Week 4 of the college football season is here and that means that conference play is kicking into full-gear. Some pretenders have been weeded out, but there surely will be more to come in these next few weeks. As always, there have been players who entered the season with loads of hype surrounding their names who have failed to live up to the expectations set for them by the media, but there also have been quite a few players who have seemingly come out of nowhere to take center-stage this season. These next couple of games will set the tone for the rest of the season for many of these teams: Will Boston College keep up its red-hot start? Will Purdue be scrambling to become bowl eligible after dropping to 0-4? This week will answer many of these questions, and the individual matchups within the games are where these answers will be found.
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.
Listed here are the most notable games for DFS purposes. In green are games with the highest projected totals, according to betting markets, and in red are the games with the lowest projected totals on the slate. Try to avoid using too many players in any single lineup from one of the games in red. On the other hand, the games in green should provide enough points and fantasy points across the board to make multiple pieces on each team viable for fantasy lineups
- Georgia @ Missouri | Georgia (-14), GAME TOTAL: 64.5
- Boston College @ Purdue | Boston College (-6.5), GAME TOTAL: 68
- Pittsburgh @ North Carolina | Pittsburgh (-3.5), GAME TOTAL: 48.5
- Nebraska @ Michigan | Michigan (-17), GAME TOTAL: 50.5
Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State, $10,700
Dwayne Haskins and the Ohio State offense have yet to be held under 40-points this season. Even last week against the TCU Horned Frogs, ranked 15th at the time, Ohio State's offense continued to roll. This weekend, Urban Meyer controversially returns to the sideline to take on Tulane at home. The Buckeyes are favored by 37-points, over 10 points more than any other team on this slate, and Meyer will likely be out to send a message that he is back and the Buckeyes are a force to be reckoned with from here on out. Dwayne Haskins has yet to be held to under three touchdowns in a game this season, and Tulane's defense does not appear to be the team that will do so. Tulane's passing defense projects to be one of the most overpowered units across this entire slate of games. Look to Dwayne Haskins to lead the way at quarterback this weekend and stuff the stat sheet.
Brandon Wimbush, Notre Dame, $6,800
Brandon Wimbush is far from consistent as a passer, as shown last weekend against Vanderbilt, but he is a very capable runner. Wimbush has averaged over 71 rushing yards in games against Power 5 teams this season. Although he has not been stellar with his arm, Wimbush and the Notre Dame passing attack have a significant advantage over the Wake Forest secondary. Notre Dame is projected to score nearly 34 points this week against Wake Forest, and Wimbush's abilities with his legs are very likely to contribute to that total. At this bottom-dollar price for a quarterback whose team is favored by over a touchdown, Wimbush has a clear path to contributing enough offensively to reach value in DFS lineups.
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama $9,900
Tua Tagovailoa has played just over three college football games, but he is already a household name and the frontrunner for the Heisman trophy this year. Tua's passing prowess is unlike anything a Nick Saban-led Alabama team has ever had before. Adding this dimension to an already dominant team has the rest of the nation shaking in their boots. Tua has yet to play a full game because of Alabama's consistent dominance, leading to backups getting the majority of the work late in the games. This week against a Texas A&M team that was in the game until the final minutes, Alabama is only a 17-point favorite. If this game plays out the way the betting markets expect, Tua should see significantly more playing time this weekend than he has in the past. Tua Tagovailoa's efficiency is unmatched this season: he has tallied at least 20 DraftKings points in each game this season, thrown for multiple touchdowns, and run for at least 20 yards each game, all without attempting over 20 passes. This weekend, as long as the game stays as close as it is expected to, Tua Tagovailoa's workload should increase, but the efficiency should remain the same, making him an excellent option in DFS lineups.
