College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 9/3/21

Week 1 of college football is here! FanDuel's college football DFS main slate on Friday includes six 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 6:00 p.m. ET.

Let's break down which players are in great spots as well as identify some players with cheap salaries who will allow you to roster the high-salary players.


Brendon Lewis, Colorado ($10,000) – Lewis is a redshirt freshman and will be making his first career start on Friday night. He's a former four-star prospect. The young signal caller saw action in one game last season (the Alamo Bowl). In that game, he threw for 95 yards and recorded 73 rushing yards on nine attempts (one rushing touchdown). The Colorado Buffaloes should be able to name their score as they take on Northern Colorado. Back in 2019, Northern Colorado allowed over 500 yards of total offense to opposing teams. Additionally, they also allowed an eye-popping 56 touchdowns in 12 games. Northern Colorado did not play football in 2020 due to Covid-19.

Of course, you can't go wrong with Sam Howell ($10,600), too. He'll be selected very high in the first round of next year's NFL Draft.

Braxton Burmeister, Virginia Tech ($8,600) – Once upon a time, Burmeister was a four-star, dual-threat quarterback prospect. After two uneventful years at Oregon, Burmeister transferred to Virginia Tech. The redshirt junior made four starts last season as a Hokie. He's been touted as a "freak athlete" and one of the fastest players on the Hokies roster. The Hokies opponent, North Carolina, ranked 58th nationally in total defense a season ago. They allowed an average of 400.9 yards per game to opposing offenses. I will note that the Tar Heels did land a few high-end defensive prospects, and the defense should be improved. However, that could take some time before the young players find their footing in college football.

Chris Oladokun, South Dakota State ($6,600) – Oladokun struggled during his time at South Florida. However, he's a dual-threat quarterback, and his salary is awfully low. The South Dakota State Jackrabbits should put up some points tonight, as they have an implied team total of 25. Oladokun made eight starts last season while at Samford. In total, he accounted for 26 touchdowns (18 passing and eight rushing). There's a good chance that Oladokun will have a heavy hand in the action if South Dakota is able to put some points on the scoreboard.

I also like Chris Reynolds ($7,200). Back in 2019, Reynolds accounted for 27 total touchdowns in 13 games. He also tallied 757 rushing yards. The Charlotte 49ers should have no problems putting up points, as our model projects the 49ers to score 30 points on Friday night.

Hunter Johnson ($6,800) is also a viable source of salary relief. The former five-star prospect gets another shot as the Northwestern Wildcats' starting quarterback. He struggled mightily back in 2019 as the Wildcats' starter. On the plus side, he does have dual-threat ability.

Others to consider: Sam Hartman, Sam Howell, Gunnar Holmberg, Todd Centaio, Chris Reynolds, and Hunter Johnson.

Running Backs

Mateo Durant, Duke ($8,800) – Durant will be the Duke Blue Devils' featured running back this season. Despite splitting time with Deon Jackson in 2020, Durant managed to tally 817 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. He's also an effective pass-catcher out of the backfield (12 receptions, 107 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown). The senior has, arguably, the best matchup amongst all the ball carriers on Friday night. This week's opponent, Charlotte, allowed a slate-worst average of 5.87 yards per carry to enemy ball carriers last season. Additionally, Charlotte has hammered for 15 rushing touchdowns in only six games.

I also want to mention Jarek Broussard ($11,000). He's easily the top overall running back on this slate. However, the blowout concern is real, as Colorado is a 37.5-point betting favorite.

I also like Christian Beal-Smith ($8,800), and he also carries blowout concerns. Both running backs will be very popular. They both square off with teams that have struggled to contain the run in past years.

Ty Chandler, North Carolina ($8,300) – Chandler led the Tennessee Volunteers in rushing back in 2018 and 2019. However, he took a back seat to Eric Gray last season and transferred to North Carolina in the offseason. He's in a great situation because the Tar Heels return nearly all of their starters from last season (18 of 22). Look for Chandler to break out this season playing behind an experienced offensive line. North Carolina produced two 1,000-yard rushers last season. In total, North Carolina ball carriers scored 35 touchdowns in 11 games. Furthermore, the Tar Heels averaged an eye-popping 257.3 rushing yards per game.

Shadrick Byrd, Charlotte ($6,000) – This play is all about salary, opportunity, and the matchup. Byrd has almost no resume on the collegiate level (he played on special teams last season). However, he is listed as the starter running back for the 49ers. The matchup is advantageous for the inexperienced ball carrier. Duke was diced up by opposing runners last season. They allowed 213.2 rushing yards per game, which ranked 108th nationally. If that's not bad enough, the Blue Devils were hammered for 31 rushing touchdowns in 11 games.

Others to consider: Jarek Broussard, Christian Beal-Smith, Kenneth Walker III (under the radar GPP play), Alex Fontenot, Evan Hull, and Pierre Strong Jr.

Wide Receivers

Jacquarii Roberson, Wake Forest ($10,400) – Roberson has excelled with Sam Hartman quarterbacking the Demon Deacons' offense. The senior topped 130 receiving yards in each of the final four games a season ago. He found the end zone seven times in those four games. On a slate filled with uncertainty at the wide receiver position, lock in Roberson. Roberson will look to extend his streak of six-plus receptions to seven games on Friday night.

Dante Wright, Colorado State ($8,800) – Blessed with track-star-like speed, Wright operates as a swiss army knife for the Colorado State Rams' offense. The versatile wide receiver averaged 6.6 receptions and 105.0 receiving yards over three games last season. Wright also tallied 36 rushing yards on nine carries. He led all Rams with an average of 3.54 yards per route run in 2020, per Pro Football Focus.

Emery Simmons, North Carolina ($6,300)North Carolina lost their top two wide receivers to the NFL. Their third-best wide receiver is out due to injury (Beau Corrales). Simmons saw action in 11 games last season as a reserve. He recorded 15 receptions, 201 receiving yards, and a touchdown. The junior has a starting assignment and should fill the role as the Tar Heels' deep threat. Throw in an appealing matchup with Virginia Tech, and he makes for a solid source of salary relief. The Hokies allowed 266 passing yards per game in 2020 (107th nationally).

Others to consider: Tre McBride, Brady Russell, Josh Downs, Dimitri Stanley, AT Perry, Victor Tucker, Brendan Rice, Tre Turner, Tayvion Robinson, Antoine Green, Josh Nailor, Taylor Morin, Stephon Robinson Jr., Jaylon Reed, Donald Stewart, Johnny Mitchell, Jake Calhoun, Jadon Janke, Eli Pancol, LaVontae Shenault, Cameron Dollar, Jake Bobo, Landon Wolf, and Tre' Goode.

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.