College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: 11/24/18 Main Slate
Week 13 of the college football season is here. And after 12 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 as many slates as possible in the lead-up to the College Football Playoff. This week, we are breaking down Saturday's main slate, which locks at 12:00 p.m. EST and consists of 16(!) games. Leading rivalry week, we get Alabama/Auburn in the Iron Bowl and a potentially high-scoring matchup with Arizona and Arizona State facing off in the Duel in the Desert.
Who should we be targeting in what matchups this week in college football?
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama ($9,900): Tua has been as steady as they come at the quarterback position this season. Not only do his numbers have him atop the Heisman race, but he's averaging 24.0 FanDuel points per game with at least 27 FanDuel points in 6 of 11 games. He's thrown for two or more touchdowns in all but one game while also rushing for four scores on the season. The matchup with Auburn isn't the easiest, as the Tigers' defense ranks 14th overall and 15th against the pass, per Football Outsiders. We could see lower ownership because the matchup isn't a full green light, and Tua's most recent entry on FanDuel shows just 5.16 FanDuel points against Mississippi State, despite a 35.3-FanDuel-point game last week against Citadel. But we've seen him do it all year; he's the Heisman frontrunner for a reason.
Khalil Tate, Arizona ($9,200): In 2018, Khalil Tate has been nowhere near the same dual-threat quarterback he was a year ago. After running for 1,411 yards and 12 scores last year, Tate has only managed 179 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground, instead throwing for over 2,200 yards and 23 touchdowns. In fantasy, the result has been 18.8 FanDuel points per game, 28.3 over this last three. He has nine passing scores in his last two games alone, and it's highly unlikely he's slowed down by a Sun Devils team ranked outside the top 90 in overall defense and passing efficiency. In the same price range, Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer is an option as he squares off with Texas Tech in a game with the second-highest over/under (64.0) on the slate.
Colt Garrett, Texas Tech ($5,000): This is a situation to monitor based on cloudy injury news. After watching starter Alan Bowman go down with an injury a couple weeks back, Tech turned to Jett Duffey ($8,400), but Duffey is questionable with a foot injury. Bowman is also up in the air, and McLane Carter ($7,500) is still managing a bad high-ankle sprain. Coach Kliff Kingsbury has mentioned the chance that we see fourth-string quarterback Colt Garrett take the field on Saturday versus Baylor, and at $5,000 you have to take it if he draws the start. No matter who the starter is, they're in play with Tech's slate-high 1.22 pass-to-run ratio and Baylor coming in 90th in passing S&P+ as a defense.
Benny Snell, Kentucky ($10,000): We know the kind of back we're getting in Kentucky bellcow Benny Snell. After rushing for over 2,000 yards with 32 touchdowns in his first two seasons, the junior has taken 245 rushes for 1,230 yards and 12 scores in 2018. But this is just about the matchup as much as it is about the back himself. Louisville enters this week 127th (of 130 teams) against the run, allowing 5.9 yards per carry and 3.2 rushing touchdowns per game. In a less obvious spot, Arizona's J.J. Taylor could benefit from a matchup with AZ State. The Wildcats are 1.5-point home 'dogs, and this game carries the highest expected total of the main slate.
David Montgomery, Iowa State ($8,600): Montgomery was suspended for the first half of last week's game, thereby limiting his fantasy production to 13 touches, 55 total yards and a touchdown (13.0 FanDuel points). But prior to that, the experienced back had two straight games 24.5 FanDuel points, before being held under 10 against Kansas and Baylor. His opportunities were limited in those games, but he and the Iowa State Cyclones are 13.0-point favorites at home against Kansas State, who ranks 91st against the run by S&P+. Take the discount and get the return of a $9,000-plus fantasy back.
Da'Leon Ward, Texas Tech ($7,900): This week's lowly Big 12 matchup between Baylor and Texas Tech is projected to be a shootout with a 64.0-point total and two of the top seven paces on the slate. Even if Ward doesn't draw the biggest workload, he's in play for that reason alone -- and the sub-$8K cost. The Red Raiders are five-point favorites while the Bears ranked 94th on defense and 95th versus the run. The versatile back has 28 carries and 15 catches over the last three weeks, a stretch that included a 27.2-FanDuel-point total against Oklahoma.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Jalen Reagor, TCU ($9,300): There are a lot of good high-priced stud receivers on the slate, but if you're paying up for a quarterback and/or running back, dipping down a tier or two can go a long way toward fitting in the right guys. And at his price, Reagor is as elite as anyone, sporting a 28.74% target share, per NCAA Savant, and garnering a conference-best 20 red zone targets on the year. He averages 17.2 FanDuel points per game, which is up to 23.7 over the last four matchups. The Horned Frogs are five-point underdogs at Oklahoma State, which favors passing, especially when you factor in the Cowboys' 108th defense in defensive back havoc rate. Staying in the Big 12, Baylor's Jalen Hurd is $200 more and figures to benefit from a mixed running back/wide receiver role. He has 21 carries and 16 catches in the last three games.
N'Keal Harry, Arizona State ($9,200): Like Reagor, the Sun Devils' N'Keal Harry is a target monster, with his 30.26% target rate second in the Pac-12 conference. Not only does he have 7-plus catches and at least 100 yards in each of his last three, but he has 9 receiving scores and another one on the ground. Arizona is 88th in passing S&P+, which raises Harry's ceiling in one of the juicier games of the day.
Henry Ruggs III, Alabama ($8,300): If you're opting for Tagovailoa and looking for a stacking option at wideout, Ruggs is the best option on a potential point-per-dollar (of salary) basis. He comes at a $1,400 discount to teammate Jerry Jeudy, and his 5.82% red zone target share is identical to that of Jeudy. He doesn't see nearly as much volume, but has eight touchdowns on the year, with two in his last three against more respectable competition. Here, you're betting on a score with 'Bama getting a 38.5-point total that ranks second on the slate.
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.