Welcome back! First off, I had a rough night on my Thursday article. It seemed that nothing went right for me. The good news is this: there’s a chance for redemption! DraftKings is offering a 15-game slate with over $350K in guaranteed prizes so lots of money can be won this weekend.
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Bowling Green (-4) @ Purdue — O/U: 76
Well this is a good one to start off with, isn’t? There will be little defense played in this one, as Purdue ranks 111th in points allowed, giving up an average of 35.3 PPG. Bowling Green is even further down at 120th, allowing 43.3 PPG. On the flip side, Bowling Green is #1 in total offense. The Boilermakers are not quite as good, ranking 60th in the nation.
QB: Would you believe me if I said Matt Johnson ($9,400) is under-priced? Well, you better believe it. He’s leading the nation in passing yards (1358) by 186 yards and has also tossed 12 TD’s, 2 more than 2nd place QB Cody Kessler from USC. Johnson has averaged 45.98 fantasy points (FPS) over his past two games and should achieve close to that number once again in a game that Purdue is expected to keep close.
RB: NO OPTIONS TO CONSIDER, the offense is above.
WR: I actually like three options here, Roger Lewis ($7,700), Ronnie Moore ($5,700), and Ryan Burbink ($4,800) who have combined for almost 65% of the receptions, and over 68% of the receiving yardage. Lewis has been the clear leader of the group, totaling 5 touchdowns and 510 yards, but Moore and Burbink mimic his reception totals (24 vs. 20 & 16, respectively) and it’s only a matter of time before they too, find the end zone with more regularity. Lewis is not an elite option due to the threat of Moore / Burbink going off at any point, but the upside is certainly there. The touchdowns and 21.3 YPC has allowed Lewis to average 37 FPS per game, compared to Moore’s 14.7 and Burbink’s 15.8. All three wide-outs are in play here and should all be in for a solid day against a porous Boilermaker secondary.
QB: Austin Appleby ($6,700) will fly under the radar tomorrow and I can see why DFS players are scared to use him. He was abysmal last weekend, completing just 32.1% of his passes (9/28) with 2 INT’s. There is reason to have some hope as he posted a 32.56 fantasy point performance in week 2, although it was vs. Illinois State. He has two rushing TD’s on the season and five through the air, and could be a deep flier with the high over/under.
RB: NO OPTIONS TO CONSIDER with D.J Knox ($5,100) and Markell Jones ($4,400) splitting carries, despite Jones’ impressive 7.2 YPC.
WR: NO OPTIONS TO CONSIDER, the ball gets spread around quite a bit in this offense.
BYU @ Michigan (-6.5) — O/U: 46.5
This one features a pair of 2-1 teams and should be a hard-fought, good football game. I don’t expect it to be great for DFS, but it’ll be fun to watch.
QB: NO OPTIONS TO CONSIDER
RB: Senior RB Adam Hine ($5,600) gets nearly all of the carries in this BYU offense and is averaging 6.1 YPC on 46 attempts. He’s a solid cash game play if you’re looking to save money and are fine with a floor of 10 FPS and a ceiling of 20.
WR: Mitchell Juergens ($4,800) is the only option I’d think about here, as he’s $1,400 cheaper than his teammate Mitch Matthews ($6,200) but averages the exact same number of FPS (17.8) per game. I’m not necessarily recommending him here, but he’s worth a look. BYU has attempted 122 passes, 15th most in FBS.
QB: NO OPTIONS TO CONSIDER
RB: I was worried at the beginning of the season that with Michigan’s wealth of running backs, we wouldn’t be able to look to anyone of them in DFS. De’Veon Smith ($6,200) is clearly the #1 back in Ann Arbor, toting the ball 53 times, near 3X as many attempts as the next closest back. BYU has not been good against the run this season, ranking 80th in FBS. I think Smith’s price is still a bit high but there’s enough upside there to warrant consideration.
