The College Football Rundown – DraftKings & Fanduel CFB DFS – October 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.
Bryce Young, ALA – DK: $10,000 | FD: $11,200
Yes yes, there is absolutely no disputing how high priced this play is, but there is also absolutely no real way to ignore the spread on the Alabama vs. Ole Miss game this weekend. So what is that spread at you may ask? Well, currently it is *80*. That is right, Alabama currently holds a 47 point team total in a projected shootout with Ole Miss in one of the highest projected total games I have seen over the last handful of years. Young himself has been a magician, as most Alabama quarterbacks prove to be, but on the season Bryce Young has already thrown for 1,124 yards and 15 touchdowns with just one interception. The last start against Southern Miss, Young went 20-for-22 for 313 yards and five touchdowns and did not play a majority of the second half. This game is a matchup of arguably the top two contenders for the Heisman in Young and Corral. But with Bama projected for a large touchdown share and the chance this game remains close, the ceiling on Bryce Young this week is just too big to pass up even if the price costs me an arm and a leg. On the flip-side here, I do like Matt Corral as well, who offers us the dual-threat ability. However, Alabama’s defense is still pretty stout and Corral has had an easy run to this point.
Sam Hartman, WAKE – DK: $7,500 | FD: N/A
The mid-tier at first glance is a little quieter this week, as a lot of the best options on this slate are priced at $8,400 (Casey Thompson) and above. While I could just write up all the high priced plays and call it a day, that isn’t ever going to help anyone reading this article build a cohesive lineup and at the end of this article, the goal is always to leave enough options at enough salary tiers to build a full lineup off of this content if that is something you wanted to do. While Desmond Ridder holds this same price tag, I like Hartman a hair more in a softer matchup with Louisville. Wake Forest enters this game 4-0 and Hartman has been great on the year with nine touchdown passes and only one interception and a 22.4 fantasy points per game average. The Louisville defense hasn’t been great this year, ranking 192nd in the nation for pass defense and 198th in total yards allowed at 420 a game. Wake Forest hasn’t really played a close game yet this year, with 20 point wins over both Virginia and Floirda State. The key here is Louisville keeping this game closer, which will in return put a little more reliance on Hartman’s arm. Hartman has only attempted more than 30 passes in a game once this year – but again, it is mostly because he has not had to.
Joe Milton OR Hendon Hooker, TENN
I really dislike putting an “OR” in my articles – almost as much as I dislike seeing an “OR” on a depth chart. But the truth is, whichever Tennessee quarterback draws the start this weekend is in a very good matchup against Missouri and carries a pretty value stuff price. Hooker is $6,800, while Milton is $6,400 and while Hooker started last week, he also left in the fourth quarter in which Milton came in in relief. So while Milton still has a questionable tag, he played last week and seemingly is good for this matchup, while Hooker’s questionable tag is a direct result of a recent injury. Regardless, Missouri is allowing 32 points per game and 452 yards per game, and while the Missouri rushing defense is weaker than their passing defense, both Milton and Hooker can use their legs if needed. There is a chance the Vols lean on their running backs here, but if Milton grabs the start specifically, the $6,400 price tag intrigues me for a team with a 31-point team total. As this week has progressed, it feels like Milton is the healthier option, though there is still some doubt in the air on this.
Bijan Robinson, UT – DK: $8,700 | FD: $11,500
Again, Robinson is a very expensive option, but it is very hard for me to not justify the play. Aside from Robinson scoring 30 or more fantasy points in three of his four games this year and getting work in the rushing and passing game, he also gets the juiciest matchup on the board against a TCU rush defense that was absolutely gashed last week. Last week against SMU, TCU allowed 353 yards on the ground – 153 to Bentley, 110 to Siggers, 52 to Lavine, and 37 to Mordecai. This is not a knock against any of those guys, but Bijan Robinson is in an entire skill level tier above them. Add in the fact that this is a rivalry game and Texas is a run first team, and the entire Longhorn rushing attack should be on full display on Saturday. Rochon Johnson also is in play here, while Casey Thompson should also see free space. TCU’s offense is good enough to keep this game close, but Robinson should still be the first option in this offense and while I say it a lot, it is really hard to avoid playing these guys when their ceiling is potentially over 40 points.
Leddie Brown, WV – DK: $6,900 | FD: N/A
While I don’t love using the term “broken price” I feel this price is a little too low for what we know Leddie Brown can do. In fact, it is this same dollar amount that Brown was last week against Oklahoma, in which he was bottled up for 56 yards, but he did still manage 15 carries. A week prior we got 19 carries for 161 yards and three receptions for 35 yards agianst Virginia Tech. This week, West Virginia faces Texas Tech at home and Texas Tech is currently allowed 33.5 points per game. With some injuries for the Red Raiders as well, this lines up as a game that West Virginia has an upper hand in, as they are favored by seven and carry a 31.5 team total. Brown is averaging 4.9 yards per rush this season and the second closest player in rush attempts to Brown is the backup quarterback who gets some looks in the wildcat. Brown’s backup, Justin Johnson Jr., has seen 10 carries, but they were in a 66-0 week two blowout. So essentially, Brown is the one and only guy in this rushing attack and one of the only true workhorses on this slate. Overall, this is my favorite play at price this week.
