The College Football Rundown – DraftKings & FanDuel DFS – October 24, 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.
Note: Due to FanDuel’s late release of their CFB Main Slates, this article will primarily focus on DraftKings.
Hendon Hooker, VT – DK: $8,700 | FD: N/A
There are some interesting high-end options for us this week like Ehlinger and Lawrence, but ultimately I think Ehlinger is over-priced and I do not think we see a full game out of Trevor Lawrence. We only have two games out of Hooker this game after missing the first two of the season, but he has quickly reminded us of the huge upside he carries when he has the ball in his hands. This Virginia Tech offense is one that isn’t being talked about but they are currently eighth in the nation with 42 points scored per game, including 85 combined points in their last two games against UNC and Boston College. Last week against Boston College, Hooker completed 73% of his passes for 111 yards and a touchdown but added 164 on the ground and three touchdowns. Hooker now gets his easiest matchup of the year so far in Wake Forest who is allowing 32 points per game, but to much weaker offenses than the Hokies. I think Hooker goes under the radar as the price is pretty high here, but from a dual-threat perspective, there isn’t a quarterback on this slate that has the scoring upside as Hooker has.
Jordan Travis, FSU – DK: $6,700 | FD: N/A
This should come to no real surprise as my quarterback game theory heavily revolves around capturing the ceiling of plays in a price range with the dual-threat option and Jordan Travis fits that perfectly this week as Florida State is fresh off their upset over UNC. In that game, Travis threw for 191 yards and a touchdown but also ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns. It wasn’t a great passing performance for fairness, completing under 50% of his passes, but it’s the rushing that we are focusing on mostly here. Travis has had a tough slate in his first few career starts, against Notre Dame he was still able to rush for 96 yards and a touchdown. Travis had to play a team ranked in the top five in the nation in back to back weeks and still managed a total of 203 yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns – to go along with 395 yards passing and two passing touchdowns. The floor is incredibly raised here against a Louisville team that isn’t exactly in the same rankings as UNC and Notre Dame. I think this is one of the best cash plays of the week and likely will carry heavy tournament ownership. The Louisville/FSU game is one of my favorite game stacking options.
Connor Bazelak – DK: $5,500 | FD: N?A
The disclaimer I give with this low-priced tier play usually sounds the same and this week is no exception. I think Bazelak is a tournament option only with some upside, but not a guy to go crazy with. Missouri’s game last week was PPD’d due to COVID concerns with Vanderbilt, but this week the Tigers will take on Kentucky. Bazelak had his best career performance in his last game, passing for 406 yards and four touchdowns against a struggling LSU defense. It should not be understated how bad the LSU defense has been in defending the pass, so though the stats are nice, there is a bit of an outlier concern there. Concern number two is that Shawn Robinson will be active for this game. Though Bazelak has been named the starter, there is always a bit of concern and the what if’s. Concern number three is Kentucky is a far better defensive team than LSU. So these are a lot of concerns, but the price here is still very low and despite it being LSU, Bazelak looked to be coming into his own with some confidence knowing he was the starter. Bazelak is a four-star prospect and Kentucky has allowed 280 yards passing per game. This is a super-flex option play for me this week and if looking to stack you can get Damon Hazelton or Jalen Knox under $5,000. On the flip-side of this, Terry Wilson from Kentucky is only $6,000 and makes for an interesting play himself at just $500 more.
Chuba Hubbard (and the tier above him), OKST – DK: $7,500 | FD: $9,500
I want to start here by talking about the very expensive running back options on this slate. This is the first slate where DraftKings has finally priced some players up to a proper price but it also pushes them to the point of being unable to roster them. Starting with Najee Harris at $9,700 – it goes without saying that it is a great play, but despite how good we haven’t seen a running back, let alone a quarterback, or any player, up in this price range all season. Though Harris has four touchdown upside in any given game, this really can’t be a building block for us. Moving down we have Breece Hall at $9,000 who I think is a great tournament play, but again, not someone we can prioritize. Khalil Herbert has probably been the best running back in college football that no one is talking about and much like Hall is a strong tournament play if you can afford him. Travis Etienne against Syracuse will have to get all of his production done in the first half as I highly doubt he sees a second-half carry. That lands us now in an affordable range of players who have a ceiling like everyone else I just covered and that first guy is Javonte Williams from UNC, but the split with Michael Carter will scare me weekly, so in the end, we land once against on Chuba Hubbard. Hubbard has had a three week layoff now, but that may have been good for the Cowboys as it increases the odds of Spencer Sanders returning to the field. The last time Hubbard was in this writeup, I said he was in a “get right” spot against Kansas, and that is what we got as he averaged 7.3 yards per carry for 145 yards and two touchdowns. In a 40 point win, we also didn’t get a full workload here. This week’s game against Iowa State might be my favorite on the slate from a competitive standpoint. Hubbard is pretty under-priced here and was routinely over $9,000 last season. I think this is the last week of a discount on one of the nation’s best runners.
