College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: 9/29/18 Main Slate
Week 5 of the college football season is upon us. And after four 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 consists of 13 games, including a Big 12 clash between the 12th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers and 25th-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Who should we be targeting, and why?
Will Grier, West Virginia ($10,600): We usually want to target quarterbacks at home, but getting Grier away from Morgantown may actually be a good thing in this case. It increases the likelihood of a shootout rather than a stomping in which Grier and the West Virginia passing offense take their foot off the gas in the game's latter stages. The oddsmakers agree with this theory, as this game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders has a 75.0 total, easily the highest on the slate. The Red Raiders rank 34th in offensive S&P+ but 90th in defensive S&P+. Grier also ranks second in the country in both yards per attempt (11.8) and quarterback rating (215.8). Bring your guns -- we have a shootout in Lubbock.
Kyler Murray, Oklahoma ($10,500): Kyler Murray may want to reconsider going into baseball, because man can the kid play. Murray ranks third in the FBS with a 11.7 yards per attempt mark. He also ranks fifth with a 203.0 quarterback rating. Oh, and he's also added 240 rushing yards and 3 rushing scores this year. No wonder the Oklahoma Sooners boast the second-highest implied team total (46.0) on the slate. His opponent, the Baylor Bears, rank just 75th in defensive S&P+. In the projected third-highest scoring game on the slate (according to a 68.5 over/under), Murray should eat. For a discounted version of Murray, look toward Trevor Lawrence ($9,000). Lawrence has outplayed teammate Kelly Bryant all season, and the Clemson Tigers finally decided to commit to the talented freshman. Lawrence ranks 11th in the country with 10.0 yards per attempt and 8th with a 191.8 quarterback rating. The Tigers have a 45.75 implied team total against the Syracuse Orange in Death Valley.
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama ($10,100): The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns rank a miserable 125th of 130 FBS teams in defensive S&P+. Last time I checked, a trip to Tuscaloosca to face Tua Tagovailoa isn't a cure for a team's defensive woes. Tagovailoa ranks first in the country in both quarterback rating (230.5) and yards per attempt (12.9). For comparison's sake, second place in those stats are at 215.8 and 11.8, respectively. Right now, Tua is in the stratosphere in terms of his efficiency, which is certainly important at the quarterback position. No wonder Tagovailoa is the favorite to win the Heisman right now. That fully explains why the Crimson Tide boast the highest implied team total (58), well above Oklahoma's 46. For an even cheaper option, look within the same state at Jarrett Stidham ($8,400). The Auburn Tigers boast a 39.75 implied team total as they host Southern Miss out of Conference-USA. It hasn't been a great year for Stidham, but he's a talented player who can take advantage of a great matchup like this one.
Adrian Killins Jr., UCF ($9,500): This one's pretty simple. Led by McKenzie Milton, the Central Florida Knights are one of the most explosive offenses in the country. As a result, they are 13.5-point home favorites over the Pittsburgh Panthers. Killins is the workhorse for this UCF team. He has 33 carries on the year, and the next-closest running back has just 19. As the primary back tied to a good offense in what projected to be a good game script against a Pittsburgh team that ranks a poor 95th in defensive S&P+, Killins is a terrific play. For a cheaper option, you can use Damien Harris ($7,500). Damien Harris has just 7 fewer carries this season than teammate Najee Harris (38 to 31), but he leads the team's running back trio with a 7.4 yards per carry. He also leads the running backs with 8 receptions for 99 yards. Damien Harris was Thor Nystrom's 4th best running back prospect in this class heading into the season, and the Crimson Tide have that lofty total to target.
Elijah Holyfield, Georgia ($8,100): The Georgia Bulldogs are 31.5 point favorites in this home matchup against the Tennessee Volunteers. After the Alabama game, that makes them the biggest favorites on the slate. That should give Holyfield plenty of positive game script to grind out yards against this soft Vols defense that ranks just 80th in Defensive S&P+ this season. Even though Holyfield has 4 fewer carries than teammate De'Andre Swift, Holyfield has 100 more rushing yards (290 to 190). That's because Holyfield ranks 7th in the country with an 8.1 yards per carry among running backs with at least 30 carries this season. For some cheaper options, you can look towards West Virginia's Leddie Brown ($6,900) or Martell Pettaway ($5,800). We want exposure to this game, and Brown leads the team in rushing attempts and yards, but Pettaway is just 4 carries and 20 rushing yards behind Brown; plus, he's tied for the backfield lead with two receptions. Against a soft 90th-ranked Red Raiders defense and in a game projected to have plenty of scoring, Brown and Pettaway provide cheap access to easy touchdowns.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Marquise Brown, Oklahoma ($9,800): A Kyler Murray/Marquise Brown stack could prove to be highly profitable in DFS this week. We talked before about how Murray's efficiency and team's slate high (excluding Alabama) 46.25 implied team total make the quarterback an excellent play. Well if Murray has a nice performance, it only makes sense that we turn to Brown, who has accounted for 28.97% of Murray's targets this year. Brown also ranks 12th in the nation with 412 receiving yards so far this season. With such a large share of an explosive offense facing a 75th-ranked Baylor Bears defense, according to defensive S&P+, Brown is worth paying up for.
Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State ($9,600): Wallace ranks 8th in the country with 442 receiving yards on the season. With an excellent 26.02% team target share, Wallace has the opportunity to continue that tremendous production. As the Oklahoma State Cowboys travel to Lawrence to take on the Kansas Jayhawks, the Cowboys are projected to score 39.5 points. Only five teams on the slate have a higher implied team total. Based on Wallace's tremendous yardage production to date and voluminous target share, we can expect him to be a big part of Oklahoma State's scoring.
Jalen Hurd, Baylor ($9,000): If you're already stacking Murray and Brown, why not run it back with Jalen Hurd and complete the game stack. The Sooners rank 52nd in defensive S&P+, so while they are no pushover, they are also certainly no matchup to fear. In a game with a 69.0 total, Hurd has absorbed 19.55% of the Bears team targets, which is an impressive mark. He's translated that volume into 22 receptions and 311 receiving yards as well. With Baylor projected to be more pass-happy than usual with Oklahoma expected to come away with the win, Hurd could have a nice volume-infused day. For a slightly cheaper option, you can use Juwan Johnson, Penn State ($8,200). At 70.5, the Ohio State Buckeyes/Penn State Nittany Lions game is the one with the highest total on the slate after West Virginia-Texas Tech. It's a game that should feature plenty of explosiveness, and as the fourth-most expensive receiver in this game, Johnson likely won't be high-owned, even though he carries a 20.84% team target share heading into this showdown.
Chase Claypool, Notre Dame ($7,200): If you want a punt option at the wide receiver position, look no further than Chase Claypool of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Sure to go low-owned against the stingy Stanford Cardinal defense, Claypool makes for a contrarian option that can differentiate your lineup. Claypool's most attractive feature is his volume, as he's received 18.85% of the Fighting Irish's team targets. As the target leader for a 4-0 team, Claypool is worth a dart throw at such a cheap price, especially with the switch to Ian Book reigniting the passing offense like it has.
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.