are solid numbers for such a low price. He's the team's best three-point shooter at 43.9 percent, which should come in handy against Wisconsin on Friday. The Badgers don't like to let teams get in the paint very easily, and often force them to take shots from the outside. If that's the case on Friday, then Diagne should get plenty of opportunities. The 6-7 junior from Senegal has averaged 20.4 points per game over his last two, and he should be expected to play a lot against a much bigger Wisconsin team. Diagne has a big upside this weekend.
Sir'Dominic Pointer, Guard, Saint John's ($10,100)
Ryan Spangler, Forward, Oklahoma ($7,200)
Anthony Hickey Jr., Guard, Oklahoma State ($6,900)
Jarrod Uthoff, Forward, Iowa ($8,600)