College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: 11/17/18 Main Slate
Week 12 of the college football season is here. And after 11 full weeks of games and action, we're in store for another exciting Saturday, both on the field and on the daily fantasy slate.
College football DFS? Yes, you heard that right. And in case you're unfamiliar with how it works, you can check out the rules and scoring on FanDuel, where you can hit the lobby each week to see the full array of slates and contests being offered.
As for the basics, your roster consists of a quarterback slot, two running back slots, three wide receiver slots (which also includes tight ends) and one super flex slot. In the flex, you can insert one player from any position, including quarterbacks.
Here, our goal is to help you field a roster full of fantasy goodness, and in true numberFire fashion, we'll use our in-house projections as well as betting totals and advanced statistics to tackle as many slates as possible in the lead-up to the College Football Playoff. This week, we are breaking down Saturday's main slate, which locks at 12:00 p.m. EST. and consists of 16(!) games. A potential shootout in the Big 12 features the road West Virginia Mountaineers taking on the Oklahoma State Cowboys with a slate-high 73.0 over/under and a 5.5-point spread in favor of the ninth-ranked Mountaineers.
Who should we be targeting in what matchups this week in college football?
Will Grier, West Virginia ($10,500): Trust me -- you want in on this game, and you want in on any and all levels. Starting with Grier is a great setup for cash games. His team is expected to be a close, high-scoring game, and its Heisman candidate signal caller runs the show. After an awful game against Iowa State -- prior to West Virginia's bye -- Grier has come out with at least 343 yards and exactly 3 scores in each of the three. He has attempted 39-plus passes in back-to-back weeks, and he has a rushing score to boot. All total, he's averaging 26.0 FanDuel points on the year and 28.1 over that span. And as Michael Jordan would say, the ceiling is the roof, because Grier gets the opportunity to face off against Oklahoma State's 78th-ranked defense, per Football Outsiders' S&P+. In tournaments, Oklahoma's Kyler Murray has the higher ceiling, though OU -- 36-point favorites -- could choose to go to the ground early and often against a weak Kansas.
Taylor Cornelius, Oklahoma State ($10,200): For a slightly cheaper option, we'll stick with this Oklahoma-sized shootout in the Big 12. On the other side of Grier, senior Taylor Cornelius has 30 total touchdowns to his name this season -- 10 of which have come in the last 3 games (3 on the ground). The Cowboys have been in a lot of shootouts in which Cornelius has been called upon to do it all, from running for touchdowns to throwing the ball over 50 times for 500-plus yards, as he did last week. He has at least 26.28 FanDuel points in three straight, two of which he went for 31.54 or more. And don't let Iowa State's mediocre total (22.0) keep you from pivoting to Brock Purdy ($9,600) in tournaments. The star freshman is averaging 32.9 FanDuel points with 15 touchdowns over his last five.
Jamie Newman, Wake Forest ($7,700): Usual starter Sam Hartman has been ruled out for the year, leaving Newman to start. In his place last week, the sophomore stepped in to throw for 297 yards and 3 touchdowns, and also ran for 44 yards on 13 carries. All total, he ended the day with 28.28 FanDuel points against North Carolina State. This week, he'll get a Pittsburgh team ranked 13 spots lower by S&P+ and 84th in passing defense alone. A starting quarterback at less than $8,000 is awesome, but one in this kind of matchup, sporting a 26.75 implied total at home, has to be in your lineups.
Karan Higdon, Michigan ($9,700): I recommended him here last week, too, and there's many reasons to go back. A week ago, he posted 16.2 FanDuel points with 2 scores against Rutgers, bringing his average to 17.8 FanDuel points. He averages 0.5 more at home, where Michigan is the third-largest favorite (-28.5) against Indiana, who rank 75th in defense and 74th against the rush, most notably 87th in adjusted line yards against. Higdon's a top point-per-dollar play, but I can't fault you for going with any of the four backs priced above him either. They're all in great spots with $100 to $400 in savings.
Miles Sanders, Penn State ($9,400): Speaking of that Rutgers team Michigan gashed for 193 yards, 4.8 yards per carry and 3 scores, Penn State star Miles Sanders gets to take the field against them this week. He's on the road, but that hasn't been a problem for Sanders, as he's averaged more yards per carry (6.7) away from Beaver Stadium, while also turning in 24.2 FanDuel points per game if you discount a pit of a game against Michigan's defense (2.8 FanDuel points). The Nittany Lions are 27-point favorites, so expect them to ride their bellcow to a win.
Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma ($8,300): Pretty much every part of the Oklahoma offense enjoyed a big week in a Big week in a 48-47 win in Bedlam last week. And while this week's game is expected to be a blowout in Norman, their offense but mainly the backs, should eat. They should be up early, bringing on a heavy dose of Trey Sermon ($9,200) and Kennedy Brooks. At his price, Brooks is set to provide the better return, having ran for 165 and 3 tuddies (on 15 carries) against Oklahoma State. He is an explosive back running behind college football's third-ranked line, according to adjusted line yards. Kansas is 50th in that same category and 67th overall against the run. Playing one or both of Brooks and/or Sermon should be a formula for winning money in Week 12.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
David Sills V, West Virginia ($9,600): With all the preseason hype around his quarterback (Grier), Sills V was receiving hype of his own, as a borderline darkhorse for the Heisman to a member of the Biletnikoff Award watch list. The senior has had his share of inconsistent production this year, thanks to Grier spreading the love around the passing attack, but in recent weeks Sills has re-emerged as the receiving target in Morgantown. In the last three games, he's taken 17 catches for 307 yards and -- count 'em -- 5 touchdowns. But putting the ball in the end zone has been a thing all year long for the 6'4" wideout. According to NCAA Savant, Sills' 16 red zone targets place him third in the conference with a 6.96% target share inside the 20. Six of the nine completions have gone for touchdowns. However, if you'd like to pay less to get exposure to this offense, Gary Jennings ($9,000) has a respectable 17.83% target share and with four games over 20 FanDuel points this season (15.6 per game).
Tyron Johnson, Oklahoma State ($8,300): If targeting Cornelius in stacking this game, Johnson is a must because he's both cheap and productive (to say the least). With the Cowboys' defense struggling, they have played down for a lot of the season, particularly of late, which has led to Johnson seeing 19 receptions for 209 yards and a touchdown over the last two weeks. That's an average of 18.2 FanDuel points -- a 6.1 bump from his season-long mark. OK State dropped both games but scored 31 and 47 points, respectively. Their 30-plus total keeps their offense in play. That includes top wideout Tylan Wallace ($10,100), who you could certainly opt to dish out the extra cash for or roster both for a super-stack on the Cowboys' side of this shootout.
Devin Duvernay, Texas ($7,900): There are games elsewhere, and by elsewhere I still mean in the Big 12, where the Longhorns face a tall task against the 16th-ranked Cyclones. They are barely favorites, and Iowa State is no slouch defensively (18th in passing S&P+). However, Texas has attempted at least 34 passes in 3 straight, so the volume's going to be there. As was the case last week when Collin Johnson sat out, Duvernay should see more looks if the fellow wideout is out again or limited with that knee injury. Duvernay has 10 catches for 166 yards and 3 scores over the last 2 games for the 'Horns.
Brett Oswalt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Brett Oswalt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username BRO14THEKID. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.