Week 3 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 contest. 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 college football DFS picks for Saturday’s matchup.
College Football Deep Dive: Week 3 Saturday CFB DFS Picks
Nebraska vs. Oklahoma
Nebraska (19.75 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 72.4 (58th)
Pass Rate – 42.31% (95th)
After an embarrassing loss to Illinois in Week 1, Nebraska rebounded with blowout wins over Fordham and Buffalo. Nebraska’s offense looks exactly the same under Scott Frost and failed Washington offensive coordinator Matt Lubick. They are running 68.5 plays per game with a 41.6% pass rate to open the season. Nebraska’s offensive line has taken an enormous step back after losing Brenden Jaimes and Matt Farniok, allowing 39 pressures in three games.
Adrian Martinez ($7,300) continues to lead Nebraska, averaging a surprisingly efficient 242.7 yards passing on 24.7 attempts. Martinez is currently completing 62.2% of his passes for 9.8 yards per attempt. Most of that is the result of his two most recent cupcake opponents. He only completed 50% of his passes for against Illinois in Week 1. Fortunately, Martinez is an excellent dual threat. He already has 256 yards rushing and three rushing scores this year, including a pair of 100-yard games. His dual-threat ability keeps him in play.
Nebraska will utilize a three-man committee at running back, featuring Markese Stepp ($4,900), Gabe Ervin ($4,500) and Sevion Morrison ($4,300). Stepp leads the team with 30 carries so far, but 27 of those came in blowouts. Ervin has 28 carries and led the team with 12 in their most competitive game against Illinois. Morrison did not play in Week 0, but he has 17 carries in Nebraska’s last two games. With Oklahoma’s strong run defense and the likelihood of negative game script, this is a situation to avoid.
Nebraska is really banged up at receiver. Oliver Martin ($6,500), Omar Manning ($3,500) and Zavier Betts ($3,000) all missed Week 2. Tight ends Travis Vokolek ($3,000) and Austin Allen ($3,200) also missed the second half. They are all questionable for this game. Leading receiver, Samori Toure ($5,600) is healthy and leads this team with 306 yards receiving on 19 targets (25% target share). Chris Hickman ($3,700) played a lot in place of the tight ends, while Levi Falck ($3,000) and Wyatt Liewer ($3,000) will be the next men up at receiver with Alante Brown ($3,000) potentially mixing in. This situation is a disaster and requires pregame monitoring for GPPs.
Oklahoma (41.75 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 73.0 (52nd)
Pass Rate – 47.40% (61st)
Oklahoma survived a scare against Tulane in Week 1 before dismantling Western Carolina in Week 2. Oklahoma typically plays with a faster pace and will morph their pass rate to game script. The Sooners ran 73 plays and threw the ball 56.2% of the time in Week 1. Expect the Sooners to rebound sooner rather than later. They still returned 126 combined starts on the offensive line. They rank second in pass blocking to open 2021 after ranking first last year. Oklahoma has a massive 42-point implied team total. Taking shots here is a good idea.
Spencer Rattler ($9,500) currently averages 274 yards passing per game on 33 attempts. Rattler is currently completing 76.9% of his passes for 8.4 yards per attempt. He just needs more volume to hit some of these ceiling performances. Rattler is somewhat mobile, with 36 yards rushing this year. He is always viable in stacks.
Oklahoma has two elite running backs in Kennedy Brooks ($5,600) and Tennessee transfer Eric Gray ($5,200). Neither played much in last week’s blowout win. Brooks carried 14 times for 87 yards and a score against Tulane, while Gray notched 27 yards on nine carries. Gray has the only two targets between the two, but expect both to be involved in the pass game. Brooks rushed for other 1,000 yards in his first two seasons with Oklahoma before opting out in 2020. He also caught 10 balls each of those years. Both will have massive games in this offense, but predicting when will be a challenge.
Oklahoma continues to play without Theo Wease, but Marvin Mims ($7,500) and Jadon Haselwood ($5,200) look like the top two receivers. Mims leads the team with 136 yards receiving and saw seven targets in Week 1. Haselwood only saw five targets in Week 1, but he ranked first on the team in routes run. Behind the top two receivers, tight end Austin Stogner ($3,900) actually tied Mike Woods ($4,800) for the third most routes in Week 1 at 50%. He has only been targeted twice, but he looks like the WR3 with the most playing time. Oklahoma used a decent amount of 12-personnel with Jeremiah Hall ($3,300) primarily blocking. That does not mean much for him individually, but it pulled a third receiver off the field. The team’s target leader Mario Williams ($4,100) actually has not eclipsed 45% of the team’s routes in either week. He has 12 targets and 86 yards receiving on the year. Mims is still the alpha with Haselwood offering enough salary relief as the WR2. Stogner and the secondary receivers are interesting in double stacks and tournaments.
Cincinnati vs. Indiana
Cincinnati (27.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 69.6 (88th)
Pass Rate – 45.69% (74th)
Now 2-0 to start 2021, Cincinnati has yet to play a legitimate opponent after demolishing Miami Ohio and Murray State. Cincinnati will play relatively slow and run-heavy football under Luke Fickell and Mike Denbrock. This has been exacerbated by level of competition to open 2021. Cincinnati ran 59 plays and passed 47.5% of the time against Miami Ohio in Week 1. The Bearcats still have unanswered questions due to the level of competition. They are replacing three starters on the offensive line and early returns have not been promising. Fortunately, Indiana has not been able to pressure the quarterback to start the year either. This is one of lowest totaled games for DFS.
Desmond Ridder ($8,600) began the year with hyper efficient play. He is averaging 269 yards through the air on 23.5 attempts per game. Ridder only has 27 yards rushing to this point, but he offers more upside in the right matchups. Indiana will keep Ridder involved, but the scoring environment for both teams leaves much to be desired. Ridder completed 66.2% of his passes last year and rushed for 592 yards and 12 scores. He is still viable in GPPs with his rushing upside.
With Gerrid Doaks in the NFL, Cincinnati turned to Jerome Ford ($7,000) as their feature back. He averages 16.5 opportunities per game with 118.5 yards coming on the ground alone. Ford received three targets in Cincinnati’s opener, suggesting a role in the pass game. The Bearcats are slight favorites which bodes well for Ford. However, the poor game environment renders him GPP only based on volume.
No Cincinnati receiver has more than six targets this year. When healthy, Alec Pierce ($4,200) should lead the group. He is among those tied for the team lead in targets, registering 59 yards so far. Pierce led the team in receiving in 2019 before battling injury last year. He still has the highest route rate on the team. The other main receivers will be Tyler Scott ($5,300) and Michael Young ($3,900). They all have six targets, but Scott leads the team with 155 yards receiving. Cincinnati has a history of rotating receivers and will also use tight end Josh Whyle ($4,200) at a similar level. None are worth targeting outside of large field GPPs.
Indiana (23.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 71.8 (65th)
Pass Rate – 52.61% (27th)
After a horrific 34-6 loss at Iowa, Indiana knocked off Idaho in Week 2. With Tom Allen and Nick Sheridan back as the team’s head coach and play caller, Indiana’s offense looks largely the same as 2020. They passed 52.3% of the time and ran 65 plays in Week 1. Similar to last year, Indiana has not been great up front on the offensive line, allowing 19 pressures in two games. Cincinnati does have a good defensive line, highlighted by Myjai Sanders. They are currently the top pass rush in the country with two returning first team All-Conference corners in the defensive backfield. This does not bode well for Indiana.
Coming off an ACL tear, Michael Penix ($5,400) has struggled behind a makeshift offensive line. Penix was labeled a dual threat coming out of high school but has never displayed that at the college level. He has -20 yards rushing through two games. Penix is also completing just 53.2% of his passes for 4.8 yards per attempt after completing 56.4% for 7.5 last year. Against Cincinnati’s elite strong defense, Penix will need an outlier performance in this poor game environment.
In the backfield, Stephen Carr ($5,800) has taken over the lead back role vacated by Stevie Scott. He carried 19 and 22 times through Indiana’s first two games, averaging an inefficient 4.3 yards per carry. Indiana struggled mightily run blocking last year and those concerns appear to have carried over to this year. Carr has one target in the pass game and will cede a handful of carries to Tim Baldwin ($3,200) each week. He is a middling option for tournaments.
