College Football Daily Fantasy Helper, Presented by DiGIORNO: Saturday 8/27/22
With daily fantasy football so popular, it was only a matter of time before it translated to the college level.
FanDuel offers college football daily fantasy contests now in most states, and there's a twist on the NFL ruleset. You select a quarterback, two running backs, three wideouts (which can include tight ends), and a "SuperFLEX" that can be any of those positions.
Target data for pass-catchers in college can be difficult to find, so finding out which players are on the field and getting work can make all the difference. Naturally, there are also more lopsided outcomes in college, so balance game scripts appropriately as well! Your running back's monstrous first half could lead to a bagel in the second.
Week 0 doesn't have the biggest names and teams, but hey, college football is back.
As if that's not enough reason to play...what's better than watching college football? Watching college football and having a chance at a slice of a $10,000 pie. Enter DiGIORNO's Saturday Slice Challenge and draft your team for a chance to win.
Note: All stats are from PFF.com.
Because they include FCS opponents, three games on the slate don't have college football odds listed on FanDuel Sportsbook:
The FBS teams at home should roll in each of those contests.
There's some risk at the top to consider in tournaments, but lock Austin Reed ($11,700) into cash games.
He'll replace Bailey Zappe at pass-happy Western Kentucky this year, and even though the Hilltoppers likely roll in this one, Reed should pile up a few passing scores. He's not projected to be a threat on the ground, so there is some chance he disappoints this lofty salary if they choose to lean on the ground game as the score separates.
That's why, in tournaments, I prefer Jordan Travis ($11,200). Florida State should win big as well, but Travis is a dual-threat. He posted 530 yards and 7 touchdowns on the ground last year after taking over during conference play. Duquesne likely won't have an answer.
As for my favorite tournament quarterback, it's N'Kosi Perry ($8,900). The former Miami (FL) signal-caller is positioned well with Florida Atlantic just a 7.5-point favorite in a game where they're implied to score 33.0 points. Still, he's unlikely to face a significant threat from a Charlotte squad that has a defense ranked 130th in ESPN's SP+ projections entering the season. He's going to ball.
For a budget option, Andrew Peasley ($6,100) may not have the most efficient day passing, but Wyoming is projected to trail with a 10.5-point spread at Illinois. He's still a starting quarterback in a game where the Cowboys will have a chance to move the ball, and if the Illini's secondary is rusty in the opener, he'll easily pay off this tiny salary.
Logan Bonner ($10,600) and Casey Thompson ($9,600) also merit consideration as heavy-to-moderate favorites, but I prefer the others.
We'll have to save somewhere, and I think we can at running back.
Wyoming is projected in the SP+ rankings as the 119th-best defense in the country, so Chase Brown ($8,800) can get off to a strong start in a backfield he dominated late last year. Overall, Brown reached 16.9 attempts per game on the season, and unlike the other top backs, his game could stay moderately competitive.
With Connecticut essentially an FCS school at this point, Utah State's Calvin Tyler Jr. ($10,000) should have no issues moving the ball. He just may be limited if the 27.5-point favorites pull away. Tyler posted 15.4 carries per game last year.
Johnny Ford ($8,300) is an interesting stack with Perry. You'll have a good shot to encapsulate most of what could be a 40-burger from the Owls against Charlotte. Florida Atlantic was 58th in pass rate last season in FBS, so they've been willing to go to the ground.
Heavy favorites Treshaun Ward ($9,000) and Kye Robichaux ($8,000) have multiple-touchdown upside like Tyler Jr., but their teams utilized running backs less around the goal line than Tyler's Aggies a year ago.
Charles Williams had a 78.1% rush share for UNLV last season, so they could hand a heavy dosage of work to new starter Aidan Robbins ($7,300).
However, the best value play on the entire slate is Nebraska's Rahmir Johnson ($5,300). The Cornhuskers are 13.5-point favorites in Ireland against the Northwestern Wildcats, and Johnson is listed at the top of their running back depth chart. He's superseded Anthony Grant ($6,900) in that department, but both could see plenty of work.
Here's where we want to stack the other side of some of our targets thus far.
The perfect rounding of a Perry-Ford stack might be Charlotte's Grant DuBose ($8,700). There are no questions about who the 49ers' lead wideout is; DuBose had a 27.1% target share last year. It's a great, consolidated passing attack for daily fantasy considering Victor Tucker ($7,200) and his 21.9% target share are still on the other side as well.
UNLV's Kyle Williams ($8,100) had a 28.3% target share last year, so even while his workload is likely diminished versus the FCS opponent, he's the clear top guy in that passing attack at a reasonable salary.
Western Kentucky lost their top wideout, Jerreth Sterns, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so Malachi Corley ($9,500) is the likely replacement. Sterns got 13.4 targets per game, so Corley is well worth what is likely a shortened workload in Week 0.
Daewood Davis ($7,800) is a clear second option there, and Michael Mathison ($6,600) is a super interesting dart since he may play more with the second stringers.
Drae McCray ($7,500) led Austin Peay with 6.3 targets per game last season, and won't be popular on the FCS squad.
A similar type of play could be Joey Isabella ($5,700), who led Duquesne with a 26.2% target share last season. He's more of a high-floor slot guy for cash games that will see work as the Dukes trail.
However, the perfect compliment to our budget quarterback Peasley is Joshua Cobbs ($5,800). Cobbs mostly fell behind upperclassmen last year, logging just 3.3 targets per game. Still, at 9.9 yards per reception, Cobbs is a big play threat that is listed atop the Pokes' depth chart.