College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: 9/22/18 Main Slate
Week 4 of the college football season is upon us. And after three weekends of games, 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 10 games, including an intra-state rivalry as the Texas Christian Horned Frogs travel to Austin to take on the Texas Longhorns.
Who should we be targeting, and why?
Will Grier, West Virginia ($10,600): The Kansas State Wildcats rank a mediocre 59th in Defensive S&P+ (per Football Outsiders), so this isn't a matchup that should have us worried, especially with this game being played in Morgantown. At home, West Virginia is essentially coming off a free bye after last week's game against North Carolina State was suspended due to Hurricane Florence. So far, Grier ranks third among Power-5 conference quarterbacks in yards per attempt and passer rating. Grier also ranks fourth in passing touchdowns even though he has played just two games because of the weather-induced postponement. After tossing 34 touchdowns last year, Grier has simply picked up right where he left off. Remember, he ranked third in the preseason in Rotoworld's Thor Nystrom's Draft Prospect grades, and he currently is tied for the second-shortest odds to win the Heisman this year.
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama ($10,200): As good as Grier has been, Tagovailoa has been arguably better. He ranks second in passer rating and yards per attempt this year. No wonder he currently has the shortest odds to win the Heisman. Even in this tough matchup, the Alabama Crimson Tide are expected to put up 43.50 points at home, according to the oddsmakers. With how well he's played since last year's National Championship game, there should be no doubt that Tua will be a big part of that scoring, even if Hurts continues to get a few snaps. For a slightly cheaper, more contrarian option, look toward Boston College's Anthony Brown, ($10,000). Believe it or not, he leads Power-5 Conference quarterbacks in both yards per attempt and quarterback rating so far in 2018, and the Purdue Boilermakers rank 92nd in Defensive S&P+.
Conor Blount ($7,000) or Jake Luton ($6,500), Oregon State: For a cheap play at quarterback, you can feel confident with whoever starts at quarterback for the Oregon State Beavers. Their matchup against the Arizona Wildcats is being played at home in Corvallis, and this game's 75.5 over/under is the highest total on Saturday's main slate. The Wildcats rank 87th in Defensive S&P+, so the Beavers could put up some serious points in this one. With Jake Luton dealing with an ankle injury, the starter will likely be Conor Blount. He's got a solid 160.8 passer rating and 9.3 yards per attempt this year and could have a nice game in a projected shootout. You can, of course, pivot to Luton if he makes a recovery and gets the start. Either way, they'll allow you to pay up at other positions.
AJ Dillon, Boston College ($9,800): There's a reason Dillon is the highest-priced running back on the slate. We already talked about how Purdue ranks an atrocious 92nd in Defensive S&P+. Among Power-5 conference backs, only Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor has more rushing yards this season than Dillon. Dillon has also chipped in four rushing touchdowns, and with the Eagles 6.5 point-favorites in this road game, he should see a favorable game script to do his work on the ground. Dillon has the sixth-shortest odds to win the Heisman, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. For a cheaper option, it's obviously a nightmare of an option for Trayveon Williams ($8,600) as the Aggies travel to Tuscaloosca to take on the ninth-ranked Tide defense. But Williams also has four rushing touchdowns this season, and he ranks third behind Dillon in rushing yards among Power-5 conference running backs. At discounted ownership, you're taking a chance on a good college player breaking one loose, and he has the talent and ability to do so.
D'Andre Swift, Georgia ($8,800): Even in this road matchup, Swift and the Georgia Bulldogs are solid 14.5-point favorites. The Missouri Tigers rank just 82nd in Defensive S&P+ this year, so Swift should be able to have a solid day. Swift is a talented back who was forced to play behind Sony Michel and Nick Chubb last year, but now is his time to shine. Sportsbooks know it, too, as the sophomore has the eighth-shortest odds to win the Heisman. For a cheaper option, look to Arizona back J.J Taylor ($8,000). Taylor has 44 carries and 4 receptions compared to 31 carries and 0 receptions for backfield teammate Gary Brighwell. Associated with an offense led by dual-threat Khalil Tate is a good thing, as the Wildcats are 6-point favorites and boast a 40.75 implied team total. Against an Oregon State team that ranks an atrocious 105th in Defensive S&P+, this is an ideal matchup.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Greg Dortch, Wake Forest ($9,400): It's a tough matchup for Dortch as the Wake Forest Demon Deacons take on 3-0 Notre Dame and their fifth-ranked defense at home, but this is a rare chance to get Dortch, who ranks top-10 in the country with a 32.65% target share (per NCAA Savant), at a relatively cheap price. Dortch also ranks 12th in the nation with 336 receiving yards, so it's not like he hasn't been able to convert the high volume into production on the field. As home dogs, the hope is that Wake Forest will pass often, with Dortch benefiting most from the game script. The fact that this one carries a decent over/under (60.5) also bodes well for the Deacon's top wideout. Just limit your exposure to tournaments with the chance that he's blanketed by the elite Notre Dame defense.
Stanley Morgan Jr., Nebraska ($8,400): No one can or will argue that this is an easy matchup for Morgan and the Nebraska Cornhuskers as they travel to Ann Arbor against Michigan's top-10 defense. But for wide receivers we look for targets, and Morgan ranks top-15 in the nation with a 29.82% target share. He's probably tournament-only, but Morgan ranked 17th in Nystrom's preseason NFL Draft prospect grades. And for a cheap option, which are scarce on Saturday, Tulane's Darnell Mooney ($7,400) is the lock wide receiver of the day. Mooney ranks top-10 in the country with a 32.73% target share, and while it is a tough matchup against the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Tulane Green Wave are 37-point underdogs, the biggest on the day. That should keep Tulane throwing, which can only lead to Mooney racking up FanDuel points. Mooney is top-20 in the country with 308 receiving yards; he's also got 3 receiving touchdowns on the year to boot.
Shawn Poindexter, Arizona ($8,100): Poindexter is more of a cash game play this week. As mentioned before, the Beavers rank a horrendous 105th in Defenisve S&P+. Poindexter has flashed the ability to absorb lots of targets, as he ranks first among Arizona receivers with a 19.26% target share. He also ranks top-40 in the country with 277 receiving yards this year, and he has flashed major big-play potential. He ranks fifth in yards per catch among all receivers with 275-plus receiving yards, with a 23.1 average. The other cheap punt play at wide receiver is Mooney's teammate Terren Enclade ($7,100), who is also one of just 14 receivers in the nation with a target share greater than 30%. This highly concentrated Green Wave aerial attack could lead to plenty of points for Mooney and Enclade, especially facing such a negative game script. Bank on the catches and yards; just don't load up on both cheap receivers in case the offense fails to get things going in the scoring department.
Akash Bhatia is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Akash Bhatia also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tenswimrun1. 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.