College Football Market Share Report: Week 5
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 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.
|Michael Penix Jr.||IND||54||35.3||5.76||2.3||3.8|
A few surprises popped up entering this Saturday's main slate. Chief among them was Michael Penix Jr. ($7,200) flinging the pill 53 times for Indiana to hold off Eastern Kentucky in a game that was far closer than it should have been. Indiana is a 12.5-point underdog to Penn State on Saturday, and numberFire's model loves Indiana to cover the spread. If Indiana can hang close but trail, it is incredibly encouraging the coaching staff was willing to put the ball in Penix's hands, and that creates a tremendous opportunity at his low salary.
The same can be said for Graham Mertz ($5,700). Mertz was awful last week against Notre Dame, throwing four interceptions and completing just 43.9% of his passes. However, his salary is too low in this spot given that he is now averaging 39 pass attempts against Power 5 teams this season. Michigan has faced four lowly offenses, so Mertz could theoretically catch their defense out of the gates since they are not used to the same quality of offense that Wisconsin brings to the table. The only downside is that numberFire's betting model likes Wisconsin to cruise in this game, which could lead to a lot of running for the Badgers, but we project them for 35.11 points, so Mertz could have a big day.
Spencer Sanders ($8,200) is worth monitoring after chucking it 39 times against Kansas State. Sanders has always possessed the rushing component of a dual-threat quarterback (11.0 attempts per game), but the additional passing volume as Oklahoma State enters conference play could push him into a salary range closer to $10,000 before long. After the sketchy out-of-conference play, though, the Cowboys will need to be competitive in the Big 12 for it to matter, and Saturday should be a good start. Oklahoma State is a 3.5-point favorite over Baylor, and numberFire heavily prefers their side for a spread bet.
|Chris Rodriguez Jr.||UK||30||26||85||60.3%||4||6.9%|
|Pat Garwo III||BC||25||25||61||40.9%||0||0.0%|
The concern around Jaylen Warren ($8,900) last week was his lack of pass-game work, and he answered the bell against Kansas State with four targets. If Warren is also on the field in passing situations, with an increasingly efficient Sanders at quarterback, his workload is essentially unmatched in college football in a terrible defensive conference. Despite a weak schedule, Baylor is 73rd in rushing defense in the NCAA and just let Breece Hall scamper for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns. Yeehaw!
Overall, Bijan Robinson ($11,500) is not getting the workload you would hope for out of an $11,500 running back. Texas has been bludgeoning weaker competition, but against Arkansas and needing to score, Robinson saw only 19 carries and a single target, which produced his most disappointing outcome of the season (13.1 FanDuel points). With the 'Horns only 5.5-point favorites over TCU, this game should stay close, and TCU is 101st in FBS in rushing defense. I would expect a monster day out of the hyper-efficient back, but a path to failure could be his volume.
The last note should be around the evolving Mississippi State backfield. This offense is so fast that we want pieces of it, and the running backs importantly see plenty of passing game work in the air raid system.
This might be the rare backfield with two viable options, as Jo'Quavious Marks ($6,900) saw 13 carries and 9 targets, and Dillon Johnson ($6,300) saw 8 carries and a whopping 11 targets. These two are both under-salaried for that type of role, given they are in the $6,000 range with other part-time backs. You still get a half-point for receptions on FanDuel, and it is something to be desired from all running backs.
|Michael Woods II||OU||9||25.7%||33.6%||20||14.0%||13.8%|
|Kevin Austin Jr.||ND||9||25.0%||31.8%||31||23.5%||20.1%|
|Danny Davis III||WIS||8||22.2%||26.7%||22||24.2%||32.7%|
|John Metchie III||ALA||7||28.0%||11.4%||29||23.8%||19.1%|
|Velus Jones Jr.||TENN||6||20.0%||23.3%||14||12.3%||18.3%|
|Johnny Johnson III||ORE||5||21.7%||15.0%||16||15.4%||17.5%|
I noted this in my single-game helper for the massive SEC showdown on Saturday, but John Metchie III ($8,500) has some serious touchdown regression coming. In the most efficient offense in college football in terms of points per play, Metchie has seven more targets (29) than his next highest Alabama competitor (22), but Metchie has just one touchdown (from the opener against Miami). With a 46.10 implied team total for the Crimson Tide on Saturday, he may get those scores back in bunches.
Like Penix, Ty Fryfogle ($6,900) is under-salaried given his projected game script and his role. Fryfogle has 41 targets, but his salary is low because he has been able to turn that into just 21 receptions. Part of that is his inefficient quarterback, but the volume is there. Fryfogle is not the big-play threat many other receivers seeing a target share north of 30% are, but Penix looks his way often.
Justyn Ross ($8,000) now has a reasonable salary given his talent and role. At $6,900 on FanDuel, Ross carried north of a 25% target share into Clemson's matchup with North Carolina State, and he responded by seeing 13 of his team's total 26 targets in the overtime loss. Ross is -- arguably -- one of the best receivers in college football from a talent perspective, and he is seeing an elite workload. I want to make him a priority, but DJ Uiagalelei ($8,600) has been so inefficient (5.19 yards per attempt) that Ross is more of a one-off piece at the moment.