In the receiver room, Indiana has a clear alpha in Ty Fryfogle ($5,900). He has a 32.7% target share through a pair of games and eight targets in each. Unfortunately, he has only been able to record 113 yards to start the year. Behind him, Miles Marshall ($3,100) and Florida State transfer D.J. Matthews ($4,300) round out the starting group. Matthews has five targets in each game but only 30 yards in his slot role. Marshall saw six targets in Week 1 and zero in Week 2 as Indiana demolished Idaho. Peyton Hendershot ($3,300) is a big bodied tight end, who saw five targets in Week 1 and zero in Week 2. Javon Swinton ($4,600) looks like a player who could play his way into a larger role. He was suspended for the opener but ran a route on 35% of dropbacks in Week 2. This would likely come at the expense of Marshall, making them both risky plays.
Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia
Virginia Tech (23.75 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 68.2 (95th)
Pass Rate – 36.93% (119th)
Starting 2020 strong, Virginia Tech upset North Carolina before predictably beating Middle Tennessee State. Justin Fuente and Brad Cornelsen are back as head coach and offensive coordinator. After playing with some tempo in Week 1, Virginia Tech fell back on old habits in Week 2. The team is averaging 65.5 plays per game and a 37.4% pass rate through two weeks. Virginia Tech has still been solid up front despite losing Christian Darrisaw. They are 23rd in pass blocking and West Virginia remains a horrific defense.
The Braxton Burmeister ($6,800) experiment continues for Virginia Tech in Week 3. Burmeister exited Week 2 briefly after taking a big hit, but he appears healthy. Burmeister currently averages just 152.5 yards passing per game on 21 attempts. While the injury certainly played a role, he has displayed middling efficiency with his 60.5% completion percentage for 7.2 yards per attempt. Fortunately, Burmeister is a strong dual threat. His 94 yards rushing currently lead the team. While the total remains low, this game has some appeal for DFS, putting Burmeister in play.
Virginia Tech uses a three-back rotation led by Raheem Blackshear ($5,400). Blackshear only has 21 carries for 74 yards on the year, but he is an excellent pass catcher, highlighted by his six targets. Jalen Holston ($4,400) and Keshawn King ($3,000) have mixed in for 18 and 10 carries, respectively. Holston has been more efficient with 80 yards. Blackshear is the top target.
Virginia Tech suffered a big blow, losing their athletic tight end James Mitchell, who caught 26 balls for 435 yards last year. This should funnel even more targets to Tre Turner ($5,000) and Tayvion Robinson ($4,600), who account for 27.9% and 20.9% of the team’s targets. Turner has 131 yards to Robinson’s 43 so far this year. Kaleb Smith ($3,800) is the WR3 with his 66% route rate. He turned four targets into 25 yards receiving last week. Drake DeIuliis ($3,600) is the unproven, next-man-up at tight end. He only has two targets so far this year. Focusing on Turner and Robinson makes the most sense here.
West Virginia (26.75 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 77.1 (20th)
Pass Rate – 55.76% (13th)
After a 6-4 season a year ago, West Virginia opened with a 30-24 loss to Maryland before shutting out Long Island. Largely playing from behind in Week 1, West Virginia ran 64 plays and passed the ball 67% of the time against Maryland. Gerad Parker remains the offensive coordinator, meaning the Mountaineers should continue their uptempo, pass-heavy offense this year. The offensive line looks improved from last year, but that is not saying much. Virginia Tech does not play solid defense, so look for this game to rack up some points.
Pocket statue Jarrett Doege ($6,200) continues to command the West Virginia offense. Doege already has -28 cumulative yards rushing and will need additional passing volume to overcome his propensity for sacks. He currently averages 264.5 yards passing per game on 31 attempts. He is an efficient passer, but he needs an outlier game to overcome his negative yards rushing.
Leddie Brown ($6,900) is one of the true bell-cow backs on the slate. In Week 1, he carried 16 times for 73 yards as the only running back to receive an attempt. Brown is also an excellent receiver, turning eight targets into 57 yards. In competitive games, Tony Mathis ($3,600) and Justin Johnson ($3,200) are mere afterthoughts.
West Virginia will use four wide receivers often. Bryce Ford-Wheaton ($4,100) is the current target leader with 14. However, his 97 yards receiving rank fourth on the team. He typically functions as a deep threat. Winston Wright ($5,700) ranks second on the team with 13 targets and third with 101 yards receiving. Sam James ($5,300) has re-emerged from his 2020 benching with 11 targets for 120 yards. Sean Ryan ($4,900) will also play a prominent role. While he only has eight targets, he leads the team with 124 yards receiving. In terms out routes run, Ford-Wheaton leads the group (84%), followed by James (63%), Wright (60%), Ryan (57%) and Isaiah Esdale ($3,800) (40%). Ford-Wheaton is the top price-adjusted play.
Michigan State vs. Miami
Michigan State (25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 71.0 (72nd)
Pass Rate – 51.91% (30th)
Playing in the first complete offseason with Michigan State, Mel Tucker’s Spartans opened the season with two straight wins over Northwestern and Youngstown State. Jay Johnson also returns as offensive coordinator. Michigan State passes 43% of the time and ran 65 plays in their opener against Northwestern. The Wildcats are one of the slower teams in the Big Ten and Michigan State played with a lead. Both numbers should regress towards last season’s marks. Michigan State should also receiver better offensive line play after injuries ravaged this team last year. The Hurricanes lost most of their pass rush to the NFL and graduation last year as well. Michigan State’s defense has also improved with multiple players returning, but they still have not been tested.
In a surprising turn of events, Michigan State moved on from Temple transfer Anthony Russo ($6,400) in favor of Payton Thorne ($7,000). Thorne has played well through two games, completing 65.2% of his passes for 10.1 yards per attempt, 465 yards, five scores and zero interceptions. Thorne also has decent rushing upside with 47 yards through the first two games. This gam sits with a solid, yet underwhelming total for this slate. Thorne is a decent target in GPPs.
At running back Wake Forest transfer Kenneth Walker ($7,100) has taken over the backfield. In Week 1, he rushed for 264 yards and four scores on 23 attempts. He now has 321 yards rushing so far this year, but no volume in the pass game. Jordan Simmons ($4,100) will provide a change of pace occasionally, but his 17 Week 2 carries came because Youngstown State stinks. Connor Heyward ($3,300) sometimes plays a third down role, but he also plays tight end now. This is purely Walker’s backfield at this point.
At receiver Jalen Nailor ($4,000) and Jayden Reed ($6,900) form one of the most underrated receiving tandems in the Big Ten. The pricing discrepancy comes because Reed has 245 yards receiving to Nailor’s 59. However, Nailor actually holds a 14-12 target edge over Reed. In Week 1 Tre Mosley ($3,400) functioned as the WR3, running a route on 85% of dropbacks. It is hard to gather anything actionable from Week 2’s waste of a game, so he should be the presumed WR3 again here. He has five targets for 66 yards this year. Nailor is too cheap here.
Miami (31.5 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 75.6 (33rd)
Pass Rate – 49.28% (50th)
Miami dropped their season opener to Alabama 44-13 before rebounding with a close 25-23 win over Appalachian State. Rhett Lashlee remains the offensive coordinator after previously calling plays at SMU. Miami is running 71.5 plays per game with a 49.7% pass rate though two games. Miami’s play volume should jump in the coming weeks after Alabama reduced efficiency and App State killed play volume with their own slow pace. To this point, Miami’s offensive line has played at the same middling level from a year ago.
D’Eriq King ($7,600) made a miraculous recovery from his December ACL tear in order to play Week 1. He has disappointed to this point with just 189 yards passing per game on 32 attempts. Positively, he will not be facing Alabama every week. King still only passed for 200 yards in Week 2, but it may just take time for him to get comfortable after spending his entire offseason rehabbing. Fortunately, King rushed for 79 yards against App State in Week 2. He has 89 yards rushing so far this year and remains one of the top dual threats in college football when healthy.
The Miami backfield continues to flow through Cam’Ron Harris ($5,400) with Donald Chaney ($3,000) providing a change of pace. Chaney recently suffered an injury and will not play. Harris has 30 carries for 128 yards so far, while adding four targets in the pass game. 91 of those yards rushing came in Week 2 against App State. Again, better days are ahead for this Miami offense as a whole. Cody Brown is now the RB2 on the depth chart.
Oklahoma transfer Charleston Rambo ($6,100) currently leads Miami with 16 targets. He only has 85 yards receiving, but his 81% route rate stands out. Last year’s top receiver Mike Harley ($6,300) got banged up in Week 1 and played just 50% of the snaps. He returned in Week 2 for eight targets. He is a slot specialist and has just 50 yards receiving so far. Miami’s third receiver is Key’Shawn Smith ($4,400). Smith actually paces the team in routes run and yards receiving (110). Smith still only has 10 targets, but the receiving pecking order is still in flux. Taking a stab on Smith could be the best option. Will Mallory ($3,600) continues to fill the shoes of Brevin Jordan with a 76.5% route rate. His targets jumped from two to five in Week 2. All of the pass catchers are viable in stacks.
