Conference play starts up for nearly everyone this week. The FCS tune-ups are over, depth charts are all but finalized, and defenses start to tighten things up now. The DFS action doesn’t stop though, and I will continue to break down every game, from every slate…every week.
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 (11 games)
NORTHWESTERN @ WISCONSIN (12:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Wisconsin -24.5 | Total: 46.0
Northwestern has had Wisconsin’s number for years now, but I don’t see a path to victory for the Wildcats this season. Everyone that’s faced Stanford this season has gone off – except Northwestern…this offense is not good.
Jonathan Taylor ($9,000) has amassed 10 touchdowns in three games and should get plenty of carries in this one. It’s not often that I play Taylor in DFS – simply because of his enormous price tag – but this is one of those days.
DFS Targets: RB Jonathan Taylor (WISC)
TEXAS A&M @ ARKANSAS (12:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Texas A&M -23 | Total: 60.5
What a disappointment for Arkansas fans last week – San Jose State…really?? Trey Knox ($5,100) is turning into a superstar. His targets and catches have gone up in four straight games, and Arkansas will be looking his way a lot in this one, as 23-point underdogs.
Kellen Mond ($7,400) hasn’t taken the big step forward many thought he would this season, but he’s still looking awful good against tough defenses – throwing for a combined 571 yards against Clemson and Auburn. Well, this isn’t a good defense, and I think you can safely plug him into all formats. Like Alabama receivers, I just don’t ever feel good about stacking Mond with one of these guys. There are four very talented receivers in the Aggie WR room, and it’s always a dart throw trying to find the one that will go off in any given week.
DFS Targets: WR Trey Knox (ARK), QB Kellen Mond (TA&M)
KANSAS @ TCU (12:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: TCU -15 | Total: 49.0
We do have to watch the status of WR Mikel Barkley ($3,000) again, but he doesn’t sound like he’s quite ready to play yet. Taye Barber ($4,000) has also been described as “probably only about 80%” healthy. This is really hurting the TCU pass game, as opponents have been able to roll coverage over to Jalen Reagor ($5,900) – who had just 2 catches for 2 yards last week against SMU.
Therefore, I’d say RB Darius Anderson ($6,500) is probably in the best position to succeed in the current offense. He has back-to-back games of 36 DK points, and TCU is a 15-point favorite here.
For Kansas, the only player I’m even remotely interested in is WR Andrew Parchment ($5,800), who has 100+ receiving yards in three of four games this season.
DFS Targets: RB Darius Anderson (TCU), WR Andrew Parchment (KU)
TEXAS TECH @ OKLAHOMA (12:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Oklahoma -27 | Total: 69.5
I do think Texas Tech can throw the ball on this Oklahoma defense, but the depth chart is too crowded for DFS purposes. There are multiples backs, multiple receivers – even multiple quarterbacks that will be playing this week.
I think Jalen Hurts ($9,200) is the top QB on the slate – maybe on any of the slates this week. He’s averaging close to 50 DK points per game, and Texas Tech is not known for having much of a pass defense.
Although I think CeeDee Lamb ($7,000) is capable of a monster game, I do prefer Charleston Rambo ($5,600) at a discount. Rambo has outscored Lamb in two of three games thus far, and had 6 passing targets compared to Lamb’s 1 last week – teams have been game-planning hard to stop Lamb from having big play opportunities.
Three running backs continue to split carries evenly, so I’ll be staying away from the big names there.
DFS Targets: QB Jalen Hurts (OU), WR CeeDee Lamb (OU), WR Charleston Rambo (OU)
CLEMSON @ NORTH CAROLINA (3:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Clemson -27 | Total: 60.0
Welp. I was hoping for some closer games with the start of conference play, but we’re five games in here, and have double-digit spreads in all five. North Carolina can probably keep things interesting for a bit at home, but I don’t see them being able to move the ball much.
UNC is allowing 4.6 yards per carry to opposing backs, and Travis Etienne ($7,200) has had three average games in a row – he’ll surely have a doozy coming soon here.
Besides the Syracuse revenge game, Clemson hasn’t really shown the desire – or need – to throw the ball too much. I don’t think that trend changes here. I still like Tee Higgins ($6,300) at this price, and Justyn Ross ($6,200) is a high-ceiling GPP play in this matchup, too.
DFS Targets: RB Travis Etienne (CLEM), WR Tee Higgins (CLEM), WR Justyn Ross (CLEM)
IOWA STATE @ BAYLOR (3:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Iowa State -3 | Total: 55.5
These games have been low-scoring snoozers in recent years – 28-14 (2017) and 23-13 (2018) Iowa State wins. Denzel Mims ($6,800) is getting a ridiculous 36% of the target share in the Baylor passing game. Charlie Brewer ($7,700) is pricey, but he’s a dual-threat guy who can pile up fantasy points quickly.
