In the CFB game breakdown, Russell Clay looks at and evaluates the ten most DFS-friendly matchups for the Saturday slates.
Louisville vs Houston – Saturday, 9/12
O/U: 54 Line: -13.5 Louisville
This game presents two quarterbacks to build your lineups around. Both Lamar Jackson($6,100) and Greg Ward Jr.($7,900) provide solid value at their price, and give you tons of flexibility. If I had to choose I would take Jackson as the better play because of the line and because he won’t have to face the louisville defense, but luckily in the draftkings format you can use both(if you’d like). I would highly recommend testing out lineup building for both cash games and tournaments with these two players.
With James Quick out, 6’6” 203 lb freshman Devonte Peete($3,300) really intrigues me as a cheap tournament option. He led Lousville in receiving last week with 60 yards and is going up against a much softer defense this week.
Lousville running back Brandon Ratcliffe($5,900) and Houston wide receiver Demarcus Ayers($6,000) should provide the high floor needed to feel comfortable using in cash games.
Notre Dame vs Virginia – Saturday, 9/12
O/U: 47.5 Line: -11.5 Notre Dame
Malik Zaire($7,300) is very underpriced this week, and I love him in all formats this week. Not only did he perform well fantasy-wise last week, but he looked good doing so. He also scored 29.1 DK points last week with only 16 rushing yards, which is normally a strength of his.
With Taraen Folston out for the season, a lot of the rushing responsibilities will fall on C.J. Prosise($5,200), who I love, like Zaire, in all formats this week. When you find a player in that range of pricing that has a chance at feature carries, you have to take it.
Virginia running back Taquan Mizzell($5,800) is an interesting tournament play, as he’ll be facing a really tough defense, and will be low owned. Mizzell made his money last week in the passing game, going over 100 receiving yards. If he can catch a few dump offs and get 12-16 carries, he’s a solid bet to hit value.
Washington State vs Rutgers – Saturday, 9/12
O/U: 63 Line: -3.5 Rutgers
I’m throwing all the stats that were accumulated by these two teams out the window, as they aren’t indicative of who they are as teams. Rutgers sat most of their starters for the first half of a game against an inferior opponent, so there’s no starting point on how to evaluate usage. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Washington state got upset by an inferior opponent. It was a funky game and while I’m staying away from Luke Falk($9,300) at his price, I’m not shying away from the rest of the bunch.
Leonte Carroo($6,700) is the go-to player in the Rutgers offense, a great play in all formats. He has the boom potential to win you a GPP. River Cracraft($6,900), Dom Williams($5,000) and Gabe Marks($6,400) all come at a nice discount because of last week’s debacle. With an Over/Under of 63, I like one, if not two of those players to exceed their price this week.
Ohio State vs Hawaii – Saturday, 9/12
O/U: 65 Line: -41 Ohio State
This will be a first half sweat game for owners of Ohio State players, but I as they showed last week, they can put up points quickly and efficiently.
I won’t be touching Cardale Jones($(9,200), because he would most likely need more than one dominant half to reach value on his high price tag. I’m attacking this game through Braxton Miller($6,300) and Michael Thomas($5,200). They’re surprisingly cheap after their nice performances on the national stage last week. All they need is one or two big plays and you’ve reached value on their price. If I had to pick, I’d suggest Miller as the cash game play and Thomas as the tournament play.
Ezekiel Elliott($9,500) is super expensive, but I’m not afraid to use him in cash games. While he may not get a ton of carries in blowout games, his fantasy points per rush is off the charts.
Georgia vs Vanderbilt – Saturday, 9/12
O/U: 50.5 Line: -21 Georgia
This game will be defined by how long Vanderbilt can stick around. If they can keep the Georgia starters in for four quarters, we may be looking at a career day for Nick Chubb($9,800). Much like Ezekiel Elliott, Chubb isn’t defined by how many rushes he gets, but if he does find some volume, look out. He’s a great play in all formats this week if you can fit him in(I suggest making it work).
Malcolm Mitchell($4,700) is an interesting tournament play considering price. Georgia is defined by their running game, but if they’re going to score on a deep pass or two, Mitchell is the most likely recipient.
Tulsa vs New Mexico – Saturday, 9/12
O/U: 75 Line: -4 Tulsa
DING DING DING. We have a winner for the game you should target in the late slate. An outrageous Over/Under, a close line, and a Tulsa team that provided fireworks in week one. This is the perfect combination of things that should make your mouth water as a DFS player.
