College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 11/29/19
As college football's regular season comes to a close, we're treated to a full Friday slate of games. Not only do we have a full schedule, but we also have a number of high-scoring teams take the field such as Washington State and Texas, which should create a fun day for fantasy football.
In this preview, I'll break down the Friday slate into three categories based on FanDuel's prices: 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 ($10,500) vs. Washington
The Washington Huskies' defense has allowed just 14.1 fantasy points to opposing starting quarterbacks this season, but that number has been heavily influenced by a favorable schedule. The top-level competition Washington has faced has not been fazed by the Huskies' defense -- Oregon's Justin Herbert posted 27.6 fantasy points, while Utah's Tyler Hunter finished with 22. Washington State's Anthony Gordon is averaging 33.1 fantasy points per game against FBS opponents and should be expected to produce his usual strong output in this game which features the second-highest total on the slate at 63 points.
QB Sam Ehlinger, Texas ($10,000) vs. Texas Tech
Sam Ehlinger has struggled lately but draws a favorable matchup against Texas Tech on Friday. The Red Raiders are allowing 27.7 fantasy points per game to FBS starting quarterbacks and have allowed over 25 points to six different quarterbacks. Ehlinger also benefits from being back home after two straight weeks on the road. Ehlinger is averaging nearly 10 more fantasy points per game on his home turf this season than on the road.
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QB Jett Duffey, Texas Tech ($9,100) vs. Texas
The Texas defense has been among the worst in the nation, allowing opposing starting quarterbacks to generate an average of 27 fantasy points per game. In 11 games, the Longhorns have only held two quarterbacks under 20 points (Kansas State's Skylar Thompson and Rice's Tom Stewart). This isn't the same explosive Texas Tech offense we've known for years, but Jett Duffey has thrown for over 300 yards in three consecutive games and has a high ceiling against this Texas defense.
RB Salvon Ahmed, Washington ($8,900) vs. Washington State
Salvon Ahmed has been a boom-or-bust fantasy option this season. Over his last seven games, Ahmed has scored either 22 or more points (four times) or been held under seven points (three times). He's coming off a 3.7 point performance against a terrible Colorado defense, but Washington State hopefully allows him to bounce back. The Cougars have given up at least 15 fantasy points to a running back in six of eight Pac-12 games -- including huge outbursts from Oregon's C.J. Verdell (51.3 points) and Oregon State's Jermar Jefferson (43.9 points).
WR Devin Duvernay, Texas ($9,400) vs. Texas Tech
Devin Duvernay leads the nation with 89 receptions while lined up in the slot and draws arguably his easiest matchup of the season this week. Texas Tech is allowing 9.78 yards per target to slot receivers, the fourth highest rate in the nation, according to Sports Info Solutions. With Ehlinger also in a good spot against the Red Raiders, it makes sense to pair the two in tournament lineups.
WR Brandon Arconado, Washington State ($8,700) vs. Washington
In the nine games in which Brandon Arconado has played, he leads Washington State an 18.5 percent target share and 9.8 targets per game, according to Sports Info Solutions. Despite this, he's actually cheaper than teammate Easop Winston Jr. ($8,900), who is second on the team with a 15.8 percent target share when Arconado is healthy. Arconado has reached at least 25 fantasy points in three of his last four games, and would be an ideal stack along with Gordon at quarterback.
QB Nate Stanley, Iowa ($6,700) vs. Nebraska
There aren't a ton of cheap options at quarterback, but if you're hoping to save money at the position, Iowa's Nate Stanley makes sense, as he draws a favorable matchup against Nebraska. The Cornhuskers have allowed at least 20 fantasy points to five quarterbacks this season -- a surprisingly high number considering the lack of quarterback talent in the Big Ten. Iowa is known for its running game, but Stanley is averaging 31.6 pass attempts per game, which should lead to a solid fantasy performance against Nebraska.
