Welcome to another edition of the 2019 Confident Cash Plays Series!
We’ve been starting off the season strong with two back-to-back optimal lineup scores around 200 points using our player pool and there’s plenty more where that came from!
Like I’ve said before, this is the perfect place to break down a player pool of the best plays in college football to make sure you cash in the main slate this weekend! If you like GPP contests, Ryan Collinsworth has a piece for you every week as well! But for now, let’s dive into this week’s Confident Cash Plays!
This week’s slate looks like it could be a lot of fun at quarterback. But, it’s also an easy week to get trapped if you spend too much on the wrong top tier option. The good news is that given the depth at cheap flex options you can lock in QB1 without any worry.
Justin Fields ($8,900, Ohio State) is aptly priced as the most expensive quarterback option, but he should be in virtually every cash lineup. Last week he put up an easy 36 points against FAU accounting for 234 passing yards, four passing touchdowns, 61 rushing yards, and a rushing touchdown. His efficiency may dip against a much better Cincinnati team, but the oddsmakers still give the Buckeyes an implied even 35 points this week. Given Fields’ knack for using his legs and efficiency as a passer, there is certainly no safer start than Fields.
Kelly Bryant ($7,700, Missouri) and Elijah Sindelar ($7,500, Purdue) are the only other expensive quarterbacks likely worth the investment this week. Both are leading high flying pass-heavy offenses this season and can add a little something in the run too. Just look at their opportunities from week one.
|Player||Pass Attempts||Passing Yards||Passing TDs||Rush Attempts||Rushing Yards|
Yes, they both had exactly 423 passing yards and 59 combined pass and rush attempts. That type of volume may not repeat itself to every week, but both play weaker defensive opponents yet again this week. Both are cheap pivot options away from Fields and Lawrence that provide just as much or more base-level offensive opportunity.
Josh Jackson ($6,500, Maryland), Brandon Peters ($6,400, Illinois), and Nate Stanley ($5,900, Iowa) are all cheap superflex slot options this week. All three lead offenses with at least 30 implied points this week. And they’re all coming off high-efficiency outings against weaker teams. The quick and easy decision would be to fade the efficiency and assume some regression, but that’s likely not the entire answer. Let’s just take a quick look at their week one performances.
|Player||Pass Att||Pass Yards||Pass TDs||Pass Yards/Att||Adjusted Pass Yards/Att||TD%|
It’s unlikely that any of the three quarterbacks maintain touchdown percentages in the double-digits, but all three teams took their foot off the gas early. They could have easily coasted to 30-plus fantasy point weeks, but instead they settled for high 20s. Now Jackson gets Syracuse. Peters gets UConn. Stanley gets Rutgers. Given the implied point totals, early efficiency of their respective pass games, dual-threat ability, and soft matchups in week two Jackson, Peters, and Stanley all give you a safe twenty points, if not more. Plus you should be able to build out your skill positions easily if you start any of the three.
Priority: (1) Fields, (2) Sindelar, (3) Bryant, (4) Stanley, (5) Jackson, (6) Peters
Like I mentioned before, there are some incredible values at the skill positions. And because of that many lineups will be able to fit the most expensive quarterback, running back, and wide receiver into their lineups in Justin Fields, Travis Etienne ($9,400, Clemson), and Rondale Moore ($8,100, Purdue, which we’ll get to shortly).
Starting Etienne may look too expensive, but he’s coming off 205-yard performance and should be leaned upon heavily once again. As I mentioned in the latest edition of Devy Weekly, Etienne isn’t just a sprinter anymore. About half of his 205 rushing yards last week came after contact. Yes, he only saw 13 touches, but he didn’t need any more than that. Texas A&M probably plays Clemson closer than a very much in transition Georgia Tech team too. Etienne’s snaps are unlikely to be cut off quite as early this week. Yes, Texas A&M just held Texas State to just eight rushing yards, but they’re one of the worst teams in the entire country. If that deters some from starting Etienne, so be it. With 40.5 implied points for Clemson, the nation’s current second-leading rusher is hard to fade even at a price about $2,000 higher than any alternative.
Outside of Etienne, there are several trap players in the top tier, but only one truly safe one for cash lineup purposes: J.K. Dobbins. Even with more proven backfield company, Dobbins averaged 18.3 touches per game. And last week, even in a blowout win Dobbins still saw 22 touches. Justin Fields looks like he’ll function as the de facto RB2 for the Buckeyes, but Dobbins has virtually no competition for touches beyond that. This week should be no different. The competition will be stiffer (playing Cincinnati), but like mentioned earlier, Ohio State is still a heavy favorite. Expect a solid performance.
Alex Fontenot ($6,300, Colorado) doesn’t bring much as a pass-catcher (at least not yet), but he’s coming off a dominant 19-carry, three-touchdown performance for Colorado. He’s clearly the unchallenged feature back on a veteran offense projected to score over 30 points this week against a Nebraska team that struggled against South Alabama.
Some might worry that Mekhi Sargent ($6,200, Iowa) splits too much time with Iowa backfield mate Toren Young, but he logged nearly 20 touches last week. Iowa is heavily favored against Rutgers and is currently being given an implied 34.5 points by the oddsmakers. Sargent should be quite as efficient on a per touch basis (18 for 156), but even so, his workload makes his price enticing.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn ($6,100, Vanderbilt) is one of the best values on the entire board this week. He somehow managed about 5.5 yards per touch (for 98 total yards) against Georgia last weekend, despite consistent offensive failure by all other Vanderbilt players. Now he gets Purdue, who just lost to Nevada.
Most thought that Larry Rountree would be the clear feature back for Missouri this season, but Tyler Badie ($5,900, Missouri) out-touched him 23 to 16 last week and was involved in the passing game from the start. Badie actually caught seven receptions, tying the team lead. Given Missouri’s matchup against West Virginia and potential market share, Badie is most likely the skeleton key at running back this week.