Jabari Small, TENN – DK: $4,400 | FD: $6,800
I don’t want to overload this article with Tennessee players because trust me, that is not the team I am comfortable putting my faith in on any given week. But as said in the Hooker/Milton section, Missouri’s rush defense is very very bad and the price here on Small at least keeps him in tournament consideration. Last week against Florida, Tiyon Evans got the start and rushed 11 times for 50 yards and caught three passes for 71 yards. Small on the other hand ran 11 times himself, for 59 yards and also caught one pass for 22 yards. So while this is a split in the backfield, the workload of Small was similar to the one of Evans – each have within 20 yards of the other, and each has two touchdowns. Yet, Small is $1,800 cheaper than his teammate. Missouri is allowing 268 yards of rushing per game this year, so despite the split, there should be enough to go around.
Kennedy Brooks, OU – DK: $4,200 | FD: $6,800
As a bonus play this week I wanted to touch on Kennedy Brooks and the curious case of the Oklahoma offense (we will also touch on this in the wide receiver section). Brooks scored a touchdown in each of his first three games before only carrying the ball five times last week in a 16-13 win over West Virginia. The Oklahoma offense looked pretty rough all night (and the WV defense pretty strong). Eric Gray led the backfield with just 12 carries, and Michael Woods led the receivers. All around, it just was a very strange showing. Against Nebraska, it seemed like Brooks was the 1A option to Eric Gray’s 1B – and while I like Gray more overall, Brooks should still play a role in the offense and being priced at just $4,200 just feels extremely low. There is risk here as the Kansas State defense can also be strong and there doesn’t seem to be a key breakout player in this Sooners offense right now.
Drake London, USC – DK: $8,500 | FD: N/A
Outside of virtually any receiver from the ALA/OLE game, the receiver options this week aren’t incredibly awe-inspiring. This isn’t to say that they don’t have high ceilings, but I like to find the guy who also has a very high floor. Again, while Drake London is the most expensive at his position, his total targets and target share make him the undeniable top option on this slate on paper. Through four games, London already has 39 catches for 540 yards and three touchdowns. On top of that, London leads the nation in targets with 57 – which is eight above the second-highest in Jalen Cropper and Cropper has played an extra game. So in averages, London is averaging 14.3 targets per game and carries a 34.1% target share of the USC offense. With PPR scoring, London on receptions alone establishes a huge floor. USC takes on Colorado this weekend, who while holding opponents to 20 points per game, is still allowing 350+ total yards. Colorado’s first two games of the year they only allowed a combined 17 points. Over their last two, it has been 65.
Bo Melton, RU – DK: $4,900 | FD: $6,800
As you can see here there is a pretty deep drop in price here, mostly because since I love Bryce Young, Bijan Robinson, and Drake London, we are going to need cheap options to off-set the prices. Rutgers and Bo Melton draw Ohio State this weekend and while Ohio State’s defense has bent (and cracked) this year, they still are allowing 260 yards passing per week and 410 yards. Melton is the leading receiver in this offense with 36 targets and 24 receptions for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Melton carries a 30% target share in the passing game and despite just 7.5 fantasy points last week against Michigan, is still averaging 16.1 fantasy points as a whole. Melton usually isn’t a guy that is going to be involved in any big downfield plays, but he does have speed and can rack up the receptions.
Braylon Sanders, OLE – DK: $4,800 | FD: $6,400
Adding this after publishing so short blurb here, but realistically, Sanders may be one of the better price-adjusted plays on this slate. Sanders fills the WR3 spot for Ole Miss and with some lingering reports about Jonathon Mingo’s potential broken foot, Sanders could have a large target share in a shootout with Alabama. Sanders offers a safer play than Mims (below), but Mims still carries tournament appeal.
Marvin Mims, OU – DK: $4,800 | FD: $6,900
I am writing this up based on price alone, though honestly, I am not sure what to do with Marvin Mims. Mims each week this year has been priced between $7,500-$8,300, so the drop to $4,800 is extreme, but also very warranted. Over Mims’ last three games, he has just six combined targets and only a 9% target share in this offense. This is a wide dropoff from a guy who had 610 yards and nine touchdowns a year ago. I don’t think there is any lost confidence to Mims in the offense – he has spoken already about his quiet start, but while Mims notes it is frustrating, I don’t think it is indicative of skill or injury. Mims did play outside most of last year, with him moving to the slot this year but in general, the Oklahoma offense has been pretty uninspiring and a lack of total offensive plays has suppressed all the fantasy options in this offense recently. Mims remains a low floor, high ceiling option who got a massive discount this week. There is no guarantee here, but Mims also is a guy who could break the slate open. If you just want a chalkier pivot at this price, just shift to Braylon Sanders from Ole Miss at the same price.
Jahleel Billingsley., ALA – DK: $3,600 | FD: $6,000
Jahleel Billingsley broke camp this year right where you do not want to be: on Nick Saban’s bad side. It had nothing to do with Billingsley’s talent level, but there was clearly some off-the-field stuff that was breaking Saban’s standards. So, we didn’t see him in week one against Miami and he only saw one target against Florida (though it went for a touchdown). But last week we saw Billingsley catch five of six targets for 105 yards and a touchdown against Southern Miss. Cameron Latu has taken over as the teams starting tight end, but in a game with an 80 total, there is going to be plenty of options (hypothetically) on Saturday. Billingsley carries his risk and baggage, but it also seems he is getting more involved in the offense. Behind John Metchie and Jamison Williams, the Alabama passing game hasn’t found a ton of consistency outside of Latu. With this low of a price on Billingsley, he is going to be worth the shot for me as a higher upside option in a high scoring game at a very low salary.