RB Sewo Olonilua, TCU ($7,300) vs. Texas
Sewo Olonilua and Darius Anderson ($7,200) have shared the workload in the TCU backfield this season. In recent weeks, however, Olonilua seems to have won the job as the goal line back, which gives him a slight edge in terms of fantasy value. Over TCU's last six games, Olonilua has 14 carries inside the 10 yard line, compared to just two for Anderson, according to Sports Info Solutions. His fantasy value is touchdown dependent, but against a West Virginia defense that has allowed 19 rushing touchdowns in 11 games, he has the potential to provide value at this price.
RB Larry Rountree, Missouri ($7,000) vs. Arkansas
Missouri's offense has been a dead zone in recent weeks, but the Arkansas defense should fix that. In nine games against FBS opponents, the highest scoring running back against the Razorbacks has averaged 22.96 fantasy points per game. When Missouri has played with a lead this season, Larry Rountree leads the team with a 25.4 percent usage rate (percentage of carries and targets). With the Tigers favored by 12.5 points, this should be one of Rountree's best opportunities of the season.
WR Taye Barber, TCU ($6,800) vs. West Virginia
Since Taye Barber made his season debut in Week 8, he's second on the team with a 22.6 percent target share. He should have added value this week against a struggling West Virginia defense that is allowing 8.7 yards per target to slot receivers this season, where Barber has been lined up for 88 percent of his targets, according to Sports Info Solutions.
WR T.J. Vasher, Texas Tech ($7,700) vs. Texas
T.J. Vasher missed two games in early November due to a suspension and then failed to record a catch on just three targets last week against Kansas State. So there's clearly some uncertainty with his current role in the Texas Tech offense. If he returns to form against Texas, however, he's a great value at this discounted price against a poor Longhorns defense. Prior to his suspension, Vasher led Texas Tech with a 20.2 percent target share. According to Sports Info Solutions, the 6'6" Vasher was also tied for third in the nation with 16 red zone targets at the time of his suspension.
TE Hunter Bryant, Washington ($7,500) vs. Washington State
Hunter Bryant's role in the Washington offense has grown significantly in recent weeks, as he's seen a team-leading 27.6 percent target share over the Huskies last three games. During that span he's averaging 16 fantasy points per game and should be in line for another significant workload in a potential shootout against the Cougars.
TE Trey McBride, Colorado State ($6,500) vs. Boise State
If you're digging deep for some cheap dart throws, Colorado State tight end Trey McBride is worth a look. Over the Rams' last five games, McBride is third on the team with a 15.8 percent target share and he's averaging 11.9 fantasy points per game in that span.
Players to Avoid
RB Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State ($9,500) vs. Troy
Darrynton Evans has topped 25 fantasy points five times this season and will likely have high ownership due to his elite production. In this matchup against Troy, however, you might benefit from fading him. Only one running back has reached 20 points versus Troy this year (Georgia State's Tra Barnett), and you'll need that type of production from Evans at this price tag. If you're filling out multiple lineups, it's reasonable to throw Evans into the mix, but given his price and Troy's defensive success, it's probably best not to build around him on this slate.
QB Adrian Martinez, Nebraska ($8,600) vs. Iowa
Iowa is allowing the 11th fewest fantasy points per pass attempt this season, creating a tough spot for Adrian Martinez. Based on that metric, the only team Martinez has faced this year that ranks higher than Iowa was Ohio State, which held Martinez to 6.98 fantasy points.
Iowa RBs Tyler Goodson ($7,000) and Mekhi Sargent ($6,000) vs. Nebraska
With cheap price tags and a favorable matchup, it's tempting to use Tyler Goodson or Mekhi Sargent this week. However, it's been impossible to figure out the Iowa backfield this year. Goodson leads the team with 124 touches, but Sargent is right behind him with 122. Toren Young ($5,500) also factors in and has out-touched Sargent in each of the last two weeks. Goodson had a season-high 22 touches last week against Illinois, so maybe he's the favorite right now, but playing any of the Iowa running backs would be a risky dart throw without much upside. Collectively, they've reached 15 points just three times this season -- Sargent twice (versus Middle Tennessee and Miami (OH) and Goodson once (versus Minnesota).