DraftKings CFB Early Slate Week 9

A game by game look at the top plays for the Saturday Early slate on DraftKings.

Below is our game-by-game previews on which players should be considered on your roster as well as which players you may want to stay away from.

Mississippi At Auburn

Kickoff: 12:00PM EST

Spread: Missisippi -7
O/U: 
57

Mississippi:
Team Expected Points: 32

WR- Laquon Treadwell- $6,700

Analysis:
Laquon Treadwell has been great the last three games, but has been extremely volatile so far this season with having several games with under 100 yards and without a touchdown. His pricing has adjusted to a point that puts him in the category of an elite wide receiver, as he is the fourth most expensive die receiver on the board this week. Treadwell is facing an Auburn defense that has been more susceptible to the run than the pass this season allowing only 230 yards per game through the air. Ole Miss should be in a great spot this week as they are facing a team that is one of the worst defensively in the SEC, but the entire team has been priced up accordingly.

Recommendation:
There are several great receiver options at the $7,700 price point that are safer on this slate, therefore we are recommending Treadwell as a contrarian GPP play only. He has the potential to have a very big game, but is going to take a significant amount of your salary to be able to afford some of the other elite options on this slate.

Auburn-
Team Expected Points: 25

RB- Peyton Barber- $7,400

Analysis:
Peyton Barber over the last three games has been the best scoring backs in the country scoring 11 touchdowns over his last three games. The issue for Barber is that he is facing a Mississippi team that has only allowed 121 yards total rushing this season and held Derrick Henry to just 127 yards rushing. Ole Miss has been vulnerable to receiving running backs which Barber is not a big part of.

Recommendation:
Starting a running back in a bad tough matchup is always a difficult situation. However with Barber’s scoring ability over the last three games, he has to be considered in GPP plays as he has the ability to score 2-3 touchdowns which is what he will have to do in order to make value. Without the ability to catch the ball there are better options on this slate such as McNichols.

Florida State At Syracuse

Kickoff: 12:00 PM EST
Spread: Florida State -17
O/U: 53

Florida State
Team Expected Points- 35

RB- Jacques Patrick- $3,500

Analysis:
Dalvin Cook is out for this game due to an ankle injury, which creates a tremendous opportunity for Jacques Patrick who should take a major role in this offense. Patrick was one of the top high school running backs in the nation last year, and while he hasn’t had a role in the offense yet, he should get the first crack against Syracuse. The matchup is one that is average, as Syracuse has allowed 150 yards per game. We don’t expect the same type of game that Leonard Fournette had earlier this season where he had 244 yards, but he has the ability to break 100 yards and has 20 point upside.

Recommendation:
Patrick is the best punt plays of the day as he has tremendous upside. It is a little bit risky that we are recommending a freshman who only has six career carries, but it is a situation where you have to trust the talent will come through in what should be a great opportunity for success.

WR- Jesus Wilson- $3,800

Analysis:
Jesus Wilson is the definition of safe with very little upside. Each game this year he has 6-14 points which is not going to win you many GPP’s. Fortunately for Wilson, Syracuse has one of the worst defenses in college football against the pass as they have allowed 250 yards per game passing. Wilson is not going to provide you with a significant amount of upside, but it is a nice position if you’re looking for a cheap punt play.

Recommendation:       
At this price, Wilson is a very good punt play in cash games only, as he does not have the upside that you’re going to look for in GPP’s.

Syracuse
Team Expected Points- 18

Florida State has one of the top defenses in the country allowing 192 yards passing and only 134 yards rushing this is not a game Syracuse is not a team that you want to target in this slate which has some high powered offenses.

Illinois At Penn State

Kickoff: 12:00 PM EST
Spread: Penn State -5
O/U: 
43

Illinois
Team Expected Points- 19
Penn State has one of the best defenses in the country which will make this a very difficult game on the road. Josh Ferguson is expected to miss his third straight game which is not going to help the struggling Illinois offense. This team can safely be avoided this week.

