Week 1 is in the books, which provides a small amount of data to be used in the decision making process for Week 2. However, this will lead to a larger number of overreactions and substantially more recency bias than any other week during the season. Many of the questions regarding depth charts and player roles have been answered, but there are still loads of question marks left across the nation. In Week 2 of the college football season, there are plenty of great games across the slate for both entertainment value and fantasy production. The pricing has tightened up compared to Week 1, as expected, but it certainly isn't perfect- this article will delve into which players are poised to provide significantly more production than typically expected for players of their respective prices.
College football lineups on DraftKings are built entirely different from NFL lineups. The same $50,000 is allotted to build a lineup, but in college football, the lineup is comprised of 1 quarterback, 2 running backs, 3 wide receivers, 1 super-flex, and 1 flex position. The super-flex position can be filled by a player from any position, including quarterback. It is also worth noting that tight ends are included in the wide receiver player pool.
A quick look at the most notable games on the slate. In green are the games with the highest projected totals on the slate, which are favorable for DFS players. In red are the games with the lowest projected totals on the slate, which are unfavorable for DFS players.
- Arizona @ Houston | GAME TOTAL: 65.5
- UCLA @ Oklahoma | GAME TOTAL: 64.5
- Colorado @ Nebraska | GAME TOTAL: 62.5
- Duke @ Northwestern | GAME TOTAL: 49
- Georgia @ South Carolina | GAME TOTAL: 53
Justin Herbert, Oregon, $9,900
Last week, going up against Bowling Green, Justin Herbert accounted for 6 total touchdowns (5 passing and 1 rushing). Finding a better matchup than facing off against Bowling Green, 2017’s 118th ranked pass defense, per S&P+, is no small task. The powers that be have managed to do that by gifting Herbert and the Ducks a Portland State defense coming off a game against Nevada in which they allowed a whopping 72 points. Expect another lopsided score this week- so lopsided, in fact, that Pinnacle has not posted a betting line for the game. Herbert will contribute to the offense through the air and on the ground as he did last week and, again, even if he does not play the full game, he will provide enough of a floor to pay off his $9,900 price tag on DraftKings.
Shea Patterson, Michigan, $8,200
Shea Patterson transferred into Michigan and was immediately eligible due to the sanctions levied against his former school, Ole Miss. His first game was far from impressive, only leading the Wolverines to one offensive touchdown against Notre Dame. In his second go-around as the starter for Jim Harbaugh’s team, Patterson goes up against a Western Michigan defense that allowed 55 points to Syracuse last week. Recency bias will steer many away from Patterson, as he failed to live up to expectations on such a big stage in Week 1. Patterson’s price is a direct reaction to his performance last week, however, that was one of the toughest matchups he will have all season, in Week 2, however, he has one of the easiest. $8,200 for a quarterback of Patterson’s talent level in a matchup this good is simply too cheap.
Adrian Martinez, Nebraska, $8,900
Adrian Martinez’s debut in a Nebraska uniform was delayed by a week after a massive thunderstorm ruined the night in Lincoln last weekend when the Cornhuskers were supposed to open the season against the Akron Zips. That game was canceled and, instead, Martinez will debut against the Colorado Buffaloes and their fast-paced offense. Scott Frost, Nebraska’s new head coach and play caller, will be implementing his system from UCF that led to quarterback McKenzie Milton rushing for over 650 yards and 8 touchdowns. One of Adrian Martinez’s greatest strengths that helped him win the starting quarterback job is his ability to run the football. Look for the dual-threat quarterback to get rolling early and often both through the air and on the ground.
Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma, $9,400
Rodney Anderson, the Heisman hopeful from Oklahoma, only saw five carries in Week 1 against Florida Atlantic. Fortunately, Anderson turned those 5 carries into 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. Anderson’s light workload Week 1 was a byproduct of a 42-point lead at halftime, which caused Lincoln Riley to pull the starters in order to avoid injury. This week Anderson faces a defense from UCLA that struggled to get off the field, allowing nearly 35 minutes of possession to Cincinnati in Week 1. Oklahoma is favored by 30 points in this game, according to the betting markets, which should lead to a run-heavy game plan for the expected victors. To go along with that, UCLA ranked 100th in rushing S&P+ allowed to opponents last year and, to this point, the Bruins have shown little improvement on that side of the ball. Rodney Anderson, at $9,400, is the top option when paying up for a running back this week.
Karan Higdon, Michigan, $7,500
Karan Higdon and the Michigan Wolverines struggled mightily to get the ball moving last weekend against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Despite struggling to get anything going, Higdon still handled 21 of the 25 non-quarterback carries for the team (this stat is important because in college football a sack counts as a carry for the quarterback). This is a clear signal that Higdon is going to be a bell-cow for the Michigan offense throughout the season. Last weekend Western Michigan allowed Syracuse to run for an incredible 334 yards and 5 touchdowns. The astronomical numbers put up by the Syracuse Orange are a clear red flag for the Western Michigan defense that Higdon will line up against this weekend. Nobody in his price range will see comparable volume or expected production, making Higdon an elite option at running back.
Greg Bell, $6,600, Nebraska
As previously mentioned, Nebraska will be opening their season against Colorado at home this weekend. The offense is expected to play much faster this season with Scott Frost calling the plays, meaning more opportunities for playmakers like Greg Bell. Frost likes to rotate players and keep them fresh throughout the course of a game, but Bell clearly earned the right to be the top back for the Cornhuskers to start the season. Transferring in from junior college, nobody knew what exactly Bell brought to the table against Division I talent, but he has not disappointed. Greg Bell earned his role in this offense and he is poised to burst onto the scene Saturday afternoon in Lincoln, Nebraska. Expect him to be rostered substantially less than comparable players due to the lack of data about him at this level. Bell is a great leverage play this week, especially in GPPs.
