The College Football Rundown – DraftKings & FanDuel DFS – December 19, 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.
Justin Fields, OHST – DK: $9,800 | FD: $11,00
There are rumors of COVID at Ohio State – keep an eye on this news moving into Saturday
Fields made this write up two weeks ago with the same logic I am applying now. Despite Ohio State being exceptioned into the Big Ten title game and more than likely with a win being a lock for the College Football Playoff, there is no reason for Ohio State to take it easy, let up, or take the foot off the gas, whichever hyperbole you prefer in this situation. The point being, Ohio State on a limited schedule and resume, is going to continue to play Ohio State football and that is smash-mouth football lead by a projected top-five draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Northwestern defense has been solid all year, but also haven’t really faced an offense as prolific as Ohio State. Fields is averaging 35.8 fantasy points per contest and offers the dual-threat upside that we always try to target with these higher-priced options. The last few weeks have been filled with one of the higher-priced options in this write-up, but the truth is if you are chasing a ceiling play, which is what you need to do for tournaments, you need the rushing upside that Fields almost all has on lock. Matt Corral is the closest pivot here, but relying on 500-yard passing games is a tough pill to swallow.
Grayson McCall, CC – DK: $8,200 | FD: PPD Coastal Carolina, now ranked ninth (!) carry their perfect record into a conference championship this weekend with ULL. Last week against Troy we saw McCall at his absolute best, completing 24-of-29 for 338 and three touchdowns while adding 40 yards on the ground. On the season it’s now 22 touchdowns to just two interceptions and 401 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. McCall is averaging 27.3 fantasy points per contest this year and that is with a just 9.2 fantasy point performance against a tough BYU defense. ULL is no walk in the park here, but this is a rematch from a game back in mid-October when Coastal won 30-27. McCall in that game passed for two touchdowns and ran one in as well for what was a 27 fantasy point performance. McCall actually comes at a $100 discount compared to last week. I think there are a lot of quarterback options this week, so don’t feel locked into this one, but with the uncertainty of Ohio State’s status right now, this pivot had to be made off of Justin Fields.
Max Johnson, LSU – DK: $6,800 | FD: $8,900
Max Johnson looked like a CFB ready starting quarterback in LSU’s upset victory over Florida last weekend at Florida. Johnson passed for 239 yards and three touchdowns while rushing 18 times for 52 yards. The 2.9 yard per carry isn’t a ton here, but the 18 attempts shows his legs are built into this game plan. The LSU rushing attack is also pretty decimated right now, with John Emery questionable, Davis-Price trending doubtful, and Chris Curry not finding much room last week which in return should allow more passing opportunities and some extra or at worst, consistent, rushing opportunities for Johnson. But really, this just comes down to one thing: The LSU/Ole Miss game has a game total of 77.5 right now. With LSU projected for 38 points, this game projects as an absolute shootout. We can get a side of that shootout for under $7,000 and this will likely be chalk this week. Johnson does carry a probable tag right now as he missed practice on Monday, but it is said to be minor and shouldn’t affect his status for Saturday.
Something to watch for: Only two quarterbacks here this week, but that speaks more to the total array of options than the limit of them. In a championship week, I am not skimping at the QB position or taking a real risk on a low low dollar guy. I only get so much space before I just start writing up everyone, but from Corral to Lawrence, to Book, Mond, Travis, Purdy, Hartman, and even Starkel and Bachmeier, I could spend more time than we have to give you pros and cons to each.
Travis Etienne, CLEM – DK: $7,800 | FD: $9,400
Though Etienne was bottled up against Notre Dame just a month ago, the price drop here on Etienne is too hard to ignore for the caliber of player he is. Etienne holds a $1,400 price drop from the last time these two teams met and though Notre Dame does hold a premier defense in college football, Clemson holds a premier offense that will have Trevor Lawrence at the helm this time. Despite being held to 1.6 yards against the Irish last game, Etienne still cracked 20 fantasy points as he found the end zone on the ground and caught eight passes for 57 yards. Etienne didn’t see much work last game against Virginia Tech as he wasn’t needed in a 45-10 win. If you have read this article year-round, I like to target the underpriced guy who has a very high ceiling and that falls on Etienne’s shoulders this week.
