It’s hard to believe it’s Week 10 already and we’ve had our first look at the playoff picture. Thankfully, we still have another month of Saturdays to look forward to, starting with the one straight ahead. Let’s take a look at what’s on tap over at DraftKings for this Saturday, starting with the early slate.
Saturday’s early slate kicks off at 12pm and includes 15 games. Featured tournaments include the CFB $110K Redshirt and the CFB $100K Tailgate. The Redshirt has a $3 buy-in and offers a chance at a 1st place prize of $10,000, while the Tailgate also offers a $10,000 1st place prize but has a $27 entry fee.
Looking ahead to the 15 games included on this slate, we have a wide span of projected totals, ranging from a low of 36 ½ points for the game between Vanderbilt and Florida all the way up to a mind-blowing 80 points for the game between Texas Tech and West Virginia. Six games check in at the sweet spot of at least 60 projected points, only one comes in at less than 50 points and the rest are in between. Let’s take a look at the three games which are projected to be really high-scoring affairs to get things started.
- Texas Tech @ West Virginia. West Virginia -8, 80.
- Cincinnati @ Houston. Houston -8, 73.
- TCU @ Oklahoma State. TCU -5, 76 ½.
The important thing to note here is that all three games are projected to be relatively close, meaning there will be plenty of targets to look at for our rosters. Here are three of the most appealing selections from these potential sources of fantasy goodness.
- West Virginia QB Skyler Howard, $7,500. Over the past two weeks, Texas Tech has allowed 690 passing yards and seven passing touchdowns. Translation: Fire up Howard with confidence this week.
- Houston RB Kenneth Farrow, $6,500. Farrow is a slightly under the radar way to gain some exposure to a high-scoring game. He’s averaging 19.0 points per game and has found the end zone nine times this season.
- TCU WR Josh Doctson, $8,300. Doctson is pricey, but he’s also the top wide receiver for the early games. He’s averaging an eye-popping 37.6 points per game – a number he has exceeded for three consecutive games – and scored 14 touchdowns so far in 2015.
Again, there are plenty of targets from the above three games. You could make a valid case for starting any of the six quarterbacks from these matchups and there are plenty of plays at running back and wide receiver as well. One thing I like to do for higher-scoring games is to seek out the lower-cost skill position players that are facing off against teams that struggle against a specific facet of the game.
A quick glance at the year-to-date defensive stats tells us that Texas Tech ranks near the bottom in both passing and rushing defense. West Virginia WR Shelton Gibson is priced very fairly at $5,500. He brings 19.5 points per game to the table and has found the end zone on seven occasions this year. West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood is a bit more expensive at $6,400, but offers some great upside. He’s averaging 21.4 points per game for 2015, but has exceeded that mark handily on three separate occasions. Here are some more players from the early slate to keep on your radar.
- Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs, $8,000. Dobbs has rotated games between great output, like last week’s 32.42 points, and forgettable performances, like Week 8’s 11.74 points. He may be able to put together another fine performance for the second consecutive game against a struggling South Carolina team.
- Arkansas QB Brandon Allen, $5,200. Allen looks to be one of the finer bargain quarterbacks for the early games. He’s averaging 20.6 points per game and has six total touchdowns over the past two games.
- UCLA RB Paul Perkins, $6,900. Our projections call for Perkins to be one of the top scoring running backs for this slate. He’s coming in off of a phenomenal 34.9-point performance last week against Colorado.
- Georgia RB Sony Michel, $5,900. The Bulldogs may lean heavily on the running game this week to get back on track after last week’s demoralizing loss to Florida. Michel has not broken the 20-point barrier since Week 6, but there’s a good chance that streak comes to an end against Kentucky.
- Washington State WR Gabe Marks, $6,600. The top receiver for a pass-heavy attack in a game with a projected total of 66 ½ points for less than $7,000? Yes, please!
- Tulsa WR Joshua Atkinson, $5,500. UCF has an atrocious passing defense so you’ll want some exposure to either Atkinson or teammate Keyarris Garett. Atkinson comes in at $1,300 cheaper and offers similar upside.
On to the night games, we have 11 games on this slate which begins at 7pm. Our featured tournaments for the night cap are the CFB $60K Redshirt and the CFB $40K Tailgate. The Redshirt has a $3 entry fee and a top prize of $4,000, while the Tailgate has a $27 buy-in and a 1st place prize of $5,000.
Projected totals for the 11 games range from a low of 44 points for the game between Utah and Washington to a high of 76 points for the game between Cal and Oregon. We have only four games with a projected total of at least 60 points, we’ll begin there to find some building blocks for our lineups
- Iowa State @ Oklahoma. Oklahoma -25 ½, 61.
