The College Football Rundown – DraftKings & FanDuel DFS – October 3, 2020
Welcome back everyone – it is a joy and honor to be back for the 2020 College Football season, no matter the capacity we get it in. We likely will have some non-traditional slates and some smaller ones at that, but nevertheless, we still get football and I think that is all that really matters to us. If you are reading this, you likely can note that it is completely free. All written content on FantasyCruncher is free – the only time you will be charged is if you want access to the optimizer and access to my projections. In that case, you can follow this link to sign up – with weekly/monthly/annual options across three different tiers that should be able to fit every level of DFS player. I will be providing written content for any slate of three games or more, though projections and optimizer access will be available for all normal and showdown slates.
Sam Ehlinger – DK: $8,800 | FD: $11,000
Through two week’s Ehlinger is averaging 42.8 fantasy points and has thrown for 10 touchdowns and nearly 700 yards. The running game hasn’t factored a ton into this offense and Ehlinger even ran the ball 16 times last week against Texas Tech. You would think that after a 40 fantasy points performance we would get a price increase here but nope, actually $100 cheaper on DraftKings. The price isn’t a huge factor here as we are already committing a large chunk to Ehlinger, but compared to some others Ehlinger still feels like the safest high-priced option here. TCU is up next on the schedule and this isn’t going to be the only quarterback from this game in this write-up. TCU allowed 423 yards of offense and 37 points to an Iowa State team that looked rough against Louisana Lafayette. Texas was upset by TCU last season, though this TCU defense is quite different than the 2019 squad after the loss of Jeff Gladney and Ross Blacklock to the NFL. We have 13 games on this slate and I don’t think spending up on quarterback is necessary, but Ehlinger is a staple week to week as a most owned player in tournaments.
Alan Bowman, TTU – DK: $7,600 | FD: $9,300
Bowman sees a $600 price increase from his price last week against Texas, but he paid it off nicely with a 325 yard, five-touchdown performance. The only stat I really care about here is 52 and that is in 52 passing attempts in each of his first two games this season. If you are rostering a quarterback who isn’t going to run a ton, you are going to want volume and that is exactly what we have here. Texas Tech played Texas as hard as they could until blowing a two-touchdown lead in the final four minutes of the game. This week’s matchup is Kansas State which presents a great matchup for Texas Tech and a game that really feels very even with Kansas State being just a one-point favorite. Kansas State’s defense locked down Spencer Rattler in the second half of last week’s game, however, they still are allowing over 500 yards of total offense per week. Skylar Thompson in this game is also an attractive option at $6,500, though your fantasy output is heavily reliant on his rushing touchdowns which is going to be more variable. I think the saving on Thompson is viable here over Bowman, though the two weeks of Thompson is not going to make me forget the last two years of him.
Max Duggan – DK: $5,800 | FD: $8,500
Max Duggan was one of my favorite players to watch last year and also roster in DFS. The TCU quarterback passed for 2,077 yards and 15 touchdowns while adding 555 yards and six touchdowns on the ground as a freshman. If you are unaware of Duggan’s overall situation for 2020 it is this: Duggan has only been in camp for two weeks while he was diagnosed with a heart condition linked to Covid-19. Duggan was cleared to return to TCU, but was a bit behind the schedule of everyone else. This is why Matt Downing grabbed the start in the game of Iowa State. However, Downing struggled and forced Gary Patterson’s hand a bit which led to Duggan entering the game and throwing for 241 yards and three touchdowns while completing 84% of his passes. Duggan has always been the guy here for TCU, but coaching was playing it safe. Duggan is now the starter and his first game back starting is against a Texas team in which he led an upset against in 2019 when he threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns while running for 72 yards and a touchdown. This is one of the most fun dual-threat quarterbacks in college football and he enters a DFS slate with a $5,800 price tag against a Texas team that just allowed 450 yards to Texas Tech. The rushing upside here raised the floor significantly and I feel strongly about saying this is the best point per dollar quarterback play on this slate.
Chuba Hubbard, OKST – DK: $8,900 | FD: $9,800
There is likely someone reading this who is seeing Hubbard suggested as a top play here and sighing loudly to themselves and listen, I get it. Hubbard has been less than impressive over his first two games, struggling to crack 100 yards against Tulsa and barely getting there last week against West Virginia with neither of his first two games cracking 20 fantasy points. On top of that, Hubbard has put the ball on the ground twice which wasn’t really a concern in 2019. I attribute a ton of this to the loss of Spencer Sanders in both games, as the quarterback play for the Cowboys has been horrible and has allowed defenses to focus completely on the running game. So if we want to look at this play through a microscope, it is possible the outputs we have seen are still in a way impressive. Early reports this week appear to paint Sanders more towards probable than questionable, which in itself is a massive boost to this offense. Aside from if Sanders plays or not, a matchup with Kansas is one that could straighten out any struggling running back. Kansas is a bottom program in the nation and has allowed 38 points to Coastal Carolina and 47 to Baylor.