Brock Purdy ($7,500) is also quite expensive for this matchup, but Baylor has a way of getting torched through the air, so I think he’s pretty safe at this price. This is a team which has multiple pass-catching options on the field, so I think it’s best to leave Purdy “naked”.
DFS Targets: QB Charlie Brewer (BAY), WR Denzel Mims (BAY), QB Brock Purdy (ISU)
GEORGIA TECH @ TEMPLE (3:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Temple -8.5 | Total: 48.0
Temple had been pretty solid against the run until last week. I don’t know how much exposure I’ll have, but Jordan Mason ($5,400) is probably a safe bet to hit cash value. He’s scored in three straight games to open the season and is averaging nearly 20 DK points per game.
Anthony Russo ($6,400) had a poor game against Buffalo, but this is an offense that is attempting the sixth-most passes in the country. The volume is there for Russo to have monster games, and this price is too good to pass up on. There are honestly enough balls to go around to all three of Russo’s primary targets – Jadan Blue ($5,100), Isaiah Wright ($5,100), and Branden Mack ($5,100). I think stacking Russo with any one of these three, and maybe even two of them, is a great idea. They’re cheap enough to give you room for Hurts, and maybe even Taylor at RB if you play your cards right.
Ra’Mahn Davis ($4,200) is a solid value option at RB if you need to save salary. Don’t expect too much from him, but he’s definitely got a great matchup here.
DFS Targets: RB Jordan Mason (GT), QB Anthony Russo (TEMP), RB Ra’Mahn Davis (TEMP), WR Jadan Blue (TEMP), WR Isaiah Wright (TEMP), WR Branden Mack (TEMP)
USC @ WASHINGTON (3:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Washington -10.5 | Total: 61.0
I love this new USC offense under Graham Harrell, but Washington’s defense is solid, and I won’t be paying up for these Trojan receivers.
I loved the game that Washington RB Sean McGrew ($3,700) had last week. He led the team with 18 carries and wound up rushing for 110 yards. He’s one of my favorite value plays on the slate, as Salvon Ahmed ($6,700) has been dealing with a lower-leg injury.
Jacob Eason ($6,600) has been great, but there are better options out there.
DFS Targets: RB Sean McGrew (UW)
OLE MISS @ ALABAMA (3:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Alabama -37.5 | Total: 61.0
Well, we know how this will go. Alabama has dropped 128 points on Ole Miss over the past two seasons and enters as a nearly 40-point favorite.
I think I prefer Hurts, but Tua Tagovailoa ($8,800) is right up there as one of the top fantasy options this week. I absolutely hate trying to guess at which wide receiver is going to have the biggest fantasy day in this offense, but Jerry Jeudy ($8,100) remains the safest option. He’s led the team in targets in three of four games and has hit 28+ DK points in four of his last five. Henry Ruggs ($7,600) meanwhile has scored 5 touchdowns in his last three. He’s more of a GPP-only option for me.
DFS Targets: QB Tua Tagovailoa (BAMA), WR Jerry Jeudy (BAMA), WR Henry Ruggs (BAMA)
VIRGINIA @ NOTRE DAME (3:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Notre Dame -11 | Total: 48.5
I think this game will be closer than most think – I definitely would take Virginia with 12.5 points. (UPDATE: Line is down to 11)
Either way, this projects to be a low-scoring, defensive ball game. I am not in love with any DFS options in this one.
DFS Targets: None
WAKE FOREST @ BOSTON COLLEGE (3:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Wake Forest -6.5 | Total: 69.0
Boston College is likely to keep the ball in the hands of their big RB A.J. Dillon ($8,300). I think Dillon runs wild in this one – he took 33 carries for 185 yards and a score against Wake Forest in 2018.
For Wake Forest, Jamie Newman ($7,800) continues to ball out – eclipsing 28 DK points in seven of his last eight games. Sage Surratt ($7,500) and Scotty Washington ($6,900) continue to be targeted on most throws. I’d consider Surratt the safer play, and Washington might be more of a GPP option. On a slate with a ton of good receivers, Surratt ranks out right up there with Jeudy as a top-two play.
