Week 9 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. 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 9 CFB DFS picks for Friday’s matchup.
College Football DFS: Week 9 Friday CFB Picks
Navy vs. Tulsa
Navy (18 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 73.7 (33rd)
Pass Rate – 17.64% (128th)
Struggling to open the year, Navy has a 1-6 record and their only win coming against UCF. Competitive in spots and a disappearing act in others, Navy played Cincinnati, Houston and SMU to single digits. Conversely, they got blown out by Marshall, Air Force and Memphis. A classic of the armed forces academies, Navy runs the triple option. They have actually been forced to play with some pace due to their poor record, but Navy doesn’t deviate from their scheme.
Navy’s quarterback is Tai Lavatai ($6,300). While triple option quarterbacks are risky plays on main slates, they become more viable on short slates due to a lack of alternatives. Navy typically uses their quarterback as their lead back. Lavatai has at least 19 carries in three of his last four games. While the 17.6% pass rate certainly hurts, Lavatai can access a ceiling on the ground. That has not happened this year and he only has two games above 50 yards. In the last two weeks, he has 38 carries for 50 total yards. Still, Navy is not using anybody else, giving him upside.
Isaac Ruoss ($3,900) plays fullback for Navy. Ruoss leads the team with 388 yards on the year, but that still equates to only 55.4 yards per game. Even so, Ruoss is a volume-based play after seeing at least 18 carries in three of Navy’s last four games. Behind him, backup fullback and change of pace back James Harris ($3,100) ranks third on the team in carries. He averages 9.7 touches per game and 39 yards on the ground. Carlinos Acie ($3,300) and Chance Warren ($3,600) are slot backs. Acie averages 5.6 touches per game and 29.4 yards. Warren averages 5.1 touches per game and 17.9 yards. Ruoss is the best option here, with everyone else providing GPP viability.
Navy receivers typically are not in play due to the triple option. However, the two-game slate makes them interesting at the very least. Mychal Cooper ($4,000) leads the team with 14 targets and 22.9 yards per game. The second wide receiver is Mark Walker ($3,000), but he only averages 1.0 target per game and 6.1 yards. However, he has an identical route rate at 73% to Cooper. These are the only two worth considering .
Tulsa (29 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 75.8 (25th)
Pass Rate – 47.47% (69th)
After playing Cincinnati for the AAC championship in 2020, Tulsa has a 3-4 record. Tulsa is a tough evaluation with losses to strong teams in Oklahoma State, Ohio State and Houston, alongside a brutal loss to UC Davis. Their only wins occurred against Arkansas State, Memphis and USF and all three occurred by single digits. Tulsa is virtually running the exact offense from 2020 with a league average pass rate and elevated tempo.
At quarterback, Tulsa will utilize Davis Brin ($7,000) as their game manager. Brin only has 17 yards rushing on the year, but he certainly sees volume in the passing game. Brin currently averages 272.3 yards passing per game on 33.6 attempts. Completing 57.9% of those attempts for 8.2 yards per attempt, Brin brings middling efficiency. However, with a solid implied team total on a two-game slate, Brin is a solid play.
At running back Tulsa uses a two back committee consisting of Shamari Brooks ($6,700) and Deneric Prince ($4,800). Injured earlier this year, Prince finally made his return in Tulsa’s most recent game to handle 19 carries. Brooks handled a majority of reps in his place and still saw 25 touches in Prince’s return. On the year, they have similar efficiency, with Brooks averaging 80.3 rushing and 7.7 yards receiving on 16.9 touches. Prince averages 74 yards rushing and 13.4 yards receiving on 14.4 touches. Basically, this is direct 50/50 timeshare.
At receiver Josh Johnson ($6,500) has emerged as Tulsa’s top receiver. He averages 83 yards receiving per game on 10.3 targets. That volume has even increased of late. Johnson averages 12.0 targets per game over Tulsa’s last four games. With a 32% target share, he is an excellent receiver play on this slate. Behind him, Sam Crawford ($5,400) has emerged as Tulsa’s clear WR2. Crawford averages 62.3 yards receiving per game on 5.6 targets. After Crawford, Keylon Stokes ($4,200) is a player to watch. Banged up repeatedly this year, Stokes missed Tulsa’s most recent game. In three full games, Stokes has participated in at least 71% of the team’s routes. Stokes led the team in receiving last year and would be a solid play if healthy. Another player with a consistent role is JuanCarlos Santana ($4,400). Santana averages 47.3 yards per game on 5.6 targets. Over the last four games, Crawford averages 5.5 targets per game to Santana’s 4.0. If Stokes sits, Ezra Naylor ($3,800) will play a larger role . Naylor only averages 28.4 yards per game, but he saw five targets without Stokes in Tulsa’s most recent game. Ethan Hall ($3,200) will occupy the seldom-used tight end position. Tulsa often plays four wide, making Hall a very risky play overall.