Minnesota vs. Colorado
Minnesota (24 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 70.7 (77th)
Pass Rate – 39.89% (112th)
After playing Ohio State to a 14-point game, Minnesota defeated Miami Ohio by just 5 points. Basically running an offense a step above triple option, Minnesota will continue to be slow and run heavy in most game environments. They are currently running 69 plays per game with a 32.6% pass rate. Minnesota has a middling offensive line and a horrific defensive line. The only thing preventing Minnesota from giving up more points is their own slow pace.
Tanner Morgan ($5,900) is one of the worst quarterbacks on the slate. He is not mobile, and he averages 158.5 yards passing per game on 21.5 attempts. He has not shown the ability to overcome the losses of Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman.
Mohamed Ibrahim tore his Achilles and Trey Potts ($7,300) moved directly into his role. Potts carried 34 times in Week 2, while handling a pair of targets. He now has 215 yards rushing on the season. This is one of college football’s best roles and Potts is about $2,000 underpriced.
This is a low volume passing attack, playing without Chris Autman-Bell ($5,800). He was the presumed WR1 heading into the season. He warmed up last week and just did not play. In his place Dylan Wright ($5,400) has received eight targets in two straight games for a 38.1% target share. He still only has 130 yards receiving. The WR2 is Daniel Jackson ($4,400). He has 12 targets and 88 yards receiving, which equates to a 28.6% target share. Mike Brown-Stephens ($3,300) saw his route rate jump from 33% to 90% in Week 2. It did not lead to any production and this unit is not worth considering.
Colorado (26.5 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 76.8 (21st)
Pass Rate – 40.13% (110th)
The Buffaloes defeated Northern Colorado in their opener before losing to Texas A&M 10-7 in a game where Haynes King suffered in injury. Colorado played with incredible pace last year but suffered through a tough game against Texas A&M. Colorado still has Karl Dorrell as head coach and Darrin Chiaverini as offensive coordinator. Expect the pace to increase at some point this season, but Minnesota depresses play volume for all opponents.
Brandon Lewis ($5,500) is a tough evaluation following two drastically different opponents. The Northern Colorado game was a complete waste of a week, while Texas A&M will be the best team Colorado faces all year. Lewis averages 101.5 yards passing per game on just 21 attempts. These numbers likely rise against middling competition, where Colorado does not lean on the run or deal with poor efficiency. Lewis is a good dual threat himself with 120 yards rushing already in 2021. The low game total makes him dicey, but his mobility keeps him in play as a punt.
Jarek Broussard ($5,700) got banged up against Texas A&M, but he already returned to practice. Broussard has 27 carries to Alex Fontenot‘s ($5,000) 20. Fontenot missed last season and always figured to chip away at Broussard’s workload. Broussard looks like the preferred third down back with three targets and a 38% route rate. Still, this will be a two-man committee, making them both difficult to trust.
La’Vontae Shenault ($3,700) is suspended, narrowing the target distribution. Dimitri Stanley ($4,300) is the top option, but he still only has five targets this year. This is a low volume passing attack and no receiver has more than 27 yards so far. Daniel Arias ($4,100) is the WR2 with five targets and Montana Lemonious-Craig ($3,300) ranks third with fourth targets. Brady Russell ($3,400) will function as the main tight end. He has a 64% route rate but only four targets. Stanley is cheap enough to focus on here, but this is not a spot to spend much time on.
Buffalo vs. Coastal Carolina
Buffalo (22.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 65.7 (110th)
Pass Rate – 34.35% (123rd)
A completely different team from last year’s 5-1 finish, Buffalo is 1-1 to start 2021. They defeated Wagner 69-7 before dropping their next game against Nebraska 28-3. Buffalo’s new coaching staff consists of Maurice Linguist at head coach after coaching defensive backs for the Cowboys last year. Shane Montgomery takes over after coordinating James Madison’s offense last year. They ran 83 plays per game and passed 60.2% of the time, which is far different from last year’s run-heavy team. However, the James Madison offense passed 33.9% of the time in 2019. The offensive line has also taken a major step back in pass protection on the rare pass plays they are running to begin with. Coastal Carolina has a top 30 pass rush and should eat this matchup.
Veteran quarterback Kyle Vantrease ($5,600) remains in place at quarterback. He is not mobile and lacks much upside at as a passer. He is averaging 227.5 yards passing on 34.5 passing attempts. There are better options available in this price range.
Kevin Marks ($6,000) will continue to fill the void left by Jaret Patterson. He has 34 carries for 180 yards so far this year. He does not have much of a pass catching role, but he has four targets through two games. Ron Cook ($3,700) and Dylan McDuffie ($3,500) will spell Marks occasionally, but this is Marks’ job. Marks is still expensive, making him a pure GPP play.
Bowling Green transfer Quian Williams ($5,100) is the WR1 so far with 17 targets and 189 yards. He also has a 75.3% route rate, which ranks top three on the team. The other two starters will be Jovany Ruiz ($4,800) and Dominic Johnson ($3,800). Ruiz ranks second on the team in targets (12), but he is dealing with an injury. He was not listed on the depth chart and looks unlikely to play. Johnson is the WR3 and saw eight targets in Week 2. He is third on the team with 54 yards receiving and could take on a larger role if Ruiz misses time. These receivers could be cheap targets for run backs to Coastal Carolina players.
Coastal Carolina (35.75 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 69.6 (87th)
Pass Rate – 37.08% (118th)
Largely the same team from last year, Coastal Carolina is 2-0 after wins over Citadel and Buffalo. Jamey Chadwell remains head coach with Willy Korn coordinating the offense. This team will run a lot of power runs and option schemes, depressing their play volume and pass rate. Coastal also returns every starting offensive lineman, combining for 137 cumulative starts. This should be one of the slower games on the slate.
Grayson McCall ($8,300) has played efficient football to open the 2021 season. He is currently averaging 253 yards on 20.5 attempts. McCall is an excellent dual threat and has 40 yards on the ground so far. Due to opponents, Coastal Carolina has yet to unleash McCall. While his efficiency likely drops in more competitive games, that should not be the case here. McCall is fine in tournaments.
Reese White ($7,700) and Shermari Jones ($4,400) will form a two-man committee at running back. Both have played well to start the year. White has 164 yards rushing on 21 attempts. Jones has 143 yards on 19 attempts. White enters this game with a more expensive price tag after recording five touchdowns to Jones’ two. The prices should be similar, making Jones underpriced again in Week 3. Braydon Bennett ($3,800) will occasionally mix in, but he is not a strong option.
Coastal Carolina’s top receiver is Jaivon Heiligh ($8,300). He has 255 yards receiving on 14 targets (31.8%). The big play ability is clear for Heiligh, but athletic tight end Isaiah Likely ($4,400) has the exact same target numbers. Likely perhaps has lower upside with 103 yards receiving to start the year, but he is a more efficient price-adjusted play. The third receiver is Kameron Brown ($4,500), who only has four targets this year.
Purdue vs. Notre Dame
Purdue (25.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 70.5 (82nd)
Pass Rate – 64.54% (2nd)
Purdue is off to a hot start in 2021 with wins over Oregon State and UConn. However, they get a much tougher opponent in Notre Dame here. The rebel of the Big Ten West, Jeff Brohm actually plays uptempo with one of the pass-heaviest offenses in the entire country. This should be a pace-up game for both teams. Purdue actually blocks at a slightly above average rate, compared to last year. Purdue did return George Karlaftis on defense from injury, but his return has been more impactful in run defense.
This is a solid game environment overall and Purdue throws the ball at one of the highest rates in the country. Jack Plummer ($7,900) currently averages 281.5 yards passing per game on 30.5 pass attempts. Plummer has negative yards rushing on the year, but the overall pass volume keeps him in play for stacks.
Zander Horvath broke his leg, putting King Doerue ($4,600) and Dylan Downing ($4,200) in a time-share for lead back duties. Doerue carries 12 times in Week 2, compared to 14 carries for Downing. Doerue has a slight yardage edge over Downing at 81-78. Purdue will use their backs as receivers, but Downing has three targets to Doerue’s zero. Unfortunately, the two-man committee makes this harder to trust. Both should have a role here and enter the game with a cheap price.
