College Football DraftKings Main Slate Breakdown: Week 12

An in-depth position-by-position breakdown of the DraftKings college football main slate.

The college football season is unfortunately winding down. Down the stretch some teams have their sites set on a potential birth in the College Football Playoff, while others are merely battling for a birth in a bowl game come the end of the regular season. On the other end of the spectrum, teams like Louisville have already turned their attention to next season, as they have relieved coach Bobby Petrino of his duties with the team. Narratives are always tough to quantify, but this at this point in the season, they are unavoidable. Groups of players are playing their final collegiate game in front of their home fans while some players are looking ahead to higher-profile matchups in the coming weeks. This weekend, there are a few situations where seniors playing their final home games get a significant boost in forecasted production because of the context of the game and the season, while other teams are in a prime situation for a let-down.

It may be tough to quantify, but this is where the edge should be found this week. As always, if you have any questions about any of the players either mentioned within the article or not mentioned in the article, send me a tweet @ThaGreatZambino and I will respond as soon as I see the tweet! Best of luck this weekend!

SLATE SNAPSHOT

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

  • WEST VIRGINIA @ OKLAHOMA STATE | WEST VIRGINIA (-4.5), GAME TOTAL: 71
  • MICHIGAN STATE @ NEBRASKA | MICHIGAN STATE (-2), GAME TOTAL: 49.5
  • PITTSBURGH @ WAKE FOREST | PITTSBURGH (-5) , GAME TOTAL: 61

quarterback

Tyler Cornelius ($8,600)

Tyler Cornelius and the Oklahoma State Cowboys exit one shootout against in-state rivals, the Oklahoma Sooners, and head right into another one. This weekend, Oklahoma State plays host to the West Virginia Mountaineers in a game projected to total over 70 points. Cornelius has been absolutely lights-out at home for Oklahoma State this season, with only 2 games under 30 DraftKings points this season. One of those matchups came against South Alabama in Week 2, just Cornelius’ second career start. A major reason for Cornelius ranking near the top of the list for quarterbacks for this slate is because his price has not fully adjusted to match his consistent top-end production. Tyler Cornelius should almost certainly be priced above $9,000 on DraftKigns this week, but instead, he sits at just $8,600 for this Big 12 matchup. The Oklahoma State passing attack is one of the highest-volume attacks and the offensive unit couples that with supreme efficiency. Look for Cornelius to near the 30-point mark again this week in Oklahoma State’s biggest game remaining on their schedule. One last little piece of information worth mentioning: Tyler Cornelius has rented out prime real estate on Narrative Street this weekend: Saturday’s game will be his final game in Bedlam, Oklahoma, and he will surely want to go out on top during his Senior Night.
Shea Patterson ($6,700)

Michigan has been incredible down the stretch this season, and that has been in large part due to Shea Patterson’s development within head coach Jim Harbaugh’s system. Patterson has eclipsed the 20-point mark in 4 out of 5 games for Michigan, and this matchup against Indiana projects to be a blow-out. 20 points may not be all too enticing at face-value, for $6,700 that is a fine floor and if he is able to move the ball with his legs, which he is supremely capable of doing, he is an extremely viable GPP option. Couple Patterson’s rushing prowess with Indiana’s 107th ranked pass defense according to S&P+, and this matchup is a dream matchup for a ceiling-game. The hold-up with this situation for Patterson that should keep him out of cash lineups is the look-ahead matchup for Michigan. On the docket, next week for Michigan is a far more difficult matchup against Ohio State. These narratives at other levels may be ignorable but at the end of the day, these are 19-22-year-old kids playing. Everybody and their mother is expecting Michigan to blow-out Indiana this week, and Michigan players may be looking ahead to their rivalry game next week. In that case, a sub-standard performance from Michigan may be on tap. On the other hand, if the Michigan players are especially locked in, rest may be in store to preserve health going into one of the biggest games of the season. For those reasons, Patterson should not be considered in cash-games and he is not a particularly safe play. However, in GPPs, Patterson should be a low-rostered player amongst the field with a high ceiling, which offers a significant opportunity to gain leverage against the field.


