In the CFB game breakdown, Russell Clay looks at and evaluates the ten most DFS-friendly matchups for the Saturday slates.
Tulsa vs Oklahoma
Line: -30.5 Oklahoma
Oklahoma is first big test of the season for Dane Evans ($7,400), Keevan Lucas ($7,600), Keyarris Garrett ($5,900) and the Tulsa offense. While this should be tougher sledding than usual, They are priced at a strong discount, so they’re all worth the risk in tournaments. I would stay away from Zach Langer ($5,600) and the running game this week, as that is the weak spot of the offense, and Oklahoma has a strong front seven. This is not the same Tulsa team that lost 52-7 last year, looking at past performance will not yield good results in this case.
With that said, Oklahoma will still win convincingly, on the back of Semaje Perine ($9,300) and Sterling Shepard($8,400). I love both of those players in all formats, and quarterback Baker Mayfield ($9,300) is a safe cash game play. The better Tulsa plays, and the longer they stay in the game, the better these players have a shot at ceiling production, so making lineups with parts of both teams is something I suggest as well.
Texas A&M vs Nevada
Line: -34 Texas A&M
Texas A&M should run away with this one by the second half, but Kyle Allen ($7,400) will do some major damage, and will exceed value at his price. With this being a two quarterback format, playing him gives you the ability to pay up at running back, a very important part of the early slate. For his passing options I like Christian Kirk ($6,000) and Josh Reynolds($5,400) to benefit from the passing production.
Jerico Richardson ($4,900) and Hassan Henderson ($4,600) are interesting tournament options at wide receiver.They performed well last week against high end competition, and are priced cheaply because of their opponent.
Duke vs Northwestern
Line: -3.5 Duke
A solid Northwestern defense isn’t scaring me off the amazing price you find Thomas Sirk ($6,600) at this week. Shutting down Stanford in California was a great showing for this Northwestern defense, but based on last week, this Stanford offense isn’t what they were perceived to be at pre-season. Sirk can win both passing and running to ball, and that will continue this week, at least to the point where he reaches value. Jhonnell Barnes ($4,700) and T.J Rahming ($3,900) are priced nicely if you’re looking to stack with Sirk.
While I like the passing game, I’m not touching Shaun Wilson ($5,000) or Shaquille Powell ($4,200) because that is Northwestern’s strength on defense, and with how Shaun Wilson has performed, it is a full blown committee. It’s too volatile to be confident in who’s scoring the fantasy points from the running back position.
Justin Jackson ($6,800) should get over 20 carries again this week, and is a nice cash game play at his price. Northwestern has built their offense around Jackson, and if they’re going to win or stay competitive in this game, the game-plan is going to revolve around him.
Memphis vs Bowling Green
Line: -3 Memphis
With the highest projected score for this Saturday’s games, I’m looking to invest highly in this group.
Both Matt Johnson ($8,700) and Paxton Lynch (8,900) are priced as the sixth and seventh quarterbacks for the early slate, which presents great value. Lynch is coming off a 26.56 DK point performance against a better defense (Kansas), and will provide the floor and ceiling to feel comfortable using him in all formats . The same goes for Johnson, Whose averaging 37.2 DK points per game through two performances.
Since both of quarterbacks will be thriving, It’s important to get a piece in the receiving game. Roger Lewis ($7,300) and Moze Frazier ($6,300) are the go-to options in their respective passing attacks, and provide the same high floor-high ceiling their counterparts do. They’re great stacking options, but provide enough stand-alone value in even if you aren’t.
Jarvis Cooper ($5,700) and Travis Green ($5,700) are also high ceiling players, and if you’re investing highly in the passing game’s, these players are essential to diversifying.
Gehrig Dieter ($3,500) and Phil Mayhue ($4,400) are cheap ways to get a part of the passing games, and should open up some value in your tournament lineups.
Temple vs Massachusetts
Line: -11 Temple
Jahad Thomas ($9,500) is priced high this week, but he provided a high floor you covet in cash games. P.J. Walker ($6,300) has been stifled against solid defenses so far this year, but things will open up against one of the weaker division one teams. Walker is a solid tournament play to open up value.
It’s going to be another tough week for Blake Frohnapfel as he faces a defense that’s coming off completely shutting down the Penn State and Cincinnati (until very late) offenses.
