College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: 10/13/18 Early Only Slate
Week 7 of the college football season is here. And after six 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 early/late and main slates all the way up to the College Football Playoff. This week, we are breaking down the early only slate. The slate locks at 12:00 p.m. EST and consists of 11 games, only sharing 2 games with the main slate on FanDuel. Toledo/Eastern Michigan is one of the games limited to the early only slate, and it's one that should be fun to get exposure to with the highest over/under on the slate.
Who should we be targeting there and elsewhere in Week 7?
Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State ($10,300): As always, there are a bunch of worthy signal callers at the top, but you can't go wrong with Haskins at home against Minnesota. When playing at home this season, the sophomore quarterback is averaging 32.98 FanDuel points with a 79.3% completion percentage and 219.5 passing efficiency rating, per Sports Reference. He leads the nation's third-ranked offense -- by Football Outsiders' offensive S&P+ -- in a matchup with a Golden Gophers defense ranked 16th overall but just 55th in passing marginal explosiveness and 112th in sack rate (4.1%). And with the Buckeyes pegged for the most points (44.50) on the slate, we should expect another big performance from the Heisman hopeful.
Mitchell Guadagni, Toledo ($9,400): As you step down from the $10K shelf, you'll notice impressive running quarterbacks in Taquon Marshall and Adrian Martinez, but give me Guadagni at a discount and likely lower ownership. Guadagni is coming off a concussion from two weeks ago and is reportedly on track to return as Toledo visits Eastern Michigan. His Rockets are 2.5-point favorites with a 33.25 implied team total and MACtion-packed 64.0 over/under. In the three full games he's played, the junior is averaging 31.67 FanDuel points, and on the year he's averaging 12.8 adjusted yards per attempt and 6.0 yards per carry on 42 attempts. EMU is 54th in passing marginal efficiency and 97th in rushing marginal efficiency. In the same game, the Eagles' Mike Glass III ($7,700) is a very solid play. In the last three games, he's averaging 25.17 FanDuel points, including 199 rushing yards and 3 scores on the ground.
Justice Hill, Oklahoma State ($9,700): The Oklahoma State Cowboys are touchdown favorites against Kansas State on the road in Manhattan. In years past, that's been a problem for opposing offenses, but this Wildcats defense isn't as stout as we're used to seeing. Ranked 84th in defensive S&P+, K-State is outside the top 100 in all of rushing marginal efficiency, explosiveness, opportunity rate and stuff rate. Enter: Justice Hill. On 100 carries, Hill is averaging 6.3 yards per carry and 7.54 highlight yards per opportunity en route to 7 touchdowns. Boston College's A.J. Dillon ($9,400) could be a very good contrarian play if you want to drop down $300. He's dealing with an ankle injury and is considered a game-time decision, but that could lead to unusually low ownership, which is ideal for large-field tournaments. And to boot, his opponent, Louisville, comes in 118th in rushing marginal efficiency as a defensive unit.
Kevin Marks, Buffalo ($9,000): Buffalo squares off with Akron in another matchup of MAC squads, and they have a juicy 32.50 implied total as 11.5-point favorites. That means that they should rely heavily on the run game, which is spearheaded by freshman Kevin Marks. Last week, Marks turned in 167 yards and a score on 18 carries, bringing his per-carry mark to 5.7 on the year. He has 29 more carries than the next-closest back on the team, resulting in 6.21 highlight yards per opportunity and 7 trips to the end zone. Akron's defense enters Week 7 ranked 64th overall and 75th in rushing marginal explosiveness.
JaTarvious Whitlow, Auburn ($7,900): Unlike most weeks, there could be some running back value at our disposal this Saturday. For starters, Auburn's JaTarvious Whitlow checks in under $8K and draws a Tennessee Volunteers defense that sits 117th in opportunity rate and 111th in stuff rate, while also allowing 2.78 standard line yards per carry (112th). As an offense, Auburn is 50th in opportunity rate and 52nd in stuff rate, and Whitlow -- on 69 rushes -- is averaging 6.0 yards per carry with an opportunity rate of 63.8%. But as it is with the top tier, the top point-per-dollar back could depend on Dillon's status. If he's unable to go, Ben Glines ($8,300) becomes a must-play as the lead BC back; over the last two, he's racked up 209 total yards and 3 scores on 41 touches.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Diontae Johnson, Toledo ($9,200): If you're looking for someone to stack with Guadagni, look no further than junior Diontae Johnson. He's the surefire top receiver on the team, though recent results (3 catches and 26 or fewer yards in the last 2) haven't shown that. But he's had to deal with a step down in quarterback play, as backup Eli Peters has completed just 49.3% of his passes and at 5.3 yards per attempt. Johnson should be able to produce against Eastern Michigan, who sits 73rd in passing marginal explosiveness. After all, he's averaging 16.3 yards per catch and has 18 touchdowns in 19 games dating back to last year. Below $9,500, he's a steal. However, teammate Cody Thompson ($8,400) is in play in the mid-range as well, especially if you can't afford a top-flight wideout. The redshirt senior has five touchdowns in 2018 and averages 19.6 yards per catch in his four-plus collegiate seasons.
Isaiah Zuber, Kansas State ($8,000): On the flip side of what projects to be a high-scoring Big 12 game (62.0 over/under), the Wildcats carry a respectable 27.50 implied total. So, their offense is going to provide some value, and although they average just 24.7 pass attempts per game there's value to be had in the passing offense. A six-foot junior, Isaiah Zuber, leads the team with 51 targets and 36 catches. The next-closest-closest receiver has 16 catches on 30 targets, which tells you just how big of a role Zuber plays. And that's especially been the case of late, as he has at least five catches in each of the last four games, including three with seven or more. His ceiling is capped by the offense, so he's more of a cash play, but if you are heavy on tournaments, Buckeye and big-play threat Terry McLaurin ($8,200) could be a guy to throw in alongside Haskins. Though he's just fourth on the team in catches, he's second with six touchdowns while leading in yards per catch (21.3) and per target (15.4) by sizable margins.
Cameron Green, Northwestern ($8,000): In recent years, Northwestern has been a team built on the run and just a mediocre passing game. But this year, behind quarterback Clayton Thorson, the passing offense has seen more volume in the form of 45.4 pass attempts and 293.8 yards a game. The efficiency is lacking -- 94th in passing marginal efficiency and 113th in passing downs -- still, however, that's not as concerning for pass-catchers like tight end Cameron Green. A big 6'3" 237-pound target, Green is second on the team in catches (26) and targets (37), while also converting three scores. All three have come in two games, in which Green hauled in 20-of-27 targets for 201 yards. On a team with a 32.00 total at home, you could do worse than Northwestern's security blanket.
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.