College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 10/28/21

Week 8 of college football is here! FanDuel's college football main slate on Thursday includes two games.

In case you're unfamiliar with how it works, you can check out the rules and scoring here. 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 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 Thursday's main slate, which locks at 7:30 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.


Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina ($12,000) - McCall, uncharacteristically, struggled in the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers' loss to Appalachian State Mountaineers in their most recent game. However, I'm expecting McCall to bounce back against the Troy Trojans. McCall leads the nation in pass efficiency and the dual-threat quarterback has accounted for 17 total touchdowns through seven games. I'm expecting him to post a monster box score as Troy is allowing 7.53 yards per pass attempt.

Holton Ahlers, East Carolina ($10,500) - Ahlers has accounted for 14 total touchdowns through seven games and he's averaging 251.9 passing yards per game. The dual-threat quarterback has attempted 32-plus passes in four out of the last five games. The East Carolina Pirates signal-caller has a dream matchup on Thursday night. The Pirates opponent, the South Florida Bulls, are allowing 264.7 passing yards per game (108th nationally). Additionally, they have been torched for 16 touchdown passes through seven games.

South Florida's Timmy McClain ($6,000) is banged up and will be headed for a game-time decision on Thursday night. The dual-threat quarterback is the best salary-saving option at quarterback, if he plays. However, if he's out, the Bulls will likely play two quarterbacks.

Running Backs

Jared Mangham, South Florida ($8,800) - The junior is averaging 19.0 carries per game over the last four games and has racked up 12 touchdowns over the last six games. Look for the talented running back to add to his touchdown total as the Bulls face off with a struggling ECU run defense. The Pirates are allowing 143.7 rushing yards per game (57th nationally). They have been slammed for 14 rushing touchdowns through seven games.

Reese White, Coastal Carolina ($8,500) - Reese White and Shermari Jones ($9,400) form one of the best backfield duos outside of the Power Five conference schools. White seems like the preferred running back as he's averaging nearly 11 more snaps per game than Jones over the last three games as well as offering a significant discount from Jones. While the matchup with the Troy Trojans is difficult (Troy is only allowing 95.4 rushing yards per game), Coastal Carolina is carrying a massive implied team total of 36.

Keaton Mitchell, East Carolina ($7,800) - Despite splitting snaps with backfield mate, Rahjai Harris ($7,000), Keaton Mitchell has a secure workload. The freshman is averaging 14.0 carries per game over the last six games. He is also averaging 104.5 rushing yards during that time span. Further enhancing his appeal is a home run matchup with South Florida. The Bulls rank 114th nationally in rushing yards allowed per game (200.7). They have allowed an eye-opening 14 rushing touchdowns through seven games.

BJ Smith, Troy ($5,400) - We need to get contrarian somewhere and this is where Smith makes sense. Over Smith's last two games, the senior has 158 rushing yards and 1 rushing touchdown on 30 carries. The Troy Trojans running back returned from an injury absence (one game) and recorded 21 snaps in last week's game. Prior to the injury, Smith was essentially splitting snaps with backfield mate, Kimani Vidal ($6,800). He will likely fly under the radar due to the matchup with Coastal Carolina.

Wide Receivers

Jaivon Heiligh, Coastal Carolina ($9,500) - Heiligh has cleared 100-receiving yards in four out of seven games this season and he is commanding an impressive 28.3% target share, which leads the Chanticleers. The senior is averaging 5.0 receptions per game in 2021 and it won't be a surprise if he is very popular. Coastal Carolina tight end, Isaiah Likely ($9,000), will almost certainly carry less rostership percentage than Heiligh. He makes for a fine pivot if you're investing in a high-end wide receiver.

Audie Omotosho, East Carolina ($6,800) - Omotosho enters Thursday night with four receptions in three consecutive games and is leading the Pirates with 79 pass routes run over the last two games. The senior primarily lines up on the outside, which should be advantageous as South Florida's main outside cornerbacks have allowed 47 receptions, 727 receiving yards, and 6 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this season (seven games).

CJ Johnson, East Carolina ($5,700) - Johnson has struggled this season, there's no way around it. He has only one touchdown reception through seven games. At his current salary, he's an intriguing target because he showed upside last season when he tallied 19 receptions, 405 receiving yards, and 6 touchdown receptions as a sophomore in 2020 (nine games).

Others to Consider: Tyler Snead ($8,500), Kam Brown ($7,700), Tez Johnson ($7,000), Xavier Weaver ($6,500 - if he plays), Luke Whittemore ($5,700), Demarcus Gregory ($5,700), Jabre Barber ($5,700), and Jimmy Horn Jr. ($5,000).

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.