The College Football Rundown – DraftKings & Fanduel CFB DFS – October 16, 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.
Sam Howell, UNC – DK: $9,200 | FD: $10,800
It has been a weird year for Sam Howell and UNC, as while they did lose a ton of skill position players, losses to Georgia Tech and Florida State didn’t seem like realistic options on the menu. While the completion percentage is down for Howell as a whole, he has shown a new versatility as a running as Howell has double-digit rushing attempts in every game this season and is averaging around 14 rushes per game. This is not something we saw in 2020, as Howell only had four games with double-digit rushing attempts. So while a lot of us might view Howell as a pocket passer, he is actually more of a dual-threat option than ever before. Out of the six games played on the year, Howell has over 104 yards in three of them. This week it is Miami as an opponent, but a Miami team that has lost D’Eriq King for the year so an offense that isn’t going to be as efficient as in the past. So this could result in UNC having the ball a bit more and a big win is something this UNC team is in desperate need of right now. While Howell is the most expensive option this week, there also isn’t a clear-cut standout option so the floor and ceiling on Howell are both pretty high.
KJ Jefferson, ARK – DK: $7,500 | FD: $9,200
I labeled Jefferson as one of my favorite plays last week and he did not disappoint putting up an insane 53.54 fantasy points in Arkansas 52-53 loss to Ole Miss. Jefferson passed for 326 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 85 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. While I loved Jefferson, obviously this performance is a bit of an outlier as anything up in this range needs a ton of extraordinary variables to come into play to break the 50 fantasy point barrier. However, you won’t see me complaining. This was a full display of what Jefferson is able to do, and while we likely won’t see anything like this again, we have at least established his absolute ceiling. This week it is a matchup with Auburn which is going to be a very different kind of matchup. Auburn is only allowing 19 points per game and 322 yards, but they also started their year off with Akron and Alabama State. Georgia put up 34 on Auburn last week and they also allowed 28 to Penn State and 24 to Georgia State. Ultimately, this defense isn’t as good as it seems on paper and the dual-threat ability of Jefferson remains in play here. I think the expectation needs to be tempered a lot here, but the quarterback position isn’t chalked full of studs this week.
Zach Calzada, TA&M – DK: $6,300 | FD: $7,700
What an absolute shocker that Zach Calzada and the Aggies led last Saturday night against Alabama in a stunning 41-38 win. I also got married last Saturday night, so if we are keeping score at home, the Alabama Crimson Tide are 0-1 on days that I get married. Sorry everyone, I am unavailable to test this theory any further. Calzada has been up and down since taking over as the starter but obviously, the game against Alabama showed massive improvement against one of the toughest defenses he has faced all year. Calzada passed for 285 yards and three touchdowns, but the Aggies were also forced into a lot of passing situations. The Aggie running attack with Spiller and Achane is one of the better duos’ in the nation, so I am a bit worried that this will be leaned on against Missouri this weekend. But as mentioned before, the quarterback options feel a bit muddied this weekend. The Aggies have a 34.5 team total this week and face a Missouri team that is allowing 37.5 points per game and 497 yards. So while I stand firm in saying Calzada may not be needed or a high volume passer, the game script here should have the Aggies finding the end zone frequently. I think the ceiling is a little capped here in general, but I still like this play for the price and more importantly the price on each site. Gerry Bohanon is a good pivot here as well.
Jerome Ford, CIN – DK: $7,200 | FD: $9,300
Cincinnati carries a 39.25 point team total into this matchup against a beaten-up Central Florida team. UCF has lost their starting quarterback, running back, and number one receiver so far this season, so without being too blunt, they really stand no realistic chance in this matchup. Last week against Temple, the Bearcats took a 52-3 win, with Jerome Ford carrying the ball 15 times for 149 yards and two touchdowns. On the year, Ford has 516 yards and eight touchdowns, for an average of 23.2 fantasy points per contest. Ford has 82 carries total on the year, with the next closest running back on the roster having 13. More so saying, regardless of the score, Ford has been the guy nearly every snap for Cincy this year. There is nothing better than having snap count security and Ford will continue that this week. While Bijon Robinson is the best weekly play regardless of price, factoring in price here, I rather save the $1,700 and go Ford.
Kenneth Walker, MSU – DK: $6,700 | FD: N/A
This mid-tier pricing spot on DraftKings is one that you could go a few different directions with. Kenneth Walker is $6,700, Isaiah Spiller is $6,600, Tyler Goodson is $6,500, Cam’Ron Harris is $6,400, and Ty Chandler is $6,300. I think any of those four all make strong plays on this slate and it was really hard to pick from the group. That being said, I still think Kenneth Walker is a slight cut above the rest in simple terms of just pure volume. Last week against Rutgers, Walker took 29 carries for 233 yards and a touchdown. A week before it was 24 carries for 126 and three touchdowns against Western Kentucky. Walker already has 129 attempts on the year which ranks fifth in all of college football. Walker’s 913 rush yards leads all of college football by over 100 yards. So it would be pretty hard to argue against the rushing leader in this spot. But to sweeten the pot, while the Spartans only have a 26.25 team total, Indiana is expected to start Jack Tuttle in this game. The much more inexperienced signal-caller may have a bit more issue moving the ball as Michael Penix would. I try to always pick players from the Main Slates of both DraftKings and FanDuel, but the way FanDuel lays out their main slate sometimes makes that impossible. In that regard, I like Tyler Goodson the most as the mid-tier option on FanDuel.
