College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 11/21/20
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 NCAAF odds.
Players to Build Around
QB Kyle Trask, Florida ($11,500) vs. Vanderbilt
Kyle Trask is one of the safest options on the slate, having topped 25 fantasy points in every game. The Vanderbilt defense is allowing quarterbacks to score 4.5 points above their average, giving Trask an elevated ceiling in this likely high-scoring affair. Additionally, the Vanderbilt pass defense has been dramatically worse when facing 11 personnel, which Florida uses on 90 percent of their pass attempts, according to Sports Info Solutions.
|Vandy Pass Def vs Formations||YPA||Comp%||Att per TD|
|All Other Formations||5.6||71.2%||24.3|
QB Justin Fields, Ohio State ($11,200) vs. Indiana
Indiana is allowing 18.6 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, but all four of the quarterbacks they've faced are currently in battles for their job this week. Maybe we'll learn the Hoosiers' D is for real, but right now it's difficult to believe any of the defensive numbers they've posted are legit. Fields has reached at least 28 fantasy points in each game, and he may have an elevated ceiling in this matchup simply because Indiana is probably strong enough to force Fields to play a full game.
QB Feleipe Franks, Arkansas ($8,700) vs. LSU
Opposing quarterbacks are scoring 11.3 fantasy points above their season average against LSU, the highest positive difference in the nation. If that trend held true for Feleipe Franks, he would be projected for 32 points in this matchup, making him an obvious target for your roster. However, don't go overboard, as he's been extremely inconsistent. Against a similarly terrible Ole Miss defense, Franks put up only 12.4 fantasy points.
RB Najee Harris, Alabama ($10,800) vs. Kentucky
Alabama's Najee Harris is averaging 30.3 fantasy points per game, and only two other running backs on this slate are scoring at least 20 points per game. He has an elite ceiling every week, and you shouldn't be scared off by Kentucky's defense. After a strong start to the year, Kentucky is allowing 30.9 fantasy points per game to running backs over its last four contests. The Wildcats may also be without leading tackler Jamin Davis, who is questionable with a knee injury.
RB Travis Etienne, Clemson ($10,000) vs. Florida State
Florida State will be without star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson (season-ending surgery) and defensive tackle Cory Durden (opted out this week), who led the team in quarterback pressures a season ago. The Seminoles are giving up 33.3 fantasy points per game to running backs this season, so Etienne should have no issue putting up a big number in this matchup.
RB Zamir White, Georgia ($8,800) vs. Mississippi State
For all of Mississippi State's struggles, the Bulldogs' defense has been solid, and only two running backs have topped 20 fantasy points against them. However, Mississippi State is dealing with a severe COVID outbreak, and only 49 scholarship players are reportedly available. It's difficult to imagine a depleted Mississippi State team competing with Georgia, which should create a good spot for Zamir White to shine. Additionally, we may see an elevated workload for White as Georgia is without starting quarterback Stetson Bennett, with J.T. Daniels finally making his debut.
WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State ($9,400) vs. Indiana
Excluding garbage time, Garrett Wilson has dominated the Ohio State offense with a 38 percent target share. The Buckeyes have the third highest implied total on this slate (43.5 points), and Indiana is probably strong enough to keep this game competitive, leading to another big workload for Wilson.
WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas ($8,500) vs. LSU
Treylon Burks leads Arkansas with a 22 percent target share, with 70 percent of his targets coming while lined up in the slot. LSU's defense is giving up 10.9 yards per target to slot receivers, the second worst rate among Power 5 teams. Burks makes for an ideal pairing with Franks if you're interested in stacking this game.
QB Terry Wilson, Kentucky ($6,900) vs. Alabama
It's hard to find a great value at quarterback this week, but if you want to save money, Kentucky's Terry Wilson could work. Wilson is always a relatively safe pick because of his rushing ability -- he's topped 40 rushing yards in four of six games. Alabama's defense is also not as scary as usual. Quarterbacks have topped their season average against Alabama in four of six games, which makes Wilson a reasonable bet to score around his 17.8-point average.
RB Rakeem Boyd, Arkansas ($6,500) vs. LSU
The Arkansas backfield has been tough to sort out, because Rakeem Boyd and Treylon Smith ($6,800) have shared carries. However, when the score is within single digits, Boyd has out-touched Smith 50 to 37 in games in which both running backs were active. That appears to indicate Boyd is more likely to see a significant workload with LSU favored by just 1.5 points. The LSU defense has allowed at least 19 points to a running back in all but one game (Vanderbilt).
