In the CFB game breakdown, Russell Clay looks at and evaluates the ten most DFS-friendly matchups for the Saturday slate.
Houston vs Tulsa
Line: +7 Tulsa
WIth Greg Ward ($8,900) and Dane Evans ($7,900) as the two maestros, I don’t need to tell you this game is going to be exciting. While you have the pick of the litter in terms of QB play in this early slate, Evans, provides a great floor for cash games. Keevan Lucas ($6,900), Keyarris Garrett ($6,400) and newly emerged Joshua Atkinson($4,400) are all great stacking options, and even fit well into lineups without Evans.
In a non-deflated pricing week, I would be avoiding Demarcus Ayers ($6,200), but his very reasonable price makes him a high ceiling play. I like him as a tournament play, even if you aren’t using Ward.
Zack Langer ($6,100) might be under-owned with all the big names in this slate, but he has real potential to have his best game of the season Saturday. Langer has had 25 or more touches in every game this year, and is coming off a 161 rushing yard performance against a much tougher defense.
Texas Tech vs Baylor
Line: -17 Baylor
The type of line you dream about, and I feel confident about taking the over. Patrick Mahomes ($8,500) and Seth Russell ($9,300) are potential slate winners in all formats, and are great stacking options with their top receiving options, Corey Coleman ($7,900) and Jakeem Grant ($7,100).
The Baylor offense is a little more complex. KD Cannon ($6,000) and Jay Lee($5,500) have already shown the ability to go off for 20 or more DK point games, so they’re very important in tournaments for hedging purposes.
Devin Lauderdale ($4,800) is a nice tournament play for his price, but I’d caution against using him too much, as he was shut out in week three and only has only had more than three catches once so far.
I’m ok with DeAndre Washington’s ($5,500) price, but be aware his 51.9 DK point performance is not happening again. He had 47.8 points total in the previous three weeks. He’s a role player in a pass dominant offense. Justin Stockton($3,400) has also been a successful vulturing rushing touchdowns, so tread lightly.
West Virginia vs Oklahoma
Line: -6.5 Oklahoma
West Virginia’s offense was the all-value play last week, and even after satisfying fantasy owners, all of their salaries stayed (essentially) the same. I really like Skylar Howard ($6,500) again, especially if you team him up with one of the higher priced QBs. Any doubts about Shelton Gibson ($4,600) being the main target in the passing game were put to bed last week, he’s a great value at his price, and fits into any lineup, even if you don’t have Howard in the lineup.
I like Baker Mayfield ($8,300) as a player, as well as Sterling Shepard ($6,900), but I have a hard time seeing them keeping up with the players in the previous two games I mentioned. It’s ok to use them in tournaments as a contrarian play, but you’re probably better off investing in a different QB/WR combination.
Joe Mixon ($4,200) has really thrown a corkscrew into Semaje Perine’s ($7,800) feature back workload this year. I don’t feel comfortable, even at a slightly reduced price, paying for Perine’s, to this date, limited ceiling.
Wendell Smallwood ($4,900) serves as a great cheap option at RB in lineups where you go heavy with QB/WR combinations.
Louisville vs North Carolina State
Line: -4.5 North Carolina State
This game is normally a fade altogether, but with the dismissal of Shadrach Thornton, Matthew Dayes ($5,300) and Jaylen Samuels ($4,400) are superb values at their prices.
Dayes has ran for 100 yards in every game this season, and has nine rushing touchdowns. Even if it was against inferior competition, it’s clear he’s the feature option in the offense. rarely do you find a player that will receive that type of volume under $6,000.
Iowa vs Wisconsin
Line: -6.5 Wisconsin
Jordan Canzeri ($6,300) has gotten over 20 DK points in all four of his games this year, and depending on the game plan, has been involved in the passing game. He’s a solid cash game play
I won’t be touching Taiwan Deal ($5,800) or Dare Ogunbowale ($5,000) this week. They face a really stout Iowa defense, and already have a semi-capped ceiling because they’re splitting carries. In a different slate they’d be more intriguing, but they simply don’t have the upside to help you compete this Saturday.
Alabama vs Georgia
Line: -2.5 Georgia
I picked this game because it’s high profile and has a lot of recognizable names. Other than Nick Chubb ($8,600) in a few tournament lineups, I would suggest completely punting this game. The name value and pricing doesn’t match the upside for fantasy purposes. Again, different slate and you could potentially talk me into some of these players, but not this week.
Arizona State vs UCLA
Line: -14 UCLA
Paul Perkins($7,700) is someone I love at his price. With the recent struggles of freshman QB Josh Rosen ($7,200), Perkins has taken the offense on his shoulders. In his last three games, he’s scored over 29 DK points in all of them. Arizona State’s defense is another reason to like Perkins. In the two games against ranked opponents, they’ve given up an average of 40 points per game.
I still don’t trust Josh Rosen, as his ceiling is capped by Perkins and the run game, but receiver Jordan Payton ($5,600) is a very strong tournament play with price considered.
Demario Richard ($7,500) is intriguing – I like the idea of playing him in tournaments. UCLA is perceived as an elite defense, but they’ve give up 100 or more rushing yards in two straight games.
Mississippi State vs Texas A&M
Line: -6.5 Texas A&M
Kyle Allen ($7,500) once again presents nice value for all formats at his price. Until they raise the pricing on him, you should continue to use him every week. The same goes for Christian Kirk ($6,200), who has either gotten 100 yards or a touchdown in every game. The rest of the team is a complete toss up, I wouldn’t trust any of the RBs or WRs beyond Kirk.
I like Dak Prescott ($7,900) as a tournament play. He’s been off to a slow start, but based on last season, there’s definitely some major upside to his game. Hands off on everyone else, though. De’Runnya Wilson ($4,600) in a tournament, but his production (lack of) worries me more than Dak’s.
Notre Dame vs Clemson
Line: -1.5 Clemson
Deshone Kizer ($5,700) is a very intriguing punt option at quarterback. He probably doesn’t have the upside against this Clemson team that you normally look for – but he has the always electric William Fuller ($6,900) – that can do the work for him after the catch. Fuller is extremely cheap this week, feel comfortable putting him into any lineup, in any format.
Another advantage for Kizer is that Clemson will also be much more focused on stopping the C.J. Prosise ($7,300) and the run game. Prosise is on a three game streak of averaging over nine yards per carry, and while that will likely come to an end, I still believe he’ll be effective and find a way to reach his value. He already had 198 rushing yards against a really strong Goergia Tech defense, so again, he’s showing to be matchup agnostic. Fitting Prosise into lineups is a great way to get a high upside player at a relatively cheap price.
DeShaun Watson ($8,400) and Artavis Scott ($6,600) are a nice cash game combination, but I would proceed with caution as the Notre Dame defense is really strong.
Arizona vs Stanford
Line: -14 Stanford
The chaos of Arizona potentially missing QB Anu Solomon ($7,300) for this week has been swirling, and for good reason. The offense will likely look a lot different with him out of the lineup, and not in a good way. However, Nick Wilson ($6,800) is a talented enough player to reach value at his very cheap price. Despite three straight games over 130 rushing yards or more,Wilson’s price tag has dropped three straight times. He is a feature back in a high powered offense. Even if Solomon misses the game, Arizona has the talent to figure something out centering their offense around Wilson.
Christian McCaffrey ($7,100) is a nice cash game play. his role and skill level essentially guarantee him 20 DK points.