David Bell ($7,700) is the alpha for Purdue. Bell has 247 yards receiving on 18 targets and a 24.7% target share. Behind him, Jackson Anthrop ($3,800) will operate as the WR2 with Milton Wright ($3,500) third. Wright only has three targets, but Jackson has 12 targets and 76 yards. Tight end Payne Durham ($6,600) actually ranks second on the team in targets (13) and yards receiving (174). Durham still ranks fourth on the team in routes, so this may be a chance to buy low on a secondary receiver.
Notre Dame (33.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 74.3 (38th)
Pass Rate – 43.39% (88th)
Lucky to be 2-0, Notre Dame defeated both Florida State and Toledo by a field goal. Clearly this is not the Notre Dame team from 2020. Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees continues to creatively deploy his skill position players while minimizing weaknesses. Through two games, Notre Dame is running 77.5 plays per game with a 52.3% pass rate. Jack Coan simply does not have the mobility of Ian Book, leading to a higher pass rate. The Notre Dame offensive line has actually only allowed 21 pressures this year, playing above average for the most part. They rank 14th in pass blocking per PFF.
Former Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan ($8,100) will quarterback Notre Dame. Coan currently averages 302.5 yards passing per game on 34 attempts. Coan is a net negative in the run game, making him reliant on the 300-yard passing bonus. Notre Dame also began implementing high profile recruit Tyler Buchner ($7,700) as a rotational piece. With Buchner taking away some opportunities, Coan is becoming increasingly risky. Fortunately, this is a strong game environment for those looking at stacks.
Notre Dame has a true feature back in Kyren Williams ($7,200). Williams only has 117 yards rushing on 34 attempts this year. However, Williams is extremely active as a pass catcher. He already has 108 yards receiving on nine targets. Chris Tyree ($5,000) will spell Williams occasionally. he has 43 yards on 14 carries with six targets as well. Williams is still a strong target, but perhaps not as strong as expected last week.
Tight end Michael Mayer ($7,300) has emerged as Notre Dame’s top receiver. Mayer has 201 yards receiving on 22 targets (33.9%). Behind Mayer, slot receiver Avery Davis ($4,000) and Kevin Austin ($5,100) both ran a route on 80% of the dropbacks last week. Austin ranks second on the team in targets (13) and yards receiving (154). Davis did not see a target in Week 1, but he continues play often. He only has four targets this year. Braden Lenzy ($3,700) operates as the WR3. He has 72 yards on seven targets so far. Mayer, Austin and Davis are all fine price-adjusted options in stacks of this game.
Alabama vs. Florida
Alabama (36.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 70.8 (75th)
Pass Rate – 48.26% (58th)
Predictably, Alabama has cruised to 2-0 with wins over Miami and Mercer. The Bill O’Brien era kicked off with 78 plays and a 51.3% pass rate against Miami. These numbers figure to drop against less competitive teams. However, Florida plays with tempo themselves, creating an electric game environment. Alabama has actually taken a major step back on the offensive line. They have allowed 20 pressures, but Bryce Young has an absurd 75% adjusted completion percentage, 286 yards, five scores and no interceptions while being pressured.
Bryce Young ($9,200) has dazzled as Alabama’s young quarterback. He currently averages 285.5 yards passing per game on 32.5 pass attempts. Young was recruited as a dual threat, but he currently has zero cumulative yards rushing. Alabama is playing uptempo and passing at a high rate, giving young an excellent floor/ceiling combination. He is a solid play here.
Brian Robinson ($6,400) looks likely to lead a committee for Alabama. Alabama routinely demolishes opponents, making the backs reliant on efficiency and touchdown production. Robinson has 130 yards on 22 carries. he also has 10 yards receiving on four targets. Jase McClellan ($6,100) and Trey Sanders ($3,800) have each mixed in for 13 and 15 carries. Even Roydell Williams ($3,100) has mixed in for 10 carries. Robinson should lead the backfield and has upside in close games, but this looks like a legitimate committee.
Ohio State transfer Jameson Williams ($6,700) and John Metchie ($7,100) are the top two receivers for Alabama. Metchie currently has 146 yards receiving on a team-leading 13 targets. Williams leads the team with 157 yards receiving on 12 targets. This offense is explosive, and these receivers are too cheap for their respective roles. Alabama does not have a clear WR3 right now. Cameron Latu ($4,700) is running a lot of routes as the top tight end, but he only has four targets. Slade Bolden ($4,200) is a gadget player but runs routes 48% of dropbacks. Stud freshman JoJo Earle ($4,500) saw his targets jump from two to seven and his routes jump from 29% to 41%. This is situation in flux.
Florida (22.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 71.7 (67th)
Pass Rate – 57.33% (8th)
A drastically different team from 2020, Florida picked up two wins over FAU and South Florida in their first two games. Florida has continued to play with pace and efficiency to open 2021. The Gators are running 75.5 plays per game. However, their pass rate has dropped to 40.4%, which makes sense considering the changes at quarterback. This will easily be Florida’s toughest challenge against Alabama’s elite defense.
Emory Jones ($6,500) has functioned as the team’s starting quarterback with Anthony Richardson ($6,600) playing situationally. Richardson did suffer a hamstring injury in Week 2, so watch his status. He has been the most efficient dual threat in the country on a limited sample and very much deserves more playing time. If Richardson misses this game, it gives more security to Jones. Jones is completing 63.3% of his passes for 5.4 yards per attempt. Both quarterbacks are excellent dual threats. Jones has 155 yards rushing to Richardson’s 275. This is a situation to monitor with Jones potentially becoming an excellent value.
Malik Davis ($4,600), Dameon Pierce ($5,500) and Nay’Quan Wright ($3,100) form a nasty committee here for Florida. Davis has 21 carries for 126 yards, while Pierce has 11 carries for 86 yards. Pierce has six targets to Davis’ four. There are better price-adjusted plays on this slate.
Florida also uses a rotation at wide receiver. In terms of routes run, Justin Shorter ($3,800) leads the team at 58%. He is tied for the team-lead with nine targets, but he only has 34 yards. Jacob Copeland ($5,400) also has nine targets and leads the team with 190 yards. Copeland has a 55% route rate. Behind these two, tight end Kemore Gamble ($3,000) and Trent Whittemore ($3,000) run the next most routes at 56% and 48%. This is largely a situation to avoid. The third-most targeted receiver Rick Wells ($4,000) has only participated in 33% of the team’s routes.
Georgia Tech vs. Clemson
Georgia Tech (11.75 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 71.4 (69th)
Pass Rate – 42.86% (92nd)
Still fighting through a full rebuild, Georgia Tech suffered an embarrassing 22-21 loss to Northern Illinois before knocking off Kennesaw State last week. A former triple option offense, Georgia Tech is finally starting to see glimpses of the offense they hope to become under head coach Geoff Collins and offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude. They ran 82 plays against Northern Illinois with a 36.6% pass rate. With a dual-threat ability, this team will never lead the league in pass rate. However, seeing them play uptempo bodes well for DFS moving forward. So far, Georgia Tech’s offensive line looks improved, but Clemson is a different animal.
Georgia Tech benched their four-star freshman Jeff Sims ($5,000) in favor of Jordan Yates ($6,000). Yates averages 194.5 yards passing per game on 21.5 pass attempts. Yates is the more efficient passer with a 70.7% completion percentage and 9.5 yards per attempt. Yates is mobile with 19 yards on the ground. However, he worse than Sims with his legs, making him harder to trust as a punt. This is also his toughest matchup all season.
Georgia Tech also decided to reduce Jahmyr Gibbs ($5,100) workload after he dominated touches in 2020. Gibbs has out-carried Jordan Mason ($4,000) 29-21. He has also out-gained Mason 155-107. Gibbs is the preferred pass catcher. He has 61 yards on eight targets, while Mason has only seen one target in the pass game. Neither are particularly strong options against Clemson with their 11.5-point implied team total.
Georgia Tech’s top two receivers are Northwestern transfer Kyric McGowan ($5,200) and Malachi Carter ($4,100). McGowan turned a team-leading 13 targets into 121 yards receiving. Carter leads the team in receiving with 132 yards on just 10 targets. Adonicas Sanders ($3,100) and Dylan Leonard ($3,000) are seldom-used options as the WR3 and tight end for Georgia Tech.