DFS Targets: RB A.J. Dillon (BC), QB Jamie Newman (WAKE), WR Sage Surratt (WAKE), WR Scotty Washington (WAKE)
Main Slate (12:00 pm) Positional Rankings (ranked by value)
- Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma, $9,200 (Cash or GPP)
- Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama, $8,800 (Cash or GPP)
- Jamie Newman, Wake Forest, $7,800 (Cash or GPP)
- Kellen Mond, Texas A&M, $7,400 (Cash or GPP)
- Brock Purdy, Iowa State, $7,500 (Cash or GPP)
- Charlie Brewer, Baylor, $7,700 (Cash or GPP)
- Anthony Russo, Temple, $6,400 (Cash or GPP)
- Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin, $9,000 (Cash or GPP)
- A.J. Dillon, Boston College, $8,300 (Cash or GPP)
- Darius Anderson, TCU, $5,800 (Cash or GPP)
- Travis Etienne, Clemson, $7,200 (GPP)
- Jordan Mason, Georgia Tech, $5,400 (Cash or GPP)
- Sean McGrew, Washington, $3,700 (Cash or GPP)
- Ra’Mahn Davis, Temple, $4,200 (GPP)
- Jerry Jeudy, Alabama, $8,100 (Cash or GPP)
- Sage Surratt, Wake Forest, $7,500 (Cash or GPP)
- Henry Ruggs, Alabama, $7,600 (GPP)
- Scotty Washington, Wake Forest, $6,900 (GPP)
- Charleston Rambo, Oklahoma, $5,600 (Cash or GPP)
- CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma, $7,000 (GPP)
- Tee Higgins, Clemson, $6,300 (Cash or GPP)
- Denzel Mims, Baylor, $6,800 (Cash or GPP)
- Justyn Ross, Clemson, $6,200 (GPP)
- Isaiah Wright, Temple, $5,100 (Cash or GPP)
- Jadan Blue, Temple, $5,100 (Cash or GPP)
- Andrew Parchment, Kansas, $5,800 (Cash or GPP)
- Branden Mack, Temple, $5,100 (Cash or GPP)
- Trey Knox, Arkansas, $5,100 (Cash or GPP)
DraftKings Night Slate, 7:00 pm (7 games)
STANFORD @ OREGON STATE (7:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Stanford -3 | Total: 56.0
Oregon State’s defense has improved a bit from 2018’s, and Stanford’s offense has been atrocious. I like Cameron Scarlett ($5,400) – well, at this price at least – but that will be about the extent of my Stanford exposure. Oregon State is allowing 4.6 yards per carry to opposing backs and ranks No. 110 in the nation in overall run defense.
Isaiah Hodgins ($7,400) has become a dominant receiver for the Beavers and has a massive ceiling – with three games over 40 DK points in the past two seasons. He’s averaging over 11 targets per game, so feel free to fire him up in cash lineups and GPP’s alike.
DFS Targets: RB Cameron Scarlett (STAN), WR Isaiah Hodgins (ORST)
MISSISSIPPI STATE @ AUBURN (7:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Auburn -10 | Total: 46.5
We’re looking at a probable low-scoring, defensive slugfest here. Mississippi State finally started to look a bit like last year’s offense – but that’s all predicated on having the ground game working…and it won’t against this Auburn line.
Auburn will also need to throw the ball successfully to win this one, and I just don’t have enough faith in Bo Nix to roster anyone on Auburn’s side either.
DFS Targets: None
KANSAS STATE @ OKLAHOMA STATE (7:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Oklahoma State -4.5 | Total: 60.0
Kansas State has jumped out to a surprising 3-0 start, with a big win over Mississippi State. They’re about to get into a shootout with the Cowboys.
I don’t think the Wildcats passing game can keep up, but I like RB James Gilbert ($5,100) to do some damage. He should be good for about 20 carries, and Oklahoma State is not going to put up much of a fight on the line.
For Oklahoma State, we already know to fire up the big three: QB Spencer Sanders ($7,900), RB Chubba Hubbard ($8,400), and WR Tylan Wallace ($7,700). All three have had their salaries dropped from last week for some reason. I think they’re all safe bets to hit cash value, and they all have exceptionally high ceilings.
DFS Targets: RB James Gilbert (KSU), QB Spencer Sanders (OKST), RB Chubba Hubbard (OKST), WR Tylan Wallace (OKST)
OHIO STATE @ NEBRASKA (7:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Ohio State -17 | Total: 66.0
With Ohio State projected for 40+ points, I think Justin Fields ($8,600) is very clearly the top QB option on the late slate. In last year’s matchup with Nebraska, J.K. Dobbins ($7,500) went for 185 total yards and 3 scores. With the receivers a little bit hard to predict, I think I’ll keep my Buckeye exposure to those two.
