From Tyler Badger
Welcome to another week of the CFB Showdown where we cover your top DFS picks of the weekend. We missed the article last week due to personal reasons, but with the scoring debacle that went down for both major daily fantasy providers, maybe maybe was for the better?
We’re excited to provide you with in-depth analysis and all the tools & strategies you need to be successful in CFB DFS, but please utilize our comments feature at the bottom of this article to leave feedback on what you’d like to see included in the article moving forward.
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In this article, players will be broken down by position into two groups:
Safe plays – players that can be confidently used in cash games (i.e. Double-ups) and as part of your core group of players to build your team around in GPPs (tournaments with guaranteed prize pools).
GPP plays – players that have significant upside but also may have a lower floor. These players typically have higher risk (due to matchup, price, etc.) & a greater potential for a “bust” game based on those factors.
So how will we determine which players to use in each format? Review our value system below.
Note: This system is tailored towards DraftKings format & scoring. We’ve made a slight adjustment to the system from the last article to account for CFB DFS historical scoring data.
How the value system works
A value system looks at the salary of the player relative to the number of fantasy points they score. For Cash games (i.e. Double-ups), a 3 to 4X valuation should get you “in the money” depending on type of contest. For GPP’s we’re looking for 4 to 5X, generally. Example: For a player to reach 4X value at a salary of $5000, the player would need to score 20 points (5.0 x 4).
A general guide for targeting value in CFB DFS…
3X value = good play
4X value = great play
5X or more value = elite play
Let’s take a look at the big tournaments of the weekend on DraftKings and FanDuel (Main Slate)
DraftKings: CFB $150K Saturday Kickoff ($50K to 1st) – $18 entry
FanDuel: $40K Saturday Wishbone ($10K to 1st) – $9 entry
Note: Analysis and pricing is tailored towards DraftKings format & scoring and will cover the main slate on DraftKings (11 games after the cancellation of LSU @ Florida & Cincinnati @ Tulsa).
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson ($9,000): The #TankForTrevor movement has begun in the NFL and for excellent reason. Lawrence is match-up proof, but this one has me excited. Georgia Tech’s pass defense has been abysmal and Trevor has accounted for 74% of Clemson’s touchdowns. Part of me questions if Trevor will get to 4X at this price, but he’s almost guaranteed for 3X. The only concern we have here is limited playtime due to a blow out. Play him with confidence in any format.
Projected Value: 3X-5X
Dillon Gabriel, UCF ($8,500): Gabriel is averaging over 46 pass attempts per game, is going against the worst pass defense in the country (Memphis), and has gone over 400 yards in 2 of 3 games this season. He’s a lock for 3X value, with upside of 5X.
Projected Value: 3X-5X
Jeff Sims, Georgia Tech ($5,100): I’m not sure what DraftKings was thinking on pricing here, but we’ll take advantage of the mistake. Sims has play-making ability, and while his passing game needs a lot of work, he’ll make up for it with his legs. GT is expected to play from behind most of the game, so I’m expecting a big day out of Sims, fantasy-wise. Clemson has a Top-15 defense, but do yourself a favor and lock Sims into your QB or S-FLEX spot. Projected Value: 4X-7x
Leddie Brown, West Virginia ($8,200): Brown has touched the ball at least 28 times in the last two games. The KU run defense is allowing a whopping 228 yards per game. Don’t let the price scare you away. Projected Value: 3X-5X
Kyren Williams, Notre Dame ($7,200): If he gets the carries, the yards will come. Williams is averaging 7.5 YPC and should find success against a middle of the road Louisville run defense. He’s already had two multiple TD games and has caught 2 passes in each of the first 3 games. Teammate Ian Book ($7,900) is his biggest threat to his rushing touchdown totals, but Vegas seems to think there will be plenty to go around.
Projected Value: 3X-5X
Kylin Hill, Mississippi State ($6,800): Volume + Talent at this price? I’m on board. The point total of 55 is a reflection of two above average defenses (the Bulldogs take on Texas A&M), but I still like Hill in this spot. Projected Value: 3X-5X
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends (Flex)
Damonte Coxie, Memphis ($6,100): Absolutely no idea what DraftKings is thinking here on pricing. UCF has had a strong pass defense thus far, but there will be plenty of yards and points to go around in this one. Coxie is a top talent and should reach 3X with ease with a high likelihood to exceed that. I also like taking a look at Calvin Austin III ($4,800), who is third in line behind Coxie and Sean Dykes ($7,300). Austin will start opposite of Coxie and should receive plenty of opportunities to hit value on Saturday. Projected Value: 3X-7X
Tre Nixon, UCF ($5,800): Nixon is questionable for Saturday’s game so keep a close eye on his injury status, but if he plays, he’s significantly underpriced. If he’s out, consider teammates Marlon Williams ($7,600) or Jaylon Robinson ($6,400), although Nixon is my favorite of the three. Projected Value: 3X-7X
Treylon Burks, Arkansas ($4,700): I debated putting Burks (and any of the other top Arkansas receivers) as GPP plays because it’s tough to tell which one will go off, but we do know that Burks is an exceptional talent and is severely underpriced coming off of an injury. Projected Value: 3X-7X
Note: Burks is the only Arkansas Razorback I’m going to write about & is my favorite of the bunch, but with an over/under of 75 and a close game expected, I think you can make an argument to play any of the following, especially in tournaments:
WR De’Vion Warren ($6,000), WR Mike Woods ($5,100), WR Trey Knox ($3,200) and RB Trelon Smith ($6,100), RB Rakeem Boyd ($5,100).