Ulysses Bentley IV, SMU – DK: $5,900 | FD: $8,600
Bentley technically isn’t the starter for SMU right now, but his workload has been as high as starter TJ McDaniel and Bentley has seven touchdowns on the season, compared to McDaniel’s one. Let’s rewind to that stat again quick and it is – Ulysses Bentley has seven touchdowns through three games on the season, including averaging 11.9 yards per carry against North Texas and 17.3 last week against Stephen F. Austin. So over Bentley’s last 25 carries he has rushed for 331 yards and five touchdowns and though it is obvious it isn’t against the top tier of talent, it does show a lot of talent and consistency, not to mention the confidence of the coaching staff. Bentley currently leads all of college football in touchdowns and should remain a huge red zone threat for this SMU offense. The matchup this week against Memphis will prove the first real talent here that SMU has faced, though Memphis may prove a bit rusty as they have seen their last two games be canceled due to Covid-19. This game has a game total of 74.5 points and Bentley feels like a massive upside option in an offense that will put up plenty of points.
Vincent Davis, PIT – DK: $4,700 | FD: N/A
I will admit this isn’t my absolute favorite play on the board this week, but what it is is a play that comes in under $5,000 and is in an incredible matchup. The issue with this play isn’t the player himself, it is just the constant fear that Pittsburgh will rotate heavily through running backs and we might not get the workload we really want out of Davis. That being said, fellow running back AJ Davis is questionable this week and Vincent Davis still led the team in carries the first two weeks. The juice to this game is really the matchup, however, as NC State literally can not stop the run. Through two games, NC State is allowing an average of 231 yards rushing per game, as well as 43.5 points and 440 yards of total offense. All these rank near the bottom in all defensive categories. Last week against Virginia Tech, NC State allowed five different running backs above 40 yards and a total of 320 yards on the ground. Davis hasn’t been a high volume back so far this year, but the matchup is not a concern. This is not a lock and load play, but for a play at this price, it is one of the better values out there at the running back position.
Elijah Moore – DK: $6,900 | FD: $8,900
There are some high priced wide receiver options on this slate, but I think outside of Damonte Coxie and Reggie Roberson, who are both in play in a 75 point game totaled game, I am going to skip the Waddle/Smith/Pitts prices. This isn’t instantly saying don’t play those guys, but the prices on Coxie and Roberson are both $8,100 or higher and despite them having very high ceilings in a game that should have super active pricing games, it is also dedicating a large chunk of salary to a few offenses that run pretty deep. SMU runs deep with Roberson, Gray, Rice, and Granson while Memphis has always shown a strong dedication to the running game. On a 13 game slate it is hard to just pick three guys at each position, so I would pay more attention to the cheat sheet linked at the end of this article for a full view of my player pool this weekend. All that being said, Elijah Moore’s usage this weekend in a Lane Kiffin offense is something that excites me. Matt Corral looked like a lost quarterback in 2019 – which included getting benched for Plumlee, but Corral looked like a whole new guy against Florida despite the loss. In that game, Corral passed for 395 yards and three touchdowns while Moore caught 10 passes for 227 yards. More importantly, Moore got 13 targets which made up 39% of the target share for Ole Miss. On paper, this wasn’t an outcome I assume we would see against a relatively good Florida defense. This week it is Kentucky for the Rebels which on paper is a matchup I elude to similarly as Florida, but Kentucky’s defense should be a little worse than what we were used to in 2019 (though not a whole lot). I think over-exaggerating matchups on paper is really hard to manage this early in this year (and a weird year at that). The 40% target share in a Lane Kiffin offense is exciting and with the PPR scoring on DraftKings this pick is a smash for me. There is upside still on FanDuel, though I prefer it on DK.
Taye Barber, TCU – DK: $5,700 | FD: $7,600
With Jalen Reagor off to the NFL, we are going to see Taye Barber take his spot in this offense being involved in both the passing and running game on sweeps and unique gadget plays. Barber caught five passes last week for 82 yards and a touchdown though he tops my favorite stacking option for TCU and Max Duggan. In a game that I expect to be high scoring and a Texas defense that struggled last week this price feels low. Even in the case that Texas grabs a lead in this game, we should still get high passing equity out of Duggan. The other options in this passing game are Conwright, Johnston, and Lynn, none of which Duggan has much of a game day report with. Barber should provide a safety blanket for Duggan and also a receiver with some familiarity. TCU will need to get creative to upset Texas again, but at $5,700 this is a very high upside play in what should be a high scoring affair. This price is great on both sites.
Dazz Newsome, UNC – DK: $5,400 | FD: $7,800
With UNC only playing one game so far this season, there isn’t an extensive amount of analysis I can provide here. Newsome only has two catches for 25 yards this year in his one game against Syracuse and DraftKings decided to nuke his price after that one performance down to $5,400. That is an aggressive price drop for a receiver who caught 72 passes for 1,018 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2019. This offense is identical to the offense of 2019 and the over-correction of a price here seems too much too fast. This is simply a pricing play for me as Newsome has a massive upside with Sam Howell as his quarterback. We can’t let a one-game 2020 sample be more useful data than his 2019 numbers that put him on NFL radars. Boston College’s defense has been pretty solid through two games, though it’s been against Duke and Texas State. If we get another low output from Newsome we may need to revisit this UNC offense, but there is no other step-up option to replace Newsome and Howell will want to continue to grow his draft stock.