NCAAF

College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 10/7/23

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 10/7/23

With daily fantasy football being so popular, it was only a matter of time before it translated to the college level.

FanDuel now offers college football daily fantasy contests in most states, and there's a twist on the NFL ruleset. You select a quarterback, two running backs, three wideouts (which includes tight ends), and a "SuperFLEX" that can be any of those positions.

Finding target data for pass-catchers in college can be difficult, so figuring out which players are on the field and getting work can make all the difference. Naturally, there are also more lopsided outcomes in college, so balance game scripts appropriately! Your running back's monstrous first half could lead to a bagel in the second.

Though raw name value is lacking, Week 6 was designed for DFS players. We've got six games with totals over 60 points that all have fairly close spreads, meaning we can throw away some of the lower totals and wide spreads that make up the rest of the slate. I'll likely just stick to these games in anticipation one or two of them goes bananas.

Note: All stats are from PFF.com. All tables are sortable by any category.

The Slate

Away Team
Home Team
Home Spread
Total
Implied Road Total
Implied Home Total
MarylandOhio State-19.557.519.038.5
LSUMissouri+4.564.534.530.0
OklahomaTexas-6.560.527.033.5
SyracuseNorth Carolina-8.559.525.534.0
Virginia TechFlorida State-23.552.514.538.0
AlabamaTexas A&M+1.546.524.022.5
Wake ForestClemson-20.552.516.036.5
View Full Table

I see this slate as half of its actual size. We've got six totals over 60.0 points, and all of them have a spread within two touchdowns that should keep things close heading into the final quarter. There's really no need to get cute, forcing some of the worse matchups and environments with plenty of ways to be different.

My personal favorite of these is likely the starting point for most. The LSU Tigers are in line for another shootout as road, 4.5-point favorites over the Missouri Tigers. It makes all the sense in the world with top-tier market shares at all three positions; I actually wish the total wasn't a slate-high 64.5 points to draw folks in.

Due to watchability, the "Red River Rivalry" probably will be a popular choice as the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns tangle again. We'll discuss the best ways to approach that one that'll go a long way to deciding the Big 12's title.

The demarcation point of viable games on this slate likely ends with the Syracuse Orange and North Carolina Tar Heels. In addition to the lower totals below them, there are five spreads of at least two touchdowns. I'm also a bit skeptical of the Louisville Cardinals' projected success in a matchup with a Notre Dame Fighting Irish group that just completely neutralized the previously sizzling Duke Blue Devils.

Quarterbacks

Player
Salary
Team
Attempts Per Game
YPA
Rush Yards Per Game
Jayden Daniels $12,400 LSU32.810.473.6
Jaxson Dart $11,500 MISS28.610.963.8
Shedeur Sanders $11,200 COLO43.08.134.6
Brady Cook $10,800 MIZZ28.210.513.0
Jordan Travis $10,600 FSU30.38.521.8
Dillon Gabriel $10,500 OU31.410.422.8
Quinn Ewers $10,400 TEX29.69.224.0
View Full Table

Top Plays

  • Jayden Daniels ($12,400)
    • Daniels holds about as good of a case for a QB above $12,000 that you'll possibly see. In the slate's best game, he's eclipsed 320 yards passing in every game against an FBS school this season, adding 73.6 rushing yards per game and 3 rushing scores. Missouri hasn't shown the firepower to blow out teams, and if LSU blows them out, #5 will have a substantial hand in it.
  • Dillon Gabriel ($10,500)
    • Quarterback plays can either be for upside or security, and Gabriel is the latter. OU is projected to score plenty in the Red River Rivalry, but their market shares are pretty abysmal at both running back and wideout. The senior is an efficient (10.4 YPA) way to encapsulate their production, and don't sleep on his rushing upside in more crucial spots.
  • Garrett Shrader ($9,600)
    • The Syracuse-UNC game is a great example of being different without being dumb. Averaging 78.0 yards per game on the ground so far, Shrader is almost certain to smash in an elite scoring environment, and this lofty total could provide one. Last year's concerns were inefficiency and turnovers, but he's posted 8.4 YPA thus far with a manageable interception total (4).
  • Jalon Daniels ($9,200) or Jason Bean ($9,200)
    • Both of KU's dual threat quarterbacks share the same salary, so it's easy to build with Daniels and quickly swap to the senior backup, Bean, if Daniels' back issues aren't cleared up. UCF-Kansas shares the highest total on the board (64.5), so the rushing upside for this salary is phenomenal regardless of who starts.

Others to Consider

  • Jaxson Dart ($11,500)
    • Dart was one of many (all?) key contributors that went off in the Mississippi Rebels' clash with LSU last week, but his salary was the desirable element. It was his first time topping 300 passing yards in that one, so he could disappoint with subpar TD results.
  • Shedeur Sanders ($11,200)
    • The Colorado Buffaloes and Arizona State Sun Devils have the usual for CU with a high total (60.5) and tight spread. Hard to bet against a 59.9% pass rate when Sanders has athleticism to add rushing yards (34.6 per game) or a score.
  • John Rhys Plumlee ($10,000)
    • I'd love to add another option opposite Daniels/Bean, but Plumlee is questionable at best to return against KU. He leads the slate in rushing yards per game at QB (82.5) if he suits up.
  • KJ Jefferson ($8,600)
    • Arkansas is the largest underdog amidst the high-scoring games on Saturday, which likely means Jefferson will see plenty of work trailing. I prefer him straight up to Dart for QB access to this game; the salary savings are a bonus.

