Week 7 action kicks off with a Thursday two-game slate, and DraftKings and FanDuel have great contests for these games. This college football DFS breakdown will look at both teams 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 7 CFB DFS picks for Friday’s matchup.
College Football DFS: Week 7 Thursday CFB Picks
Navy vs. Memphis
Navy (22 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 71.6 (58th)
Pass Rate – 18.16% (128th)
Navy has a 1-4 record and their only win coming in an upset over UCF. They also dropped games to Marshall, Air Force, Houston and SMU in a tough slate of games to open the year. Navy runs the triple option, so expect a slower, run-heavy offense. The Midshipmen are also 8.5-point underdogs here with the slate’s lowest implied team total.
Navy has battled injury at the quarterback position to start 2021, but Tai Lavatai ($6,200) finally appears healthy. Navy rarely passes, making Lavatai a glorified running back at the quarterback/super flex slot. Lavatai averages 54 yards rushing per game but has seen 20 carries now in back-to-back games. He still has not registered much efficiency with 57 and 53 yards on the ground in each of those contests. Memphis’ primary weakness as a defense comes against the pass, making this a tricky spot for Navy quarterbacks.
At running back Navy utilizes a fullback in Isaac Ruoss ($4,900). This is not the most active position in Navy’s triple option, but Ruoss averages 12.4 opportunities per game and 46.6 yards rushing. He is the team’s leading ball carrier and rusher on the year. James Harris ($3,200) is also listed at fullback and will siphon off some carries from Ruoss. Harris averages 9.6 opportunities per game himself, with 42.8 yards on the ground. Carlos Acie ($3,000) and Chance Warren ($4,300) are the slot backs for Navy. Acie averages 4.6 touches per game to Warren’s 4.8. Acie has 138 yards rushing on the year to Warren’s 94. Neither are anything more than pure dart throws there.
Navy’s target leader is Mychal Cooper ($4,200), who averages 2.2 targets per game. Slot back Warren is the team’s second-most targeted player with eight targets. No one else has more than four targets on the year. This is a situation to ignore.
Memphis (30.5 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 73.8 (40th)
Pass Rate – 53.12% (34th)
Memphis is 3-3 but 0-3 in their most recent games. Memphis has now lost to UTSA, Temple and Tulsa. All three losses occurred by single digits as well. Memphis plays well above average in terms of pace and pass rate. They have struggled along the offensive line, but that likely does not cause problems against Navy.
With Grant Gunnell ($8,000) going down with an injury in the preseason, Seth Hennigan ($8,500) has emerged as Memphis’ starting quarterback without question. Hennigan does not provide much mobility with just 24 yards rushing on the year. However, he benefits from Memphis’ style of offense as a passer. Hennigan currently averages 323 yards passing per game on 35.7 attempts. Navy typically depresses opponent play volume, but Hennigan has also shown solid efficiency. He currently completes 60.5% of his passes for 9 yards per attempt. Hennigan is a solid option at quarterback on the two-game slate.
After getting benched for a fumble two weeks ago, Brandon Thomas ($6,500) returned to his full-time role with 18 touches last week. Outside of his four-carry performance due to benching, Thomas has functioned as Memphis’ clear lead back. On the year, he averages 97.5 yards rushing per game and 16.3 opportunities. Rodrigues Clark ($3,800) returned to just four touches last week after handling 19 in Thomas’ benching. Clark has been efficient on limited touches this year, averages 47.2 yards per game. However, these numbers are front-loaded with his role shrinking throughout the season. Clark is reportedly banged up and a game time decision for this contest. Hybrid player, Kylan Watkins ($3,500) recently returned from injury, handing eight touches in each of his first two games. Watkins is an excellent pass catcher and figures to cannibalize Thomas and Clark in this area.
At receiver Calvin Austin ($9,300) has operated as a straight alpha receiver. Austin averages 138.8 yards receiving per game on 12.2 targets. His 37.1% target share dwarfs all other receivers. Tight end Sean Dykes ($5,600) is the second-leading receiver, averaging 73 yards per game on 5.3 targets. Dykes 32 targets also ranks second on the team. The true WR2 is Javon Ivory ($4,700), who has been more involved in recent weeks. Ivory only has 266 yards on the year, but he is now averaging 5.7 targets per game in Memphis’ last four contests. The WR3 is Gabriel Rogers ($3,000). Rogers has been out with an injury but had participated in at least 80% of the routes in his two games before injury. Eddie Lewis ($3,000) stepped up as the full time WR3 with Rogers out of the lineup. Neither has been particularly involved or efficient, but expect Rogers to reassume his role when healthy. Both could be used as potential punts in stars and scrubs lineups.