Penn State
Team Expected Points- 24

RB- Saquon Barkley- $6,600

Analysis:
Saquon Barkley was extremely disappointing last week as he only had 65 yards but did manage to get a touchdown to salvage his day. The matchup is average, as Illinois has allowed 150 yards per game rushing which while on paper it seems great, it is a little bit skewed due to Jordan Canzeri’s 256 yard performance two weeks ago. Barkley should have a nice rebound game this week against Illinois.

Recommendation:
Barkley has shown that he is one of the top freshman running back and with his last three healthy games having over 20 carries he is someone who is going to see significant volume again this week. He will be under-owned in GPP’s, and is a better play in GPP’s than cash games due to his price, but still should not be discounted in cash games if the salary fits.

Rutgers At Wisconsin

Kickoff: 12:00 PM EST
Spread: Wisconsin -20
O/U: 
52

Rutgers
Team Expected Points- 16

Rutgers offensively really struggled last week at home against Ohio State, and they face another very difficult defense this week as Wisconsin is averaging under 200 yards passing and under 100 yards rushing which is not an ideal situation for starting offensive players against.

Wisconsin
Team Expected Points- 36

RB- Dare Ogunbowale/Corey Clement- $5,700/$4,600

Analysis:
This is another situation that is going to be a game time decision between whether Corey Clement is going to start. Dare Ogunbowale has not been great running the football, but has made up for that with his pass catching ability as he has over 50 yards in each of the last two games receiving. Rutgers has one of the worst defenses in college football, as they are 97th in total yards allowed. They have been slightly better against the pass than the run, but this is primarily due to the teams that they have faced.

Recommendation:
Ogunbowale is a good cash game play and should not be considered in GPP’s due to only scoring four touchdowns this year. If Clement is active and starting, he is the top running back plays on the board.

Nebraska At Purdue

Kickoff: 12:00 PM EST
Spread: Nebraska -7.5
O/U: 53

Nebraska
Team Expected Points-

RB- Terrell Newby- $5,200

Analysis:
Purdue has one of the worst rushing defenses in the country allowing 199 yards per game on the ground. This is a tremendous opportunity for Terrell Newby, which while he had a poor game last week it was against a strong Northwestern run defense. With Tommy Armstrong out he should see an increase in carries due to Purdue’s inability to stop the run.

Recommendation:
Newby is risky due to two of his last three games that failed to get over 100 yards, but he should be safe for 15-20 points and therefore makes for a decent cash game play this week.

QB- Ryker Fyfe- $3,900

Analysis:
Tommy Armstrong is out in this game which presents a good opportunity for Ryker Fyfe who is in the fourth year of the program. While he is not the most talented quarterback, he is in a matchup that favorable for a decent first start. One of the things that we like about Fyfe is his ability to run the football as he ran for 750 yards his senior year of high school which unfortunately is the only data that we have to go off of.

Recommendation:
At $3,900 Fyfe allows you to spend big everywhere else and is the top value play on the day. We recommend using him in GPP and cash games with very little concern due to how low the value threshold is for him to make value. There is some concern in GPP’s that he will be over-owned which would be the only reason to fade him.

South Carolina At Texas A&M

Kickoff: 12:00 PM EST
Spread: Texas A&M -16
O/U: 
55.5

South Carolina
Team Expected Points- 19.75

Unfortunately South Carolina is another team on this slate that we are going to avoid, as their season has been spiraling out of control ever since Steve Spurrier hung up the visor. It is best to avoid South Carolina this week as we see how the team responds offensively to losing their head coach as they are heavy underdogs on the road.


Texas A&M

Team Expected Points- 35.75

QB- Kyler Murray- $5,100

Analysis:
This announcement was a bit of a surprise, but a great one for DFS. Kyler Murray is one of the most electric quarterbacks in college football, as his running ability should cause this South Carolina defense all kinds of problems this week. South Carolina has allowed over 200 yards rushing on the ground, and Murray is in a prime position to exploit that.

