The CFB DFS season rolls on with 11 games in the DraftKings main slate for Week 4.
|Team||Opponent||Spread||Total||Implied Points||Kickoff Time|
|Alabama||vs. Southern Miss||-39||61.5||50.25||12:00 p.m. ET|
|LSU||at Vanderbilt||-23.5||62.5||43||12:00 p.m. ET|
|UCF||at Pittsburgh||-11.5||61||36.25||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Missouri||vs. South Carolina||-9||61.5||35.25||4:00 p.m. ET|
|Florida State||vs. Louisville||-6.5||61||33.75||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Florida||vs. Tennessee||-14||49||31.5||12:00 p.m. ET|
|Washington||at BYU||-6.5||52||29.25||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Louisville||at Florida State||+6.5||61||27.25||3:30 p.m. ET|
|South Carolina||at Missouri||+9||61.5||26.25||4:00 p.m. ET|
|Texas A&M||vs. Auburn||-3.5||48||25.75||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Pittsburgh||vs. UCF||+11.5||61||24.75||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Michigan State||at Northwestern||-9.5||38.5||24||12:00 p.m. ET|
|Wisconsin||vs. Michigan||-3.5||44||23.75||12:00 p.m. ET|
|BYU||vs. Washington||+6.5||52||22.75||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Auburn||at Texas A&M||+3.5||48||22.25||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Ole Miss||vs. California||-2.5||41.5||22||12:00 p.m. ET|
|Michigan||at Wisconsin||+3.5||44||20.25||12:00 p.m. ET|
|Vanderbilt||vs. LSU||+23.5||62.5||19.5||12:00 p.m. ET|
|California||at Ole Miss||+2.5||41.5||19.5||12:00 p.m. ET|
|Tennessee||at Florida||+14||49||17.5||12:00 p.m. ET|
|Northwestern||vs. Michigan State||+9.5||38.5||14.5||12:00 p.m. ET|
|Southern Miss||at Alabama||+39||61.5||11.25||12:00 p.m. ET|
What to Expect in This Breakdown
Guarantee prize pool (GPP) tournaments often reward sub-optimal lineup construction and game theory-based decision-making. It’s difficult — and perhaps even disingenuous — to simply recommend a handful of players in a vacuum. In cash contests, that works great, because identifying value and bolstering a strong floor projection is critical to success. But in GPPs, we need to think differently.
So, for the past several weeks, I’ve tinkered with this article format in order to best convey the complex dynamics that form my recommendations. Last week, I framed my discussion in terms of contrarian game theory. I advised a USC game stack, which didn’t exactly pan out — but the theory behind it was sound. This week, I’m mixing up the formula once again by highlighting my favorite plays based on lineup exposures.
Game Theory & Roster Construction
Before I break down each skill position, allow me to offer a few general comments on the slate.
When deciding which games to populate the main slate, DraftKings opted for blue chip programs rather than high-octane offenses. Six of the slate’s 11 matchups report Vegas totals of 52 or lower, and three of them are below 45. At the higher end of the spectrum, we have five games with a Vegas total of 61 or higher, but several of them are lopsided. Fifteen teams have implied point totals of 28 or less. Only seven teams are expected to score at least 28 points.
This stark divide between high- and low-total matchups substantially limits our viable player pool. It also has a profound effect on roster construction — especially at the quarterback and running back positions (which I’ll explore further a bit later). Wide receiver is the deepest position group, and DraftKings has flattened the WR salary distribution for the second straight week. As a result, there are tons of WR options available. I’ll dedicate the bulk of this article to breaking down that position group.
As I alluded to previously, our QB options are somewhat limited this week. But limited does not necessarily mean bad. At the top of the salary spectrum, Tua Tagovailoa ($8,700) and Joe Burrow ($8,500) stand out as strong options. There are also two high-upside mid-range options in Dillon Gabriel ($7,000) and James Blackman ($6,500).
Kelly Bryant ($7,500) of Missouri and Ryan Hilinsky ($6,300) of South Carolina round out my QB player pool. Bryant is a viable option in one of the slate’s higher total games, but his rushing production at Clemson has not carried over at Missouri. Bryant’s price point is a bit too high, and he has a low TD ceiling compared to other QBs in his price range. Hilinsky — Bryant’s opposing QB — is relatively untested but has performed well to start the season. I don’t dislike Hilinsky as a GPP option, but he’s not among my top QB exposures.
