The College Football Rundown – DraftKings & Fanduel CFB DFS – September 4, 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.
Desmond Ridder, CIN – DK: $9,200 | FD: N/A
If you are looking to spend up at the QB position on this slate you are going to have options between Rattler, Ridder, and Young, but my edge here goes to Riddler as he really showed a willingness to use his legs towards the end of last year. Over Ridder’s last six games he cracked 37 fantasy points in five of them. While I love the team total for Oklahoma here at near 50-points, Rattler only broke the 37 fantasy point mark once all of last season and while he does enter with another year under his belt, the $9,700 price tag is better left for tournaments. Ridder does lose his power back in Gerrid Doaks, but Jerome Ford should step into the starting role nicely. Ridder returns his top three receiving options from last season, though Ridder’s leg usage is what I am more interested in here. While Cincinnati is a large favorite and the starters could see less work in the later stages of the game, the College Football Playoff has showed us that teams like Cincinnati can’t really afford to take their foot off of the gas pedal. Miami of Ohio only played three games last season and I do believe that just the overall experience here is going to allow Cinci to steamroll in this game.
Anthony Brown, ORE – DK: $8,300 | FD: N/A
If we can grab a dual-threat quarterback from a team that carries the highest individual team total on the board, then we are just going to do it. Anthony Brown takes over as the leader for this Ducks program this year after Tyler Shough transferred out of the program. Brown didn’t see much action in 2020 but did appear in two games, completing 15-of-23 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns while adding 40 yards and two scores on the ground. Brown saw a little more action in 2019 throwing for 1,250 yards and nine touchdowns, though he did battle some injuries. While at Boston College, Brown didn’t use his legs much, which seemed to be more of an organizational choice and one that didn’t really utilize Brown in the best of ways. This is an offense that returns a lot of starters from last year on offense, including an experienced offensive line. While Oregon are 20-point favorites, Fresno State is no pushover. I like the general upside of Brown being involved in a high scoring contest with dual-threat ability. This is a DraftKings only play, as FanDuel did not include it on their main slate.
Hudson Card, UT – DK: $6,900 | FD: $9,500
Hudson Card will draw the start for Texas on Saturday as a redshirt freshman and a very highly touted recruit. Card is a dual-threat option who was the #2 dual-threat ranked quarterback in the nation. There is a note to this play, and that is that Steve Sarkisian has already made comments that Casey Thompson will also play, but that is something that we can’t necessarily control. In my opinion, if Card shows positive signs early, then I doubt the game shifts between a quarterback battle mid-game. To put a little more ease in this, the comments about Thompson getting playing time were very vague in the terms of “Casey’s gonna play, when, how much, I am not exactly certain.” In Card’s last season of High School, he passed for 3,543 yards and 50 touchdowns while rushing for 619 yards and nine touchdowns. The Ragin Cajun defense isn’t a pushover here, but Texas does get the home advantage and carries a team total near five touchdowns. I think this play is near out of bounds on FanDuel, but the price on DraftKings could be the lowest price we see on Card all year if he pans out into the prospect he is projected as.
Leddie Brown, WVU – DK: $8,000 | FD: $9,600
This one stays pretty simple for me – if Maryland hasn’t figured out their running defense woes from last season, then Leddie Brown may be able to run at will against the Terps. Despite the great matchup, Brown has already established himself as one of the best backs in the Big 12. Brown took 199 carries for 1,010 yards last year with nine touchdowns on the ground and added another 31 catches for 202 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Brown is the focal point of this offense and only 12 teams in all of College Football allowed more yards on the ground last season than Maryland – teams against Maryland averaged 230 yards per game.
Eric Gray, OKLA – DK: $6,900 | FD: $8,400
Eric Gray enters Oklahoma atop of their depth chart as a transfer from Tennessee. Over the last two seasons at Tennessee, while sharing the backfield with Ty Chandler, Gray compiled over 1,300 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground while added about 400 yards and three touchdowns through the air. The dual-threat ability of Gray is something that should be worked into the Oklahoma offense successfully, whereas it failed at Tennessee. Looking back at Tennessee with names like Alvin Kamara in recent memory, Gray was tabbed as the “next Kamara” though an often vanilla and stagnant offense (and poor quarterback play) for the Vols really stalled Gray’s potential breakout years. I say that as I did list the stats above and they are still positive, which paints the picture of how good Gray could be in a competent offense. Kennedy Brooks is back after opting out of last season, but with Gray listed on the top of the chart and his pass-catching ability, he is one of my top options on this slate and he does not carry too high of a price tag.
