Welcome back to the College Football Rundown. The goal of this article is to highlight players listed on the cheat sheet in a more in-depth fashion, including some tricks and tips to help better you as a player.
Jamie Newman, WAKE (DK: $7,600 | FD: $10,400)
We enter this Saturday with a slate that lacks any of the top five teams in the nation. I think for some this is a relief and for others, this is going to play out like a pseudo night slate as a lot of these teams are teams we have seen spread throughout slates. So just to double back, we have no LSU, Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Ohio State, or Penn State. That is a list of some of the biggest fantasy performers on the year, so our process isn’t necessarily going to change, but we are going to have to assess the value of some players differently. Jamie Newman enters as the highest priced option and is also currently injured. “James, why would you write up the most expensive quarterback who is injured”. Alright, valid point, but I truly believe that Newman, if he plays, is the highest ceiling quarterback on the slate. All reports currently state that if Newman is cleared, he will start against NC State. Wake Forest is projected for around five touchdowns and they have a full offering of healthy wide receivers. The extra dot to this is the fact that regardless, I think Newman goes extremely under-owned due to the injury. Starting someone fresh off injury is scary, but he has sat out for two weeks and would be fully medically cleared. The final note here is if Newman can’t go, Sam Hartman once again starts and is instantly on our radar. You will have to keep an eye on this leading up to lock as it should be the one major decision that will sway this weekend.
Dillon Gabriel, UCF (DK: $7,500 | FD: $9,400)
UCF enters this slate with the highest team total with a whopping 46 points. The way the Knights run the ball scares me a bit using Gabriel as I think his ceiling is capped in the mid-thirties on a favorable week like this. We don’t receive any rushing equity out of Gabriel so we are solely relying on his arm, which has been positive as he has passed for 20 touchdowns and is averaging 277 yards per game. This is a strange week for quarterbacks as we do not have a clear cut chalk arm as it is right now. If you want to chase absolute total, then Gabriel is your guy. The closer that Houston keeps this game the better for Gabriel’s overall ceiling.
Khalil Tate, AZ (DK: $7,100 | FD: N/A)
This is not a faint of heart play, as Khalil Tate is still giving up some reps to freshman Grant Gunnell. We saw Tate benched just a few weeks ago before coming back against Stanford for 33.5 fantasy points. In that game, we saw Tate once again use his legs as he took nine carries for 103 yards. That one game was a one-third of his total on the entire year, meaning we can’t rely on the thinking that Tate is going to come out and start the field on fire. To be frank, with Tate seeing a price increase over $7,000 and his current form, there is almost nothing that would make me consider rostering him… Except playing Oregon State. The Beavers have been an absolute funnel for fantasy points, allowing over 430 yards per game and over 31 points per game. This game has a Vegas total of 71 at the time of typing this and it should feature some offensive fireworks. The important thing is Tate coming out and having success on one of his first two drives. Our ceiling here is a full game shootout our floor is an early second quarter hook. The term “tournament play” was built for this exact matchup.
Max Duggan, TCU (DK: $6,300 | FD: $8,400)
Max Duggan was my cheap quarterback suggestion last week and he did not disappoint, passing for 273 yards and two touchdowns while running for another 72 yards and a touchdown. The freshman is playing with confidence and now has back-to-back weeks with a rushing touchdown. This week a matchup with Oklahoma State looms and there isn’t really anything about the Cowboy defense that makes me move off of Duggan. Oklahoma State has given up 45 points to Texas Tech, 45 to Baylor, and 27 to Iowa State in the last three weeks; plus they rank near the bottom in passing defense and is allowing 440 yards per game. Duggan is still cheap in comparison to others on this slate and his needle is trending up in a big way. We are still messing with a small sample size so the possibility of a let down exists, but I will push my chips back in on Duggan this week.