Recommendation:
There is some concern that if he were to struggle that Kyle Allen would take over, but at $5,100 the threshold to make value is so low that he is one of the top plays on the board this week. The quarterback position is not great this week, so starting with Murray and Fyfe would allow you to stack everywhere else.

Colorado At UCLA

Kickoff: 3:00 PM EST
Spread: UCLA -23
O/U: 62

Colorado
Team Expected Points- 19.5

Colorado on the road has been a disaster this year offensively. Phillip Lindsay would have been interesting if he was still getting a majority of the carries, but Colorado has reverted back to splitting carries including Sefo Liufau who had 18 carries last week. This is not an offense that you should be looking at on this slate.

UCLA
Team Expected Points- 42.5

RB- Paul Perkins- $7,100/ Soso Jamabo $5,300

Analysis:
If someone could guarantee us that Perkins is 100% healthy he would be our top running back on the slate. Instead he is behind Jeremy McNichols and Akrum Wadley as our top overall running backs this week. Colorado has one of the worst run defenses in college football allowing 209 yards per game, which should present an opportunity for Paul Perkins. Soso Jamabo is an elite play if Perkins were to be ruled out, but all signs are looking towards Perkins being probable for this game.

Recommendation:
Perkins is a great play, which while there is a little risk due to game script in a potential blowout, he is facing one of the worst defenses in college football and should be a great play this week. Jamabo is only playable if Perkins is ruled out for this game.

WR- Jordan Payton- $5,800

Analysis:
Jordan Payton has six or more receptions in each of his last four games, which is a great sign of consistency for the receiver. This is a matchup that can be exploited as shown by Mike Bercovici when he threw for five touchdowns against Colorado. This game should be a blowout, which isn’t always ideal for fantasy, but Payton should have an opportunity to make an impact prior to the game getting out of hand.

Recommendation:
Payton is a GPP play largely due to his inconsistency to score touchdowns this season, as well as having only one 100 yard game. At $5,800 you are going to be looking for 15-20 points, which essentially means that you’re going to be banking on a touchdown for Payton in order to get into your cash games.

USC At Cal

Kickoff: 3:00PM EST
Spread: USC -4.5
O/U: 69

USC
Team Expected Points- 39

WR- Juju Smith-Schuster- $7,300

Analysis:
Juju Smith-Schuster has been one of the top wide receivers in college football so far this season, and is facing a team that has allowed 260 yards passing per game which is 102nd in the country. The issue for Smith-Schuster is that he has been favoring one of his legs in practice essentially having a limp. While he will play in this game, he is clearly not at 100%, and there is some concern as he uses his speed and athleticism on every play.

Recommendation:
If you have the salary, Smith-Schuster makes for a great play this week in both cash and GPP’s. He has scored a touchdown in all but one of his team’s games this season, as well as going over 100 yards in each of these games, while the team is on the road and Cal’s defense has looked better of late especially with shutting down #1 wide receivers, we feel this is just variance, and should not hinder Smith-Schuster’s ability in this game.

Cal
Team Expected Points-30

QB- Jared Goff- $8,200

Analysis:
Jared Goff is as consistent as they come in college football. He has thrown for 2+ touchdowns in each of the teams games this season, as well as having thrown 295 yards+ in all but one game. He is a great cash game option every week, as consistency is a much undervalued stat in college football. Unfortunately for us fantasy players, he doesn’t throw to a consistent wide receiver so there is not a great stacking option for GPP’s each week. This week’s matchup is average as USC has allowed 237 yards passing through the air which is 83rd in the nation, but one of the better in the Pac-12.

Recommendation:
If you are uncomfortable with either of the two punt plays this week, Goff makes for a great play in cash games. He is not a great GPP option just due to his inability to run the football.

