The Elite Eight tips off on Saturday with a pair of marquee matchups, albeit ones that don’t feature top-ranked teams.
The Florida Atlantic Owls are the lowest remaining seed, taking on the surprising Kansas State Wildcats in the East bracket. At the same time, two blue bloods go toe-to-toe in the West, with the Gonzaga Bulldogs playing the Connecticut Huskies.
As usual, we’re assessing which players have the best chance of excelling on Saturday’s slate.
Be sure to check out some of our features, like our Lineup Optimizer allows you to create 300 lineups in seconds. You can also create an abundance of lineup-building rules to suit your playing style for the slates you’re playing.
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Now, let’s get into the slate!
March Madness CBB Guard Picks
Top Play: Markquis Nowell ($9,600)
There is a clear divide forming between Markquis Nowell and every other guard in the NCAA Tournament, and that’s reflected in their salaries on Saturday. Still, Nowell is worth the investment as he looks to lead the Wildcats to the Final Four for the first time in almost 60 years.
The senior guard has been in a giving mood all season, but even more so lately, recording ten or more assists in two of three tourney games. That’s contributing to an inflated fantasy profile, with Nowell also eclipsing 20 points in each of the last two outings.
Factoring in his above-average rebounds and steals, Nowell dropped a monstrous 63.8 fantasy points in the Sweet Sixteen, averaging 54.8 per game in tournament play.
There is no better option than Nowell at guard. The Wildcats’ floor general has put Kansas State on his back, and he could elevate his performance yet again against the ninth-ranked Owls.
Top Value: Alijah Martin ($6,600)
Owls’ guard Alijah Martin had a forgettable performance in the third round, recording just nine points and four assists en route to 13.5 fantasy points. That diminished effort negatively impacts his perceived value, with his salary coming down $500 compared to the last round. Nevertheless, now is a good time to buy low on the sophomore as he rebounds against the Wildcats.
Martin has been a staple of the Owls’ attack all season. The Mississippi native ranks second on the team in scoring and third in rebounding, adding value with his respectable assists and steals totals.
As we saw in the conference tournament, Martin can take over a game. In the C-USA Final, Martin scorched the UAB Blazers for 30 points, 11 rebounds, and three steals, contributing to a jaw-dropping 54.3 fantasy points. He has yet to scratch that ceiling in the big dance, with a 35.7% shooting percentage or worse in two of the three games.
Martin is usually a high-volume shooter, which wasn’t the case against the Tennessee Volunteers. He attempted only six shots from the field, nailing three of them, two of which came from distance. A confident Martin should get back to his usual volume against Kansas State, helping him exceed the modest expectations that come with his $6,600 salary.
Be sure to check out all the pick’ems on PrizePicks for the NCAA tourney.
March Madness CBB Forward Picks
Top Play: Drew Timme ($9,100)
No other forward is doing what Drew Timme can. The Bulldogs’ big man has flexed his muscles throughout the tournament, establishing himself as a top threat every time he’s on the court. That’s not going to change Saturday against the Huskies.
Over these last three outings, the senior is averaging 28.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. That includes his assertive double-double from the previous round against the UCLA Bruins, in which Timme dropped 36 points and 13 boards. Moreover, Timme has recorded multiple blocks in two of three tourney games, with no fewer than three assists.
The hazard with rostering Timme on Saturday is that UConn remains one of the stingiest teams in the nation. Still, the Bulldogs’ offense flows through Timme, and we can’t look past the value he brings on the defensive end of the court. He and the Zags are in tough, which could lead to increased workload and volume from Timme.
Top Value: Adama Sanogo ($7,900)
The Huskies can fight fire with fire in the frontcourt, leaning into Adama Sanogo as they try and knock off the high-powered Bulldogs.
Sanogo leads the team in scoring and boards, ranking in the top four in steals and blocks. He’s put that well-rounded profile to use this tournament, accumulating no fewer than 32.0 fantasy points in any of his tournament outings.
The Mali native came in hot, recording a double-double in the opening round with 28 points and 13 rebounds. Sanogo has come up just short of that mark in his subsequent efforts, grabbing eight boards in each of the last two games while maintaining his above-average scoring. The big man is averaging 23.3 points over his past three, above his season-long average of 17.3.
Gonzaga doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on defense, allowing Sanogo to flourish in the Elite Eight. Surprisingly, his salary has dropped almost $1,000 since the conference tournament, despite improved performances. Don’t pass up the value that Sanogo brings to Saturday’s slate.
March Madness CBB Flag Plant
Nick Boyd ($5,700)
Florida Atlantic has an excellent floor dynamic, turning to several players on any given night to get the job done. Nick Boyd has been an integral part of that success on both ends of the floor and is our flag plant player on Saturday.
The freshman guard ranks in the top four in scoring, rebounding, and assists, allowing him to contribute in any capacity. Further, Boyd has been trending up in tournament play and could be due for a breakout performance in the Elite Eight.
Across the previous three games, Boyd has attempted 29 shots, 20 of which have come from beyond the arc. Additionally, he’s emphasizing his complementary metrics, putting up above-average totals in rebounding and assists.
It’s obvious the Owls are trying to get Boyd going from distance. Although it hasn’t worked exceptionally well yet this tournament, Boyd has fallen well below his normal ranges and is a progression candidate against Kansas State. Look for him to be a primary contributor on Saturday.