UNLV vs. Nevada
UNLV (19.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 63.3 (86th)
Pass Rate – 47.63% (124th)
One of the few winless teams in the country, UNLV is 0-7 on a tough slate of games. They have now faced Arizona State, Iowa State, Fresno State, UTSA, Utah State and San Jose State in order. Impressively, they have kept each of their last four games within single digits. Interestingly, UNLV’s plays per game have dropped from 74.8 to 63.3 this year, despite retaining Glenn Thomas as offensive coordinator. They are due for some positive regression here and got off 74 plays last week against a slow San Jose State team. Their pass rate has also fallen from 50.1% last year, but this has a little bit to do with the revolving door at quarterback.
With Doug Brumfield ($5,700) still day to day, Cameron Friel ($5,500) is the presumed starter until further notice. Friel does not offer much as a rusher with negative-45 cumulative yards on the year. His propensity for sacks makes him dependent on elevated passing volume. Positively, the freshman has shown some improvement throughout the year. He is now completing 64% of his passes for 7.5 yards per attempt. He threw for 307 yards against UTSA earlier this year and just hit 240 on 28 attempts against San Jose State. Even with the growth, there is a decent chance UNLV turns back to Brumfield, if healthy. Brumfield is another tough evaluation. He only has 60 career pass attempts as a second-year quarterback. However, he offers better mobility with 109 yards on 19 attempts so far this year. Both are pure dart throws as massive underdogs.
At running back UNLV uses a true feature back in Charles Williams ($6,200). Williams averages 100.9 yards rushing and 14.9 yards receiving per game on 21.7 touches per game. Behind Williams, Chad Magyar has three touches over the last two games and no other running back has a touch. Nevada plays decent rushing defense overall, but they still allow 150.7 yards rushing per game. Williams is the safest running back on the slate.
At receiver Kyle Williams ($4,900) has exactly eight targets in three straight games for UNLV. On the year, he averages 54 yards receiving per game on 7.3 targets. Outside of Williams, UNLV has some significant injuries. Tight end Giovanni Fauolo ($3,700) returned to practice after missing a pair of games. He averaged 4.2 targets per game prior to the absence. He would immediately slide back into the starting role if healthy. Behind him, Shelton Zeon ($3,600) stepped up 61% of the routes and four targets. At WR2, Tyleek Collins ($3,000) is out and Zyell Griffin ($3,300) only played one snap. Kilinahe Mendiola-Jensen ($3,500) also did not play last week, after running a route on 52% of dropbacks last week. The true WR2 has been Steve Jenkins ($4,600). Jenkins averages 5.8 targets per game over UNLV’s last four contests. In that span, he has at least six targets in three of the last four games. However, Jordan Jakes ($3,100) jumped up to 98% of the routes last week, seeing three targets. Even Marcus Phillips ($3,000) ran a route on 41% of dropbacks last week in a close game. Ultimately, this situation will come down to injuries, but expect Williams, Jenkins and Jakes to be the most involved at the moment.
Nevada (39.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 76.8 (21st)
Pass Rate – 65.08% (4th)
One the other side, Nevada has played sharp football to start 2021. Their only losses have come to Kansas State and Fresno State. The Fresno State loss came down to two points. Despite their positive game scripts, Nevada ranks fourth in the country in pass rate and 21st in plays per game. Like last year, this offense is going to continue their pass-heavy, up-tempo approach.
The best quarterback on the slate, Carson Strong ($9,200) benefits from a massive team total and an excellent DFS environment. Strong is not mobile whatsoever with negative-101 yards rushing this year. However, his volume generally makes up for the negative plays. He averages 352 yards passing per game on 43.9 attempts. He has been over 300 yards in all but two games this year and he has never fallen below 262. Strong’s negative rushing hurt his upside, but he is still a strong play behind this massive implied team total.
At running back Toa Taua ($5,600) leads a timeshare with 13.7 touches per game. He has turned this volume into 65.3 yards rushing and 15.1 yards receiving per game. Behind him, Devonte Lee ($3,800) averages 10.0 touches per game, equating to 24 rushing and 9.1 yards receiving per game. However, this timeshare has increasing moved in Taua’s direction. Last week, Taua played 60 snaps to Lee’s 26. This also resulted in a 16-5 touch split in favor of Taua.
At receiver Nevada already lost Elijah Cooks for the year. However, Nevada still has five legitimate receiving options, led by Romeo Doubs ($7,900). Since returning from injury, Doubs has been a complete monster. Doubs averages 98.3 yards receiving per game on 10.2 targets. Last week, Doubs had 20 targets. He has 30 targets combined over Nevada’s last two games. Behind Doubs, Cole Turner ($7,200) plays a consistent role in this offense as well. Turner averages 72.6 yards receiving per game on 9.1 targets. However, he has also been incredibly involved of late with 29 targets in Nevada’s last two games. Behind them, Tory Horton ($4,100), Melquan Stovall ($5,100) and Justin Lockhart ($6,000) all rotate as the ancillary options. Horton jumped up to 87% of the routes last week and saw eight targets. Stovall has the highest route rate on the year at 76%, but his route rate dropped to 58% last week. Lockhart saw seven targets last week and averages 6.8 targets per game over Nevada’s last four. However, eh only participated in 54% of the routes last week and 51% on the year.
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