Welcome back! I can’t wait to get things rolling for CFB DFS season. I’ll be doing something a little different this year. As opposed to the extensively detailed breakdowns for games on the featured slates, I’m going to do smaller write-ups for every game, on every slate, on every site. This way I can keep everyone happy, whether you’re playing the DK or FD featured slates, the smaller afternoon slates, or even the late-night slates. Feel free to hit me up with feedback or suggestions as the season goes on. Let’s do this!
Here you can choose which slate you’d like to jump to, or you can skip right to the rankings:
DraftKings Featured Slate, 12:00 pm (10 games)
Kentucky @ Toledo (12:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Kentucky -11.5 | Total: 61.5
Without Benny Snell or Josh Allen back in the blue and white, this game will be no “gimme” for Kentucky. Toledo is one of the top teams in the MAC and has an offense that can put up points in a hurry.
Kentucky was strong against the pass in 2018, but that isn’t Toledo’s strength. Running back Bryant Koback ($5,600) was originally recruited by the Wildcats, but transferred to Toledo after redshirting his freshman year. He piled up nearly 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns last season and should be running with a purpose against his former school.
QB Terry Wilson ($6,400) and WR Lynn Bowden ($6,500) are the obvious choices from Kentucky’s side. With no Snell, Kentucky is going to rely on its pass game more in 2019, and what better way to set things on the right track than to take advantage of a MAC secondary.
DFS Targets: RB Bryant Koback (TOL), QB Terry Wilson (UK), WR Lynn Bowden (UK)
Mississippi State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (12:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Mississippi State -20.5 | Total: 59.0
These two will open up the 2019 season from the Superdome in New Orleans. The Bulldogs defense has to overcome the losses of Jeffery Simmons, Montez Sweat, and Jonathan Abrams, amongst others. Although they’re going to be majorly tested once they get to conference play, they shouldn’t have any problems shutting down anything Louisiana can throw at them.
Tommy Stevens ($7,600) will take over at QB, with a similar skillset to Nick Fitzgerald, who made the jump to the NFL after 2018. In a 56-10 win over this same Louisiana team last September, Fitzgerald put up 243 passing yards, 2 passing scores, 107 rushing yards and another 4 touchdowns on the ground – that’s about 55-60 fantasy points on DK if you’re counting at home. Stevens won’t get there, but I’d be shocked if he doesn’t hit high-end tournament value (4x) in this one.
We do need to worry about RB Kylin Hill ($7,800) stealing rushing numbers from Fitzgerald. I think Hill runs wild if he gets the carries – but if it’s a blowout again, they’re likely to rotate backs, and I don’t see Hill reaching tournament value. He’s more of a cash-game play for me.
DFS Targets: QB Tommy Stevens (MSST), RB Kylin Hill (MSST)
Ole Miss @ Memphis (12:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Memphis -5.5 | Total: 67.5
It what should be the highest scoring game of the slate, Ole Miss will try to replace some major losses on their offense. Greg Little, Jordan Ta’amu, A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, DeMarkus Lodge, and Dawson Knox…are gone. That’s nearly 200 catches and over 3,000 receiving yards of production…gone.
Rich Rodriguez comes in as the Rebels new offensive coordinator and should be bringing more of a balance on offense, which will benefit RB Scottie Phillips ($6,700). Look for Phillips to get 20+ carries per game as long as he’s healthy. Memphis was decent against the run last season, but Mississippi’s big SEC O-line should be able to pave the way for Phillips to do some damage in this one.
With Darrell Henderson gone, it’s the Patrick Taylor ($8,500) show for Memphis this season. He gets a beautiful matchup right out of the gate, against an Ole Miss defense that finished No. 115 against the run in 2018 – allowing over 5 yards per
I’m not a big believer in Brady White ($7,000
I also like Kenneth Gainwell ($3,400) as a lower-owned GPP play. Gainwell is likely to take over the Tony Pollard role for Memphis. If the game gets into shootout mode, Gainwell could pile up the receptions, and gives you nice leverage over the higher-owned Taylor at RB.