Running Backs

Player
Salary
Team
Rush Att Per Gm
Rush Share %
Targets Per Gm
Target Share %
Devin Neal $10,200 KU13.039.5%3.012.9%
Blake Corum $10,000 MICH14.843.2%1.04.4%
Jonathon Brooks $9,500 TEX17.452.8%1.44.6%
Audric Estime $9,400 ND15.749.8%1.56.2%
Quinshon Judkins $9,000 MISS18.053.9%2.06.6%
LeQuint Allen $8,900 SYR15.046.5%3.611.5%
Omarion Hampton $8,800 UNC18.354.3%1.34.0%
View Full Table

Top Plays

  • Jonathan Brooks ($9,500)
    • Brooks is a great example of why conference play can drastically change workloads. He's gotten 20.7 total opportunities (carries plus targets) in the past three weeks -- good for a 61.2% rush share for UT. He's basically a lite version of 2022 Bijan Robinson.
  • Quinshon Judkins ($9,000)
    • This salary will at least make us think, but Judkins comfortably leads this backfield with 64.7% of the team's total carries since returning from injury. He's a five-digit salary back that's still producing to get back to that standard from last year.
  • Cameron Skattebo ($8,600)
    • CU has been pummeled through the air or ground, and Skattebo contributes in both places. He's gotten 87.9% of the team's overall carries in the past two weeks with a 10.6% target share.
  • Tahj Brooks ($8,400)
    • The Texas Tech Red Raiders have had a backfield committee my entire adult life -- but not in 2023. Brooks is third on the slate in team rush share over the past three weeks (66.4%) with a monopoly on the goal-line work, scoring twice last week.

Others to Consider

  • LeQuint Allen ($8,900)
    • I've loved Allen's workload but not his matchups in consecutive weeks. He's drawn 17.0 carries and 5.3 targets over the past three weeks. UNC is 35th in yards per play (YPP) allowed through a weak early schedule, but I still don't have a high prior on their defense.
  • Ray Davis ($8,000)
    • Coming off a monster week (50.3 FanDuel points), I'll choose him over other low-salaried lead tailbacks because of his pass-game work. He's got a 10.3% target share the past three weeks, which could climb against the Georgia Bulldogs' elite pass rush.
  • Logan Diggs ($7,700)
    • Buying low on developing elite workloads is the secret sauce of DFS, and Diggs fits that bill. He handled 67.9% of LSU's carries last week in the exact environment we hope for against Mizzou. He's a cash-game must at this low salary.
  • Marcus Major ($6,500) and Jovantae Barnes ($5,500)
    • I almost never turn to part-time work in CFB DFS because of the opportunity cost, but these salaries are low enough for both of OU's lead backs when carrying multi-touchdown upside in this environment.
    • These two have combined to handle 30.0 carries per game over the past three weeks.

Wide Receivers

Player
Salary
Team
Targets Per Gm
Target Share %
Routes Per Gm
Yardage Share %
Malik Nabers $10,300 LSU10.632.3%37.235.5%
Brian Thomas Jr. $10,100 LSU8.024.2%37.030.5%
Luther Burden III $10,000 MIZZ10.639.9%26.842.1%
Marvin Harrison Jr. $9,600 OSU8.326.1%30.828.6%
Roman Wilson $9,300 MICH5.021.9%17.628.7%
Tre Harris $9,200 MISS6.317.5%16.320.3%
Xavier Weaver $9,100 COLO11.228.1%50.227.5%
View Full Table

Top Plays

  • Malik Nabors ($10,300)
    • Last week went about as poorly for Nabors as possible. Despite a significantly stronger target share over the past three weeks (34.6%) than the 25.0% mark of Brian Thomas Jr. ($10,100), Thomas -- of course -- scored three times.
    • Thomas' five scores on a smaller target share the past two weeks aren't sustainable; it'll be Nabors before long.
  • Luther Burden III ($10,000)
    • Out of nowhere, Burden has emerged as one of FBS' most productive receivers behind a 42.1% yardage share. He's a perfect bring-back option to Daniels, Diggs, or Nabors because if the game stays tight, there's not enough requisite talent to believe Burden won't be a reason why.
  • Xavier Weaver ($9,100)
    • Weaver still led CU in targets last week (11) despite the quiet box score, so this might be a better spot for him in tournaments with others likely flocking to the multiple scores from Omarian Miller ($6,500), who only drew 8 looks.
  • Nate McCollum ($6,600)
    • McCollum drew an absurd 21 targets in his Week 3 season debut before dropping to 5 targets two weeks ago on the road against the Pittsburgh Panthers, but this salary still isn't appropriate for the middle ground entering this solid environment with Syracuse.

Others to Consider

  • Jordan Watkins ($8,200)
    • The salary for Tre Harris ($9,200) is back where it needs to be, but Watkins still has an excellent role in this offense and led the team in routes (42) last week. I'm a bit more interested in him than Harris when factoring in salary as this passing attack widens its target tree.
  • Andrew Armstrong ($7,900)
    • Arkansas keeps finding themselves in shootouts, but they are still a rush-heavy team (57.4% rush rate). If they're forced to the air, Armstrong led the team in routes again last week and has a 27.6% target share over the past three weeks.
  • Kobe Hudson ($6,600)
    • Hudson actually benefits if Plumlee -- a runner -- sits when he caught two scores two weeks ago with Timmy McClain ($8,900) at the helm. He's led the team in routes (31.3 per game) in the past three weeks with a phenomenal 33.6% yardage share this season.
  • Damien Alford ($6,300)
    • The wideout market shares in our best games aren't ideal, but Alford could be the type of profile lurking for Syracuse that we want. His 28.9% target share in the past three weeks only has produced 24 total looks, but a high-paced shootout with UNC could bump the volume.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.