College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: 10/20/18 Late Slate
Week 8 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 late slate and its 12 games over the early only slate's 10. The late slate locks at 7:00 p.m. EST and shares five games with the main slate on FanDuel, so we will reference our main helper where necessary. The lineup includes what should be a high-scoring affair between PAC-12 foes Oregon and Washington State.
Who should we be targeting there and elsewhere in Week 8?
Gardner Minshew III, Washington State ($10,300): Like Cougars quarterbacks of the past, Minshew is a passing machine, having totaled 2,422 yards and 19 touchdowns through six games this season. He's also completing 68.7% of his passes with an 8.4 adjusted yards per attempt, while tossing just 4 picks on 313 attempts. Now, Oregon isn't the biggest pushover, but they're 91st in Football Outsiders' defensive S&P+ and that's largely held up by a top-10 ranking in front 7 havoc rate (13.8%). Their defensive back havoc rate sits 81st as they've allowed 3 passing touchdowns in two games this year. As mentioned in our main helper, Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins ($10,600) and UCF McKenzie Milton ($10,200) are the no-brainer cash plays, but Minshew might be the premier tournament option priced between the two.
Marcus McMaryion, Fresno State ($9,700): Whether he finds his way into your QB1 slot or just your Flex spot, there's an argument to be made for fitting in the Fresno State quarterback wherever you can. A senior, McMaryion owns a 162.0 passing efficiency rating and has completed 71.4% of his passes en route to a 9.4 adjusted yards per attempt. And while he's thrown for just 11 touchdowns, he has added 7 scores on the ground to further boost his ceiling. His opponent, New Mexico, enters this week 108th defensively, including a 95th-ranked unit against the pass. If you prefer paying for the upside of a cheaper quarterback, UCLA Bruins signal caller Dorian Thompson-Robinson ($7,500) is in play against Arizona. The freshman is coming off a down game against a tough Cal defense (12th in defensive S&P+), but the Wildcats are just 80th overall and 126th against the pass. The Bruins' 33.5 implied total puts them in a nice spot to target.
Jordan Cronkrite, USF ($10,000): Even on a slate with the Buckeyes, Cougars and Ducks in play, it's the South Florida Bulls that draw the biggest implied total of the slate at 51.5 points. The reason is quite simple: they play the Connecticut Huskies, who rank dead last in defensive S&P+. It's for that same reason that they garner a 34.5-point spread in their favor, which bodes well for their rushing attack, led by Cronkrite. He costs a pretty penny but has at least 129 rushing yards and a touchdown in four straight games. His backup Johnny Ford ($7,000) is also a cheap option. Just two weeks ago, he turned 9 carries into 77 yards and 2 touchdowns against an almost equally bad Massachusetts defense (125th).
Joshua Kelley, UCLA ($8,800): In case you're too risk-averse to go with the Bruins' QB, no worries -- their lead back, Kelley, is in a major smash position this week. Arizona's poor defense is 104th against the run and 86th in adjusted line yards allowed per carry. Kelley is running hot, too, with 62 carries, 406 rushing yards and 4 tuddies across the last 3 games. He's even chipped in 8 catches and 57 receiving yards over that same span. As a 10-point home favorite, he should benefit from a positive game script once again.
Spencer Brown, UAB ($7,900): Brown is quite possibly the best value on the late slate. As UAB's leading rusher, the sophomore has taken 109 carries for 4.5 yards per carry and 7 touchdowns on the season. Last week, he was victim to a blowout in his team's favor, as he received a mere nine carries. But prior to that, he saw 18-plus carries in five straight games while putting up at least 68 rushing yards and totaling 6 rushing touchdowns. The Blazers are just 1.5-point favorites over North Texas, but Brown's a big part of what they do, and the Mean Green rank 125th against the run.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Dillon Mitchell, Oregon ($9,500): I'm not sure if paying up is the way to go at wideout, but if anyone's worth their price it's Mitchell. The 6'2" junior has a 28.10% market share that's third in the Pac-12, per NCAA Savant, and with 335 catches and 561 yards, he's the only Oregon receiver with more than 12 catches and 201 yards. Over the last three alone, he's averaged 9.7 catches, 154.3 yards and 24.3 FanDuel points, with 2 scores to his name. Not only is Wazzu 64th against the pass, but they haven't seen a receiver of Mitchell's caliber yet this season.
Easop Winston, Washington State ($8,400): Finding a receiver to pair with Minshew can be tough. Washington State tends to spread the ball around to multiple receivers and backs, as evidenced by a team-leading 15.87% target share from Davontavean Martin. Winston checks in second, at 11.84%, so he's not the top receiver, but the volume is there in the form of a 2.63 pass-to-run ratio. Plus, he leads the team with 14 red zone targets on the year. Take the $400 discount from Martin and hope Winston continues his streak of three straight games with 13.4-plus FanDuel points.
K.J. Hill, Ohio State ($8,300): Teammate Parris Campbell ($9,700) is a great play, as mentioned in the main helper, but Hill is coming off a big game last week and could be the guy again. Sure, that could lead to higher ownership, but his season numbers aren't worth ignoring at this low price -- especially up against that of Campbell. Hill's 17.14% target share trails Campbell by just 2.86%, and he has just three fewer catches and six fewer yards. That's despite hauling in four or more catches in each game, all the while totaling four touchdowns and averaging 14.1 FanDuel points. Purdue is 92nd in pass defense and 87th in defensive back havoc rate (5.9%). You can also consider dropping down to UCLA's lead receiver Caleb Wilson ($7,700) -- 21.79% target share -- if you'd like to pair him with the freshman signal caller. I'd stay away in cash, but stacking them in tournaments could prove profitable.
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.