DFS Targets: RB Scottie Phillips (MISS), RB Patrick Taylor (MEM), RB Kenneth Gainwell (MEM), WR Damonte Coxie (MEM)
East Carolina @ NC State (12:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: NC State 16.5 | Total: 54.5
These teams played in 2018, with NC State crushing the Pirates 58-3. That was a different Wolfpack though, as Ryan Finley, Jakobi Meyers, Kelvin Harmon, and Garrett Bradbury, amongst others, are off to the NFL now.
With a new quarterback under center, I think they attack East Carolina on the ground for the most part. Ricky Person ($5,700) is listed as the team’s starting tailback and is worthy of cash game consideration. In the 2018 matchup, NC State’s RB1 went for 220 yards and 2 scores on the ground. I’m very high on
Thayer Thomas ($4,800) will be starting in the slot and is underpriced – a real solid cash-game option.
I expect the Wolfpack D to completely shut down this East Carolina offense again.
DFS Targets: RB Ricky Person (NCST), WR Thayer Thomas (NCST)
Indiana @ Ball State (12:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Indiana -17 | Total: 60.0
The in-state sorta-rivals will kick
I will be taking some GPP shots with Plitt and his starting wideouts Riley Miller ($5,600) and Justin Hall ($5,500). Miller had at least 4 catches in all but two games in 2018, averaging nearly 20 DK points per game over his last nine. Hall was nearly as good, finishing the season with 15+ DK points in four of his last five games.
Ball State really struggled against the run last season, but they are getting nine starters back on that side of the ball. Stevie Scott ($8,100) was the bell cow back to end 2018 for Indiana, rattling off 580 yards in his last five games – including 139 against a strong Michigan defense.
Michael Penix Jr. ($6,500) has been named starting QB for Indiana. He has more of a dual-threat skill set than Patrick Ramsey did, making him a solid cash-game option at his week one salary.
DFS Targets: QB Drew Plitt (BALL), WR Riley Miller (BALL), WR Justin Hall (BALL), QB Michael Penix Jr. (IU), RB Stevie Scott (IU)
Florida Atlantic @ Ohio State (12:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Ohio State -27.5 | Total: 63.5
Florida Atlantic scored over 30 points per game in 2018, but this isn’t terribly impressive considering 75% of their schedule consists of Conference USA foes. We know how terrible Oklahoma’s defense was last season – they allowed nearly 300 yards per game through the air, good for dead-last in the nation. FAU couldn’t even manage 200 passing yards against the Sooners, and scored only 14 points. This isn’t going to be fun for the Owls.
Ryan Day was actually calling the shots in last year’s Buckeyes opener, and in a 77-point thrashing of Oregon State, he gave Dwayne Haskins 30 pass attempts, and starting running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber 35 combined rushes.
He’ll try to set the tone of the season early once again against FAU, and most of the offensive starters are probably safe for cash games. Justin Fields ($9,000) should have a monster statistical game, J.K. Dobbins ($7,900) should see 15-20 carries, and at receiver – K.J. Hill ($6,700) is safe, and we’ll have to keep an eye on the depth chart once it’s released to see who is starting on the other side.
I’ll also have a lot of interest in whomever is listed at RB2. It will likely be Demario McCall ($3,400) or Master Teague ($4,500). I’ll have a ton of exposure to whoever will get those backup carries. McCall is battling a calf injury, so we’ll need to monitor playing status prior to kickoff.
DFS Targets: QB Justin Fields (OSU), RB J.K. Dobbins (OSU), RB Demario McCall OR Master Teague (OSU)*, WR K.J. Hill (OSU) *I will update this situation prior to kickoff (McCall questionable)
Duke @ Alabama (3:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Alabama -35 | Total: 57.5
Alabama is going to dominate…we all know that. As is generally the case with me, I’m not going to pay a premium for a QB or WR that will likely be on the bench for most of the second half. I’ll pass on Tagovailoa and Jeudy – I hope it doesn’t bite me.
What I am very interested in is the running backs. Najee Harris and Brian Robinson – Alabama’s top two backs – are both being suspended for the game’s first half after violating team rules. Jerome Ford is the RB3, and he’s been banged up for a few weeks now. This likely leaves freshman Keilan Robinson ($3,000) to get a bulk of the first-half carries for Bama. At the stone-cold minimum salary, he lets you fit a couple more studs into your lineups. If we get confirmation that Robinson is in fact starting, he’ll be a solid cash play – I’ll be sticking to GPP’s only with him if we don’t.
