The College Football Rundown – DraftKings & Fanduel CFB DFS – November 6, 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: $9,800 | FD: $11,500
At the top this week we really get the choice between two Sam’s – Hartman and Howell – and hey, they play each other in the highest projected total game on the slate! Sam Hartman carries a slightly higher price tag and while he has been amazing the last four weeks, the last two have been a product of schedule with Army and Duke. If this game was a home game for Wake Forest, I may give the slight edge there, but an undefeated Demon Decon team traveling to Chappel Hill feels like a slight edge to Sam Howell who is still building an NFL resume. Both of these quarterbacks have been using their legs more than ever this year, but Howell has been the real story with 317 yards rushing over his last three starts (101, 98, and 108). Howell also has 300 yards passing in five of his last seven games including putting up 341 against Notre Dame in a loss last week. This game carries a 77 point total with UNC being a small two-point favorite. Both of these teams check the “average” box in terms of defense, with Wake Forest allowing 56 to Army and 37 to Syracuse in the last three weeks. That being said, they held Virginia to 17 and Duke to 7. UNC probably is the more porous defense of the two, but this is arguably the best quarterback test for each program this year. Pricing will make it hard to roster both of these guys, and I would want shares and stacks of both in tournaments, but for now I am saving the $200 and going with Howell at home where we should get more consistent rush yardage, while Hartman’s ground numbers have come on the back of touchdowns.
Spencer Sanders, OKST – DK: $7,100 | FD: $8,200
Not sure why I do this to myself with Spencer Sanders as he is a constant DFS headache for me, but the price on him once again has me roped in this week as Oklahoma State travels to face West Virginia. Sanders wasn’t needed much last week in a 55-3 crushing of Kansas, in fact, Sanders didn’t play at all in the second half and still threw for 157 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 53 yards and another score on the ground. The week prior was a close loss to Iowa State, in which he passed for 225 and three touchdowns. On the year, Sanders is averaging 21.3 fantasy points per game and still offers us a lot of dual-threat upside. The West Virginia defense has been pretty good all year, allowing just 23 points per game and 365 yards per game but they kind of fell apart last week against Iowa State as West Virginia allowed over 400 yards to a usually more quiet Iowa State offense in a 38-31 win. Jarrett Doege also passed 46 times, which really helped with clock tempo. The Cowboys really leaned on Jaylen Warren early season, but his numbers have come down slightly over the last few weeks. Sanders also has been more comfortable with Brennan Presley in the offense and with Tay Martin healthy I think there are enough weapons here. There may be some higher ceiling options on the slate, but this price is the mid-tier that we like to attack every week to save a little salary while keeping a competitive ceiling.
Aidan O’Connell, PUR – DK: $5,600 | FD: $6,700
While this certainly carries some risk and isn’t the flashiest pick on the slate, a lot of national pundits are labeling this one a trap game for Michigan State and I tend to agree here. Michigan State is fresh off of a massive win over Michigan, one that propelled them to the number three ranking in the country in the CFB Playoff. So it may come as a bit of a surprise that Michigan State is only a three-point favorite this week over Purdue. Purdue is a program of inconsistency, but they have some nice wins on the year, including upsetting at the time number two Iowa, and beating a tough Nebraska team last week. Aidan O’Connell over his last four starts has attempted 52, 40, 32, and 45 passing attempts while completing over 75% in his last three starts. While the volume and percentage is good, it hasn’t translated a ton, as outside of a 31 fantasy point day against Iowa, O’Connell has been held to 5.5 and 16.4 over his last two starts. So, while Michigan State is only allowing 19 points per game (a stat that is skewed by early season) they are allowing over 400 yards per game and 273 passing yards per game. In fact, Michigan State’s passing defense ranks out as one of the worst in the nation and we saw a ground-heavy Michigan team last week throw on them at will. While the Purdue offense is a bit sloppy at times, David Bell is still healthy and this is a team that has played up to the competition in the past. The price tag here is just very low and it makes for an interesting tournament option in a game that should be closer than it would be perceived on paper.
TreVeyon Henderson, OHST – DK: $7,900 | FD: $10,000
DraftKings seemingly just kind of decides what they want to do with running back pricing week-to-week, dependant on how many “elite” backs are on the slate. Last week, we had somewhere around eight running backs priced at $8,500 or higher. This week, only one running back tops that price (Kenneth Walker, $8,600), while guys like TreVeyon Henderson get a price decrease from their price the previous two weeks. Henderson put up 28.5 fantasy points against Indiana and then 25.9 against Penn State and got a slight price drop over it. Henderson had his largest volume output last week, rushing for 152 yards on 28 carries in a win over Penn State. Henderson has simply taken over the lead-back role for the Buckeyes and no one is really challenging him. Miyan Williams has just 11 carries over the last two games, and eight of those carries came in the blowout of Indiana. Ohio State is a 15 point favorite here with a 40.50 team total. Nebraska’s defense has been solid, but most Big Ten defenses are until they face someone a little bit better than them playing the same brand of football. We likely don’t see a price this low on Henderson on DraftKings ever again and while I know it isn’t “low” it is lower than it should be. I personally wish Henderson was a little more involved in the passing game as we saw him break a 70-yard screen for a touchdown all the way back on opening night, but with his role changing to lead back, the targets will be low. That being said, he still has six receptions over his last three games, so it isn’t out of the question completely.