Punting the QB position is not advisable this week due to the inexpensive options available at RB and WR.
Joe Burrow, LSU ($8,500) — Exposure: 100.0%
I have Burrow locked into every lineup submission this weekend. LSU’s new passing game coordinator Joe Brady (formerly of the New Orleans Saints) has revolutionized the Tigers offense. Through three games, Burrow has already thrown for 1,122 yards and 11 TDs, including an eye-popping 471-4-1 passing game against Texas in Week 2.
LSU is a huge 23.5-point favorite in one of the slate’s highest’s Vegas total games. He draws an ideal matchup against a Purdue secondary that allowed 509 passing yards, five pass TDs and 42 total points to Purdue in Week 2. Though LSU will likely get up early, I do not expect Burrow to make a premature exit. The Tigers are still installing and perfecting Joe Brady’s new offensive system, and they will likely use Vanderbilt as a tune-up game before their brutal mid-season SEC stretch.1 With a bye looming next week, LSU should not waste any offensive reps against the Commodores.
But What About Tua Tagovailoa?
Burrow reports a higher base projection over Tagovailoa, but that’s not the main reason why I’m locking him into my lineups. Instead, I’m fading Tagovailoa, because I’m very concerned that he will make an early exit against Southern Miss. Head coach Nick Saban has a long history of taking his foot off the gas pedal against lowly opponents early in the season.
In Alabama’s blowout win against Ole Miss in Week 3 last year, Tagovailoa only attempted 15 passes2 before exiting the game in the second quarter (Alabama was up 35-7 at that point). Then, in Week 5 against UL-Lafayette,3 Tagovailoa only attempted eight passes for 128 yards and two TDs before exiting the game at halftime.
The Rolling Tide is a 39-point favorite at home against Southern Miss. There’s a slim possibility that Tagovailoa plays a full game to pad his stats for his Heisman campaign. But it’s much more likely that Saban pulls him early-on in order to save him for SEC play.
Dillon Gabriel, UCF ($7,000) — Exposure: 50.0%
Through just two games as a starter, freshman Dillon Gabriel has already proven to be a capable replacement for injured star QB McKenzie Milton. Gabriel has passed for 592 yards and six TDs in his last two games, including an impressive 347-4-0 showing against a solid Stanford defense. He’s currently averaging 29.74 DraftKings points per game, and his looming matchup against Pittsburgh could result in another 300-plus yard performance.
The Panthers defense conceded 209.3 passing yards per game to opposing offenses last season, which is pretty respectable. However, they only ranked 52nd in pass defense efficiency4 and a closer look at their game logs tells a very different story.
Pittsburgh’s defense benefitted from playing a litany of heavy rush offenses last season, including teams like Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Penn State, and Miami (FL). However, when they faced above-average passing offenses, the defense buckled. Duke drubbed the Panthers for 396 passing yards, North Carolina went for 313 yards, and UCF put up 328 yards. Those three passing offenses averaged 42.7 points per game, which was 14.9 points higher than Pittsburgh’s season-long average.
The 2019 Panthers defense has yet to face a dynamic passing attack this season, and that defense is vulnerable in the back-end. Pittsburgh’s defensive strength is its defensive line — both in run defense and pass rushing. The Knights’ aggressive, fast-paced passing game should be able to nullify that advantage. Accordingly, UCF earns the third-highest implied point total (36.25) on the slate, which bodes well for Gabriel’s Week 4 fantasy production.
James Blackman, Florida State ($6,500) — Exposure: 50.0%
Alright, let’s get this out of the way right at the start: You saw the headline for this article. You knew I was going to talk up some Florida State players. And yes, I understand how difficult it is to trust a team that barely squeaked by against UL-Monroe and coughed up a huge early lead against Boise State. But hear me out: The Seminoles defense may be nausea-inducing, but the offense has potential. And it all begins with QB James Blackman.
