The College Football Rundown – DraftKings & FanDuel CFB DFS – September 2, 2021

The College Football Rundown – DraftKings & FanDuel CFB DFS – September 2, 2021

Welcome back everyone – it is a joy and honor to be back for the 2021 College Football season. 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 four games or more, though projections and optimizer access will be available for all normal and showdown slates.

Quarterback

Dillon Gabriel, UCF – DK: $9,100 | FD: $11,500

While Gabriel tops the list of expensive options this week, we get what should be one of the more competitive matchups on the board with UCF opening as a five-point favorite over Boise State. This game features a game total of 69 points and UCF for 37 in their own regard. While the Boise State defense wasn’t bad in 2020, they still were outside the top-40 of the NCAA. They also didn’t have a super tough run down the stretch, yet allowed 51 points to BYU, 30 to Air Force, 32 to Hawaii, and 34 to San Jose State. Gabriel passed for 3,570 yards and 32 touchdowns in 2020, which ranked 5th and 4th in the nation – he also threw just four interceptions all year. Gabriel attempted at least 33 in all of his games except one, and over 40 in seven of them. Gone are the top three leading rushers from 2020 and two of his top receivers in Marlon Williams and Jacob Harris, but Jaylon Robinson and Ryan O’Keefe proved more than capable during their time in 2020. This is going to be a fast-tempo offense and should lean more to the pass this year than the run due to the inexperience. Gabriel’s ceiling for yardage and touchdowns is very high here. While he has never been incredibly mobile, Gabriel did four starts with double-digit carries last year. The Gus Malzhan era could change this offense a bit, but if anything it could help get Gabriel in space more.

CJ Stroud, OHST – DK: $8,000 | FD: $10,500

It is CJ Stroud season as he takes over as the main signal caller for Ohio State this season. Stroud brings a lot to the table that Buckeye fans are used to – a quarterback with an extremely strong arm and the ability to get outside of the pocket. While most will say that Stroud is a bit slower than the Haskins or Fields before him, he still has a tremendous playmaking ability with his legs. Sometimes the analysis writes itself as there is not a ton to say about a quarterback stepping in for Ohio State. He will be behind a great offensive line and the Buckeyes return both leading receivers from last year in Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. Stroud has garnered praise all camp long and this simply comes down to his DraftKings pricing for me. While the Buckeyes get a formidable opponent in Minnesota here, the Buckeyes are still carrying a 38.5 team total here. Stroud at just $8,000 may be the cheapest we see him at all year on DraftKings, while FanDuel seems to have priced him accurately. Without knowing how often Stroud is going to resort to his legs (just 328 yards and six touchdowns over four high school seasons), his arm is going to propel him to the top all season and likely future draft boards. Because Ohio State is returning some proven pass catchers, the transition to Stroud should be easy here. A thing to watch for here is the weather, as rain could factor into this game, but as long as it isn’t a downpour, I rarely factor weather into my final decisions.

Noah Vedral, RU – DK: $5,900 | FD: $7,500

If you are looking to save at the quarterback position this week I think Noah Vedral offers some upside at a cheaper price in Rutgers opening game against Temple. Rutgers carries a 32.75 team total here as 14-point favorites in an offense that is pretty balanced between pass and run. Vedral attempting 29 or more passes in all but one game last season, averaging a 62% completion rate. While the rushing upside isn’t huge, he did add around 200 yards on the ground, or around 30 yards per contest. This isn’t a large amount, but it all adds up. It was a Big Ten only schedule for Rutgers last year, but Vedral still averaged 15.5 fantasy points against competition that was well above the Rutgers team of 2020. The softer opening here against a Temple team that is in a bit of a transition should allow for at least a positive game script for Vedral and the Scarlet Knights. As a bonus, Rutgers is returning their top three leading receivers from last season.

Update: This game has been PPD to Saturday and pulled from the slate.

