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The Deep Dive: Week 12 College Football DFS Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel | Saturday

Matt Gajewski



Matt Gajewski's expert college football deep dive for Week 12 CFB DFS picks on DraftKings and FanDuel Saturday, 11/20 | C.J. Stroud

Week 12 action continues with a Saturday slate featuring a full slate of games, and DraftKings and FanDuel have great contests for this slate of games. This CFB DFS picks breakdown will look at each team and provide information about each skill position player of note within the game. Make sure to check out our projections, depth charts and datasheets for more information. With that said, let us dive into the first iteration of the college football DFS picks for Saturday’s matchup.

College Football Deep Dive: Week 12 CFB DFS Picks


Phil Jurkovec ($4,500) – Boston College

Originally thought to be out for the season, Notre Dame transfer Phil Jurkovec made a miraculous recovery. Jurkovec is a massive upgrade for this Boston College team at the quarterback position. With a fully healthy Jurkovec last year, Boston College ran 70.8 plays per game, while throwing 53.66% of the time. While the sample is limited in 2020, Jurkovec averages 185.5 yards passing per game on 15 attempts. He is also mobile, with 197 yards rushing on the year. Boston College also draws an easier matchup against a Florida State secondary that has allowed over 300 yards in back-to-back weeks. Boston College remains a slightly 1.5-point favorite over Florida State in a game with a 54.5-point total overall. Still priced at the stone minimum, Jurkovec is a very attractive option for DFS.

Aidan O’Connell ($6,200) – Purdue

Another cheap quarterback with upside, Aidan O’Connell finds himself facing a horrific Northwestern defense. Unlike Jurkovec, O’Connell is not mobile whatsoever, with negative-105 yards rushing. However, Purdue runs 78.3 plays per game and passes the ball 61.4% of the time. On that volume, O’Connell averages 275.1 yards per game on 35.8 attempts. O’Connell has at least 390 yards in back-to-back games, while eclipsing 300 four times already this season. Northwestern has allowed over 30 points in three of their last four games. With Purdue coming in as 10.5-point favorites, O’Connell makes some sense in a cupcake matchup.

Sean Clifford ($6,000) – Penn State

Another potential punt quarterback, Sean Clifford remains too cheap against a weak Rutgers defense. Penn State enters the game as 17-point favorites over Rutgers in a game with a 46.5-point total. While Clifford dealt with a shoulder injury midway through the season, he appears recovered now. Clifford averages 257.6 yards passing per game on 35.5 attempts as Penn State runs 76.1 plays per game and throws the ball 55.2% of the time. Importantly, Clifford has also shown upside, throwing for 300 yards three times this year and twice in his last three games. The veteran signal caller also possesses some mobility, with 137 yards on the ground. While Rutgers looks decent in pass defense at first glance, they rank 113th in yards passing allowed per attempt, setting up Clifford for a solid performance here.

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Kenny Pickett ($9,100) – Pittsburgh

For those looking to pay up at quarterback, Kenny Pickett finds himself in a dream matchup against a sieve of a Virginia defense. In the betting markets, Pittsburgh is a 14.5-point favorite in a game with a 66-point total. As a team Pittsburgh runs 79.1 plays per game and throws the ball 63.5% of the time. With Virginia running 80.7 plays per game and throwing the ball 54.1% of the time, this game has shootout potential. As a player, Pickett averages 350.6 yards passing per game on 38.7 attempts. He is also mobile, rushing for 223 cumulative yards this year. For those paying up at quarterback, Pickett remains an excellent option.

C.J. Stroud ($9,500) – Ohio State

While Brennan Armstrong ($10,000) is a solid play opposite Pickett, the injury leaves his status questionable for Saturday. Instead, C.J. Stroud can be played with confidence behind one of the slate’s highest implied team totals. Ohio State currently remains 19-point favorites over Michigan State in a game with a 68.5-point total overall. Stroud averages 337.3 yards passing per game on 34.7 attempts this year. Stroud already has six 300-yard passing games and looks like a decent bet to reach that mark again here. Ohio State currently passes the ball 52.7% of the time and Michigan State allows 350.8 yards passing per game.

