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.
Justin Fields, OSU (DK: $9,000 | FD: $10,800)
There is a little bit of a sour taste in my mouth paying the $9,000 price tag for Fields as it is the same price tag we have been getting Jalen Hurts at the past month and yet Fields FPPG is about 14 points less than Hurts. This, of course, is a product of the slate and leverage of pricing as Fields is in one of the best spots this weekend against a weak Maryland team. This is also an Ohio State team that has only allowed 42 combined points since week two. I sometimes focus on “the blowouts” but the truth is every single game this year for Ohio State has been a blowout and has limited Fields in some way. The Buckeyes will literally be able to score as many points against this bad defense as they want, it really just comes down to how they do it. If the trends continue, then Fields will land somewhere around his average of 30. But to deny his ceiling of 50 would be wrong of me. If you want a floor of 25 with upside, then pay up for Fields here. If you think this game will be dominated on the ground mostly, this price is way too high.
Jamie Newman, WF (DK: $8,400 | FD: $10,400)
I wrote up Newman as my top quarterback play last week and said that with his injury status if he was cleared to play, he would start and be the key to taking down a tournament. This ended up proving true, as Newman was cleared, did start, and put up 39 fantasy points against NC State. Truthfully, we were just 13 more yards passing from an even bigger performance with the 300-yard passing bonus. Newman was pulled in the late stages of the third quarter due to the blowout at hand. It is much of the same this week, as Virginia Tech is giving up 270 yards per game through the air and Newman has a full and healthy array of play-makers. I think the price increase here keeps some people away, giving up a nice pivot off of fields for $600 cheaper.
Jayden Daniels, ASU (DK: $6,200 | FD: $9,300)
I usually write these up top to bottom from highest price to lowest price, but since Daniels and Skylar Thompson are priced only $100 apart, I am putting them in the order of how I like them this weekend. Daniels has been a guy we have targeted often this year as DraftKings refuses to raise his price. The exciting freshman has been good in good matchups and bad in bad matchups, which is something to accept from a young quarterback. In Daniels’ last game against UCLA, he passed for three touchdowns and added 67 yards and a touchdown on the ground. His rushing upside is hard to nail down right now as a lot of his runs are him escaping the pressure or panicking, and not exactly designed plays for him. The biggest key here, as I mentioned before, is price. Daniels opened the season at $5,700 and has only gotten as high as $6,700 back in week two. For someone averaging 22 fantasy points per game and has two games of 37 on the year, this is still in my book as a huge misprice for the upside given. This week’s opponent is USC, a team that most people associate with being good at face value. This is not the USC teams of old and their defense has given up 430 yards of total offense per week. The upside is here for Daniels to keep pace with all quarterbacks priced above him.
UPDATE: It appears Daniels is now questionable to play and rumor is he is leaning more towards doubtful. This hurts Aiyuk the most but makes Eno Benjamin a top play on the slate if ruled out.
Skylar Thompson, KSU (DK: $6,300 | FD: $9,400)
I feel I could copy and paste what I said above for Jayden Daniels and paste it here and I would say how I feel on Thompson. I will first say that as someone who has been burned by Skylar Thompson several times that if he wasn’t playing Texas here, I would probably label this a chase. Thompson has seven (yes seven) rushing touchdowns over his last two games. It would be unfair to mention just how big of a role he played in the upset over Oklahoma though. Last week against Kansas he rushed for 127 yards and three touchdowns. This is a guy who through the first six weeks of the season was averaging well under 20 fantasy points per game but over his last three is averaging near 35. Since this is week 11 of the season I am not going to act like this is the reader’s first time playing CFB DFS, so you should already know the story of the Texas defense. If not, they are giving up 470 yards a game and over 31 points. If Thompson remains the focal point of the offense, this price is an absolute steal. I don’t know how Daniels and Thompson aren’t chalk this week.
Others to consider: Sam Ehlinger, TX | Holton Ahlers, ECU | Jett Duffey, TTU
JK Dobbins, OSU (DK: $7,400 | FD: $10,000)
I don’t like to sound like I am always taking a shot at DraftKings pricing model, but it never ceases to amaze me and I would love to understand the science behind it. Dobbins is coming off of his best two fantasy performances of the year and yet is cheaper than either of those two weeks and in a better matchup. The only explanation is some reverse engineering thinking that this game will be such a blowout that starters won’t play super long. That is a possibility of course, but $7,400 is not a high price for a guy seeing both rushing and passing game touches. I’m not going to over-analyze this one. AJ Dillon is priced up to the moon and I like Dobbins more than Akers and Xavier Jones in this range.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (DK: $6,000 | FD: $8,300)
Outside of Eno Benjamin at $6,800 (who I do like, just not sure I want to write up the entire Arizona State offense) the running backs I view in good spots in the $5,500-$7,000 range are few and far between. I am not sure how the DFS community attacks the Alabama/LSU to be honest. Each team is projected for around four touchdowns, so Vegas still sees it as a bit of a shootout, but defenses could prevail here and slow it way down. I think some shy away from these players due to overall team strength. Edwards-Helaire might not be the cream of the crop tournament play this week, but he has a nice floor and his usage actually goes up in closer games. Last game against Auburn, E-H ran for 136 yards on 26 carries and even had seven receptions out of the backfield. The only other time E-H saw more than three receptions in a game was back in week two against Texas, which LSU won by a touchdown. Point being, in closer games, the usage climbs and his time on the field climbs. I don’t think this a very high owned player this week but despite the notion of playing someone against Alabama, this situation is a bit different.
