From Tyler Badger
Welcome back to another week of the CFB Showdown where we cover your top DFS picks of the weekend. CFB DFS is off to a rough start, with scoring issues (thanks, STATS), inability to retrieve depth charts (which is why you see no Big 10 games on the main slate this week) and to top it off: releasing salaries late Wednesday. The late release led to a late start on the article this week — sorry in advance for any brevity.
A huge shout out to SideLine Warning Sports reader Ryan for taking the top spot in a large Draftkings GPP this week!
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.
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: $50K Saturday Wishbone ($10K to 1st) – $9.99 entry
Note: Analysis and pricing is tailored towards DraftKings format & scoring and will cover the main slate on DraftKings (12 games)
Sam Howell, North Carolina ($7,900): Honestly, I don’t love a whole lot of “safe” QBs this week. I’m not fully convinced I love Howell, but we’ve got a 60+ O/U, an angry UNC team after last week’s loss, and a rivalry game. I like Howell to get his 8th-career 300 yard game against a below average Wolfpack pass D. Projected Value: 3X-5X
Max Duggan, TCU ($6,800): We have two QB’s under $7,000 that should have no problem hitting 3X value (see Travis, below). Duggan’s lowest point total on the season has been 16 FPs, and OU has allowed QB’s to rush for 8 TD’s this season. Yep, you read that right. Eight. It’s hard to not place Duggan in your QB/SFlex spot on Saturday. Projected Value: 3X-5X
Jordan Travis, Florida State ($6,700): Fresh off of an upset of the #5 team in the country (lol), Travis provides the explosiveness we LOVE to see from a QB. His passing game is a bit unpolished, but his rushing ability will make up for it. And Louisville’s defense is not exactly filled with world beaters. Get him at this price while you can. Projected Value: 3X-6X
Khalil Herbert, Virginia Tech ($8,800): If I’m paying up for 1 RB this week, this is my guy. 9.7 YPC!? VT leads all non-option teams in rushing %, and ran the ball 72% of plays last week. Wake Forest has been bad vs. the run and I’m all-in on the KU transfer. Projected Value: 3X-6X
Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss ($6,800): Ealy is averaging 3 more carries per game than Snoop Conner ($4,700) over the last 2, and is more productive. He’s scored a TD in every game this season and has hit the 100-yard bonus twice this season (free 3 points on DraftKings). Auburn has been middle-of-the-road vs. the run and I like Ealy to cross the 100-yard threshold once again. Projected Value: 3X-5X
Javian Hawkins, Louisville ($6,800): Hawkins takes on an FSU defense that has been exposed on the ground so far this season. He’s averaging 20 carries per game this season, and has shown his ability to be a weapon through the air, as well. I feel comfortable with him hitting 3X value in this spot.
Projected Value: 3X-5X
Tank Bigsby, Auburn ($6,500): Honestly, Tank is only in this article because Sam probably would have fired me if not. Kidding. My hesitancies are: 1) all 3 backs are healthy for Auburn and 2) Auburn only ran the ball 41% of the time last week — averaging 45% on the season and 3) Tank had zero catches last week, DJ Williams ($3,600) had the only catches out of the backfield. BUT if Gus wants to keep his job, he may want to keep feeding Tank. PFF’s 2nd best rusher this season has burst onto the scene and there should be plenty of offensive production to go around in this one against a flat out bad Ole Miss defense. Expect high ownership at this price. Projected Value: 3X-5X
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends (Flex)
Let’s go a little unconventional here. There’s not a whole lot of “wow” cash plays at WR this week when considering price + floor at 3X value. So, my recommendation is to target talent & high over/unders (easy, right?). See below for some examples & quick notes. Also, check out the GPP plays below for some high upside guys (and potentially higher floor guys for Auburn).
Elijah Moore, Ole Miss ($8,100) priced high, but he hasn’t let us down yet…
Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State ($7,700) with his starting QB back
Jaylen Waddle, Alabama ($7,700) similar upside to D. Smith at a $700 discount
Amari Rodgers, Clemson ($6,800) reasonably priced in a favorable matchup
Marvin Mims, Oklahoma ($6,500) talent>volume?
Charleston Rambo, Oklahoma ($5,900) see above^, just $600 cheaper
Seth Williams, Auburn ($4,900) see full rundown on him + other AU WRs below
Matt Corral, Ole Miss ($8,100): You saw Corral in the article last week, and he really struggled. We’re going back to the well again in what’s expected to be a high scoring affair. GPP’s only. Projected Value: 2.5X-5X
Bo Nix, Auburn ($7,000): Yes, we’re targeting this game a lot. Since Week 1, Nix has struggled, still looking for his first 300 yard game of the season. Last season vs. Ole Miss, he threw for a career-high 340. I like him to reach the 300 mark once again. Low floor, high ceiling for Bo. Projected Value: 2X-5X
Javonte Williams, North Carolina ($7,800): Pro Football Focus has Williams as the 4th highest graded rusher this season. I think you could save money in cash games and go with fellow backfield mate Michael Carter ($5,900) but Williams has a significantly higher upside, perfect for GPP’s. NC State’s rush defense is below average, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see both backs go over 100 total yards in this one. UNC runs the ball 55% of plays. Projected Value: 2.5X-5.5X
Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State ($7,000): Without Skylar Thompson, K-State has been forced to rely on the run, 64% in their last contest. QB Will Howard ($6,600) has been taking responsibility for a lot of those runs, but explosive Freshman Deuce Vaughn has been a key part of the offense so far. He’s seen 34 touches over his last 2 games, doing significant damage through the air on a couple of big plays. Counterpart Harry Trotter ($4,400) takes away carries, but I like Vaughn’s upside vs. a dreadful KU defense. Projected Value: 2X-5X
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends (Flex)
Eli Stove ($5,500) / Anthony Schwartz ($5,300) / Seth Williams ($4,900) Auburn: Can you sense a pattern here? Yeah, we’re picking on the Ole Miss defense. Last week vs. South Carolina, all 3 receivers scored at least 11 FPs. Pricing aside, my favorite pick is indeed the top priced option Eli Stove. They wasted no time getting him involved in all aspects of the offense. Who will be the highest owned? Seth Williams, no doubt. Meanwhile, Schwartz may have the highest floor. Take your pick 🙂 Considering pricing, I like Williams, Stove, Schwartz in that order.
Projected Value: 3X-5X / 2X-4X / 3X-7X
John Metchie III, Alabama ($5,500): The Sophomore is certainly well behind teammates DeVonta Smith ($8,400) and Jaylen Waddle ($7,700) on future draft boards, but he’s playing in one of the most explosive offenses in the league, and is explosive in his own right. With teams zeroing in on Smith & Waddle, look for Metchie to continue to see more balls thrown his way. It’s hard to ignore his talent at this price, but just know he has a significantly lower floor than his teammates above (both of which are worth playing in cash games, if the salary makes sense).
Projected Value: 2X-5X
Thanks for reading! Enjoy the games, good luck, and welcome back Big 10 football!