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

Bryce Ford-Wheaton has been a target monster this year and is one of the slate's best options. Who else stands out?

College Football is back, and FanDuel's college football DFS main slate on Thursday includes two 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 7:30 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. All stats come from PFF unless otherwise noted.


Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina ($11,000) – The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers' quarterback is off to a fantastic start this season. The junior signal-caller has tossed nine touchdown passes through three games. His ceiling is sky-high due to his dual-threat ability. McCall has recorded 53 rushing yards and one touchdown as a ball carrier. The matchup with the Georgia State Panthers is a phenomenal one. The Panthers have allowed a slate-high 12 total touchdowns to opposing offenses through three games.

Darren Grainger, Georgia State ($10,600) – Like McCall, Grainger is also a dual-threat quarterback, piling up 172 rushing yards through three games in addition to eight touchdown passes. This is a great spot for Grainger and the Panthers' offense. Coastal Carolina is allowing 392.0 total yards per game. The Chanticleers have permitted nine total touchdowns through three games.

JT Daniels, West Virginia ($10,000) Daniels will likely be a contrarian play at quarterback. The West Virginia Mountaineers' leader is caught in salary limbo on this slate. Since Daniels is a prototypical pocket passer, I'd expect most gamers would rather roster both Grayson McCall and Darren Grainger ahead of him. However, I think Daniels can compete with both of those quarterbacks. The Mountaineers' opponent, the Virginia Tech Hokies, hasn't faced a quality offense yet this season (more on that below). Daniels and the West Virginia passing game could thrive on Thursday night.

Grant Wells, Virginia Tech ($8,600) – Wells is the salary-saving play. The Virginia Tech Hokies' quarterback does provide dual-threat upside. Through three games, Wells has accounted for five total touchdowns.

Running Backs

CJ Beasley, Coastal Carolina ($8,800) – Beasley and backfield mate, Reese White ($9,400), will be popular options. However, I will side with Beasley between the two. He comfortably out-snapped White 20 to 9 on running plays in last week's game against the Buffalo Bulls. Beasley led Coastal with 89 rushing yards in that one. He also posted 74 receiving yards and two total touchdowns.

Tony Mathis Jr., West Virginia ($7,900) – Mathis' usage is solid through three games. The sophomore has received at least 16 carries in all three contests. He may be a contrarian option at running back this week since I expect his backfield mate, CJ Donaldson ($8,300), to be more popular. Donaldson has racked up six rushing touchdowns this year. However, on running plays this season, Mathis has out-snapped Donaldson 55 to 30.

Keshawn King, Virginia Tech ($7,600) – King is expected to resume his lead-back role after missing last week's game. He is intriguing due to his versatility. Through two games, King has racked up 175 rushing yards, 27 receiving yards (four receptions), and two total touchdowns. The matchup with West Virginia is a nice spot for the Hokies' backfield. West Virginia has surrendered an eye-opening seven rushing touchdowns through three games. Jalen Holston ($6,500) will not be popular on this slate. If King is limited, Holston could play a larger role than anticipated.

Others to Consider: Tucker Gregg ($8,000)

Wide Receivers

Bryce Ford-Wheaton, West Virginia ($10,500) – Ford-Wheaton is salaried up this week, but he is worth the investment. He has drawn 37 targets in three games, which easily leads the slate (six more than Jamari Thrash). The emerging playmaker is averaging an impressive 8.0 receptions per game. The matchup with Virginia Tech may be a better one than the stats show. The Hokies have surrendered just one touchdown pass this season, but the best passing offense they've faced off with ranks 61st nationally (Boston College Eagles). West Virginia's passing attack checks in 25th.

Jamari Thrash, Georgia State ($8,700) - Thrash exploded for 10 receptions, 213 receiving yards, and one touchdown on 15 targets in last week's loss to Charlotte. The lanky wide receiver has drawn at least seven targets in all three games this season. This is a great spot for Thrash. Coastal Carolina is allowing an ugly 289.3 passing yards per game (121st nationally). They've surrendered five touchdown passes through three games.

Kaden Prather, West Virginia ($5,600) Prather is under-salaried considering he has drawn the fourth-most targets on this slate (22). He has six receptions in each of the last two games. The freshman is a tremendous source of salary relief.

Jaden Blue, Virginia Tech ($5,600) – Blue operated as a near full-time wide receiver last week for the Hokies. Unsurprisingly, he is listed on this week's depth chart as a starting wide receiver (first time this season). Quarterback Grant Wells is posting a passer rating of 124.0 when targeting Blue this season. The Jaden Blue breakout game could be coming soon. Once upon a time, Blue recorded 95 receptions and 1,067 receiving yards in a single season as a Temple Owl (2019).

Other notes on this slate's pass catchers:

Sam Pinckney ($8,400) is the alpha wide receiver in Coastal Carolina's passing game. He leads the Chanticleers with an aDOT of 14.8. The other full-time wide receiver in Coastal Carolina's offense is Tyson Mobley ($5,400). He has three touchdown receptions through three games (eight receptions and 96 receiving yards). VT tight end Nick Gallo ($6,000) easily leads the Hokies with 90 routes run through three games. Meanwhile, Sam James ($7,600) is running nearly the same amount of pass routes as Bryce Ford-Wheaton (101 to 106, respectively).