Officially at the halfway mark in the season, college football fans are being treated to high-profile matchups across the nation every week. This weekend, Georgia and LSU battle in what would have been a clash of top five teams if LSU had not lost to Florida last week. These headlining matchups are not always the best for DFS play, however, as the battle between LSU and Georgia features two of the top defenses in the nation. The effective DFS options are frequently found in far less anticipated matchups, like UCF @ Memphis this week. This is a matchup that is expected to feature more points than some teams will score in an entire month. The sharpest college football DFS players are the ones who find matchups, such as this one, where they can stack multiple pieces from either team. In college football especially, when one team speeds up the game with a fast and spread-out style of football, the opposing team benefits as well. Certainly do not go overboard stacking just one game and putting all of your eggs into one basket, but do not build a cash lineup without some exposure to this AAC showdown.
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
- CENTRAL FLORIDA @ MEMPHIS | UCF (-4), GAME TOTAL: 78
- GEORGIA @ LSU | GEORGIA (-7.5), GAME TOTAL: 50
- TENNESSEE @ AUBURN | AUBURN (-14.5), GAME TOTAL: 47.5
McKenzie Milton and the Central Florida offense have not missed a beat following the departure of Scott Frost. The team has put up at least 45 points in every game against FBS competition this season. McKenzie Milton is vying for a spot in New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation at the end of the season, and his performance thus far has earned him a seat at the ceremony. Milton is a dual-threat quarterback who has legitimate 50-point upside this week against Memphis. This matchup with the Memphis Tigers is projected to total about 78 points, by far the highest total on the slate. Game stacks here will be extremely popular, as noted later in the article, and the key fantasy producers for each team will be rostered at a remarkably high rate in all formats. McKenzie Milton is a dangerous fade in cash-games where he is likely to be the most rostered quarterback. In GPPs, there are a few quality pivots at comparable priced (noted at the end of the article) that make fading Milton more feasible.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys face off against the Kansas State Wildcats in Week 7 of the 2018 season. Typically, the Wildcats play a ground-and-pound style of football that involves a stout defense and a brutal rushing attack on offense. This season does not exactly fit the script for Bill Snyder’s team. The Wildcats rank 101st or worse in 5 of the 6 most important advanced metrics for college football defenses. Cornelius and the Pokes have posted at least 44 points in 5 out of 6 games this season, and this game forecasts no differently. While it will be slightly more difficult to go into Manhattan, Kansas and accomplish the feat, the Oklahoma State offense should light up the scoreboard. Cornelius has a plethora of weapons at his disposal, even following the departure of Jalen McCleskey. Dillon Stoner returned from injury last week and should see a more involved role in the offense this week, and the former walk-on, Landon Wolf, has been a pleasant surprise. Cornelius’s price is ultimately the driving force in his inclusion here: for $8,300, Cornelius is far and away the best option at quarterback between $7,000 and $8,900.
Michael Scarnecchia ***UPDATE: SCARNECCHIA UNLIKELY TO START***
Last week, Will Muschamp made the decision to start Michael Scarnecchia over the incumbent Jake Bentley. The offense thrived as a result of this change: both Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards eclipsed the nine-target threshold for just the second time this season. Scarnecchia’s decision-making and accuracy throughout the game give reason to believe that this performance was no fluke. This weekend, the Gamecocks play host to the Aggies of Texas A&M, and while their defense is improving, it is not yet a particularly good defense. The Aggies’ defense has been a middle-of-the-road unit defending the pass by almost every measurement. This weekend, for a value quarterback or super-flex option in DraftKings options, Michael Scarnecchia for just $6,700 is the best option in the bargain bin.
Others to consider: Trace McSorley vs. Michigan State, Sam Ehlinger vs. Baylor, Brady White vs. Central Florida
Trayveon Williams has only posted 2 games under 20 DraftKings points this season. Those two games came against Alabama and Clemson; two of the best defenses in the entire nation. In all other matchups, Williams has posted at least 20 carries, 100 yards, and 1 touchdown in every single game. This week, Texas A&M heads to South Carolina to face off with one of the weakest run defenses in the nation. South Carolina’s run defense ranks 106th in marginal efficiency allowed to run plays and 124th in opportunity rate allowed on run plays. Trayveon Williams is poised to have a field day against the Gamecock’s defense. Texas A&M is favored in the matchup by a shade over a field goal, and if they go up early, expect Jimbo Fisher’s team to run the ball with efficiency and volume to ensure victory.
