The College Football Rundown – DraftKings & FanDuel DFS – October 17, 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.
Dillon Gabriel, UCF – DK: $8,500 | FD: $9,900
This will begin a theme in this article of a specific game that should be targeted, with that being the UCF/Memphis game this weekend with a game total of 74 and a spread of just -3. Gabriel has had a hot start to his season, averaging 385 yards passing a game with nine touchdowns on the season. The key appeal here for me is the sheer volume we get out of Gabriel as he is averaging 47 passing attempts per game. If Tre Nixon is able to play this weekend this Gabriel play is amplified as he will finally have his four deep receiving corp healthy for the first time all season. We aren’t getting a ton of rushing equity out of this play, but he can get out of the pocket if he has to. In a game that has shootout written all over it, I am okay with ditching the *must have dual-threat upside* mindset that I usually run in DFS contests and think attacking Gabriel this weekend is the correct play. Memphis only has two games under their belt this year, but they are allowing 386 yards passing through both of them and nearly 500 yards of total offense. The Memphis offense will also be the best offense this UCF defense has faced, so the likelihood of a shootout here feels very possible. DraftKings dropped the ball on the Memphis side of pricing in this game and I will get to that shortly.
Felipe Franks, ARK – DK: $7,200 | FD: $8,700
This range of players was hard to settle on one, but Felipe Franks and Arkansas gets an Ole Miss team this weekend who is giving up the most points and yards in the nation. Just how many you ask? Ole Miss is currently allowing 51 points per game and 600 (!) yards per game. That includes 302 yards rushing per game (!). Arkansas is not exactly an offense I would label strong, but they have been a million times better under the direction of Franks than they have been in recent years. Franks hasn’t shown an exact willingness to run the ball a lot after his injury at Florida, but that isn’t saying he can’t – especially using his large frame to pound one in at the goal line. The truth when it comes to Ole Miss is that their offense is strong, scoring at least 35 points in all of their games including putting 48 up on Alabama. However, their porous defense has kept every team in the game so far this year. Kentucky was able to have three rushers over 100 yards, Alabama just ground them down in every way, and Florida was able to pass for 420 yards on them. Arkansas does not have the running game to run all over this team and Trelon Smith was used in the passing game frequently. I think Franks falls on the side of most of the Razorbacks offensive touchdowns and though this price is a little high, that might work in our favor and keep some people off of this play.
Jeff Sims, GT – DK: $5,100 | FD: $7,300
I start this writeup with a giant red flag and an even bigger warning – this play is not for the faint of heart, do not go crazy with it, and use it only in tournaments. I like to keep this writeup in pricing tiers and when it comes to the lowest priced option I am willing to play this week it is Georgia Tech Freshman quarterback Jeff Sims…. Against Clemson. This is a matchup that will likely get Sims killed, I know, I am not doing much to sell this play. Honestly, I am not even trying to sell this play – maybe this is actually just content filler – I am not sure yet. What I do know, is for a dual-threat quarterback priced at $5,100, despite the matchup, we should probably have *a little bit* of exposure to it. Sims has looked like a freshman so far against way worse defenses’ than Clemson’s, but Sims is averaging 5.7 yards per carry and 251 yards rushing on the season. The ugly is the five passing touchdowns and *eight* interceptions. It is hard to ignore, but despite all of his faults, Sims is still averaging 23 fantasy points per game. I have a lot of worries here – they range from injury, to being pulled from the game to preserve his health, to just being sacked and losing yardage and then forcing interceptions. The bad certainly outweighs the good here. But the good is still a possibility. Georgia Tech will be playing from behind and if Sims can limit mistakes and find a few lanes, he can salvage a day here – the home game also helps. This is purely a pricing play and if you need some salary relief this is a super flex option with a higher ceiling than some other RB/WR plays at $5,100. I would not play Sims as your only quarterback.
Travis Etienne, CLEM – DK: $8,600 | FD: $10,200
If you are paying up for a running back there just is no real reason to not grab Etienne at this point. Remove the Citadel game that he barely played in from the game logs and Etienne is averaging around 37 fantasy points per game and 41 per game over his last two games. Last week against Miami, Etienne rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns while adding eight receptions for 73 yards. A week prior against Virginia it was Etienne getting it done on the receiving side, taking five receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. He also added 73 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground. There isn’t a grand analysis here, Etienne despite price is going to likely be the best option week in and week out. This week’s matchup with Georgia Tech is no exception and his recent work in the passing game only elevates this play. If you are looking for a direct pivot here, I do also really like Leddie Brown against Kansas. Brown has been a huge volume running back recently, getting 26 and 27 carries over his last two games. Kansas has bled points to the running back position so far this year, allowing 230 yards and 44 total points per game.