Eric Barriere, EWU – DK: $5,200 | FD: N/A

I was waiting for betting lines for the UNLV/EWU game, but now that I see Eastern Washington carries a near four-touchdown team total, Eric Barriere at $5,200 is more and more appealing. In Barriere’s last full season in 2019, he passed for 3,712 yards and 31 touchdowns. He also rushed for 558 yards and eight scores on the ground. UNLV allowed 482 yards per game in 2020, which was the eighth-worst mark in the nation.

Running back

Camerun Peoples, APPST – DK: $6,900 | FD: $8,300

In what may be my favorite play on the entire slate, Camerun Peoples and the App State Mountaineers take on an Eastern Carolina team who ranked 102nd last year in total defense, allowing over 447 yards per game. There were a lot of mouths to feed at running back for App State last year with Peoples, Harrington, Noel, and Marcus Williams Jr., but with Williams Jr. transferred to Louisiana Tech and Daetrich Harrington already being ruled out with an injury, Peoples and Noel are the top two to grab carries for this opening week. Despite the four-deep backfield of 2020, People still lead the team with 1,124 yards on 168 carries – that is 6.7 yards per carry and 12 touchdowns on the year. Gone is starting quarterback Zac Thomas and enters transfer Chase Brice from Duke. Brice is a bit of a downgrade here, but he also isn’t going to be tasked with throwing a ton. App State’s offense mainly flows through the ground and as 10-point favorites and a team total of 33.75, Peoples is a near-lock to find the end zone at least once in this game. Nate Noel is priced pretty low here as well and could make for an interesting salary-saving play.

Charles Williams, UNLV – DK: $5,900 | FD: N/A

This is a DraftKings only play as the UNLV/EWU game is not on the FanDuel slate, but Charles Williams at just $5,900 feels like a huge steal here. UNLV only played six games in the shortened 2020 season, but Williams still rushed 116 times for 495 yards and four scores. Though, it should also be noted that UNLV went 0-6 on the year and played from behind quite a bit. Even in blowout losses, Williams remained the focal point and lone bright spot for this offense, as he averaged 19.3 carries per game. In a full 12-game season in 2019, Williams ran 212 times for 1,257 yards and 11 scores, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. While we do not have odds for this game yet UNLV should open as the favorite, though Eastern Washington are strong in their own regard. The point more being, Williams will once again be in line for his share despite the score, but for this outlook, it may actually be from ahead. Doug Brumfield will start at quarterback here, but the offense will once again run through Charles Williams.

TreVeyon Henderson, OHST – DK: $3,800 | FD: $5,100

TreVeyon Henderson enters Ohio State as a true freshman and a five-star recruit – ranked as the top running back and 23rd best player in the 2021 class. Henderson did not play his senior year due to Covid rules in the state of Virginia, but in the 19-20 season ran for 2,424 yards and 45 touchdowns, while averaging over 12.2 yards per carry. Not only that, he added 283 yards and another five touchdowns as a receiver. With Master Teague slotted in atop the Ohio State depth chart and Miyan Williams also in the mix, there is definitely a path for playing time for Henderson. I have seen a lot of direct comparisons to JK Dobbins which I can’t really disagree with. Henderson could easily fill the receiving back / speed back role that Ohio State likes to deploy. Ryan Day has already made it sound like he is giving Teague/Williams the earliest looks with the quote of “Early on, the guys who have played a little bit, we’re gonna lean on them, but Tre’s gonna get in there.”. But it is hard to ignore the speed and playmaking ability of Henderson if used in a pass-catching role by the coaching staff. With the coach’s remarks there is a little bit more risk here, but the pricing is just too cheap to not fire off tournament bullets with Henderson here.