Other players worth considering: Will Grier ($10,500), Jake Fromm ($7,300), Anthony Brown ($9,200)
Karan Higdon, Michigan, $8,000
Karan Higdon missed last week's game against SMU because of an injury, but he has practiced all week leading up to this week's matchup with Nebraska at home. Nebraska has been slow out of the gates under head coach Scott Frost, as the talent has not meshed with Frost's style of play on either side of the ball yet. In Week 2 (Nebraska's Week 1), the team struggled to stop Colorado at home, and they followed that performance with a loss to Troy, also at home. This week, Nebraska heads to Michigan for their first road game of the season, as 17-point underdogs. Michigan is expected to handle this game in the trenches on both sides of the ball. This predicted game script should lead to increased volume for a running back of Higdon's caliber. After seeing 21 carries in Week 1, Higdon's workload lessened in a subsequent blowout of Western Michigan, but this game is expected to be much closer than that matchup. Karan Higdon gets one of the best matchups of any running back on the slate, and he has the best opportunity to dominate in snaps in the backfield.
A.J. Dillon, Boston College, $9,000
A.J. Dillon, while expensive, projects for one of, if not the, highest workload(s) on the slate at running back. Dillon has surpassed the 20-carry threshold in each of Boston College's non-blowout games this season. He has found the end zone in each of the team's first three games. Even on the road, Boston College is favored by 6.5 points over the Purdue Boilermakers. As the clear workhorse in the Eagles' offense, A.J. Dillon figures to play a sizeable role in this game, especially considering Purdue sports a far below average run defense. A.J. Dillon costs a pretty penny on this slate, but without a variety of players at quarterback or wide receiver fit to pay up for, he is one of the top options across the board.
Pooka Williams, Jr., Kansas, $5,700
Pooka Williams, Jr. has seemingly come out of nowhere this season to become one of the nation's top true freshman at any position. Williams, Jr. has run for a stunning 8.8 yards per carry thus far this season, and this weekend the run-heavy Kansas attack faces off against a Baylor defense that ranks 96th in marginal efficiency allowed on run plays. Run-pass options, or RPOs, are a mainstay in this year's Kansas offense, and when Pooka Williams, Jr. is in the backfield, the quarterbacks tend to default to handing it to Williams, Jr., even when it is not always the best option. Williams, Jr. has made the most of all of his opportunities by frequently making something out of nothing when either the quarterback makes the wrong read, or the offensive line loses the battle in the trenches. Pooka Williams, Jr. may not be a highly-rostered player this weekend, but his big-play abilities make him one of the best GPP options on the slate.
Other players worth considering: Damien Harris ($6,700), Tony Jones, Jr. ($5,800), Darius Bradwell ($4,400)
Denzel Mims, Baylor, $7,200
There are two receivers atop Baylor's depth chart that have separated themselves from the pack: Jalen Hurd and Denzel Mims. Hurd is a converted running back that transferred in from Tennessee where he started ahead of Alvin Kamara. Since arriving at Baylor, Hurd has climbed his way up the depth chart, but there are still clear weaknesses in his game. Hurd dropped 2 passes last week, and another 1 the week prior. Denzel Mims, however, has not seen the same struggles catching the ball. Although he did not play last week, Mims still has totaled the second most targets on the team, trailing only Hurd. This weekend against Kansas, Baylor is favored by over a touchdown at home, and while this may not be the same old Kansas team that has been relentlessly steamrolled by the Big 12, they still lack the talent to compete in the conference consistently. The Baylor passing game has one of the most significant advantages over its opponent of any team on the DraftKings main slate, and Denzel Mims figures to be a prominent piece of their attack.
J.D. Spielman, Nebraska, $4,100
J.D. Spielman entered this season as one of Nebraska's leading returning receivers. So far this year, Spielman has been a very reliable receiver for Nebraska's young quarterbacks- racking up 13 targets, over 100 yards, and 2 touchdowns through 2 weeks. Even though Nebraska hasn't quite gotten into a rhythm offensively, Spielman has not skipped a beat, and in a game where Nebraska is expected to trail, Nebraska will likely need to throw if they want to stay in the game. Michigan has the clear advantage in the trenches and will likely stifle Nebraska's run game. Nebraska's aerial attack will be their only hope of staying competitive, and with that, J.D. Spielman's target numbers should skyrocket, similar to Kalija Lipscomb just one week ago.
