Week 2 action continues with a Friday slate featuring a full slate of games and DraftKings and FanDuel have great contests for this slate of games. This CFB DFS 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 Friday’s matchup.
College Football DFS: Week 2 Friday CFB Picks
Kansas vs. Coastal Carolina
Kansas (13.5 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 75.9 (28th)
Pass Rate – 48.17% (59th)
Fresh off a 17-14 nail-biter against South Dakota, Kansas is a 25.5-point underdog to Coastal Carolina. The Lance Leipold era did not begin according to plan. Despite recruiting the 63rd-ranked freshman class, an FCS program gave Kansas a run for their money. Kansas ran 68 overall plays and passed 37.9% of the time. The Jayhawks dropped back far more often, but quarterback Jason Bean ($6,800) struggled to feel pressure and took off scrambling. The Kansas offensive line that returned three starters only allowed one pressure.
Bean put up a modest performance in his debut, with 163 yards passing on 26 attempts. He also rushed for 54 yards on the ground. Bean should be forced to throw more against Coastal Carolina. He is a solid option based on his dual-threat ability.
Velton Gardner ($5,500) handled most of the running back work in Week 1 with 19 carries for 21 yards rushing. Gardner looks like the favorite to lead the backfield, but Amauri Pesek-Hickson ($4,800) missed Week 1. He began practicing this week but now finds himself below Torry Locklin ($3,000) on the depth chart. Locklin is a hybrid receiver/running back, who carried five times for 8 yards. Gardner suffers from the spread and the potential for a reduced workload.
At receiver Kwamie Lassiter ($6,200) and Trevor Wilson ($3,000) look like the top two options for Kansas. Wilson saw seven targets in Week 1 and had five receptions for 50 yards receiving, yet still is minimum price. Lassiter only managed two catches for 12 yards on his four targets. The next most active receiver was tight end Mason Fairchild ($4,100). Fairchild reeled in all four of his targets for 58 yards in Week 1 and importantly ran a route on 81% of dropbacks. The clear WR3 was Steven McBride ($3,700), who also ran a route on 75% of dropbacks but turned just three targets into two catches for 8 yards. The value among this group is clearly Wilson.
Coastal Carolina (39 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 69.6 (87th)
Pass Rate – 37.08% (118th)
Coastal Carolina dismantled the Citadel 52-14 in Week 1, playing reserves for much of the second half. They ran their prototypical slow-paced, run-heavy offense, featuring 56 overall plays and 42.9% pass rate. Coastal returned nine starters on offense and 10 on defense. This along with the spread suggest another run-heavy affair.
Grayson McCall ($8,900) will quarterback Coastal Carolina. He only threw 20 pass attempts in his debut but still racked up 262 yards. McCall only rushed for 24 yards, but his dual-threat ability is elite. Last year McCall rushed for 569 yards while throwing for 2,488 yards, 26 touchdowns and only three interceptions. His rushing gives him both a secure floor and a massive ceiling.
The Chanticleers will use a running back by committee consisting primarily of Shermari Jones ($4,000) and Reese White ($4,700). Jones had 100 yards on nine carries, while White recorded 62 on seven in Week 1. Braydon Bennett ($3,000) also carried six time for 45 yard but likely will not receive as much work in a closer game. Jones and White are excellent plays on the four-game slate.
Coastal Carolina is not the pass-heaviest team, but efficiency keeps their pass catchers in play. Jaivon Heiligh ($8,000) saw seven targets in Week 1, racking up 133 yards. Tight end Isaiah Likely ($4,800) also saw six targets for 64 yards. Their secondary wide receiver is Kameron Brown ($7,200), who only received one target in Week 1 but still ran a route on 69% of dropbacks. Coastal Carolina mixes up their formations quite a bit, often leaving a third receiver off the field. Ty’Son Mobley ($4,000) was the next most active pass catcher but only ran a route on 35% of dropbacks.
North Carolina A&T vs. Duke
North Carolina A&T (18.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 60.0
Pass Rate – 48.33%
After opting out of the 2020 season, North Carolina A&T dropped their opener to Furman 29-18. The Aggies were relatively inefficient with 60 plays per game. However, they ran a balanced offense, featuring a 48.3% pass rate. Even with Duke struggling against Charlotte in their opener, North Carolina A&T is in-over-their-head.
Jalen Fowler ($5,700) will quarterback North Carolina A&T. He completed 14 of his 29 passes and finished with 268 yards in his debut performance. The 9.2 yards per pass attempt look unsustainable for Fowler. He also had 45 yards rushing on the ground. His dual-threat ability keeps him in play as a pure punt option.
Jah-Maine Martin ($5,300) led the North Carolina A&T backfield with 12 carries for 35 yards rushing. Kashon Baker ($4,500) added four carries for 14 yards himself, but Martin should lead this backfield.
