The College Football Rundown – DraftKings & FanDuel DFS – November 14, 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.
D’Eriq King, MIA – DK: $9,300 | FD: $10,400
What was at one point a 14-game slate has quickly shrunk to a 10-game slate as four games have been PPD due to COVID-19. Justin Fields came into this slate at $10,200 – the first QB over the $10,000 mark on the season. There are a lot of solid quarterback options this week which leads me to believe ownership should be way more spread out and we should have any real chalky plays. From my first look, I am not seeing any real broken prices for quarterbacks. However, if I am spending up this week, it is going to be for D’Eriq King out of Miami. The Houston transfer is coming off of his best game of the season in which he passed for 430 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 105 yards. The dual-threat weapon has been a bit reserved in the earlier parts of the year, which may be a deceitful statement because King being “reserved” was still him averaging around 24 fantasy points per contest. The rushing upside here elevates King’s floor into the safest spot on the slate. This week for Miami it is Virginia Tech, who is allowing 30 points per game and 440 yards. The Miami running back situation has been murky recently as well, which has played into King being the sole playmaker here. As long as Miami continues to split running back reps, King will be the constant in the offense.
Michael Penix Jr., IND – DK: $7,200 | FD: $9,100
Indiana may be the team to surprise everyone so far this season as they are 3-0 with wins over Penn State and Michigan. Michael Penix has been rock steady this year, averaging 29 fantasy points per in his last two games. Penix does have the capability to run the ball, but we haven’t seen the need for that yet as Stevie Scott leads the backfield and Penix has been given ample opportunity to throw the ball. Last week again Michigan, Penix passed for 342 yards and three touchdowns on 50 attempts (completing 30 of them). The price is $1,000 higher than two weeks ago on Penix, but with his level of recent play it is still conservatively too low. This week Indiana travels to Michigan State – a team who is allowing 38 points per game as it stands now and that is to the poor offenses of Rutgers and Iowa. The game total isn’t super high here, but that falls more in line with the Michigan State offense being projected low, rather than Indiana not – Indiana holds a 30 point team total.
Adrian Martinez, NEB – DK: $5,800 | FD: $7,400 OR Luke McCaffrey, NEB – DK: $5,200 | FD: $7,000
This is a play that is going to take some observation on gameday, as I do not really have the answer for you now. Adrian Martinez was benched last game out against Northwestern and conceded duties to Luke McCaffery. Both quarterbacks offer us the same thing, an average arm but will dual-threat upside, especially in the red zone. The opponent this week is Penn State, a team who has disappointed so far this season with their 0-3 start. Penn State is allowing 37 points per game and 368 yards, so with a priced down offense in Nebraska, there is a lot of value to go around here – just unfortunately we don’t know the “who” as of yet. If I had to make a guess now, I would say McCaffery starts, and pending a poor start, should finish the game – but the risk here lies in the fact that if one struggles the other could be given a shot. This is a tough situation to tread, but if we get it right it is likely the best money saving and highest upside spot at quarterback this week.
Javian Hawkins, LOU – DK: $8,300 | FD: $9,700
For starters here, I want to say that if you do have the salary available, I do think Javonte Williams at $9,500 is once again the highest ceiling option on this slate. The duo of Williams and Carter from UNC can be played in unison, as each is heavily involved in the running and passing game. The price tag on Williams is a bit too high to place him in my core, but just wanted to give them both some love quick. Moving on, Javian Hawkins has been one of the hottest running backs over his last two games, with 303 yards rushing on just 33 carries and four touchdowns – he also has six receptions for 50 yards and an additional score. If we remove the Notre Dame game from the box score (a game he still managed 14 fantasy points) we are looking at a running back who is pushing nearly 28 fantasy points per contest. Truthfully speaking, I think this price is still too low and Hawkins should be pushing $9,000. The matchup with Virginia may play into the price, as Virginia is allowing just 133 yards rushing per game. However, that stat is skewed heavily due to some games where teams just didn’t run much to take advantage of Virginia’s poor passing defense. It also factors a game against Miami and Duke, two teams with less than desirable running games. Hawkins is going to be the best pure runner this Cavaliers team has faced and when all is said and done, Virginia is still allowing 420 yards and 32 points per game. This game holds a 66.5 game total with Virginia being favored by three.
