College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 11/14/20
In this preview, I'll break down the Saturday main slate into three categories based on FanDuel 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 Dillon Gabriel, UCF ($10,800) vs. Temple
The UCF offense creates a strong ceiling for Dillon Gabriel every week -- he's attempted at least 40 passes in all but one game -- and the Temple defense should also give him a boost in this matchup. Quarterbacks have scored at least 25 fantasy points against Temple in three straight games. With an implied total of 51.0 points, UCF is projected to be the highest-scoring team on this slate by a 10.0-point margin.
QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss ($10,500) vs. South Carolina
Excluding its game against lowly Vanderbilt, the South Carolina defense is allowing 26 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Matt Corral has reached at least 26 points in all but one game, so it's probably safe to assume that's his floor with a significantly higher ceiling.
QB D'Eriq King, Miami FL ($10,400) vs. Virginia Tech
This matchup carries the highest total on the slate among games with a single-digit point spread, giving it strong shootout potential. Excluding a tough game against Clemson, D'Eriq King is averaging 28.2 fantasy points per game, and he should have a high ceiling against Virginia Tech.
QB Brennan Armstrong, Virginia ($9,400) vs. Louisville
According to Sports Info Solutions, Virginia quarterbacks have been pressured on just 18 percent of their drop backs, the lowest rate in the ACC. Meanwhile, Louisville's defense is generating pressure on just 28 percent of drop backs, the fourth worst rate in the conference. Brennan Armstrong has posted at least 22 fantasy in each full game he's played, and he should have an elevated ceiling in this matchup due to the likelihood he'll have plenty of time to throw from the pocket.
RB Javonte Williams, North Carolina ($11,000) vs. Wake Forest
The Wake Forest pass defense has been strong, holding opponents to an ACC-best 6.6 yards per attempt. The Demon Deacons' run defense, however, ranks 10th in the conference. These trends will probably push North Carolina to rely more heavily on Javonte Williams and Michael Carter ($9,100) than their potent-but-inconsistent passing attack. Williams has scored multiple touchdowns in five games, so he looks like a safe bet to perform in this game with UNC's implied total set to 39.5 points.
RB Kevin Harris, South Carolina ($9,400) vs. Ole Miss
Kevin Harris has scored more than 20 fantasy points in four of six games and draws the easiest matchup he'll face this season. Ole Miss is allowing opposing running backs to score 13.5 fantasy points above their average, the fifth highest rate in the nation. South Carolina is an 11.5-point underdog, so the game script may not be in Harris' favor, but a 10 percent target share in the passing game should make him a relatively safe choice.
RB Stevie Scott, Indiana ($8,500) vs. Michigan State
Opposing running backs are scoring 10.3 fantasy points above their average against the Michigan State defense, and the Iowa backfield just posted 44.4 points against the Spartans last week. Stevie Scott has received at least 20 carries in every game, and this appears to be one of the most favorable matchups he'll see this season.
WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss ($10,000) vs. South Carolina
Only Auburn has been able to hold Elijah Moore under 20 fantasy points -- a feat South Carolina is unlikely to repeat. The Gamecocks have a talented secondary, but since Moore primarily lines up in the slot, he'll likely avoid star cornerback Jaycee Horn. Safety Jammie Robinson usually handles slot duties for South Carolina and is allowing a 63 percent completion rate in coverage, according to Sports Info Solutions.
WR Marlon Williams, UCF ($9,500) vs. Temple
Marlon Williams dominates the UCF passing game with a 34 percent target share. Williams was knocked out of UCF's last game with an undisclosed injury, so be sure to monitor his status leading up to the game, but if he suits up, he's an obvious target against Temple's weak defense. If Williams is out, Ryan O'Keefe ($7,500) is likely to step into his role as the slot receiver.
QB Jordan Travis ($8,600) vs. NC State
In three full games as the Florida State starter, Jordan Travis is averaging 26.5 fantasy points per game -- well above what you'd expect for a quarterback in this salary range. This also looks like a good matchup for Travis, as quarterbacks are scoring 4.4 points above their average against the NC State defense. Travis was knocked out of last week's game with an injury, so double check on his status before rostering him. If he's unable to go, four-star freshman Chubba Purdy ($6,600) would take over and is worth a shot on that cheap salary.
