Week 12 of the College Football season is upon us. Each week, I’ll take a deep dive into the matchups and break down the games from a CFB DFS perspective. From the data, we can pinpoint the games that we see as being the top fantasy-point producers on the slate and who should be in line for the majority of the offensive output. Thus, leading us to finding the best CFB DFS picks for both DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy lineups.
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Week 12 CFB DFS Picks & Matchup Breakdowns | DraftKings + FanDuel
Indiana vs Ohio State
Indiana CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Tom Allen has coached Indiana since 2016. This year, he promoted tight ends coach Nick Sheridan to offensive coordinator. This is the first play calling gig for Sheridan. So far, Indiana runs 73 plays per game, while passing 53.1% of the time. Indiana returned three starters on the offensive line this year. The Hoosiers sit at 4-0 with wins over Penn State, Rutgers, Michigan, and Michigan State.
Michael Penix ($6,600) – Completing 60.7% of his passes, Penix currently averages 267.3 passing yards per game on 37.5 attempts. Interestingly, Indiana recruited Penix as a dual threat, but he has yet to display this ability with -2 rushing yards on the season. This remains one of Penix’s most difficult matchups, but his volume keeps him in play for tournaments.
Stevie Scott ($6,400) – Playing as a three-touchdown underdog, Scott may finally fall below his 20-carry per game threshold. Scott averages 24.8 touches, but he has only put up 79.8 rushing yards per contest on that volume. However, after two straight 1,000 yard seasons, Scott’s volume keeps him in consideration.
Whop Philyor ($5,000) – After eclipsing 1,000 yards last year, Philyor continues to play out of the slot for Indiana. He led the team in targets, until last week’s Ty Fryfogle eruption. Philyor still averages 10 targets and 71.8 yards per game, making him a strong value in the offense.
Ty Fryfogle ($6,300) – Beasting for 200 receiving yards and a pair of scores on 11 catches, Fryfogle earned his price hike on DraftKings. The senior wideout currently leads Indiana in targets (42) and receiving yards 424. He remains a value-based play on volume, but slightly less so than Philyor.
Peyton Hendershot ($3,800) – One of the most athletic tight ends in the Big Ten, Hendershot continues to run a route on at least 82% of drop-backs in every game this season. He also ranks third on the team in targets (21), making him a worthy dart throw in CFB DFS lineups.
Miles Marshall ($3,700) – Good for five targets, no more no less, Marshall has exactly that number in every game this year. However, Marshall has run a route on 90% of drop-backs in each of Indiana’s last two games.
Ohio State CFB DFS Picks
Ryan Day coached Ohio State to a 13-1 finish last year. Day has ties to Chip Kelly, he coached quarterbacks in Philadelphia and San Francisco under Kelly. He has been with Ohio State ever since, focusing on the offensive side of the ball. Kevin Wilson is the current offensive coordinator. He was the co-offensive coordinator with Day before receiving his promotion. Ohio State currently runs 73.3 plays per game with a 40.9% pass rate in their spread attack. The offensive line returns three full time starters.
Justin Fields ($9,000) – The Heisman hopeful looks to continue his hyper-efficient campaign against a strong Indiana defense. Fields currently averages an absurd 302 passing yards per game on 27.7 attempts. Fields adds a bit of yardage with his legs (57), further adding to his ceiling. Priced below a number of other quarterbacks on this slate, Fields possesses as much upside as anyone.
Master Teague ($8,000) – Ohio State runs a split backfield between Teague and Oklahoma transfer Trey Sermon. Teague holds a 50-39 touch advantage over Sermon this season, but both backs each handled 12 carries last week. They each have three targets on the year as well, making this an even committee. Given Sermon’s $4,900 price tag, he looks like the superior value in this spot.
Garrett Wilson ($7,900) – Ohio State’s target leader (28), sophomore Wilson currently leads the Buckeyes with 344 yards receiving through three games. Wilson sees 9.3 targets per game, more than making him worth a $7,900 price tag.
Chris Olave ($7,600) – Last year’s top receiver, Olave averages 95.3 yards receiving per game. Olave’s target count currently sits at 20, but Wilson has out-targeted the veteran in each of Ohio State’s last two games. Still a clear contributor, Olave remains worth a look in contrarian builds.
Jameson Williams ($3,600) – Williams plays the WR3 role for Ohio State. He holds a 62% route rate this year, but he continues to cede more time to Jaxson Smith-Njigba ($3,000) as the season moves along. He only has four targets through three games. Smith-Njigba on the other hand has six.
