College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 10/22/21
Week 8 of college football is here! FanDuel's college football main slate on Friday includes four games.
In case you're unfamiliar with how it works, you can check out the rules and scoring. You can check the lobby link above 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 (tight ends are included in this group), and one "Super FLEX" slot. In the "Super 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 game 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 star players are in great spots, as well as identify some players with lower salaries who will provide value to get to them.
Chase Cunningham, Middle Tennessee ($9,800) - The junior has made three starts at quarterback for Middle Tennessee State. He's racked up nine touchdown passes as a starter. Additionally, he's tallied 91 rushing yards as the Blue Raiders' starting signal-caller. Up next is a date with the Connecticut Huskies' porous defense. The Huskies have allowed a mind-boggling 34 total touchdowns through eight games. They rank 105th nationally in total defense (435.1 total yards allowed per game).
Dylan Morris, Washington ($8,400) - This is a matchup-based play. Morris has put up pedestrian numbers as the Washington Huskies' starting quarterback. However, I'm expecting Morris to succeed against the Arizona Wildcats on Friday night. Arizona is allowing 8.08 yards per pass attempt. They have surrendered 11 touchdown passes through six games. Arizona is allowing 36.3 points per game in Pac-12 play. They have lost 18 straight games.
Todd Centeio, Colorado State ($7,300) - I was surprised when I saw Centeio's low salary on Friday night. For starters, Centeio is a dual-threat quarterback, and the Colorado State Rams' trigger man is an eruption spot. The Utah State Aggies own one of the nation's worst defenses, sitting 108th nationally in total defense. They are allowing 441.5 total yards per game and have surrendered 21 touchdowns to enemy offenses. Back to Centeio, he's a better runner than passer. The senior is averaging 39.7 rushing yards per game. He has accounted for seven touchdowns through six games.
David Bailey, Colorado State ($9,200) - The big 240-pound running back should have plenty of running room on Friday night against Utah State. The Aggies are allowing 206.7 rushing yards per game (119th nationally), including an eye-opening 5.56 yards per carry. Bailey has played in five games this season and has tallied 86 carries (20-plus in two out of his last three games) with four rushing touchdowns. Additionally, Bailey is a capable pass-catcher. The senior has eight receptions, 68 receiving yards, and two touchdown receptions.
Brandon Thomas, Memphis ($8,500) - Thomas is operating in a near workhorse role for the Tigers. He's received 15-plus carries in all but one game this season. The freshman has found pay dirt seven times through seven games. He is an intriguing target in a good matchup. The Central Florida Knights have struggled to defend the run this season. They are ranked 95th in rushing yards allowed per game (176.7 per game) and have yielded 13 rushing touchdowns through six games.
Nathan Carter, Connecticut ($5,900) - Yes, Connecticut is one of the worst teams in college football. However, I can't ignore Carter's salary considering how often he's utilized in the Huskies offense. The freshman is averaging 20.3 carries per game over the last three games. During that time span, he's eclipsed 100 rushing yards in two of those games. Further enhancing his appeal is that Middle Tennessee State is allowing 4.63 yards per carry to opposing ball carriers.
Running back is the spot to get contrarian with your lineup on Friday night. I like two other running backs with low salaries who carry some risk. They are Washington's Kamari Pleasant ($6,500) and Arizona's Drake Anderson ($6,000). Pleasant is listed as a co-starter on this week's depth chart. He's averaging 6.9 yards per attempt. If he slides into the lead role, he could pay off in spades. Anderson is a game-time decision. He left the Wildcats' last game early due to an injury. If he starts at running back, he's a fine play. Washington ranks 104th in rushing yards allowed per game (189.3 yards per game). I prefer Pleasant over Anderson if choosing between the two running backs.
Also, Isaiah Bowser ($8,200) is in a similar situation at a higher salary. He essentially split snaps with Johnny Richardson ($6,100) in last week's blowout loss. Prior to his two-game injury absence, Bowser was UCF's lead running back.
Others to Consider:
Calvin Austin III, Memphis ($11,500) - This is the second straight week Calvin Austin III has been included on the Friday night slate. Austin III is a cheat code at wide receiver. The diminutive speedster has at least one touchdown in every game this season (nine total). He's averaging an impressive 122.4 receiving yards per game, which ranks fifth nationally. He'll be very chalky, but he's the one wide receiver who could really separate from his peers on this slate.
Ryan O'Keefe, Central Florida ($8,200) - O'Keefe seems to be the apple of quarterback Mike Keene's eye. Keene has targeted O'Keefe 21 times over the last two games. The junior leads the Knights with 375 receiving yards. He has one of the best matchups on the slate. Memphis is ranked 117th in passing yards allowed per game (277.6, the most on the slate). They've allowed 16 touchdown passes through seven games (second-most on the slate).
Dante Wright, Colorado State ($6,500) - Wright is significantly under-salaried if he returns to the lineup this week. He's missed three straight games due to injury. Reportedly, he was going to play limited snaps last week but was ultimately held out. Wright is a freak athlete and blessed with exceptional speed. Essentially, Wright has played in two games this season and has drawn 17 total targets. He posted 20 receptions and 315 receiving yards over three games a season ago.
If Wright is ruled out, consider pivoting to Washington's Cade Otton ($6,000). He's averaging 7.0 targets per game this season. He'll square off with an Arizona pass defense that has allowed 11 touchdown passes through six games.
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.