In the CFB Game Breakdown, Russell Clay looks at and evaluates the ten most DFS-friendly matchup for the Saturday slates.
Clemson vs Miami
Line: -7.5 Clemson
Miami has been up and down all season, but they get a great opportunity this weekend to prove themselves. If they’re going to breakdown this tough Clemson defense, they’re going to need Joseph Yearby ($6,200) to have one of his best games of the season. He’s their best player on offense, and while they limit his touches normally, if they’re staying close in the second half, they will keep their best player out there. Yearby is a tournament play, I would not trust in cash games.
Brad Kaaya ($5,800) had a great game against Florida State a few weeks ago, totaling 29.6 DK points. Unfortunately though, last week he was back to his usual erratic self scoring only 18.9 DK points against a much weaker defense. There’s no rhyme or reason to when Kaaya’s fantasy points will come, but four of his six games this year have been under 19 DK points. Once again, staying away.
Stacy Coley ($3,900) presents a nice value for the receiving game. Over the last two games, Coley has 202 receiving yards and a touchdown. Even with the randomness of the passing game, Coley doesn’t need a ton of points to reach value, so he’s a relatively safe play. I like the upside as well, so he fits great as a lineup facilitator in all formats.
DeShaun Watson ($8,000) has been, and continues to be overpriced for his ceiling and floor as a college fantasy football asset. He has one game over 26 DK points this year, and his price point is around players averaging over 30 per game. If I’m paying up in that range, I’d rather just bump up another $300 and get Patrick Mahomes, a player who has only had one game below 29 DK points. Artavis Scott ($6,200) is a nice tournament play, but I’m not comfortable with his floor at his price for cash games.
Wayne Gallman ($5,800) is a nice play at his price. His ceiling what you’d like, but his offense, matchup and role on the team creates a nice floor for this week. I like him in cash games.
Iowa State vs Baylor
Line: -37 Baylor
Once again, this is a week to stack Seth Russell ($9,400) and Corey Coleman ($8,600), especially in cash games. They’ve combined for over 80 DK points in all but one game this year. While it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to fit them in each at their prices, it’s still plausible for now.
Shock Linwood ($6,800) is a nice tournament play, and a really nice hedge off of the stack I mentioned above. Before last week, Linwood had four straight weeks of 24.8 DK point performances or more, including two games with 34 or more. Expect that to start up again this week.
Jay Lee ($5,800) is also a nice secondary option to hedge off of Corey Coleman. KD Cannon ($5,300) is a fine player, but I’m not touching him in any format until I see a game of big production.
Mike Warren ($5,900) has a tough matchup this week, but I like the talent he’s shown, and he’s gotten over 20 touches in all of the last four games. That type of volume is worth the gamble at that price. He’s a nice fit in any lineup you need a cheaper running back option.
Toledo vs Massachusetts
Line: -14.5 Toledo
What the line doesn’t tell you about these two teams, are that they played a high scoring game with Umass on the road in 2014. In fact, the teams combined for 77 points, and Umass was in it until the very end, losing in the last 30 seconds to a Terry Swanson touchdown run.
The point here is, Umass returned all of their best players (at least offensively) and are at home this time. Blake Frohnapfel ($5,900) had his best game of the season against Toldeo last year, throwing for 438 yards and five touchdowns. I really like paying up at quarterback this week, but if you aren’t there’s some major tournament upside here.
Tajae Sharpe ($7,200) makes a nice contrarian play, as most people won’t be on him with the perceived tough matchup. He’s an avoid in cash games, but he’s a talented player who’s arguably matchup-proof. Rodney Mills ($3,400) is super cheap and has had above 96 receiving yards in all of the last three games. He presents a great value in all formats, not only as an individual play, but as salary cap relief (AKA, when stacking Russell/Coleman).
Texas Tech vs Oklahoma
Line: -13.5 Oklahoma
Patrick Mahomes ($8,300) is a really nice value this week, at least compared to his higher-priced contemporaries. I’m giving him a mulligan for last week, it was a fluky game, where the points simply didn’t fall the right way. He scored over 29 DK points in all of his other games this year, and has already gone over 39 points four times. He’s a fantastic cash game play, and also fits well in tournament lineups. I feel very similar about Baker Mayfield($8,700) he had a fluky game against Texas that I’m throwing out the window. He’s fairly priced, and a nice fit in all formats.
DeAndre Washington ($6,000) is actually a nice stacking option with Mahomes in cash games. He’s proven to have stand-alone value, and is a nice hedge.The Oklahoma running game is dead to me until further notice. Samaje Perine ($5,400) and Joe Mixon ($4,800) are eating off too tiny of a plate, and their prices simply don’t make sense at this time.
Jakeem Grant ($6,700) and Sterling Shepard ($6,700) are both great stacking options this week and are very fairly priced. Grant has had a more consistent year so far, but Shepard still had the ceiling he presented a year ago, where he had three games of 170 receiving yards or more and a touchdown.