Wide receiver

Chris Olave, OHST – DK: $6,700 | FD: $9,200

Maybe I will sound like a broken record, but get used to it because the best advantage we can grab week-to-week is just taking advantage of all slight pricing mistakes as we can and Chris Olave appears to be another one here. While $6,700 is still a pretty high salary, he falls $800 cheaper than fellow receiver Garrett Wilson, despite averaging 4 more fantasy points per contest than Wilson last season. While Wilson caught 43 passes for 723 yards and six touchdowns, Olave did him slightly better with 50 receptions, 729 yards, and seven touchdowns. Also, Olave played one less game than Wilson did on the year. CJ Stroud is a new name to a lot of people at quarterback, but throwing the ball downfield will not be an issue for him. Olave’s ceiling is super high here and the price is just well below the means of where it should be on DraftKings. As noted earlier, there is a chance for rain here, so keep an eye on it, but unless it’s torrential and lasts for three hours, I am not going to be fading this offense.

Bo Melton, RU – DK: $6,300 | FD: $8,800

Melton caught 46 passes for 629 yards and eight touchdowns last year, averaging 13.6 yards per catch and 19.8 fantasy points per game. Melton ended the season last year against Maryland and Nebraska being priced at $6,800 and $7,000, so the price of $6,300 here against Temple rings in pretty nicely as a bit of a discount. Temple allowed 440 yards per game last year and over 16.36 yards per completion through the air which was second-worst in the country. Melton can be a home run hitter at times, and Temple is a team that allowed a lot of home runs.

Update: This game has been PPD to Saturday and pulled from the slate.

Jadan Blue, TEM – DK: $4,700 | FD: $8,100

This is another pretty wide gap between pricing on DraftKings and FanDuel as this play once again is more preferred for the savings on DK. Temple only played seven games in 2020, going just 1-6 but also had incredibly inconsistent quarterback play, starting four different quarterbacks on the season after Anthony Russo went down with an injury. Despite the revolving door at QB, Jadan Blue still managed to catch 41 balls for 371 yards and five touchdowns. In 2019, Blue had 87 receptions for 975 yards and four scores. Things are looking up for the Owls this season however as they welcome Georgia transfer D’Wan Mathis to lead them at QB this season. On Tuesday, Blue said Mathis was “a receiver’s dream” quarterback, with without reading into that too much, seems like the two have made a solid connection so far this summer. Blue is a high upside PPR option here with the potential to break one who is priced way too low as the guy who will be the top pass catcher in the offense. Adding to this, Temple’s starting running back in Ra’Von Bonner will miss this game, so there will be some inexperience at the running back position. Add in the fact that Temple is a 14-point underdog here and the ball should be in the air a lot. There is a chance that Rutgers holds this offense in check, but also don’t be surprised to see Blue smash his floor-based solely around receptions. I think Temple’s offense is good enough to put a Rutgers defense that allowed over 470 yards a game last year on upset watch.

Update: This game has been PPD to Saturday and pulled from the slate.

Andre Johnson, AZST – DK: $3,000 | FD: N/A

This is a bit of a dart throw but Andre Johnson is listed above Bryan Thompson (though technically with an OR designation) on the Arizona State depth chart. Arizona State opens here against Southern Utah and while the betting odds aren’t out for this one yet, we can assume Arizona State as a three-touchdown plus favorite here. Johnson only has one career catch for 35 yards, but his 6-3 size is second only to the monster 6-7 body of fellow receiver Johnny Wilson. This game is a hard one to map out based on game flow, though it should feature the Sun Devil offense moving the ball with ease. The worry is when is the score too high, when do the starters get pulled, and how much of the game ends on the ground. All that being said, Johnson still finds himself first team here for a reason and at bare basement price, he is worth a tournament look.

Click here for Thursday’s Cheat Sheets for both DraftKings and FanDuel

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About James Smizek

James is a Daily Fantasy Sports Veteran dating all the way back to his days of writing content on DraftStreet.com for contest tickets. James specializes in College Football - qualifying for the CFB World Championship in 2018, though you can find his content for NFL, NBA, MLB, and NASCAR on FantasyCruncher. James also picked up some new tricks during the Covid/sports shutdown, carving out a niche in League of Legends, Rocket League, and Call of Duty eSports. A winner of multiple large field GPP's, James hopes his knowledge can help you take down the next one. James currently resides in Wisconsin and is a huge Wisconsin sports fan. If you have any questions you can reach out to him @iKezims on Twitter.

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