The College Football Rundown – DraftKings & FanDuel DFS – December 12, 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.
D’Eriq King, MIA – DK: $9,300 | FD: $10,500
There are a lot of expensive quarterback options this week, but if you are looking to spend up at the position, I think King is our highest ceiling and best overall play at this upper price. Miami had a three-week break due to COVID postponements but returned last week to face Duke in which King wasn’t needed much in a 48-0 rout. King still managed 32 fantasy points, as he threw for three touchdowns and ran one in on 46 yards rushing. The crown jewel this week though is the matchup with North Carolina. On paper, it may appear that UNC’s defense is in an upper-tier, only allowing 25 points per game, but really they have had some weeks where the only reason they escaped with wins was being more efficient in the shootout. UNC allowed 53 points to Wake Forest just a month ago, not to mention 44 to Virginia. So why does their defense look good on paper? Allowing just six points to a bad Syracuse team, allowing nine to Western Carolina, and a slower-paced game against Boston College where they only allowed 22. These three games have kept the stat sheet looking nice, but it’s not who this team really is. This game holds a 67.5 game total with Miami favored by three.
Taulia Tagovailoa, UMD – DK: $7,100 | FD: N/A
The last time we saw Taulia was against Indiana where he looked completely overwhelmed. I myself slept on the Indiana defense a bit too much and fell victim to this play – a play in which Tualia completed just 47% of his passes for 241 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. We have taken the good with the bad with Taulia so far this year as he has had some great performances against Minnesota and Penn State, but has scuffled against defenses that can manage a front line and get pressure on him. From a matchup standpoint, it won’t get much better than this week against Rutgers. Rutgers has allowed 27 points to Michigan State, 37 to Indiana, 49 to Ohio State, 48 to Michigan – essentially they are not a defense who is going to come out hot and really slow someone down for a long stretch. The arm talent and rushing talent is there for Tualia, he just shows massive inconsistency and some poor decision making from time to time. This for me is a ceiling play, as the upside on Tualia is worth the risk at his price.
Payton Thorne, MSU – DK: $4,800 | FD: $6,400
This is a bit of a risk, but the price tag here is low enough for us to throw this dart. Thorne took over for Rocky Lombardi in the second quarter last week against Ohio State and though the numbers weren’t anything special, he did complete 16-of-25 for 147 yards and also added 42 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Thorne himself is profiled as a dual-threat quarterback, which is music to our ears as fantasy players as players with this low of a salary greatly raise their floors with rushing upside. The matchup this week also falls in an unpredictable void, as Penn State has been good and bad on the season, sitting at just 2-5, but the talent to be a much better team than that. All in all though, Penn State is still allowing 37 points per game and 368 yards. Michigan State has been a team that has struggled with their offense all year, but maybe a new look under center shakes them in the right direction. All I know is with running upside and a price under $5,000, Thorne is one of my favorite Superflex plays on the slate – and his wide receivers are cheap enough to expose some stacks to. There is always an outside chance that Lombardi gets the start here, but with the questionable tag and no real reason to play him, I doubt it happens.
Something to watch for: We’re not really chasing any injury news this weekend, so my only thing I would say to watch for is the O/U on the HOU/MEM game. I expect it to keep climbing and both quarterbacks from the game are in play for me.
Javonte Williams, UNC – DK: $7,000 | FD: $9,700
This one is downright goofy for me as Javonte Williams has received a $2,500 price drop over his last two games. Two weeks ago, Williams struggled against Notre Dame, one of the nation’s top defenses. Last week he saw only three carries and three receptions – in a game they won 49-9 over Western Carolina. So ask yourself, what is the more realistic scenario here, Javonte Williams is now washed and out of the offensive rotation after scoring 19 total touchdowns on over 1,200 all-purpose yards or two games, or DraftKings really over-corrected here based on the wrong reasons. Yeah, I am going to go with the second one. Williams hasn’t been this cheap since North Carolina’s second game of the year and this week they get a potential shootout with Miami and a 67.5 game total. Michael Carter will remain a thorn in the side here, but these two have co-existed all year. As mentioned, Williams has 1,200 yards and 19 touchdowns on the year. I expect this to be chalk, but it feels inevitable if you think this game gets close to its total.
