College Football Single-Game Daily Fantasy Helper: National Championship (TCU vs. Georgia)
This year, we actually got some incredible College Football Playoff games. Those are likely what the brain trust envisioned when this format started in 2014. As a result of them, the defending champion Georgia Bulldogs will face the Texas Christian Horned Frogs at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, CA.
For those unfamiliar, single-game college football slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, roster construction instead features an "MVP" slot accompanied by four flex slots. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial to balance floor and ceiling for optimal lineup builds.
With that in mind, let's preview the single-game slate between TCU and Georgia on FanDuel.
As one would expect given TCU's Cinderella-like run, oddsmakers aren't counting on them being wholly competitive here.
The Horned Frogs are a 12.5-point underdog with a total set at 62.5. Right now, as one would expect, 82% of bets and 76% of the money is on the Frogs to cover. In terms of recruiting and personnel in the trenches, Georgia bullied SEC foes all season, so the spread-system Frogs aren't expected to have an edge physically.
There is still a 25.0 implied team total on that side, though, so we can expect a bit of scoring -- especially since the Dawgs have been gashed for 850 yards passing in their past two games.
|Team||Defensive Passing Yards
Per Attempt Rank (FBS)
|Defensive Rushing Yards
Per Attempt Rank (FBS)
This table is why the spread is what it is.
No one believes TCU's Big 12 competition was more difficult than Georgia's, and the reigning champs' defense performed better in yards per attempt (YPA) in both phases.
The Bulldogs have turned nearly every school into a one-dimensional program, and that would be an issue for Texas Christian. They passed for only 225 yards against Michigan but ran for 263. Can they keep up without their running game?
Stetson Bennett ($16,000) tops the FanDuel player pool, but the Georgia signal-caller isn't a slam dunk to be the slate's MVP.
At only 16.3 rushing yards per game, the senior doesn't contribute there. Georgia's 47.2% pass rate this season is also just 72nd in FBS. He's wholly reliant on passing touchdowns -- which he can throw. He's topped three touchdowns in three of his past four games. The problem? That's his only three times this season. If this game gets out of hand, Bennett could dud entirely.
I'd so much rather turn to Max Duggan ($15,000). As mentioned, Georgia's rush defense will put this game on his shoulders. He may not deliver, but he'll be slinging it from a projected deficit all game -- perhaps even after this one is decided. At 44.4 rush yards per game (and 8 total rushing scores), he can contribute there, too.
Kenny McIntosh ($14,000) is the Bulldog I'll more likely consider at MVP. Still, as I've said here all season, Georgia's market shares are ugly. McIntosh only got five carries in a back-and-forth battle with Ohio State, but he also saw six targets to lead the backfield in opportunities. Those aren't very many opportunities compared to Duggan, though.
This section should just be named for NFL Draft prospect Quentin Johnston ($11,500) from TCU. Johnston's nine targets in the Fiesta Bowl accounted for 33.3% of Duggan's aimed passes, and the talent was on display with a crosser he took 76 yards to the house. His role and ability are both exceptional and blow away anyone else in this range.
Ladd McConkey ($10,500) ended up playing for Georgia in the Peach Bowl, so Brock Bowers ($12,500) -- nor any Georgia target -- made out with an elite day.
In fact, it was actually the returning Adonai Mitchell ($9,500) who led the team with six targets (19.1% share). Given Mitchell's big-play ability versus the slot receiver McConkey or tight end Bowers, he feels like a steal at his salary now that he returned to the role expected before his early-season injury.
We'll see if Kendre Miller ($11,000) can even play for TCU in this brutal matchup. He left their game versus Michigan early. While Emari Demercado ($10,000) filled in admirably with 150 yards on 17 carries, he's not a must-play value option if Miller sits given the matchup. His role should be solid, but Demercado's 3.2% target share this season -- and Miller's 5.4% one, for that matter -- isn't an elite passing-game role.
This section is where you're really taking educated darts.
Daijuan Edwards ($9,000) got a team-high eight carries against OSU, but Kendall Milton ($8,500) got the goal-line toat amidst his three carries. Both could see significant work should this game get out of hand. In Georgia's last blowout of Mississippi State, McIntosh got 13 carries, Edwards got 6, and Milton got 5.
Even though Arian Smith ($7,500) caught the long touchdown last Saturday, the rest of Georgia's wideout corps had a target share below 10.0% for the season. Truly, there's no reliable production there.
On the flip side, TCU does regularly play the same wideouts. Taye Barber ($7,000) ran 22 routes in Arizona, which was second to Johnston's 28. Derius Davis ($7,500) ran 19, and he's got a higher 14.6% target share for the season than Barber's (12.2%).
The Frogs' tight end Jared Wiley ($7,000) also ran 14 routes, and the big man caught a score.
This area is why daily fantasy is odd and different than betting. Even in a game I expect the Horned Frogs to lose handily, I'll likely look to stack a majority of TCU's significantly better market shares with Duggan in the passing game, running them back with a Georgia tailback or two.