In the CFB game breakdown, Russell Clay looks at and evaluates the ten most DFS-friendly matchups for the Saturday slates.
TCU vs Texas Tech
Line: Texas Tech +6.5
With the highest projected point total of the week, this game should be action packed and decide a ton of Draftkings matchups.
Trevone Boykin ($10,300) and Patrick Mahomes ($8,900) are extremely appealing in cash games, as they should both work off each other and consistently score quickly throughout the game. Normally I have a tough time paying up for players over 10K, but Boykin is primed to lead all positions in DK points. He’s coming off a 51 DK point performance last week, and faces a similarly weak Texas Tech defense this week. Mahomes is averaging 39 DK points per game (PPG) and has thrown four plus touchdowns in two of his first three games.
DeAndre Washington ($4,700) is a nice tournament play, and a cheap hedge on Mahomes. He’s averaging 14 touches per game this year and is averaging a tremendous eight yards per carry. Considering how high paced this game is going to be, one or two big plays is likely.
Devin Lauderdale ($4,700) got shut down last week, but that isn’t indicative of how most weeks will go for him. He’s an excellent tournament play, with a huge ceiling. He’s already posted a 150 yards, two touchdown performance this year, and with last week being a clunker, he will be low owned.
Josh Doctson ($7,500) is reasonably priced this week, and is the only top TCU receiver that’s healthy. He posted 171 receiving yards and two touchdowns against SMU last week, You can expect more of the same against Texas Tech.
Bowling Green vs Purdue
Line: Purdue +4.5
The Bowling Green passing game has been rolling, Matt Johnson($9,400) and Roger Lewis ($7,700) are the players responsible for most of that success. They are an expensive combo to roster this week, much like Boykin/Doctson, but in order to stay competitive this week, you need to pay up at quarterback. The Johnson/Lewis combination scored 100 points on their own last week. While matching that seems unlikely, that huge ceiling is there.
D.J. Knox ($5,100) is Purdue’s main weapon on offense, and against a weak Bowling Green defense, I love him at his price in all formats. This is going to be a high scoring game, and if Purdue plans to stay in it, using Knox all over the field will be essential. He’s already had a game with 28 touches this year, so the role is in place.
Oklahoma State vs Texas
Line: Texas +3
Jerrod Heard ($7,400) carried the Texas offense last week, rushing for 163 yards and three touchdowns, cementing himself as a high floor player for future weeks with his ability to run the ball. Win or lose, Heard is going to find a way to score DK points, which makes him a great value at his price this week. If you decide you’re not going to pay up at the quarterback position this week, Heard is the high-floor type of player you need to compete.
Daje Johnson ($4,400) has emerged as Heard’s favorite option. Johnson caught five catches for 145 receiving yards last week against Cal. Although he didn’t find the endzone, with that type of volume and efficiency, the touchdowns will come. At his current price, he’s worth it either way, in both cash and tournaments.
Chris Carson ($5,400) is a nice cash game play against a weak Texas run defense. Carson has 15 or more rushes in every game so far this season, so his floor against weaker defenses is high.
West Virginia vs Maryland
Line: West Virginia -17
West Virginia is this week’s all-value team.
Quarterback Skyler Howard ($6,800), Running Back Wendell Smallwood($4,900) and Wide Receivers Shelton Gibson ($4,400) and Jovon Durante ($4,200) are all play-of-the-week candidates and players that should be building blocks of your lineups. They not only open up tons of value at other spots, but they have stand-alone value themselves. Dakiel Shorts ($3,600) is a solid tournament play as well.
LSU vs Syracuse
Line: Syracuse +24
Normally I wouldn’t promote a game with such a small O/U, but Leonard Fournette ($9,700) is going to be really important this weekend. Fournette has averaged 41.3 DK points per game this season, and has gone over 150 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns each of the last two weeks. Much like Melvin Gordon and Tevin Coleman last year, Fournette is matchup-proof.
Syracuse has given up less than 50 rushing yards per game this year, but they haven’t gone against anyone with the skill level of Fournette. Price and matchup with scare some off him this weekend, don’t be one of those people.
The LSU passing game has been non-existent this year, so I’m not touching Travin Dural ($4,400) or Malachi Dupre ($3,700) until I see something promising.