Running Back

Roschon Johnson ($3,800) – Texas

Bijan Robinson is out for the season and DraftKings did not price up Roschon Johnson behind him. A former quarterback, Johnson is second on the team in touches behind Robinson with 60. While he only averages six touches per game, the coaching staff noted that he will be first in line for touches. Last week, Johnson handled six carries and four targets in relief for Robinson, showing relative efficiency. Keilan Robinson ($3,600) and maybe Jonathon Brooks ($3,000) siphon off a few carries, but Johnson is cheap enough to target either way. As just 3.5-point underdogs in a game with a 56.5-point total against West Virginia, Johnson is an excellent option.

Keyvone Lee ($3,600) – Penn State

Throughout the year, Penn State has relied on a three-man committee. With John Lovett ($3,000) and Noah Cain ($4,100) battling injury and largely just underachieving, the coaching staff turned to Lee last week. In a feature back role, Lee carried the pass 20 times, while seeing a pair of targets in the pass game. Relatively efficient on those opportunities, Lee could be in line for a similar workload here against Rutgers. Mentioned above, Penn State is a 17-point favorite, meaning game script should work in Lee’s favor.

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Hassan Haskins ($7,600) – Michigan

With Blake Corum expected to miss his second consecutive game, Hassan Haskins is set up for another monstrous workload. Without Corum, Haskins handled 27 and 31 carries over the last two weeks. Haskins also saw an increased role in the pass game last week with five targets. Haskins already averaged 98.5 yards rushing per game on 20.7 touches this year. With an even larger role now, Haskins remains underpriced. This week, Michigan draws Maryland as 14.5-point favorites in a game with a 57.5 total. Maryland also allows 164 yards rushing per game, setting up Haskins for an efficient performance on the ground. Haskins is one of highest projected DFS plays on the slate.

Leddie Brown ($6,200) – West Virginia

On the other side of the Texas game, West Virginia remains 3.5-point favorites over the Longhorns in a game with a 56.5-point total. This gives West Virginia a 30-point implied team total, setting them up for positive game script. More importantly, Texas allows over 200 yards rushing per game, setting up the West Virginia rushing attack for a rare efficient performance. Leddie Brown remains the feature back, averaging 21.3 touches per game. However, Brown has struggled behind a poor offensive line, averaging 74.6 rushing and 19.8 yards receiving per game. With a boost in efficiency expected here, Brown is a buy low on the Week 12 DFS slate.

TreVeyon Henderson ($8,500) – Ohio State

Mentioned above, this is an excellent environment for scoring with Ohio State favored by 19 points in a game with a 68.5 total. Right away game script projects to favor the run, helping TreVeyon Henderson here. With that said, Michigan State should keep this game closer enough to keep Henderson more involved than last week. Against Purdue, Henderson only carried the ball 13 times. However, Ohio State led 35-7 and never looked back, allowing them to ease off Henderson. In the two games prior, Henderson had carry counts of 28 and 21. On the year, he averages 102.8 rushing and 22.3 yards receiving on just 15.7 touches. With efficiency and matchup aligned here, Henderson is another access point to Ohio State.

Wide Receiver

Jared Wayne ($4,300) – Pittsburgh

For those looking at value receivers, Jared Wayne stands out in the absence of Taysir Mack. Mack was seen in a sling last week, suggesting additionally recovery time may be needed. On top of the elite shootout potential in this game, Wayne has moved into the WR2 role previously occupied by Mack. Wayne averages eight targets per game over Pittsburgh’s last three and now participates in a majority of the routes. With Pickett playing at such a high level, this shootout environment makes Wayne cash viable and playable in Pittsburgh stacks across tournaments.

