We are witnessing a revolution in college football. Instead of head coaches making decisions based on which player has produced more in the past, coaches have begun to go with the most talented player who gives the team a chance to win next week. This change in strategy is what has led to Tua Tagovailoa starting for the best team in the nation, and it is what has led to the insertion of true-freshman Trevor Lawrence in the Clemson Tigers starting lineup. It is an an exciting time to be a college football fan, as the on-field product should almost certainly improve now that the most talented players are playing substantially more. Through Week 5 of the college football season, nearly halfway through the regular season, there have yet to be many truly shocking upsets, but that will surely change sooner rather than later. This week's main slate of games features some of the most prolific offenses in college football, and there should be no shortage of points scored and maybe, if we're lucky, a few upsets.
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 the game(s) in red. On the other hand, the game(s) in green should provide enough points and fantasy points across the board to make multiple pieces on each team viable for fantasy lineups
- Texas Tech @ West Virginia | West Virginia (-8), GAME TOTAL: 74
- Pittsburgh @ UCF | UCF (-21), GAME TOTAL: 69
- Kansas State @ Texas | Texas (-15), GAME TOTAL: 51
Trevor Lawrence has earned the starting job under center for the Clemson Tigers in limited playing time through the first four games of the season. He will be taking over for senior Kelly Bryant, and the Tigers' national championship hopes will be heavily dependent on the play of Lawrence, a true freshman. Lawrence has unequivocally impressed to this point in the season, throwing for at least one touchdown in every single game, even as a backup seeing limited snaps. Last weekend against Georgia Tech, Lawrence saw the bulk of the snaps and lead the team to a season-high 49 points. Lawrence threw for 4 touchdowns on just 18 pass attempts in his most recent attempt to convince head coach Dabo Swinney that he should be the full-time starter. This week, Dabo Swinney announced that Trevor Lawrence would be the team's starter for the remainder of the season, prompting Kelly Bryant to transfer out of Clemson. Lawrence and the Tigers will play hosts to the up-tempo Syracuse Orange this Saturday. This Syracuse defense allowed Western Michigan to post 42 points in their lone road game to this point in the season. Syracuse's offense is one of the fastest in the country, registering 87 plays per game thus far. This weekend against one of the top defenses in the nation, Syracuse's up-tempo style of play should lead to the Clemson offense seeing a substantially higher number of scoring opportunities than average. Trevor Lawrence, for just $8,500, leads the heavily favored Tigers into this Week 5 matchup, and he is poised to outperform this price tag drastically.
This weekend, Texas A&M takes on Arkansas at home as 20.5-point favorites. Arkansas's season has not started the way they initially envisioned. Following a Week 1 victory over Eastern Illinois, the team has dropped three straight games to Colorado, North Texas, and Auburn. Arkansas has allowed at least 34 points in each game since the opener against Eastern Illinois. Kellen Mond, as a dual-threat quarterback, has adapted well to Jimbo Fisher and the new offense run by Texas A&M this season. Even last week against Alabama, Kellen Mond put up 25.64 DraftKings points, the highest total allowed by the Crimson Tide this season. Mond's rushing floor is substantially higher than almost every other quarterback on this slate. Against the weak Arkansas defense, Kellen Mond is the top option in cash-games in the price range between Trevor Lawrence and the most expensive quarterbacks on the slate.
Baylor has run a two-quarterback system throughout the beginning of the season, but at this point, it is clear that Chalie Brewer is the superior talent under center for the team. Brewer has topped at least 22.2 DraftKings points in each of his last 3 games, but his price still sits at just $5,900. Going up against the Oklahoma Sooners is not a game that the Baylor Bears are expected to win, but the Oklahoma defense is far from elite. The Oklahoma pass defense ranks between 76th and 91st in 3 of the most important measurements for a secondary: marginal efficiency allowed, marginal explosiveness allowed, and passing completion rate allowed. This bottom-dollar price for a quarterback with a significant floor is hard to find, and this weekend, Charlie Brewer is the best option when hunting for value at the quarterback position.
Others to Consider: Tyler Cornelius vs. Kansas, Tua Tagovailoa vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, & Kenny Pickett vs. UCF
Travis Etienne was recognized as the ACC's Running Back of the Week last weekend for the first time in his young career, and he gets a prime matchup this week to build off that impressive performance. Etienne, for $7,400, is one of the highest priced running backs this weekend, but he has one of the highest projected workloads of the group. Syracuse's fast-paced offense should lead to increased time of possession for the Clemson Tigers on Saturday, and Travis Etienne will be a primary beneficiary of that. Trevor Lawrence's presence in the offense also helps the running game. This season, with Trevor Lawrence on the field the Clemson Tigers run for 7.8 yards per carry, over 1.5 yards per carry better than when Kelly Bryant has played. The age-old football theory that teams run to set up the pass may, in fact, be completely backwards. A more successful passing game spreads out a defense and may lead to increased running success. As nearly 26-point favorites over Syracuse, expect Clemson to get the running game going in this matchup and for Travis Etienne to be the primary beneficiary.
