It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Bowl season is upon us so let’s win some serious cash in CFB DraftKings to spend on New Year’s Eve. Here are some players you should consider drafting.
Deshaun Watson vs Oklahoma – ($8,600) – Oh what time to be a Tiger. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson has produced the most decorated season in school history, making it all the way to the Heisman finale. Watson has been the glue that’s kept the Tigers together, finishing the regular season with 4,399 total yards and 41 total touchdowns. Watson has topped 100 rushing yards or more in four of his last five games, and has four or more touchdowns in four of his last six contests. There’s no doubt this trend will continue in the college football playoff semi-final against Oklahoma.
Chad Kelly vs Oklahoma State – ($7,000) – This should be considered a must-start in the quarterback slot. Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly has the sixth-highest salary at the position but is the second-most productive quarterback available. In seven of 12 games this season, Kelly has scored at least three touchdowns and leads the team in rushing touchdowns. Kelly will continue to be the focal point of this Rebels’ offense and Ole Miss has a favorable matchup against a mediocre Oklahoma State defense that allows 244 passing yards, 185 rushing yards and 29 points per game.
Kevin Hogan vs Iowa – ($6,100) – There aren’t a ton of great value plays at quarterback in this slate so you may want to pony up for one of the top-tier guys. If you splurge elsewhere, however, Stanford QB Kevin Hogan is a consistent option. The senior heads into the Rose Bowl having combined for 509 passing yards, 38 rushing yards, eight total touchdowns and no interceptions in his last three games. Hogan has really come on strong in the last stretch of the season, averaging 24 fantasy points in his last six contests. Although Iowa’s defense is definitely no slouch, fantasy users should expect solid production from one of the Pac-12’s most efficient quarterbacks.
Derrick Henry vs Michigan State – ($8,600) – It’s hard to ignore the most decorated player of the 2015 college football season. Alabama RB Derrick Henry leads the FBS with 339 carries and 1,986 rushing yards. In his 10 games against Power Five teams, Henry is averaging 29.9 carries for 183.9 yards and 1.7 touchdowns per game. Alabama will continue to run the offense through Derrick Henry which bodes very well for his fantasy numbers. Given that he accounts for over half of the team’s offensive touchdowns, Henry is a wise investment.
Ezekiel Elliot vs Notre Dame – ($8,000) – I think this is the best matchup for any of the top-tier running backs in this slate. There’s no denying Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliot’s talent. The biggest question is how the Buckeyes plan to use the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. Besides one game against a stingy Michigan State defense, Elliot has absolutely destroyed opposing defenses. He’s averaging 139 rushing yards per game and has 19 total touchdowns on the year. Notre Dame’s run defense has been their biggest flaw, giving up over 160 rushing yards per game. Look for Urban Meyer to run the offense through Elliot all game long.
Wayne Gallman vs Oklahoma – ($5,500) – Clemson RB Wayne Gallman is arguably one of the most underrated players in college football. In ten games against Power Five opponents, Gallman is averaging 21.3 carries for 131.1 scrimmage yards and 0.8 all-purpose touchdowns per contest. He’s rushed for over 100 yards in seven of those 10 games, and scored touchdowns in seven of the 10 games as well. Despite the running capabilities of QB Deshaun Watson, Gallman is still the best safety valve the Tigers have. Oklahoma is decent against the run, but the Sooners give up nearly 150 rushing yards per game. There’s no question that Gallman will get plenty of touches.
Jordan Canzeri vs Stanford – ($5,600) – Although his ankle injury is somewhat a concern, Iowa RB Jordan Canzeri is good to go for the Rose Bowl. Besides two injury-riddled games this season, Canzeri has been unstoppable coming out of the backfield. In the nine games he received a full load of carries, Canzeri was averaging 24.66 fantasy points per game. Stanford actually gives up a decent amount of yardage on the ground so expect the 5-9 senior to produce at an effective rate.
Laquon Treadwell vs Oklahoma State – ($6,600) – Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell is the odds on favorite to become the first wide receiver off the board in this year’s NFL draft. After returning from a gruesome leg injury, Treadwell has absolutely flourished this season. Before last game against Michigan State, Treadwell had scored a touchdown in six straight games and is averaging 26.27 fantasy points over his last seven contests. I absolutely love pairing Treadwell with his QB Chad Kelly against this porous Oklahoma State pass defense.
James Washington vs Ole Miss – ($6,500) – Oklahoma State WR James Washington is one of the most explosive players in the country. The 6-0 sophomore put his name on the map in the latter half of the season, averaging 29.4 fantasy points in his last six games. In the Cowboys nine games against Power Five teams, Washington averaged 4.9 receptions for 107.1 yards and 1.1 touchdowns per game. He surpassed 80 receiving yards in six of the nine games, and had at least one touchdown in six of nine. I love his upside against Ole Miss in what should be a shootout in the Sugar Bowl.
Artavis Scott vs Oklahoma – ($5,800) – Clemson WR Artavis Scott is by far the most targeted receiver the Tigers have. Scott finished the season with 84 receptions for 805 yards and five touchdowns. Although those numbers aren’t gaudy, Scott has the speed to get behind any defense. Look for QB Deshaun Watson to look for Scott on bubble screens and over the top. He should get plenty of looks to make some noise in the Orange Bowl.
Other recommendations: Sterling Shepard ($6,800)
Calvin Ridley vs Michigan State – ($5,500) – Ever since the injury to fellow receiver Robert Foster, Alabama WR Calvin Ridley has shined. In his eight SEC games as the main receiver, Ridley averaged 6.8 receptions for 89.9 yards and 19.1 fantasy points per contest. In those eight games, he has never had fewer than five receptions and surpassed 85 yards receiving five times in that span. Expect Michigan State to stack the box to stop RB Derrick Henry so Ridley could get plenty of chances as QB Jacob Coker’s safety valve.
Other recommendations: Michael Thomas ($5,100) and Ardarius Stewart ($4,600)
If you decided to splurge on one of the top-tier quarterbacks or running backs, it’s important to find lower-valued players that will still produce. Here are a couple that may fit that mold:
Charone Peake vs Oklahoma – ($4,000) – Clemson WR Charone Peake had a solid senior year for the Tigers. Peake finished the season with 40 catches for 563 yards and five touchdowns. Although those numbers don’t jump out at you, Peake will get plenty more looks with the suspension of fellow receiver, Deon Cain.
Jake Butt vs Florida – ($3,700) – I’m a huge fan of this cheap play. Michigan TE Jake Butt is considered one of the best tight ends in the nation, for good reason. The All-American finished the year with 48 receptions for 620 yards and three touchdowns. The Wolverines started utilizing Butt more in the last stretch of the season. In his last four games, Butt averaged 5.25 receptions for 76 yards and 16.6 fantasy points per game. He’ll continue to be a focal point in Michigan’s offense, especially in the red zone.