running back

Ryquell Armstead ($8,600)

It will be tough, if not impossible, for Ryquell Armstead to top his performance last week against Houston. Armstead found the end zone six times against Houston en route to a monster 60-point day on DraftKings. While he is now priced amongst the top running backs on the slate, that is not enough of a reason to fade him this week. Temple will be playing South Florida in their final home game of the season and, (narrative alert) in turn, this will be Ryquell Armstead’s final home game dawning the cherry and white of Temple University. South Florida has gradually watched this season slip out of their hands, as they have lost 3 straight games and allowed at least 35 points in each one of them. USF’s middling defense has especially proven to struggle against the run, ranking 95th in the nation in S&P+ allowed on rushing plays. Lastly, there are no significant threats to Armstead’s playing time in the Temple backfield: Armstead has carried the ball at least 20 times in every game since Week 3. There is no reason to expect his volume to decrease now, and his chances of finding the end zone this week are as high as any running back on the slate.

Olamide Zaccheaus ($6,000)

Olamide Zaccheaus is an interesting option on this slate. At $6,000, Zaccheaus is a mid-priced running back that averages over 10 targets per game over his last 4 games. Zaccheaus should probably be qualified as a wide receiver rather than a running back. However, utilizing Zaccheaus at running back may help provide significant upside in tournaments. Rather than rostering one of the high-end running backs and get 20 carries for 120 yards and hopefully a touchdown, Zaccheaus will save about $2,000 and he provides 10-catch upside. Pairing Zaccheaus at running back as well as a wide receiver in the flex position on DraftKings provides an incredible ceiling. For cash-play, using him in the flex position (or another high-end running back in the flex spot) also provides a quality floor. Zaccheaus has a plus-matchup against the 104th ranked Georgia Tech pass defense, and if his target numbers stay relatively consistent (which they should) he should produce in bunches this weekend.

Ricky Person ($3,900)

One quick glance at the NC State depth chart will likely provoke questioning along the lines of, “But, he’s a backup?” But, Ricky Person is not a typical backup. At $3,900, Person has received at least 10 carries in every game devoid of a terrible game script that he has been healthy for. Good news, Person is healthy this weekend for the battle against a reeling Louisville Cardinals group. Louisville’s run defense is by far the worst unit on the slate. In fact, it is one of the worst ever fielded by a power-five team. NC State is projected to win this game by more than two touchdowns, and that may lead to increased time for players on the second unit. Ricky Person will surely be one of the most popular salary-saving options on the slate, barring any late injury news elsewhere.

wide receiver

Kelvin Harmon ($8,100)

As previously mentioned, NC State takes on a terrible Louisville this weekend. Louisville is one of the worst teams in the nation in all facets of defensive play. The 106th ranked pass defense in the league certainly is not going to steer people away from one of the highest-volume wide receivers in the nation. Kelvin Harmon averages nearly 12 targets per game over his last 3 games, good for one of the highest totals on the entire slate. Unfortunately, Harmon is far from cheap on this slate: for $8,100 he is the third most expensive wide receiver on the slate. On this slate, Harmon will likely be far less-rostered than he should be given the context of the slate. There is no shortage of high-priced wide receivers with outstanding floors and ceilings on this slate, but Harmon sticks out because he may end up flying under the radar. Just 3 games ago Harmon posted a 50-point game on DraftKings, a ceiling unmatched by practically any other player on the entire slate, regardless of position. Harmon could not have dreamed up a better matchup for his Week 12 outing: Louisville is one of the worst teams in the entire nation. North Carolina State should dominate the matchup, and the aerial attack for quarterback Ryan Finley runs through Harmon.