Jordan Cronkrite, $4,700, USF
Jordan Cronkrite, a former Florida Gator, was mysteriously held out of South Florida’s opener last week against Elon, but he is available and listed as the starter this weekend against Georgia Tech. In his most recent season for the Gators, Cronkrite ran for 4.7 yards per carry. Cronkrite will make his season debut against a Georgia Tech defense that ranked 83rd in the nation in S&P+ rushing defense. Surprisingly, this matchup between Georgia Tech and South Florida is projected to total over 61 points (according to Pinnacle), meaning Cronkrite will see plenty of opportunities to produce for his new team. Cronkrite has an elite matchup this week and for just $4,700, he is tough to ignore.
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama, $7,200
Jerry Jeudy, a sophomore, is looking to become the latest addition to the list of elite wide receivers to come out of Alabama. He spent last season behind eventual first-round pick Calvin Ridley, but now he is the number-one wide receiver in Tuscaloosa. Tua Tagovailoa is officially Alabama’s starting quarterback which bodes well for the passing game. Tagovailoa is certainly the more talented passer between him and his competitor, Jalen Hurts, which will elevate the weapons around him. Jeudy is the most polished of the wide receivers on the roster, as proven with his two touchdown performance in the season opener against Louisville. The Crimson Tide are projected to score a whopping 51 points against Arkansas State by the betting markets and given his prominence in and around the end zone, Jeudy is in a prime position to score again this weekend.
Marcus Stevenson, Houston, $6,600
Houston’s Week 1 game against Rice certainly did not start the way they hoped and planned, as they trailed 17-24 at the half. The second half, however, they found a groove offensively and scored 28 points en route to a 45-27 win. Throughout the game, Houston clearly defined who the top receivers on the depth chart are: Marcus Stevenson and Courtney Lark. Stevenson is a smaller, quicker receiver who, when he gets the ball in the open field, is electric. Lark is a bigger, more physical receiver who will dominate a smaller corner in the red zone. Stevenson is a great option in DraftKings contests this weekend because of his high-volume role (8 targets in Week 1) in Houston’s up-tempo offense, as well as the matchup with a weak Arizona defense. Arizona’s offense is very similar to Houston’s because both teams try to maximize the number of offensive snaps each game in order to outscore opponents. The odds of this game becoming a defensive battle are incredibly slim, and if it ends up being one of the highest scoring games on the slate, as expected, Stevenson will play a large role in that.
Laviska Shenault, Jr., Colorado, $5,900
In co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini’s first game calling the plays for Colorado, he made one thing clear: Laviska Shenault, Jr. is going to get a high number of touches in various ways this season. Shenault, Jr. saw an incredible 11 targets in their opener against Colorado State, by far the most on the team. Shenault, Jr.’s price sitting below $6,000 is mind-boggling given his role in this offense and the matchup against Nebraska. The game is projected to total over 62-points by the betting market and the 5-point spread reflects the fact that this game is within reach for both Colorado and Nebraska. In order for Colorado to go into hostile territory and come out with a win, Shenault, Jr. will need to come up big for the Buffaloes, as he will be one of the most targeted players on the entire slate.
Bo Melton, Rutgers, $3,300
In Week 1 Rutgers thoroughly dominated Texas State to the tune of a 35-7 victory. Rutgers, because of the lopsided score, went with a very conservative play calling pattern by calling 46 runs. This week, however, Rutgers is not going to see the same success against the likes of Ohio State. Rutgers enters the game as 34.5-point underdogs, via Pinnacle, which will lead to a completely different game script from Week 1. Ohio State did, however, show significant vulnerability last week by allowing 31 points to Oregon State which bodes well for Rutgers’ offensive attack. Bo Melton is Rutgers’ number one receiving option and after hauling in 4 of 6 targets last week, when Rutgers likely falls behind Ohio State this week he will be quarterback Artur Sitkowski’s go-to receiver. Inherently, as such a heavy underdog, there is a high level of risk associated with Melton, as expected for a $3,300 receiver, but his point-per-dollar upside is as high as anyone’s on this slate.
Arizona @ Houston | HOUSTON -4, GAME TOTAL: 72
The Arizona Wildcats opened the Kevin Sumlin era is less-than-impressive fashion with a loss to BYU that included little offensive production. Khalil Tate was a Heisman hopeful heading into his first full season as a starter, but in the opener, he ran for a mere 14 yards, which certainly raised some eyebrows. On the other side of the ball, Major Applewhite’s Houston Cougars also struggled in the early moments of their opener. Houston’s offense is now run by Kendall Briles, son of former Baylor head coach Art Briles. The Briles family may have a poor reputation off the field, but the offensive production their offenses afford is unquestionable. The betting markets project this game to stay close, but with shootout potential. Both teams will play at a very fast pace, giving the offenses plenty of chances to put points on the board.
Colorado @ Nebraska | NEBRASKA -4, GAME TOTAL: 65.5
Nebraska was scheduled to kickoff under head coach Scott Frost for the first time last weekend, however, mother nature had other plans. Instead, Cornhuskers fans will be treated to their first taste of a Scott Frost offense when former Big 12 (and Big 8) rival Colorado comes to town. Frost is going to bring with him the high-octane attack that led UCF to a National Championship* last season. Colorado’s offense last weekend showed they have the potential to light up the scoreboard this season in a 45 to 13 drubbing of in-state rival Colorado State that included nearly 600 yards of total offense for the Buffaloes. Scott Frost’s debut as Nebraska head coach is poised to be an entertaining, high-scoring battle.
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