Rakim Jarrett ($5,200) – Maryland

Earlier this year, Maryland lost Dontay Demus and Jeshaun Jones. Making matters worse, they lost Marcus Fleming last week as well. Without many healthy alternatives, Taulia Tagovailoa force fed Rakim Jarrett 14 targets last week. On the year, Jarrett averages just 63.8 yards on seven targets per game. However, he brings a solid floor even against Michigan in his increased role. Maryland plays uptempo and pass heavy football, running 73.7 plays per game behind a 58.8 pass rate. While Maryland is a two-score underdog, Jarrett’s pure involvement makes him a solid price-adjusted play.

David Bell ($7,300) – Purdue

Even the expensive group of receivers, David Bell stands out against one of the country’s worst defenses in Northwestern. Northwestern has allowed over 30 points in three of their last four games and Bell is a strong stacking option with O’Connell. Behind Purdue’s elevated play rate and passing volume, Bell averages 122 yards receiving per game on 12 targets. Over Purdue’s last four games, this target volume has risen even further to 14.3 targets per game. Even with a middling game total, Bell remains one of the highest projected receivers on the slate.

Charlie Kolar ($4,500) – Iowa State

Iowa State finds themselves in a sneaky strong game environment against Oklahoma. Taking heavy money to start the week, Iowa State is currently a 3.5-point underdog in a game with a 59.5-point total. Importantly, Iowa State has embraced the pass in recent weeks behind an inefficient rushing attack. The Cyclones are now passing the ball 51% of the time. While Xavier Hutchinson ($7,500) receives most of the credit, Charlie Kolar is just as involved. Over the course of the season, Kolar averages 7.6 targets per game, compared to Hutchinson’s 8.0. This is reflected in Kolar’s recent games as well. The veteran tight end has 11 targets in back-to-back games. With Oklahoma allowing over 270 yards passing per game, the matchup also suits Kolar here.

Grant Calcaterra ($4,100) – SMU

One of the marquee matchups of Week 12, SMU visits Cincinnati as 10.5-point underdogs in a game with a 65-point total. Regressing as a defense from their elite 2020 numbers, Cincinnati has hung around opponents worse than SMU. Fortunately, the spread and total reflect production on the SMU side behind a 27.25 implied team total. SMU runs 76.2 plays per game and passes 53.4% of the time, making their pass catchers strong plays. Danny Gray ($6,900) left last week’s game and looks highly questionable in this spot. Not to mention, Cincinnati’s strength on defense is perimeter coverage. With Grant Calcaterra playing tight end, he provides a mismatch over the middle of the Bearcats’ defense. Calcaterra also averages 7.3 targets per game over SMU’s last four contest with upside for more in the absence of Gray. Even in a perceived difficult matchup, Calcaterra is viable here.

Keytaon Thompson ($6,800) – Virginia

Another elite pay up option, Keytaon Thompson would benefit from a healthy Armstrong. Nonetheless, Thompson is currently playing a massive role in an uptempo, pass heavy Virginia offense. Thompson averages 77.3 yards receiving per game on 8.8 targets. His target counts have also risen above ten in each of Virginia’s last three games. Thompson also runs the ball bankable frequency. The Swiss army knife has 15 total carries over Virginia’s last three games. Potentially elevating Thompson’s volume further, Billy Kemp ($6,100) continues to battle injury himself. Questionable for this game, Kemp’s absence would vacate 8.7 targets per game from this offense. Adding in the shootout potential of the game and Thompson is an excellent pay up options.

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Looking for more DFS CFB and college football DFS? Check out our industry-leading DFS CFB projections for DraftKings. Alex Baker, the No. 1 DFS player in the world, developed and maintains the DFS college football ownership projections.

Matt Gajewski graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Economics. Matt has worked in the fantasy industry for the past four years, focusing on DFS and Sports Betting. Matt specializes in NFL, College Football, College Basketball, XFL, and MMA. With GPP victories across the major sports, Matt also qualified for the DraftKings 2020 Sports Betting Championship and won a seat to the College Basketball Tourney Mania final.

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