DFS College Basketball: National Championship Preview

DFS College Basketball: National Championship Preview

This article is part of our DFS College Basketball series.

The road ends here. After a college basketball season that mainly saw a return to normalcy with fans in the stands and more games being played on schedule, the NCAA Tournament wraps up Monday with No. 1 Kansas facing No. 8 North Carolina with a national title on the line. DraftKings is running a Showdown Captain Mode that's highlighted by the $200,000 Cut the Nets contest, which pays out $50,000 to the winner. In a matchup featuring two teams who rely heavily on starters, finding value from captains and utility players will be particularly important for DFS players who hope to differentiate their lineups from the rest of the pack.

Captain Candidates

Armando Bacot, C, North Carolina ($10,200 standard, $15,300 captain)

Bacot was banged up in the second half of Saturday's Final Four win over Duke, but he underwent X-rays and is expected to play Monday as the Tar Heels contend for a national title. He has the highest salary of any player in the showdown, and drafting him as a captain is a somewhat chalky pick that will limit DFS players from loading up on elite talent on the rest of their rosters. However, the upside is undeniable. The junior has posted at least 36.8 DFS points on DraftKings in each of his five NCAA Tournament appearances, and he's posted double-doubles in each of the last seven games. Since he'll presumably be the favorite captain Monday, Bacot is probably better suited for cash games, where approximately half of the players in the contest walk away with the same share of the winnings, but he's one of the safest bets to provide strong value in the national championship. 

Jalen Wilson, F, Kansas ($7,600 standard, $11,400 captain)

Wilson had an inconsistent role for the Jayhawks earlier in the year, but he's performed consistently during the NCAA Tournament. After playing just 20 minutes in the blowout win over Texas Southern in the first round, the redshirt sophomore has posted double-doubles in three of the last four games while scoring at least 33.5 DFS points in each of the three outings with double-doubles. A key to his success has been his production in rebounds, which is somewhat risky given how well the Tar Heels have played on the boards during the NCAA Tournament. However, if Wilson can make his mark in the rebound column Monday, he has the potential to offer strong production as a captain. Since the players below Bacot show less consistent upside, options like Wilson are better suited to serve as captains in GPP formats, where it makes sense to pivot from the chalk to avoid splitting up the larger pots.

High-Rostered Options

Caleb Love, G, North Carolina ($7,000 DK)

Love's fantasy production is dependent on his scoring output while being complemented by modest results in rebounds and assists. He had a lackluster showing on the scoreboard during the ACC Tournament and was held in check during the Tar Heels' overtime win over Baylor, partially due to his foul trouble. However, the sophomore has turned things around since then, scoring at least 28 points in two of the last three games while averaging 33.8 DFS points on DraftKings during that time. He leads the Tar Heels in usage this season and should remain heavily involved in the national championship. As long as he remains out of foul trouble, he figures to be a strong player in cash games.

Ochai Agbaji, F, Kansas ($8,800 DK)

Agbaji has been held under 10 field-goal attempts in two of his last three appearances, but he's remained relatively consistent from a DFS standpoint. For DFS players looking for strong value from Jayhawks players, Christian Braun will likely be a popular pick as well, but I like Agbaji slightly more since he has more upside in categories outside of scoring. The senior has scored at least 15 points in six of his last eight appearances, and he's averaged 4.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks in 34.3 minutes per game during that time. He's also committed 2.3 turnovers per game across that span, but he likely won't have to worry about that as much Monday since North Carolina isn't very effective at forcing turnovers. Agbaji has the second-highest salary of any player in the National Championship, but he's displayed plenty of upside during the NCAA Tournament.

Low-Rostered Options

David McCormack, C, Kansas ($5,800 DK)

I don't know how low-rostered McCormack will actually be following his dominant performance in Saturday's Final Four win over Villanova, but players with modest salaries are hard to come by in Monday's showdown, which features two teams who lean heavily on their starters. Although McCormack could tend to get overshadowed by some of his teammates during the 2021-22 campaign, the senior center actually leads the Jayhawks in usage this season. He hasn't topped 30 minutes of playing time since March 5, but he's scored at least 15 points in each of his last two appearances, and he shot 83.3 percent from the floor Saturday during his outing in which he posted 25 points, nine rebounds, an assist and a steal in 29 minutes. For DFS players who want to ride the hot hand, he's a consideration as a captain in GPP formats who would allow for more flexibility to roster additional top-tier talent. Even if he's simply used as a utility player, McCormack has the potential to provide strong value at a relatively reasonable salary.

Dajuan Harris, G, Kansas ($4,000 DK)

In contrast to McCormack, Harris has had the least usage of any starter for the Jayhawks this season and has been inconsistent late in the year. However, he's one of the few players with low salaries who can be relatively productive, and he's a strong option in GPP contests as a result. The redshirt sophomore has topped 15 DFS points in three of his five NCAA Tournament appearances but has also been held below 10 in his other two appearances. While Harris isn't particularly dominant in any given category, he has the potential to provide low-budget value in a showdown that primarily features top-tier players.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Jason Shebilske plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: FavreFanatic, FanDuel: Favre_Fanatic.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Shebilske
Jason joined RotoWire in 2019 as his first position covering fantasy sports. In addition to RotoWire, he writes for Sports Broadcast Journal.
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