College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 10/3/15
Usually I type up a little intro saying how exciting college football Saturday is and how much more exciting it gets whenever you're playing daily fantasy college football. If you're a frequent reader of this article or just a huge college football couch potato, you should know how exciting it is by now.
And if you read this article last week, you should've done pretty well for yourself, with the exception of a couple Ole Misses (Chad Kelly and Cody Core). You're welcome and I'm sorry -- can't win 'em all.
But this week's a new week and we can't win anything with our picks last week nor can we lose any more cash as a result of our misses. So let's look ahead to what this week has in store.
Just like a week ago, we have a great day of games ahead. Mississippi State heads to College Station to take on Texas A&M, West Virginia goes on the road to face Oklahoma and, most intriguing of all, Texas Tech and Baylor meet in JerryWorld for a good old-fashioned Texas gun show.
Who should you target from these games and the many others on tap tomorrow?
I'll be using our in-house college football projections to tell you. Our projections produce team-based statistics based on our algorithms, so this type of approach is logical, as the basic principles of any daily fantasy sport are to target high point projections and teams that are supposed to perform well offensively.
Let's target away!
Early Slate - Greg Ward, Jr., Houston Cougars ($9,200)
Baylor, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, California, Washington State and Western Kentucky are all high-powered passing offenses in this week's early slate. Now you probably think I'm stupid when I say forget them, but four of those six quarterbacks are priced higher than Greg Ward, Jr. -- and that's a mistake. With 12 out of his team's 17 offensive touchdowns, Ward is the Cougars offense. In three games, he is averaging nearly 262 passing yards and 97 rushing yards per contest. What puts him over the top though is the matchup. According to our metrics, Tulsa has the fourth worst passing defense and 12th worst rushing defense in the country. Blowout city right? You would think so, but the over/under for this game is 80 and the spread is just 7 points. Tulsa's offense should keep them within range, so it's no wonder we have Houston pegged for over 460 yards of total offense. Ward's in for a huge day.
Late Slate - Dak Prescott, Mississippi State ($8,300)
While the early slate of games contains numerous appealing quarterback options, the late slate leaves much to be desired. I nor our numbers like the top priced guys all that much so I'll be sliding down a few shekels to Prescott in order to ensure production with a little bit of upside. Prescott hasn't put up the same gaudy numbers he put up a year ago, but he has still had so many opportunities to excel. He may only have 9 total touchdowns, but through 4 games, he's had 15 pass attempts and 4 rushing attempts in the opponent's red zone. Prescott should have many opportunities to score this week as his Bulldogs meet up with the Aggies in a game with an over/under of 63 points. And while the Bulldogs are 6.5-point underdogs our numbers like them to pile up over 400 yards of total offense and outgain A&M.
Top Running Backs
Early - Patrick Skov, Georgia Tech ($5,700)
He might not be the number one play on Saturday, but when you factor in price, he brings a lot of value to the table. Skov has been a big part of the Georgia Tech option game so far this year so the value is in the opportunity. He is averaging 15 carries per game and finished last week's game against Duke with a season-high 19 totes. He hasn't blown anybody's minds with just under 66 yards per game, but Skov has 5 rushing and 2 receiving touchdowns on the year. He has an even greater opportunity to put up big points in a matchup with North Carolina. The Tar Heels are in the bottom 20 in terms of adjusted yards allowed per rush, so it only follows that we project the Yellow Jackets to rush for roughly 250 yards.
Late - Paul Perkins, UCLA ($8,200)
There are many good to great running backs in the 7:00 p.m. slate, but you'll probably need to budget yourself a little if you're paying up at quarterback like you'll likely have to here. With that in mind, Paul Perkins seems like the most bang for your buck. He's coming off a 3-touchdown game and is averaging north of 125 rushing yards per contest this year. He should also take advantage of a positive game script. The Bruins are favored by 13.5 points over the Sun Devils. so they should be looking to ice the game late in addition to establishing Perkins early. The numbers concur as we expect UCLA to rush for a total of 180 yards.
Top Wide Receivers
Early - Jared Dangerfield, Western Kentucky ($6,800)
It was only a week ago that I suggested a Western Kentucky wide receiver in this article. This week is no different -- same team, different name. Last week it was Taywan Taylor, who had a huge game in his own right last week, but this week it's Jared Dangerfield's turn. He is coming off an 11-catch performance in which he tallied 148 yards and a touchdown. That performance showed me that he's ready to produce like he did a year ago (825 yards and 11 touchdowns). I think he's now ready to prove that he is the number one guy he was expected to be in a more than favorable matchup against Rice. According to our numbers, the Owls have the third-worst pass defense in the nation and the Hilltoppers have the nation's 11th-best passing offense. That's why we got Western Kentucky totaling over 311 passing yards in what should be a high-scoring affair.
Late - Bralon Addison, Oregon ($6,000)
Addison leads the Ducks in receiving yards (216) and is tied for the team lead with 2 touchdown receptions, but he's averaging just 4.5 grabs and 54 yards per game in 2015. That's nothing to get too excited about, but the upside, like with many players, is in the opportunity. Addison has received over 20% of Oregon's targets and has been targeted 6 times in the red zone in 4 games. He's also part of a matchup with an over/under of 69 points, and as 7.5-point favorites, Oregon is projected to score upwards of 38 points against Colorado. We expect the Ducks to throw for a moderate 229 yards, but touchdowns are to be had in this game.
Top Tight Ends
Early - Stephen Anderson, California ($3,600)
In this game, there is an over/under of 71.5 and Cal is favored by 18 points. That means Vegas sees the Golden Bears scoring upwards of 45 points in this one. Our numbers fully expect Jared Goff and company to put up those points via the passing game. We project them to pass for over 300 yards and tally over 25 first downs. There's no reason Anderson -- who had 46 catches, 661 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2014 -- shouldn't be involved in the Bears' high-scoring air assault.
Late - Gus Walley, Mississippi State ($2,000)
This is a cheap way to double up on the Mississippi State offense. Walley is at minimum salary on FanDuel and surprisingly brings a promising amount of production to the table. He has 15 catches, 109 yards and a touchdown on the season. It doesn't hurt that, like I mentioned above, this game should be fairly high scoring, and I'd expect Prescott to be throwing the ball a lot. Walley is a great form of salary relief and could even give you double-digit points against the Aggies.