College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 9/7/19 Main Slate
One week is in the books already for the 2019 college football season, but things are getting ready to heat up. If you thought 15 games was a loaded slate, this Saturday's main slate includes 16 -- count 'em, 16 -- 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.
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama ($10,300) - Last week, in Alabama's 42-3 win, Tua threw the ball 31 times, completing 26 passes for 336 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged 13.4 adjusted yards per attempt, an increase from his already sparkling 12.8 in 2018. The Heisman candidate gave way to Mac Jones late, but it isn't all that concerning given the type of game it was. Again, Alabama is expected to blow out their opponent. On Saturday, they are favored by 55.5 (yes, you read that right) and boast a slate-high 60.0 implied total opposite New Mexico State. The Aggies are 126th in Bill Connelly's SP+ and sit 120th as a defense. With all the weapons around Tagovailoa, one half might be all he needs to pick them apart and return value.
Justin Herbert, Oregon ($8,900) - The $1,400 gap between Tua and Herbert is completely unjustified. Outside of Week 1 results, there's no reason for Herbert to be under $9,000, so be sure to take advantage. It really is an ideal buy-low situation after Herbert had an underwhelming performance -- 242 yards and one touchdown -- in the opener against Auburn. This week, his Oregon Ducks are third on the board with a 42.50 implied total against the Nevada Wolf Pack. This is the same Wolf Pack team that gave up 31 points to Purdue last week and, as a result, ranks outside the top 100 defensively. And in case you forgot, Herbert is the same quarterback that threw for 29 touchdowns, with 25 of those coming in the matter of nine games. Lock him in at this price.
Jarrett Guarantano, Tennessee ($7,700) - Tennessee did not fare well in their opener last week, as they fell victim to Georgia State's upset bid on their home field. For all the negatives, though, there is one positive, and that's Guarantano's play. The junior completed 65% of his passes for 311 yards, two touchdowns and a total of 16.44 FanDuel points. He and his team should be out for revenge ahead of a Week 2 clash with the BYU Cougars, who are fresh off a 30-12 loss to Utah. Staying in Knoxville, the Vols possess a 28-point implied total as 3.5-point favorites in what should be a neck-and-neck game. Guarantano should again flirt with 35 to 40 pass attempts and provide salary relief for those looking to pay down at their quarterback or flex spot.
JaTarvious Whitlow, Auburn ($9,200) - Yes, you can pay up for Clemson's Travis Etienne or even Iowa bell-cow Mekhi Sargent, but you shouldn't need me to tell you that. And just like them, Whitlow is in for a substantial workload while carrying a sizable discount from both top backs. We saw the volume last week in the form of 24 carries and 110 yards, and the efficiency should get a boost in a softer matchup against Tulane. The Green Wave's defensive numbers look good (2.7 adjusted rush yards per attempt), but that's mainly because of their inferior Week 1 opponent, Florida International. Whitlow was a 5.2-yards-per-carry guy as a freshman, and with the Tigers carrying a 34.5 total, it wouldn't be a shock to see him hit paydirt a time or two.
Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt ($8,700) - After losing to Georgia last Saturday, Vanderbilt is an underdog on the road, which isn't a great recipe for backs. However, Vaughn can do it all, and he showed that last week. The 5'10" senior accounted for 108 yards last week, with 24 of those through the air (on three catches). Last year, he had well over 1,300 total yards and averaged more than a touchdown a game for the Commodores. His opponent, the Purdue Boilermakers, were lit up for 34 points, 404 yards and 109 rushing yards in Week 1, so there's no telling what Vaughn can do if Vandy's able to surpass its middle-of-the-road total.
Brian Robinson Jr., Alabama ($6,800) - Casual players and those looking for more certain production will have their attention on Najee Harris, but Brian Robinson is a great tournament play as the team's second back. He was held out of the first half last week for disciplinary purposes, which limited him to nine carries for nine yards and a score, yet there's reason to believe he can convert more carries into more production. The junior managed more than 400 yards in his first two seasons before becoming the talk of the summer in Tuscaloosa. Combine that with the potential for a blowout, and Robinson projects to get 10-plus touches versus a defense that was hammered for 618 yards and 58 points in their first game of the season.
KJ Hamler, Penn State ($9,800) - Hamler is a big play waiting to happen in Happy Valley. The speedy, shifty 5'9' receiver averaged 18 yards per catch as a freshman in 2018, and he did little to disappoint against Idaho. He hauled in four balls for 115 yards, including an over-the-top touchdown that measured 36 yards. Penn State hosts Buffalo as 29.5-point favorites in Week 2, where the passing game should play a big part in the Lions' 42.75 total. The Bulls are the third-worst pass defense on slate in terms of our adjusted pass yards allowed per attempt (10.22). A big day is in store for the electric Hamler.
Jaylon Redd, Oregon ($7,800) - Like Hamler, Redd is a firecracker with the ball in his hands. At his small size (5'8", 190), he is just about as quick as anyone in the nation, and because of that he was able to contribute 455 total yards and six touchdowns in his first true playing time as a sophomore. The junior had nine catches for 64 yards a week ago, while he was out-played by teammate Johnny Johnson. That's reflected in each player's price tag with Johnson at $8,400. Redd is the primary offensive weapon in the passing game, yet he isn't priced like one because of a down performance. Again, this is the same Nevada secondary that gave up 11-124-1 to Purdue star Rondale Moore in Week 1. I can't imagine they'll turn it around in such short time.
Wan'Dale Robinson, Nebraska ($6,800) - A lot of media coverage has surrounded Robinson since his arrival in Lincoln this summer. But he was finally able to show what he can do on the field as he used seven touches (four rushes, three catches) to total 54 yards in his debut. That's the versatility he brings to the table for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. As for his coach, Scott Frost, he plans to give the freshman even more chances going forward when the script demands it. Up against Colorado, Nebraska is projected at 34 points, but even more importantly, they are favored by four. A tight contest could lead to a true breakout from Robinson. And at a sub-$7,000 tag, that's far too cheap for a player getting so many looks in a good offense.
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.