College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 10/23/20

Week 8 of college football is here! FanDuel's Friday night college football DFS main slate includes three games.

In case you're unfamiliar with how it works, you can check out the rules and scoring on FanDuel, where you can hit the lobby each week to see the full array of slates and contests being offered.

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. This week, we are only breaking down Friday's main slate, which locks at 7:30 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.


Graham Mertz, Wisconsin ($9.800) – Mertz will make his first career start for the Wisconsin Badgers on Friday night. The redshirt freshman is a former four-star recruit. It appears that Mertz may bring some dual-threat upside to the table. He recorded over 700 rushing yards and 9 rushing touchdowns over his final two years of high school football. Additionally, it's a good spot for the first time starter as the Illinois Fighting Illini surrendered 21 touchdown passes in 13 games last season.

Zach Smith, Tulsa ($9,100) – Smith acquitted himself well in tough matchups with two top-15 ranked teams to start the season. The senior signal-caller managed to throw for 438 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Smith now finds himself in a fantasy-friendly spot as the Tulsa Golden Hurricane host the South Florida Bulls. Against FBS opponents (four games), South Florida is allowing an average of 40.8 points.

Bryson Lucero, Alabama Birmingham ($7,400) – Lucero is surrounded by three of the best skill players on offense in Conference USA (running back Spencer Brown, wide receiver Austin Watkins Jr., and Myron Marshall). The freshman quarterback is averaging 218.3 passing yards and 2 touchdown passes in his three career starts. With an implied team total of 26, Lucero is a great salary saver at quarterback.

Others to consider: Levi Lewis and Jordan McCloud.

Running Backs

Spencer Brown, Alabama Birmingham ($10,000) – Brown ranks eighth in the nation with six rushing touchdowns. He ranks 25th in the nation with 94.4 rushing yards per game. The senior is in a phenomenal spot as the Blazers host Louisiana-Lafayette. The Ragin Cajuns are allowing 196.3 rushing yards and they've been walloped for 8 rushing touchdowns in four games by opposing backfields.

Nakia Watson, Wisconsin ($9,300) – The big bruising running back ran for 331 yards and 2 touchdowns as Jonathan Taylor's primary back in 2019. Watson is a good bet to dominant the early downs. Throw in an excellent matchup with Illinois' questionable run defense and Watson makes for a fine play. Illinois ranked 103rd in rushing yards allowed in 2019 and ceded 19 rushing touchdowns in 13 games.

Garrett Groshek, Wisconsin ($7,300) – Groshek is listed as a co-starter with backfield mate, Nakia Watson. While Watson will likely lead the team in carries, Groshek is the better pass-catching running back. He was the Badgers' third-leading receiver in 2019. As a reserve running back, Groshek recorded 194 rushing yards, 289 receiving yards, and 2 total touchdowns last season.

Others to consider: Elijah Mitchell, TK Wilkerson, Johnny Ford (if he plays), Michael Epstein, and Trey Ragas.

Wide Receivers

Keylon Stokes, Tulsa ($9,000) – Stokes is the Golden Hurricanes' top playmaker on offense. The senior wide receiver has recorded at least 4 receptions and cleared 55 receiving yards in four straight games, dating back to 2019. Additionally, Tulsa's quarterback Zach Smith is posting an eye-popping 146.5 passer rating when targeting Stokes, per Pro Football Focus. Look for him to post a monster stat line against South Florida's vulnerable defense.

Myron Mitchell, Alabama Birmingham ($8,300) – Mitchell is off to a fast start in his final season in a UAB uniform. The senior has 23 receptions, 331 receiving yards, and 2 touchdown receptions through five games. UAB quarterbacks are posting a team-high 134.2 passer rating when targeting Mitchell, per Pro Football Focus. He's posting similar stats to his star teammate Austin Watkins Jr. but Mitchell comes with a reduced price tag.

Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin ($5,800) – Ferguson is the Badgers' top returning pass-catcher from last season. The tight end had 33 receptions, 407 receiving yards, and 2 touchdowns in 2019. Look for the junior to be the reliable security blanket for Wisconsin's first time starting quarterback.

Others to consider: Austin Watkins Jr., Josh Imatorbhebhe, Josh Johnson, Kendric Pryor, Danny Davis III, Sam Crawford Jr., and Jalen Williams.

Matthew Hiatt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matthew Hiatt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username easternmh. 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.