WR: Amara Darboh ($5,100) and Jake Butt ($4,300) have combined for over half of the team’s receptions but don’t offer enough upside for me, especially in what is expected to be a low-scoring game compared to the other games on the slate.
Central Michigan @ Michigan State (-26.5) — O/U: 54
Let me start off by saying this: Michigan State is not the #2 team in the country. Seriously, where is their defense? Even if I take out the game vs. the high-powered Oregon offense, the Spartans have allowed 45 points to Western Michigan and Air Force, combined. They’ll win this one, but I doubt they’ll cover.
Yes, I know I just bashed MSU’s defense, but it’s not like CMU’s offense is one to fear. I’ll be avoiding all Chippewas in this one.
I’m not going to go too in depth here, either. The only plays I could see would be RB’s Madre London ($6,000) or LJ Scott ($4,800) vs. a CMU defense that has allowed 5 TD’s on the ground. Expect three on Saturday, 2 to London, 1 to Scott.
The top option from this game is WR Aaron Burbridge ($7,400) who is averaging 30.1 FPPG amassing 20 receptions for 374 yards and 4 TD’s. He’s an elite option on the day, but beware of the blowout potential here. I’d say 20-25 FPS, which is solid for cash games.
Georgia Tech (-7.5) @ Duke — O/U: 57
I really thought GT would go into South Bend and win last weekend, but obviously that didn’t come true. It’ll be interesting to see how they rebound vs. Thomas Sirk’s Duke Blue Devils.
QB: Justin Thomas’ ($7,900) price is as low as it’s been all season and it’s a great opportunity to buy “low.” Duke has not faced a QB anywhere near Thomas’s ability. They let him rush for 115 yards on 15 carries last season but did force 2 INT’s. Honestly, it’s not an ideal play to roll with him this week, but considering his price and high upside, there’s nothing wrong with using him in GPP’s Saturday.
RB: Picking running backs in an option offense is so difficult. Marcus Marshall ($3,500) leads the team in rushing yards with 241. He’s had 15 carries… Just let that sink in… Anyhow, the safer option would be Patrick Skov ($6,300) who’s dominating the carries in the Yellow Jacket offense with 41. The next highest is Marshall with 15, and 3 others with 10+. Duke has allowed just 2.7 yards per carry to opposing backs, but again, have faced very little competition. They were 98th vs. the run last season and Tech will be the first to expose them.
WR: NO OPTIONS TO CONSIDER
QB: Thomas Sirk ($6,800) struggled last Saturday vs. Northwestern and it will be tough to produce vs. a team that will try to control the time of possession. So, take advantage of this! Vegas expects this one to be relatively high-scoring and Sirk has tremendous upside.
RB: NO OPTIONS TO CONSIDER — I’m still worried about time of possession, and there’s splitting of carries here.
WR: NO OPTIONS TO CONSIDER — Sirk spreads the ball around quite nicely, which isn’t so nice for us.
LSU (-24.5) @ Syracuse — O/U: 46.5
This has to be a treat for the Orange to host LSU. It may not be pretty but it’ll be cool for the fans of Otto and the team he represents. For the fun of it, see a picture of Otto here.
Top Play: Okay so it’s obvious that Leonard Fournette ($9,700) is the top play at RB, but what about the QB? Brandon Harris ($6,700) is off to a solid start, going 21/31 passing with a TD, and rushing for 114 yards on just 13 carries. His true talents have been hidden with Fournette stealing the show, but Harris could explode at any point. If you really want to go with a GPP flier, pair him with WR Travin Dural ($4,400) who leads the team in receptions and yardage.
Indiana (-3) @ Wake Forest — O/U: 53.5
Top Play: Devine Redding ($4,500) vs. a Wake Forest D that ranked 81st vs the run last season. Why am I recommending a backup as the top play? He’s hardly played like one. Sure, he’s behind the nation’s number 1 rusher Jordan Howard ($8,400) but Redding has had 16 or more carries in all three games. And even though Indiana hasn’t faced any tough defenses, every game has been close and Redding is still receiving the carries. Redding is the “top play” for his price, but don’t confuse that as him being the highest scoring player of the game. His value is exceptional and he should be as under-owned as it gets.
