Clemson vs. LSU Positional Breakdown
With a 69 point game total right now, this is projecting out to be a high scoring affair by two high powered offenses. The one thing here is these teams also have very good defenses and though Vegas isn’t projecting them to factor much, it still needs to be noted. Clemson only allowed 151 yards passing per game and only 264 yards total per game. On the LSU side, they were a bit leakier, but still held opponents to 221 yards passing per game and 339 total. Just looking at these raw stats, we have to give a slight defensive edge to Clemson here, though we can say with certainty that they haven’t faced anywhere near the offensive talent of LSU this year. We have to account for Trevor Lawrence’s rushing upside, like last game he showed it in a big way with 16 rushes for 107 yards and a touchdown. Another performance anywhere in that ballpark and Lawrence can easily outscore Burrow here. We also need to account for the return of Clyde Edwards-Helaire here for the Tigers. CEH was essentially held out in the semi-final against Oklahoma due to a hamstring injury but has been practicing without restrictions leading up to this game. CEH averaged over 18 touches per game in the regular season and that kind of work in the title game could take away a few attempts from Burrow. However it is worth noting, whether he had 28 attempts or 38 attempts, the end product usually ended up being the same. The Tigers have gotten here on the arm of Joe Burrow and I don’t think they try to change anything, though if we trust the Vegas script, we should see Lawrence playing from behind as a more likely situation than Burrow playing from behind.
Ohio State bottled up Travis Etienne in the rushing game, holding him to just 36 yards on 10 carries, but they let him run wild in the passing game as he caught three passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns. This is important as the use of Etienne as an elite pass-catcher will force LSU to spy the middle of the field which can create lanes for their elite pass catchers in Justyn Ross and Tee Higgins. By raw talent, I like Higgins more here as he seems to have a more consistent repertoire with Lawrence, though Ross is a big play receiver who can break a slate open on just one play. On the LSU side of the ball, Justin Jefferson was the guy in the semi-final catching 14 passes for 227 yards and four touchdowns. Obviously, without Jefferson, you weren’t going to cash anything but that is the price we pay on small or showdown slates. Though Jefferson has had an incredible year, his semi-final performance is an outlier that is likely going to drum up more ownership to him than we may want to have to eat. It’s important to remember here that Ja’Marr Chase was actually the most expensive LSU wideout all season but now we see him at a $1,200 discount over Jefferson. Chase has been quiet in the last two games, but if you are only going on a short memory then I think using that to our advantage is key as Chase averaged over 30 fantasy points per game outside of his last two games. It should be noted that Chase’s quiet games directly correlate with Terrance Marshall Jr.’s return to relevancy, as he has four touchdowns over his last two games and 80 yards or more in both of them. Marshall missed five games in the middle of the season and these last two games have been his biggest since his return. He currently carries a probable tag and has missed a few practices, though it sounds like he will be good to go for this matchup. As you can see the dilemma here is we are running three deep on guys who can all go off at any time. With Marshall being just $6,800 I think he ends up being one of the highest owned players on this showdown.
When it comes down to the value and filler players, I think there are four that we should primarily be looking at and those are Diondre Overton, Amari Rodgers, Thaddeus Moss, and Cade York. Overton and Rodgers are Clemson’s defacto number three and four receivers though neither has seen a ton of work to close out the year. Overton caught two catches for 30 yards against Ohio State while Rodgers caught one for 38 yards. Combined these two have eight touchdowns on the season, which doesn’t leave the possibility out of reality in such a high total game. Thaddeus Moss was a literal slate changer against Oklahoma as the tight end caught four passes for 99 yards and a touchdown. Moss has been a consistent yardage getter, including a five-game stretch with at least 45 yards receiving. With a price at just $4,200, I think this is our current best point per dollar value play on the slate. Closing it out we can look at both teams kickers though I give the edge to LSU kicker Cade York as he has averaged 11 fantasy points per game this season. York is guaranteed points if you trust that LSU will score a bunch, but against likely the best defense they will face all season we could see more drives stall than usual. Building a roster on this slate isn’t exactly difficult unless you are trying to get Burrow and Lawrence in the same lineup. If you settle with choosing one or the other you can essentially run it back with the other team’s offense to get a piece of both. For example, Lawrence at captain gives you space to roster Chase and Jefferson which gets you the second-hand Burrow output. I am viewing this showdown slate almost like a tiers slate, I think there is a lot of “one or the other” moments in this showdown that will decide on you cashing or not. Burrow vs. Lawrence. Etienne vs. Edwards-Helaire. Chase/Jefferson vs. Ross/Higgins. This is going to be a great game to close out a great season. Thank you to all my readers and subscribers this year and I hope to see you all back next year.
Showdown Cheat Sheet for the CFB National Championship
$ Tier CPTN QB RB WR K High Joe Burrow (12.8k / 32.64) (16k / 32.64) Travis Etienne (9.4k / 19.73) (13k / 19.73) Justin Jefferson (9.8k / 17.48) (12k / 17.48) Cade York (3.8k / 7.88) ( / ) Trevor Lawrence (10.8k / 28.94) (15k / 28.94) Clyde Edwards-Helaire (9k / 16.25) (11.5k / 16.25) Ja'Marr Chase (8.6k / 16.41) (12.5k / 16.41) Tee Higgins (8k / 16.82) (11k / 16.82) Medium Justyn Ross (7.4k / 13.70) (10k / 13.70) Terrace Marshall Jr. (6.8k / 10.87) (9.5k / 10.87) Low Diondre Overton (3k / 3.79) (7.5k / 3.79) Thaddeus Moss (4.2k / 5.32) (7.5k / 5.32)