Week 4 action continues with a Friday slate and DraftKings and FanDuel have great contests for these games. This college football DFS breakdown will look at each team and provide information about each skill position player of note. The highlighted plays per game and pass rates will be from 2020. Make sure to check out our projections, depth charts and datasheets for more information. With that said, let’s dive into the first iteration of the Week 4 CFB DFS picks for Friday’s matchup.
College Football DFS: Week 4 Friday CFB Picks
Middle Tennessee State vs. Charlotte
Middle Tennessee State (27 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 69.5 (74th)
Pass Rate – 56.12% (26th)
Middle Tennessee State opened the year 1-2, dropping their last two games against Virginia Tech and UTSA after beating Monmouth in Week 1. Middle Tennessee State continues to run an up-tempo, pass-heavy scheme. Last year, they passed 50.6% of the time, while running 73.1 plays per game. Rick Stockstill is the longtime head coach of Middle Tennessee State. Brent Dearmon is in his first year as offensive coordinator, but this does not matter as much with Stockstill coming from an offensive background. This team ranks 93rd in pass blocking.
Middle Tennessee State will move forward with Chase Cunningham ($5,300) at quarterback after former starter Bailey Hockman ($4,500) quit. This could be a good thing for the program. While still a small sample size, Cunningham’s 63.3% completion percentage and 8.6 yards per attempt both dwarf Hockman. Hockman also could not run whatsoever. Cunningham only has six yards rushing, but at least he is in the positive. As a whole, Middle Tennessee State averages 237 yards passing per game, making Cunningham a middling play.
Middle Tennessee State does not have a prolific rushing attack and they look likely to use a committee throughout the year. Chaton Mobley ($4,200) missed their last game, but he is their second-leading rusher with 44 yards on 14 carries. Amir Rasul ($3,000) is the current leader in the backfield with 80 yards on 30 attempts. Even Martell Pettaway ($3,200) factored into Middle Tennessee’s most recent game. Without Mobley, he received six carries to Rasul’s eight. Pettaway may be the preferred receiving back as well with five targets that week. This situation is a mess and playable only in tournaments.
Jaylin Lane ($4,700) did not play in Week 3 after taking a big hit in Week 2. This somewhat narrowed the receiver room with Jarrin Pierce ($3,200) and Izaiah Gathings ($3,000) playing the most in Week 3. Pierce currently ties the team lead with 13 targets, but he only has 94 yards. Gathings is in a similar spot with nine total targets on the year. However, he led the team with six targets in Week 3. He did not play in Week 1, reducing his overall target numbers. Jimmy Marshall ($3,500) and D.J. England-Chisolm ($3,100) are also important weapons. Marshall is tied for the team lead with 13 targets, and he leads the team with 177 yards receiving. England-Chisolm has seven targets for 52 yards. C.J. Windham ($4,200) is another player who missed Week 3, but he had 11 targets to start the year with 60 yards. Pierce is the only one with a consistent role week in and out. Last week, the route rates were Pierce (92%), Gathings (86%), England-Chisolm (73%) and Marshall (68%). This situation is a mess.
Charlotte (29 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 70.0 (71st)
Pass Rate – 43.957% (88th)
Charlotte sits at 2-1 with wins over Duke and Gardner-Webb and a loss against Georgia State. Charlotte’s offense looks similar to 2020, where they ran 72 plays per game (62nd) with a 44.1% pass rate (77th). Will Healy and Mark Carney have been in place as head coach and offensive coordinator since 2019. This team returned eight starters on offense and five on defense. This includes four starters on the offensive line, but early returns have not been great. They sit at 79th in pass blocking, but neither defense is particularly good.
Charlotte will use dual threat Chris Reynolds ($5,700) at quarterback. He averages 196 yards passing per game on 25 attempts, but he also has 111 yards rushing already. Charlotte is not a high-volume passing attack, but Reynolds is somewhat efficient. He completes 56% of his passes for 7.8 yards per attempt. He legs keep him in play at his price.
At running back Charlotte continues to use a three-man committee consisting of Shadrick Byrd ($4,700), Calvin Camp ($3,400) and ChaVon McEachern ($3,000). Byrd leads the group with 36 carries for 151 yards, followed by Camp with 134 yards on 30 carries. McEachern also has 98 yards on 24 making this a full-blown committee. With Reynolds also siphoning off a handful of designed runs every game, this backfield is a tough target in DFS.