Chris Curry, LSU FSU – DK: $4,100 | FD: $6,100
This writeup was home to the Florida State/Wake Forest game, but for the fifth time in 48 hours I have to scrap a part of my core plays due to the game being PPD. Chris Curry should grab that start at running back for LSU this Saturday in what I have already talked about as a high total game. Tyrion Davis-Price has already been ruled out for this contest and John Emery is still questionable, but no real reason to push him in a meaningless game. Curry saw 17 carries last week against Florida and should be able to find more running room against a softer Ole Miss defense.
Nakia Watson, WISC – DK: $3,600 | FD: $7,300
Badger Freshman Jalen Berger missed last week’s game against Iowa and is not on the Badgers depth chart released on Tuesday this week against Minnesota. Nakia Watson is listed as the RB1 on that depth chart, so we can move forward under the assumption that he will be the starter this week. Watson hasn’t been anything special for Wisconsin this year, averaging just 3.6 yards per carry and just three touchdowns to boot. However, in picking and choosing our matchups, we can’t ask for a much better one this week against Minnesota – a team that has allowed 250 yards per game on the ground and 49 points. The Badgers will spread carries between Watson, Groshek, and Stokke, but at just $3,600 this play is worth the risk however we can’t expect super high volume here.
Garrett Wilson, OHST – DK: $8,000 | FD: $9,100
There are rumors of COVID at Ohio State, specifically with Chris Olave – keep an eye on this news moving into Saturday. Do your own due diligence in this regard.
I originally wrote up Chris Olave here, a good ten or so sentences, but with rumors swirling at Ohio State of COVID, the name that keeps coming up is Chris Olave. So, let us just pretend that the rumors are real (CFB rumors have led to being true way more than not this year), Garrett Wilson, though expensive, is going to see a ton of targets as a 30% target share once held by Olave will be opened up. Ohio State has a talented group of receivers not named Olave and Wilson in Jameson Williams and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, though neither have really needed to be used at all this year. Jameson Williams gets the biggest bump here, but I don’t think there is much reason to risk any as there is plenty of value on this slate and despite the high price tag on Wilson we shouldn’t have issues fitting him in. Regardless, you need to verify the starters in this game prior to kickoff – though you should be doing that with virtually every player in this volatile time.
Kayshon Boutte, LSU – DK: $5,700 | FD: N/A
We touched on the LSU/Ole Miss game once with Max Johnson, so it only makes sense to run Johnson back with a stacking option in a game with such a high total. Boutte has found himself to be Johnson’s favorite target of the past two weeks, racking up 23 targets over the last two games and turning that into 13 receptions for 219 yards and a touchdown. Racey McMath being out for these games hasn’t hurt Boutte’s rise, but even a possible return of McMath this weekend (though unlikely) shouldn’t do much to change the output of the now top receiver for the Tigers. Jaray Jenkins is off of a four receptions 65-yard performance himself and at just $4,300 he deserves a look at some exposure this week. The Ole Miss defense is allowing 556 yards and 44.6 points per game, so though these names are new and these sample sizes small, there are going to be points to be had and someone is going to need to score them.
Dontario Drummond, Braylon Sanders, Jonathan Mingo, OLE
A late addition to this article before publishing, but with Elijah Moore and Kenny Yeboah both declaring for the NFL draft, the Ole Miss Rebels have about a 54% total target share that will need to be replaced this week against LSU. Moore made up 39% of that, with the tight end Yeboah covering the other 14.5%. Of the three above, Mingo has been the highest targeted, at 14% of team targets, with Drummond at 11% and Sanders at 7%. However, none of these guys will break the bank as they all come in under $4,500 this week. As mentioned, this game carries a 77 point total, though it has dropped to 75 currently.
Isaiah Likely, CC – DK: $4,000 | FD: PPD In the eight games that Isaiah Likely has been active this year, he has put up double-digit fantasy points in six of them, the two he didn’t can easily be contributed to a lower-body injury that Likely was dealing with in mid-November. The reception numbers week to week aren’t high, but Likely is averaging 64 yards per game and 12.6 fantasy points per contest. Coastal Carolina is looking to close a perfect season in what really is probably the best story of the year. Likely is coming off a five reception, 66-yard performance against Troy in which he was priced at $4,500. Despite the 12.6 fantasy point average on the year, the price is just $4,000 here, so DraftKings is knowingly offering up 3.2x value on this play in pricing and averages alone. I typically don’t include tight ends in this writeup, but the value here just feels too strong.