Week 3 action continues with a Thursday showdown featuring Ohio vs. Louisiana. 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 Thursday’s showdown matchup.
College Football DFS: Week 3 Thursday CFB Picks
Ohio vs. Louisiana
Ohio (18 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 60.0 (126th)
Pass Rate – 35.00% (122nd)
After playing just three games last year, Ohio has gotten off to a rocky start in 2021. The Bobcats dropped each of their first two games against Syracuse and Duquesne. New head coach Tim Albin has really struggled to find his footing with a team returning nine starters on offense and eight on defense. He retained co-offensive coordinators Scott Isphording and Allen Rudolph, but Ohio’s pass rate jumped to 49.2%. Their play volume is depressed at 63 per game, and both numbers seem influenced by a lack of efficiency and negative game script. This team is very bad at pass blocking and should struggle against a strong Louisiana front.
After losing Nathan Rourke to graduation after 2019, Ohio decided to move forward with his brother Kurtis Rourke ($15,600). Rourke only has five starts, but he completes 69.1% of his passes for 7.4 yards per attempt. This will the toughest opponent he has faced in his career. Rourke is not quite as mobile as his brother; he has at least 21 yards in both games to start 2021, but he is liable to take sacks. Only eclipsing 200 yards once in five starts, Rourke is a low-upside floor play in DFS.
At running back Ohio utilizes a committee of De’Montre Tuggle ($14,100) and O’Shaan Allison ($5,400). Tuggle has 26 opportunities, compared to 22 for Allison. Allison registered 130 yards to Tuggle’s 109. Neither back is particularly involved in the passing game either. Allison is the stronger play based purely on price, but Ohio has a long history of using multiple backs.
Ohio took a major blow losing their top receiver Jerome Buckner ($9,600) early on against Duquesne. He is questionable for this week with a shoulder injury. Cameron Odom ($8,100) and Tyler Walton ($7,200) stepped up to fill the void, and they would function as the top two receivers without Buckner. Odom has 92 yards receiving to Walton’s 68. This team also uses a lot of 12 personnel, featuring Ryan Luehrman ($2,100) primarily. Luehrman ran a route on 80% of dropbacks last week but only has four targets on the year.
Louisiana (39 Implied Total)
Plays/Game – 67.7 (98th)
Pass Rate – 42.68% (93rd)
Louisiana dropped their first game to Texas (38-18) before beating Nicholls State by just a field goal in Week 2. This team went 10-1 last year but won seven of those games by single digits. They returned 10 starters on both sides of the ball, making negative regression fairly predictable. Their pass rate came in at 60.3% against Texas but should stabilize here. The same goes for their plays per game after they jumped to 73 in their opener. As a 21-point favorite, Louisiana is the team to focus on here.
Veteran quarterback Levi Lewis ($20,100) is completing 64.4% of his passes for 8 yards per attempt. Lewis is not very mobile and has negative-12 yards rushing this year. Last year he finished with 335 yards, so expect some positive regression. However, he is known as more of a game manager as a passer. Lewis has two 300-yard games in his two full seasons as the starter for Louisiana. With that said, he is still the better play at quarterback due to the massive implied team total.
Louisiana has historically used multiple backs. Incumbent Chris Smith ($12,900) will lead the committee; he averages 14 touches per game and ranks second on the team with seven targets. Smith has out-touched change-of-pace back Montrell Johnson ($3,000) 28-18 to this point. He has also out-touched Emani Bailey ($3,900) 28-11. Bailey actually entered the game before Johnson, but all three backs played within the first five minutes of the game. Expect Smith to lead this group, but both Johnson and Bailey should factor into the run game.
Louisiana also utilizes a pretty nasty rotation at wide receiver. Kyren Lacy ($12,000) leads the group, but Dontae Fleming ($5,100), Michael Jefferson ($10,500, Jalen Williams ($11,400) and Peter LeBlanc ($7,500) all play prominent roles. None have handled more than 56% of the routes in any of Louisiana’s first two games. Lacy leads the team in targets (12) but only has 67 yards. Fleming ran the most routes in Week 2 but only has three targets in each game. This could be a time to buy low on LeBlanc, who functioned as the team’s No. 1 receiver when he was not injured last year. Williams ranked second on the team in receiving last year, but he failed to see a target last week. Even Errol Rogers ($6,300) will play a role when healthy. He saw five targets in Week 1 and missed Week 2 with a lower-body injury. His status is questionable. This receiver room is a mess, so taking shots on some cheaper options could make sense.
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