Dane Evans($7,800) and Keyarris Garrett($6,000) are the closest thing to a locks that you can find with price considered. Keevan Lucas($8,900) is getting up there in price, but still absolutely worth it considering the factors I mentioned previously. These are players to build your lineups around.
Zach Langer($6,600) provided some frustrating for people who stacked the Tulsa passing game last week, scoring three touchdowns, including the game clincher in overtime. While Langer isn’t the explosive player you’d like to see, He’s a piece of a dynamic offense that is projected to score in the mid-high thirties. I love him as a cash game play, and he’s a really nice hedge in tournaments if you highly invested in the Tulsa passing attack.
Tulsa is only a four point favorite, so vegas expects New Mexico to be scoring in bunches as well. Jhurrell Pressley($5,100) heads the list of players I like on their team. Pressley is a player that relies on quality, not quantity. In 2014, Pressley broke the 1,000 yard marker on only 114 carries. How did he do that? He averaged 9.5 yards per carry. At his price I love him in all formats, he only needs 10 to 15 touches to make a big presence.
Lamar Jordan($5,300) and Dameon Gamblin($3,400) are intriguing tournament plays because of the line and over/under. If you want to fit some of the more expensive players into lineups, I would look here. You want any part of this game that you can get.
Temple vs Cincinnati – Saturday, 9/12
O/U: 54 Line: -6.5 Cincinnati
The Cincinnati passing game is calling my name this week. I love Gunner Kiel($7,800) at his price, he’s a great cash game play. All of his receiving weapons are solidly priced, but Chris Moore($4,300) and Mekale Mckay($4,700) stand out as awesome tournament plays.
I’m not touching Hosey Williams($4,800), Mike Boone($4,600) or Tion Green($4,700) until Cincinnati shows its cards on how they’re going to split up touches.
Jahad Thomas($7,800) is the only player I’m looking seriously at for temple, and even he feels expensive. Not out of the question as a cash game play.
Oregon vs Michigan State – Saturday, 9/12
O/U: 65 Line: -4 Michigan State
This is an intriguing Over/Under, as it leaves you questioning where all the scoring from Michigan State’s end is going to come.
Madre London($6,900) is a nice play in both cash and tournaments. If you’re not confident in Connor Cook($8,200)’s fantasy scoring ability, banking the running game is the way to go.
While I’m not comfortable with Cook, Josiah Price($4,400) and MacGarrett Kings Jr.($3,700) are really nice values, and are solid bets to hit value in both cash and tournaments.
Royce Freeman($9,700) is super expensive against a relatively strong defense. Don’t avoid him, but if you can’t fit him in for cash games, It’s alright. Vernon Adams($8,600) feels overpriced as well, mostly because of better, cheaper options.
Charles Nelson($3,000) is back at receiver for Oregon, and is setting up to be a perfect fit in tournament lineups. At minimum price, all he needs is one big play to hit value. Byron Marshall($6,300) has distinguished himself as the lead receiver, I like him as a cash game play.
LSU vs Mississippi State – Saturday, 9/12
O/U: 50 Line: -4 LSU
Leonard Fournette($8,800) is chomping at the bit after last week’s opening game got cancelled. Fournette is solid in all formats, and has a realistic chance to end the late slate as the best running back.
Hard to trust the LSU passing game, but It wouldn’t be crazy to throw Malachi Dupre($3,800) or Travin Dural($4,600) in a tournament lineup or two.
De’Runnya Wilson($5,100) is an underpriced, good play in all formats. Dak Prescott($9,300) is a different story. I am hands off this week against what should be a much improved LSU defense
Indiana vs Florida International
O/U: 56 Line: -7.5 Indiana
It may have only been southern Illinois, but Indiana is very happy to have Nate Sudfeld($7,400) back in the fold. He’s an interesting tournament play this week. If Sudfeld is in a lineup, He should be accompanied by Ricky Jones($5,100). Jones emerged as the top receiving option on Indiana last week, providing multiple big time plays, suggesting that his production wasn’t a fluke. Either way, at his price, it’s worth finding out.
Jordan Howard($7,600) was dominant last week, and is still priced reasonably. He’s a really nice play in any lineup you don’t feel comfortable paying up for Royce Freeman or Leonard Fournette.
Alex Gardner($5,400) was impressive in both the running and passing game last week. At his price, and going up against a mediocre Indiana defense, he’s a nice tournament play that will likely be low owned.