Jashaun Corbin, FSU – DK: $5,500 | FD: $6,800
With La’Damian Webb opting out for the rest of the year the backfield for Florida State belongs to Corbin now with a little bit of Toafili mixed in. We haven’t got a Florida State football game since November 14th, but in that game Corbin led the way with 14 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown. When this game was played, Webb had not yet opted out, though he only saw five carries. On the year, however, Webb had 62 carries compared to Corbin’s 59. Corbin was a high-profile transfer coming to Florida State from Texas A&M and the Sophomore hopefully will have their last two games to show he is the guy moving into 2021. The Duke defense has been hit or miss this year, allowing near 400 yards and 30 points per game. That being said the Florida State offense has been more miss than hit, but one thing that is key is getting a running game established for an offense that relies heavily upon around ground success. The price on Corbin is very nice this week and he projects as one of the best values on the slate.
Brian Robinson Jr., BAMA – DK: $3,300 | FD: $5,900
This is not a core play for me, but it is one to keep an eye on for this week. Alabama is a 32 point favorite over Arkansas, placing them at a 50.5 team total. Arkansas may be without starter Felipe Franks which really paints a picture of a potential blowout. All of the starters for Alabama are going to get their share, but if this game follows the script, I don’t think Alabama has much reason to risk the health of their key players this close to the playoff. This opens a potential door for Brian Robinson Jr. to get some heavy second-half run. Robinson saw 11 carries against LSU last week and seven the week before against Auburn. On the year he has 61 attempts for 331 yards and three touchdowns. The ceiling isn’t massive here, but at $3,300 we aren’t looking for massive. I think this has the potential to be a 3x value play and possibly more if Alabama continues to click on offense.
Something to watch for: Keep an eye on the Penn State rushing game. Keyvone Lee appears to have taken the reigns as the starter, but is currently questionable for this week. Devyn Ford at $4,900 has a positive matchup and is in play for me if Lee misses.
Devonta Smith, BAMA – DK: $10,000 | FD: $11,500
Yup, that is $10,000 on a wide receiver, and yup, that is a $10,000 receiver in this write-up. 8-231-3, 7-171-2, 9-144-2, 11-203-4 – those are Smith’s last four games, which averages out to 47.2 fantasy points per game, which is still a 4.7x value play at this price. The worry: injury, Alabama scoring too much and him getting benched, Alabama saving players for the playoff. I think those worries are natural concerns when paying this price for a wide receiver. I am by no means telling you that you have to pay this price, but in this article I like to tell you the top play at every position sometimes without factoring the price, and this is just hands down the highest floor and ceiling wide receiver play this week.
Tahj Washington, MEM – DK: $5,100 | FD: N/A
Memphis hasn’t played as a complete team recently, maybe we can chalk this up to some injuries in the backfield, but a 10-7 win over Navy and then a 35-21 loss to Tulane paint the scene of their last two games. There were some positive takeaways from last week with Tulane, as Washington caught six of nine targets for 76 yards and found the endzone on the ground. With the Memphis offense, it has been a year of picking the proper spots and I think this week against Houston is one of those spots as this game projects out with a 63 point game total. Both of these teams are allowing over 31 points per game, with each also allowing over 265 yards passing and 425 yards of total offense. Washington holds a 18% target share in this offense, but Brady White has also struggled a bit recently. This team will need to get back on track to beat Houston, but it projects out as a game with high potential and the price on Washington here is just too good for me to pass up.
Jayden Reed, MSU – DK: $4,600 | FD: $7,100
Reed, the Western Michigan transfer, hasn’t had a flashy year by any means, catching just 27 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns on the year. He did however have one of his better showings of the year last week against Ohio State when he caught five passes for 79 yards – most of these coming from Payton Thorne, not Rocky Lombardi. We have barely any sample on this connection, but it did seem Thorne managed the Michigan State offense adequately enough to put these guys in play at their price this week when they travel to Penn State. Jalen Nailor at $4,300 is also equally in play here. I by no means am I trying to crown Payton Thorne as the savior and answer to the Spartans quarterback issues, but it can’t hurt.