At receiver Victor Tucker ($5,700) leads the team with a 29.9% target share. This equates to 7.7 targets per game in a low volume passing attack but ranks second on the team with 177 yards receiving. He is still the preferred stacking option with Reynolds. Behind him. Grant DuBose ($4,900) has emerged as the WR2. DuBose leads the team with 206 yards receiving on 5.3 targets per game. Behind them, tight end Taylor Thompson ($3,100) and WR3 Elijah Spencer ($3,000) are seldom targeted GPP options.
Wake Forest vs. Virginia
Wake Forest (31.5 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 82.0 (11th)
Pass Rate – 39.63% (107th)
Wake Forest has wins over Old Dominion, Norfolk State and Florida State. This team has been relatively untested to start the year, but their offense looks similar to 2020. Last year, they ran 81.2 plays per game (6th), while passing 48.46% of the time (54th). Their pass rate has dropped sharply to start 2021 due to positive game script. This team has received strong offensive line play after struggling during 2020. Returning five starters looks to have helped this unit that will face off against a non-existent Virginia pass rush.
Playing in the best game environment on the slate, Sam Hartman ($7,700) will quarterback Wake Forest. Hartman only averages 230.3 yards on 28 attempt to start the year as Wake Forest embraces the run. However, Hartman also has 66 yards rushing and a passing ceiling if Wake Forest gets down in the game. Hartman currently completes 68.7% of his passes for 8.3 yards per attempt. Last year, he passed for 300 yards three times in nine games.
Wake Forest has gone full-blown committee at running back between Christian Beal-Smith ($5,300), Christian Turner ($4,000) and Justice Ellison ($3,000). Beal-Smith leads the group with 39 carries for 222 yards on the ground. Turner is second with 117 yards on 32 carries. Ellison brings up the rear with 89 yards on 22 carries. They should be prioritized in that order. None of these backs has received more than two targets in a game.
At receiver Jaquarii Roberson ($7,000) is the clear alpha. Wake Forest has not needed Roberson due to game script, but better days are ahead. Roberson averaged over 100 yards receiving per game last year. So far this season, he leads the team with a 23.5% target share, but he only has 154 yards. Better days are ahead. A.T. Perry ($6,100) has quietly outperformed Roberson to start 2021. He has 255 yards receiving on 16 targets to date. He is the clear WR2. Behind them, Taylor Morin ($5,300) and Donald Stewart ($3,900) continue to split time as the WR3. Stewart has 11 targets to Morin’s 10 so far this year, but Morin out-targeted Stewart 7-3 in Week 3. The routes also appear to be going Morin’s way. He participated in 68% of routes to 39% for Stewart in Week 3.
Virginia (35.5 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 77.5 (24th)
Pass Rate – 64.52% (5th)
Coming out of the gate hot, Virginia picked up wins over Williams & Mary and Illinois before losing 59-39 to North Carolina last week. Bronco Mendenhall and Robert Anae remain head coach and offensive coordinator for this team. Last year, they ran 78 plays per game with a 52.56% pass rate. Virginia’s explosive offense has benefitted from four returning starters on the offensive line, which ranks 31st in pass blocking. This team has scored at least 39 points in all three games so far this year.
One of the top quarterbacks of 2021 so far, Brennan Armstrong ($8,700) averages 432.7 yards passing per game with dual-threat ability. While he only has 15 yards this year, Armstrong racked up 552 as the starter last year. Armstrong has been wildly efficient with a 71.9% completion percentage and 10.7 yards per attempt. He is the top quarterback play on the slate.
Wayne Taulapapa ($4,900) is in concussion protocol, playing on a short week. It is possible he plays, but he should be considered highly questionable for Week 4. Virginia has not run the ball much to begin with, but this potentially leaves more carries for Mike Hollins ($3,700). Hollins has 10 carries and eight targets this year, while Devin Darrington ($3,000) has 10 carries as well. Gadget player Keytaon Thompson ($4,500) will also handle a few carries, making this situation still fairly unpredictable. Hollins is the play for those in GPPs looking for the starting rusher.
At receiver Dontayvion Wicks ($7,100) has been the favorite of Armstrong to open the season. He has 21 targets and leads the team with 346 yards receiving. Billy Kemp ($8,700) has also been a mainstay. He has a team-leading 23 targets and ranks second on the team with 216 yards receiving. Thompson ranks third in targets with 20 and posted 197 yards receiving. Even Ra’Shaun Henry ($7,900) averages six targets per game and already put up 172 yards receiving. Jelani Woods ($4,000) will operate as the tight end. he has 17 targets on the year and 174 yards receiving. This is a high-volume passing attack, so playing at least one or multiple receivers is a great idea. Woods and Thompson are awesome values for their prices.