- Navy @ Memphis. Memphis -7 ½, 63 ½.
- Arizona @ USC. USC – 20, 67.
- Cal @ Oregon. Oregon – 4 ½, 76.
We have two close games and two potential blowouts, something to keep in mind when digging into these games. For the closer games, we can consider all positions to be on the table, while the games that are potential blowouts require us to dig a little deeper.
Iowa State travels to Oklahoma for a game in which Oklahoma is favored by 25 ½ points. Oklahoma’s passing game could be a nice target as they build up a sizable lead, but we have to be cognizant of the risk that the starters could see little work late in the game. However, the running game may be the better target as we can expect them to be employing a ball control offense once the game gets out of hand. The running game could also play a part in building up the lead, further placing the edge in the corner of the team’s running backs. Iowa State will likely be playing catch-up, leaving their running backs off the table but making components of their passing game a possible target.
For the game between Arizona and USC, a similar game script looks to be in the works. USC is a 20-point favorite, pointing us to consider their passing game but to lean towards the running game. On the Arizona side of the ledger, the passing game may play a bigger role as they try to come back from a potentially large deficit. Here are some players from each game to keep in mind while you construct your rosters.
- USC QB Cody Kessler, $7,300. Arizona has allowed 21 passing touchdowns while Kessler has thrown for 18. There’s some risk as USC has been leaning more towards the run for the past few weeks, but Kessler should be allowed to take some shots against a poor Arizona passing defense.
- Navy QB Keenan Reynolds, $7,500. Reynolds is a fun player to roster for DFS due to his dual-threat ability and has some nice upside in this matchup with Memphis. He’s averaging 27.6 points per game and has 15 total touchdowns – 13 of which have come on the ground.
- Oklahoma RB Samaje Perine, $7,000. Perine has not taken the giant leap forward that many were expecting heading into 2015 but is still averaging 18.9 points per game. He’s been more of a red zone factor over the past two weeks as well with six rushing touchdowns.
- Oregon WR Darren Carrington, $5,200. Carrington has come out of nowhere to average 29.7 points in the last two games – his only two games of 2015. It looks like he’ll be a big part of the Ducks offense for the rest of the way and you can grab him at a great price this week.
We have a few interesting value plays to keep in mind from these four games as well. USC RB Ronald Jones II is averaging 13.7 points per game over the last two and has found the end zone in both games. He could be a nice value at $4,200. Cal tight end Stephen Anderson is listed as a wide receiver for DraftKings purposes. He’s averaging nearly 12.0 points per game over the past four games – not too shabby for $4,200. Let’s take a look at some more players to add to your short list for the night games.
- Michigan State QB Connor Cook, $6,700. Although it hasn’t translated into stellar fantasy outings on a weekly basis, Cook is one of the top quarterback prospects for next year’s draft. This week, he gets the honor of facing off with Nebraska’s sieve of a passing defense.
- LSU QB Brandon Harris, $5,100. This is very much a contrarian play as Harris will be facing off with Alabama, but he has really turned it on over the past three games. He’s thrown for seven touchdowns and scored no less than 17.48 points per game over that span. While opponents focus on attempting to mitigate the damage done by Leonard Fournette, Harris is developing into a sneaky fantasy play.
- East Carolina RB Chris Harris. $5,500. We’ll need some value for the late games to help manage the salary cap and Hairston fits the bill. He’s averaging 16.7 points per game and has nine total touchdowns this season.
- Texas A&M RB Tra Carson, $5,000. Carson flies under the radar as the Aggies are known more for their passing attack, but he’s quietly averaging 18.5 points per game. He’s coming in off of a 25-point performance last week against South Carolina.
- Michigan State WR Aaron Burbridge, $6,700. As we mentioned in the analysis on Cook, Nebraska has a horrendous passing defense. The top target for Michigan State’s passing attack should be a pretty good target for DFS.
- Alabama WR Calvin Ridley, $4,800. Ridley is another contrarian play from the much-anticipated game between LSU and Alabama. He has grown into the role of top target in the Crimson Tide’s passing attack. A couple of deep throws to Ridley as they combat the tough LSU defense could provide a surprisingly nice return, both on the field and for DFS purposes.
That’s a wrap for our walkthrough of the two main College Football slates over on DraftKings. As the season winds down, the bigger tournaments are sure to continue filling quickly so be sure to get your lineups in on time. Best of luck this weekend!