College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 12/5/15
At this point of the year, you get it by now.
Daily fantasy college football is the bomb diggity for college football fans. And if you think the fantasy season's slowing down now, you couldn't be more wrong.
It's championship week, and that only means that bowl season -- the single best time for college football DFS -- is on the horizon. But before we get there, we're going to take a look at who we should be targeting in this week's slate so that we can build up that bankroll going into bowl season.
Our in-house projections are here to help us with that. These 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 down to it.
Early Slate - Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky ($9,500)
Even without the whole senior-with-his-last-game-at-home narrative, this is a great matchup for Doughty and the Hilltoppers. He's coming off a game against Marshall in which he threw for 370 yards and 5 touchdowns, and now the Hilltoppers get a favorable matchup with Southern Miss in the Conference USA title game. Southern Miss has given up under 7.0 adjusted pass yards per pass, but we still project Western Kentucky to throw for over 310 yards. Vegas supports that notion as well, as they have the Hilltoppers down for an implied total of 41.5 in a game with an over/under of 75.5. Doughty's a safe play with ridiculous upside this week.
Late Slate - DeShaun Watson, Clemson ($10,900)
This might seem like a no-brainer, and that's because it is. In this week's evening slate, the Tigers take on the Tar Heels in the ACC championship game in what should be a great game. According to Vegas, with a projected 67.5-point over/under, it's also going to be a high-scoring affair. Clemson has an implied total of 36 points, so they should score roughly 5 touchdowns against a middle-of-the-road North Carolina defense. Our numbers like them to throw for nearly 250 yards and over 165 yards rushing, and we all know Watson does a lot of both, so Watson could be in for a big championship game performance.
Top Running Backs
Early - Matt Breida, Georgia Southern ($7,700)
Yeah, I see that Derrick Henry's on this slate, but I can't justify paying $10K for a guy going up against Florida's stingy rush defense no matter how good he is. If you drop down a bit in salary, you'll see that little known Matt Breida could provide Derrick Henry-type numbers on any given week. He has nearly 1,500 yards rushing on the year and 16 touchdowns to boot. It gets even juicier, as the Eagles take on the Georgia State Panthers, who give up 4.35 adjusted yards per rush on the year. Put two and two together, and we expect Breida and company to run for well over 250 yards. An implied total of 40 points almost assures us a Breida touchdown, or two, in this one.
Late - Marcus Cox, Appalachian State ($7,800)
Just like the early slate, I'll be looking to pay up at wideout and running back mainly because of roster construction. Again, there aren't any top-of-the-crop wideouts for your selection due to the five-game poll from you to pick from. For my money, Cox looks like the best back to roll out with a great matchup. He's coming off a 22-carry, 2-touchdown game a week ago, and should get fed in the same way this week. What's better this week is that the Mountaineers will face off against South Alabama, who gives up 4.9 adjusted yards per rush. Appalachian State averages over 5.0 adjusted yards per rush. It's the makings of a monster day for Cox and the Mountaineer rushing game.
Top Wide Receivers
Early - Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky ($6,800) & Corey Coleman, Baylor ($6,800)
The wide receiver poll for this week's early slate isn't what you would call deep. With that being said, there are still some good options to use (though they will be highly owned).
One player who could be a great tournament play is Taywan Taylor of Western Kentucky. Like I said above, Doughty is going to air it out, and of course someone has to catch it. Most of the year that guy has been Taylor, who has nearly 1,200 yards and 15 scores on the year. He had a down week a week ago, but in this high-powered offense, he should bounce back for a big day.
Corey Coleman had one catch for eight yards a week ago. Corey Coleman also played in a torrential downpour last week. Those two things make for a great tournament option. Coleman's depressed price also makes him a nice cash game play as well. We all know Baylor loves to throw the ball around, and against a Texas team who has struggled to defend the pass (giving up 6.9 adjusted yards per pass), they're likely to do a lot of that. Our model thinks they'll do so with much success as we project over 260 passing yards. The 67.5-point over/under is also an encouraging sign for Mr. Coleman.
Late - Deon Cain, Clemson ($5,200) & Michael Rector, Stanford ($4,800)
If Clemson's supposed to put up a ton of points and we expect them to do some damage via the arm of DeShaun Watson, Deon Cain is the guy who's going to be on the receiving end. He's Clemson's big-play wide receiver, and he's had at least three catches and a touchdown in each of the last five games. He's become a go-to guy for Watson, so I'd expect him to see a healthy amount of targets in such a big game this week.
On the other side of the country, in the PAC-12 championship game, USC takes on Stanford in what will likely be a lower scoring game in the 20s. Stanford has an implied team total of 27.75 and are 4.5-point underdogs to the Trojans, so I'll be looking for them to pass the ball more than usual. USC also sports the nation's 15th-best rush defense, according to our metrics, so the Cardinal should look to attack them through the air where they've been a little more beatable. Rector has had either a touchdown or 100 yards in three of his last four so if I'm putting a Stanford pass catcher out there it's him.
Top Tight Ends
Early - Tyler Higbee, Western Kentucky ($4,700)
Since you pretty much can't pay up at wide receiver, or even running back, this week it wouldn't hurt to pay up for a guy with Higbee's skills at the tight end slot. As I've already said twice, the Hilltoppers are going to throw a lot and score a lot. Last week, Higbee had 6 catches for 92 yards and a couple scores. And if you're worried about Taylor and Higbee taking balls away from each other, don't. There will be plenty of passes and yards to go around this Saturday.
Late - Josiah Price, Michigan State ($3,100)
At tight end, I'm looking at the cheaper options who also have a chance to score a touchdown. Price fits that mold perfectly. He allows me enough money to fit in the players I really want at running back and wide receiver while giving me a player with six touchdown snags on the season. In a giant Big Ten matchup, Price might be the key red zone target for Connor Cook and company.