College Football Market Share Report: Week 4
Since many of the 2018 law changes that marked the return of college football daily fantasy, it has been quickly growing. After all, more individuals watched the 2020 National Championship Game than any other non-NFL sporting event.
With so many eyeballs on the games, and some monster statistics put up by the elite players in the sport, it is natural for many to gravitate to playing daily fantasy instead of traditional betting. FanDuel offers college football contests each weekend, which can include Thursday, Friday, and Saturday main slates -- depending on game volume.
College football is a unique challenge for DFS, as a lot of necessary information is not easily found. Often, injury news is reported through the schools themselves and newspaper beat reporters. It can also be particularly difficult to find accurate information on which players are on the field, who has the best usage, and where inefficiencies in the salary cap model may reside.
The latter point is the premise for this piece, which in addition to numberFire's betting guides and daily fantasy helpers, is designed to help you find out which college football players are on the field and seeing work.
With that in mind, let's examine the market shares for players on Saturday's 14-game main slate on FanDuel.
Note: Players with fewer than 10 pass attempts, 10 rushing attempts, and 5 targets in the previous week will not be featured but may still be viable in daily fantasy formats. For players returning from off weeks, previous reports will contain their most recent sample.
Will Rogers ($9,400) of the Mississippi State Bulldogs stands out as the latest gunslinger in Mike Leach's system. Rogers threw it 67 times in his last game, and he should be well north of 50 on most weekends. Rogers is $9,400 on FanDuel, and while he has had favorable matchups in each of the past two weeks, the stiffer test against Louisiana State initially is cause for concern. However, Mississippi State still has an implied team total of 26.99 as 2.5-point underdogs at home, and therefore Rogers should be a key target again despite his lack of rushing upside.
The North Carolina Tar Heels' quarterback Sam Howell ($11,500) takes his rightful place at the top of the salary pool for quarterbacks. Howell's 101.3 rushing yards per game is tops of any quarterback despite just 12 rushing attempts. When he has taken off, it has been for big chunks, and the NFL prospect is still a threat throwing the ball. North Carolina is a 12.5-point favorite at Georgia Tech, but perhaps the road environment keeps that one close enough for Howell to go crazy in a game with a 63.5 total.
Finally, D.J. Uiagalelei ($8,200) might be under-salaried and worth a dice roll. The general perception around Uiagalelei is that he is struggling following a shutout loss to Georgia, but he still presents dual-threat upside for an efficient offense filled with NFL playmakers. With 28.7 pass attempts and 5.3 rush attempts per game, he still is a talented quarterback getting volume in an efficient offense, and unlike many Clemson Saturdays in the ACC, Uiagalelei likely will have to play the entire contest on the road at North Carolina State as moderate 12.5-point favorites.
|Kenneth Walker III||MSU||30||27||57||53.3%||3||5.2%|
|Pat Garwo III||BC||17||17||36||34.6%||0||0.0%|
|Ulysses Bentley IV||SMU||16||13||32||33.7%||3||5.7%|
|Ricky Person Jr.||NCST||10||8||32||36.4%||2||8.9%|
The star of the show -- and presumptive most-drafted running back on Saturday's main slate -- should be Jaylen Warren ($8,700). Warren has totally separated from LD Brown in what was a committee, as Warren saw 32 carries (and zero targets) last week against Boise State. Brown only saw six total opportunities, which is why he does not even show on the table. Oklahoma State and Utah State's total is fairly low at 45.5 points, but both the over and Oklahoma State's -5.5 spread are both five-star bets in numberFire's model for a reason. If Warren rushes the way he did last week, he may score multiple times himself.
The trend in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish backfield is worth highlighting. It is normally a great one for daily fantasy most weeks but perhaps not in a game sitting at a 46.5-point total with a tight spread against Wisconsin. Kyren Williams ($8,100) saw just 15 total opportunities after at least 19 total chances in his first two contests. Surprisingly, Chris Tyree ($5,700) matched him in total opportunities, but it is likely because of his strength as a pass-catcher. Tyree is averaging 10.3 yards per reception and, appropriately, has seen 10 targets in three games.
As someone who recommended Mississippi State running back Joaquavious Marks ($7,300) in back-to-back weeks, he has lost his lion's share of volume in the backfield. Dillon Johnson ($6,600) saw a superior workload with seven carries and eight targets, but especially against an above-average rush defense in LSU (ranked 58th in rush yards per game), this backfield is a total avoid in daily fantasy at the moment. There are still plenty of pass-catchers to pair with Will Rogers, however.
|Kevin Austin Jr.||ND||8||26.7%||0.0%||22||22.9%||17.0%|
|Reggie Roberson Jr.||SMU||6||12.8%||9.6%||16||14.2%||13.5%|
Speaking of Bulldogs' pass catchers to stack with Will Rogers, Makai Polk ($7,500) delivered as a value play last week and still remains under-salaried given his role in the pass-heavy Mississippi State attack. Polk saw 14 targets last week, and he has seen at least 10 targets in all three weeks. Polk's salary would profile him closer to a small slot receiver, but he is averaging 7.03 yards per target with the heavy volume. Polk only has one touchdown amongst his 32 targets, and with the college average at a 5.52% touchdown rate on total targets in college football this year, he is likely due for continued regression in that department.
Erik Azukanama ($8,400) might be an interesting spot to spend salary in another air-raid offense. Texas Tech is an 8.5-point underdog to Texas, which seems to imply a close enough contest in the perfect game script for this style of offense. Azukanama has a 34.2% overall target share in 2021, and he may be a "buy-low" candidate in this spot after only seeing 6 targets last week. Azukanama has the highest share of his team's total receiving yards (43.8%) on the main slate.
Stacking with Sam Howell is simple enough, too, as Josh Downs ($10,000) has had a dominant workload this year, as well. Downs' 38.3% share of UNC's targets is the top mark on this slate, and his yardage share (43.8%) is only second to Azukanama.
Fitting the pair in with Bo Melton ($6,800) and Zay Flowers ($5,900) may make sense, as both Melton and Flowers have over 33% of their teams' total receiving yards. Flowers' Boston College Eagles are 1.5-point underdogs hosting Missouri, and the total in that game is a healthy 58.5 points. Melton and Rutgers are 20.5-point underdogs to Michigan, which is less than ideal, but at least numberFire's model likes Rutgers to cover and for the total to exceed 49.5.