Blackman has opened the season with fantastic passing numbers in Kendal Briles’ new offensive system. The former Houston offensive coordinator has brought an up-tempo spread offense to Tallahassee, and Blackman has shined in that new system. He’s thrown for three TDs in each of his first three games and is averaging 281 yards. For what it’s worth, Blackman’s most recent start last season came against NC State, and he threw for 421 yards and four TDs.
Blackman and the rest of the Florida State offense struggled mightily last season due to a combination of offensive line injuries, poor team morale, and questionable coaching. But 2019’s early-season returns suggest that Briles’ hiring has reinvigorated life into the offense. The betting world agrees with that assessment. The spread on Louisville-Florida State opened as a pick ’em and was driven up to FSU -7 within 48 hours. For those of you less familiar with sports gambling, that seven-point swing is dramatic and suggests tremendous betting volume on the Seminoles’ side.
In my opinion, Florida State-Louisville is the only lucrative full-game stack on the board this week. The Seminoles’ skill position players are priced sufficiently lowly to accommodate a team stack, and Florida State’s inept defense should act as a sieve for the Cardinals’ running game.
Be advised that head coach Willie Taggart commented Thursday that he hopes to get QB Alex Hornibrook some snaps in the game against Louisville; Lord only knows why. Blackman has been extremely effective as a passer this season, so this news is dumbfounding to say the least. Hell, Blackman is even the team’s offensive captain.
At any rate, “some snaps” or even a full offensive drive would not dramatically affect Blackman’s fantasy outlook. But, Taggart’s comments on Hornibrook do suggest that perhaps Blackman is on a short leash. Only roster Blackman if you’re willing to embrace volatility.
(Taking a deep breath) Okay, there is probably a more elegant way to phrase this, but RB is a little wonky this week.
Jonathan Taylor ($8,900) is the highest-priced player, but I don’t believe he’s worth the expense. Wisconsin-Michigan has a low Vegas total of 44, and Michigan’s rush defense is suffocating. In four games against Michigan and Iowa (another stout Big Ten rush defense) in his career, Taylor has exceeded 100 yards in every game but has failed to score in any of them. His poor scoring history against stout defenses, combined with the game’s low point total, limits his fantasy upside too much for my taste. At $8,900, I need my RB to score at least 25 DraftKings points to justify his salary. I project Taylor’s median expected points at just 16.2.
The mid-value RBs are also a mixed bag. Many of them report promising usage or strong scoring history, but each also carries bust potential due to roster competition or matchup concerns. For the sake of brevity,5 I’ll address each of these players in bullet-point format:
- Salvon Ahmed ($7,300), Washington — Ahmed draws an excellent matchup against BYU, but he’s locked in a timeshare with Richard Newton ($4,800) and Sean McGrew ($3,500). $7,300 is simply too pricey for a player that has already ceded too many red zone opportunities to other players on his team.
- JaTarvious Whitlow ($6,800), Auburn — Whitlow has had a phenomenal start to 2019, but Texas A&M’s rush defense is one of the best in the country … and he’s playing on the road in a hostile environment.
- Scottie Phillips ($6,800), Ole Miss — Phillips is as reliable as they come in CFB DFS, but California’s rush defense is SEC-caliber, and that matchup has an appalling Vegas total of 41.5.
- Greg McCrae ($6,100), UCF — I don’t dislike McCrae per se, but he’s earned his living on extraordinary efficiency rather than volume of opportunity. He still splits carries with Adrian Killins ($6,300), and Pittsburgh’s defense is one of the toughest UCF will face this season.
- Ke’Shawn Vaughn ($6,000), Vanderbilt — Vaughn is criminally underrated, but the Commodores are implied to score only 19.5 points at home against LSU.
- Christopher Brown Jr. ($5,800), California — Ole Miss’ defense conceded 220.8 rushing yards per game last season, which makes Brown an intriguing option at first blush. However, Brown’s rushing production is inflated by a 197-yard performance against FCS opponent UC-Davis. Moreover, California is only implied for 19.5 points, which limits his scoring upside. If he was $800 cheaper, he’d fit into lineups much more easily.
After all the dust settles, only four RBs remain for whom I have strong exposures. Let’s begin with my favorite punt option this weekend.