Tank Bigsby, AUB – DK: $6,500 | FD: $8,600
Bigsby has grabbed the starting job for Auburn and I don’t see any world where his workload gets any smaller going forward. Maybe it is my weird infatuation with the guy, but the way he runs has that something special with the way he can avoid tackles and navigate through the smallest creases. Bigsby has topped 100 yards rushing in his last two games, averaging 7.1 yards per carry over his last 36 touches. Auburn faces Ole Miss this week – the nation’s worst overall defense. Ole Miss is allowing 600 yards of offense per game and 46 points. Auburn players are also all severely underpriced on this slate (stay tuned!). Bigsby is getting the price correction weekly, but it still isn’t high enough for a starting SEC running back. Just a prediction, but this will be the lowest price we see on Bigsby for the rest of the year. Shaun Shivers will be active for Auburn this weekend, but he didn’t appear to have a large role back in the first game he was active. Bigsby could lose a few carries on third down, but all-in-all will be heavily involved on first and second and in the passing game.
Velton Gardner, KU – DK: $4,400 | FD: N/A
Though on paper this isn’t the best play, it is a starting running back at just $4,400 which is something we can’t ignore. This may only be the second time a Kansas player has ever made a write-up of mine. Normal starting running back Pooka Williams has opted out the rest of the season to tend to his ailing mother, which moves Velton Gardner into a starting role for the Jayhawks. Gardner didn’t see a ton of work in 2019, but when he did he made the most of it, averaging 5.3 yards per carry on 26 total touches. So far in 2020, Gardner has 47 attempts for 225 yards and two touchdowns. Now, Kansas is a hefty underdog to Kansas State in this game, but the one place Kansas State has struggled a bit against has been the rush, allowing near 170 yards per game. The Kansas passing game has also been pretty rough, making the running game likely involved no matter the score. Gardner might not have a super high ceiling here, but at $4,400 the floor should exist no matter the score.
Jaylon Waddle, BAMA – DK: $7,700 | FD: $9,500
Through four games on the year, Waddle has not had less than 120 yards in any of them and has four total touchdowns. Total, through four games, Waddle has 25 receptions for 557 yards and four touchdowns in an (always and still) potent Alabama offense. We find Devonta Smith priced $700 higher on this slate, with the only real difference between the two is a slightly higher target share and reception count. I think Elijah Moore against Auburn at $8,100 is as equally as good of a player here as Moore has 50 targets through just four games and a 40% team target share. Between Smith/Moore/Waddle, I really do not think you can go wrong, so on a week where some players are priced up a little higher in the running game, saving the money on DraftKings puts a slight edge to Waddle here for me, but you can’t go wrong with the top three options here this week.
Tutu Atwell, LOU – DK: $6,300 | FD: N/A
We haven’t necessarily seen consistent monster stat lines here, but Atwell is severely underpriced this week in his matchup against Florida State. Atwell has 46 targets, 29 receptions, and 321 yards through five games. Atwell’s price dropped due to a poor showing against Notre Dame, but as said, it was against Notre Dame – the entire Louisville team struggled and all-in-all it doesn’t hold any real weight on this week. If we remove the Notre Dame game, Atwell is averaging 20 fantasy points per week, though that is inflated a bit by an eight reception, 114 yard, two-touchdown game against Miami. Besides Notre Dame, the lowest fantasy output for Atwell was 13.7 fantasy points. We can consider that our floor this week against a Florida State defense that is allowing 279 yards passing and 30 points per game. This game holds a 61 point total with Louisville projected for 33 points.
Seth Williams (and the rest of Auburn) – DK: $4,900 | FD: $8,400
This is a price that kind of made me go huh this week as Seth Williams is actually the cheapest from the group of Eli Stove and Anthony Schwartz. I guess statistically, Williams did have the “worst” game of that group last week against South Carolina, in which Williams caught four passes for 74 yards but he was targeted still 14 times in the passing game, which is the highest on the team. Williams is the number one option here for Auburn and back to back games without a touchdown against Georgia and South Carolina appears to have convinced the algorithm that he is now the third option in the offense. Seth Williams has a 33% target share in the Auburn offense, he has not seen less than nine targets in a game, and has 44 targets through four games. Oh yeah, Auburn is taking on the worst defense in literally all of college football in Ole Miss. This price is broken and honestly, the entire Auburn wideout corp is too cheap. Anthony Schwartz carries the equal 33% target share in this offense as Williams and is only $300 more. Eli Stove returned from injury last week and caught seven passes for 60 yards and is only $5,500 himself. I think Williams has the most big-play potential and at the cheapest price it will certainly become chalky. We need to remember the last two times Williams has been on a slate he has been priced over $6,000.