I have no interest in Duke against this defense – they’re still one of the best in the country.
DFS Targets: RB Keilan Robinson (BAMA)
South Carolina @ North Carolina (3:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: South Carolina -9.5 | Total: 63.5
This one has the potential to shootout a bit, but I don’t have a ton of interest from the DFS perspective.
Both teams have multiple running backs that will share carries, and the weakness of both of these defenses is in the run game. What we’ll likely see is a bunch of backs with 8-12 carries, which is not what we’re looking for in our DFS lineups.
UNC has a freshman quarterback that will be under pressure all game, and Jake Bentley isn’t going to hit value unless the Gamecocks fall behind and are forced to abandon the run. I’m not seeing any value from this game.
DFS Targets: None
Northwestern @ Stanford (4:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Stanford -6.5 | Total 47.5
This will be a low-scoring affair between two teams with above average defensive units.
Hunter Johnson should be an upgrade over Thorson at QB for the Wildcats in 2019, but he’s not going to have much time against this Cardinal D.
I’m a big K.J. Costello fan, but this probably isn’t the right slate to jam him into DFS lineups. The matchup is far from ideal, and there are far, far better options available.
DFS Targets: None
Virginia Tech @ Boston College (4:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Virginia Tech -4.5 | Total: 57.0
A.J. Dillon ($7,500) is interesting here. He is a big talent at the RB position, but underwhelmed in 2018. He was incredibly inconsistent, and most of that can be attributed to the Eagles offensive line. Virginia Tech wasn’t good against the run last season, but Dillon only managed 96 yards on 24 carries in Blacksburg this past November – in what was a 31-21 win for BC.
VT QB Ryan Willis ($8,000) hit 28 DK points in last year’s meeting, but the Hokies will be on the road for this one. He has three receivers which could all be factors, so I’ll use the cheapest for cash games and some GPP dart throws – that being Hezekiah Grimsley ($4,800). Tre Turner ($5,800) is also in play for GPP’s – he scored touchdowns in five of VT’s last seven games of 2018.
Overall, I don’t love Dillon and Willis for GPP’s, but I think they’re probably safe bets to hit cash value.
DFS Targets: RB A.J. Dillon (BC), QB Ryan Willis (VT), WR Hezekiah Grimsley (VT), WR Tre Turner (VT)
Featured Slate (12:00 pm) Positional Rankings (ranked by value)
- Tommy Stevens, Mississippi State, $7,600 (Cash or GPP)
- Justin Fields, Ohio State, $9,000 (Cash or GPP)
- Terry Wilson, Kentucky, $6,400 (Cash or GPP)
- Ryan Willis, Virginia Tech, $8,000 (Cash)
- Drew Plitt, Ball State, $6,100 (Cash or GPP)
- Michael Penix Jr., Indiana, $6,500 (Cash or GPP)
- J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State, $7,900 (Cash or GPP)
- Ricky Person, NC State, $5,700 (Cash or GPP)
- Stevie Scott, Indiana, $8,100 (Cash or GPP)
- Patrick Taylor, Memphis, $8,500 (Cash or GPP)
- Scottie Phillips, Ole Miss, $6,700 (Cash or GPP)
- Ohio State RB2 *Will update prior to kickoff (McCall questionable)
- Keilan Robinson, Alabama, $3,000 (GPP) *Cash OK if he’s confirmed starter
- Kylin Hill, Mississippi State, $7,800 (Cash)
- A.J. Dillon, Boston College, $7,500 (Cash)
- Bryant Koback, Toledo, $5,600 (GPP)
- Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis, $3,400 (GPP)
- K.J. Hill, Ohio State, $6,700 (Cash or GPP)
- Damonte Coxie, Memphis, $7,800 (Cash or GPP)
- Lynn Bowden, Kentucky, $6,500 (Cash or GPP)
- Thayer Thomas, NC State, $4,800 (Cash or GPP)
- Riley Miller, Ball State, $5,600 (Cash or GPP)
- Justin Hall, Ball State, $5,500 (Cash or GPP)
- Hezekiah Grimsley, Virginia Tech, $4,800 (Cash or GPP)
- Tre Turner, Virginia Tech, $5,800 (GPP)
DraftKings Night Slate, 7:00
pm (8 games)
Boise State @ Florida State (7:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Florida State -4.5 | Total: 54.0
Hurricane Dorian is approaching the east coast of *This game has been moved to Tallahassee.