Javian Hawkins, Louisville ($4,400) — Exposure: 100.0%
I already alluded to Florida State’s poor defense in my Blackman discussion, but allow me frame that take with some statistical context. The Seminoles rank 120th out of 130 FBS teams in total defense, conceding 485.0 total yards on average to opposing offenses. Last season, that defense gave up 417.3 yards per game, and somehow it has gotten even worse.
Boise State rushed for 214 yards and two TDs against the Seminoles in Week 1, and UL-Monroe added 178 rushing yards and three scores the following week. Now Louisville gets its shot to run roughshod over the Seminoles in Tallahassee.
The Cardinals closed the 2018 season with three consecutive 200-plus yard rushing games — including a 226-yard showing against an elite Kentucky defense to close the season. That rushing momentum has carried over into 2019, as Louisville is averaging 263.3 rushing yards per game already this season.
Javian Hawkins is the lead-back in the offense and has amassed 338 rushing yards on 49 carries. His 19-122-0 rushing performance against Notre Dame in Week 1 testifies to his workload and productivity even against an elite defense. Hawkins’ 2019 stat-line could actually be even more ridiculous if he had played more than two quarters in Louisville’s blowout win over Eastern Kentucky in Week 2.
He is currently underpriced due to his inexperience and backfield timeshare. Hawkins has earned 49 rush attempts, and Hassan Hall ($3,800) has rushed 38 times for 182 yards. Between the two, Hawkins has been the more explosive runner by far and is the RB1 on Louisville’s most recent official depth chart.
Given the magnitude of the Cardinals’ rushing mismatch against Florida State, Hall could also be a reasonable pivot option with a slightly lower opportunity cost. However, in my tedious hours tinkering with roster construction, the $600 difference in their two salaries has not yielded more robust lineups. My advice is to lock in Hawkins at your RB2 spot, but I won’t begrudge you if you elect to take the discount with Hall.
Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M ($5,000) — Exposure: 60.3%
Incumbent starting RB Jashaun Corbin suffered a hamstring injury in Week 2 and is out for the season. In Corbin’s absence, freshman Isaiah Spiller has stepped into the Aggies’ RB1 role and performed admirably against FCS opponent Lamar. Spiller rushed 14 times for 116 yards and two TDs, and he also added two receptions for 21 yards. Spiller is averaging 8.8 yards per carry on the season and will receive a heavy workload against Auburn this week.
The Tigers defense is imposing. Auburn has allowed 140 rushing yards per game or less in each of its past four seasons. However, this game’s rushing matchup is strength-on-strength for both teams. Texas A&M has been one of the more prolific rushing offenses in the country under head coach Jimbo Fisher. The Aggies rushed for over 200 yards in seven of their 13 games last season, including a 201-yard performance against this same Auburn defense on the Tigers’ home turf. Texas A&M also rushed for a staggering 401 yards and five TDs in its bowl game against NC State.
The Aggies offense is averaging 27.7 rush attempts per game, excluding QB Kellend Mond’s ($7,900) rush attempts. Spiller is listed as Texas A&M’s sole RB1 without a “co-” designation and dominated RB touches in Week 3. Even if you assume decreased efficiency against Auburn, Spiller’s extreme projected volume still outweighs his moderate salary. He has a reasonable probability to vulture a TD and/or hit the DraftKings bonus for exceeding 100 yards.
Admittedly, Spiller is a more obvious cash play option given his high floor, but his low salary also benefits GPP lineup construction. Like Elijah Collins last week, Spiller is simply too cheap to pass up.
Larry Rountree III, Missouri ($7,700) — Exposure: 34.3%
Alas, we finally arrive at the first of my two top-tier RB options. From week to week, I’m consistently tempted to pivot away from Larry Rountree III, because his athletic profile doesn’t scream “elite RB talent.” But this week, he’s precisely what we need at RB: A safe, high-floor option with a solid defensive matchup in a high-total game.
Rountree has averaged 103 rushing yards over his last 12 games and has totaled 17 TDs over his last 16 games. He already has four TDs to start 2019 and has amassed 322 total yards through three games of action. What more can I say? The guy is incredibly consistent, has a high-touch floor, and is also a TD machine.
The Gamecocks defense surrendered 199.5 rushing yards per game to opposing defenses last season. In their 2018 matchup, Missouri rushed for 286 yards and three TDs, and Rountree put up an efficient 13-touch 21-point fantasy performance. His backfield share has only grown since then, making him an ideal high-floor contributor in an otherwise uncertain GPP slate.
