Two and a half weeks into bowl season and the only change in our DFS approach is the knowledge that the stakes are the highest we’ve seen all season. We will continue to identify semi-contrarian plays for the Friday and Saturday slates — some of which are daringly pulled outside of the games listed with the highest over/under total. A listing will also be provided of the seniors playing in their final game and may see additional touches.
Kevin Hogan ($6,100) – Stanford vs. Iowa
Hogan and WRs Michael Rector and Devin Cajuste will be playing in their final game and will each look to carve out a memorable finale to their college careers. Reaching that goal will require Hogan to produce some numbers and his recent play inspires confidence. Over his last six games, Hogan has manufactured at least 22 DraftKings points in all but one game.
Hogan’s increased production has coincided with the historic offensive explosion from RB Christian McCaffrey. The results should also be partially attributed to excellent ball placement as Hogan finished the regular season as the seventh most accurate QB in the country (67.8 completion percentage). While he will be facing a stout Iowa Hawkeye defense, his performances against USC, Notre Dame, and Oregon should ease that concern.
Brandon Allen ($5,600) – Arkansas vs. Kansas State
Arkansas -13.0, 55.5
While rostering Allen can be considered a salary-saving play, this is a situation where he could prove to be much more. Over his last four games, Allen has produced two games of 47-plus DraftKings points and two clunkers with less than seven. Looking into the very poor showings, one came in a rain-soaked 28-3 victory over Mizzou and the other a dominant Razorback victory over LSU in Death Valley in which they were able to rush for 299 yards.
Considering that Kansas State ranked 52nd against the run and 110th against the pass, Allen will enter a situation that should allow him to succeed. Since Week 8, Allen has produced PFF College’s 5th-highest overall QB production grade and has tied for the most passing TDs in the FBS (19). Vegas has this game favoring the Razorbacks by a 13-point margin, but Allen will close out his career against Kansas State, and his very reasonable salary floors the risk.
Others to consider: Jake Rudock (UM), Mike Bercovici (ASU)
Seniors: Trevone Boykin (TCU), Vernon Adams Jr. (UO), Jake Rudock (UM), J.W. Walsh (OKST)
Justin Jackson ($7,000) – Northwestern vs. Tennessee
Vegas is pushing a considerable amount of points in favor of Tennessee and, as a result, the ownership of Jackson could be relatively low. Tennessee lost DT Shy Tuttle – their second-best run stopping interior defender – with a broken fibula in Week 8 and have since faced a vanilla schedule consisting of Kentucky, South Carolina, North Texas, Mizzou, and Vanderbilt. In the Week 13 matchup with Vandy, the Volunteers defense allowed the Commodores to rack-up 200-plus rushing yards.
With Tennessee’s defense yet to be tested after the loss of Tuttle, make sure you have Jackson on your list of options for the Friday slate. Jackson finished with the second-most carries in the FBS this season thanks to being fed 122 rushing attempts since Week 10 — tops in the country. Over the Wildcats last 4 games, Jackson has averaged 153.3 rushing yards, 23.3 DraftKings PPG, and has scored three of his four TDs on the season. The outcome of this game could surprise many and Northwestern’s success is reached filtering the offense through Jackson.
Saquon Barkley ($6,600) – Penn State vs. Georgia
Barkley and Penn State will also benefit from an unfortunate series of events for their opponent as LB Tim Kimbrough was suspended and LB Leonard Floyd is questionable with an unspecified injury. Should Floyd miss this game, Georgia will be without two of their top-four run stoppers, and leave Barkley with additional shine.
Barkley has already proven his ability to produce in the face of top run defenses with 194 rushing yards against Ohio State, 170 total yards and two TDs against Northwestern, and 103 rushing yards against Michigan State. Further strengthening his worth, Barkley finished with the second-highest elusive rating in the FBS, evading one tackle every 3.2 rushing attempts. That quality will aid the true freshman toward closing out a stellar season in style with a reasonable salary.
Others to consider: Alvin Kamara (UT), Jaylen Walton (OLE), Wendell Smallwood (WVU)
Seniors: C.J. Prosise (ND), Jordan Canzeri (IOWA), Jaylen Walton (OLE), Aaron Green (TCU), Keith Marshall (UGA)
Jehu Chesson ($4,700) – Michigan vs. Florida
We can take a simplistic approach and evaluate Chesson and Michigan’s chances against Florida based off of the year-to-date statistics. Although, what the numbers will fail to explain is the current state of the Gators program. Former starting-QB Will Grier announced that he will seek to transfer and CB Vernon Hargreaves, RB Kelvin Taylor, WR Demarcus Robinson, and DE Alex McCalister have made public their intentions to declare for the 2016 NFL draft.
As if that were not enough, RB Jordan Scarlett, starting RT Mason Halter, and LB Anthony Harrell were all recently suspended for the Citrus Bowl. In light of the drama surrounding Florida, the late season play of Chesson will present a reeling program with a tremendous challenge. Chesson leads the FBS in TD receptions since Week 9 that includes skillfully tracking down all four catchable 20-plus yard targets for 161 yards and taking two to the house. With QB Jake Rudock healthy and fellow-WR Amara Darboh’s fine play warranting defensive attention — keep Chesson in mind when filtering through your wideouts.
Chris Godwin ($4,500) – Penn State vs. Georgia
While the previously-mentioned absence of LB Tim Kimbrough and LB Leonard Floyd will stunt the Georgia pass rush, Godwin was in line to be an excellent play independent of their status’. Despite facing top-25 passing defenses of Temple, San Diego State, Ohio State, Northwestern, Michigan, and Michigan State this season, Godwin transcended his opponents to produce. In those games, Godwin averaged 5.8 receptions, 87.7 receiving yards, and scored three TDs in those six games.
Godwin has been at the forefront of Penn State’s attempt to push their offense vertically and he’s secured 9-of-10 catchable 20-plus yard targets for 339 yards this season. While Godwin may not produce the top stat-line on Saturday, he should be able to furnish enough to justify his salary. The Georgia offense has been stagnant this season and we are still not informed as to how the Bulldogs will respond following the dismissal of beloved former-HC Mark Richt.
Others to consider: Von Pearson (UT), Damore’ea Stringfellow (OLE), Dominique Reed (Ark)
Seniors: Von Pearson (UT), Michael Rector (STA), Chris Brown (ND), David Glidden (OKST), Amir Carlisle (ND), Devon Cajuste (STA), Tevaun Smith (IOWA), Cody Core (OLE), Christian Jones (NWS), Devin Lucien (ASU), Kolby Listenbee (TCU), D.J. Foster (ASU), Kody Cook (KSU), Malcolm Mitchell (UGA), Jordan Thompson (WVU), Gary Chambers (ASU)