Boise State At UNLV

Kickoff: 3:30PM EST
Spread: Boise State -20
O/U: 57

Boise State
Team Expected Points- 38.5

RB- Jeremy McNichols- $7,900

Analysis:
Jeremy McNichols is one of the top running backs in college football, as he has scored 2+ touchdowns in every game so far this season, and is starting to play a major role in the passing game as he has 15 receptions over the last two weeks. The matchup is a great one as UNLV has allowed 183 yards per game rushing which is 93rd in the nation, which presents a great opportunity for the streak of multiple touchdowns to continue.

Recommendation:
McNichols is the top overall play of the day and should be included in your lineups.

UNLV
Team Expected Points- 18

While UNLV is at home, they are not in a good position this week as Boise State has a top 10 defense overall based on total yards allowed.

Clemson at NC State

Kickoff: 3:30PM EST
Spread: Clemson -10.5
O/U: 50

Clemson
Team Expected Points- 30.25

QB- Deshaun Watson- $8,400

Analysis:
Deshaun Watson is hard to figure out this year, as one week he will throw for over 400 yards, and the next week he will throw for less than 200 yards and run for 50+. Overall he has been good this year, but this is the most difficult defense that he faces this season as NC State is #3 overall in total yardage allowed per game. While NC State has not faced an offense as good as Clemson, the stats are still to be taken into consideration, and are not favorable for Watson this week. He does have the upside that no other quarterback has on this slate due to his unique ability to run and throw the football, but he is not the safest quarterback on this slate.

Recommendation:
Watson is a pure GPP play, as he is someone who is in a tough matchup, but in one of the most difficult matchups this season against Boston College he threw for 420 yards and combined for four total touchdowns.

NC State
Team Expected Points- 19.75

Clemson ranks #4 overall in total team defense and unlike NC State they have faced a schedule that is much more difficult reflecting a true defensive quality of Clemson. This defense has a ton of confidence after the shutout of Miami last week and is not a defense that we are recommending starting anyone against.

Maryland At Iowa

Kickoff: 3:30PM EST
Spread: Iowa -17
O/U: 53

Maryland
Team Expected Points- 18

QB- Perry Hills- $5,900

Analysis:
This is the third straight tough matchup for Perry Hills, as he has previously faced Ohio State, Penn State, and now Iowa. Perry Hills in the first two games has run for over 100 yards in each of the two games, and is looking to run for a third 100 yard game. Unfortunately, Iowa has the best defense of the group, and should have the game film to shut him down, but it is hard to discount what he has done so far over the last two games.

Recommendation:
Hills is a pure GPP play, as while he has ran the ball great, if you’re Iowa you have to think they will be selling out to stop the quarterback run as this is the only way that Maryland is able to keep this game close. Iowa is coming off a bye which is not an ideal situation for a quarterback on the road against a top 10 defense coming off a bye.

Iowa
Team Expected Points- 35

RB- Akrum Wadley- $5,700

Analysis:
Akrum Wadley is Iowa’s third starting running back that they have had and is coming off of a huge game rushing for 204 yards and four touchdowns against a very tough Northwestern run defense. Coming off a bye Jordan Canzeri is still unable to play this week which provides Wadley a tremendous opportunity against a defense that has averaged allowing 175 yards rushing per game.

Recommendation:
Start Wadley in all of your lineups as he will get enough volume against a poor defense to be one of the top values of the day.

Oklahoma State At Texas Tech

Kickoff: 3:30PM EST
Spread: Oklahoma State -3
O/U: 78

Oklahoma State
Team Expected Points- 40.5

QB- Mason Rudolph- $7,000

Analysis:
Another quarterback that grades out high this week in what should be a shootout of a game. While Rudolph has been largely disappointing this season, as he only has two games over 300 yards and only three games with two or more touchdowns. This matchup however is one of the best in college football, as Texas Tech does not have a defense, so if there ever was a game for Rudolph to perform at a high level it would be this one. This is his best opportunity to recreate the Kansas State game where he had 400+ yards and 3 touchdowns, but the risk is there that this may not happen and may use the stable of running backs against Texas Tech.