Cam Akers, Florida State ($7,800) — Exposure: 31.4%
Rountree is my favorite high-floor option this weekend. But if you’re in the market for upside, Cam Akers is worth his inflated cost. Much like QB James Blackman, Akers has also gotten off to a fantastic early-season start in Briles’ new offensive system. Briles’ spread scheme utilizes a healthy dose of 10 and 11 personnel, which spreads out the defense all the way to the hashes. That scheme has enabled Akers to run into six- and seven-man boxes and use his elite agility to make defenders miss in space.
The results speak for themselves. Akers has rushed 69 times for 387 yards and three TDs; he has also added 10 receptions for 76 yards and two more scores. He rushed for over 100 yards in four of his games as a freshman and drew national acclaim for his elite athleticism and explosiveness. Then, last season Akers’ production faded due to previously documented issues with offensive line play and poor play-calling.
His exceptional production as a freshman helps legitimize his 2019 resurgence. We’ve always known Akers is an elite college RB — his surrounding cast has simply limited his breakout potential. But now he’s back, and his looming matchup against Louisville is as juicy as they come.
The Cardinals defense ranked 127th in rush defense last season, conceding on average 278.8 rushing yards per game and 40 total rushing TDs to opponents. Very little has changed this season: Notre Dame rushed 42 times for 230 yards and four TDs against Louisville in Week 1.
This is the definition of a smash spot. It would be utterly shocking if Akers has anything less than a career day against the Cardinals. WR talent depresses his exposure slightly, but don’t let that dissuade you from rostering him. Fire him up with confidence in Week 4. Also consider stacking him with Blackman and Hawkins to form a full game FSU-UL game stack.
WR is by far the most wide-open position group, and there are eight players with over 30% exposure in my lineups. The depth of mid-range options will deflate WR exposures across the board, making multi-lineup entries a near necessity.
To be brutally honest, this slate sets up well for cash contests, but GPPs are going to be a wild ride. This is likely one of those slates where the sharks are going to clean house due to the sheer volume and variety of their entries. If you’re only entering a single lineup, play it safe with an LSU stack and pray for the best.
Justin Jefferson, LSU ($7,600) — Exposure: 53.4%
I won’t spend too much time on Justin Jefferson, because the entire college football world should already know his name. Through three games, he’s amassed 19 receptions for 374 yards and four TDs. Those marks rank 21st, second, and seventh in the nation respectively.
Dating back to last season, Jefferson has eclipsed 80 receiving yards in 10 of his last 16 games. He has also hauled in eight TDs over his last seven games and has averaged 23.4 DraftKings points per game over that span.
He’s the No. 1 receiver in one of the most dynamic passing offenses in the country and faces a mediocre opponent in a high-total game. Jefferson checks every box as an excellent DFS play in all formats. This one’s a no-brainer.
Gabriel Davis, UCF ($5,800) — Exposure: 52.5%
If Gabriel Davis played in a pro-style offense in a Power Five conference, he would be a household name. Instead, the talented junior serves as UCF’s No. 1 receiving weapon in an offense that loves to spread the ball around. So, let’s get the bad news out of the way first: Davis has recorded three or fewer receptions in seven of his last 15 games (ugh). He has also turned in two performances with fewer than four total DraftKings points (ouch).
Now on to the good news. Davis has also exceeded 60 receiving yards in 10 of his last 15 games, 90 yards in five games, and has 10 TDs over that span. Most importantly, he is extremely athletically gifted, and talent will always win out.
Pittsburgh’s defensive strength is defensive line — not pass defense. UCF put up 328 passing yards, 568 total yards, and 45 total points against the Panthers last season. Davis is the strongest WR option to pair with QB Dillon Gabriel if you opt for a UCF team stack.
Aaron Fuller, Washington ($5,500) — Exposure: 45.6%
This recommendation is purely a value play. Aaron Fuller has no business being priced this low, no matter who is throwing him the football and no matter who is defending him. I recognize that BYU’s Achilles’ heel is rush defense — and that Washington loves to run the football — but Fuller is too good to pass up at this price.
