College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: 12/1/18 Main Slate
Week 14 of the college football season is here. And after 13 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 eight games. At the top of Conference Championship Week is what projects to be a high-scoring affair at AT&T Stadium, where the 5th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners take on the 14th-ranked Texas Longhorns in a rematch of this year's Red River Rivalry.
Who should we be targeting in what matchups this week in college football?
Kyler Murray, Oklahoma ($10,600): The intrigue around this game stems from the long-standing rivalry between the two Big 12 foes, but there's much more to it. This matchup's 77.5-point over/under is the highest on the slate by 13 points, and OU draws 42.75 of it as 8.0-point favorites. The Sooners dropped the regular season clash 48-45, but a win this week could put them into the four-team playoff on December 29th. An impressive win should do even more to secure them a spot, so Murray and the offense will be looking to put up points, much like last time. In that first meeting, the junior put up 40.36 FanDuel points with 396 total yards and 5 touchdowns (1 rushing), and the Longhorns' defense is still outside the top 50 in Football Outsiders' rushing (59th) and passing S&P+ (53rd). Murray's basically a lock for 35 to 40 FanDuel points.
Sam Ehlinger, Texas ($10,100): Now, Oklahoma's going to score points, but there's no saying whether they'll slow down Texas either. The Sooners' defense is 84th overall and 89th against the pass, per S&P+. And it's for that reason that Ehlinger lit them up for 314 passing yards, 72 rushing yards and 5 total touchdowns (2 passing, 3 rushing) back in October. It also appears that the signal caller is over his shoulder ailment, which is certainly reflected in the 'Horns' 34.75 implied total. You really can't go wrong with targeting one of the two -- if not both -- quarterbacks in this one.
Darriel Mack Jr., UCF ($8,700): For consideration elsewhere, particularly for the FLEX slot in your lineups, Central Florida has been forced to turn to redshirt freshman Darriel Mack after Heisman hopeful McKenzie Milton suffered a gruesome injury a week ago. The first-year player hasn't had a lot of reps, but in stepping in for Milton, he totaled 132 yards (51 on the ground) despite completing just 5 of his 14 attempts. If we go back to his last chunk of playing, in an October win over East Carolina, the dual-threat QB passed for 69 yards, ran for 120 more (on 22 attempts) and scored a touchdown via the ground. This wouldn't be a guy to target in a tough matchup, but the Memphis Tigers are 67th in defense, 44th against the rush and 86th against the pass. They're okay, but you just have take the value with UCF still sporting a 33.75 total in the game with the second-highest over/under on the board.
Darrell Henderson, Memphis ($10,300): Speaking of that game, Tigers running back Darrell Henderson is as good as they come -- at least for fantasy purposes. The junior bell-cow has garnered at least 21 carries in five games and has rushed for 75 or more in 10 of 12. He's averaging 141.6 rushing yards and has 22 total touchdowns (3 receiving). In the earlier game against the Knights, Henderson took a season-high 31 carries for 199 yards and a touchdown, totaling 26.2 FanDuel points -- somehow 2.0 short of his season average. Memphis' total is still above 30 and they should benefit from a pace-up game, as UCF's 75.8 plays per game rank second on the slate. Henderson could be chalk, though, so opting for Clemson Tigers back Travis Etienne ($10,100) could separate you in tournaments, especially if the over/under doesn't live up to the hype with Milton sidelined.
Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State ($9,500): In sticking with the non-power conference teams, Appalachian State's Darrynton Evans is not what you'd call a non-power back. The redshirt sophomore may come in at just 190 pounds, but he's averaging 6.5 yards per carry with 968 yards and 7 scores on the season. He's averaging 15.6 FanDuel points on the year but that moves to 20.2 over the last four alone. This is a familiar foe for Evans, too, with the Ragin Cajuns giving up 203 total yards and 2 touchdowns to the back in a 27-17 App State win in conference play. Look for more of the same this week; App State sports the fourth-lowest pass-to-run ratio on the slate, while ULL ranks 111th on defense and 78th versus the rush.
Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma ($9,400): To start the year, Brooks really wasn't a thing in Norman. The freshman was behind both Rodney Anderson and Trey Sermon, and got only 15 carries through the the opening 3 weeks. His involvement became greater with Anderson sidelined and Brooks showing his stuff in limited reps, but he's now seen 15 or more carries in 3 straight. On 61 carries over that span, he's ran for 518 yards and 6 touchdowns, meaning he's gotten the majority of work and been the biggest producer in the ground game. He averages 9.6 yards a carry, and his line averages 3.17 adjusted line yards -- fourth in the NCAA -- which is problematic for the Longhorns, who are 69th in IsoPPP and 94th in front seven havoc rate. If paying down for a back, Texas' Deontay Ingram ($8,300) is also an option. He had 86 yards in the last meeting and has seen 13 or more touches in each game dating back to late September.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Lil'Jordan Humphrey, Texas ($9,500): This may be starting to sound like broken record, but Big 12 shootouts have paid off all year, and this one should be no different just because it's the title game. Of the top receiving options on both sides, the 6'4" junior might be the most talented -- plus, he's $400 cheaper than Oklahoma's Marquise Brown. That, and the discount from Murray to Ehlinger, puts him in play as a stacking duo with his quarterback. After all, Humphrey owns an elite 24.21% target share, and his 12 red zone targets lead the team, per NCAA Savant. Humphrey will be looking to rebound from last week's two-catch game and produce more like his 9-catch, 28.2-FanDuel-point outing against these Sooners earlier in the year.
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma ($8,500): If you prefer a salary-saving weapon in this same game, look no further than Lamb. You couldn't find him this cheap a few weeks back, but he hasn't been finding the end zone as much as he was at the beginning of the year. But it's worth noting that he has 7 games of double-digit FanDuel points and 6 of 15 or more, including 16.5 against the 'Horns. And though the scores have gone elsewhere, the 6'2" wideout still has 3-plus catches for 51 or more yards in 4 straight contests. If you believe in regression and buying low, Lamb could be the guy to win you some tournaments on Saturday. The Longhorns' second leading receiver, Collin Johnson, is also in play. He averages 5.2 receptions, 69.8 yards and 12.8 FanDuel points, while OU's defensive back havoc rate ranks 86th.
K.J. Hill, Ohio State ($8,100): In the Big Ten title game, we're more likely to see a one-sided affair with the Ohio State Buckeyes favored by 14.5 over the Northwestern Wildcats. Sporting a 37.75 implied total, Dwayne Haskins and company will also be looking to put up even more points to prove their worth as a national semifinalist. Choosing one of the Buckeyes' many receiving weapons has been a task all year, but Hill might be the most talented and is second on the team in catches. Thanks to 823 yards and 6 trips to the end zone, he averages 12.4 FanDuel points despite a bit of a lull to start the month. However, he's managed 9 catches, 90 yards and 2 scores over the last 2, so he's involved enough for a big performance to come his way. He put together back-to-back games of 9 catches and 100-plus yards earlier in the season, and with Ohio State's total so high, a touchdown is in the cards.
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.