Everything you need to know for the 12 PM Saturday CFB slate is right here. Let’s get right into it!
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Deshaun Watson $8600
If you liked Watson at all against South Carolina last week, you should like him just as much this week. UNC is allowing 208 rushing yards per game and Clemson has a team total of 41; those things are enough for me to play Watson at pretty much any price. If that isn’t enough to convince you, think about the Heisman trophy and how good Watson has been leading the only undefeated team in football. It’s getting to the point in the year that coaches are going to let their studs go nuts and run up the score, especially when it has playoff implications.
Chris Johnson $6700
Johnson burned a lot of people last week, myself included, but that performance shouldn’t happen two weeks in a row. That was an abomination of a football game that was ruined by rain and awful weather in general; this game will be an entirely different story. Baylor is a 20 point favorite with a 44 point team total, so Vegas still has faith in the athletic sophomore quarterback in a cushy matchup. This is a great game for him to get his legs under him and I think the Baylor coaching staff lets him loose a little bit.
Wayne Gallman $6200
Everything working in Watson’s favor is also working for Gallman, except for the Heisman narrative. As mentioned, UNC is an abysmal run defense which sets up the workhorse Gallman very nicely. Gallman has been over 100 yards in 7 of his last 9 games and has 9 touchdowns in 11 games this year. I’d be willing to bet that Gallman easily gets over 100 yards and a touchdown in this game.
Wendell Smallwood $5900
Smallwood seriously let us down for the first time this season last week with a mediocre performance against Iowa State. This week, Smallwood gets the matchup with Kansas State, a defense allowing just shy of 160 yards per game on the ground which isn’t great, but isn’t terrible. However, playing in the pass-heavy Big12 has that number artificially low. Teams that have tried to run the ball on KSU have done so, most notable Oklahoma and their stable of backs rushing for 232 yards.
Taywan Taylor $5900
Taylor remains underpriced for some reason. His catch numbers have been a bit down recently, but he’s still catching touchdowns. His numbers will take a hit due to Tyler Higbee returning, but it will also draw a bit of attention away from Taylor, hopefully leaving him open for some more big play ability. WKU has a team total of 40, which should be spread around between the receivers. If Taylor doesn’t score, I’ll be shocked.
Mike Thomas $5700
WKU is allowing teams to pass for and average of 239 yards per game, which is very middling in the FBS, but still exploitable. Thomas has been over 20 fantasy points in 7 of his last 9 games, and was at 18 points in the two games that he didn’t reach 20. What I’m saying here is that Thomas is pretty much as safe as it gets; he also has some incredible upside, going for 30 points on three separate occasions this year. USM will be forced to throw the ball late in the game and I expect Thomas to have a big day.
Joe Hubener $5700
Joe Hubener might be the most underrated fantasy QB in the entire FBS. He’s a terrible quarterback playing on a bad team, but somehow the guy manages to put up great fantasy totals every week. West Virginia is a pretty mediocre defense and Hubener should be able to continue solid play. I’d expect him to throw the ball around 25 times and have around 18 rushing attempts, giving him both a solid floor and a very high ceiling.
Skyler Howard $6300
Due to the lack of actual good value plays, Howard is the de facto second value QB. He’s priced appropriately for his recent production, but the matchup and upside make him a good play even at an appropriate price. KSU is allowing 283 passing yards per game and 159 rushing yards per game, both of which Howard should be able to exploit. WVU has a team total of 32.5; I’d guess that 3 of those touchdowns come by way of Howards arm/legs.
Ito Smith $5300
Smith is a play very similar to Matt Thomas with his elite upside and high floor. Smith has been over 100 total yards on 7 occasions this year and has caught at least 4 passes on 6 separate occasions. He also has 10 touchdowns on the year, 6 of which have come over the last 3 games. This game has the highest total of any game on the slate and could very well turn in to a shootout. No matter the game script, Smith will be involved at all times, making him a great play.
Justin Davis $5100
Since stepping in to an increased role, Davis has played really well and has been continually underpriced. People think that Stanford is a good defense just because they’re Stanford, but this defense is very average. USC is a 6 point underdog, but that shouldn’t necessarily hurt Davis as he’s shown some pass catching ability this year. I’m not expecting Davis to set the world on fire, but a solid 15 point game from him is well within the range of outcomes.
Jay Lee $4700
I really wanted to write up Nicholas Norris in this slot, but that would be a bit too much WKU in one article and Jay Lee is also way too cheap. Baylor has the highest team total in this short slate and Texas sucks on the defensive side of the ball. I really think that Johnson gets a really long leash in this game and gets to put his big arsenal of offensive weapons to use, specifically, the underpriced Jay Lee.
Tyler Higbee $4700
Higbee came back last week and didn’t miss a beat. He’s the safest bet of any receiver in this entire slate to get 15 points and he happens to only be $4700. I think part of him being so cheap has to do with the fact that he’s actually a tight end; that’s really just the only thing that makes sense to me. He’s going to lead the team in targets and is playing on a team with a 40 point team total; all things that are going to set him up to be successful.
Underowned QB/WR Pair
Kevin Hogan ($6,400)/Michael Rector ($3,800) – Stanford
Hogan has undercover been killing it this year for the Cardinal. All of the attention has been going to Christian McCaffrey and his outstanding year, which he deserves. Here’s the thing: McCaffrey only has 11 touchdowns because they put the ball in Hogan’s hands in the red zone which has absolutely ruined McCaffrey’s Heisman chances, but it’s good for us that play DFS because Hogan has stayed cheap enough to use. Rector is also way underpriced. He has 16 catches in his last 4 games and has been over 14 fantasy points in 3 of those 4 games. For $3800, he’s a steal.
Anthony Wales $6800
I’ve been very leery of Wales all year long, even after I had 100% exposure to him the week he went for 50 against North Texas. Southern Miss isn’t even a great defense, but there are other options I’d rather pay for than Wales, who will most likely get you 15 points. It’s fine if you want to run him out in a GPP and hope for one of his 30+ point games, but I’d much rather not have to deal with him at all.
Depth Chart News
Shock Linwood ($5,800) – RB Baylor
Shock has been doing fine in practice and seems to be healthy and ready to play against Texas on Saturday; Shock makes a great play against that UT defense.
Jerrod Heard ($5,500) – QB Texas
Heard suffered a concussion last week against Texas Tech and is questionable; his status won’t be known until probably Friday night. If Heard does not play, Tyrone Swoopes becomes a great GPP option and a viable cash game option.