Clemson (40.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 78.2 (15th)
Pass Rate – 56.05% (12th)
Another program undergoing seismic changes, Clemson dropped their debut to Georgia before railroading South Carolina State. Georgia’s defense completely dismantled Clemson’s offense, contributing to their depressed 67 play game. Clemson also passed the ball 65.7% of the time in response to negative game script. Generally speaking, Clemson will play fast and pass heavy. However, as large favorites over Georgia Tech, do they take their foot off the gas? Clemson’s offensive line has also taken a step back, allowing 21 pressures against Georgia. However, Georgia Tech ranks 96th in pass rush and remains unlikely to exploit this edge.
D.J. Uiagalelei ($8,800) played horribly against a stout Georgia defense in Week 1 before playing limited snaps against South Carolina State. He currently has 348 yards passing, but his start to 2021 is tough to draw conclusions from. In his four-game career, Uiagalelei has a 62.4% completion percentage for 7.1 yards per attempt and is stackable with a cupcake matchup here. Clemson should run up the score in some of these games as they attempt to show their worth to the playoff committee despite the loss.
At running back Clemson looks likely to implement a committee to replace Travis Etienne. Clemson only ran the ball 13 times against Georgia in Week 1 and then gave six players at least four carries in Week 2. None of those players had more than eight carries. Five-star recruit Will Shipley ($5,300) led the backfield with eight carries in Week 2 and also leads the team with 87 yards rushing. He will split time with veteran Lyn-J Dixon ($6,200), Kobe Pace ($4,800) and potentially more backs on top of that. Dixon is reportedly in the dog house after being listed third on the depth chart this week, behind Pace and Shipley. This is a poor game environment overall, so playing the lottery with the Clemson backs looks like a risky move.
At receiver Clemson looks likely to utilize four players heavily this year. In Week 1, Joseph Ngata ($6,000), Justyn Ross ($6,200) and Frank Ladson ($4,500) all ran a route on 70+% of the team’s dropbacks. Ngata leads the team with 160 yards and 13 targets. Ross has 12 targets but only 78 yards. Ladson has 15 yards on five targets. Former starter E.J. Williams ($3,800) only ran a route on 60%, but he also injured his thumb in the contest. He played the next week, so he looks good to go moving forward. He has 10 yards on six targets. Braden Galloway ($3,800) will be the tight end. He saw six targets in the opener but was not targeted against South Carolina State. While these numbers are all disappointing outside of Ngata, Clemson will have much bigger games moving forward. These receivers are worthwhile in tournaments until the pecking order shakes out.
Tulsa vs. Ohio State
Tulsa (18.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 75.8 (30th)
Pass Rate – 47.95% (60th)
After overachieving to 6-3 last year, Tulsa started 2021 winless with losses to California-Davis and Oklahoma State. They did play Oklahoma State to a 28-23 game, but this team still lost to an FCS school in their opener. A sneaky offense, Tulsa plays with pace and volume in the pass game. Unfortunately, their new quarterback and a game against Oklahoma State caused their plays per game to drop to 65. Their offensive line has actually performed well, but with all the starters returning. The inefficiency stems from quarterback. Tulsa likely does not reach the same offensive climax from 2021, but they will try.
Davis Brin ($4,800) has disappointed at quarterback for Tulsa. He is averaging 209 yards passing per game on 27.5 attempts. Brin is somewhat mobile, with 34 yards rushing on the season. Brin is intriguing based on price. He looks unlikely to deliver a ceiling performance, but he did improve against Oklahoma State in Week 2. He completed 70.4% of his passes for 227 yards on 27 attempts. He also rushed for 37. He is a salary saving option for certain builds.
Tulsa uses a two-man backfield consisting of Deneric Prince ($5,500) and Shamari Brooks ($3,900). Prince has 185 yards rushing on 30 carries, compared to 106 yards rushing on 20 carries for Brooks. Importantly, Prince is also the more active pass catcher. He has 49 yards on six targets this season. Ohio State has gotten destroyed on the ground this year, highlighted by C.J. Verdell in Week 2. Tulsa is not on the same level as a rushing attack and the appropriately priced committee makes this situation difficult to target.
Tulsa will often use four receivers consisting of Keylon Stokes ($4,100), Sam Crawford ($3,600), JuanCarlos Santana ($3,800) and Josh Johnson ($3,300). Johnson actually leads the team in targets (13), but he ranks fourth in yards receiving (68). The rest of the four are all tied with nine targets. Stokes leads the team in yards receiving with 107, with Santana and Crawford check in at 82 and 88, respectively. In terms of routes run, Crawford leads the pack at 97%, followed by Santana (90%), Johnson (85%) and Stokes (73%). All of these players are appropriately priced and viable as Ohio State run backs.
Ohio State (42.75 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 73.9 (43rd)
Pass Rate – 41.62% (102nd)
One of the worst starts to a season in program history, Ohio State required a second half comeback to win their opener against Minnesota. They subsequently lost to Oregon on their way to a 1-1 record. A declining defense and new quarterback have caused Ohio State to manage 67.5 plays per game with a 57.8% pass rate through two games. Fortunately, Ohio State’s play volume jumped to 87 plays against Oregon after a putrid effort against Minnesota. Ohio State’s main weakness comes in pass coverage, where they rank 99th in the country.
Playing with a weakened defense and the best receiving tandem in the country, C.J. Stroud ($10,000) walks into productive passing outings. He is averaging 389 yards passing per game on 38 attempts. Stroud is somewhat mobile, with 10 yards rushing on the year. He is completing 63.2% of his passes for 10.2 yards per attempt. Stroud is becoming cost prohibitive with other viable options on the slate. However, his upside is undeniable.
Ohio State positively removed Master Teague ($4,800) and Marcus Crowley ($3,000) from their running back rotation after repeated inefficient play. Miyan Williams ($7,500) and premier freshman TreVeyon Henderson ($5,200) were the only two backs to touch the ball. Williams handled 14 carries for 77 yards, compared to 12 carries for 54 yards for Henderson. Williams has now out-gained Henderson 202-69 on the ground this year. Williams also saw three targets, but the backs split the pass game work almost evenly. Now just a two-man committee, taking shots here makes sense with Ohio State’s enormous team total. Henderson offers more savings, but Williams looks like a solid bet to lead the backfield in rushing this year.
Chris Olave ($8,100) and Garrett Wilson ($6,400) have 23 and 25 targets. Wilson’s 33.3% target share has led to 197 yards receiving. Olave’s 30.7% equates for 243 yards receiving. Both are appropriately priced here. Jaxson Smith-Njigba ($5,500) finally had the first good game of his career in Week 2, catching seven of 11 targets for 145 yards and a pair of scores. His route rate jumped from 63% to 98% as Ohio State played from behind. He is the third option in an explosive passing attack. Tight end Jeremy Ruckert ($3,100) is a low upside option, but he participated in 79% and 86% of the routes over the last two weeks. That price is probably too cheap. The Ohio State pass catchers are still solid options.
Florida State vs. Wake Forest
Florida State (28 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 73.2 (47th)
Pass Rate – 49.49% (45th)
After playing Notre Dame to a field goal, Florida State suffered a humiliating loss to Jacksonville State in Week 2. Mike Norvell and Kenny Dillingham remain in place as head coach and offensive coordinator. The Seminoles play with solid pace and may embrace more pass concepts following the insertion of McKenzie Milton into the offense. Their current pass rate of 39.2% should rise under Milton.
Milton ($6,100) played poorly in his Florida State debut. He completed just 58.1% of his passes for 133 yards (4.3 yards per attempt), one score and one interception. Milton ran for 16 yards on three carries as well. Milton likely needs some time to re-acclimate to college football, but there is a chance he just is not the same quarterback from his days with UCF. His career stats feature a 61.7% completion percentage for 8.4 yards per attempt. He also rushed for 613 and 307 yards in 2017 and 2018. He is a complete unknown at this point.
Florida State is using a three-man committee in the backfield. Jashaun Corbin ($6,800) leads the group with 253 yards on 30 carries. He also has six targets, all of which occurred against Notre Dame. Treshaun Ward ($4,100) has 121 yards on 19 carries and Lawrance Toafili ($3,600) has 56 yards on 16 carries. The group cannibalizes each other, making them all middling plays at best.
Florida State’s top receiver looks to be Kansas transfer Andrew Parchment ($4,200). He leads the team with nine targets, but he only has 37 yards. He paces the team in routes run at 73%. Behind Parchment, Keyshawn Helton ($4,400) and Malik McClain ($3,000) played the most, but Florida State increasingly rotated personnel in Week 2. Neither eclipsed a 56% route rate as Florida State worked in 12 personnel sets and additional receivers into the rotation. McClain still saw five targets to Helton’s three, but this situation is risky. Camren McDonald ($3,300) may be the most secure option behind Parchment with his 64% route rate in Week 2. Still, he is a low upside option, turning his six targets into 21 yards receiving. Darion Williamson ($3,000) is a player seeing increased opportunities. His routes jumped from 20% to 39%. He is not usable yet, but his is something to watch. Parchment is the best play here.
