College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: 9/8/18 Main Slate
Week 2 of the college football season is upon us. After an opening weekend of near upsets, hard-fought matchups and Heisman-hopeful performances, 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 both early and main slates all the way up to the College Football Playoff. This week's main slate includes 11 games and locks at 3:30 p.m. EST.
Who should we be targeting, and why?
Will Grier, West Virginia ($11,100): Will Grier opened the year with a lot of hype as one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy. Well, let's just say he got off to a good start. In last week's win over Tennessee, the senior threw for 429 yards and 5 touchdowns as he completed 73.5% of his attempts and averaged 15.6 adjusted yards per attempt. This week's opponent, Youngstown State, should present even less resistance. The Penguins play in the FCS and will be forced to travel to Morgantown for the Mountaineers' home opener. Grier owns the third-highest odds (+1100) of any Heisman candidate, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, and he can be considered the 1B option at quarterback as he looks to build on his resume.
McKenzie Milton, UCF ($10,700): With Grier the 1B, that makes Central Florida's star quarterback -- and Heisman hopeful of their own -- the 1A. In his opener, Milton went off for 38.84 FanDuel points on the back of 346 passing yards, 50 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns via the air. He accounted for 60.7% of the team's total yards. And compared to Connecticut, South Carolina State is somehow an upgrade for Milton's matchup. The Bulldogs, out of the MEAC, gave up 37 points and 348 yards to Georgia Southern in their opener, and given UCF's recent run-ins with the Playoff committee, you better bet they'll be looking to make this as impressive a win as possible. Milton should feast, even if limited to three quarters. If you're looking for an alternative in tournaments, Texas' Sam Ehlinger ($9,100) comes at s discount and leads an offense with an implied total of 42.25 points.
Bryce Love, Stanford ($9,900): Why not keep the run of Heisman candidates going? After rushing for a mere 29 yards on 18 carries in Week 1, Love's price has fallen by nearly $1,000, and it's just in time for a plus matchup. No, he's not facing an FCS school, but USC, despite a win, was just pummeled by UNLV to the tune of 308 rushing yards and 7.2 yards per carry. Need I remind you that Bryce Love is no UNLV back. Add in that the Trojans ranked 113th in Stuff Rate and 82nd in Adjusted Line Yards defensively, per Football Outsiders, a year ago, and you get a great bounce-back spot for last year's Heisman runner-up. I also like Ohio State's Mike Weber ($9,800) and Notre Dame's Jafar Armstrong ($9,000) as 34.5-point favorites against Rutgers and Ball State, respectively.
Keaontay Ingram, Texas ($7,000): You might think it's odd targeting a back who's not even the top-priced back on his team. But despite ranking third among Longhorns backs in carries a week ago, Ingram is the most promising of a three-headed backfield. Having converted his 6 rushes and 1 catch into 40 total yards and a 5-yard touchdown run, Ingram's already caused the coaching staff to talk about increasing his opportunities going forward. A matchup with Tulsa bodes well for him and the Texas rushing attack, as the Golden Hurricane finished 2017 ranked 128th in Defensive S&P+ and 109th in Rushing S&P+ on the defensive side of the ball. A 23-point home spread is just icing on the cake.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Juwan Johnson, Penn State ($9,000): You could go with a few options near the top here, but with so many games with large spreads, it's better to pay up at running back and look to the mid- and lower-tiers at receiver. And of the stud wideouts, Johnson is by far the most underpriced. He had a mediocre 6 catches for 67 yards and was held scoreless against Appalachian State but was peppered with 12 targets (1 in the red zone) for a 34.29% target share, per NCAA Savant. Pittsburgh was 37th in Passing S&P+ as a defense last year, but they have two sophomores starting at corner in 2018, and Penn State carries a nice 31.5-point implied total on the road as 8.0-point favorites. If you'd rather pay even less for your WR1, Florida's Van Jefferson ($8,700) -- four red zone targets a week ago -- is an option as well as any and all Ohio State receivers, though it's hard to pin down which one is the top play.
Gabriel Davis, UCF ($8,200): Pairing up the right UCF receiver with Milton could be a conundrum, but for my money, it's talented sophomore Gabriel Davis. If you think that's just chasing points with a guy who had a touchdown last week, you're wrong. Despite posting only 40 yards, Davis led the team with 11 targets, 5 of which came in the red zone. He commanded over a 30% target share, and as a starter on the outside, he should be a focal point of the passing game again. He doesn't break the bank while getting you exposure to what should be a touchdown-fest for the Knights.
Miles Boykin, Notre Dame ($6,900): "Wait, what?" Yes, Boykin hauled in just one catch in his season debut, but he had to do so against a tough, stingy Michigan defense. This week's matchup is anything but hard, so we could see the big-bodied target turn chances into fantasy points. Boykin drew five targets and two red zone looks last week, and his single catch went for 28 yards. The ability is there, as we saw from a great spring showing. It's just a matter of when and how many times him and Brandon Wimbush will hook up for more scores. Ball State was 113th against the pass and rated 6th-worst in IsoPPP, which measures a defense's proneness to explosive plays. That has Boykin's name written all over it.
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.