This article is part of our DraftKings College Football series.
Welcome to this week's main slate breakdown for DraftKings, where we have an 11-game offering with seven teams expected to score in the 30s. Leading things off is Clemson as the Tigers are rolling and have a 46.5-point implied total against Wake Forest. Speaking of the Demon Deacons...
Wake Forest is in a brutal spot here. The loss of Sage Surratt (shoulder) for the rest of the season, compounded with Scotty Washington's undisclosed issue, takes a lot of the venom out of the Demon Deacon passing attack and leaves Jamie Newman with limited options. As a result, the shorthanded Demon Deacons carry the lowest implied total on the slate at just 13 points.
Beyond that matchup, we have Alabama looking to vent its frustrations following a loss to LSU and Oklahoma State primed for a big offensive output as it plays host to Kansas. There are plenty of games and sides to target on this slate, so let's dive into the meat of this week's article. Below you'll find cheat sheets along with our suite of DFS tools and my position-by-position breakdown.
|Team||Opponent||H/A||O/U||Spread||Implied Points||Plays Per Game||Opp. Pass Yds Allowed/ GM||Opp.Pass TD Allowed/GM|
|Team||Opponent||H/A||O/U||Spread||Opp. Rush Yds/G||Opp. YPC Allowed||Opp. Rush TD Allowed/G||Offensive S&P+||Opponent Defense S&P+|
Position by Position Breakdown
Brady White, Memphis ($7,700) at Houston
White is a solid quarterback in his own right, averaging 24.2 fantasy points per game, and when the matchup is as favorable as this one, he needs to be considered. Houston allows the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks along with a slate-high 2.6 passing touchdowns per game.
White has also raised his game against conference opponents of late; in his last four games, white has a 10.4 YPA and a 12:1 TD:INT ratio. He has also thrown for over 300 yards in three of those outings. On a slate where saving where you can at quarterback is particularly important, dipping under $8K for your top-priced quarterback is a viable route to a quality lineup build. White fits the bill in terms of his own skill set along with a soft matchup.
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson ($7,800) vs. Wake Forest
Somehow Clemson has been flying under the radar of late despite seemingly hitting its stride after a sluggish start. With Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa dominating most of the Heisman talk, Lawrence's last month has been way undersold. He has thrown three touchdowns in five straight games and is completing 73 percent of his passes with a 10.1 YPA in that stretch. Oh, and Lawrence has three rushing scores and 221 rushing yards in that span.
With Lawrence at the center of an offense expected to score the most points on the slate (46.5), it's surprising to see him check in below $8,000. And with Wake Forest teetering on the brink amid a slew of injuries, this could be a knockout punch setup for Lawrence and Clemson. And style points could factor into the Tigers' psyche in the absence of quality-win opportunities at this stage of the season. This could be Lawrence's biggest fantasy performance of the season.
Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State ($6,900) vs. Kansas
Sanders' Cowboys check in at third on the board in implied points for this slate at 41.75. Now, it needs to be said that Chuba Hubbard is a big part of that and Tylan Wallace's absence means Sanders is without his No.1 wideout. Oklahoma State leaned on the run in its first game without Wallace and Sanders attempted just 15 passes, a season-low. And yet Sanders still managed to throw for two touchdowns and 158 yards. The big takeaway from that game was what Sanders was able to do on the ground against TCU. He rushed a season-high 19 times for 88 yards. So it seems that while Wallace's absence will take some of Sanders' passing upside, his ability as a runner might factor in more the rest of the way. And when Sanders is looking at double-digit rushing attempts against a Kansas defense that allows 5.0 yards per carry, we see a potential top-five quarterback on the slate who happens to have a discounted price.
Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State ($8,800) vs. Kansas
The slate can't be properly analyzed without a look at Hubbard. He's the overall leader in fantasy points among running backs (272.4) and fantasy points per game (30.3) – a full two points more than Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor per game. Only AJ Dillon (27.2) sees more carries per game than Hubbard's 26.2. So when we have a player this productive and explosive, it'd take a truly absurd price tag to move off of him in a given lineup. $8,800 is totally reasonable for Hubbard against a good defense. Against Kansas? It almost feels like a steal.
Kansas allows the most rushing yards per game on the slate (235) and its 5.0 YPC is better than only Houston's 5.2. And again, with Tylan Wallace out, the focus is on the run game and Hubbard is the engine of the Oklahoma State offense. We're going to see Hubbard push for 25-or-more carries against one of the worst defenses in the country. Let's not overthink it.
Travis Etienne, Clemson ($8,100) vs. Wake Forest
Not unlike the Lawrence take above, Etienne's recent stretch isn't getting enough national recognition. In the last four weeks, Etienne has the second highest per-game average of any running back, behind only Memphis' Kenny Gainwell. Etienne has eight rushing touchdowns in that span with a vintage Etienne 11.79 YPC to boot. I'm bullish on Lawrence having a major contribution to Clemson's high point total Saturday, but Etienne will eat as well. Wake Forest is also giving up 189 rushing yards per game to conference opponents in case you needed one more item to add to the PRO column for Etienne this week.
Najee Harris, Alabama ($6,400) at Mississippi State
I feel for Mississippi State here. They didn't ask to be the first team Alabama plays after a tough loss. But that's what's happening, and the Tide are about to take out their frustrations on this Bulldogs team. Mississippi State gives up 161 rushing yards per game on 4.76 YPC, and those numbers could see some inflation when it has to try and stop Harris.