Brian Robinson Jr., BAMA – DK: $6,500 | FD: $8,500
I ask this question at face value: When have you ever been able to get a starting Alabama running back priced this low? Sure, the Alabama running back room is deep with Jase McClellan and Trey Sanders, but there is no “or” next to Brian Robinson – this will be his year to start. In the last two seasons, Robinson has seen plenty of work and has succeeded with it, rushing for 483 yards in 2020 and 441 in 2019 and a combined 11 touchdowns. While I think looking too deep into comments in media briefings is a bit cheesy, Robinson recently said quote “I’ve worked my whole life for this opportunity” – it is words like that, that reiterate the fact that a player for me is locked into what his position of power means. What I mean by that is being the #1 running back at Alabama is a big deal – the guys behind you are just as talented – and they can take your job. Robinson enters this game at 22-years-old and has plenty of experience. I think the other Bama backs do play here as well and Trey Sanders at $3,000 makes for an interesting DFS option. But with an opener here against Miami, I expect Bama to bring their best to the table and getting Robinson at this price on both sites feels good.
Chez Mellusi, WISC – DK: $5,000 | FD: $5,400
As a Wisconsin fan myself, I too was a bit surprised to see Mellusi atop the Badgers depth chart for their game against Penn State. Jalen Berger had a solid freshman season, averaging five yards per carry for 301 yards and two touchdowns in an abbreviated season. Mellusi sees himself in Madison as a Clemson transfer who often carried the Rb3 role for the Tigers. Mellusi himself is a 4-star recruit who carried offers from Clemson, Auburn, Notre Dame, among plenty others and rushed for nearly 4,000 yards and 60 touchdowns in his high school career. I guess the point I am making, is Mellusi has never actually been “released” and has never gotten that starter’s chance despite averaging six yards per carry in his Clemson career. I don’t have to go too in depth about the Wisconsin running game that has produced guys like James White, Montee Ball, Melvin Gordon, and Jonathan Taylor. The Wisconsin offensive line is regarded as one of the best in the country and while Berger is still going to see a large share of work, the power of Mellusi fits this offense well. This opening game against Penn State will be a test, but if anything the price on Mellusi on FanDuel at just $5,400 is quite possibly the best high ceiling salary saving option on this slate.
Marvin Mims, OKLA – DK: $7,700 | $9,200
There really isn’t an option on this slate that we absolutely need to pay up for on this slate, so I think the receiver spot is one we can grab some savings at. Though if you do have the fund to spend up top, I think Marvin Mims is the safest option for the Sooners wideout corp. The Oklahoma depth chart is scattered with “or” on most offensive players, but Mims is a lock with 37 catches for 610 yards and nine touchdowns last season. With Theo Wease also injured it should only increase Mims target share in the offense. As mentioned, I don’t think we need to go this high and Mims falls more as a strong tournament option for me. As mentioned with Theo Wease missing, transfer Mike Woods II may be my favorite Sooner receiver when factoring in the price. Though, with no depth chart clarity, some risk is involved here.
Skyy Moore, WMU – DK: $5,900 | $6,500
Moore enters Saturday as a high upside tournament play for me as I don’t think his ownership will be too high against Michigan. On paper, the thought of a Michigan defense can be daunting, but really they really possessed no threat last season, ranking 89th in the country in total defense, allowing 434 yards per game. More played in five games last year, catching 25 passes for 388 yards and three touchdowns. In a full season in 2019, Moore had 734 yards on 47 receptions. Western Michigan returns starting QB Kaleb Eleby here, in which he threw for 1,715 yards and 18 touchdowns and just two interceptions last season. While Western Michigan are a 16-point underdog here, they still carry a near four touchdown team total. If we factor in game script, we can assume that the Broncos’ offense will be playing from behind which should get the ball in the air more. Moore offers us upside as not only a quantity receiver but also one with big-play potential.
Jameson Williams, BAMA – DK: $5,200 | FD: $5,700
While this play doesn’t offer a huge steep discount on DraftKings (there is still a lot of great value there) it absolutely does on FanDuel with just a $5,700 price tag. Williams is a Ohio State transfer, so he already has some high profile schools under his belt here. With Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith both gone to the NFL, the Crimson Tide wideouts are now led by John Metchie and then some question marks. Williams will draw the start opposite of Metchie to start the season and it brings me back to the same question I asked with Brian Robinson – when have you ever been able to get an Alabama starter on offense this cheap? This Alabama team is going to be strong as usual, but I would be lying if I didn’t say we don’t exactly know how the offense will shake out exactly this season. For now, I am fine chasing the discounts on a team that carries a 40-point team total.
Bryce Ford-Wheaton, WVU – DK: $4,000 | FD: $7,000
As a bonus play here, I like the price on DraftKings for Ford-Wheaton here as he was the Mountaineers’ second-leading receiver last season with 416 yards and 15.4 yards per reception. While the West Virginia offense is not pass-first by any means, we can’t discount the fact that Doege still passed for 2,587 yards last year. Wheaton will be a big-play threat more than a volume guy, but if we are going strictly by price for a top-two receiver on a team and a team with a total of four touchdowns or more, Wheaton checks the boxes.