Liberty vs. Syracuse
Liberty (29.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 71.5 (61st)
Pass Rate – 38.46% (109th)
Liberty enters this game 3-0 after defeating Campbell, Troy and Old Dominion to open the year. The Flames enter this game as six-point favorites over Syracuse. Hugh Freeze continues to coach a highly efficient offense here. Liberty ran 75.7 plays per game (32nd) last year, while passing 40.8% of the time (107th). Their tempo and offensive efficiency should be targeted here. The Flames also returned their entire two-deep on the offensive line, which should overwhelm Syracuse.
Liberty has one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country in Malik Willis ($8,500). Willis rushed for 944 yards last year and already has 225 on the ground in 2021. Willis is also a solid passer, who averages 204.3 yards passing per game on 23 attempts to open the season. Willis only eclipsed 300 yards passing twice last year, but his elite rushing makes him one of the best quarterback plays on the slate.
At running back Liberty uses a committee led by Joshua Mack ($5,900). Mack has 132 yards on 40 carries to open the year. Interestingly, Mack ceded quite a bit of work to start the year to T.J. Green ($4,500) and even Shedro Louis ($3,000). Green actually led the team in carries (10) in a close affair with Troy. He also has 132 yards rushing on 23 carries. Meanwhile Louis has 81 yards on 17 carries. He has seen seven carries in back-to-back games for Liberty. This situation is getting increasingly muddled with Mack tentatively atop the depth chart.
D.J. Stubbs ($6,200) is expected to play this week. Stubbs led Liberty in receiving las year with 523 yards on 38 receptions. He already had 102 yards receiving on eight targets through two games. Demario Douglas ($4,400) is the currently leading receiver with 185 yards on 19 targets. Behind him, Kevin Shaa ($7,300) has 10 targets and only 62 yards receiving. He was the team’s second-leading receiver last year. However, he played a reduced role last week as C.J. Daniels ($3,200) and Noah Firth ($5,500) ran more routes. Daniels has 91 yards receiving on nine targets, while Firth only played his first game in Week 3. He recorded 20 yards on four targets. This will be a rotation with everyone healthy, but Stubbs and Douglas should be considered the top two. This situation is prime GPP territory.
Syracuse (23.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 64.5 (106th)
Pass Rate – 43.41% (90th)
After a disaster 2020, Syracuse opened 2021 with a 2-1 record. So far, they knocked off Ohio and Albany, while losing to Rutgers 17-7. Dino Babers has coached Syracuse since 2016, but Sterling Gilbert enters his second season as offensive coordinator. Early returns have not been great after Syracuse passed 53.89% of the time (20th) and ran 63.1 plays per game last year (119th). They look likely to fall somewhere between these marks in 2021 as they continue to struggle with offensive efficiency. A major weakness of last year’s team, Syracuse’s offensive line continues to struggle. This could be tough against a Liberty team that rushes the passer fairly well.
Syracuse has platooned Tommy DeVito ($6,100) and Garrett Shrader ($5,200) to start 2021. DeVito handled the first game all to himself, but Shrader has played in each of the last two games. On a limited sample, Shrader has actually been better, completing 71.4% of his passes for 11 yards per attempt. Shrader is also an excellent dual threat going back to his days with Mississippi State. He only has 44 yards to open 2021, but he rushed for 587 yards back in 2019.
Sean Tucker ($6,400) has operated as Syracuse’s lead back through three games, but this may become a time share. Tucker has 372 yards rushing on 51 carries and another seven targets in the pass game. Behind him, Abdul Adams ($3,000) is now listed as a co-backup alongside Cooper Lutz ($3,000) and Jarveon Howard ($3,000). None of these backs have played legitimate snaps behind Tucker so far. As it stands, he is still a solid play as the feature back for a slight underdog.
Alpha receiver Taj Harris ($5,000) is questionable for this game after missing Week 3. He was described as hopeful to play and he even tweeted himself that he would be good to go. Harris has 18 targets and 139 yards receiving through two games. Behind him, Anthony Queeley ($4,300) will operate as the WR2. He has 13 targets, but only 64 yards receiving. Syracuse has not used a tight end much this season, but they may also be without tight end Luke Benson ($3,000) who is dealing with a knee injury. Sharod Johnson ($5,900) and Courtney Jackson ($3,000) participated in 82.5% and 72.5% of Syracuse’s dropbacks in Week 2 against Rutgers. Both have seven targets and remain GPP options only in this offense.
