The College Football Rundown – DraftKings & FanDuel DFS – November 7, 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.
Spencer Rattler, OU – DK: $9,100 | FD: N/A
Kicking off this post I want to make it clear that pricing is a little funky this week. In all, some of these matchups carry lower totals than we are used to and there isn’t really a guy who you *need* to spend up on. Ultimately, what we end up with, is a week where high priced options filter into really good tournament plays, but nothing I think we need to reach for in cash. I bounced between Rattler, Clifford, and Ridder here, but I think this might be the spot where Rattler finally gets to unleash himself. At worst, we are getting a consistent option who hasn’t had to be leaned on much. Of course, the running game for the Sooners could take this over and Rattler could end up being a bit limited, but this is an offense that is fresh off 62 points against Texas Tech. Now, this week, against Kansas, it is literally a no-contest game with Oklahoma favored by 38 points. This is typically a spot I would raise the red flag and scream fade fade fade, but the Sooners, aside from injury preservation, have no real reason to not let Rattler just tear through this defense. The Sooners should be able to do whatever they really want in this game. Tanner Mordecai will ultimately see some work late in this game and if you don’t think Rattler is worth it, pivoting to a Sean Clifford is a fine idea in a game that could be closer. No matter who I was going to write up in this higher tier spot they were going to be tournament only for me so while I don’t think it is necessary to spend up this week, there is upside to doing it in being unique to the field.
Jayden Daniels, ASU – DK: $6,700 | FD: $9,500
The Arizona State offense is going to look a whole lot different this season with the loss of Brandon Aiyuk and Eno Benjamin, but Sophomore quarterback Jayden Daniels returns and the lack of other playmakers – though will negatively affect him – in a strange way may increase his fantasy prowess in the long run. Daniels is a dual-threat option who didn’t need to use his legs a ton last year, but still averaged double-digit carries a game. He also didn’t find the end zone much, just twice on the year, but again, this is due in part to having Eno Benjamin to rely on. The backfield is new here, with Junior transfer Rachaad White the likely starter and the two-deep after that both being freshmen. A lot of this calls for some concern, but Daniels will now have the opportunity to be the top playmaker in this offense. At the college level, I like to keep these in the perspective of playmakers make plays and they make the players around them better. The Sun Devils get an early test with USC, a team they are 11 point underdogs to. This is a blessing and a curse here, as USC isn’t the powerhouse of old, and playing from behind will force more action from Daniels. If the negatives of this matchup aren’t your cup of tea, Kedon Slovis on the other side of the ball is a worthy start as well, though at $7,800 he falls in a little higher of a tier. Slovis threw for over 400 yards in four of his last five games.
Max Duggan, TCU – DK: $6,400 | FD: $9,500
Duggan’s fantasy production over the last three weeks has been stifled by a string of tough defenses. Kansas State, Oklahoma, and Baylor lined the schedule for this Horned Frogs team, none of which the offense was really ever able to break through on (despite winning against Baylor). What this does get us however is a cheap Max Duggan in a great matchup against Texas Tech and a definite “correction” spot for him. Texas Tech is allowing 340 yards passing a game and 150 yards rushing. They are also allowing 37 points per game and currently, TCU is projected for 35.5 points, which is their highest team total on the season. Duggan checks the boxes this week for dual-threat upside, a great matchup (at home even), and a high team total.
Coran Taylor, ILL – DK: $4,500 | FD: $7,300
If you are looking for ultimate savings this weekend then take a look at Coran Taylor from Illinois. Taylor, the one-time fourth-string quarterback on the Illinois depth chart grabbed the start last week against Purdue and despite the loss, led them to a competitive game. Taylor completed 17-of-29 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns and added 32 yards on the ground. Taylor didn’t find much space on the ground, though he did attempt 17 rushes which is a positive sign going forward. The bad here is he threw two interceptions and fumbled three times (lost two of them). Taylor should grab the start again on Saturday against Minnesota, a team that is allowing near 500 yards of total offense through two games. Taylor has a lot of red flags and we need to 100% verify he is starting, but the absolute bottom price on DraftKings makes him worth some dart throws.
Mohamed Ibrahim, MIN – DK: $10,000 | FD: $11,000
Simply put, there just is not a better raw statistical and ceiling play on this slate than Mohamed Ibrahim. Despite the $10,000 price tag on DraftKings, Ibrahim has slate breaking ability with his current workload and positive matchup with Illinois. Ibrahim carried the ball 41 times against Maryland for 207 yards and four touchdowns. That is not a typo, through two games on the season Ibrahim has 67 rushing attempts for 347 yards and six touchdowns – this is an average of 41 fantasy points. The Golden Gophers, unlike years past with Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks, no longer really have depth at this position and as a run team first, it is all funneling to Ibrahim. This is a week where we can save money in several spots, so I expect this play to still be heavily owned despite the price tag and with Minnesota projected for 35 points, there isn’t a world outside of an injury where Ibrahim doesn’t find the endzone once, and undoubtedly more than that if they are able to keep the ball moving against an Illinois team that historically and so far this year, hasn’t looked too impressive. Sometimes the most expensive play is just the guy you have to write up.