Isaih Pacheco ($5,100, Rutgers) and Kevin Mensah ($4,900, UConn) are both playing for underdogs this week, but saw incredible opportunity in Week 1 with 20 and 36 touches, respectively. These two represent the cutoff in pricing for real feature back opportunity but could be risky given their defensive matchups this week.
Dedrick Mills ($4,700, Nebraska) struggled with the entire Nebraska offense last week but is clearly the lead back (for now). Sixteen touches last week at $4,700 for week two is certainly interesting.
Jordan Mason ($4,500, Georgia Tech) is the closest player resembling a conventional running back in Georgia Tech’s quite unconventional offense. The entire Georgia Tech offense struggled against Clemson last week, but in a more favorable game script should see even more touches and perhaps more efficient yardage output.
Christian Turner ($4,200, Michigan) surprisingly out-touched true freshman star Zach Charbonnet for Michigan this past week. If that happens again in what should be a blowout against Army, Turner should easily be a value given his price. The only concern is that quarterback Shea Patterson may not be 100% healthy for the Wolverines.
Lastly, Abdul Adams ($4,200, Syracuse) has finally found his opportunity two seasons after leaving Oklahoma. He and Moe Neal split touches almost equally in week one. If Adams gets another 16 touches in week two there’s no way he doesn’t outproduce his price tag.
Just to summarize the cheap options, here’s a summary of their price versus implied opportunity.
|Player||Week Two Price||Week One Touches||Week One Yards From Scrimmage|
Priority: (1) Etienne, (2) Dobbins, (3) Badie, (4) Vaughn, (5) Mason, (6) Sargent
Last, but not least we have the receivers for this week. And just like QB and RB, the receivers this week are priced in a “Go Big or Go Home” kind of fashion.
Rondale Moore ($8,100, Purdue) is the only truly “absolute must” this week given his consistent weekly opportunity. Moore never saw less than five touches in a game in 2018 and averaged more than ten per game. He picked up right where he left off against Nevada grabbing 11 receptions, and carrying the rock twice for a total of 127 yards from scrimmage. Yes, Colorado’s Laviska Shenault is still a very good football player, but at $8,000 the no-brainer pick between the two is Moore (given Shenault’s slightly less safe week to week role). Start Moore. Your squad has room.
The only other two players in the “stud starts” tier this week are both Clemson wide receivers: Justyn Ross ($7,400) and Tee Higgins ($7,300). Last week was Higgins’ time to shine with four catches, 98 yards, and a score. Ross only saw three receptions for 13 yards. But! Clemson didn’t have to do anything to beat Georgia Tech. The story should be a little different against Texas A&M. If you’re playing multiple lineups switch these two in and out. One or both should provide a safe floor given their explosive 2018 campaigns (both with 936-plus yards and 9-plus TDs).
Chris Olave ($6,300) and K.J. Hill ($5,900) weren’t asked to do much in week one for Ohio State when they played against FAU. However, they should both lead the team in snaps and targets again this week versus Cincinnati. If either ends up assuming the Parris Campbell role from a year ago the target share should be monstrous. Both are risky but are still fairly priced given the potential upside.
Johnathan Johnson ($6,000, Missouri) led all Tigers receivers with seven. No other receiver logged more than four. Kelly Bryant’s found his favorite target quickly, and that should continue. It’s hard to find players with seven and eight reception upside at $6000.
Brycen Hopkins ($5,400, Purdue) has the second-most receiving yards among all tight ends in Division I football thanks to his seven receptions for 84 yards against Nevada last weekend. With a very young receiver corps, the Boilermakers will rely on Hopkins often this year.
Bo Melton ($5,300, Rutgers) is a relative unknown for Rutgers, but he turned his seven touches in 130 yards last week. He and Raheem Blackshear look like the focal point of that passing game. The difference this week is about $2000 in price in favor of Melton.
JD Spielman ($4,700, Nebraska) averaged nearly seven receptions and over 80 receiving yards per game last season. His two-catch week one performance checks in as more of an anomaly than the norm. But he did show off his return ability with a punt return touchdown. Spielman should see WR1 opportunity every single week this season now that 1300 yards and nearly 100 receptions were vacated from last year’s Nebraska offense. Spielman will never be this cheap again.
The No. 1 player to watch on this entire slate will be Demetric Felton ($4,500, UCLA). If Joshua Kelley is cleared to play Felton is an easy fade, but if not, Felton could be in line for another 25 touches as a running back instead of a receiver. Felton racked up 162 yards from scrimmage last week thanks to Chip Kelly’s feature back tendencies. If Kelley’s out Felton will be started all over and you may miss cash if you don’t.
And lastly, Ricky Smalling ($4,000, Illinois) and Trishton Jackson ($3,400, Syracuse) should help round out your receivers to fit elite options elsewhere. Smalling always has a high receiving market share for Illinois (about 28% last week). The only question will be whether he scores a touchdown against a weak UCONN team. Trishton Jackson is the cheapest Syracuse option for some reason even though tied the team lead in receptions week one.
Just like the running backs, let’s break down the cheaper options pricing and opportunity:
|Player||Week Two Price||Week One Touches||Week One Total Yards|
Priority: (1) Moore (2) Spielman, (3) Felton (if Kelley sits) (4) Johnson, (5) Higgins, (6) Ross
And that’s all folks! Hope your teams kill it in the main slate of Week 2 College Football! Make sure to check out Devy Weekly to learn more about breakout studs every single week of the season. Please find me on Twitter @FF_TravisM to chat more about all things college football and NFL! And as always, keep living that Dynasty Life!