Wake Forest (33.5 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 81.2 (6th)
Pass Rate – 48.46% (54th)
2-0 to start the year, Wake Forest still has not played any real football. They beat Old Dominion and Norfolk State in their first two games. Dave Clawson and Warren Ruggiero remain head coach and offensive coordinator of this program. Extremely game script sensitive, this will vary their pass rate on a weekly basis. However, they play with incredible tempo, often leading to volume for multiple skill position players. It is tough to gather much regarding the offensive line, due to weak competition.
Traditionally a pass-heavy attack, Wake Forest has wasted the country’s time with their first two games. Sam Hartman ($7,800) currently averages 216 yards per game on 26 attempts. These number are not reflective of Wake Forest’s typical approach. Hartman completes 57.5% of his passes for 7.7 yards throughout his career. He has limited mobility but will not provide a ceiling on the ground. Hartman is viable in stacks, but he is not the top price-adjusted option on the slate.
At running back Wake Forest’s rotation is still hard to determine based on level of competition. Right now, Christian Beal-Smith ($5,900) looks likely to lead a committee with Christian Turner ($4,200). Beal-Smith has 134 yards on 20 carries compared to 61 yards on 17 carries for Turner. Justice Ellison and Ahmani Marshall have also siphoned a few carries, but this likely does not happen against better opponents. Beal-Smith also has a chance to be the bell-cow. Wake Forest historically uses a time-share, but it is tough to gather conclusions from their first two games.
Jaquarii Roberson ($6,800) is Wake Forest’s clear alpha with Donavon Greene out for the year. He has 143 yards on 15 targets and a 58% route share. This will increase. A.T. Perry ($4,900) should be the WR2. He has 100 yards receiving but only seven targets. Donald Stewart ($3,800) and Taylor Morin ($3,300) were expected to split time as the WR3 heading into the year. Stewart has 68 yards on eight targets, while Morin has 26 yards on three targets. Ke’Shawn Williams ($4,100) ranks second on the team with 10 targets, but still appears to be behind the four aforementioned players. Wake Forest’s main players should see more time here.
USC vs. Washington State
USC (35.5 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 77.3 (19th)
Pass Rate – 60.34% (4th)
USC fired Clay Helton this week after a 1-1 start. The Trojans beat San Jose State in Week 1, but then lost to Stanford as massive favorites in Week 2. Donte Williams will serve as interim head coach after coaching defensive backs. Graham Harrell is still offensive coordinator, playing with above average pace and passing volume. USC should positively regress in the red zone at some point. Last year, they converted an egregious 62% of their red zone trip to touchdowns. The same holds true this year, with a four of nine red zone trips resulting in a touchdown. USC has been horrific on defense and mainly in pass coverage where they rank 95th.
Kedon Slovis ($7,200) is currently averaging 238.5 yards passing per game on 39 attempts. He is still completing 65.4% of his passes, but the efficiency has been woeful here. Slovis offers limited mobility, but the USC offense typically leads to immense volume. He is a potential buy-low based on the uptempo, pass-heavy nature of USC’s offense.
USC is using a two-man committee consisting of Vavae Malepeai ($4,700) and Keaontay Ingram ($5,300). Malepeai has 159 yards rushing on 29 attempts, while Ingram checks in at 130 yards on 25 attempts. Ingram has five targets to Malepeai’s three, but this is a near 50/50 timeshare. Neither is particularly expensive here, making them both usable in one of the higher total games on the slate.
Drake London ($7,900) is the clear top stacking option with Slovis. His 24 targets equate to a 34.3% target share. He also leads the team with 205 yards receiving. Memphis transfer Tahj Washington ($5,000) has also made his presence felt, turning 14 targets into 103 yards. Behind them, USC has varied their player personnel quite a bit. The team played primarily 12 personnel in Week 1, featuring Erik Krommenhoek ($3,600) and Jude Wolfe ($3,000). However, in Week 2 they moved to 11-personnel, getting Gary Bryant ($3,600) on the field for a 62% route rate. Neither tight end is an option, but Bryant did see four targets in Week 2. He looks like the favorite to play the WR3 role for now, which has been valuable in the past. Taking shots on these pass catchers makes sense in Slovis stacks.
Washington State (27 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 67.8 (97th)
Pass Rate – 59.41% (7th)
A perennial bottom-feeder in the PAC-12, Washington State lost to Utah State in Week 1 before beating FCS school Portland State in Week 2. Nick Rolovich runs a run-and-shoot offense, featuring an elevated pass rate. Washington State will try to play with pace, but poor efficiency generally hinders this team’s play volume.
Jayden De Laura ($7,400) started against Portland State in Week 2 and played well. He threw for 303 yards and three scores, while completing 72.4% of his passes for 10.4 yards per attempt. He is lucky to have gotten the opportunity to face FCS competition while Tennessee transfer Jarrett Guarantano ($6,900) struggled in Week 1. De Laura has some mobility with 65 yards on the ground already this year. However, he is more expensive than Slovis, which just does not make sense outside of tournaments.
Max Borghi ($6,700) is the leader of this backfield, but he does not have the same role from 2019. He has 145 carries on 24 attempts, while turning six targets into 51 yards. He also ceded 20% of the carries to Deon McIntosh ($4,500) so far. He is viable based on game environment, but Borghi is still slightly overpriced.
Washington State’s pass heavy attack makes these receivers desirable in run backs to USC stacks. This team will play four wide most of the time. De’Zhaun Stribling ($4,200) leads the team with 15 targets, but he has just 74 yards. Travel Harris ($5,500) has 14 targets and 102 yards receiving. Calvin Jackson ($4,900) has 12 targets and 136 yards receiving. Donovan Ollie ($3,7000 has six targets and 38 yards receiving. All four have run routes on at least 88% of dropbacks. This makes them all viable here.
Mississippi State vs. Memphis
Mississippi State (33.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 72.3 (59th)
Pass Rate – 74.34% (1st)
Mississippi state opened the year 2-0 with wins over Louisiana Tech and North Carolina State. Mike Leach continues to coach Mississippi State with his patented air raid offense. This team will finish first in pass rate and above average in plays per game, making them a desirable offense for DFS. This team returned eight starters on both sides of the ball, including three on the offensive line. They also get Scott Lashley back from injury and Arkansas State transfer Carson Williams on the line. Early returns have been solid with Mississippi State inside the top 20 in pass blocking.
Will Rogers ($9,600) has taken a step forward in his second year as Mississippi State’s quarterback. He has completed 75% of his passes for 6.9 yards per attempt. Rogers routinely finishes with negative yards rushing, but he makes up for it with pure volume. Rogers currently averages 338 yards passing per game on 48.5 attempts. He is viable in stacks in this awesome game environment.
Mississippi State returned to a backfield committee featuring Jo’quavious Marks ($8,600) and Dillon Johnson ($6,100). Marks holds a slight edge over Johnson, which is reflected in salary. Marks has 82 yards on 18 carries this year, while adding 55 yards receiving on 18 targets. Johnson also has 84 yards receiving on 11 targets. FanDuel is not the preferred platform for these pass catching backs, but multiple pieces from this game environment should be considered.
Makai Polk ($6,500) has emerged as the top receiver, with 10 targets in back-to-back games. He only has 90 yards, but he has an 84% route rate to open the year. Jaden Walley ($8,100) is the next most active receiver. His route rate jumped to 76% in Week 2. He has 12 targets on the year, but he leads the team with 108 yards receiving. Behind them, Jamire Calvin ($6,900), Malik Heath ($6,600) Austin Williams ($6,200) and Lideatrick Griffin ($5,700) will be the most active receivers. Calvin has a 66% route rate, which has led to 96 yards on eight targets. Heath immediately saw four targets in his debut and ran more routes than Williams and Griffin. However, it was a narrow range with all three between 41% and 45% of the routes. Polk is the best price-adjusted option.
Memphis (30.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 75.7 (31st)
Pass Rate – 54.03% (19th)
Memphis started the year 2-0 with wins over Nicholls State and Arkansas State. They beat Arkansas State 55-50 in one of Week 2’s premier shootouts. Ryan Silverfield and Mark Johns remain in place as head coach and offensive coordinator. This team will play uptempo and pass heavy. They are strong on the offensive line after ranking 13th in pass blocking last year and returning 104 of those starts.