The Aggies wide receiver corps consists primarily of Ron Hunt ($3,900) and Korey Banks ($4,900). Both caught five passes, but Hunt’s 146 yards bested Banks’ 66. Banks played a crucial role for this team in 2019 with 34 catches for 470 yards. Hunt only caught one ball in 2019 but looks likely to play an elevated role moving forward. Zachary Leslie ($4,200) also played a large role for this team in 2019 with 42 catches for 652 yards. However, he did not play in Week 1 and is questionable moving forward.
Duke (39.25 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 78.7 (13th)
Pass Rate – 49.42% (47th)
Duke continued their uptempo approach in last week’s upset loss. They found success on the ground and only passed 42.1% of the time. Duke only returned six starters on offense, including three on the offensive line. This unit struggled a bit, allowing six pressures.
Gunnar Holmberg ($7,000) will quarterback the Blue Devils. Holmberg 69% of his 29 pass attempts for 228 yards and one score. Holmberg does not offer much mobility, but Duke’s uptempo approach makes him an interesting GPP candidate in the right matchups. Holmberg looks better left to GPPs in the off-chance North Carolina A&T keeps this game close enough for him to record additional pass attempts.
Duke’s backfield is a position of strength with Mateo Durant ($6,900). Durant rushed 29 times for 255 yards against Charlotte. He was complemented by Jordan Waters ($5,800), who carried five times for 65 yards himself. Waters did see three targets in the pass game, but he only ran a route on 14.3% of dropbacks. For comparison, Durant participated in 40% of the dropbacks. For now, Waters should be in his change of pace role, with Durant dominating opportunity. Durant is a sharp play again here.
In the receiving game a clear pecking order has emerged, with Jake Bobo ($5,100) operating as the alpha. Bobo participated in the most routes and led the team with nine targets in Week 1. He turned this into seven catches for 88 yards. Jalon Calhoun ($6,500) also ran a route on 71% of dropbacks He caught four passes for 25 yards. Similarly, Eli Pancol ($4,100) went catchless on one target, despite running a route on 65.7% of dropbacks. Both tight end Jake Marwede ($3,400) and fourth receiver Darrell Harding ($3,000) mixed in for about 50% of the routes. Bobo is the top price-adjusted play in the receiving corps with Calhoun and Pancol making interesting GPP options.
North Dakota vs. Utah State
North Dakota (26 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 63.0
Pass Rate – 28.57%
After going 5-2 last year, North Dakota won their opening game 35-14 over Idaho State. In traditional North Dakota fashion, the Fighting Hawks only ran 63 plays, passing at a 28.6% clip. While this team prefers to run, they may have to embrace the pass a little more as underdogs to Utah State.
North Dakota will be quarterbacked by dual threat Tommy Schuster ($5,800). Schuster completed 14 of 18 passes for 183 yards and one touchdown in last week’s win. He also added 27 yards on the ground in a game where South Dakota easily won. Like Fowler, he is an unexciting but viable punt play at quarterback.
Otis Weah ($5,400) and Luke Skokna ($3,200) formed a one-two punch at running back last week for South Dakota. Weah carried the ball 22 times for 114 yards, while Skokna stepped up for 32 yards on 11 carries. Creighton Mitchell ($4,400) was injured during the team’s scrimmage in training camp and did not play last week. Weah is the top play in an underwhelming attack.
Adam Zavalney ($3,300), Garett Maag ($4,500), Brock Boltmann ($3,800) and Marcus Preston ($3,000) all saw two targets for South Dakota. Zavalney led the team with 57 yards receiving, while Maag finished second with 43. Maag led the team in receiving in 2020 with 25 catches for 523 yards. Preston ranked fourth with 112 yards and Zavalney ranked fifth with 99. Boltmann did not play in the spring. Taking a stab on any of these pass catchers looks like a bad idea, but Maag and Preston look the most viable.
Utah State (32 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 62.7 (123rd)
Pass Rate – 43.90% (63rd)
After going 1-5 last year, Utah State kicked off their season with a 26-23 win over Washington State in Week 1. Utah State passed only 43.9% of the time but ran 82 plays in that game. With 10 returning starters on offense and nine one defense, this team has enough firepower to be exciting in the right matchups.
Logan Bonner ($7,300) split time at Andrew Peasley ($6,400) at quarterback for Utah State in Week 1. While Bonner threw an interception in the game, he played better football overall. Bonner completed 70.8% of his passes for 143 yards and the game winning score. He also rushed for 15 yards. Peasley completed six of 12 passes himself for 76 yards and rushed for 43 yards, but he also fumbled. These two should split time at quarterback, but the job is moving in Bonner’s direction.