Auburn vs Arkansas
Line: -6.5 Ark
Alex Collins ($7,500) has a nice matchup this week, and finally at a price I feel comfortable with. His floor for touches and potential for touchdowns and goal-line carries makes him a great value for cash games. Peyton Barber ($6,500) is a much cheaper option and arguably has a higher ceiling. He’s had over 100 rushing yards in all but one game this year. He’s had over 23 carries in all but one game this year.
Drew Morgan ($4,600) has filled in admirably for Keon Hatcher, and is the cheapest way to roster a top target in an offense. in the previous two games before playing Alabama, Morgan combined for 13 receptions, 265 yards and a touchdown. Most importantly, 52.4 DK points. I expect him to get back to his big-play making self this week. feel safe plugging him into any lineup that you can make the space.
Bowling Green vs Kent State
Line: -14 BGSU
Matt Johnson ($8,900) and Roger Lewis ($8,000) are the only stacking option that’s been able to keep up with the Baylor duo in any capacity this year. They’ve combined for over 70 DK points five times this year, and if you’re looking to make a high-end stack, this saves you $1,1000 over the Russell/Coleman stack.
Travis Greene ($6,400) is too expensive for my taste, and there’s players at his price point who you can find much more consistency with. He’s only had two games with over 15 DK points this year.
I’ve finally been priced out on the Bowling Green secondary receiving options. Gehrig Dieter ($4,900) was much more appealing when his price was in the mid-$3,000s.
LSU vs Western Kentucky
Line: -16 LSU
If Western Kentucky can stay in this game through the second half, There’s a chance Leonard Fournette ($9,800) could have his best game of the season. Rarely do I feel comfortable penciling a player in for 40 DK points, but that is more likely than not.
I’m mostly staying away from Brandon Doughty ($8,600) and the Western Kentucky Passing game this week. They’re still priced relatively high, and there’s better options at all of their price points. Taywan Taylor is worth throwing into a tournament lineup or two, as he’s proven to be a talented enough player to be able to score regardless of the matchup. The rest of the offense won’t fare well against this hyper-athletic LSU defense.
Anthony Wales ($5,400) is an interesting tournament play because of role and previous production, but, LSU is a much different animal than North Texas and Middle Tennessee State.
Malachi Dupre ($4,100) and Travin Dural ($4,000) are nice tournament plays. I would lean Dupre, as he’s the more complete player, but both have similar upside in catching a deep ball or two. That’s all they’d need to hit value in a tournament.
Texas A&M vs Ole Miss
Line: -5 Miss
Kyle Allen ($6,600) had a tough time last week against Alabama, but based on the three prior games, that’s not a true representative of who he is. I expect him to get back to the 25-30 DK point a game average he had previously this week. Him and Christian Kirk ($6,400) are a very undervalued stacking option, and could provide 60-70 points on their own. They’re great options in both cash and tournaments.
Laquon Treadwell (6,100) has finally taken the reigns of the Ole Miss offense. He’s gone over 130 receiving yards in three of his last four games. His price is still very reasonable, and he sets up great as a nice stand-alone value.
Chad Kelly has nice seasonal averages, but has begun to struggle more and more as the season goes on. I’m ok with using him in tournaments, but at this point, he shouldn’t be in your cash game lineups.
Utah vs USC
Line: -3.5 USC
Devontae Booker ($8,400) is a great cash game option, and provides consistency both in play and touches. Considering all the really high-end quarterback options are in the early slate, I really like the idea of paying up for two running backs in this late slate.
I’m not touching Cody Kessler ($7,300), but Juju Smith-Schuster ($6,600) is a great value at his price. Yes, it’s a tough matchup. But that won’t stop a player who I consider the best receiver prospect in the nation. USC has a projected team total of 31, so the production is going to come from somewhere.
Ronald Jones ($3,700) is an intriguing tournament play. With Tre Madden banged up, Jones may finally get a shot at more carries. He’s already proven to be an extremely explosive option for them, so especially if they’re losing, they may look to him to re-set the tone.
Ohio State vs Rutgers
Line: -21.5 Ohio State
J.T. Barrett ($8,300) is finally back in the driver’s seat of the Ohio State offense, and he’s a great play in all formats. He not only has a great matchup to show off his skills, but all we have to do is look back to 2014 to see and realize his immense potential as a fantasy asset. If you’re going to stack, I would suggest doing that with Ezekiel Elliott ($8,100), rather than a receiver. Barrett is a running quarterback who’s scored five rushing touchdowns over the last two weeks. A majority of their touchdowns will come on the ground, and especially this week, where they will be salting away a lead in the third and fourth quarter. Both are great stand-alone plays, as well.
Leonte Carroo ($6,900) is a game-time decision, so even if you liked him as a play before you knew that, I’d say it’s important to tread lightly. Ohio State has been far from a dominant defense this year, but other than Carroo, they don’t have much for playmakers. If Ohio State decides to focus solely on him, it could be a long day for everyone on the scarlet Knights.
Robert Martin ($4,100) is a nice tournament play, he’s coming off a huge 33.4 DK point performance last week. Like I mentioned earlier, Ohio State has allowed more fantasy scoring than generally perceived.