RB LD Brown, Oklahoma State ($5,900) vs. Oklahoma
Chuba Hubbard left Oklahoma State's last game with a leg injury, and we still haven't heard an update on his status for Saturday. If he's unable to go, LD Brown becomes an obvious target as his replacement. However, keep an eye on Brown's status, too, as he's also dealing with an undisclosed injury. If both running backs are out, stay away from the Cowboys' backfield, as there's no other obvious candidate to dominate the workload.
WR John Metchie, Alabama ($7,800) vs. Kentucky
In two games since Jaylen Waddle's injury, John Metchie has stepped up as the number-two option in the Alabama offense with a 20 percent target share. He had just 3.5 fantasy points in his last outing, but that was likely a fluke as he appears to be entrenched as the starting outside receiver opposite DeVonta Smith ($10,000).
WR Trevon Grimes, Florida ($7,500) vs. Vanderbilt
In Kyle Pitts' absence last week, Trevon Grimes saw the more direct bump -- Grimes' target share, excluding garbage time, climbed from 11.7 percent to 23.3 percent. His usage last week tied with Kadarius Toney ($9,000) for the highest target share on the team. Grimes' salary has risen by $1,000, so he's not as valuable as a week ago, but this is still a cheap salary for a leading receiver on a team with an implied total of 49.5 points.
WR Slade Bolden, Alabama ($6,500) vs. Kentucky
Slade Bolden has stepped up as the slot receiver in Alabama's offense since Jaylen Waddle's injury. All 10 of Bolden's targets over the last two games have come while lined up in the slot, so he has a slightly lesser role in the offense than the more versatile Waddle did. However, a starting receiver in the potent Crimson Tide offense at this low salary is certainly worth consideration for your lineups.
WR Alec Pierce, Cincinnati ($6,500) vs. UCF
Alec Pierce has been dealing with injuries all season, but he returned last week and was eased into action in a limited role. It's unclear if he's healthy this week, so be on the lookout for news on Saturday morning, but he could potentially return to his role as the number-one receiver in this offense. Pierce led Cincinnati's returning receivers with 61 targets last season, and he paced the team with a 20 percent target share during his two healthy games in late October.
TE Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State ($6,100) vs. Indiana
Jeremy Ruckert is a touchdown-or-bust fantasy target, but his usage in Ohio State's offense makes him worth considering every week. Ruckert has only 10 targets, but four of them have come inside the opponents' 10-yard line, resulting in three touchdowns. Clearly Justin Fields trusts Ruckert near the end zone, so the tight end is worth a dart throw on this cheap cap hit.
WR Kris Hutson, Oregon ($5,300) vs. UCLA
Four-star true freshman Kris Hutson started in place of the injured Mycah Pittman last week, and Pittman is expected to miss this contest, as well. Hutson hauled in just two receptions but saw four targets -- a solid workload for his debut. Obviously, Hutson has an extremely low floor, but no one has emerged as a dominant force in the Oregon passing game, so Hutson could potentially see an increased workload in his second start. This is the friendliest salary you'll see for a starting receiver on an offense with a 41.0-point implied total, so he's worth a tournament dart throw.
Players to Avoid
QB Dillon Gabriel, UCF ($9,600) vs. Cincinnati
Dillon Gabriel has been held to fewer than 20 fantasy points in two consecutive weeks and draws his most difficult test of the season against Cincinnati. The Bearcats are holding quarterbacks to 13.8 fantasy points below their season average, easily the best rate in the nation. SMU's Shane Buechele, who is averaging 24.4 fantasy points against everyone other than Cincinnati, was limited to 12.9 fantasy points in this matchup -- and that's the most points a quarterback has scored against the Bearcats all year.
RB Khalil Herbert, Virginia Tech ($9,000) vs. Pittsburgh
Khalil Herbert is expected to play, but he's been dealing with a hamstring injury and draws a tough matchup against a strong Pittsburgh defense. Pitt is holding opposing running backs 12.2 fantasy points below their average, the third best rate in the nation. Herbert has put up some strong numbers against good defenses before -- most notably 23.7 points against Boston College -- but if he's less than 100 percent, it's risky to trust him against Pitt.
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.