He opened his 2018 junior season with 35 receptions for 574 yards and two TDs over his first six games, averaging 19.4 DraftKings points per game over that span. One of those six games included a Week 5 matchup against BYU, against whom he casually racked up eight receptions for 107 yards.
His production waned down the stretch in 2018, but he seems to be clicking with Georgia-transfer QB Jacob Eason ($6,100) to start the 2019 season. Fuller has logged 13 receptions for 168 yards and three TDs through three games. Based on his junior season production, Fuller is currently producing at about his median expected value. However, his TD rate has already improved.
The matchup isn’t perfect, and his QB isn’t fantastic, but Fuller is too talented to ignore. My exposure on Fuller is somewhat aggressive, but my various roster constructions frequently funnel me to his price point. Thankfully, he has the talent and production history to justify accepting his value at a depressed salary.
Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt ($4,200) — Exposure: 42.6%
I rarely roster tight ends in CFB DFS, but Pinkney is one of the few exceptions to that rule.6 He ranked second on the team last season with 50 receptions, 774 yards, and seven TDs. That level of production is exceptional for a college TE. Only 64 players matched or exceeded Pinkney’s statistical production last season — and Pinkney is the sole TE on that list.
Admittedly, he has had a slow start to his 2019 campaign, only catching five passes for 72 yards and zero TDs through two games. Inconsistent QB play has hampered his season thus far, but one of his games was also against Georgia … and the Bulldogs defense tends to shut down any opposing offense it faces.
LSU’s vaunted defense is just as daunting as Georgia’s, but the Bulldogs have spent the last three seasons defending now-NFL TE Isaac Nauta in practice. By contrast, the Tigers have rarely faced athletic pass-catching TEs like Pinkney. But when they did last season, those elite TEs won:
- Irv Smith Jr., Alabama: 4-64-1 receiving; 16.4 DraftKings points.
- Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M: 5-72-2 receiving; 24.2 DraftKings points.
- CJ O’Grady, Arkansas: 6-75-2 receiving; 25.5 DraftKings points.
I like Pinkney’s odds to return to form against LSU despite Vanderbilt’s offensive struggles, despite the Commodores’ low implied point total, and despite Pinkney’s poor 2019 start. Rostering Pinkney is a risky play, but his low salary unlocks excellent WR options elsewhere on the slate. If he plays to his potential, his upside and roster savings could turn the tables in a wide-open GPP contest this weekend.
Jared Pinkney is officially questionable against LSU with an undisclosed injury, but reports suggest his injury is minor and that he is likely to suit up this Saturday. Nonetheless, monitor his status leading up to noon kickoff.
Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU ($7,200) — Exposure: 37.3%
Terrace Marshall Jr. reported humble production as a freshman, but he has come out red-hot to start his sophomore campaign. He’s averaging 5.3 receptions for 76.3 yards and leads the country with six receiving TDs in just three games played. Marshall’s TD production is obviously unsustainable, but it also clearly demonstrates his immense upside. Furthermore, LSU is implied for 43 points against Vanderbilt, which increases Marshall’s scoring probability to offset his inevitable per-game TD regression.
Admittedly, paying up for Marshall feels a bit like points-chasing, but the allure of an LSU passing stack is difficult to pass up. Jefferson is the better receiver — with a stronger collegiate pedigree and safer floor — which is why he boasts a 16.1% higher exposure than Marshall. Nonetheless, many other DFS players will also discount Marshall’s ludicrous TD rate and opt for safety with Jefferson instead. As a result, we could see Marshall’s slate-wide exposure drop well below his expected value. By using reverse psychology against public skepticism, pivoting to Marshall could be a great way to harness some of that reduced exposure.
If he puts up a dud, you’ll feel like a donkey. But if he somehow pulls out another multi-score game, everyone else will be kicking themselves for fading the hot receiver. Jerry Jeudy had six TDs in his first three games last season, and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside had five. Both of those guys turned out to be pretty good. Just sayin’.
Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri ($5,100) — Exposure: 34.3%
I’m sure you’ve caught on to the trend by now, but Albert Okwuegbunam is yet another receiver in one of the slate’s few high-total games. Missouri is implied for 35.25 points against South Carolina, and Okwuegbunam is undoubtedly the Tigers’ most reliable scoring weapon. He’s likely the best TE in the SEC (although Jared Pinkney may have something to say about that) and is among the few college TEs that boasts WR-like receiving volume.