UNLV vs. Fresno State
UNLV (13.75 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 54.5 (128th)
Pass Rate – 42.20% (98th)
UNLV enters Week 4 with a winless record after losing to Eastern Washington, Arizona State and Iowa State. UNLV also did not win a game in 2020. Marcus Arroyo and Glenn Thomas are back as head coach and offensive coordinator. They finished with 74.8 plays per game (37th) and a 50.1% pass rate (40th) last year. Most of that came from negative game script, but the Rebels have not been able to get close to those numbers as they battle horrific efficiency. They enter this game as 31-point underdogs against a fierce Fresno State team.
Quarterback is a disaster for UNLV. Doug Brumfield ($5,100) missed last week’s game, but he returned to practice for UNLV this week. He has been the best in a miniscule sample, but he only has 177 yards passing on 26 attempts. He does have mobility with 70 yards rushing. With Brumfield out, Cameron Friel ($4,900) got the start. He threw for 67 yards on 13 attempts, while splitting time with Tate Martell ($4,500). Martell threw for 27 yards on six attempts. Brumfield is the best option in a group that likely rotates with little success to begin with.
While quarterback is a disaster, UNLV uses one back in Charles Williams ($5,100). He has 244 yards rushing on 60 attempts to open the year. No other running back has more than five touches on the year. However, Williams has little involvement in the pass game with just one target all season. He is a low-upside, volume-based play.
At receiver Kyle Williams ($4,800) leads the team with 117 yards and 20 targets. This is a low-volume passing attack, but Williams will dominate opportunities. Behind him, tight end Giovanni Fauolo ($3,100) and Steve Jenkins ($3,100) are tied for the second most targets at ten. Zyell Griffin ($3,700) ranks fourth with just seven targets. None of these ancillary options have more than 58 yards receiving all year.
Fresno State (44.75 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 81.3 (12th)
Pass Rate – 58.20% (19th)
Fresno State sits at 3-1 with wins over UConn, Cal Poly and UCLA. Their only loss came against Oregon by a score of 31-24. Fresno State’s coaching staff remains intact with Kalen DeBoer entering his second season. They returned nine starters on offense and 10 on defense. Better teams will give Fresno State trouble, but UNLV is not that. Last year, Fresno State ran 81.3 plays per game (fifth) and passed 55.7% of the time (14th).
Similar to UNLV, Jake Haener ($7,900) has been banged up to start the year. Despite the injuries, he is expected to be fine here. He has been excellent to start the year, averaging 365 yards passing per game on 36.3 attempts. He has not been mobile whatsoever, but the passing volume is there. This matchup is also a cakewalk, on top of Fresno State’s slate-leading implied team total.
At running back Ronnie Rivers ($5,600) is a bell-cow back, despite his diminutive stature. He already has 298 yards rushing on 62 carries. He is also very active in the pass game, recording another 154 yards on 16 targets. He has seen at least three targets in every game this year. In blowouts, Jordan Mims ($3,600) and Jordan Wilmore ($3,000) will receive a few additional carries, but neither are viable here.
Jalen Cropper ($7,400) is the alpha receiver for Haener. He already has 347 yards receiving on 37 targets. Last week, he saw an absurd 17 targets, which looks unlikely to repeat against UNLV’s putrid defense. Behind him, Josh Kelly ($6,500) ranks second on the team in targets at 25. Kelly actually leads the team in receiving with 369 yards. He also saw nine target last week. Keric Wheatfall ($5,100) is the WR3 with a distant 19 targets and 181 yards receiving. He will split time directly with Washington transfer Ty Jones ($4,100) who has actually run more routes than Wheatfall to this point. Zane Pope ($3,400) and Erik Brooks ($3,000) have also mixed in for about 33% of the team’s routes to this point. They will play a role even in close games, making them dicey GPP options.
Thanks for reading to the end of this article! If you appreciate this free content and want to see more of it every day, you can help us out by sharing this article on social media!
Looking for more CFB DFS picks content? We have loads of articles, data, DraftKings and FanDuel cheat sheets and more on the Awesemo CFB DFS home page.