Robert Mahone ($3,900) was just named RB1 for the Broncos and should be a fine cash-game play regardless of the weather. Hank Bachmeier ($4,500) will get the start at quarterback, but even with his ridiculous price, I’ll have a hard time rostering him if the weather is messy.
The same goes for Florida State’s pass game. Cam Akers ($7,600) is a bit pricey, and if the field is a mess, I’m not sure I’ll be too interested in him either.
I’ll keep everyone updated on the weather as kickoff nears.
DFS Targets: RB Robert Mahone (BSU), RB Cam Akers (FSU)
Georgia Southern @ LSU (7:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: LSU – 27.5 | Total: 52.5
Georgia Southern’s run-based offense will have its toughest test of the season against the LSU Tigers. Needless to say, things probably won’t go as the Eagles would like. I’m not comfortable rostering anyone from their side.
Georgia Southern has two REALLY good cornerbacks in their secondary. Kindle Vildor and Monquavion Brinson will not make this easy for LSU QB Joe Burrow ($7,500).
Therefore, the Tigers running backs should get a ton of work. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($5,200) should be a cash-game lock at his salary. Despite the uber-talented freshman John Emery ($8,000) behind him, CEH is the clear-cut starting back.
DFS Targets: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU)
Middle Tennessee State @ Michigan (7:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Michigan -34 | Total: 54.0
The last time we saw Michigan on the football field, they were headed to the locker room, heads hung low, after getting decimated for the second straight game to close out the season – a 41-15 loss to Florida in the Peach Bowl (which followed a 62-39 loss to Ohio State).
It’s revenge time. I feel bad for MTSU going into this game. They’ve lost some key pieces and are in the process of rebuilding, and they’re about to get tossed into the shredder.
New offensive coordinator Josh Gattis has been tasked with giving this Wolverine pass game life, so expect Shea Patterson ($7,000) and co. to come out with guns blazing. Donovan Peoples-Jones ($6,300) and Nico Collins ($7,300) will line up outside the formation, but how does the target share balance out? I’m a little scared to spend up on either of these guys and think I’d rather take the safer option in the slot – Mike Sainristil ($3,400).
Peoples-Jones is more high-risk, high-reward as a GPP option, but I’ll probably have more exposure to Patterson on his own. Evans and Sainristil are better suited as cash-game options.
DFS Targets: QB Shea Patterson (MICH), WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (MICH), WR Nico Collins (MICH), WR Mike Sainristil (MICH)
Auburn @ Oregon (7:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Auburn -3.5 | Total: 55.5
Freshman Bo Nix ($5,200) will get the start for Auburn, and he may or may not have his top pass-catcher in the lineup. Anthony Schwartz ($5,500) broke his hand earlier this month, and is looking like a game-time decision for this one. Regardless, I’m not terribly interested in the Tiger offense. They’re likely to be spreading the targets around, and will be giving carries to multiple backs. JaTarvious Whitlow ($5,700) is a special talent, but he’s not likely to run wild against this experienced Oregon defense.
For fans of trench warfare, this may be the game of the year. Auburn has one of the most talented and complete defensive lines in the country, and they’ll be at battle with arguably THE best offensive line in college football. In fact, Pro Football Focus just released their list of the top 50 college football players in the nation, and 3 of those 50 spots belong to Duck linemen. Auburn probably has the ability to shut down the Oregon run game, but how much pressure can they put on QB Justin Herbert ($6,600)?
Herbert will be slinging the ball around, and I have a lot of interest in WR’s Juwan Johnson ($4,900) and Johnny Johnson III ($3,600). Juwan is more of a GPP play, as he’s reportedly been dealing with some major cramping issues. Johnny the Third is cheap enough to consider for cash-game lineups. I’ll have some GPP exposure to Herbert – this Auburn defense can
DFS Targets: QB Justin Herbert (ORE), WR Juwan Johnson (ORE), WR Johnny Johnson III (ORE)
Missouri @ Wyoming (7:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Missouri -17.5 | Total: 53.5
Missouri was hit with stiff penalties by the NCAA in the offseason. Most importantly, they won’t be eligible to play in a bowl game this season. Will this team have any motivation this fall?
