The College Football Rundown – DraftKings & Fanduel CFB DFS – January 1, 2022
Welcome to the finale of the College Football season in respect to a four or more game slate. Below I will break down all four games on our CFB Semi-Final slate.
Penn State vs. Arkansas (-2/48)
Two of the biggest playmakers on each side here have opted out of this game and that being Trelon Burks and Jahan Dotson. Both receivers are off to the NFL and between them have well over 2,000 yards receiving and 25 touchdowns on the year. So it is next man up for each side which is a little worrisome as both Sean Clifford and KJ Jefferson utilized (and were bailed out by) their big-name receivers weekly. Both quarterbacks have rushing upside, though Clifford hasn’t used his much this year. Both running games are inconsistent, though Keyvone Lee has emerged as the leader for Penn State, while Arkansas has shuffled between Johnson, Smith, and Sanders. This is a game that has seen its total drop with the studs to the NFL and I can see this game being more of a defenseive battle. This is however a good spot for Parker Washington and KeAndre Lambert-Smith to step up and prove they can fill the shoes of Dotson. The Arkansas pass catchers are unreliable, though Trey Knox figures to be the biggest beneficiary in my opinion. Ultimately, I won’t over-extended myself to this game – for better or worse.
Core Plays: Parker Washington
Secondary Plays: KeAndre Lambert-Smith, KJ Jefferson, Keyvone Lee
Iowa vs. Kentucky (-3/44)
This projects as another low-scoring affair where each side also has players not playing. Iowa’s starting running back Tyler Goodson is off to the NFL and Kentucky wideout Josh Ali is out due to injuries sustained in a car accident. Kentucky is pretty easy to pin down on offense as they have been a two-trick team riding the legs of Chris Rodriguez Jr. and the Will Levis to Wandale Robinson connection. That really is it and the only three players I would consider from Kentucky. Given the matchup with a tougher Iowa defense, Levis could be contained more than usual, though Wandale Robinson has proved matchup proof with 94 receptions and 1,164 yards on the year. Gavin Williams has been taking first-team reps in practice and figures to start this game for Iowa. Ivory Kelly Martin also figures to factor into the backfield as well so it is hard to peg down the workloads on guys we haven’t seen much on the year. Gavin Williams does offer us some elite price savings though, so I am willing to take that shot.
Core Plays: Wandale Robinson, Gavin Robinson
Secondary Plays: Will Levis
Oklahoma State vs. Notre Dame (-1/45)
Another game, another key opt-out as Notre Dame star running back Kyren Williams is off to the NFL. That is 1,000 yards of rushing and 350 yards of receiving gone from the offense and while Logan Diggs and Chris Tyree figure to serve as replacements, they are shoes that are hard to fill. Factor in Oklahoma State had one of the nation’s best defenses this year and the Notre Dame offense may look a little shotty. Jack Coan has done his best at the helm for the Irish, but I don’t think he is anything too special here – he has done well against inferior opponents but struggled early in the season to the likes of Wisconsin and Cinci. Notre Dame will have a healthy receiving corp, led by tight end Michael Meyer. Oklahoma State will also get a boost here with starting running back Jaylen Warren back to full health and figures to be leaned on heavily. Spencer Sanders is an up and down quarterback who can rarely be relied upon, though does have dual-threat upside. His 16:12 TD:INT mark on the year paints the picture pretty well and anyone besides Tay Martin is a dart throw in this offense. For the price, a Notre Dame running back is a near-building block here, but everything past that is a tournament option in another low-scoring affair.
Core Plays: Logan Diggs
Secondary Plays: Jaylen Warren, Michael Meyer, Tay Martin, Chris Tyree
Utah vs. Ohio State (-6/64)
Finally a game with some projected points – too bad two of Ohio State’s biggest playmakers won’t take the field in Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, both off to the NFL. But no fear as Jaxson Smith-Njigba will be active and honestly is likely the most talented of the three named. Smith-Njigba caught 80 balls for 1,259 yards and six touchdowns on the season and figures to be a high-volume option against Utah. Behind Smith-Njigba we should see more work from Julian Fleming and after that it becomes a little dicey, though Marvin Harrison Jr. is another name to keep an eye on. While the loss of Wilson and Olave may temper the passing game a little bit, TreVeyon Henderson should have no issues finding running room as both a runner and receiver in this one. Henderson was five receptions against Michigan in the title game and while he isn’t consistently used in the passing game, he may need to be here. The price on CJ Stroud is pretty high without two major weapons, but his usage should remain. On the Utah side, Cameron Rising has had a good year after taking over for Charlie Brewer, but he is a low-volume passer with no game over 24 attempts over his last three. Utah will lean heavily on the run with Tavion Thomas and TJ Pledger and while there are some guys to look at in the passing game, there isn’t an established key “go-to” target. Brant Kuithe is a red zone option tight end, while Britain Covey has 49 catches for 480 yards on the season, though he has 5-72 in each of his last two games. Covey is off to the NFL, but has said he will play in this game. The Utes haven’t really had to play in a shoot out in recent time, so the passing game is interesting here if we believe the game script keeps Ohio State ahead.
Core Plays: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, TreVeyon Henderson, Tavion Thomas
Secondary Plays: CJ Stroud, Julian Fleming, Britain Covey, Dalton Kincaid
Baylor vs. Ole Miss (-1.5/57)
In a sea of opt-outs, we get a game here that really doesn’t feature any as Matt Corral and Ole Miss takes on a healthy Baylor team. I am a little surprised that Corral is playing in this game, but I have not been able to find any report of him not, so it seems all systems go. This is a fun matchup between a strong Ole Miss offense and a stout Baylor defense – though Baylor themselves have some offensive firepower in Abram Smith, Trestan Ebner, and Tyquan Thornton. Gerry Bohanon gets the start at quarterback, after being held out against Oklahoma State. Baylor is going to lean on the run with Abram Smith, who had 232 attempts for 1,429 yards this year. A compliment to him is Trestan Ebner, who came on late in the season as a runner and pass-catcher. Ebner had 18 receptions over the last four games of the season. Ole Miss has cycled between Ealy, Connor, and Parrish at running back all year, but Ealy has been the leading rusher over the three games of the year and also has 14 receptions over his last three games as well. Dontario Drummond leads the Ole Miss receivers with 67 catches for 924 years on the year and a massive 14 catches against Miss State last game out. When it comes to consistency in this passing game Drummond is the guy, as Mingo, Sanders, and Pearson have all played secondary roles this season – all finding a big game somewhere down the line.
Core Plays: Abram Smith, Jerrion Ealy, Dontario Drummond
Secondary Plays: Matt Corral, Trestan Ebner, Tyquan Thornton