New Memphis quarterback Seth Henigan ($9,500) has performed well in a limited sample. He does not have much mobility, but he currently averages 336.5 yards passing per game on 32.5 attempts. Mississippi State will be his toughest test yet, but Henigan also has solid efficiency stats. He currently completes 63.1% of his passes for 10.5 yards per attempt. He is a solid player to target in stacks here.
Somewhat surprisingly, freshman Brandon Thomas ($9,600) has emerged as Memphis’ top rusher. He has 342 yards on 34 carries to start the year. He is not active whatsoever in the pass game so far, but this is solid volume for Thomas. Former starter Rodrigues Clark ($5,800) has 146 yards on 18 carries but looks likely to play a change of pace role to Thomas. Asa Martin ($5,200) and Marquavius Weaver ($5,300) will also occasionally spell Thomas.
At receiver Calvin Austin ($10,500) continues to operate as the alpha. Austin already has 282 yards on 18 targets. Their second most active receiver is actually tight end Sean Dykes ($8,300). He already has 143 yards receiving on 13 targets. Behind them, Javon Ivory ($6,300) and Gabriel Rogers ($5,900) will round out the receiving corps. Ivory has 117 yards on 11 targets, while Rogers has 68 yards on eight targets. Both run a route on at least 69% of dropbacks to start the year, making them fine punt plays in Memphis offense.
South Carolina vs. Georgia
South Carolina (8.5 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 69.1 (91st)
Pass Rate – 46.60% (65th)
Undergoing a full rebuild, South Carolina opened the year 2-0. They shut out Eastern Illinois, before beating East Carolina by a field goal. Shane Beamer is now the head coach with Marcus Satterfield coordinating the offense. Satterfield was previously with the Panthers, giving this offense intrigue. So far, they are passing 41.5% of the time with 65 plays per game. Both marks leave room for improvement.
Luke Doty ($6,000) is allegedly healthy, but South Carolina continues to start Zeb Noland ($6,000). Doty will be the starter when healthy and should provide a boost to the offense. Doty completed 60.6% of his passes for 5.7 yards per attempt last year, but he is a superior dual threat to Noland. Doty rushed for 91 yards on 41 attempts, while Noland has registered negative yards rushing this year. There is also a chance that both will play. With a miniscule team total, this is a place to avoid.
Kevin Harris ($6,000) returned to action last week. He led the team with over 1,000 yards rushing last year. However, South Carolina used him in a committee with Juju McDowell ($6,200), MarShawn Lloyd ($5,000), and ZaQuandre White ($5,800). None of these backs will see enough work against Georgia, making a ceiling score unlikely.
Josh Vann ($6,400) and Dakereon Joyner ($5,700) currently lead the team with nine targets apiece. Vann has out-gained Joyner 153-39 as Joyner plays more of a gadget role. Interestingly, Joyner has only run a route on 50% of dropbacks. Jalen Brooks ($5,000) actually has the highest route rate at 79%. He only has 18 yards on seven targets, but he still plays a lot. Jaheim Bell ($5,000) rounds out the pass catchers as a seldom-used tight end. These players are not strong options.
Georgia (40 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 70.3 (84th)
Pass Rate – 46.37% (67th)
Overcoming multiple injuries, Georgia knocked off Clemson in their debut before dismantling UAB in Week 2. Georgia is only running 61 plays per game and passing 43.4% of the time. Both are major steps back for a Bulldogs team that was fairly aggressive under offensive coordinator Todd Monken last year. However, they have already suffered a multitude of injuries, perhaps forcing their hand. Georgia has struggled in pass blocking early in the year.
Stetson Bennett ($8,500) and J.T. Daniels ($8,500) have been splitting first team reps at Georgia practice to start the week. Both have been banged up in practice, but Daniels brings more upside to the offense. Daniels completed 67.2% of his passes for 10.3 yards per attempt in a limited sample with Georgia last year. Bennett is slightly more mobile, but neither quarterback provides much upside on the ground. There is also the risk that both play in this game. This is a tough situation to target for DFS.
The backfield is the same prototypical mess that Georgia uses on an annual basis. Zamir White ($8,200) leads the group with 108 yards on 20 carries. However, Kendall Milton ($4,800), James Cook ($6,200), Kenny McIntosh ($5,400) and Daijun Edwards ($4,700) will all see carries here. This situation is difficult to predict, but White is the favorite to lead the backfield.
Receiver is also a mess for Georgia with George Pickens, Arik Gilbert, Darnell Washington, and Dominick Blaylock all injured. Tight end Brock Bowers ($6,900) actually leads the team in targets (9) and yards receiving (150). He ran a route on 72% of dropbacks in Week 1 before Georgia blew the doors off UAB and no receiver eclipsed a 38% route share. Their top wide receiver will be Jermaine Burton ($7,200), followed by Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint ($5,700). They have combined for eight targets in this low volume passing attack. Despite the large team total, Georgia is a difficult team to decipher heading into Week 3.
Auburn vs. Penn State
Auburn (23.5 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 70.4 (83rd) / 69.1 (91st) South Carolina numbers
Pass Rate – 49.35% (48th) / 46.60% (65%)
Auburn is 2-0 against Akron and Alabama State, washing everyone’s time. Bryan Harsin is now the head coach, with Mike Bobo coordinating the offense. Harsin failed to maximize the talent on his rosters with Boise State, while Bobo failed as a head coach with Colorado State. This team returned eight starters on offense and seven on defense, but they only went 6-5 last year. This team ranked 77th in pass blocking and does not have a player with anything higher than 3rd team all SEC honors on defense returning.
Bo Nix ($7,700) looks improved to start 2021, which makes sense considering competition. Nix has a 59.5% career completion percentage with 6.9 yards per attempt. Now losing his top three options, his increased efficiency looks unsustainable. Positively, Nix does have dual-threat ability. He already has 30 yards rushing this year, with upside for more. Nix is cheap enough to consider in tournaments, but there is a large sample of him being a bad quarterback. He has three 300-yard games in 26 starts.
At running back Auburn found a stud in Tank Bigsby ($8,000). Bigsby is underpriced after seeing a depressed workload due to level of competition. He already has 241 yards on 24 carries. Jarquez Hunter ($6,500) should also play for Auburn to some degree. He has 257 yards on 17 carries to open the year. He was listed as the co-backup with Shaun Shivers ($5,000). Bigsby is the best play overall and a solid play on this slate. Shivers missed last game, but was labeled day-to-day
At wide receiver Auburn will start Shedrick Jackson ($6,400), Ja’Varrius Johnson ($4,000) and former Georgia player Demetris Robertson ($7,600). Jackson leads the team with 10 targets and 90 yards receiving, while Robertson ranks second with seven targets and 89 yards. Johnson missed Week 2, but he was labeled day-to-day by the coaching staff. As long as he warms up, he should play. He recorded 51 yards on three targets in their opener. Without Johnson, Kobe Hudson ($5,400) would be the primary beneficiary. Hudson has 55 yards on seven targets to open the year. Auburn has yet to play a competitive game, so the wide receiver rotation remains a mystery. Jackson, Robertson and Johnson are the top bets in that order, with Johnson most likely to rotate. John Samuel Shenker ($4,900) will operate as the tight end. He has a 61% route share and six targets so far this year.
Penn State (29.5 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 73.8 (44th) Texas numbers/ 81.9 (3rd)
Pass Rate – 49.86% (42nd) / 45.45% (76th)
Penn State picked up a huge win over Wisconsin in Week 1, before crushing Ball State in Week 2. New offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich brings his pass heavy approach from Texas. Penn State has struggled a little bit on the offensive line, but Wisconsin is one of the tougher defenses in the country. This team will play with pace and pass heavy schemes.
At quarterback Sean Clifford ($8,400) is the clear starter after splitting time with Will Levis last year. Clifford currently averages 238 yards passing per game on 31 attempts. He has solid efficiency metrics, with a 62.9% completion percentage for 7.7 yards per attempt. Clifford is an excellent dual threat and already has 71 yards rushing this year. Clifford has yet to achieve a ceiling performance, but his dual-threat ability in an uptempo, pass heavy offense bode well for big games. Clifford is the second leading rusher so far this year.
At running back Noah Cain ($7,300) separated himself from the pack in Week 2. He carried 20 times for 69 yards and a score, while adding three receptions for 30 yards. While he did not have a strong box score, the opportunity is solid for Cain here. Behind him, Keyvone Lee ($5,200) and Devyn Ford ($5,400) look slated for a change of pace roll.
