College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 10/25/19

Unfortunately Week 9 brings us just one game on the Friday night slate -- a Pac-12 showdown between USC and Colorado -- forcing us to exclusively fill out lineups in FanDuel's single-game format.

If you're new to the single-game format, you'll select one player from this game as your MVP. The fantasy points accumulated with this selection will earn 1.5 times his total fantasy points. You'll then select four other players who earn fantasy points at the standard rate.

In this preview, I'll break down the top MVP candidates -- who should also be used in the normal slots if not selected as your MVP -- while also highlighting some value plays and some players you may want to avoid. All references to betting totals and spreads are from the FanDuel Sportsbook.

MVP Candidates

WR Michael Pittman Jr., USC ($15,000) -- In seven games, Colorado's defense has allowed nine different receivers to rack up at least 17 fantasy points -- and that's despite one of those games coming against Air Force's triple-option offense. Michael Pittman leads USC with a 26.5 percent target share and has been the team's most explosive receiver, leading the way with nine receptions of 20 or more yards. Colorado's defense has surrendered 20 yards on 12.4 percent of opponents' pass plays this season, the eighth-worst rate among Power 5 schools.

QB Kedon Slovis, USC ($14,000) -- In the four full games in which he's played, Kedon Slovis is averaging 19.7 fantasy points. That should be an easy number for him to reach again this week, as opposing starting quarterbacks are averaging 25.8 fantasy points per game against the Colorado defense. Additionally, Slovis may see an increased workload due to the mounting injuries at running back for USC.

QB Steven Montez, Colorado ($14,000) -- The Buffaloes are a 13.5-point underdog but they still carry an implied total of 25.3 points in this matchup. That should create plenty of opportunities for Steven Montez against a mediocre USC defense. Excluding their game against Arizona in which two quarterbacks played, starting quarterbacks are averaging 18.2 fantasy points per game against the Trojans. Montez is coming off of two inexplicably terrible games against Washington State and Oregon in which he posted a combined 5.7 fantasy points. So there's some risk in using him, but he had previously shown high upside with three 20-point games, including a season-high 26.5 fantasy points against a strong Arizona State defense.

RB Kenan Christon, USC ($11,000) -- This is a huge price to pay for a fourth-string running back, but against a weak Colorado defense, Keenan Christon should still be considered an option for your lineups. Christon was forced to make his debut last week, gashing Arizona's defense for 103 yards on eight carries. With injuries to Stephen Carr, Vavae Malepeai, and Markese Stepp, USC will likely enter this game with only Christon and Quincy Jountti in the backfield -- who have 12 career carries combined. Colorado ranks 78th in the nation in run defense, allowing 166.4 yards per game, so as long as Christon sees a significant workload, he should put up a strong score.

WR Tyler Vaughns, USC ($10,500) -- Pittman has been USC's most productive receiver, but Tyler Vaughns is right behind him with a target share of 25.2 percent. Vaughns' workload makes him a reliable weapon, but he's less of a big-play threat than Pittman, at least partially because he's not as dangerous after the catch. According to Sports Info Solutions, Vaughns averages 2.6 yards after the catch per reception compared to 5.0 yards for Pittman. So Vaughns is less likely to be the correct player to insert into the MVP slot, but he's a reasonable contrarian play given his target share.

Value Plays

WR Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado ($10,000) -- Injuries have limited Laviska Shenault this season, but Colorado has been working to get him more involved. In addition to his valuable role as a receiver, Shenault also has two rushing touchdowns this season and occasionally lines up as a wildcat quarterback. In two games since returning from injury, Shenault leads Colorado with 116 yards on 13 targets, so he's clearly regained his spot atop the depth chart despite Tony Brown's emergence earlier this season.

WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC ($9,000) -- Amon-Ra St. Brown is the third option in USC's offense, but he still sees a 19.7 percent target share while lining up in the slot. According to Sports Info Solutions, Colorado is allowing 9.7 yards per target to slot receivers this season, the second-worst rate among Power 5 schools. This mismatch could lead to an increased workload for St. Brown on Friday night.

Players to Avoid

WR Tony Brown, Colorado ($10,000) -- In the game during which Shenault was initially injured and the following game which he missed, Brown posted a combined 64.1 fantasy points. In five full games with Shenault on the field, however, Brown has averaged just 6.98 fantasy points. His price is clearly influenced by those two monster performances, making him dramatically overpriced now that Shenault is back.

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.