College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 8/31/19 Main Slate
College Football finally feels back as most of the schools kick off their season this week (and weekend)! FanDuel's Saturday College Football DFS slate includes a massive 15 games.
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. Today, we are looking at Saturday's main slate which locks at 12:00 p.m. EST.
Let's breakdown which players are in great spots as well as identify some players with cheap price tags that will allow you to roster the high dollar players.
Adrian Martinez, Nebraska ($10,300) - Expectations are quite high for Scott Frost and his 2019 Nebraska Cornhuskers, and that's not likely to change after a warm-up game against South Alabama. As 36-point favorites over at FanDuel Sportsbook, the Cornhuskers are implied at a slate-high 51 points -- more than five points greater than every other team in action early on. The only thing that could keep Martinez from turning in a giant game is a completely lopsided opener, where the quarterback plays only one half. But Nebraska's offense could use the first-team reps, and the dual-threat signal-caller should put up numbers with ease.
Last year, Martinez threw for over 2,600 yards and 17 scores while he also ran for 789 and eight touchdowns, accounting for 56.8% of the team's offensive scores. His opponent, South Alabama, was bottom 10 in Football Outsiders' defensive S&P+ and bring back just four starters on that side of the ball. Martinez should end the day as the highest-scoring fantasy player on the board.
Bryce Perkins, Virginia ($10,000) - If you are looking to pivot from Martinez or another cash-game play, Perkins is a great option for tournaments and could serve as a valuable super flex if you have the cash to pay up for two quarterbacks. Virginia is on the road at Pittsburgh, where they sit as 2.5-point favorites in a game with a 46.5-point over/under. That total gives the Cavaliers the lowest implied total (24.50) of any favorite on the slate, but that might be enough to warrant exposure to their star quarterback.
In 2018, the Hoos' 28.5 points per game were enough to give Perkins an average of 25.11 FanDuel points per game. He tossed 25 touchdowns on 8.0 adjusted yards per attempt and turned 212 rushes into 923 yards and nine trips to the end zone, so everything will run through him. Just know that while his ceiling is high his floor will be lower than those of Martinez, Sam Ehlinger and Tua Tagovailoa.
Brady White, Memphis ($8,400) - In the event you need to alleviate salary to pay up elsewhere, White is the lower-priced quarterback for your squad. Most will overlook him because of poor game logs to end last season, but this is a game script he could benefit greatly from. Memphis is favored by five points and is expected to tally up a respectable 35.5 points on the back of a high over/under (66.5). In fact, the Tigers own the highest implied total of any team expected to win by fewer than double digits.
In other words, this is going to be competitive, and that's good news for offensive players like White. And as for White himself, he posted two games at or above 24.78 FanDuel points last year with a solid 15.2 average over 14 games. There's a good chance he experiences one of those better fantasy days as he goes up against what's projected to be a below-average Mississippi defense on his home turf.
Keaontay Ingram, Texas ($9,300) - This could be a very unique main slate to open the season because paying down at running back could be key to a successful week. It might allow you to go with two top quarterbacks while also presenting a buy-low opportunity on a guy just like Ingram. The 6'0" sophomore is nowhere near the household names of a J.K. Dobbins or D'Andre Swift, and that's partially why you get him at $300-plus discount in this top tier. But there's a lot to be excited about for both player and matchup. Last season, Ingram was second on the team in rushes and rushing yards, but he was tops at 5.0 yards per carry and produced 4.00 highlight yards per opportunity.
He had a good number of touchdowns taken away by his quarterback, but that should be mitigated by his ability in the passing game where he contributed 27 catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns a year ago. Look for him to get out to a hot start and improve on those numbers as the 1A in the Texas Longhorns' two-headed backfield. Louisiana Tech -- 20.5-point 'dogs -- returns only five defensive starters and was 95th against the run last year, according to S&P+.
Dedrick Mills, Nebraska ($8,300) - Mills, a transfer from Georgia Tech, is set to co-star alongside Maurice Washington in the Cornhusker backfield, but Washington might not play in Week 1 due to some off-the-field issues. That could catapult Mills into the top spot above the rest of the pack and call for a bell-cow workload as long as this one stays within reach. Either way, Nebraska will be playing with a lead, lending itself to a more run-heavy approach.
If given the opportunity, expect Mills to produce as he racked up 771 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns in his one year as a Yellow Jacket. If, however, Washington is in the lineup he will be less appealing, in which case you could turn to Washington's lead back Salvon Ahmed at $8,100.
Keilan Robinson, Alabama ($4,500) - You know we couldn't go without featuring an Alabama player in this write-up given their 44.5 total at home against Duke. And just like that, this one could be the go-to play of the day. Robinson, a freshman back, is expected to draw the opening start with Najee Harris and Brian Robinson suspended for the first half, and with Jerome Ford also questionable to play with an injury we could see Robinson running early and often.
There has been a lot of good remarks on the young back coming out of Tuscaloosa so we shouldn't be afraid to have him in all Saturday lineups. Even with the others returning in the second half, the first half should be enough to get him 10-plus carries as one of the team's few active backs. Plus, Saban could end up preserving Harris and Robinson if he feels the game is at hand going into the third and fourth. Robinson is the top point-per-dollar play at any position.
Bryan Edwards, South Carolina ($9,500) - In college football DFS, some players just have standalone value outside the offenses of teams like Alabama and Nebraska. Former South Carolina receiver Deebo Samuel was one of those guys, but I mention him only to say that Edwards might be the new Samuel for the Gamecocks. With the former on to the NFL, that leaves 97 targets and 882 yards up for the taking in the South Carolina passing game. Now, only so much of that can go Edwards' way, as he finished second on the team with 846 yards and seven touchdowns last year, but he's set to absorb some more work and push for 100-plus targets and 1,000 yards this year.
Game one certainly bodes well for his chances of that, too. North Carolina is far from a formidable defense, ranking 88th in projected S&P+ and coming off a season in which they surrendered 34.5 points per game. South Carolina's pegged for 37 in this one, so you shouldn't be surprised to see Edwards take it to the house once or twice on Saturday afternoon.
Jaylen Waddle, Alabama ($7,700) - For obvious reasons, we return to the 'Bama offense and look to play off the success Tua Tagovailoa and the passing game. The problem is, there are three impressive wideouts to choose from between stud Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, and Waddle. Jeudy is the talk of next year's mock drafts, and Ruggs posted 10 touchdowns a year ago, but Waddle's looking like a more polished receiver coming out of camp, and he is listed as a co-starter because of his improvements.
The sophomore isn't without shiny stats either, having amassed 848 yards and seven touchdowns all on a team-high 14.4 yards per target and a 0.68 marginal explosiveness. If Waddle is becoming more well-rounded, that spells trouble for opposing defenses as he was a giant big-play threat in his lone season under Nick Saban. A guy like that is someone to fit in your lineup as the cheapest of the team's top three targets.
Wan'Dale Robinson, Nebraska ($6,500) - This might be more of a tournament play with Nebraska likely to rely on the run and separate themselves in this game. Still, Robinson is worth a look as one of the three starting wideouts. A four-star freshman, the 5'9" receiver could be involved in both the ground and air attacks, and his electric athleticism gives him the opportunity to take over a game with low-volume touches. And for South Alabama, that spells trouble in a big way.
Even before their departures the Jaguars had ended last year 127th in passing marginal explosiveness against and allowed six players to average 15-plus yards per reception on at least five catches. At the same price as a tight end, Robinson is a steal.
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 BrettOswalt. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her 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.