At receiver Penn State returned alpha Jahan Dotson ($9,000) after leading the team in 2020. Dotson has 167 yards on 16 targets, which equates to a 27.1% target share. Behind Dotson, Parker Washington ($6,100) has emerged as the clear WR2. He has six and seven targets in back-to-back games and the second-most yards receiving on the year (104). The third receiver for Penn State is KeAndre Lambert-Smith ($). Lambert Smith has an 80% route rate and nine targets. He only has 84 yards, but he continues to run as the WR3. Penn State uses a fair amount of 12 personnel, pulling Lambert-Smith off the field at times. However, Theo Johnson ($5,300) and Brenton Strange ($4,700) do not receiver enough work to individually be considered among the pass game.
Virginia vs. North Carolina
Virginia (29 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 78.0 (17th)
Pass Rate – 52.56% (28th)
Now 2-0, Virginia beat William and Mary and Illinois so far this year. Bronco Mendenhall and Robert Anae continue as head coach and offensive coordinator here. This team is historically very pass heavy and uptempo. They are currently passing 54.8% of the time, while running 73 plays per game. They also returned four starting offensive linemen on a group that ranked 46th last year.
Virginia runs one of the most interesting offenses in the country. On top of being uptempo and pass heavy, the Cavaliers use multiple quarterbacks at the same time occasionally. Brennan Armstrong ($9,900) plays the traditional quarterback role. He is currently completing 71.6% of his passes for 11.1 yards per attempt. He is also a strong dual threat with 31 yards on the ground. He went over 300 yards passing in both games this year. In his first year as the starter in 2020. He only went over 300 yards once, but he eclipsed 250 five times in eight full games. He is a strong play in this high scoring environment.
At running back Wayne Taulapapa ($5,900) is back as the starter. He has 14 carries for 69 yards through two weeks. Mike Hollins ($4,900) is the primary backup and figures to play in a change of pace role. This is not a high-volume rushing attack, and the true split remains to be seen. Taulapapa is viable in tournaments for that reason.
At receiver Virginia lists Dontayvion Wicks ($6,500), Billy Kemp ($6,200) and Ra’Shaun Henry ($6,000) as the starters. One wrinkle to Virginia’s depth chart is the starting FBP position, meaning “football player”. Former quarterback Keytaon Thompson ($6,500) plays here and performs a variety of roles. He is tied for the team-leading 13 targets, notching 134 yards receiving. He also has nine carries for 67 yards, in an almost Wan’Dale Robinson-type role. Among the true receivers, Wicks also has 13 targets and leads the team with 163 yards receiving. Kemp has 110 yards on 12 targets, while Henry checks in at 106 yards on nine targets. Jelani Woods ($5,800) starts at tight end. he also has 127 yards on eight targets to open the year. Opportunity could vary depending on the week for this team, but big games will come. Thompson has been the most consistent player so far, but all are viable in tournaments.
North Carolina (38 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 74.1 (42nd)
Pass Rate – 44.29% (85th)
After losing a rivalry game to Virginia Tech in the opener, North Carolina defeated Georgia State in Week 2. Mack Brown and Phil Longo remain head coach and offensive coordinator, but the Tarheels lost multiple starters to the NFL. Many called the offensive line a strength heading into the year. However, this fraudulent unit actually allowed 100 pressures despite converting only 12 into sacks last year. They are strong in run blocking situations, but leave much to be desired when pass blocking, as Virginia Tech exploited.
Sam Howell ($10,500) is the returning quarterback for North Carolina. He is a strong dual threat with 139 yards rushing already this season. He is also averaging 280 yards passing per game on 31 attempts. He did struggle with pressure at times against Virginia Tech, but he has the talent and skillset to potentially stack in tournaments. The only issue here is price with other cheaper viable quarterbacks on the slate.
As anticipated, Tennessee transfer Ty Chandler ($8,400) has functioned as North Carolina’s feature back. He has 124 yards on 25 carries, but no other running back has received more than six carries. Chandler only has two targets on the year, but he still leads the group in targets. He caught double digit passes in every year with Tennessee and still dominates routes out of the backfield. He is a solid price-adjusted play in a bounce back spot.
At receiver Josh Downs ($8,400) has functioned as the leader with Antoine Green ($6,900), Emery Simmons ($6,700) and Khafre Brown ($5,600) also playing a role. Downs has 22 targets and a 36.7% target share. He also easily leads the team with 196 yards receiving to date. Green ranks third on the team with six targets but appears to have a more consistent role than the other players. Last week, Brown took a large chunk of Simmons’ snaps. After running a route on 89% of dropbacks, Simmons’ route rate dropped to 51% as Brown handled a 44% route rate. Garrett Walston ($5,400) functions as the seldom-used tight end. Right now, Downs is the top option with the other three battling for snaps. This renders them all GPP plays.
Tulane vs. Ole Miss
Tulane (31 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 71.8 (66th)
Pass Rate – 40.42% (108th)
Tulane played Oklahoma to a 5-point game before smashing Morgan State in Week 2. Willie Fritz is still the coach of Tulane. This team plays relatively fast but run heavy. They are currently running 81 plays per game with a 60.5% pass rate. Those numbers are largely the result from facing Oklahoma, but Tulane may be able to play with more efficiency in 2021. A major concern is the offensive line, which currently ranks 117th in pass blocking. This unit was supposed to be a strength heading into the year with four returning starters. Expect positive regression, but maybe not against Ole Miss.
Michael Pratt ($9,700) will start at quarterback for Tulane. Pratt is an excellent dual threat with 65 yards rushing so far. He averages 210 yards passing on 28.5 attempts, but he did not play a full complement of snaps in Week 2. Pratt completed 61.4% of his passes for 6.7 yards per attempt and 296 yards against Oklahoma in Week 1. He has upside, but it is already accounted for in price. He is appropriately priced for the week’s premier shootout.
In the backfield Cameron Carroll ($7,100) looks likely to lead a committee also featuring Tyjae Spears ($5,500). Carroll carried 15 times for 31 yards in Week 1, while Spears mixed in for 20 yards on six carries. No other running back carried the ball in this game. Ygenio Booker ($5,000) played a little in the pass game, but Carroll looks like the top option in a somewhat risky backfield.
At receiver Tulane already lost Mykel Jones. Fortunately, the rest of the group is healthy. Tight end Tyrick James ($5,900) is tied with Jaetavian Toles ($7,000) for a team-leading nine targets. James leads the team in yards receiving with 142, while Toles ranks second with 106. These two were also top two on the team in routes with a 64% route rate and 74% route rate in Week 1. The next-most active receiver was Phat Watts ($5,600) with a 64% route rate in Week 1. Duece Watts ($6,300) checked in at 53%, while Shae Wyatt ($6,000) managed 47%. Wyatt has the most targets of the three, but this is a volatile situation.
Ole Miss (45 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 81.6 (4th)
Pass Rate – 43.38% (89th)
Ole Miss demolished both Louisville and Austin Peay to begin 2021. Lane Kiffin and Jeff Lebby continue to dazzle the college football ranks with their highly efficient, uptempo scheme. Ole Miss returned eight starters on offense and four on the offensive line. Their defense is improved, but still a work in progress. They will have to outscore opponents, which bodes well for DFS.
Ole Miss has one of the top quarterbacks in the country in Matt Corral ($11,500). Corral has solid dual-threat ability with 90 yards already on the ground. He is averaging 331 yards passing per game on 33.5 attempts. Tulane already allowed over 300 yards to Oklahoma. This game has an enormous 76-point total, justifying Corral’s expensive price tag. He is still viable in tournaments.
Jerrion Ealy ($9,000) is the lead back for Ole Miss, but both Henry Parrish ($5,700) and Snoop Conner ($6,300) will play a role. Conner actually led the team in rushing in Week 1 with 60 yards, while Ealy checked in at 37 and Parrish managed 38. Ealy is the preferred pass catching back with 45 yards on six targets. However, Parrish is not far behind, turning five targets into 77 yards. This will be a committee worth taking shots on in the right game environments.
At receiver Dontario Drummond ($9,800) and Jonathan Mingo ($7,900) are operating as the top two pass catchers. Drummond turned 18 targets into an absurd 284 yards receiving so far, while Mingo parlayed 16 targets into 168 yards receiving. Braylon Sanders ($6,800) has played just as much as Drummond and Mingo. Yet he has just 45 yards on 10 targets. Ole Miss has not really used a tight end this year, so sticking with the top three in stacks looks like the best option.
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