College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 10/10/15
So sorry everyone.
I wasn't even close last week! I hit on just two players, Greg Ward and Jared Dangerfield. It was a high-scoring but weird day for both college football and daily fantasy.
I'm not going to dwell any longer though. Just two weeks ago I hit on almost every player I suggested, so trusting the process and staying the course is all we can do. Let's hope this week's more like two weeks ago than last week.
This week, I'm all about the early slate over at FanDuel. They've got a 15-game lineup ripe for your picking. The noon slate includes three games with an over/under of at least 74.5 points. Needless to say those are the games you should be getting the most exposure to.
The same things cannot be said for the nine-game late slate. Vegas doesn't project any super high-scoring games for any of the nine so don't expect to see as much fantasy juiciness. Nonetheless, there are players and matchups to target.
I'll be using our in-house college football projections to tell you what those are. 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 get to it!
Early Slate - Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech ($8,600)
In last week's loss to Baylor, Mahomes showed us just how healthy he is. Despite the losing effort, Mahomes threw for over 400 yards and 3 touchdowns and scampered for a fourth score. That's good enough for 36.5 points on FanDuel, which is right around Mahomes average (36.2) on the season. That's not a bad average to hope for in a guy who comes at a slight discount compared to some of the other top options on the early slate. Not to mention the Red Raiders find themselves in a favorable matchup at home against Iowa State. The over/under is set at 74.5 with a spread of just 10.5 points in favor of the home team. Our model likes Texas Tech to sling it around to the tune of more than 314 yards so Mahomes should meet and exceed expectations at his price point.
Late Slate - Trevone Boykin, Texas Christian ($10,000)
I really like the idea of paying up for Boykin this week. His ownership should be a little low this week as TCU faces off against a slow-paced Kansas State team with a very solid rush defense. To be honest though I really don't like many other options in the late slate and I don't buy into a possible down week for Boykin and the Horned Frogs for one second. Boykin has shown that even if he doesn't run a lot he can still put up 40 fantasy points with his arm. He hasn't had a rushing touchdown nor has he had more than 52 yards either of the last two weeks. Now, as a result of the outstanding Wildcat rush defense, Boykin should air it out even more. Our projections like him to throw for over 267 yards in a game that Vegas sees TCU scoring about 37 points.
Top Running Backs
Early - Shock Linwood, Baylor ($8,100)
With a slight discount on a guy like Mahomes at quarterback and the two mid-priced wideouts below, spending up for a game with the potential of Shock Linwood this week could be a wise investment. The Baylor back ran for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns a week ago in a blowout of Texas Tech, so why not expect the same in another likely blowout this week? The Bears are 45-point favorites in a game with an over/under of 78.5 points. Baylor will score a lot and do so early, so I'd expect their lead back to be a big part of their game plan from the start. The numbers think so too. We see Baylor rushing for over 250 yards and 25 first downs against the lowly Kansas defense.
Late - LJ Scott, Michigan State ($6,200)
I don't see any matchup in the late slate worth paying up for a big-time running back. There is a lot of value to be had at the position for members of committee efforts in favorable matchups. One of those is LJ Scott, Michigan State's backup running back. Scott is only a backup by term, as he had one more rush, 49 yards (146 yards) and 2 more touchdowns than Madre London a week ago. Scott is averaging over 6 yards per carry and should see 15 or more carries with a run-heavy game script at Rutgers. The Spartans are favored by 13 points so, as a result, we expect them to rush for more than 225 yards against a horrible Rutgers run defense.
Top Wide Receivers
Early - Jakeem Grant, Texas Tech ($6,900) & Tajae Sharpe, Massachusetts ($6,800)
To know why Grant is a good player to target, see Mahomes, Patrick above. If the Red Raiders find themselves in the shootout this one's expected to be, Grant could be in for a very productive day on the other end of Mahomes' passes. He's already averaging 7 catches for over 96 yards per game and has 2 touchdowns so far this year. He's Mahomes' favorite target -- and oh yeah, two of his fellow Red Raider receivers are questionable to play this week. Need I say more?
If you've been keeping track of Massachusetts at all this season you know two things: 1. The Minutemen throw the ball a lot, and 2. They throw it to Tajae Sharpe a lot. That's right -- Massachusetts quarterback Blake Frohnapfel has thrown the ball at least 40 times in each of the past three games. And in those same three games Sharpe has 34 catches for 398 yards and a touchdown. The one touchdown (on the season) may be a yellow flag to many players, but Vegas has Massachusetts pegged for upwards of 33 points in a high-scoring affair with Bowling Green. Sharpe is likely to have one of his team's touchdowns on one of his many catches.
Late - Josh Doctson, Texas Christian ($8,700) & Shelton Gibson, West Virginia ($6,000)
I don't mean to repeat myself but Doctson is another receiver worth stacking with his signal caller this week. He may carry a hefty salary but he already has 8 touchdowns on the season and 5 in his last two games. Doctson's also got 42 receptions for 722 yards through the first five games of 2015. He's Boykin's go-to-guy so he should see a lot of targets in a pass-heavy game this week against Kansas State.
Gibson comes into his matchup with Oklahoma State with great upside at a very reasonable price. Gibson has 15 catches and 4 touchdowns through four games this season, so we know he's a big play guy. That's quite all right because the Mountaineers (6.5-point favorites), according to Vegas, should score roughly 33 points in a fairly high-scoring game. The passing game should be a big factor in that. Our projections expect West Virginia to bounce back from a tough loss against Oklahoma last week with over 267 yards passing -- so Gibson should have a good opportunity to rack up some fantasy points.
Top Tight Ends
Early - Derek Lee, Bowling Green ($2,000)
It's no secret that I'm punting at tight end this week. There aren't really any premier plays, so there's no reason to spend up. Be cheap, spend up elsewhere and hope for a lucky touchdown out of your player of choice. My guy's Derek Lee. Lee is Bowling Green's number one tight end with 10 catches, 75 yards and a score on the year. His individual stats aren't all that impressive, but he's going to be at least a small part of the big over/under in the UMass/Bowling Green air show.
Late - Kody Kohl, Arizona State ($2,800)
Not as much of a punt as in the early slate, but I'm still making sure to fit in the guys I want in the late slate. Kohl's not minimum salary, but he does provide more upside than those cheaper options. He's averaging over 3 receptions and nearly 36 yards per game with two trips to the end zone this year. The high upside comes into play as a result of the 15-point spread and an over/under of 56 points. Specifically, we project over 268 passing yards for the Sun Devils, so Kohl's not a bad roll of the dice.