Tre Siggers, SMU – DK: $6,100 | FD: N/A
Ulysses Bentley has been a huge part of the SMU running game but was injured back in week four and hit a few week absense. Bentley returned two weeks ago to limited work and then hurt his ankle again last week leading him to a questionable tag. Assuming how SMU handled Bentley even when he did return from his injury last time, it is safe to assume that we can pretty much rule Bentley out of this one with a capable 1B option in Tre Siggers. Siggers has double-digit carries in every game this year, regardless of Bentley playing or not, and has been averaging around 16 carries per game as the starter. Siggers also saw three receptions for 49 yards last week in a loss to Houston and has a touchdown in each of his last four games and two touchdowns in each of his last two. Memphis’ starting quarterback is currently questionable and while they have a competent backup in Peter Parrish, SMU is still a small favorite here in a game that carries the second-highest total on the board for this slate. Tanner Mordecai will steal alot of the action for SMU, but Siggers will have plenty of space to succeed here at a price point that makes sense for us.
Zander Horvath, PUR – DK: $3,900 | FD: $5,500
While throwing two Purdue guys in this write-up wasn’t planned, the return of Zander Horvath is upon us and this price tag offers a ceiling that is way above it if you can swallow some of the risk that goes with it. Horvath was Purdue’s leading rusher from a year ago, averaging five yards per carry with two touchdowns but also 30 receptions and 304 receiving yards in just six games. The senior back started the year with a 21 carry game against Oregon State before being injured and missing the last seven weeks of action. Horvath returned last week against Nebraska, taking 11 carries for 24 yards and a touchdown. While the yardage isn’t there, Horvath’s 6’3″ 230 frame is going to make him a constant red zone threat. With him proving his health and practicing all week, Horvath should retake the reigns from King Doerue who was mostly ineffective as a starter. The price of starting and his returning health is not factored in at all here and despite the tougher matchup, Horvath is likely going to be one of my higher owned backs this weekend.
Bonus Notes: There are a lot of guys I wanted to write up this week for running back and while I think the above are my favorite at the High/Mid/Low tiers, there isn’t a ton separating them from some other guys I really like. Abram Smith and Trestan Ebner should run all over TCU who carries one of the worst rush defenses in the nation. Leddie Brown has seen 46 rushes over the last two weeks and 33.4 fantasy points exactly in each game. Ty Chandler and Christian Beal-Smith both carry upside in what should be a high-scoring affair and both offer a way to get exposure without needing to spend up on the expensive quarterbacks in the game.
Jaquarii Roberson, WAKE – DK: $8,000 | FD: $9,000
Roberson was a core play for me last week as well and in the 45-6 drubbing of Duke, he just wasn’t really needed that much. Roberson still got us something, catching four passes for 65 yards and a touchdown, but after Wake jumped out to an early lead the target share to Roberson and snap count took a hit. This is just the reality of college football at times, as Wake had no reason to risk their studs late with UNC right around the corner. Roberson is still the commander in the target share here with 25.3% of the team targets for Wake, including 10 or more in three of the last four games. As I have already talked about, this matchup with UNC is not only their toughest test in the last three weeks but an offense on the other side that can also put up points in bunches. Wake Forest is undefeated on the year yet they enter this game as two-point underdogs. UNC is allowing over 30 points per game and just a hair under 400 total yards. If you want to save a little money here, AT Perry is just $7,200 and carries a 21% target share in the offense. Perry now has three straight games of 116 yards receiving or more and has near equal yardage to Roberson, despite fewer receptions.
The SMU Receiving Core – DK: $5,600-$6,200
Yup, it is one of those weeks where some of the prices just don’t feel they are representative of where they should be, and the entire SMU receiving core lands in this spot. While not choosing one may be viewed as a little bit of a cop-out, the line between Rashee Rice, Reggie Roberson, and Danny Gray is pretty thin and they are all separated by a mere $600 in salary.
Danny Gray, $6,200 – 21.1% target share, including 19 total over last two games. Leads team in receptions (43) and yardage (682). Has seven touchdowns on the year.
Reggie Roberson, $5,700 – 14.7% target share, 35 receptions for 464 yards, and five touchdowns.
Rashee Rice, $5,600 – 17.1% target share, 41 receptions for 466 yards, and seven touchdowns.
So as we can see here, Gray and Rice lead the way in target share, receptions, and touchdowns but each also has a sub double-digit performance in the last few games, while Roberson has been a tad more consistent. If we are going by a ceiling, then just spending up on Gray is the answer, or dipping down to Rice cuts a little target share, but has a higher touchdown equity. In the end, all three of these guys are priced down compared to their last two games and the matchup with Memphis is arguably just as good as they have a pretty soft secondary. While it is easy to dismiss Roberson from the equation here, he has been arguably the higher floor option of the three and likely will carry the lowest ownership of the group.
Antoine Green, UNC – DK: $4,300 | FD: $6,400
It is a little hard to trust any pass catcher for the Tar Heels not named Josh Downs as he holds down a 41% target share in the passing game. That being said, (former) #2 wide receiver for the Tar Heels, Emery Simmons has entered his name into the transfer portal and while he only had around a 12% target share in the offense, it is at least another body not on the field. Green only carries an 11% target share himself, but he did have eight targets last week against Notre Dame. Those eight targets resulted in five receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown. Green, a senior, provides the size and strength in the receiving core as he is the tallest option in this passing game. Again, Josh Downs is the guy to roster in this offense, but the price tag may not make that obtainable. If you want to get a piece of an offense projected for around 5-6 touchdowns, then Green is the now #2 on the depth chart and seemingly had Sam Howell’s confidence last week. This is a bit of a chase, but also one that could pay off with some normal volume.