The junior has gotten over 60 percent of the carries in three of the last four games and is starting to hit his stride. Harris is ripping off 6.2 YPC in that span (73 carries) and has seven total touchdowns as well. With Alabama likely to lean on the run with Tua Tagovailoa still less than 100 percent, Harris could be set up for one of his best performances of the season as we see him take full control of the Tide backfield.
Since my lean this week is to target higher priced running backs and fill out my lineups with value types at receiver, that's where my focus will be for this section. Among the receivers above $6,000, it's hard to argue against the likes of Jerry Jeudy ($6,700) and DeVonta Smith ($6,500) from Alabama as it looks to get right against Mississippi State. Guys like Brandon Arconado ($6,700) are also appealing given the full-point PPR format, but I think that scoring wrinkle helps level the playing field a bit for some of the sub-$6K guys.
Justyn Ross, Clemson ($5,900) vs. Wake Forest
The way Trevor Lawrence has spread the ball around in recent weeks plays to our advantage here as a player of Ross' caliber being priced under $6,000 is always eye-catching. He has a team-high 22 targets in the last four games and has turned that into 17 grabs for 240 yards and three touchdowns. I'll have Ross in every lineup where I have Trevor Lawrence, and while cheaper options like Diondre Overton and Amari Rodgers have their merits and should get their targets, Ross is a truly rare receiver and is my top play from the Tigers receiving corps this week.
Kendall Hinton, Wake Forest ($5,800) at Clemson
This will be chalky as everything points to Hinton at the very least seeing a heavy target volume in a catch-up script where he also functions as the clear No.1 receiver in this offense sans Sage Surratt and Scotty Washington. We know Hinton can produce with a high volume; since returning from injury in Week 5, Hinton is going for 9.5 YPT on 11.6 targets per game. Explosive and reliable. The touchdowns haven't been there at all but the sheer volume helps bolster his floor. I like Hinton plenty for cash games, but the lack of touchdown upside makes me want to look elsewhere in tournaments.
La'Michal Pettway ($5,100) and Tarique Milton ($5,200), Iowa State vs. Texas
The pricing is sharp when it comes to the Iowa State pass catchers this week with these two plus Charlie Kolar ($5,300) and DeShaunte Jones ($5,600) all bunched together. It makes sense; in the last three games, Jones, Kolar and Pettway all average 8.0 or more targets per game while Milton, though down at 4.7 targets per game, is the most explosive of the bunch with a 12.8 YPT. There are legitimate arguments for each. The reason I lean Pettway and Milton in tournaments is their explosiveness and touchdown upside. Pettway, at 6-2 and 223 pounds, can be a matchup problem for the Longhorn secondary despite being on a bit of a touchdown drought. Milton, meanwhile, is a difference-maker thanks to his speed with a 14.8 YPT and 22.7 YPR on the year. Kolar and Jones are likely the safer plays here, but I'm backing Pettway and Jones in a game where all four could produce against the second-worst pass defense on the slate.
Stephon Robinson Jr., Kansas ($5,400) at Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State has one of the worst pass defenses on the slate, allowing 275.6 passing yards per game. Meanwhile, Robinson has been dominant of late outside of a 8.2-point performance against Kansas State before the bye week. In his previous three games, Robinson caught 18 of 25 targets for 384 yards and six touchdowns. Provided that Carter Stanley, who was dinged up going into the bye week, is good to go Saturday, Robinson is the Jayhawk receiver I'd target.
Simi Fehoko, Stanford ($4,400) at Washington State
The Stanford offense has not been the source of much fantasy intrigue this season. Its 21.6 points per game rank 110th in the nation. But buried beneath that pile of mediocrity is Fehoko, who has been chugging along at a nice clip over the last month. He's seeing just under 5.0 targets per game in his last four outings and has turned those looks into 10 catches for 319 yards and four touchdowns. So while we have to concede that Fehoko won't pad his stats with empty calories like a 10-catch, 70-yard outing, we can also acknowledge that he can be the home run hitter for the Cardinal. And with Washington State giving up 299.5 passing yards per game to PAC-12 opponents, it's possible that the Cardinal delivers one of its best offensive performances of its season.
Anthony Schwartz, Auburn ($5,300) vs. Georgia
A player with speed like Schwartz's means that he's always on the tournament radar, but the knock has always been his lack of a regular role in the Auburn offense. But Schwartz is starting to round into a more complete receiver and has seen at least seven targets in two of his last three games. Oddly enough, the explosiveness has been middling in that span with just 10.8 yards per reception and 8.5 YPT. But while that may be the case, Schwartz is always just one touch away from a house call.
Going up against a defense like Georgia's that ranks No.2 in defensive S&P+ should keep ownership down, and there's also some skepticism in Bo Nix's ability to move the ball Saturday. While I'm not sold on Nix at the moment, it's true that he's been strong at home. In four home games, Nix has a 65.3 completion rate, an 8.8 YPA and a 4:0 TD:INT. On the road those numbers drop to a 48.5 completion rate with a 5.8 YPA and 8:6 TD:INT. So, Nix has enough to seemingly keep the passing offense afloat this week at home, which helps Schwartz's cause.