Dedrick Mills, NEB – DK: $5,700 | FD: $7,600
This play likely works more in conjecture with the quarterback’s from above and is in play if you choose not to use a Nebraska QB. Mills ran the ball 19 times for 59 yards and a touchdown against Northwestern, but also pulled in six receptions for 33 yards in the passing game. Four of those receptions came from Luke McCaffery, who looked a little more involved in getting passing touches to the running back in space – which is something we haven’t seen a ton out of Adrian Martinez’s tenure at Nebraska. The key to Mills success is always going to be game script. Nebraska has played from behind frequently this season which has kept Mills from ever really getting going. This week against Penn State though, due to Penn States horrid start, we should see something a bit different. Penn State is only a three-point favorite here and this feels like a game that could end up being a shootout – with two disappointing teams trying to make a statement. I don’t think Mills is slate breaking, but due to the four PPD games, we have lost an entire tier of pricing on DraftKings. six SEC running backs, priced in the $6,400-$7,000 range are all out this weekend. This in the end plays a bigger role than assumed, as it funnels pricing into and out of certain players. For example, If someone has $7,000 for a FLEX player, instead of being able to choose between six different running backs in that range, they fall down to Stephen Carr and Michael Carter. Because of this, guys like Mike Harley ($6,900), Tutu Atwell ($6,800), Amon-Ra St. Brown ($6,700), and Michael Carter ($6,200) will all be higher owned than normal. A bit off subject, but still valuable knowledge.
Raheem Blackshear – DK: $3,400 | FD: $6,300
Unfortunately for us this week, our value plays are all “wait and see” guys as this play hinges on the availability of Khalil Herbert. Herbert left last week’s game against Liberty with a Hamstring issue and early reports from Coach Justin Fuente made Herbert sound completely questionable. If Herbert misses, Blackshear should eat up most of the work left behind. Blackshear has already been pretty involved in this offense with 52 touches on the year and two touchdowns. There is a world where if Herbert is limited then Blackshear still holds value, especially at this low of a price, but if Herbert is out this is going to be a very high owned play for me. We do need to be careful though as Hooker could move into an even more dominant play on the ground as well with no Herbert if that is how Va Tech decides to game plan. You will have to wait and see on this one leading up to Saturday.
Mike Harley, MIA – DK: $6,900 | FD: $8,500
Will start this again with a disclaimer, Jahan Dotson is likely the best wide receiver play on this slate. But me sticking true to how I write this article, I can’t just put every most expensive play as I still want you to be able to build a realistic team off of this writeup. I also don’t want to over-expose the article to one game and you will see my favorite point per dollar receiver from this game below as you read on. I feel a little dirty putting a Miami receiver in this article, but it is hard to ignore what Mike Harley has done the last two games. Harley has 18 receptions for 323 yards and three touchdowns and as D’Eriq King has settled into this offense as of late, he has found a connection with Harley as his favorite target. My mind battles a bit with this play as I wonder to myself if I am chasing. Typically, based on one huge performance, I like to think of it as an outlier rather than a new normal. But a second performance of the same results might actually be more of a correction than an outlier. Harley was just a $4,800 play two weeks ago, so we need to ask ourselves if he is still undervalued or if we are chasing the market on him persay. If you aren’t comfortable with Harley, this range is pretty loaded with options, some that I mentioned in my tier lecture on Dedrick Mills writeup – those being Atwell and St. Brown. This week is unique as it isn’t incredibly difficult to build and there are a lot of different ways to attack it. Harley remains one of the better GPP plays on the board due to his recent performances, though if you are looking for a cash play I would land on Atwell or St. Brown for higher floors.
Drake London, USC – DK: $5,800 | FD: $8,600
Last week I listed all the USC wide receivers here as I wasn’t quite sure which one I wanted the most exposure to. I ended up on London as the top guy and he did not disappoint, catching eight passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. USC is going to be tricky week in and week out as they run four deep of guys who can do damage. There is no knock against playing St. Brown, Vaughns, or even McCoy this week as when you get a volume passing team, the pass catchers are the true beneficiaries. I think Tyler Vaughns is the best GPP play of the week, just due to people possibly souring on him due to his lesser performances last week. The price here on London though is still too low, despite the raise of $800. This week USC travels to Arizona, a team that finished 4-8 last season and doesn’t project out a ton better this year.
Parker Washington, PSU – DK: $4,400 | FD: $7,300
I have touched on the Nebraska/Penn State game a lot in this article so far, but that is just due to the pricing being so low on the plays despite having some pretty big upside. Washington falls into that role here at just $4,400 he is a guy who has already established himself as the number two guy behind Dotson in this receiving corp. Washington, just a freshman, is coming off an eight receptions 70 yards and two touchdown performance, and prior to that say four catches for 73 yards against Ohio State, and also a touchdown reception against Indiana. Washington was priced at $4,500 against Ohio State, then dropped down to $4,100 against Maryland, and coming off a 27 fantasy point performance was only raised to $4,400. To me, this is just a broken price for a young receiver building a strong repertoire with his QB. Nebraska’s defense is nothing to fear – in fact, they have given up 52 points per game and 498 yards. This is my favorite value wide receiver this week.