Nebraska’s entire offense gets a downgrade in this matchup, but I do like Adrian Martinez ($8,000) thanks to his dual-threat abilities. He cranked it up for 118 rushing yards against Illinois last week and will have plenty of opportunities to take off in this one.
DFS Targets: QB Justin Fields (OSU), RB J.K. Dobbins (OSU), QB Adrian Martinez (NEB)
COLORADO STATE @ UTAH STATE (8:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Utah State -24 | Total: 70.5
Colorado State enters this one having lost back-to-back games, while the Aggies have won two straight. Utah State enters as 24-point favorites, so CSU is likely to be throwing the ball…a lot.
Warren Jackson ($5,600) was targeted a team-high 18 times last week – but he’s doubtful to suit up after getting banged up last week. Dante Wright ($5,500) and Nate Craig-Myers ($4,400) will see their targets increase if Jackson is out, and both should be considered safe cash-game plays if that’s the case.
Utah State ranks No. 111 in the nation against the pass, so Nebraska-transfer Patrick O’Brien ($5,600) should have another big game in this one.
Jordan Love ($6,800) will be in some of my lineups. He’s thrown for over 290 yards in five straight games. Siaosi Mariner ($5,400) is the No. 1 pass-catcher for Love and has gone for 14+ DK points in all three games to start the season.
My main target in this game, however, is RB Jaylen Warren ($7,000). He’s coming off three straight 20+ DK point performances and goes up against a Colorado State defense that’s allowing 6.4 yards per carry to opposing backs – second worst in the country.
DFS Targets: QB Patrick O’Brien (CSU), WR Dante Wright (CSU), WR Nate Craig-Myers (CSU), QB Jordan Love (UTST), RB Jaylen Warren (UTST), WR Siaosi Mariner (UTST)
KENTUCKY @ SOUTH CAROLINA (7:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: South Carolina -3 | Total: 53.0
Sawyer Smith ($6,400) has been awful for Kentucky, and there’s no way I can trust him to get Lynn Bowden ($6,700) those big games we’re used to. Ryan Helinski ($6,100) has looked a little better, but I’m not going there either. This game is a pass for me.
DFS Targets: None
NC STATE @ FLORIDA STATE (7:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Florida State -6.5 | Total: 61.5
Zonovan Knight ($5,300) is averaging 5.7 yards per carry for NC State, but he’s just not getting the volume we need to depend on him for fantasy purposes.
I want to like Cam Akers ($8,200) this week, but the Wolfpack are giving up just 2.9 yards per carry to opposing backs. Let’s look a little deeper though.
NC State shouldn’t have had any trouble stopping three of their first four opponents (East Carolina, Western Carolina, Ball State), but how did they fare against West Virginia? In a 44-27 loss, the Wolfpack defense allowed over 6 yards per carry to the Mountaineers – 5.2 ypc to the WV running backs. OK, I’m in. With James Blackmon out, I think FSU leans on Akers a bit more here.
DFS Targets: RB Cam Akers (FSU)
Night Slate (7:00 pm) Positional Rankings (ranked by value)
- Justin Fields, Ohio State, $8,600 (Cash or GPP)
- Jordan Love, Utah State, $6,800 (Cash or GPP)
- Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State, $7,900 (Cash or GPP)
- Adrian Martinez, Nebraska, $8,000 (Cash or GPP)
- Patrick O’Brien, Colorado State, $5,600 (Cash or GPP)
- Chubba Hubbard, Oklahoma State, $8,400 (Cash or GPP)
- J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State, $7,500 (Cash or GPP)
- Cam Akers, Florida State, $8,200 (Cash or GPP)
- Jaylen Warren, Utah State, $7,000 (Cash or GPP)
- James Gilbert, Kansas State, $5,100 (Cash or GPP)
- Cameron Scarlett, Stanford, $5,400 (Cash or GPP)
- Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State, $7,700 (Cash or GPP)
- Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State, $7,400 (Cash or GPP)
- Dante Wright, Colorado State, $5,500 (Cash or GPP)
- Nate Craig-Myers, Colorado State, $4,400 (Cash or GPP)
- Siaosi Mariner, Utah State, $5,400 (Cash or GPP)
DraftKings Late Night Slate, 10:00 pm (3 games)
WASHINGTON STATE @ UTAH (10:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Utah -6 | Total: 56.5
UCLA put up how many points? Both teams are coming off pretty bad losses. Utah has a great defense, but Anthony Gordon ($7,800) should have no trouble reaching value based on volume alone.
I knew it. I said last week that I wasn’t convinced Brandon Arconado ($6,300) was the true WR1 here. I still played him, and what do you know…6 DK points. <eyeroll.gif> OK, I am officially done playing Wazzou pass-catchers!
