College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 9/1/22

College Football is back and FanDuel's college football DFS main slate on Thursday includes seven games.

In case you're unfamiliar with how it works, you can check out the rules and scoring on FanDuel, where you can hit the lobby each week to see the full array of slates and contests being offered.

As for the basics, your roster consists of a quarterback slot, two running backs, three wide receivers (which also includes tight ends), and one "Super FLEX". In the Super FLEX spot, 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 DFS projections, game projections, and market share report to tackle as many slates as possible in the lead-up to the College Football Playoff. In this piece, we are breaking down Thursday's main slate, which locks at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Let's look at which players are in great spots as well as identify some players with low salaries who will allow you to roster the high-salary players.


Hendon Hooker, Tennessee ($11,500) – Hooker has one of the highest ceilings in all of college football. He's an outstanding runner and an efficient passer. The senior ran for 616 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games last season. Hooker ranked third nationally in passing efficiency (181.4 rating). The matchup with the Ball State Cardinals is a phenomenal one. The Cardinals had one of the nation's worst defenses last season, allowing 419.4 total yards per game to opposing offenses (96th nationally). Hooker is the top overall play on the slate.

John Rhys Plumlee, Central Florida ($10,600) – Rhys Plumlee was announced as the starting quarterback for the Central Florida Knights. He's a familiar name in DFS circles after starting his career at Mississippi. In 2019, as a freshman, Rhys Plumlee put up some massive box scores as a dual-threat quarterback for the Rebels. Over the course of nine games, the electric playmaker ran for 1,023 yards and twelve touchdowns. He cleared 100 rushing yards in five out of those nine games. He should thrive in head coach Gus Malzahn's spread offense this season.

Sean Clifford, Penn State ($9,400) – Blowout potential is a real concern on Thursday night. Five out of the slate's seven games feature spreads of 20-plus points. However, Sean Clifford and the Penn State Nittany Lions' starters will likely play the entire four quarters. The Nittany Lions are only a 3.5-point favorite against the Purdue Boilermakers, according to the FanDuel Sportsbook. Clifford offers dual-threat upside, and the matchup is intriguing. The senior quarterback accounted for 23 touchdowns a season ago. The Boilermakers ranked 48th in total defense, allowing 366.6 yards per game last season. They also lost star defensive end George Karlaftis to the NFL, and the defensive secondary could be vulnerable due to preseason injuries.

Others to Consider: Spencer Sanders ($10,000), Brady Cook ($9,000), Aidan O'Connell ($8,800), Kedon Slovis ($8,500), JT Daniels ($8,200) and Matthew Downing ($7,600).

Running Backs

Jabari Small, Tennessee ($9,000) – Small emerged as the Volunteers' lead running back in 2021. The junior recorded five rushing touchdowns over the final three games a season ago. He averaged an impressive 118.7 rushing yards per game during that time. I like his chances of starting the 2022 season off on the right foot. The Volunteers' opponent, Ball State, allowed an average of 4.34 rushing yards per carry (95th nationally) last season. They were hammered for 22 rushing touchdowns in 13 games. Backfield mate Jaylen Wright ($6,100) should also see plenty of action in the season opener. He averaged 15 carries per game over the final three games last season despite splitting the backfield with Small.

Dominic Richardson, Oklahoma State ($8,400)Oklahoma State Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy has mentioned that Richardson needs to be ready to handle 18-plus carries per game if needed. The running backs behind Richardson are inexperienced. All indications point to the Doak Walker candidate operating as a bell-cow running back this season. The Cowboys have one of the highest implied team totals on the slate (41.00). Richardson is in line for a productive night.

On the other side of the ball is Central Michigan Chippewas star running back Lew Nichols III ($10,200). Nichols led the nation in rushing with an average of 142.2 rushing yards per game. He may be a contrarian option on Thursday night.

Elijah Young, Missouri ($5,800) – Young served as Tyler Badie's backup last season. The Tigers will also use Cody Shrader ($8,200) and Nathaniel Peat ($6,700) at running back to start the year. Peat's workload may be limited to due a soft tissue injury. Regardless, Young is a great source of salary relief. He should have plenty of opportunities against Louisiana Tech's questionable run defense. Louisiana Tech was throttled for 25 rushing touchdowns in 12 games last season.

Others to Consider: Mo Ibrahim ($12,000), Isaiah Bowser ($9,100), Tony Mathis Jr. ($7,100), and Johnny Richardson ($6,600).

Wide Receivers

Cedric Tillman, Tennessee ($9,800) – Tillman emerged as Hooker's favorite target in the Tennessee passing game last season. The big-bodied wide receiver recorded at least five receptions in eight straight games to end the 2021 campaign. He averaged an eye-opening 139 receiving yards over the final four games. On Thursday, the senior has a great chance to extend his touchdown streak to eight games.

Broc Thompson, Purdue ($7,500) – The Boilermakers ranked fifth nationally in passing yards per game (355.4) last season. Thompson figures to be quarterback Aiden O'Connell's top target in the passing game. The senior exploded for seven receptions, 217 receiving yards, and two touchdowns in Purdue's bowl win over the Volunteers a season ago.

Jared Wayne, Pittsburgh ($6,100) – Wayne has the difficult task of trying to replace the ultra-productive Jordan Addison. He should be heavily targeted in the Pittsburgh Panthers' air raid offense this season. The Panthers averaged 36.3 pass attempts per game last year. Wayne drew 64 targets in 13 games, which ranked second among Pittsburgh pass catchers last year. He is under-salaried for his expected role.

Luther Burden, Missouri ($5,500) Burden is just the third consensus five-star recruit to sign with Missouri. He will make his collegiate debut as the Tigers' starting X-receiver. Despite Burden's inexperience, I'm willing to bet on his talent, especially at his current salary. The freshman provides major cap relief on Thursday night.

Others to Consider: Chris Autman-Bell ($9,500), Ryan O'Keefe ($8,700), Mitchell Tinsley ($8,500), Parker Washington ($7,600), Bryce Ford-Wheaton ($7,100), Konata Mumpfield ($7,000), Jaden Bray ($7,000), Jayshon Jackson ($6,900), Payne Durham ($6,200), Kobe Hudson ($5,900), and Jalin Hyatt ($5,800).