Utah State also used a committee at running back, featuring Calvin Tyler ($3,500), John Gentry ($3,000) and Elelyon Noa ($3,000). Tyler was the most efficient back, carrying 14 times for 84 yards and adding three receptions. Gentry also carried 14 times for an inefficient 47 yards, while Noa mixed in for 10 carries and 19 yards. Noa only averaged 2.6 yards per carry last year and will continue to lose time with inferior play. While still a small sample, Tyler looked like the best runner among this group.
Deven Thompkins ($7,000) continues to operate as the clear alpha wide receiver. Thompkins caught eight of 11 targets for 94 yards in week 1. Behind him, Justin McGriff ($6,100) ran the second most routes at 87.2%, followed by Derek Wright ($5,400) and Arkansas State transfer Brandon Bowling ($3,300) at 67% and 56%. Wright saw eight targets for McGriff’s six. However, McGriff did more with the targets, turning in 47 yards receiving to Wright’s 35. All three options are price-adjusted accordingly, with Thompkins still being the best value.
UTEP vs. Boise State
UTEP (15.5 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 70.7 (78th)
Pass Rate – 45.99% (70th)
After going 3-5 a season ago, UTEP kicked off 2021 with two-straight wins over New Mexico State and Bethune-Cookman. This will be UTEP’s toughest test yet as the Miners have embraced a slower tempo, run-focused offense to start the year after an offseason offensive coordinator change. The new play caller, Dave Warner, is a former Michigan State offensive coordinator.
At quarterback UTEP continues to trot out game manager Gavin Hardison ($5,900). Hardison is currently completing 64.1% of his passes for 11.1 yards per attempt, but only 217 yards per game. Hardison does not offer any mobility, so he relies on elevated pass attempts. Fortunately, he should benefit from negative game script against a Boise State defense that just got gashed by UCF through the air.
Unfortunately for UTEP, Deion Hankins ($6,500) will miss this game. Last week with Hankins out, UTEP fed Ronald Awatt ($3,700) 19 carries. They also used Willie Eldridge ($3,000) and Reynaldo Flores ($3,000) for 11 carries apiece. Both Eldridge and Awatt eclipsed 100 yards on the ground, while Flores managed only 36. Former starter Quardraiz Wadley ($5,900) appears to have fallen out of favor slightly in the backfield. Awatt entered the game first, followed by Wadley, then Eldridge and Flores. Awatt is easily the best value.
UTEP is not running as many four receiver sets under their new offensive coordinator, but Jacob Cowing ($5,200), Justin Garrett ($4,000) and Tyrin Smith ($3,000) continue to dominate opportunities. Behind them, no other pass catcher ran a route on more than 38% of dropbacks. Garrett’s 30.2% target share slightly edges Cowing’s 27.9%. However, Cowing has 181 yards receiving to Garrett’s 122. Smith is distant third, but his route rate improved from 45% to 85% in Week 2 and his targets jumped from 1-6.
Boise State (41 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 66.3 (106th)
Pass Rate – 50.86% (37th)
After finishing 5-2 last year, Boise State blew a first half lead against UCF in their debut. In that game, Boise State ran just 65 plays, but passed at a 60% rate. Offensive coordinator Tim Plough comes over from Cal Poly, where he favored an uptempo, pass-first approach. Boise State dealt with a number of injuries on offense, so perhaps they can display increased efficiency here. New coach Andy Avalos will look to rebound here against UTEP.
Boise State will be quarterbacked by Hank Bachmeier ($7,200), who threw 39 passes in his debut. Bachmeier completed 64.1% of those passes for a modest 263 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Bachmeier does not possess much rushing upside, so the elevated pass attempts drive his fantasy touchdowns. Fortunately, Boise State is a massive favorite, giving him plenty of upside.
At running back presumed lead back George Holani ($6,000) sat out after participating in pregame warmups. Apparently Holani was banged up in camp and continues to work his way back. Based on the previous week’s participation, he is a better bet to play tonight. He makes a risky play overall. He will also be complemented by Oregon transfer Cyrus Habibi-Likio ($5,700), who followed Avalos. Like his days in Oregon, Habibi-Likio carries 12 times for an efficient 23 yards. He is a bigger back and best left to a goal line role. Andrew Van Buren ($4,600) also carried nine times for 30 yards. Both should take a backseat to Holani, assuming rational coaching.
Another unexpected twist for Boise State was Khalil Shakir‘s ($7,500) snap count. Like Holani, Shakir has allegedly been banged up in camp. He should participate in more than the 41% of routes he did a week ago. Even on reduced opportunity, Shakir still turned seven targets into 91 yards. The other starting receivers will be Stefan Cobbs ($5,600) and Octavius Evans ($6,400). Cobbs turned six targets into 63 yards receiving, while Evans had 32 yards on five targets. Cobbs ran a route on 85% of dropbacks compared to 61% for Evans. Billy Bowens ($3,400), C.T. Thomas ($4,600) and tight end Riley Smith ($3,600) mixed in for 41%, 46% and 46% of routes, respectively. Shakir is still the best target in this group.
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