Max Borghi ($7,100) is not my favorite play this week, but I’ll have some GPP exposure. I think his ownership will be high because of name recognition and recency bias – but this is a tough matchup for him.
I do like Tyler Huntley ($7,200) thanks in part to his rushing ability. I don’t think he’ll have any trouble getting to cash value in this matchup. Huntley has five pass-catchers with between 10-12% of the target share, so this is a “naked” situation for the Utah QB.
RB Devin Brumfield ($4,000) is in play as a cheap value option. He’s the Utes RB1, and can catch balls out of the backfield too. I wouldn’t expect too much from him, but he’s one of the top value options on this three-game slate.
DFS Targets: QB Anthony Gordon (WSU), RB Max Borghi (WSU), QB Tyler Huntley (UTAH), RB Devin Brumfield (UTAH)
UCLA @ ARIZONA (10:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Arizona -6.5 | Total: 71.0
UCLA looked…good? Interesting. Let’s see it again. Joshua Kelley ($6,000) hasn’t gotten off to a great start, but his price is down $2,000 from where it was in week one, and this is where we should pounce on the Bruin back. He went for 31 DK points against this Arizona defense in 2018, and the Wildcats are allowing 4 yards per carry to opposing backs this season.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson ($6,900) blasted away for 60 DK points against Washington State last week – only the first time he’s gone over 20 fantasy points in his entire career. On such a short slate, I don’t mind having some exposure, but I’d much rather pay up for Gordon.
Demetric Felton ($6,600) has led this team in passing targets from DTR in three straight games and should be a good bet to hit cash value in this one.
Arizona had a week to rest up – probably a great thing for QB Khalil Tate ($7,600), who is coming off another 100-yard rushing game. I don’t expect Arizona to struggle on offense, and Tate should have ample opportunity to get the football to his explosive wide receiver Tayvian Cunningham ($4,400), whose salary still hasn’t caught up to his production.
J.J. Taylor ($5,600) was dinged up in week three’s loss to Texas Tech, and is questionable to play in this one. If he’s out, Gary Brightwell ($5,400) becomes the RB1 and is one of my favorite plays on this slate.
DFS Targets: QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson (UCLA), RB Joshua Kelley (UCLA), WR Demetric Felton (UCLA), QB Khalil Tate (ARIZ), RB Gary Brightwell (ARIZ), WR Tayvian Cunningham (ARIZ)
HAWAII @ NEVADA (10:30 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Nevada -2.5 | Total: 64.5
Hawaii and Nevada finish out the slate in what I think will be a lower-scoring game than most – I’m on the under here.
Cole McDonald ($6,800) is obviously in play, based on volume alone. Nevada ranks No. 90 against the pass, so McDonald and his receivers Cedric Byrd ($5,900) and JoJo Ward ($6,400) are all in play.
For the Wolfpack, Toa Taua ($5,300) should lead the team in carries again and gets a great matchup against a Hawaii defense allowing over 6 yards per carry to opposing backs.
Elijah Cooks ($5,000) is also a solid play at WR. He leads the team with a 24% target share in the passing game and has two games of 24+ DK points thus far.
DFS Targets: QB Cole McDonald (HAW), WR Cedric Byrd (HAW), WR JoJo Ward (HAW), RB Toa Taua (NEV), WR Elijah Cooks (NEV)
Late Night Slate (10:00 pm) Positional Rankings (ranked by value)
- Anthony Gordon, Washington State, $7,800 (Cash or GPP)
- Khalil Tate, Arizona, $7,600 (Cash or GPP)
- Cole McDonald, Hawaii, $6,800 (Cash or GPP)
- Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA, $6,900 (GPP)
- Tyler Huntley, Utah, $7,200 (Cash or GPP)
- Joshua Kelley, UCLA, $6,000 (Cash or GPP)
- Max Borghi, Washington State, $7,100 (GPP)
- Toa Taua, Nevada, $5,300 (Cash or GPP)
- Gary Brightwell, Arizona, $5,400 (GPP) *Cash/top play if Taylor is out
- Devin Brumfeld, Utah, $4,000 (Cash or GPP)
- Cedric Byrd, Hawaii, $5,900 (Cash or GPP)
- JoJo Ward, Hawaii, $6,400 (Cash or GPP)
- Demetric Felton, UCLA, $6,600 (Cash or GPP)
- Elijah Cooks, Nevada, $5,000 (Cash or GPP)
- Tayvian Cunningham, Arizona, $4,400 (Cash or GPP)