Recommendation:
Mason is a great GPP play, but is not a great cash game play due to his up and down nature of his play so far this season. In cash games we are looking for either cheap values or consistency, and he is neither on this slate.

Texas Tech
Team Expected Points- 38.5

It is hard to say do not start anyone on a team that is projected to score 38.5 points, but in cash games this week we do not recommend playing anyone. The primary reason is that Mahomes is coming off a horrible game where he threw for under 300 yards and threw four interceptions. He also is facing a team in Oklahoma State that is only allowing 181 yards passing per game. Texas Tech is priced up as if they should be one of the top options this week, and that is just simply not the case.

If you want to have a Mahomes and Jakeem Grant as a contrarian GPP play we would entertain that option, as there still is upside that Oklahoma State reverses back to the mean as they are much better on paper than they have been this season.

Oklahoma At Kansas

Kickoff: 3:30PM EST
Spread: Oklahoma -39
O/U: 61

Oklahoma
Team Expected Points- 50

RB- Samaje Perine- $6,700

Analysis:
Finally the one week that we did not recommend Samaje Perine he looks like the Perine from 2014. If you remember one thing about 2014 you remember Perine’s performance against Kansas last year when he ran for 427 yards against Kansas. Kansas has not gotten any better this year, but Perine has gotten into a time share situation with Joe Mixon that limits his upside in most games. The matchup is perfect however the time share limits his potential upside in most weeks.

Recommendation:
It’s always difficult to predict how these blowout games are going to go, as Oklahoma can choose how they want to defeat Kansas. Most teams have a definite weakness, but Kansas is bad at all aspects of football. In their 55-0 win against Kansas State Perine had 11 carries for 56 yards and no touchdowns. While we expect better numbers this week, we think Perine is best suited as a GPP play due to his inconsistent touches. However, due to the high number of people who will have him, he can be used as a block for cash games.

Kansas
Team Expected Points- 11

Kansas is the worst team in football; avoid them and move on to the next team.

Georgia At Florida

Kickoff: 3:30PM EST
Spread: Florida -2
O/U: 45

Most of the time we are recommending to avoid any game that has an over/under 45 or less and this week is no different. These two teams are in the top 12 defenses in total yardage and neither team has an offense that we expect to do much against the other team’s defense this week.

Tulsa At SMU

Kickoff: 3:30PM EST
Spread: Tulsa -2.5
O/U: 75.5

Tulsa
Team Expected Points- 39

Finally we got to this game. It is our favorite play of the board, so we are going to do things a little bit different in our recommendation of this game. Everyone is in play.

QB Dane Evans, $8,300. Evans is our #3 quarterback in terms of total points. He is a better cash game play than GPP due to the lack of running ability and high price.

WR Keyarris Garrett, $7,600. Keyarris is our #1 wide receiver in terms of total points, he should be used in both cash games and GPP’s as he has the ability to continue the production that he had last week since Keevan Lucas is out for the year. If Atkinson is out Garrett becomes a must start

WR Joshua Atkinson $6,300. Joshua Atkinson is our #5 wide receiver in terms of total points, and he should be used in GPP’s as he is dealing with an injury to his Achilles and is questionable for this game.

SMU
Team Expected Points- 36.5

QB- Matt Davis, 7,600 #1 overall quarterback, he can safely be used in cash games and GPP’s.

WR- Courtland Sutton, $4,900- #2 overall wide receiver on the slate, he is a better GPP play than cash game due to his recent struggles over the last two games

RB- Xavier Jones, $4,900, One of the top values on this slate at the running back position, can be used in cash and GPP’s but is a better cash games due to his limited amount of carries which can limit his upside.