Jeremy Ruckert ($4,300) – Tight end Ruckert ranks third on Ohio State in targets (10), but he only averages 3.3 per game with a 43% route rate. He likely falls behind the receivers mentioned above as the season progresses.
Clemson vs Florida State
Clemson CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Dabo Swinney remains Clemson’s head coach and Tony Elliott coordinates the offense. Clemson lives off of their efficiency, but they’re running 82.1 plays per game, with a 54.6% pass rate to start the year. The pass rate in particular is a bit higher than normal, after close contests with Boston College and Notre Dame in back-to-back games.
Trevor Lawrence ($9,400) – Back from his Covid-19 absence, Lawrence will look to continue an already hyper-efficient 2020 season. Lawrence averages 305 yards passing per game, on 32.3 attempts. Lawrence also has 71 yards rushing to date, keeping his ceiling intact for tournaments. Coming in slightly above Fields in price, both signal callers possess the same upside.
Travis Etienne ($8,600) – Vying to be the top runner in the country, Etienne averages 20.4 opportunities per game. Etienne made his biggest strides as a receiver this offseason. Already recording 44 targets, Etienne actually ranks second on the entire Clemson team in targets. Absurdly, Etienne has parlayed this value into 61.3 yards receiving per game. With a reasonable price, Etienne makes sense near the top of running back pricing.
Amari Rodgers ($8,600) – Clemson’s primary slot receiver, Rodgers leads Clemson in targets at 64. While this only equates to a 20.7% target share, Clemson’s overall efficiency allows Rodgers yardage average to remain at 90 per game. He has at least eight targets in three straight games.
Cornell Powell ($5,800) – Without Ladson in the lineup and out again this week, Powell ran a route on every dropback against Notre Dame. Powell also has 19 targets in Clemson’s last two games, displaying his increased role within the offense. He was only out-targeted 22-19 by Rodgers over the last two weeks.
EJ Williams ($3,000) – Interestingly, Clemson opted to run Williams on 66% of dropbacks without Ladson. Conversely, Joseph Ngata only participated in 27% of routes. This only led to seven total targets for Williams, but his presence on the field and minimum price warrant a look as a dart throw in CFB DFS lineups.
Braden Galloway ($3,900) – Even with the injuries to Clemson, Galloway participated in his normal 50% of routes.
Florida State CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Mike Norvell takes over as head coach here and he brings in Kenny Dillingham as offensive coordinator. Dillingham most recently coordinated the offensive side of the ball for Auburn and that offense ran 73 plays per game (46th) and passed 43.6% of the time. Florida State returns four linemen with significant starting experience. They now have their fourth offensive line coach of the last four year. To start the 2020 season, Florida State is running 74.9 plays per game and passing 51.1% of the time. This program continues to struggle with opt outs, injuries and plenty of internal strife. Finding a solid head coach might help.
Jordan Travis ($5,500) – Typically the starter when healthy, Travis missed last week’s game. Chubba Purdy started in his place, but Purdy just underwent season-ending surgery. Not much of a passer, Travis is known for his dual threat ability. He averages 5.3 yards per carry and his 123 yards passing per game come as a bonus. The matchup and team total remain his biggest deterrent to a productive fantasy outing.
Jashaun Corbin ($4,700) – Splitting a backfield with La’Damian Webb, Corbin appeared to move ahead last week. He out-carried Webb 14-5, while seeing a pair of targets in the lass game. These two have now flipped carry leads in four straight weeks. This renders the backfield an unplayable timeshare in DFS.
Ontaria Wilson ($4,900) – With 23-year old Tamorrion Terry opting out, Wilson inherits the top wide receiver role. His route rate jumped from 41% to 85% without Terry. Similarly his targets rose from 2-8. He now has a pair of eight-target games in the last two contests that Terry missed.
Warren Thompson ($3,200) – Thompson actually ran more routes than Wilson without Terry in the fold. Thompson’s 97% route rate paced the team in their most recent game. However, his three targets ranked fourth last week alone. He only has 20 target to his name this season.
Ja’Khi Douglas ($3000) – The biggest beneficiary of the Terry news, Douglas’ route rate jumped from 11% to 72% last week. He only saw one target on this volume, but that route rate should lead to additional opportunities in the future.