Kylin Hill, MSST – DK: $6,800 | FD: $8,900
*Update – There are some rumors out there that Hill will be suspended for this weekends game. Do your due diligence on this situation.*
Kylin Hill only has 15 rushing attempts on the season which is not something you would usually see for a running back writeup here, but the Mississippi State offense under Mike Leach has gone to a full air raid and Hill is now a PPR monster out of the backfield. Last week against Kentucky, Hill caught 15 passes out of the backfield for 79 yards. That is 15 points just alone off of receptions. Through three games on the season, Hill now has 23 receptions – with him being knocked out of one of those games in the first quarter, so it is essentially 23 receptions through just two games. This week is a matchup with Texas A&M which is tough on paper, but the volume from Hill right now is essentially matchup proof. In fact, Hill as a safety blanket out of the backfield is almost accelerated in a perceived tough matchup. If remove the game against Arkansas that he was injured in, Hill is averaging 30 fantasy points per game and is not currently priced in that tier at all. Another big performance from Hill will likely jump his DK salary by near $2,000.
Rodrigues Clark, MEM – DK: $5,600 | FD: $8,600
While it felt like everyone else got a price increase, Memphis snuck through the algorithm on DraftKings and all got price decreases that really don’t make any sense. Clark has 36 carries through two games and 203 yards and a touchdown. While these numbers aren’t earth-shattering, they are consistent and his price point of $6,700 was a way better representation of where it should be as compared to where it is now. Clark gets a UCF team this week that is allowing well over 200 yards to running back each week and with a game total of near 75 in this one this is such an easy, low-cost piece to add to your lineups to get a piece from this game. I know the price isn’t super low-tier as I usually follow, but it is a price that just can not be ignored. Kylan Watkins is $5,100 this week, which is a price increase from last game out, despite only averaging 8.9 fantasy points per contest. I am always going to attack a pricing error if I see fit and this is one of those situations. But somehow isn’t the worst Memphis pricing error on this slate.
Ainias Smith, TA&M – DK: $5,200 | FD: $7,600
Late addition so small write up, but Smith is a guy who keeps landing in my lineups and for fair reason. Smith last week actually shredded the ‘RB’ label and lined up predominately as a wide receiver. With the loss of Caleb Chapman, the ‘WR’ version of Smith should have even more work headed his way. This price is way too low for a team with a 30 point team total.
Marlon Williams, UCF – DK: $7,600 | FD: $9,800
Through three games on the season, Marlon Williams has 49 targets. That is not a typo, Marlon Williams has 49 targets – which shakes out to 15 targets per game – and holds a team target share of 35%. Now, that 35% team target share number can sometimes be deceiving, but not really this time as I pointed out above with Dillon Gabriel – who is attempting around 46 passes per game. Out of the 49 targets, Williams has 32 receptions for 388 yards and two touchdowns. This all averages out to around 29 fantasy points per game. Ignore the probable tag on DraftKings, as Williams is in no real danger of missing this game and just was banged up a bit on the games last play. For a guy getting 15 targets and 10 receptions a game, the price of $7,600 is actually also pretty bad. This is a $9,000 play based solely around stats if I have ever seen one and I am not sure the hesitance of pricing these guys up to an accurate level. Second to last time I will mention it, but this game carries a total of 73.5 and should be a shootout.
Damonte Coxie, MEM – DK: $6,100 | FD: $9,500
Uhm, DraftKings? This price is egregious and I am not quite sure what happened here. The last time Memphis played, Coxie cost $8,300 against SMU – in a game where he caught eight passes for 85 yards and though he didn’t find the endzone, he has averaged 19.3 fantasy points through two games. This week against UCF, we get a game with a game total of 73.5 and a tight spread that should keep this game close. There is nothing that should have dropped Coxie’s price by $2,200 – if we go back to 2019, this is a guy who caught 76 passes for 1,276 yards and nine touchdowns. I really don’t have a ton to say here – this is going to be a 60% owned player on this slate, but outside of injury, there is no real-world where he does not make value and has one of the highest overall ceilings on the slate as well. You can see the stark contrast between the DK price and the FD price. This one is just a hands-down mistake by the pricing algorithm and I don’t think you will find one CFB talking head in the industry that disagrees with me. To not make this entire article about Memphis, I won’t write up Calvin Austin below and instead add him here. Calvin Austin at $4,800 is also still too low and makes for probably the best point per dollar guy under $5,000 this week.
Jalen Wydermyer, TA&M – DK: $4,500 | FD: $6,300
The Texas A&M passing game was definitely one that I was giving a wait and see approach to with their depth chart being listed with every single wideout with an -or- designation. With three games now under their belt, the receiving corp was becoming a little bit clearer – that was until Caleb Chapman was injured last week and lost for the season. I expect Chase Lane to fall into the role of the top receiver for this offense, but at $5,700 he is a bit out of the low-tier writeup price range. I do think one of Kam Brown or Jalen Preston step up in this offense and both are under $4,000, but that feels more like a true dart than a guy who still holds a floor. That brings me back to Jalen Wydermyer, the team’s tight end, but also the team leader in targets, receptions, and (almost) yards. Wydermyer hauled in eight catches for 82 yards against Bama and five for 53 against Florida. But with the loss of Caleb Chapman, around seven targets per game are going to open back up. Wydermyer already is seeing around nine targets a game and has been the most consistent option for Kellen Mond through three games. While I don’t think this is the most exciting play of the week, I can very much see it being one that is safe and if he finds the end zone for the first time all year is cheap enough to pay off his salary and let you spend up for a stud elsewhere. Noah Gray from Duke at $3,800 is another example of a player similar to this at even $700 cheaper.