Duke at Louisville
St. Bonaventure at Dayton
Florida at South Carolina
Georgia at Vanderbilt
Xavier at Georgetown
Miami (FL) at North Carolina
Baylor at Texas
Marquette at DePaul
Pittsburgh at Syracuse
Butler at Villanova
Mississippi State at Alabama
KeVaughn Allen, Florida ($5,500): South Carolina allows the most threes and steals in the SEC. Allen is a sharpshooter that shoots nearly half of his shots from three and leads Florida in steals. He doesn’t foul much, doesn’t turn it over and is averaging well over 30 minutes per game in SEC play. He’s also scored over 22 fantasy points in eight of his last 10 games.
Derryck Thornton, Duke ($5,200): With the injury to Matt Jones, Duke’s starting five may all play 40 minutes. Outside of Thornton, Grayson Allen, Luke Kennard, Brandon Ingram and Marshall Plumlee, Chase Jeter and Sean Obi are the only other players to get minutes for Duke this season (averaging fewer than five minutes per game COMBINED). Coach K would gladly just play that starting five the entire game, and he very well may. Louisville has the No. 1 defense in the nation (I know, a real shame we won’t be seeing them come March), but they do a mediocre job preventing assists and threes. They also allow a decent number of steals. Thornton shoots roughly half of his shots from three, has the second-best assist rate (behind Allen) and has averaged two steals per game over his last four. In 40 minutes on the court, Thornton should be able to find his way to over 20 fantasy points.
Luke Kennard, Duke ($6,300): Everything said about Thornton applies for Kennard, except Kennard will take a few more shots, draw a few more fouls and likely grab a few more rebounds. Also, Kennard hasn’t been seeing as many minutes of late so he’ll outperform his past three games by an even more substantial margin than Thornton. Kennard is seventh in the nation in free-throw shooting percentage, and though he’s only shooting 34 percent from three for the season, he's hit 11-of-21 this month.
Charles Cooke, Dayton ($7,900): Cooke is a picture of consistency. In the last matchup against the Bonnies he scored 43.75 fantasy points. Over his last four he’s averaged 35.8 fantasy points per game. He takes the most shots for Dayton by a fair margin while also contributing on the boards, assists, blocks, steals and a propensity to get to the line. Plus, he doesn’t foul. Safe floor, nice ceiling, fair price.
Other guards to consider: Quentin Snider, Louisville ($5,200); Donovan Mitchell, Louisville ($4,700); Brandon Ingram, Duke ($9,400); Grayson Allen, Duke ($9,300); Jaylen Adams, St. Bonaventure ($7,900); Chris Chiozza, Florida ($4,900); Trevon Bluiett, Xavier ($7,700); D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown ($7,800); Ja’Quan Newton, Miami (FL) ($5,100); Davon Reed, Miami (FL) ($5,400); Haanif Cheatham, Marquette ($5,200); Eli Cain, DePaul ($5,400); Chris Jones, Pittsburgh ($4,500); Malik Newman, Mississippi State ($4,900); Riley Norris, Alabama ($5,400)
Chinanu Onuaku, Louisville ($7,700): Usually with Onuaku, fouls are a major issue. It’s possible this feature shows its evil head once again, but seeing as Duke absolutely CANNOT foul it’s less probable than usual. My biggest concern may actually be head coach Rick Pitino delegating some of his minutes to the promising young Matz Stockman. In the first half last time out against Syracuse, the minutes were split pretty evenly. Onuaku saw the court pretty much the entire second half and tore it up on his way to 42.75 fantasy points. The only argument in not giving Onuaku 30 minutes (fouls permitting) is development of the younger players. It’s understandable that the lack of a postseason prompts some of this, but the fans and players deserve the Cards to give this game everything they have; I think in the end this wins out and Onuaku gets the minutes he needs to put up a nice score.
Deng Adel, Louisville ($3,500): This one scares me a little, but Pitino said he’ll be in the starting lineup and last time that happened he played 34 minutes and scored 31.25 fantasy points. The rationale for Adel starting is to match up with Ingram. That’s a concern. For one, Ingram is a long, talented defender who can slow Adel's scoring and rebounding. Two, Ingram is, to a certain degree, unguardable and could get Adel in foul trouble, or possibly just benched if his inability to guard Ingram causes Pitino to push Damion Lee or Raymond Spalding into that responsibility. The price is enticing, the logic is there, but Adel has some grenade-esque qualities. Spalding will be the first man off the bench and will get his shot at guarding Ingram as well. He left some people wanting, playing just 14 minutes against Syracuse, but those lack of minutes were mostly attributable to a minor injury.
Dyshawn Pierre, Dayton ($7,300): I have included a new feature to the bottom of this article called “Injury Watch.” These are players with their status for Saturday still unknown. First among them is Kendall Pollard, who has missed the last two games, directly correlating to Pierre seeing a combined 77 minutes after playing just 55 in the two games prior. This led to Pierre averaging 34 fantasy points per game over those two after averaging just 25 fantasy points per game in the two before. I wouldn’t go as far as to say Pierre is a bad play if Pollard returns, but his minutes and likely production will undoubtedly suffer. If Pollard is somehow declared healthy and starting, his $5,300 price tag makes him very enticing. If he’s just declared to be playing, he could be worth a GPP play – he had 25.5 fantasy points the last time these two teams squared off.
Derek Ogbeide, Georgia ($4,000): Vanderbilt may win the award for the most disappointing team this season, now sitting at 15-11. One big reason for this, despite starting two seven-footers, is their inability to guard centers. Ogbeide missed much of the season due to injury and has been fairly inconsistent since he made his debut, but he is the team’s only real center and can absolutely murder on the boards (he picks up 26.1 percent of defensive rebounds, which would be 37th in the nation if he were eligible) and lately has been moved into the starting lineup while staying out of foul trouble. In the two games since moving into the starting lineup, he’s averaged 24 minutes, 17.7 fantasy points and just 1.5 fouls. Ogbeide won’t be getting a high quantity of minutes yet, but his role on the squad is solidifying.
Jessie Govan, Georgetown ($5,300): Last time out against Seton Hall, Govan went off for 44.25 fantasy points in his second game starting for the injured Bradley Hayes. He also went 10-for-13 from the field and 4-for-5 from three all while staying out of foul trouble in 37 minutes. It’s unlikely any of those things will be repeated against Xavier, who posses a better paint defense and draws fouls at a fairly high rate. That said, at this price, Govan could reach value in just over 20 minutes while possibly getting the same amount as last time with similar upside.
Jonathan Motely, Baylor ($6,300): The second name on the Injury Watch below is Rico Gathers, who missed last time out, which prompted Motley into his biggest game of the year with 35 minutes and 51 fantasy points against Iowa State. Even if Gathers returns, I’d expect it to be in a fairly limited role, meaning Motley could be good (at least for GPPs) regardless of his status. Motley’s foul troubles are and very well may always be a concern – he fouled out in just 15 minutes against Texas last time.
Other Forwards to consider: Raymond Spalding, Louisville ($4,500); Dion Wright, St. Bonaventure ($8,000); Dorian Finney-Smith, Florida ($7.900); Yante Maten, Georgia ($7,800); Jeff Roberson, Georgia ($4,900); Taurean Prince, Baylor ($7,600); Connor Lammer, Texas ($4,600); Prince Ibeh, Texas ($5,800); Henry Ellenson, Marquette ($9,300); Daniel Ochefu, Villanova ($7,800); Josh Hart, Villanova ($7,700); Jimmie Taylor, Alabama ($4,600)