Indiana vs Wake Forest
Line: Wake Forest +3
Ricky Jones ($5,100) is once again undervalued. The rising star in the Indiana passing game now has five plus receptions in all three of Indiana’s games, and has over 120 receiving yards in two of those three. With Jordan Howard ($8,400) taking most of the defensive attention, Nate Sudfeld ($7,400) will once again have open passing lanes.
All three are great cash game plays, I would fade Howard in tournaments as I feel you should be spending resources at different positions(or Leonard Fournette).
Texas A&M vs Arkansas
Line: Arkansas +8
Kyle Allen ($7,700) showed off his immense potential last week, scoring 37.3 DK points in a blowout win against Nevada. It appears the training wheels are coming off and They’re going to give Allen a shot to finally be pass-first. He doesn’t have the upside (yet) of the top overall fantasy quarterbacks yet, but with the early slate claiming most of the top QBs, he’s a great late slate play in all formats.
Christian Kirk ($6,000) has been the main recipient of Allen coming into his own. He already has two 100 receiving yard games this year, and is on pace for over 1,000. I like him in whatever lineup you’re playing Allen, but would probably stick to cash games.
A reeling Arkansas football team has stifled Alex Collins ($8,500) upside, as they’ve been losing or playing from behind quite a bit to start the season. It also doesn’t help that Brandon Allen ($7,100) has shown to be very competent as a passer. I’m not touching any Arkansas players this week, Keon Hatcher was the best upside option, but he’s unfortunately out for the season.
UCLA vs Arizona
Line: Arizona +3
If there’s a running back to pay up for in the late slate, it’s Paul Perkins. He’s scored 30 or more DK points in two straight games, receiving at least 20 touches in both games. With Josh Rosen ($7,600) coming back down to earth after a nice first game, all signs point to Perkins being the featured player in the offense, and the key to the offense being successful.
Nick Wilson ($7,500) is a lot cheaper and has similar upside, I love Wilson as a tournament play. Wilson has 337 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns in the last two games, finding his groove after a first game struggle.
I would be more worried about the UCLA defense had they not just lose their best player, Myles Jack, for the season. They’re still a good defense, but that definitely takes some of the shine off. Anu Solomon ($8,400) is an intriguing as a cash game play, he has a high floor in this game. He’s not someone I’m touching in tournaments, however.
Utah vs Oregon
Line: Oregon -12.5
Vernon Adams ($9,000) doesn’t present the upside his price would lead you to believe. He hasn’t scored over 30 DK points yes this year and is the most expensive quarterback in the late slate.
If there’s someone I’m playing on Oregon, it’s Royce Freeman ($8,700). He threw up a clunker last weekend, so with his high price, he’s likely to be low owned. The key is that he performed well last week, he simply didn’t get the touches in the blowout victory. I like him as a high-upside tournament play, if you can find a way to fit him in.
The return of Charles Nelson ($4,600) has severely limited the upside of all Oregon wide receivers. That is officially a position to avoid until a pecking order gets figured out.
Devontae Booker’s ($8,800) is a solid player, but not someone I trust against a hyper athletic defense like Oregon. He may end up salvaging his fantasy day in the receiving game, but if his 3.6 yards per carry he had last year against Oregon is foreshadowing for Saturday, there’s serious potential for a big let down, at least fantasy-wise.
USC vs Arizona State
Line: Arizona State +5.5
Juju Smith-Schuster ($7,500) is my favorite wide receiver play for all of Saturday.
Much like the last two weeks, you should be trying to get him in as many lineups as possible, even if you don’t team him up with Cody Kessler ($8,700). Smith-Schuster has at least 80 yards and a touchdown in all three games to start the season, and has gone over 150 yards in the last two. His production has been done in dominant fashion, averaging 19.7 yards per reception. There’s no reason to expect this to drop off, Smith-Schuster is a great play in all formats.
I don’t trust the USC running game, there are too many moving pieces. This isn’t for lack of talent, but there’s not enough production and touches to go around to feel safe playing them.
Demario Richard’s ($8,000) 47.5 DK performance will be one of the highest point totals for a running back all season, a fantastic showing. However, there is some context needed. 19.3 of Richard’s 47.5 points came on one play, a 93 yard reception in the fourth quarter where a tired and weak from the start New Mexico defense had a busted coverage and Richard waltzed into the endzone untouched. It was a nice play, but isn’t something that would happen against a stronger team. Richard will have more awesome weeks, but I’m staying away against a (relatively) strong USC defense.