Emmanuel Hall ($5,800)

Emmanuel Hall is one of the most talented wide receivers in the nation, but unfortunately, he missed an extended period of time this season. Hall returned 2 weeks ago and immediately stepped back into the number-one role in Missouri’s passing attack. Since his return from a lengthy and lingering groin injury, Hall has registered seven targets in both games. Entering the season, Hall was one of the highest-priced players on the slate. Consistently sitting at $7,700 prior to his injury, Hall was widely regarded to be one of the top fantasy receivers in fantasy college football. The dramatic price decrease is inexplicable, considering his volume is consistent with what he received early in the season. Facing off with Tennessee is not a matchup that will scare sharp college football DFS players away from Hall. Emmanuel Hall is one of the top cash-game plays as well as GPP plays on the slate.

Cody White ($5,100)

Cody White is back for a repeat appearance in this article. Last week White regained his role atop the Michigan State depth chart (much like Emmanuel Hall) en route to a 15-target game. His price increased, but not nearly enough heading into the Week 12 clash with Nebraska. $5,100 is still a significant discount for a player with such a high level of involvement, like Cody White. Nebraska’s offense is one of the fastest-paced offenses in the nation, which should increase the pace of play for the entire game. Michigan State’s offense forecasts to run a substantially higher number of plays than usual, and in a higher snap-count, White should also see a higher number of targets than normal (I am not saying more targets than the 15 he registered last week.) Cody White is one of the highest-floor players at the wide receiver, relative to his price. Unfortunately, this week there are not many quality low-priced options at the wide receivers with a quality level of involvement to provide a go-to salary saver.

game stack

WEST VIRGINIA @ OKLAHOMA STATE

Oklahoma State, once again, has found its way into the prime game stack of the DraftKings college football main slate. This time, however, Oklahoma State will take on West Virginia at home rather than the Oklahoma Sooners. Oklahoma State's options are relatively consistent from week-to-week, aside from the running back position. At quarterback, the aforementioned Tyler Cornelius is one of the top quarterbacks on the slate. Tyron Johnson & Tylan Wallace are the clear-cut top two wide receivers in the Oklahoma State offense, and the two may combine for nearly 30 targets once again this week in a potential shootout with the Mountaineers. The Oklahoma State backfield, however, is far less enticing this week. Last week, Chuba Hubbard was underpriced for his role in Oklahoma State's offense and an injury to Justice Hill ultimately led to a true ceiling game. This week, Hubbard has seen his price increase and Justice Hill's role may be decreased following his injury and Hubbard's emergence. All in all, avoid the Oklahoma State backfield this week. For West Virginia, David Sills Vis one of the best wide receivers in the nation, and he will likely be one of the most popular options on the slate, given this game's massive shootout potential. He may be a safer option in cash than Kelvin Harmon, and he will likely be more popular. Wil Grier is building a resume worthy of a trip to New York at season's end for the Heisman ceremony, but he is the most expensive quarterback on the slate. This price tag may lead to the field rostering him at a significantly lower rate than he should be. Stacking Grier with Sills V is a very expensive move, but the ceiling is unmatched by any other quarterback/wide receiver combination in the nation. The ceiling and expected popularity of the stack makes it one of the best GPP moves on the slate. Elsewhere in the West Virginia passing attack, Gary Jennings, Jr. has been a quality option all season, but unfortunately his volume has dwindled in recent weeks. He is not a reliable play by any means, but the expected score of this game means Jennings, Jr. is certainly worth consideration in a small amount of GPP lineups.

This matchup between Big 12 offensive powerhouses should showcase two of the best passing attacks in the nation. Almost everybody from the game has been priced up, in accordance with the projected game total, meaning the field may be hesitant to stack the game. In cash games, both quarterbacks are viable, as well as the three primary receivers listed. The fourth receiver (Jennings, Jr.) should be solely considered in GPPs. When it comes to the two passing attacks, stack away in GPPs this weekend!