Devyn Ford, PSU – DK: $5,900 | FD: N/A
Sticking with the Minnesota theme, Devyn Ford is a gut-call for me this week against the same Maryland defense that Ibrahim was able to grind down. If you look simply at the “against” for Maryland this year, they are allowing over 530 yards per game and 325 yards rushing. These numbers are a little skewed, but who is not to say that a two-game trend isn’t enough for us here. Ford didn’t see a lot of work against Ohio State, running the ball just eight times for 36 yards. Ford though is still really the last man standing here and is the top option in this rushing offense, though he will fight with carries from Sean Clifford. For me, the price here of $5,900 is too much of a discount to not take a stab at this play against Maryland’s rush defense that has looked beyond poor to start the year. I am not sure how confident I am in calling this a top ceiling play, but the price is respectable and the range here is a bit questionable. Pivots for me are Michael Carter at $6,300, but below that line it is a bunch of what I see as lower ceiling plays.
Bijan Robinson, TX – DK: $4,500 | FD: $6,800
Even before the injury to Keontay Ingram, Bijan Robinson was trending towards being the most worked running back in the Longhorns backfield. With Ingram now injured, the carries are guaranteed for Robinson who has averaged 4.6 yards per carry over his last two games. It is tough rostering a Texas running back, as Sam Ehlinger prefers to control the rushing game himself, though despite this matchup being tough on paper, Robinson still finds himself as a cheap GPP running back who is benefiting from a key injury. Rochon Johnson also has a chance to steal some work here, but he has been generally uninvolved in the past few weeks.
Rachaad White, ASU – DK: $3,000 | FD: $7,000
We can’t leave out a minimum price starting running back, despite not knowing a ton about the play. Rachaad White is a Junior College transfer, spending his 2019 at Mt. San Antonio College. It was a successful stint for the Sophomore, rushing for 1,264 yards in 11 games and racking up 10 touchdowns. With a lot of youth at this position for Herm Edwards, he has given White the starting nod for this Saturday’s game against USC. While I don’t see him being a bellcow, it will rely heavily on how White looks in the early going. We don’t need a lot for this play to pay off and right now it appears to be the best value on the entire slate.
Tylan Wallace, OKST – DK: $7,900 | FD: $9,600
I pegged Wallace as my favorite wide receiver last week and he rewarded us handsomely with 11 receptions on 14 targets and 187 yards and two touchdowns. As mentioned then, the connection with Spencer Sanders returning from injury is going to be unlike any games previously in the year, so all previous Wallace stats can be thrown out, outside of the last two games with Sanders. In those two games, Wallace has 24 targets and a dominating target share in the Cowboys offense. We are seeing a $800 price jump this week, but as previously mentioned, the top tier of pricing this week feels a little strange. Jahan Dotson falls as the most expensive receiver this week at $8,300 and though his early season stats are leading to the proper pricing, there is not enough consistency on this play to lean on it. Kansas State has been a struggling defense (and team overall) over the past few weeks and though on paper they are only allowing 24 points per game, they are allowing chunk yardage with 430 total per game. Much like my Spencer Rattler writeup, I do not believe a top tier receiver is necessary this week, but Tylan Wallace still makes up my top play. For a pivot, Dyami Brown and Rashad Bateman are two other high ceiling options.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC – DK: $6,200 | FD: $8,200 & Tyler Vaughns, USC – DK: $5,700 | FD: $8,700 & Drake London, USC – DK: $5,000 | FD: $7,800
We are going to be playing roulette to try and peg the receiver to play from USC, so effectively they are all in play in some way, shape, or form. Gone from this USC offense is Michael Pittman, the leading receiver who had 136 targets in 2019 and a 27% team target share. Instantly, we can see where the trickle-down of value comes in here. Despite Pittman having such a large target share, the three guys you see above all played big roles in 2019. Amon-Ra St. Brown had 106 targets (21%), Tyler Vaughns had 110 targets (22.3%), and Drake London had 54, though 36 of those came over the last five games of the season. With Pittman off to the NFL, 136 targets are going to be redistributed throughout this offense weekly. We have to remember, USC, lead by Kedon Slovis, is a pass-heavy and pass-first team. Slovis had 33 or more passing attempts in all but two games last season and passed for 3,502 yards and 30 touchdowns. With this being the first game of the year for Arizona State and USC it is hard to hammer this game, but conventional wisdom is telling me to grab as many shares as possible. The prices are all too low on USC receivers and I would not be surprised to see two of these guys end up in an optimal lineup. The only thing to really watch here is for weather, as there is rain in the forecast. I am not a big “fade weather” guy, so it will be incredibly dependant on how bad it is projected to be around game-time.
Kwamie Lassiter II, KU – DK: $4,200 | FD: N/A
Lassiter is a guy we would probably know a bit more about if he wasn’t stuck on a bad Kansas team. This actually marks the third straight week a Kansas player has made this write up and though I am not super proud of it, there is still value to be had here with Lassiter at just $4,200. Since Jalon Daniels took over the starting gig two weeks ago, Lassiter has seen 19 targets in the passing game, along with his work as a kick and punt returner. Over the last two games, Lassiter has a total of 12 receptions for 124 yards. These aren’t slate breaking numbers, but they are also numbers without being able to find the end zone. It is hard to find high target receivers at this price and if we just exclude the noise about how bad this Kansas team is, we can still find the value here. Lassiter has returned 3x value on his price in back to back weeks and there isn’t a reason to expect different this week despite the matchup with Oklahoma. This is an incredibly young Jayhawks team who is playing their starters all four quarters for experience.