They get what should be a “gimme” in their home opener. Wyoming’s defense finished in the top 20 in most categories last season, but who did they really play? Against everyone not named Washington State, Missouri, or Boise State, they allowed just 16.5 points against per game. When the stakes got higher though – against the aforementioned trio of teams – they allowed nearly 40 points against per game.
I don’t expect much of anything from this Wyoming offense, but for Kelly Bryant ($7,900) and this Missouri pass game, it should be bombs away. Jalen Knox ($6,700) and Johnathan Johnson ($6,100) should have big games, and TE Albert Okwuegbunam ($5,600) is in play too. Johnson is questionable with a foot injury, so we’ll have to keep an eye on his playing status leading up to kickoff.
With so many options, I won’t have a lot of exposure to these pass catchers, and certainly won’t be using them in cash, but Kelly Bryant is a top option at QB for all formats.
DFS Targets: QB Kelly Bryant (MIZZ), WR Jalen Knox (MIZZ), WR Johnathan Johnson (MIZZ), TE Albert Ogwuegbunam (MIZZ)
Georgia @ Vanderbilt (7:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Georgia -21 | Total: 57.5
I actually think Vanderbilt surprises this season, but I’m not sure they have the firepower to keep up with this Georgia team.
I really like Ke’Shawn Vaughn ($6,000), but rolling him in DFS against the Bulldogs just seems like a let-down waiting to happen.
D’Andre Swift ($9,500) will probably have a big season, but I’m not paying for him until I see it, and he is questionable to play as well. This team likes to use multiple backs, and I’m not paying a premium on a guy who isn’t guaranteed to see 20+ carries.
Jake Fromm ($7,800) is a viable fantasy quarterback this week. I’m not certain who he’s going to be throwing the ball too, though. The Bulldogs haven’t released a week one depth chart, so we’ll likely just need to wait and see with this cast of pass-catchers.
DFS Targets: QB Jake Fromm (UGA)
Virginia @ Pittsburgh (7:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Virginia -2.5 | Total: 45.5
Darrin Hall, Qadree Ollison, and the remnants of last season’s Pitt ground-and-pound are gone. New offensive coordinator Mark Whipple will put more of a focus on the
Virginia has one of the nation’s top defensive backs, in Bryce Hall, and had last year’s No. 20 ranked overall defense.
On the other side, Bryce Perkins ($8,400) is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. He’s one of the top QB options on the slate. I see a breakout season ahead for WR Joe Reed ($5,500). He finished with 8 catches, 217 yards and 5 touchdowns in Virginia’s final three regular
DFS Targets: QB Bryce Perkins (UVA), WR Joe Reed (UVA)
Louisiana Tech @ Texas (8:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Texas -20.5 | Total: 55.0
Despite a 20-point spread, Texas should be careful with these Bulldogs. J’mar Smith ($5,200) is a talented signal-c
Sam Ehlinger ($9,300) is my top QB. His price tag is huge, but he shouldn’t have much of a problem moving the ball against this defense – both through the air and on the ground. I probably won’t force any of the Texas pass-catchers. Collin Johnson ($6,900) is a top talent, but the Bulldogs have a very good secondary, led by cornerbacks L’Jarius Sneed and Amik Robertson. This isn’t to say that Texas can’t have success through the air, but I think their running backs carry them in this one.
While Keaontay Ingram ($7,700) is opening the season as the team’s RB1, he only has 2 career starts, and I have my money on true freshman Jordan Whittington ($5,000) taking over at some point. He’s going to be a superstar for this team, and I’m jumping on him right away. Ingram is priced out of GPP consideration for me but seems to be a good bet to hit the 3x needed for cash-game value.