Others to consider: Ian Book, ND | Adrian Martinez, NEB | Jarren Williams, MIA
Chuba Hubbard, OKST (DK: $8,300 | FD: $10,800)
Though it is still unconfirmed, the news out of Stillwater is that star Oklahoma State wideout Tylan Wallace suffered a major knee injury Thursday in practice. This first-off is devastating news to the Cowboys and college football as a whole. But second, it removes the second-best play marker from the offense. Chuba Hubbard has 1,381 yards on 216 attempts on the season and is the biggest workhorse in all of college football. Can the most worked running back possibly get more work off of the injury news? That remains to be seen. But the one thing I can say for certain is his workload won’t shrink any from what we have been seeing. Hubbard reached $8,900 just two weeks ago but seems to have leveled off at $8,300. This week’s matchup against TCU isn’t the best on paper as the Horned Frogs are only allowing a smidge over 100 yards on the ground per week, but we have seen in matchups all year that he is relatively matchup proof. Given the circumstances, Hubbard is going to need to be relied on heavily for the Cowboys to win this game as Spencer Sanders has not yet shown the ability to take a game over. All that being said, I also think if you were ever to fade Hubbard and hope for a not overwhelming game, this is likely the one.
AJ Dillon, BC (DK: $7,800 | FD: $9,500)
When we had Dillon on the main slate a few weeks back I wrote that in a positive matchup, AJ Dillon is the entire Boston College offense. That was followed up with a 34 carry, 223 yard, three-touchdown performance against NC State. Last week against Clemson, 19 carries, 76 yards, and a touchdown. The point of the Clemson line is even in games where they are losing by multiple touchdowns, Dillon is still out there grinding. There is a comfort knowing your high priced back is going to see the field plenty of times and this weeks matchup against Syracuse should allow just that. Since starting quarterback Anthony Brown went down with an injury, Dennis Grosel has taken the reigns for Boston College and it has not been pretty. Grosel has only attempted 29 total passes in the last two weeks and has a completion percentage well under 35%. Boston College only has one path to victory and it is on the ground and with Vegas projecting the Eagles for four touchdowns, Dillon is the man to get them there.
Zach Charbonnet, MICH (DK: $5,800 | FD: $8,500)
When value searching my first stop is looking at prices and my second is looking at matchups. Knowing Michigan was on this slate and Charbonnet’s recent success I was interested to see where he was priced. I was NOT expecting him to be sub $6,000 and then remembering he was playing Maryland sent me into a tailspin. Charbonnet has four touchdowns in his last two games and those were against Penn State and Notre Dame, two of the best rush defenses in the nation. I don’t think there is much more that needs to be said about this play. Maryland in their last two games has given up 52 points to Minnesota and 40 to Purdue (!). Michigan is projected for over five touchdowns and Charbonnet has scored in his last four weeks. I expect this to be absolute chalk but I love everything about it.
Artavis Pierce, ORST (DK: $5,900 | FD: N/A)
This play relies a bit on fellow running back Jemar Jefferson not playing, but even if he does I think Pierce has solidified himself as the top and best back in the Beavers backfield. As mentioned before with Tate, this game has the highest Vegas total on the board and Pierce is seeing high usage in the offense. Last week against Cal he ran for 80 yards on 23 carries and caught four passes for 34 yards and a touchdown. Those numbers aren’t eye-popping, but Cal has a formidable defense and Oregon State isn’t necessarily known for being an offensive prowess. If we dig back a few weeks we find 119 yards against UCLA and 141 against Stanford. For such a high total, getting a starting running back under $6,000 is extremely rare. UCF running back Otis Anderson falls into this same bracket.
Others to consider: D’Andre Swift, UGA | Otis Anderson, UCF | Cade Carney, WAKE
Sage Surratt, WAKE (DK: $8,000 | FD: $9,900)
Surratt comes in as the most expensive wide receiver and second most expensive player on this slate. Surratt also enters the week second in the nation in receiving yards at 881. There was no lack of production with Sam Hartman under center, as Surratt managed seven catches for 170 yards against Florida State and is just two weeks removed from his massive 12 catch, 196 yard, three-touchdown game against Louisville. This is a positive matchup in a game Wake Forest is favored by 10. I do not believe it is absolutely necessary to play Surratt this weekend, but one way or the other I believe that he (and Newman/Wake Forest altogether) will be the deciding factor on this slate overall. We have seen this all season with Tua and Devonta Smith or Henry Ruggs. Or Jalen Hurts to CeeDee Lamb. Joe Burrow to J’Mar Chase. I think Newman to Surratt is this week’s version of that. Special shout-out to Kendall Hinton, who himself has 20 receptions and 227 yards over the last two weeks.