While the offense will be shut down, Tajae Sharpe ($6,600) has proven over the past two seasons to be matchup-proof. He averaged over 100 receiving yards per game last season for Massachusetts, and continued that last week against Colorado, going for 11 receptions and 138 receiving yards. He’s a great play in all formats, you don’t see target hogs like Sharped fall below seven thousand very often.
Indiana vs Western Kentucky
Line: -1.5 Indiana
Brad Doughty ($9,900) is expensive again this week, but with some reasonably priced passing options, I like him as a cash game play. Jared Dangerfield($5,800) is still very limited from that hamstring and while very talented, is someone to avoid. Taywan Taylor ($6,300) and Tyler Higbee ($4,900) are the receivers to target for stacking in the Western Kentucky offense.
With the unfortunate season-ending injury to Leon Allen, D’Andre Ferby ($5,300) is a great wildcard tournament play. The Western Kentucky has proven to be productive recently, and while it’s an unknown what Ferby’s workload will look like, his price makes him worth playing in tournaments.
Jordan Howard($9,100) is overpriced, I am avoiding him for this week.
I love the idea of stacking Nate Sudfeld ($8,300) and Ricky Jones($5,600) in all formats. While Jones didn’t replicate his amazing week 1 performance, he still led Indiana in receptions (5). This game will be a shootout, so if Indiana gets rolling, There should be one or two big plays for Jones.
Nebraska vs Miami
Line: -3 Miami
Joseph Yearby ($8,500) showed us last week that he’s got tournament winning potential in his 243 total yard, two touchdown performance. He’s the cheapest of the high upside running backs and is going up against a Nebraska defense that has been known the past few years to give up huge running back performances (Melvin Gordon’s 400 yard rushing day in 2014)
Brad Kaaya ($7,300) has struggled passing and running the Miami offense, I am avoiding him and his receiving options until something changes, even at his relatively cheap price.
Tommy Armstrong ($7,100) is once again a value in all formats this week, though the shine of stacking him with Jordan Westerkamp ($5,300) has worn off as the receiver’s price has risen.
Terrell Newby ($6,600) is coming off a career performance, and has solidified himself as Nebraska’s feature back. Miami’s defense is far from dominant, but expect a regression to the mean this week. Newby is a nice play if you’re playing Armstrong as well.
South Carolina vs Georgia
The fantasy scoring will be dependent on how long South Carolina can stay in the game.
Even with Nick Chubb’s ($9,900) gaudy price, he’s a great cash game play, and with an opponent who has the potential of staying with Georgia, he has a nice tournament ceiling as well.
I’m once again staying away from Grayson Lambert ($5,900) and the Georgia passing game. They are a run-based team and simply don’t have the volume to have upside, regardless of price.
Pharoh Cooper ($8,000) is the only stable option in South Carolina’s offense and will be force-fed the ball. He is game-flow agnostic and will provide a great floor in cash games.
Texas Tech vs Arkansas
Line: -12 Arkansas
Alex Collins ($8,900) is a must play this week in all formats, but especially cash games. With Keon Hatcher out for the season, Arkansas is going to lean on Collins. He by far their best player on offense, and will be able churn out great per carry totals against this weak Texas Tech defense.
As mentioned above, with Hatcher out, this makes Brandon Allen ($7,800) someone to avoid at his price.
Patrick Mahomes ($8,900) is absolutely worth his price tag, and while Texas Tech likely won’t pull off the victory, they will have plenty of offensive output either way. Pairing Mahomes with a cheap option like Devin Lauderdale ($4,800) is a recipe for success in cash games. Jakeem Grant ($7,600) is expensive, but is the clear go-to receiver in the pass game, he’s a nice cash game option as well.
Washington State vs Wyoming
Washington State is a big favorite in this game, but that won’t matter for Luke Falk ($9,900) and the passing game. In a late slate that’s lacking in high vegas point totals, This offense could do more damage in one half than most will in an entire game. 300-400 yards and 3-4 touchdowns is not only in play, but likely for Falk.
With that production considered, getting shares of Gabe Marks($7,500), River Cracaft ($7,400) and Dom Williams ($6,000) in your tournaments lineups is essential to winning the night slate.
Wyoming running back Brian Hill ($5,800) is coming off a 200 yard rushing performance, and while this is a tougher defensive test, he should be able to easily reach value at his price. He’s a solid tournament play.