Georgia Southern vs. South Alabama
Georgia Southern (23.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 69.2 (77th)
Pass Rate – 36.99% (119th)
Georgia Southern has victories over Gardner-Webb and Arkansas State. However, Georgia Southern has also dropped games to Florida Atlantic, Arkansas, Louisiana and Troy. The Louisiana and Troy losses both occurred by single digits. Georgia Southern has already fired their head coach this year and appointed cornerbacks coach Kevin Whitley as their interim head coach. This offense runs the triple option, making them one of the run-heaviest offenses in the country. They still play with an above-average pace, which is up significantly from last year.
Justin Tomlin ($5,200) has a short leash as Georgia Southern’s quarterback. Tomlin has solid mobility with 116 yards on the ground. However, he averages just 112.3 yards passing on 19.5 attempts per game. On the year, completes just 49.4% of his passes for 5.9 yards per attempt. More importantly, he has yet to throw a touchdown, while tossing four interceptions. Cam Ransom ($5,000) has filled in for Tomlin situationally this year, including one start during a Tomlin suspension. However, he has at least five pass attempts in every game this year and will continue to siphon off work on occasion. Ransom has also thrown the team’s only passing touchdown. This is a situation to avoid outside of massive tournaments.
Georgia Southern has used a running back by committee with no discernable usage pattern. Logan Wright ($6,300) leads the team with 81.7 yards rushing per game on 13.3 touches. However, he has not seen more than 13 touches in any of his last four games. He is the team’s third most targeted receiver with 13. Gerald Green ($5,300) averages 54.5 yards rushing on 8.7 touches per game. He popped up for a massive 19 touches in Week 4 but has not seen more than six in his last two games. J.D. King ($3,400), Jalen White ($3,300) and Amare Jones ($3,700) are also involved. White has 16 carries over Georgia Southern’s last two games, while King has 15. Jones is a pure pass catcher and has not received a carry in four straight games. This situation is a nightmare, but it offers a few potential punt options with moderate workloads.
At receiver Khaleb Hood ($4,400) is the clear alpha receiver. He averages 7.5 targets per game on a massive 35.7% target share. However, he only averages 37.5 yards receiving per game in Georgia Southern’s struggling passing attack. The next most targeted receiver is Beau Johnson ($3,300) with 14 targets on the season. Jjay Mcafee (3,700) ranks third with 12 targets. Neither receiver averages more than 13.5 yards per game.
South Alabama (26.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 72 (51st)
Pass Rate – 45.496% (81st)
South Alabama has a 3-2 record. The Jaguars started the year 3-0 with wins over Southern Mississippi, Bowling Green and Alcorn State. However, they dropped their two most recent games to Louisiana and Texas State. Both losses occurred by two points. South Alabama is slightly slower and run heavier than last year, but they are near the league average.
South Alabama has former South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley ($6,900) at the helm. Bentley is not mobile with just seven cumulative yards rushing on the year. However, he has been serviceable as a game manager. Bentley averages 221.8 yards passing on 30.2 attempts per game. This coincides with middling passing statistics, including a 66.7% completion percentage and 7.6 yards per pass attempt. Bentley is usable due to a lack of options on this slate, but he does not inspire confidence.
South Alabama will use multiple backs, like most teams on this slate. Kareem Walker ($6,700) is the starter when healthy. He leads the team with 208 yards rushing on 53 carries, while seeing six targets in the pass game. Walker averages 19.7 touches per game when healthy. However, he runs the risk of ceding some work after Terrion Avery ($3,600), Bryan Hill ($4,500) and A.J. Phillips ($6,000) formed a committee during his two-game absence. Avery is the most active pass catcher of the group, but he has taken a backseat in terms of overall workload in recent weeks. Last week was Phillips’ first game action of the year. He saw 20 touches, but he also fumbled in overtime. Hill worked as the lead back the week prior with 21 carries in Week 5. Overall, these backs should be prioritized by price with Walker at the top, assuming health.
At receiver Jalen Tolbert ($7,500) is still the team’s leader, averaging 108.8 yards per game. Tolbert has 44 targets on the year, which equates to 8.8 per game and a 30.6% target share. The WR2 is Jalen Wayne ($4,000), who averages 37 yards per game on six targets. Behind these two, Caulin Lacy ($4,200) is the WR3. He only has 24 targets on the year and has seen his route rate drop in three straight weeks. Wayne is a straight up better play at a cheaper price. Tight end Lincoln Sefcik ($3,900) also participates in 78% of dropbacks on the year. He is seldom targeted, with just 13 on the season. Again, Wayne is a better play, but he offers GPP viability.
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