Wan’Dale Robinson, NEB (DK: $5,900 | FD: $8,200)
Meet Nebraska’s new workhorse running back, it’s none other than freshman wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson! With (former) starting running back Maurice Washington now kicked off the team, it was Robinson surprisingly leading the Cornhusker’s backfield. Robinson took 22 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown while catching six passes for 71 yards. Now Dedrick Mills will still factor into this backfield and honestly, our sample size is only one game. But the outlook that Robinson could be used in both the passing and running game raises his ceiling immensely and also his floor. To run this all back as if he didn’t sound good enough already, he gets to face a Purdue team that is allowing over 400 yards per game and over four touchdowns. Quarterback Adrian Martinez should return this week, though in his current state I do not think that changes much of anything. Robinson is hands down my favorite play this week and he will be getting the lock icon.
David Bell, PUR (DK: $5,000 | FD: $8,400)
Last week against Illinois the entire Purdue offense struggled, resulting in only six total points. But if we rewind to two weeks prior, we saw nine receptions for 138 yards against Maryland and the 13 receptions, on 18 targets, for 197 yards, and a touchdown against Iowa. That is a massive target share in an offense that has been passing the ball at a higher clip than running. This is contingent on Rondale Moore not playing, but he is currently doubtful. Realistically if he did play I doubt we would see a super large snap count. Bell is currently dominating the target share in this offense and with a matchup with Nebraska on the horizon, there is nothing to scare us off of this play at a measly $5,000. Imagine being $4,700 and putting up two performances of 37.8 and 41.7 and seeing your total price move $300 dollars. I do not understand DraftKings sometimes and this price is an absolute steal.
I typically write up four-wide receiver plays this week, but I think the three above highlight my favorite plays on the weekend the best they can and writing up another would be tough. There are so many other strong options this week that I honestly just could not choose. So below you will see a list of my others to consider. Typically I just leave them there without explanation, but I will give a brief mention. Isaiah Hodgins is averaging 28.5 fantasy points per week and shootout with Arizona this week. Gabriel Davis is a great stacking option with Dillon Gabriel (don’t get confused). Marquez Stevenson is an electric player who can boom or bust. Kendall Hinton shoutout above in my Sage Surratt write up. Jordan McCray is the next man up in my eyes if Tylan Wallace truly did tear his ACL in practice this week. Regardless I doubt Wallace plays this weekend and Oklahoma State will need to pass the ball. Dillon Stoner hasn’t connected much with Spender Sanders and Landon Wolf is another guy who we could see get some snaps. The target share will be there for Oklahoma State. Jalen Reagor is still the top receiver and is a stacking option with Max Duggan. Taye Barber is another TCU wideout who is an option. I feel this is a week where nailing the correct core of wide receivers will win you the tournament.
Others to consider: Isaiah Hodgins, ORST | Gabriel Davis, UCF | JD Spielman, NEB | Marquez Stevenson, UH | Kendall Hinton, WAKE | Jordan McCray, OKST | Jalen Reagor, TCU
My projections are now live on FantasyCruncher and will be available for every slate all season for both DraftKings and FanDuel. Though this content is free I encourage you to take your game to the next level by considering a subscription to FC Premium. If you are a lower stakes player, FC Lite gets you all the tools that Premium does, just with a lower lineup crunch cap. I will post the link below for anyone interested. I will be in Discord chat (something that comes with a subscription) before lock of all slates if you have questions. You can also reach out to me on Twitter @iKezims