DFS Targets: QB J’Mar Smith (LT), WR Adrian Hardy (LT), WR Isaiah Graham (LT), QB Sam Ehlinger (TEX), RB Keaontay Ingram (TEX), Jordan Whittington (TEX)
Night Slate (7:00 pm) Positional Rankings (ranked by value)
- Sam Ehlinger, Texas, $9,300 (Cash or GPP)
- Bryce Perkins, Virginia, $8,400 (Cash or GPP)
- Shea Patterson, Michigan, $7,000 (Cash or GPP)
- Justin Herbert, Oregon, $6,600 (GPP)
- Kelly Bryant, Missouri, $7,900 (Cash or GPP)
- Jake Fromm, Georgia, $7,800 (Cash or GPP)
- J’Mar Smith, Louisiana Tech, $5,200 (GPP)
- Robert Mahone, Boise State, $3,900 (Cash or GPP)
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU, $5,200 (Cash or GPP)
- Keaontay Ingram, Texas, $7,700 (Cash)
- Jordan Whittington, Texas, $5,000 (GPP)
- Adrian Hardy, Louisiana Tech, $6,400 (Cash or GPP)
- Juwan Johnson, Oregon, $4,900 (GPP)
- Johnny Johnson III, Oregon, $3,600 (Cash or GPP)
- Mike Sainristil, Michigan, $3,400 (Cash)
- Johnathan Johnson, Missouri, $6,100 (GPP) *Questionable to play (foot)
- Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan, $6,300 (GPP)
- Nico Collins, Michigan, $7,300 (Cash or GPP)
- Joe Reed, Virginia, $5,500 (GPP) *Questionable to play (ankle)
- Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri, $5,600 (GPP)
- Jalen Knox, Missouri, $6,700 (GPP)
- Isaiah Graham, Louisiana Tech, $3,500 (GPP)
DraftKings Late Night Slate, 10:00 pm (3 games)
New Mexico State @ Washington State (10:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Washington State -32 | Total: 64.5
Anthony Gordon ($8,600) won the starting job at QB for Wazzou, holding off FCS-recruit Gage Gubrud ($7,000). Unfortunately – or maybe fortunately – news broke before DK released their late-night salaries, so Gordon is rightfully the most expensive QB on the slate. I’ve literally never watched Gordon throw a football before, so I’m a little hesitant to crown him the unquestioned No. 1 choice at QB on this 3-gamer, but he’s likely to attempt 50+ passes in this offense, and could absolutely crush if he’s even slightly competent.
Max Borghi ($8,200) should smash. Listed as the RB1 – without the “OR” designation that Mike Leach lists for nearly all of his skill players – he should handle the ball more than anyone on the team other than Gordon. He’ll likely get about 10-15 carries and could see anywhere from 5-10 receptions. There are other options at QB, but I really think you have to lock Borghi in here.
The one thing I will not do with this Washington State team is to attempt to handicap the wide receivers. The ball could literally go anywhere, and there is a group of about 6-8 pass-catchers that could wind up as the lead dog on any given night. It’s pretty rare for one guy to hit tournament value out of this group, so I always recommend you just stay away.
OK…I’ll make one exception. If you’re looking for a cheap option at WR, I do think Brandon Arconado ($3,600) hits value with relative ease. Again, we never really KNOW with these Wazzou receivers, but his salary makes him a low-risk flier.
New Mexico State is projected to score only a couple of touchdowns. I don’t see anyone on their side that jumps out at me.
DFS Targets: QB Anthony Gordon (WSU), RB Max Borghi (WSU)
Southern Utah @ UNLV (10:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: UNLV -24 | Total: 70.5
UNLV should have no problem putting up 40+ on a Southern Utah team that won just one game in the FCS in 2018. The question is, do they try to get the pass game cranking? Armani Rogers ($8,500) is an elite rushing quarterback, but he’s struggled when throwing the ball in his first two seasons at the helm. Listen, he’s probably going to hit value running the football alone, if they do decide to air it out, that will all be a bonus – find a way to fit Rogers in your lineups.
Charles Williams ($4,900) is a nice mid-priced RB. He’ll be the starting tailback for UNLV and should see around 20 carries if I had to guess. He shined in a featured role against Fresno State late last season, rushing for 121 yards on 16 carries.
Randal Grimes ($3,300) will likely find himself in most of my lineups. He’s starting at the “X” position (outside) and is probably the most talented pass-catcher that Rogers has to throw to. He’s the only receiver I’d trust on this team, and it’s mainly due to his low salary.