Okwuegbunam has caught at least four passes in 12 of his 21 career games and has eclipsed 100 receiving yards twice. He has also snagged a ludicrous 20 TDs and boasts six multi-score outings. There are no receivers in Okwuegbunam’s price range that can hold a candle to his TD production, and there are few that can challenge his receiving volume. His floor projection is somewhat unsavory, but he’s an every-week threat to score 20-plus DraftKings points.
Jaylen Waddle, Alabama ($4,800) — Exposure: 33.8%
Jaylen Waddle ranked second on the team in receiving yards (848) last season as a true freshman. But, he was very streaky. He eclipsed 100 receiving yards in three of his 15 games but also gained 30 yards or less in seven games. His week-to-week volatility would scare off most DFS players, but sharp GPP players embrace variance. Waddle’s depressed salary and potential increase in usage make him a classic GPP target.
As I mentioned earlier in this breakdown, I expect Alabama to pull Tagovailoa early against Southern Miss and expand the rotations at its skill positions. Theoretically, that would most benefit Waddle, who serves as the primary backup to star WR Jerry Jeudy ($8,300).7
But we don’t have to rely on speculation to guide us here. I examined Alabama’s game logs dating back to last season and recorded individual WR production based on the Rolling Tide’s closing spread. When Alabama was favored by 20 points or less, Waddle only averaged 9.6 DraftKings points per game (not good). When Alabama was favored by 20 to 29 points, he averaged 9.0 DraftKings points per game (even worse).
But, when the Rolling Tide was at least a 30-point favorite, Waddle’s DraftKings average swelled to 14.6 points per game, including a career-best 138 yards and three total TDs against UL-Lafayette8 in Week 5.
Again, Alabama is favored by 39 points against Southern Miss.
Tamorrion Terry, Florida State ($6,000) — Exposure: 30.9%
I close my remarks on this slate with a play that makes my stomach turn but also gets my heart racing: Tamorrion Terry of Florida State. Terry is absurdly explosive, averaging 21.3 yards per reception as a redshirt freshman last season. He only logged 35 receptions in 12 games of action, but he parlayed those opportunities into a staggering 744 yards and eight TDs.
This season, the Florida State offense has already shown drastic improvement, and Terry has consolidated his receiving share of the offense. He’s averaging 4.7 receptions and 78.0 yards per game as a sophomore and is the only Seminole receiver whom I trust.
He’s definitely overpriced — there’s no doubt about that. Rostering Terry at this salary is a minus-EV play more often than not. However, he’s also the safest WR to pair with QB James Blackman and does not need a high target share in order to break off a long TD catch. Moreover, his high price may deter ownership,9 which helps us build another unique lineup.
My 30.9% exposure for Terry is far more aggressive than the average DFS player, but it’s my style to swing for the fences in GPPs. If you share that mentality, consider building one lineup with a Blackman-Terry stack, and feel free to vent your frustration to me on Twitter if it totally busts.
Cheers, everyone — and best of luck on Saturday afternoon.
My Other WR Exposures Below 30.0%
- Jerry Jeudy, Alabama ($8,300)
- Bryan Edwards, South Carolina ($6,300)
- Shi Smith, South Carolina ($5,900)
- Tre Nixon, UCF ($5,700)
Image Credit: Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Cam Akers.
- LSU faces Florida, Mississippi State, Auburn, and Alabama in consecutive games from Week 7 to Week 10. (back)
- For 191 yards and two TDs. (back)
- I refuse to refer to UL-Lafayette as “Louisiana.” (back)
- Per Football Outsiders’ S&P+ metric. (back)
- LOL … this CFB DFS breakdown is possibly the longest in the industry. (back)
- Along with Albert Okwuegbunam, Harrison Bryant, Matt Bushman, and a few others. (back)
- After all, with whom does QB Mac Jones likely have the strongest rapport while practicing with the second string? Waddle. (back)
- Again, I’m not calling them “Louisiana.” (back)
- Plus, few college football fans enjoy cheering for Florida State anyway. (back)