A second Oklahoma State Cowboy has found his way into this week’s DraftKings breakdown and, again, it is because of his suppressed price. Justice Hill’s price has inexplicably dropped below $7,000 in one of his best matchups this season. Last week, Hill clearly had his weakest performance of the season (13.7 DraftKings points,) but he carried the ball 22 times and recorded an above-average success rate of 46 percent. Simply put, Hill’s matchup improved drastically since last week, his price dropped, and he is poised to see virtually the same volume he has all season. Don’t overthink this play- Justice Hill will likely be one of the chalkiest players in all formats because of the random price drop and the value he offers in this matchup.
Last week, against Oklahoma, Keaontay Ingram saw the bulk of carries in the Longhorns’ backfield. Tre Watson found the end zone on a beautiful pass on a wheel route, but Ingram once again proved he is the most talented runner on the roster. Ingram has been held under 6.0 yards per carry just one time this season, and this week will likely be no different. Baylor’s rush defense ranks amongst the nation’s weakest, and the Longhorns are expected to win the game by two touchdowns. The elite matchup with Baylor’s 110th ranked defense in marginal efficiency allowed on runs coupled with the positive expected game script could lead to a ceiling game for Keaontay Ingram. If Ingram’s volume increases as expected and he is able to find the end zone, he will drastically outplay his $5,500 price tag.
Others to consider: Darrell Henderson vs. UCF, Rico Dowdle vs. Texas A&M, Devin Williams vs. Pittsburgh
Deebo Samuel ***UPDATE: Without Scarnecchia, Samuel's value drops slightly***
Deebo Samuel is one of the most electric players in college football when he has the ball in his hands. Luckily for him, the new starting quarterback, the aforementioned Michael Scarnecchia, attempts to put the ball in his hands significantly more than the previous quarterback did. Last week, Samuel was targeted nine times by Scarnecchia in a game that was played in atrocious conditions for the majority of the time. This weekend, against Texas A&M, the weather in Columbia, South Carolina is expected to be mid-70s and sunny. The South Carolina passing game could not wish for better weather their matchup against the mediocre Texas A&M passing defense.
Tre Nixon has been the most targeted wide receiver in the Central Florida offense over the previous three games. McKenzie Milton's favorite target as of late checks in as the third most expensive receiver on Central Florida's roster, however. This matchup between two of the top teams in the American Athletic Conference is projected to be an absolute shootout. If the most reliable public projections (betting lines) are correct, then there will be more than enough production to go around for receivers on both teams. Stacking Tre Nixon and McKenzie Milton together may prove to be one of the highest floor and highest upside duos on the entire slate.
Oregon's number one receiver, Dillon Mitchell, has emerged over recent weeks as Justin Herbert's favorite option through the air. Mitchell followed up a 17 target, 14 reception game against Stanford with another 9 target 7 reception last weekend against Cal. Mitchell entered the season with sky-high expectations under new head coach Mario Cristobal, but Mitchell struggled to produce early on. Since his slow start, as Oregon has entered the toughest part of their schedule, Dillon Mitchell has taken over as the go-to guy in the Oregon passing game. This weekend, Oregon faces off with Washington in a game that may define their season: a victory here puts Oregon on the fast-track to a PAC 12 Championship Game berth. A loss this weekend unfortunately puts an end to their PAC 12 Championship dreams, in all likelihood. Look for star quarterback Justin Herbert to rely heavily upon his most talented receiver as the Oregon Ducks look to pull off their first upset of the Mario Cristobal era.
Others to consider: Damonte Coxie vs. UCF, K.J. Hill vs. Minnesota, Jace Sternberger vs. South Carolina
UCF @ MEMPHIS | GAME TOTAL: 78
Central Florida @ Memphis projects for the highest score of any game on a DraftKings main slate for college football so far this season. The two offenses both love to play a fast and spread-out style of football, with little defense involved. Both offenses offer some very enticing pieces at almost all positions. For UCF, McKenzie Milton offers one of the highest floors and ceilings on the entire slate, which also means he will likely be extremely chalky in all formats. At wide receiver, their most target player of late, Tre Nixon, is the third highest priced receiver, which should lead players to rostering him more often than the two receivers ahead of him. In GPPs, paying up for Gabriel Davis or Dredrick Snelson is a perfect pivot away from Nixon. For Memphis, Brady White is quite affordable for this matchup, but his numbers to this point have been less-than-stellar. White may draw some decent percent numbers in cash games because of this sky-high total, but it is a risky play. At running back, Darrell Henderson is the most reliable producer on the team. Henderson has shown to be one of the most effective running backs in the nation throughout the first half of this season, and an up-tempo game like this may lead to increased volume. Lastly, Damonte Coxie for Memphis is the number-one wide receiver on the roster. His target numbers are the highest on the team week-in and week-out and he also has found the end zone twice as much as the team's second leading receiver. In all formats, stacking this game with 3 or 4 pieces is viable, but the players will likely be very chalky.