SaRodorick Thompson, TTU (DK: $5,700 | FD: $8,400)
Though Thompson is the lead back for Texas Tech, he has been conceding carries to Armand Shyne and Ta’Zahawn Henry. Well, Shyne broke some ribs last week and is now deemed done for the season which frees up about 10-12 touches to be redistributed back to the offense. Thompson himself was already seeing plenty of work, including 28 rushes against Baylor (was OT) and 20 against Kansas. But now with no Shyne to worry about, Thompson should at worst be locked into his feature back workload. Henry will undoubtedly still get his share of carries as Texas Tech has focused on a ground game with Jett Duffey at the helm, but Thompson at sub $6,000 against a West Virginia team giving up 32 points per game and 180 yards on the ground is a great spot.
Ke’Mon Freeman, SMU (DK: $4,600 | FD: N/A)
Xavier Jones has been the stud running back for SMU this season, averaging over 20 carries per game and 17 touchdowns for the Mustangs. However last week, Jones only saw 11 attempts in a game where SMU scored 48 points. This, of course, is due to playing from behind so the passing game was more featured. It was, however, Freeman who found the endzone twice, despite only being on six carries. Freeman’s usage has been low but this week’s matchup could see him get some late run in addition to his standard workload. SMU is currently projected for over six touchdowns and though I do view Xavier Jones as a great tournament play, I think Freeman is just as good as this game could be viewed as an opportunity to get him a little bit more work than he has been getting. ECU allows well over 200 yards on the ground per week so even though we will have to sweat out a back-up running back, there are much worse plays at this price.
Others to consider: AJ Dillon, BC | Eno Benjamin, ASU | LaMical Perine, FLA
James Proche, SMU (DK: $7,300 | FD: N/A)
Proche continues to be a usage beast as he is one of the top targeted wide receivers in the nation and has 40 receptions over his last four games. With fellow wideout Reggie Roberson still questionable, Proche has been the key piece in the Mustangs passing game. As noted above with Freeman, ECU is a defense that gives up fantasy points to every position and honestly has for years. Back to the DraftKings pricing algorithm though, Proche last week had 13 receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown, which equaled out to 38.1 fantasy points. His price went down $100 this week.
Alabama v. LSU
I didn’t want to focus on any specific player from this game in the passing game, but each team here is projected for around four touchdowns. I think people shy away from this game from a fantasy perspective due to the powerhouse v. powerhouse mindset and that may not even be incorrect. But I still think there are pieces here that need considering and we have seen time and time again a player from either of these teams absolutely destroy a slate. From a pricing standpoint, I think Jerry Jeudy is my favorite at $6,500. We have not got a ceiling game out of Jeudy yet, though he is quietly still one of the top receivers in college football and one of the first wide receiver names called in the NFL Draft. LSU’s defensive strength lies more in stopping the rush than the pass. Devonta Smith is the squeaky wheel for me this week as in the box score his numbers are down but that is due to a lack of connection with Mac Jones. He also carries a probable tag that is roughly 10 days old so you can disregard that. I think Smith is the guy who could once again break the slate and at this point, I am not sure if I will have any exposure to him. Henry Ruggs price quietly has fallen below $6,000 and you can check his week 2-week 4 stretch to see his upside. On the LSU side I think I am more comfortable fading them than I am Alabama. With Marshall healthy, we saw the ball spread a bit more and Marshall actually stole the touchdown in the passing game from Chase and Jefferson. It is too much of a crapshoot to nail down which of the three will see the most receptions AND the touchdowns. They all remain in play for tournaments.
Kendall Hinton, WAKE (DK: $5,700 | FD: $8,100)
Hinton is a guy who would be over $7,000 if he saw red zone work or could just break one-off. However, this season he only has one touchdown to his name which is why his price remains around this pricepoint. Hinton remains my favorite high floor play week to week as he has caught 26 passes over his last three games and leads this team in targets. Much like what I said in Jamie Newman’s blurb is true here. Wake Forest should have no problem moving the ball, which means we should reasonably expect similar production from Hinton.
Tyler Vaughns, USC (DK: $5,300 | FD: $8,400)
I have heavily targeted Tyler Vaughns whenever he is on a slate as he is such a consistent, high floor receiver. Vaughns has only one week of single-digit fantasy output and is averaging 18 fantasy points per week on the year. That one week of under 10, Vaughns still managed 8.8, meaning his true floor this season has been 8.8 and at a price of $5,300 that is pretty damn good. The ceiling here is capped due to some other big-play receivers in the offense and Michael Pittman will be full strength. This is a great cash game play but I wouldn’t shy away from this in tournaments either as he could easily put up a 7-100-TD performance in a positive matchup.
Others to consider: Sage Surratt, WAKE | Collin Johnson, TEX | Brandon Aiyuk, ASU | Sam James, WVU
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