Florida vs Vanderbilt
Florida CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Dan Mullen remains the head coach, but he promoted within at offensive coordinator this offseason. Brian Johnson will now coordinate the offense after serving as an offensive analyst. Florida runs a spread attack and they often put four-wide on the field. They currently run 70.5 plays per game with a 54.1% pass rate. This offensive line struggled at times last year, but they return four of five starters and earned a transfer in Stewart Reese from Mississippi State. He started multiple seasons there. Trask has only been sacked seven times this year.
Kyle Trask ($9,700) – Another quarterback putting his name in the Heisman fold, Trask continued his wild season without star tight end Kyle Pitts last week. Trask currently averages 362 yards passing per game, on 35.2 attempts. He also provides limited mobility with 78 yards rushing. Trask remains the most expensive signal caller on the slate, making him an interesting fade in favor of Lawrence and Fields. Still, his upside is unquestioned.
Dameon Pierce ($5,300) – With Florida pounding some of their most recent opponents, the Gators have actually increased their run rate. Pierce notched double-digit carries for the first time in back-to-back games this season. The backfield still remains a timeshare with Malik Davis and Nay’Quan Wright mixing in. However, as 31.5-point favorites, taking a stab at one of these rushers provides moderate upside in tournaments.
Kyle Pitts ($6,000) – Pitts will miss Week 12 after taking a brutal hit two weeks ago. The hit caused Pitt to require nasal surgery. Pitts is the top receiving option in this offense, but Trask continued to impress even without Pitts. His 35 targets and red zone presence will be missed.
Kadarius Toney ($7,400) – Gadget player, Toney operated as Florida’s alpha without Pitts last week. He now has 17 targets combined in Florida’s last wo games and 396 yards receiving this season. Toney has experience as a rusher and will actually handle a few carries every game. He remains a fine value without Pitts.
Trevon Grimes ($5,100) – Florida’s WR2 without Pitts, Grimes averages 63% of Florida’s routes run. However, he also saw a target spike without Pitts. Grimes received seven targets last game and stands to benefit again this week.
Jacob Copeland ($3,800) – The next man up in Florida’s offense, Copeland 62% route rate ranks just behind Grimes. Justin Shorter and replacement tight end Kemore Gamble also project to rotate into the offense. However, Copeland’s route rate and 17 targets look like the most likely to benefit from this situation.
Vanderbilt CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Derek Mason is the long-time head coach of Vanderbilt. Mason recently hired Todd Fitch to coordinate his offense. So far this year, Vanderbilt has struggled with efficiency. They average 73.8 plays per game and pass the ball 48.3% of the time. Vanderbilt sits at 0-6 this season, but somehow picked up 35 points in a narrow defeat at the hands of Kentucky in their most recent game. They’ve increased their pace and pass rate in recent weeks.
Ken Seals ($4,900) – Increasingly efficient as the season moves along, Seals is now completing 66.8% of his passes for 6.6 yards per attempt. Seals now has a pair of 300-yard passing games under his belt against Ole Miss and Mississippi State. He even managed 225 and a pair of scores against a strong Kentucky defense last week. With 33.3 attempts per game, volume keeps Seals viable here.
Keyon Henry-Brooks ($6,100) – Ja’Veon Marlow missed last week with a suspension for Vanderbilt, but it probably doesn’t matter. This could be important, because Henry-Brooks suffered an injury last week. It looks like he will enter the week with the questionable designation. If healthy, Henry-Brooks has a clear feature back role with at least 27 touches in three straight games. Marlow should see most of this work in the event that Henry-Brooks misses the game.
Cam Johnson ($4,300) – While Vanderbilt’s receiver room continues to undergo changes, Johnson’s presence as the WR1 remains unchanged. He runs a route on 74% of drop-backs and leads the team with 45 targets. Johnson has 32 targets in his last three games and averages nine per game over his last four. He is a fine value play.
Chris Pierce ($3,500) – Pierce actually paces Vanderbilt with an 84% route rate. He ranks second on the team with 31 targets, but he only has 204 yards receiving. His upside remains limited behind Johnson.
Appalachian State vs Coastal Carolina
Appalachian State CFB DFS Picks
Offense – After coordinating the Appalachian State offense for three years, Shawn Clark became head coach in 2019. He hired Tony Petersen to coordinate the offense after multiple failed stints as an offensive coordinator along the way. App State is currently running 72.2 plays per game with a 37.9% pass rate. Neither mark looks significantly different from last year.
Zac Thomas ($6,000) – Despite going to the hospital following a brutal hit, Thomas is “day-to-day”. He looks like a legitimate game-time call here and that should greatly influence App State. When healthy, he averages 24 attempts per game for 182 yards. He also provides a spark in the run game with 275 cumulative yards. While not necessarily playable himself, his presence bodes well for the entire offense.
