College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 10/24/20 Main Slate
In this preview, I'll break down the Saturday main slate into three categories based on FanDuel's salaries: players to build around, value plays, and players to avoid.
Players to build around carry expensive salaries, but their ceiling is high enough to consider prioritizing them in your lineup. Value plays are lower-salaried options who usually come with some risk, but adding them to your lineup will help you pay for the expensive stars. Players to avoid are fantasy-relevant options you might normally consider but 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 Sam Ehlinger, Texas ($11,200) vs. Baylor
Baylor hasn't been tested, having played only Kansas and West Virginia, so it's tough to say how much of Sam Ehlinger's production may be slowed by the Bears' defense. However, only TCU has been able to hold Ehlinger under 38 fantasy points. Given Ehlinger's consistency, it's probably safe to assume he's due for his usual dominant fantasy output again this week.
QB Justin Fields, Ohio State ($10,800) vs. Nebraska
Justin Fields attempted just 21 passes against Nebraska last year, his second fewest of the season, and still put up 33.7 fantasy points. Ohio State has an implied total of 47.5 points, the second highest on the slate, so Fields should have no issues putting up a strong number, even if he's pulled at some point in the second half.
QB Max Duggan, TCU ($9,500) vs. Oklahoma
Opposing quarterbacks are scoring 10.7 FanDuel points above their season average when facing the Oklahoma defense. Applying that trend to Max Duggan, he would be projected for 32.6 points in this matchup. Duggan appears to have dramatically improved as a passer since his freshman year -- his completion percentage is up from 53 percent to 69 percent -- so if this turns into a shootout, he should be capable of keeping pace with the Sooners' offense.
QB Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State ($8,900) vs. Iowa State
Mike Gundy hasn't named a starter, but he did say Spencer Sanders is healthy, so it seems likely he'll make his return this week. If he does suit up, he'll get a reasonably favorable matchup against Iowa State. According to Sports Info Solutions, the Cyclones are getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks on just 25.9 percent of dropbacks, the third lowest rate in the league. In 2019, Sanders completed 69.8 percent of his passes at 8.8 yards per attempt when not facing pressure.
RB Kevin Harris, South Carolina ($9,400) vs. LSU
It's hard to believe the LSU defense has become a unit to target in fantasy, but that's where we stand. LSU shut down Vanderbilt but allowed more than 20 points to Mississippi State's Kylin Hill and Missouri's Tyler Badie. Neither of those offenses have looked particularly strong in other games and clearly got a nice boost from this struggling LSU defense. Kevin Harris has been the workhorse in the South Carolina backfield, but his value also gets a nice boost from the 13 targets he's seen in the passing game, third most on the team.
RB Tank Bigsby, Auburn ($8,600) vs. Ole Miss
Ole Miss is allowing 36.9 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, which ranks 69th out of 74 teams. True freshman Tank Bigsby appears to have locked down the starting job for Auburn, as he's seen 36 carries over the last two weeks while putting up 18.2 and 17.1 fantasy points. Bigsby has reached the end zone only once, but he has taken two of the three handoffs inside the 10-yard line over the last two weeks, indicating he will probably see a spike in his touchdown numbers against more favorable opponents like Ole Miss.
WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama ($9,700) vs. Tennessee
Of Alabama's two elite receivers, DeVonta Smith is clearly the one to roster this week based on his 39.2 percent target share. Jaylen Waddle ($9,500) has been equally productive from a fantasy standpoint, but he's relied on long touchdowns, which are volatile and more likely to dry up against a solid defense like Tennessee. Waddle might be worth a shot in tournaments, but Smith has strong value in both tournaments and cash games.
WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss ($9,400) vs. Auburn
Auburn has allowed only one receiver to reach 20 fantasy points, but it's fairly easy to remain skeptical of the Tigers' defense based on the teams they've faced. Arkansas -- not exactly the most potent offense in the country - generated 50 fantasy points from their receivers, proving it's possible to put up big numbers on Auburn. Elijah Moore is averaging 22.9 fantasy points off a 38.9 percent target share. With Moore owning such a dominant share of the workload, we can probably expect him to maintain a high level of production this week.
QB Bailey Hockman, NC State ($7,400) vs. North Carolina
North Carolina has allowed more than 30 fantasy points to quarterbacks in consecutive games, including to a struggling Florida State offense last week. Bailey Hockman is filling in for injured Devin Leary, but we already saw Hockman start the season opener against Wake Forest, when he put up 19.6 fantasy points. Hockman showed off some running skills in that game, carrying the ball seven times for 40 yards (excluding sacks), which should help boost our confidence in his ability to have solid game for N.C. State.
