Our first fantasy football slate of the new year will be a fun one. The January 1st slate features four bowl games and some of the biggest programs in all of college football.
The lack of obvious, chalky plays at both quarterback and wide receiver should lead to a lot of unique lineup builds despite having just four games to choose from. The smaller main slate made it easy to combine the write-ups for both FanDuel and DraftKings. The pricing and roster-building strategy for both sites will be discussed below.
We will start off with a quick positional overview and then go more in-depth with a breakdown of each game on the slate, highlighting both the primary and secondary fantasy options on each team. Based upon pricing differences, a player may fall into different categories depending on the site. When that is the case, it will be noted. For example, you will see Jaylen Waddle (FD) listed as a “primary” option because he is so cheap on FanDuel and Jaylen Waddle (DK) listed as a “secondary” option on DraftKings where his price is higher relative to the other receivers.
There is very little separation when it comes to point per dollar projections at the quarterback position from QB1 through QB8 on this slate. Each of the eight is in play to some extent for tournaments and there isn’t a single slam dunk play for cash games. Seven of the eight starting quarterbacks on this slate average 19 or fewer fantasy PPG (FanDuel scoring) this season. Each of those seven is playing in a game where their team is projected to score at least 20% fewer points than their season average. Baylor’s Charlie Brewer (22 PPG) is the only quarterback on the slate averaging more than 19 PPG but he has the toughest matchup with Baylor’s Vegas team total at a measly 17.8 points. None of the quarterbacks project as a strong play, which makes playing a non-quarterback in the Superflex spot a viable option on both sites.
Unlike quarterback, running back has some very strong options that standout from the crowd and we will see ownership highly concentrated on a handful of backs. Jonathan Taylor is as productive as any back in the country. He is a cash game lock and top tournament option. Najee Harris has been one of the best backs in the nation over the second half of the season and should have another big game. Like Taylor, he is a top option in cash games and tournaments. Jatarvius “Boobie” Whitlow of Auburn and CJ Verdell of Oregon are the other two backs who stand out as having solid floors and some upside. There is enough value on FanDuel that we probably don’t have to play any of the Georgia backs. However, the value options on DraftKings are few and far between. With each of Georgia’s three backs (D’Andre Swift, Zamir White, and James Cook) priced at $4,100 or less, it is worth taking on the risk despite a lack of clarity on how the playing time will be divvied up.
With the possible exception of an Alabama offense led by relative unknown Mac Jones, there isn’t a high-flying pass offense on the slate and we have a lot of very good pass defenses on the other side. As with quarterback, we are left without obvious chalk. With a lot of overlap likely at running back and potentially not much separation between the quarterbacks, our decisions at wide receiver are going to be the key to whether we win or lose on this slate.
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