Cary Angeline, NC State ($4,100): Duke has been bad vs. TE’s this season and QB Devin Leary ($6,300) has established a strong connection with the senior, accounting for 3 of his 4 receiving TD’s. He only has 9 receptions on the year, but he only needs 12 FPs to reach 3X value. I like his chances on Saturday.
Projected Value: 3X-4.5X
^For GPP’s, take a look at WR Devin Carter ($4,000) and RB Ricky Person Jr. ($4,500), both of whom seem underpriced for Saturday’s game.
Noah Gray, Duke ($3,800): Our first article didn’t include too many “salary savers” but Gray is one to target on Saturday. At this price, he’s hit 3X value in 4 of 5 games this season. Projected Value: 3X-4X
Matt Corral, Ole Miss ($8,800): Corral is an absolute star. He’s one of my favorite players to watch and one of my favorites to roster in DFS. He’s averaging 33 FPs per game and has yet to gift us with a rushing TD!? My goodness. Don’t be scared of the price, he’s a must-play in all formats if you can fit him. I expect his ownership to be down slightly, as others will likely save $300 to go with Gabriel or pay $200 more for Lawrence. Projected Value: 3X-5X
Note: Corral is the only Ole Miss Rebel I’m going to write about but at an over/under of 75 and a close game expected, I think you can make an argument to play any of the following, especially in tournaments:
WR Elijah Moore ($8,000), WR/TE Kenny Yeboah ($6,300), WR Dontario Drummond ($4,900) and RB Jerrion Ealy ($6,700), RB Snoop Conner ($5,500).
Malik Cunningham, Louisville ($7,100): I was really surprised to see the O/U at 62.5. I’ll take the under, but hey, I’d trust Vegas over me. Notre Dame’s defense has been solid, but they also haven’t faced an offense like Louisville. Cunningham continues to produce, averaging over 32 FPPG, taking away the game he was injured (vs. Pitt). Pair him with WR Tutu Atwell ($6,700) for an intriguing under-the-radar GPP stack.
Projected Value: 3X-5X
Travis Etienne, Clemson ($8,600): Interested in hearing about something worse than the GT Pass defense? The run defense. Etienne is a star and has added 13 catches for 187 yards over his last two games. Similar to his QB, expect Etienne to get at least 3X value. The “GPP” aspect comes in on his ownership. I expect more folks will gravitate towards Leddie Brown at a $400 discount + more rushing attempts, so you could get away with low ownership for an exceptional talent. Projected Value: 3X-5X
Billy Kemp, Virginia ($6,500): Kemp is technically a WR now, but DK still has him as a RB. That hurts us a bit, and I’m not sure I want to pay this price for him, but he’s going to see double-digit targets regardless of who starts at QB and Wake Forest’s pass D is below average. He may need a TD to reach value, which is why I have him as GPP-only. Fellow wideouts Terrell Jana ($5,300) and Lavel Davis Jr. ($4,900) are also in play here for tournaments — Davis especially if Brennan Armstrong ($7,000) suits up at QB (Questionable). Projected Value: 2X-5X
Player to watch for UVA: Ronnie Walker Jr. ($3,000) will be suiting up for the first time after being granted eligibility by the NCAA this week. It’s unknown if the IU transfer will receive any playing time, but just keep an eye on him on Saturday as a potential play for the future.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends (Flex)
Shi Smith, South Carolina ($7,100): I’m taking the “under” at 51.5 but I think Smith is worth a look in tournaments. He’s dominating reception share at nearly 38% and has accounted for a similar share of the yardage. Auburn is 51st in pass defense (of 76 active teams) and has allowed a receiver to reach 100 yards in all 3 games this season (we’re rounding up for Josh Ali’s 98 on 09/26. Smith’s price is a little higher than I would like, but he should be the 4th straight WR to reach the 100-yard threshold. Add in a TD, and we’re looking at 20+ fantasy points, enough to reach 3X value.
Projected Value: 2.5X-5X
Tutu Atwell, Louisville ($6,700): See notes on his QB above. There’s a chance he’ll miss value, but I’ll take the chance: UL should be playing catch-up in a game where Vegas expects a ton of points. I’m only playing him as a pair with Cunningham. Projected Value: 2.5X-5X
Jordan Addison, Pitt ($5,500) / Taysir Mack, Pitt ($5,300): Here’s a fun game: avoid Miami CB Al Blades Jr. We don’t know if Blades will be shadowing either guy, but the fact remains: Miami has allowed some big fantasy days to wideouts and is middle of the road in pass defense. Pittsburgh is in the top 10 of passing attempts per game. Addison has 7 catches in every game he’s been healthy (left due to injury vs. NC State) and Mack has at least 62 yards in every game. Addison has 3 TD’s vs. Mack’s 1 which makes him the play with the higher floor, but I could see either guy making his way into my GPP lineups on Saturday. Consider Addison as a potential option for cash or GPP and Mack as a GPP-only play. Projected Value: 3X-5X / Projected Value: 2X-5X
Thanks for reading! Enjoy the games, good luck, and Go Dawgs!