Mecole Hardman, Georgia, $5,900
The Georgia Bulldogs head to Columbia this weekend to take on the Missouri Tigers in an SEC West battle. Georgia has not been tested to this point in the season, in large part due to their dominant rushing attack. Missouri, however, sports an above average rushing defense that figures to at least slow down the combination of D'Andre Swift, Elijah Holyfield, and James Cook. On the other hand, Missouri has proven to be far more susceptible through the air this season. Mecole Hardman, Jake Fromm's favorite target, has stepped up this season and made big plays both on offense and special teams. Bulldogs quarterbacks have targeted Hardman on 20 percent of their pass attempts this season, and he's gained almost 16 yards per target. Jim Chaney, Georgia's play-caller, knows when and where to pick his spots against a team, and going up against a defense that is significantly weaker defending the pass than the run should lead to increased volume through the air. Hardman has the undeniable ability to break off a big play (one of the highest marginal explosiveness rates in the nation,) and given more opportunities this week Hardman has one of the highest ceilings on the entire slate.
Other players worth considering: Austin Mack ($4,900), Jared Sparks ($4,300), Jerry Jeudy ($8,400)
Georgia @ Missouri | GEORGIA (-14), GAME TOTAL: 64.5
Georgia, under Kirby Smart, is best known for its stout defense. This weekend, however, they are expected to be involved in one of the highest scoring games on the entire DraftKings main slate. Georgia is implied to score nearly 40-points in their second road game of conference play, which is the third highest projected total for any team. Georgia's running game is their calling card-- D'Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield are two of the most talent running backs in the nation, and they just so happen to play in the same backfield. Last week, D'Andre Swift was inexplicably pulled from the game early in the first quarter, and it was not due to injury. This is something worth monitoring heading into this weekend, as his absence from the game could lead to a monster game for Elijah Holyfield. If Swift does play, however, he is arguably the most talented running back on this entire slate, and for $7,400 he is certainly worth considering. Georgia's passing game may see a significant boost this game compared to others, as Missouri is especially weak defending the pass. Quarterback Jake Fromm currently leads the country in completion percentage and if a quarterback as efficient as he is gets asked to throw the ball more in this game, Missouri better watch out. Fromm favors receivers Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley, the younger brother of former-Alabama standout Calvin Ridley, when he is asked to throw the ball. On the other side of the ball, Missouri is entirely dependent upon the play of their star quarterback, Drew Lock. Lock is one of the highest rated quarterbacks in the country, and if Missouri is going to pull of this upset at home, it will likely be because of him. Lock's favorite targets through the air are Emanuel Hall and Albert Okwuegbunam, as they have combined for over 40-targets through their first 3 games. These players should strictly be considered in GPPs, but if the Missouri Tigers do the unthinkable and upset Georgia at home on Saturday afternoon, it will almost certainly be because of these players.
Boston College @ Purdue | BOSTON COLLEGE (-6.5), GAME TOTAL: 68
Boston College has cracked the AP Poll's top-25 for the first time since 2008 this week, and they're looking to get off to their first 4-0 start since 2007. In order to keep this going, they are going to need to go into Purdue and come out victorious. This game is projected to light up the scoreboard, with each team projected to total over 30-points. Boston College's offense runs through their star running back A.J. Dillon, who has totaled over 430 yards and 4 touchdowns through just 3 games this season. Their quarterback, Anthony Brown, spreads the ball around to a variety of different receivers, and he does it well. In each game where he played for a significant amount of time, Brown has thrown for at least four touchdowns. While that is unlikely to happen again, is shows what the reasonable ceiling is for him. On Purdue's end, Rondale Moore is their top playmaker, and it is not particularly close. Other than Rondale Moore, only Jared Sparks has amassed over 12 targets this season. Those two are the clear-cut favorites when Purdue elects to go to the air. Purdue's top quarterback, Elijah Sindelar, is injured and his status for this game is still undetermined. If he is unable to go, David Blough proved last week that if Purdue gets into a shootout, he is capable of slinging the ball all over the field. Stacking Blough with Moore and/or Sparks is a great strategy for game stacking here.
More articles from Ryan ZamichieliSee all
More articles on: CollegeSee all
More articles on: Daily FFSee all
10 Things I Wish I Knew When Starting DFS - Freeman
DFS Coverage: Super Bowl - Staff
DFS Coverage: Conference Championships - Staff