I’m going to give you three players from the Southern Utah side. UNLV’s defense is not great, and even an FCS team should be able to move the ball on them – as evidenced by their 24-point projected team total. Nobody is going to play these guys, and decent players with low ownership on a three-game slate can win you GPP’s.
QB Chris Helbig ($6,300) will start at QB. Southern Utah played two FBS teams in 2018 – Oregon State and Arizona. In those games, Helbig went for 34.3 and 28.8 DK points – if he gets there again – which is probably likely – he smashes value.
RB Jay Green ($5,100) is the team’s top tailback. I’m not quite as high on Green. He went for 14 DK points against Oregon State, and 13.8 against Arizona – he’s going to need at least 15 fantasy points to hit cash value, and more than that to factor in GPP’s. Still, he’s one of the top offensive players on the team, and ownership on him should be very low.
WR John Mitchell ($3,000) is a 6-foot-3 freshman receiver that has impressed in offseason practices. He’s currently running with the first team and should be completely under the radar for most DFS’ers – one of my favorite GPP targets.
DFS Targets: QB Armani Rogers (UNLV), RB Charles Williams (UNLV), WR Randal Grimes (UNLV), QB Chris Helbig (SOUT), RB Jay Green (SOUT), WR John Mitchell (SOUT)
Fresno State @ USC (10:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: USC -13.5 | Total: 52.5
This will be an interesting game to watch. On one side of the ball, we have a Fresno State offense that’s returning just two starters from it’s 2018 offense. Marcus McMaryion, KeeSean Johnson, and Jamire Jordan are among the playmakers that are missing from the offense heading into the fall. Jorge Reyna ($6,600) will start at quarterback for the Bulldogs, but despite a dual-threat skillset, I can’t get behind him on DFS rosters. Not only are there a couple far better options – with plenty of value to make them fit – but I think it’s more likely this offense ramps up the run game a bit more in 2019.
Jordan Mims and Ronnie Rivers ($6,300) have both shown they can be extremely productive, but Mims has been lost for the season with a foot injury. The last time we saw Rivers, he had the best game of his career – 212 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns against Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl. Expect a big workload for Rivers in this one.
Jared Rice ($5,300) is one of the top tight ends in the country, but his fantasy production is extremely touchdown dependent. I’ll only use him in GPP’s, but he’s the only pass-catcher I’m interested in from the Bulldogs.
USC has a new offense, which was built by new coordinator Graham Harrell – a former Texas Tech star quarterback and Mike Leach disciple. Expect a lot of passing, and a lot of play volume. Harrell is going to be expecting lots short, quick throws from J.T. Daniels ($7,100), similar to what we see out of the Washington State offense.
This of course means that the ball is going to be spread around more, which isn’t optimal for DFS purposes. I don’t think we see as much diversity here amongst the leading receivers as we do with Wazzou, though, so I’ll still be sprinkling Amon-Ra St. Brown ($6,100), Tyler Vaughns ($5,800), and Michael Pittman Jr. ($5,900) into lineups.
DFS Targets: RB Ronnie Rivers (FRES), TE Jared Rice (FRES), QB J.T. Daniels (USC), WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (USC), WR Tyler Vaughns (USC), WR Michael Pittman Jr. (USC)
Late Night Slate (10:30 pm) Positional Rankings (ranked by value)
- Armani Rogers, UNLV, $8,500 (Cash or GPP)
- Anthony Gordon, Washington State, $8,600 (Cash or GPP)
- J.T. Daniels, USC, $7,100 (Cash or GPP)
- Chris Helbig, Southern Utah, $6,300 (Cash or GPP)
- Max Borghi, Washington State, $8,200 (Cash or GPP)
- Charles Williams, UNLV, $4,900 (Cash or GPP)
- Ronnie Rivers, Fresno State, $6,300 (Cash or GPP)
- Jay Green, Southern Utah, $5,100 (GPP)
- Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC, $6,100 (Cash or GPP)
- Michael Pittman Jr., USC, $5,900 (Cash or GPP)
- Tyler Vaughns, USC, $5,800 (Cash or GPP)
- Randal Grimes, UNLV, $3,300 (Cash or GPP)
- Jared Rice, Fresno State, $5,300 (GPP)
- Brandon Arconado, Washington State, $3,600 (Cash or GPP)
- John Mitchell, Southern Utah, $3,000 (GPP)