Mar’Keise Irving, MINN – DK: $3,900 | FD: N/A
It has been a while since we have had a pure injury replacement running back that we also get at his non-inflated price point. But that is what we get here with Mar’Keise Irving as he now becomes the lead back for Minnesota as Trey Potts has now been lost for the year. We have not seen a ton of Irving this year, but he did draw a start back in week three against Colorado and took 15 carries for 89 yards. The Nebraska defense is middle of the pact and the Gophers have always been a run-first team. There is no one to really threaten Irving for carries here and while we may ignore this if his price was higher, the $3,900 price tag almost makes this a free square for us this weekend.
Jordan Addison, PITT – DK: $8,000 | FD: N/A
Addison is a bit of a curious case as looking at his reception and target numbers, he usually wouldn’t be the guy at the forefront of my suggestion list. Addison is averaging about eight targets per game and only carries a 21.7% target share in the Pittsburgh offense. With that being said, Addison has exactly six receptions in his last five games. But it isn’t so much the quantity here as it is the quality, as Addison has 524 yards receiving and *nine* touchdowns on the year. That means with 29 receptions on the year, roughly 33% of all of Addison’s receptions are touchdowns. When it comes to expensive options on this slate, it really is between Josh Downs and Addison. Downs however is $8,700 and I really felt like I couldn’t make my entire article here with three QB’s plus their top three stacking options at wide receiver. This road matchup with Virginia Tech posses probably the toughest matchup for Addison on the year, but I also think that works in our favor a bit. Kenny Pickett has 1,731 yards passing and 19 touchdowns on the year and just one interception. With great quarterback play comes wide receiver success. Addison has proved himself as not only a big-play threat, but also a red zone threat. While the target and reception numbers are low, as long as the quality exists, I really don’t mind not targeting the quality. If you do have the extra $700 to spend, Josh Downs does offer the quantity and quality, as Downs has a 39.7% of the target share for UNC and 741 yards on the year.
Treylon Burks, ARK – DK: $6,600 | FD: $8,100
No changes in my philosophy of Burks from last week here as if you want to stack Jefferson with someone, Burks is the only real answer. Burks caught seven passes for 136 yards and a touchdown last week against Ole Miss and remains a huge play boom or bust type of receiver. Burks has three games of over 127 yards on the year, but also three games under ten fantasy points. Burks is still second overall in the SEC with 519 receiving yards and is averaging 17.9 yards per catch. Regardless of the numbers, Burks holds a massive 34.8% hold of the target share for the Razorbacks. This price still makes Burks worth it as we are targeting his ceiling even despite a tougher on-paper matchup with an Auburn defense that I still consider slightly over-rated.
Ainias Smith, TA&M – DK: $4,400 | FD: $7,900
The price here on DraftKings is what we are targeting, as I don’t think this is a necessary play for FanDuel outside of trying to leverage ownership. But the price on Smith for DraftKings feels way too low – even if we are chasing last week a little bit. Last week against Alabama, Smith hauled in six of 11 targets for 85 yards and two touchdowns. The success of Smith goes hand in hand with the confidence of Zach Calzada, but Smith has now seen 19 total targets over his last two games. Smith remains the reception leader for the Aggies with 26 catches and Jalen Wydermyer being second at 18. This may be one we would normally avoid if the matchup wasn’t so good this weekend. As mentioned, the Aggies get a Missouri team this weekend that is allowing 497 yards per game and 37.5 points. This is not a lock as Smith only has a 23% target share, but if I am going to trust any receiver in this offense it is going to be Smith.
Brian Thomas Jr., LSU – DK: $3,700 | FD: $6,300
With the loss of Kayshon Boutte for the year, the LSU offense is going to need to find new mouths to feed in the passing game. Unfortunately for the Tigers, the passing game outside of Boutte has been below average and the rushing game isn’t one that really has seen consistent results. So what that leaves us with is a handful of names ranging from Trey Palmer, Jaray Jenkins, Jack Bech, and Deion Smith to step up and take a grasp of the target lead for LSU. While Deion Smith felt like the guy who had the best chance to do it, he is listed as doubtful for this game against Florida. This leaves Thomas as the receiver with the most receptions on the year outside of Boutte. Jack Bech has 22, but I am labeling him as a tight end here. There is a ton of risk here as the WR room could shift a ton of ways, but with Boutte and Smith out and a matchup with Florida that will likely demand some form of a passing attack, Brian Thomas – who is a top-100 prospect in the 2021 recruiting class, feels like the guy who needs to step up. The price on each site makes this play worth the risk for me. I was hesistant on putting weight on Thomas this week until Deion Smith was marked as doubtful, the simple truth is: someone has to catch the ball.