QB Collin Hill ($6,800) or Ryan Hilinski, South Carolina ($6,800) vs. Ole Miss
Collin Hill has been South Carolina's starting quarterback, but Will Muschamp opened up the competition again this past week. No decision has been announced, but if either Hill or Ryan Hilinski is announced as the starter before game time, it's worth taking a shot on them against this putrid Ole Miss defense. Opposing quarterbacks are scoring 7.3 fantasy points above their average against Ole Miss, the eighth most in the nation.
RB Otis Anderson, UCF ($8,000) vs. Temple
With UCF expected to top 50 points in this game, all their usual playmakers are viable targets. Otis Anderson has topped 20 fantasy points only once, but with so many potential points on the board, he's worth a shot. Greg McCrae ($7,500) -- who splits time in the backfield with Anderson -- is also worth a look. In three of UCF's games, both Anderson and McCrae have seen at least 15 carries, so there's room in the offense for both to shine.
TE DJ Johnson, Oregon ($6,000) vs. Washington State
DJ Johnson saw six targets (25 percent target share) in Oregon's season opener versus Stanford. This was an unexpected development, so maybe it was just a one-game fluke, but since his salary remains at an extremely reasonable level, he's worth taking a chance on this week.
WR Tyler Vaughns, USC ($7,700) vs. Arizona
Tyler Vaughns, who saw 111 targets in 2019, carried the highest salary among USC receivers last week, but it dropped by $1,000 after he posted only 6.8 fantasy points against Arizona State. Don't be fooled by the low-scoring output though, as Vaughns still saw 10 targets (19 percent target share), second behind only Amon-Ra St. Brown ($8,700). The drop in Vaughns' cap hit is an overreaction, and this is likely the biggest discount he'll have all season.
WR Zay Flowers, Boston College ($7,100) vs. Notre Dame
It's almost impossible to run the ball on Notre Dame -- the Irish are allowing 2.8 yards per carry -- so Boston College may not even try. Zay Flowers leads the Eagles with a 27 percent target share while primarily lining up in the slot. The Notre Dame defense is tough, allowing just 6.9 yards per attempt overall, but slot receivers are picking up 7.6 yards per target. So while the Eagles' offense may not have a ton of success on Saturday, Flowers could be an exception.
WR Trevon Grimes, Florida ($6,500) vs. Arkansas
Trevon Grimes' value will be partially tied to the status of tight end Kyle Pitts, who suffered a concussion last week. If Pitts suits up, Grimes probably isn't worth rostering. Without Pitts, however, expect Grimes to see a slightly increased workload. Florida probably can't replace Pitts' production with another tight end, so Grimes and Kadarius Toney ($9,200) will likely see more action in his absence.
WR Jacob Harris, UCF ($6,200) vs. Temple
With UCF likely to light up the scoreboard, it's reasonable to chase touchdowns in this game. Jacob Harris is second on the team with 21 percent target share in the red zone. He's only reached double-digit points twice this year, so it's a risky move, but if you're searching for a low-salary play, Harris is worth a look.
WR Warren Thompson, Florida State ($6,100) vs. NC State
Warren Thompson has just four receptions on the year, so he's obviously a risky player to roster, but with Tamorrion Terry leaving the program this week, Thompson is expected to step into that role. Terry had led the team with an 18 percent target share. The 6'3" Thompson is a redshirt-sophomore and a former four-star recruit, and it's possible he'll step into Terry's role and put up some strong numbers.
WR Mycah Pittman, Oregon ($5,600) vs. Washington State
Mycah Pittman saw just one target in his season debut, but it was an exceptional 44-yard catch. During his seven games played as a four-star freshman in 2019, Pittman finished third in the Oregon offense with a 13 percent target share, so his lack of use against Stanford was surprising. With an incredibly low salary, Pittman is worth gambling on this week in hopes his role expands.
Players to Avoid
QB Graham Mertz, Wisconsin ($9,000) vs. Michigan
Graham Mertz returned to practice this weak after a bout with COVID-19, but we still don't know if he's going to start for Wisconsin. Even if he does suit up, we also don't know who else on this Badgers roster is still dealing with COVID or the after effects, which makes it difficult to make any strong predictions about this game. Since Wisconsin traditionally isn't a great sources of fantasy points, it's probably best to steer clear of Mertz and the rest of the Badgers' offensive weapons this week.
QB Adrian Martinez, Nebraska ($7,400) vs. Penn State
Adrian Martinez's dual-threat ability has made him worth targeting occasionally throughout his career, but he's on the verge of losing his job to redshirt-freshman Luke McCaffrey. Both Nebraska quarterbacks saw action last week, and that trend seems likely to continue until McCaffrey takes over.
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.