D.J. Knox and the Purdue Boilermakers are coming off of their first win of the season, and it was a very impressive one against a ranked Boston College side. This weekend, they take on a much weaker Nebraska Cornhuskers defense. D.J. Knox is the clear top-dog in the Purdue backfield, and this week's matchup could lead to another 20-carry day for Knox. Knox, as well as most of the Purdue Boilermakers (except Rondale Moore) comes at a significant discount this week. For just $5,200 it is rare to get a running back with 20-carry potential against a team that just allowed 285 yards and 4 touchdowns a week ago. Nebraska's up-tempo offense under Scott Frost also may lead to an increased number of possessions and opportunities for the Purdue offense to light up the scoreboard. Due to the matchup and potential volume this week, D.J. Knox is the safest value option at the running back position.
Just two weeks ago D'Andre Swift was benched against Middle Tennessee State. Why? Nobody outside of the Georgia coaching staff or football team knows. Last week, Swift and Elijah Holyfield split carries (16 for Swift and 14 for Holyfield,) but there are certainly enough carries to go around in one of the nation's most run-heavy offenses. The Georgia Bulldogs enter this game as 30.5-point favorites at home against Tennessee. D'Andre Swift consistently makes the most of his opportunities, but he has been unable to find the end zone yet this season. His price has plummeted down to $5,700 due to Swift's lack of touchdowns, but this is as good of an opportunity as he will have for the rest of the season. Look to Swift to provide more production than his sub-$6,000 price tag may suggest this weekend against the Tennessee Volunteers.
Others to Consider: Trey Sermon vs. Baylor, Tre Watson vs. Kansas State, & Trayveon Williams vs. Arkansas
Rondale Moore burst onto the college football scene in Week 1 with an electric performance against Northwestern. Since then, Moore has solidified his role as the top option for Purdue quarterbacks. Rondale Moore has totaled 8 or more catches in 3 out of 4 games this season, and he amassed at least 100 yards receiving in each of those 3 games. Purdue's current quarterback, David Blough, has targeted Rondale Moore at least nine times in both full-games he has played. Moore and the Boilermakers face off with Nebraska this weekend, a winless team that has struggled mightily on defense against Colorado, Troy, and Michigan. The spread in this game is close: Purdue is favored by about three points, meaning either team could feasibly take home the victory. Purdue, to pull out a win, will need to feed Rondale Moore the ball early and often.
As Trevor Lawrence's most reliable target, Amari Rodgers enters this slate as one of the best options to use in a quarterback/wide receiver stack. Rodgers has logged at least 4 catches and 49 yards in 3 out of 4 games this season and found the end zone 3 times so far in this young season. Amari Rodgers has been the most consistent receiver for the Clemson Tigers throughout their first four games this year. Clemson is favored in this game by about 26 points over Syracuse in a game projected to total 66 points between the teams. In one of the best situations for any offense on the entire main slate, Clemson's entire offense gets a bump in projected production, and Amari Rodgers is the most reliable receiver of the group. Amari Rodgers is the safest option at wide receiver in his price range this week, and he couples that safety with a fantastic ceiling as well.
Jhamon Ausbon, much like Amari Rodgers, is the most reliable receiver for his respective team. Four games into this season, Texas A&M has played one of the toughest schedules in the nation, taking on both Alabama and Clemson already. The fantasy production of Aggies' players has suffered as a result of this supremely difficult start to the season, and Ausbon is a perfect example of that. Jhamon Ausbon has been the most targeted player by Kellen Mond this season, but he has yet to find the end zone. Due to the lack of touchdowns by Ausbon, his price does not reflect his overall involvement in the offense, and this weekend against Arkansas is the perfect breakout situation for Ausbon and the rest of the Aggies. For $5,600, priced between the most expensive stud wide receivers on the slate and the punt-plays, Jhamon Ausbon is a great piece to pair with Kellen Mond or play as a one-off for exposure to the Texas A&M's offense.
Others to Consider: Isaiah Zuber vs. Texas, Isaac Zico vs. Nebraska, & Tylan Wallace vs. Kansas
WEST VIRGINIA VS TEXAS TECH
West Virginia's offense, led by Heisman hopeful Wil Grier, takes on the Texas Tech Red Raiders this weekend in a game that is projected to be a shootout. DraftKings has price the players in the game accordingly, making both Grier and Texas Tech's quarterback, Alan Bowman, at least $10,000. Each team also heavily features a few wide receivers- for West Virginia it is David Sills and Gary Jennings, Jr., and for Texas Tech it is T.J. Vasher and Antoine Wesley. However, all of these wide receivers have been priced up as a result of this matchup as well. One significant place for differentiation in GPPs is the running backs in this matchup, as neither team typically features a bell cow running back. For West Virginia, Kennedy McKoy typically sees the most playing time, and he will not break the bank for $5,400. On Texas Tech's side of the ball, Demarcus Felton has risen towards the top of the depth chart in recent weeks. This game is expected to total over 70 points, and the masses immediately look to quarterbacks and wide receivers for exposure, however when the rest of the field comfortably zigs, consider zagging and getting GPP exposure to the running backs in what is expected to be the highest scoring game on the slate.