College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 1/13/20
Despite a projected high-scoring game -- the total is set at 69.5 points -- this may be one of the most difficult single-game slates for filling out lineups. Fantasy production for both LSU and Clemson has been highly concentrated on a small handful of superstars. As a result, even though we know with a high degree of certainty who the top scorers will be in this matchup, they're priced in such a way that it is difficult to construct a lineup stacked with reliable fantasy weapons.
There will likely be extremely high ownership for the top four or five players on this slate, which means your fate could be decided by the cheaper, lesser-known players you slide into the lineup.
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 flex slots if not selected as your MVP -- while also highlighting some others who should be in consideration for the flex position. All references to betting totals and spreads are from FanDuel Sportsbook.
QB Joe Burrow, LSU ($16,000) -- Joe Burrow, averaging 34.5 fantasy points per game against FBS opponents, is the obvious choice for the MVP. Burrow's worst game of the year, versus Auburn, still yielded 24.94 FanDuel points. Virginia's Bryce Perkins is the only quarterback to top 20 fantasy points against Clemson this year (22.4 points in the ACC title game), but Burrow has proven to be matchup proof. He's the safest pick for the MVP slot, especially in cash games.
QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson ($15,000) -- Trevor Lawrence has a season high of 36 fantasy points (versus Syracuse) -- a number surpassed by Burrow six times. If Burrow puts up his typical numbers, it's highly unlikely Lawrence outscores him in this matchup. So Lawrence should only be selected as your MVP if you're expecting Clemson's defense to be the first team to figure out the LSU offense and shut down Burrow.
WR Ja'Marr Chase, LSU ($12,500) -- Ja'Marr Chase has led LSU receivers in fantasy points in seven of their 14 games this season, including each of the final five regular season contests. After posting just 7.6 points against Oklahoma, Chase is available at a significant discount -- down $1,500 from his semifinal price. Chase has led all LSU players in fantasy points three times, making him a reasonable MVP selection if you're looking to fade Burrow and Lawrence.
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU ($11,500) -- After playing a limited role against Oklahoma due to a hamstring injury, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is back to practicing without limitations. Clemson's rushing defense was dominant against ACC competition, but Ohio State's J.K. Dobbins proved the Tigers' defense is vulnerable to a good rushing attack as he gashed them for 9.7 yard per carry. Dobbins (31.1 fantasy points) was the first running back to top 20 FanDuel points against Clemson this year. LSU's rushing attack is much closer in talent to Ohio State's than the rest of Clemson's schedule, so a big performance from Edwards-Helaire is a possibility.
WR Justin Jefferson, LSU ($12,000) -- LSU has played with a healthy receiving corps since Week 9, when Terrace Marshall returned from injury. Since that time, Justin Jefferson has led LSU in target share (25.2 percent). However, in that seven-game span, Jefferson has led LSU's receivers in fantasy points just once and has been held under 15 points four times. Despite his 53.7-point outburst against Oklahoma in the semifinals, Jefferson probably isn't an ideal MVP candidate, but he should be considered as a flex option.
WR Justyn Ross, Clemson ($10,000) -- Excluding garbage time, Justyn Ross leads Clemson with a target share of 29.9 percent, according to Sports Info Solutions. That's a fairly significant difference from Tee Higgins' clip of 23.6 percent. Additionally, Ross leads Clemson with 10 red zone targets, compared to 8 for Higgins. So while Higgins is more expensive ($11,000), Ross' usage appears to make him the more valuable Clemson receiver in this matchup -- although Higgins, who leads Clemson with 13 receiving touchdowns, is a viable option, as well.
WR Amari Rodgers, Clemson ($8,000) -- Clemson rarely uses slot receiver Amari Rodgers, who has just 28 receptions. However, Lawrence may target the slot at a higher rate against LSU's defense. LSU is allowing a 56.6 percent completion rate to slot receivers, compared to a 41.3 percent completion percentage to receivers lined up wide, according to Sports Info Solutions. With so many high-priced stars on this slate, you'll need to throw a dart at a risky player to afford the studs, and Rodgers looks like a good dart throw.
TE Thaddeus Moss, LSU ($7,500) -- Thaddeus Moss has topped out at 12.4 fantasy points, so there is not much of a ceiling for him. However, he does generate a consistent workload in the LSU offense. Since Week 9, Moss commands a 12.0 percent target share, per to Sports Info Solutions. His low fantasy output is partially the result of non-existent usage near the goal line -- he's seen just two targets inside the 10-yard line all year. However, if you need a cheap flex option in order to afford the bigger stars, Moss is probably the safest play among those priced under $8,000.
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.