RB John Lovett, Baylor ($7,400) vs. Texas
The Texas defense is giving up 36.2 fantasy points per game to Big 12 running backs, so there's a nice ceiling for the Baylor backfield in this game. Those stats will be split between John Lovett and Trestan Ebner ($7,800), but Lovett has been the workhorse in the backfield so far, accounting for 67.5 percent of the carries by running backs. We've seen Baylor under this new coaching regime just twice, and they haven't taken the field in three weeks, so any of their offensive weapons should be considered a bit of a risk -- but a potential workhorse running back at this salary is definitely worth consideration.
WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State ($7,700) vs. Nebraska
Ohio State lost three of its top five receivers, returning only Chris Olave (19.8 percent target share) and Garrett Wilson (10.8 percent). Wilson is a true sophomore and a former five-star recruit who is expected to take on a significant portion of the vacated workload. If he lives up to expectations, this $7,700 salary will likely be his lowest cap hit of the season.
WR Dazz Newsome, North Carolina ($7,000) vs. NC State
Dazz Newsome has appeared in this value plays section a few times, with limited payoff. He's reached double-digit FanDuel points just once, but it's hard to write him off when he received over 100 targets last season and is second on the team with a 17 percent target share this year. Over the Tar Heels' last two games, Newsome has seen 14 targets (24 percent target share), so it's possible he's moving past his slow start and is ready for a breakout game.
WR Jameson Williams, Ohio State ($7,000) vs. Nebraska
Jameson Williams is a redshirt freshman who was targeted just 13 times last season, so we don't really know what he's going to bring to the table. However, he's expected to take on a bigger role, potentially as a deep threat in the Ohio State offense. 247Sports has compared him to Will Fuller to give you an idea of the type of player he could potentially be in this offense. Since he's still unknown, Williams has a low floor, but he's worth a dart throw in tournaments.
WR Chris Autman-Bell, Minnesota ($6,800) vs. Michigan
Rashod Bateman is the clear-cut number-one receiver in the Minnesota offense, but there should be plenty of opportunities for Chris Autman-Bell, who is stepping into the role vacated by Tyler Johnson. In 2019, Johnson averaged 19.4 fantasy points per game and eclipsed the 20-point mark five times. Even if Bell falls slightly short of Johnson's production, he's significantly undervalued at this salary.
TE Austin Stogner, Oklahoma ($6,300) vs. TCU
Austin Stogner is tied for the team lead with a 15.9 percent target share and leads the team with nine red zone targets. Given those stats and his salary, he's virtually a must-roster player on this slate, especially in cash games. TCU's defense is the toughest test Oklahoma's offense has faced, but Stogner's usage should still make him a valuable addition to your roster.
WR Lavel Davis Jr., Virginia ($6,200) vs. Miami
Lavel Davis Jr., a 6'6" freshman, leads Virginia with 19 targets on explosive routes -- defined as
route types on which FBS receivers average 20 or more yards per
reception -- according to Sports Info Solutions.
That usage gives him a high ceiling on a weekly basis, and he's already flashed elite upside with 24.1 fantasy points in his debut against Duke. The Miami defense will be a tough task for Virginia, but the Hurricanes are giving up 41.5 fantasy points per game to opposing receivers, so there's definitely potential for Davis to put up some numbers on a few big plays.
Players to Avoid
QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma ($10,300) vs. TCU
Despite serious issues protecting the football, Spencer Rattler has been fairly reliable as a fantasy asset in Oklahoma's potent offense. However, he's also failed to generate the huge numbers that Sooner quarterbacks have posted in recent years, peaking at 30.5 points. This week he'll face a TCU defense that is holding opposing quarterbacks to 19.6 fantasy points per game -- and that's despite facing Sam Ehlinger, the highest-scoring fantasy quarterback in the nation. Ehlinger put up a season-low 29.3 points against TCU. Rattler's floor is likely much lower given his tendency to take sacks and turn the ball over.
RB Najee Harris, Alabama ($10,400) vs. Tennessee
Najee Harris is the highest-scoring running back in the nation, so it would be foolish to completely dismiss the possibility he dominates Tennessee the way he has everyone else. However, he's being placed in this category based on the fact the Vols' defense has held every opposing running back below their season average. Harris can probably be trusted in cash games, but his ceiling might not be high enough to justify leaning heavily on him in tournaments.
RB Kyren Williams, Notre Dame ($9,200) vs. Pittsburgh
Kyren Williams has been the most consistent performer on an otherwise unreliable Notre Dame offense, but this is a tough matchup. Pittsburgh has held each of its opposing running backs under their combined fantasy points per game by an average of 11.5 points. Last week Pitt limited Miami's Cam'Ron Harris to just 12.4 points despite the Hurricanes playing with a positive game script for most of the day.
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.