College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 9/13/19
If you love offense, you'll enjoy the Friday night college football slate. Of the six teams taking the field, everyone except Les Miles and the woeful Kansas Jayhawks have an implied total over 30 points.
This slate of games should also create some high-scoring DFS lineups, but you'll have to spend your money wisely due to the number of expensive stars. Nine players are priced over $9,000, including three over the $10,000 mark.
If you're new to college football DFS, here's a rundown of the rules from FanDuel. 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.
In this preview, I'll break down the Friday slate into three categories: players to build around, value plays, and players to avoid.
Players to build around are more expensive, but their ceiling is high enough that you should consider prioritizing them in your lineup. Value plays are cheaper options who usually come with some risk, but adding them to your lineup will help you afford the expensive stars. Players to avoid are guys you might normally consider at their price tag, but who have a tough matchup this week and are unlikely to live up to their usual expectations.
All references to betting totals and spreads are from the FanDuel Sportsbook.
Players to Build Around
QB Anthony Gordon, Washington State ($10,400) vs. Houston
Since the start of the 2018 season, starting quarterbacks are averaging 19.2 fantasy points per game against Houston. In that span, Houston has played a couple Air Raid offenses, and those quarterbacks have gone off for 61 fantasy points (Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts) and 44 points (Texas Tech's Alan Bowman). Anthony Gordon put up 36.1 points in Week 1 against New Mexico and a similarly strong performance is likely against Houston's porous defense.
QB Jamie Newman, Wake Forest ($10,000) vs. North Carolina
Last Friday, I mentioned Jamie Newman as a player to avoid in a potential blowout against Rice, which was going to try to slow the pace down with its running game. The Owls succeeded, controlling the clock for 36 minutes, but Newman still racked up 28 fantasy points. It appears as though he is turning into a matchup-proof fantasy superstar. In six career starts, Newman is averaging a ridiculous 28.5 fantasy points per game, and he's reached at least 27 points in five of those contests.
QB D'Eriq King, Houston ($9,800) vs. Washington State
Mike Leach and Dana Holgorsen are both known for running fast-paced, high-scoring offenses, so this matchup definitely has shootout potential. D'Eriq King put up 31 fantasy points in Week 1 against Oklahoma, and a similar performance is possible against Washington State. The game script should also work in King's favor, as the Houston Cougars are eight-point underdogs and will likely need to throw at a high rate to keep up. It's worth mentioning, however, Washington State's defense might be better than its reputation. Dating back to the start of 2018, starting quarterbacks are only averaging 15 fantasy points per game against the Cougars' defense.
QB Anthony Brown, Boston College ($9,200) vs. Kansas
Opposing Power 5 quarterbacks are averaging 23.1 fantasy points per game against Kansas over the last two seasons -- and that's despite the Jayhawks holding Rutgers' Artur Sitkowski to a score of -4.1 last fall. Anthony Brown has scored over 20 fantasy points in each of Boston College's first two games.
RB AJ Dillon, Boston College ($10,200) vs. Kansas
Over the last two seasons, when playing with a lead of 21 points or fewer (they're favored by 21 points in this matchup), Boston College has given AJ Dillon a 29.4 percent opportunity share (rushing attempts and targets). As a result, Dillon has averaged 24.1 fantasy points per game in Boston College victories. Kansas is coming off a loss to lowly Coastal Carolina in which it gave up 148 rushing yards to running back CJ Marable.
WR Marquez Stevenson, Houston ($9,000) vs. Washington State
Through two games, Marquez Stevenson has commanded a 36.5 percent target share. He's also been on the receiving end of five of Houston's seven red zone pass attempts. Washington State has developed a surprisingly strong defense and has only yielded 20 or more fantasy points to three receivers dating back to the start of 2018. However, Stevenson's usage in the Houston offense and the pace of this game should allow for him to put up a strong performance.
