College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: 10/6/18 Late Slate
Week 6 of the college football season is here. And after five full weeks 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 early/late and main slates all the way up to the College Football Playoff. This week, we are breaking down the late slate over the early slate. The late slate consists of 12 games and shares 4 games with the main FanDuel slate, which we'll mention where applicable. Lock is at 7:00 p.m. EST, and this group of games includes two SEC showdowns with spreads inside a single touchdown.
Who should we be targeting, and why?
Gardner Minshew II, Washington State ($10,200): Not so shockingly, the Washington State Cougars rank third on the late slate as they boast a 40.75 implied total in a matchup against the Oregon State Beavers. The Cougars are 27th in points per game (39.0), while the Beavers head into the game allowing 45.2 per game -- 128th of 130 teams. Minshew is averaging 29.5 FanDuel points per game with 1,992 yards, 14 touchdowns and a 143.1 passing efficiency rating through 5 games. Oregon State's also 126th in sack rate and 82nd in passing marginal efficiency, per Football Outsiders. UCF's McKenzie Milton ($10,400) and Memphis' Brady White ($9,300) are also options at different price points. Their teams are the only two with higher implied totals than the boys from Pullman, and their opposing defenses rank 92nd and 129th, respectively, in defensive S&P+.
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn ($7,600): This week, paying down at quarterback in favor of spending at running back could prove lucrative. There isn't much to love below the $9,000 threshold, but Auburn's Jarrett Stidham might be the best high-floor play as a starting quarterback. Given Auburn's 0.62 pass-to-run ratio, the junior has only been asked to throw for 963 yards and 5 scores so far. He's also facing a defense ranked 12th overall and 43rd in passing marginal efficiency, but still, he has a 63.1% completion rate and 134.9 rating, and just last year he threw for 264 yards and 2 scores in this same matchup. Plus, Stidham pads his floor and increases his upside with his legs, having ran for 6 touchdowns in his time at Auburn.
Darrell Henderson, Memphis ($10,100): You could go with the Memphis passing attack, but the running game is a lock-in play with Darrell Henderson. En route to 931 total yards and 11 scores, the junior back started the year with 188-plus yards and 2-plus scores in 3 straight games. He's averaging a ridiculous 11.7 yards per carry and 16.65 highlight yards per opportunity -- nearly 13 points better than his next-closest backfield mate. Meanwhile, Connecticut -- an awful defense all around -- ranks bottom four in rushing marginal efficiency, marginal explosiveness, opportunity rate and stuff rate. It's a match made in heaven. But if you're not sold, or if you're willing to spend a third of your salary on two backs, Washington State's James Williams ($9,900) is $200 cheaper in a matchup with that poor Oregon State defense, which sits 129th in both rushing marginal efficiency and opportunity rate against.
Myles Gaskin, Washington ($9,100): With the Washington Huskies as a 21.0-point favorites over UCLA and sporting a 36.75 implied total, they'll likely focus on the run throughout and especially late. It helps that the Bruins are 119th in stuff rate (13.8%), too. As for Gaskin, he has averaged 13.7 FanDuel points and is the top dog in the backfield, but he might go lower-owned after being vultured by Salvon Ahmed for two scores last week. If you are concerned about that, Fresno State Bulldogs running back Jordan Sims ($9,200) is in play against Nevada, who's 107th in defensive S&P+ and allows 43.8 rushes per game.
Elijah Holyfield, Georgia ($8,100): Once you dip down below $9,000, Georgia's Elijah Holyfield is the best option. Some might look to D'Andre Swift with his price decrease ($8,500), but Holyfield's out-played him over the last two weeks. While Swift's totaled 143 yards, 2 touchdowns and 26.8 FanDuel points on 29 touches, Holyfield's managed 192 total yards and 19.7 FanDuel points on 31 touches. He's obviously been hurt by Swift getting the scores, but look for the junior to get on the board this week against Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs are 26.5-point favorites with a 40.25 implied total, and the Commodores are 107th in opportunity to rate against the run.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Damonte Coxie, Memphis ($9,000): Specifically for this slate, I'd probably advise spending down -- to at least the mid-range- -- at wide receiver to pay up elsewhere. If you're all in on Holyfield, though, you could afford a number-one like Damonte Coxie. Coxie leads the team with 42 targets, 28 catches, 420 yards and 4 touchdowns, and the next-closest pass-catchers have 25 targets, 18 catches, 202 yards and 2 scores. The standout sophomore draws a Huskies defense giving up the highest passing marginal efficiency to opposing teams, thanks in part to their "best" corner allowing 15.9 yards per play. One could justify paying up for UCF's Gabriel Davis ($9,500), as SMU is 115th in defensive success rate and 100th in points allowing per scoring opportunity.
Dezmon Patmon, Washington State ($8,100): Another position, another Wazzu player to target. Don't think there isn't enough plays to go around for everyone either, as Mike Leach's Cougars average 77.0 plays and 56.8 pass attempts per game. In 5 games, 25 targets have gone in the direction of Patmon, who also has 6 red zone targets. If you prefer to get some exposure on the other side, the Beavers' Trevon Bradford ($8,600) has 4 touchdowns on a 72.7% catch rate and could benefit from an injury to Isaiah Hodgins. In tournaments only, you could take a shot at Texas A&M's Kendrick Rogers ($8,600), who's been dealing with injuries and draws a tough Kentucky defense but has 18 catches and 2 touchdowns through 3 games this season.
Timmy Hernandez, Oregon State ($7,800): Someone has to move the ball and score for Oregon State -- and it's not going to be in the run game. With the Beavers more than likely playing catch-up, we'll have to take advantage of their 23.75 total through the air. You'll have to make sure Hodgins is out, but that only boosts Hernandez' potential in this spot. While Washington State's offense is fast and effective, their defense has allowed three passing touchdowns twice this year, and they rank 96th in passing marginal explosiveness. Hernandez' 38 targets and 26 catches are tops on the year, so he could be peppered with looks if the team's second-leading receiver sits.
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.