Northern Illinois @ Boston College (-5) — O/U: 47.5
Top Play: Kenny Golladay ($5,000) was shut down last weekend vs. Ohio State but in the two games prior, averaged just over 35 fantasy points per game. His 20 catches and 376 yards make him the overwhelming favorite for QB Drew Hare ($7,000) even with another tough match-up.
Maryland @ West Virginia (-16) — O/U: 57
Top Play: There’s really not a whole lot I like in this one, but Skylar Howard ($6,800) is the exception. He’s completed 72.5% of his passes for 5 TD’s and rushed for 75 yards as well. He’s the complete package and will look to continue to build on a strong start to 2015.
Rice @ Baylor (-34.5) — O/U: 74.5
Top Play: There are numerous Baylor players I could put here, but I’m going to go with an Owl, WR Dennis Parks ($4,800) who is under-priced and should easily match his 8 receptions per game so far this season. Rice will obviously be forced to throw a lot, and I’m a fan of the “punt combo” of Driphus Jackson ($5,600) and Parks.
Oklahoma State (-3) @ Texas — O/U: 59
Top Play: Texas lost a heart-breaker at home last weekend vs. Cal but are headed in the right direction with Jerrod Heard ($7,400) now leading the offense. I’m really surprised his price jumped as much as it did, but I guess that’s what happens when you put up almost 53 fantasy points the week before. Heard will continue to lead the Horns in the right direction and lead your fantasy team with 30-35 FPS at the QB spot. OK State has faced very little resistance the first three weeks but will be in for a surprise this week. I like Texas to win at home with Heard being a huge part of the victory.
Tennessee (EVEN) @ Florida — O/U: 47.5
Top Play: I don’t think I’ll be targeting anyone from this one to be honest. Jalen Hurd ($7,100) is on my radar but I’m not sure I want to pay up vs. a Florida group that has allowed the 7th fewest rushing yards on the season.
Virginia Tech (-10) @ ECU — O/U: 49.5
Top Play: Chris Hairston ($4,700) is an absolute steal, even in a tough match-up. the senior has carried the ball 45 times for 207 yards and 4 TD’s. Hairston has also added 16 receptions for 83 yards and will go up against a VT defense that is 86th in total defense and 107th vs. the run.
Western Michigan @ Ohio State (-32.5) — O/U: 62
I personally like Urban Meyer’s decision to stay with Cardale Jones as starting QB, or at least I like his reasoning. The good news is this: they won’t have to rely on the QB position. The top play here is Ezekiel Elliot ($9,200) who’s averaged 25 carries per game since week 1 and is at the lowest price since that week. He’s still not cheap, but he should run over the Bronco defense that has been torched on the ground so far this season.
TCU (-6) @ Texas Tech — O/U: 83.5
Wow, there are SO many plays we can go with here. So many. For the record, Texas Tech upsets TCU at home. And in honor of that pick, I’ll go with Patrick Mahomes II ($8,900) as the top play. He’s averaged just under 4 fantasy points more than Trevone Boykin ($10,300) and is $1400 less. He’s going to light up this TCU defense with his arm, and make some more plays with his legs. I think he truly has the opportunity to make Tech relevant again. He’s my top QB play on the board and should be in several of your lineups on Saturday.
California (-2) @ Washington — O/U: 60
Top Play: I’m really hoping the Huskies decide to commit to the run more so we can see what true freshman Myles Gaskin ($4,500) is the new “leader of the pack” after carrying the ball 20 more times than Dwayne Washington ($4,600), although Washington has been huge in the passing game, leading the team in receptions, receiving yardage, and receiving TD’s. Still, Gaskin will receive the bulk of the carries and is worth the risk in one or two GPP lineups vs. a Bears rush defense that ranks 95th in FBS so far this season.
Take care and good luck!!