QB Sam Howell, North Carolina ($8,200) vs. Wake Forest
North Carolina Tar Heels' freshman Sam Howell isn't exactly cheap, but four of the six starting quarterbacks on this slate are priced above him. So if you want to spend your money on other positions, Howell is your only realistic option to save at the quarterback position (Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley is not a viable play against Boston College). Due to the fast pace at which Wake Forest plays, the Demon Deacons have allowed 20 or more points to an opposing quarterback in 9 of 14 games versus FBS opponents dating back to the start of 2018.
RB Michael Carter, North Carolina ($7,300) vs. Wake Forest
Michael Carter is listed as a co-starter along with Javonte Williams ($8,700), and the two have split carries evenly so far this season (28 for Williams, 27 for Carter). Each running back also has eight red zone attempts and four third-down attempts -- so this doesn't appear to be a case of two complementary pieces. Williams has undeniably been more productive, as these stats from Sports Info Solutions demonstrate -- but given the significant price gap, Carter is probably the more valuable option in this likely high-scoring matchup with Wake Forest.
|RB||Yds/Att||Yds After Contact/Att||Att per Broken Tackle|
WR Brandon Arconado, Washington State ($8,000) vs. Houston
It's a bit of a stretch of call an $8,000 receiver a value play, but despite the small slate, there are eight receivers priced above Brandon Arconado, including three of his teammates. Arconado primarily lines up in the slot, where he's seen 18 of his team-high 19 targets (21.1 percent target share), according to Sports Info Solutions. If we look strictly at first half targets -- the Cougars have won two blowouts against Northern Colorado and New Mexico State, creating lots of garbage-time opportunities -- Arconado's target share is even more substantial at 32.6 percent.
WR Dazz Newsome, North Carolina ($7,400) vs. Wake Forest
Dazz Newsome is North Carolina's primary slot receiver and ranks second on the team with a target share of 18.8 percent. Through two games, Wake Forest has struggled to contain slot receivers, allowing 9.3 yards per attempt to the slot, the fifth-worst rate among Power 5 schools according to Sports Info Solutions.
WR Jaquarii Roberson, Wake Forest ($5,000) vs. North Carolina
Wake Forest's primary slot receiver Kendall Hinton (17.6 percent target share) will not suit up for this game, and Jaquarii Roberson is listed as the starter in his place. Roberson has yet to take the field this season due to a shoulder injury, but he did start in the slot in the 2018 Birmingham Bowl in place of Greg Dortch. In that game against Memphis, Roberson finished tied for third on the team with five targets. Newman does not lean heavily on his slot receiver -- only 25.6 percent of his attempts have gone to the slot, according to Sports Info Solutions -- but since there are some expensive fantasy studs on this slate, Roberson's cheap price tag could prove valuable.
Players to Avoid
RB Patrick Carr, Houston ($7,400) vs. Washington State
Holgorsen announced Patrick Carr will make his season debut against Washington State, but it may not be an ideal game script for the Cougars' starting running back. Holgorsen tends to run a pass-happy offense, and he understandably leans even more heavily on his quarterback when trailing. In 2018 at West Virginia, Holgorsen's starting running back Kennedy McCoy had just a 19 percent opportunity share when the Mountaineers were trailing by a field goal or more. Washington State is favored by 10 points in this matchup.
WR Davontavean Martin, Washington State ($8,100) vs. Houston
In 2018, Davontavean Martin emerged as a favorite target for Gardner Minshew, leading all Cougar receivers with 69 receptions and 8 touchdowns. So far, he hasn't developed the same chemistry with Gordon. Through two games, Martin has an 8.9 percent target share and just a 6.5 percent share in the first half. He's also seen just one red zone target -- a garbage time touchdown reception from third-string quarterback Trey Tinsley. The fact that Martin was even on the field with the third-string quarterback should be an indication of where he stands with the team right now. Maybe he'll regain his 2018 form eventually, but at this price he's too expensive for even a tournament dart throw.
Ryan McCrystal is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan McCrystal also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username cfbfilmroom. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.