Camerun Peoples ($5,300) – Peoples drew the start in Appalachian State’s backfield with Daetrich Harrington unavailable for the game. Harrington will reportedly miss an extended period of time, putting Peoples in the driver’s seat of this offense. Peoples will split the backfield with Marcus Williams, but he out-carried Williams 17-13 last week. Williams could also be worth a look as a pure value option.
Malik Williams ($5,600) – Despite leading Appalachian State with 36 targets, Williams continues to run fewer routes than Thomas Hennigan and Jalen Virgil. He hasn’t eclipsed a 56% route share in either of Appalachian State’s two most recent games. However, his 36 targets pace the team.
Thomas Hennigan ($5,100) – Slightly behind Williams in targets (34), Hennigan still has a 20.4% target share in this offense. Better yet, he enters the week with a cheaper price, a higher route rate and more receiving yards (367).
Jalen Virgil ($3,400) – Virgil saw his route rate jump from 48% to 79% in App State’s most recent game. Virgil still only has 18 targets to his name this year, making him a dart throw at best.
Coastal Carolina CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Jamey Chadwell continues coaching Coastal Carolina in his second season. He has been with the program since 2017, initially serving as the offensive coordinator. Newland Isaac and Willy Korn co-coordinate the offense. The Chanticleers currently run 70.2 plays per game with a 37.8% pass rate. They returned 17 starters heading into the season and it shows in their improvement this year.
Grayson McCall ($8,000) – Freshman sensation, Grayson McCall currently averages 232 yards passing per game, on just 22.5 attempts. Importantly, McCall adds solid production with his legs. McCall has already totaled 271 yards, while taking just three sacks over the course of the season. While McCall remains expensive, his upside as a rusher deserves a look.
CJ Marable ($7,300) – Coastal Carolina’s long-time lead back, Marable averages 17.3 touches per game. Active as a receiver, Marable actually ties for second on the team in targets. His has only carried 15 times combined in Coastal’s last two games, but both were blowouts. He stands to see a significantly larger workload in close competition.
Jaivon Heiligh ($6,700) – The clear alpha receiver in this offense, Heiligh leads the Chanticleers with 52 targets and 611 yards receiving. This equates to a 31% target share and 87.3 yards receiving per game. The next closest receiver is Kameron Brown ($4,100) 24 targets.
Sam Denmark ($3,800) – While targets have been inconsistent, Denmark’s 67% route rate still bests Kameron Brown’s 51%. Denmark only has 16 targets on the year, but he somehow ranks third in receiving with 231 yards.
Isaiah Likely ($4,100) – Coastal Carolina’s athletic receiving tight end, Likely finally returned to a full complement of snaps after suffering an injury earlier this season. He still ranks fourth on the team in targets (20), despite the missed time.
Illinois vs Nebraska
Illinois CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Lovie Smith remains the Illinois head coach and Rod Smith coordinates the offense. Smith has held this position since 2018, his offense currently runs 65.8 plays per game with a 38% pass rate. However, these numbers are lower than normal, with Illinois battling COVID-19 across their roster. The team has been forced to start their fourth-string quarterback at various points this year.
Brandon Peters ($5,700) – Peters remains in a quarterback competition with Isaiah Williams ($5,600) when both quarterbacks aren’t contaminated with Covid-19. Peters missed last week, allowing Williams to earn the start over Coran Taylor. Both should see work here, making this a situation to avoid.
Chase Brown ($4,200) – Sophomore running back and Western Michigan transfer Chase Brown continues to work his way into a larger opportunity-share for Illinois. Brown only carried the ball 17 times through his first three games, but he just matched that total last week. Importantly, he out-carried teammate Mike Epstein 17-10. With Brown also besting Epstein in rushing yardage this season, he deserves a longer look as the team’s lead back.
Josh Imatorbhebhe ($4,400) – The only playable wide receiver in this offense, Imatorbhebhe’s team-leading 23 targets equate to a 28.1% target share. Behind Imatorbhebhe, all other receivers struggle to play even 50% of snaps on a weekly basis. Brian Hightower, Casey Washington, and Donny Navarro all rotate.
Daniel Barker ($3,500) – Tight end, Barker is the only other pass catcher worth mentioning here. He ranks second on the team with 15 targets and runs a route on 72% of the team’s drop-backs.
Nebraska CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Scott Front continues to coach Nebraska with limited success. Losing their offensive coordinator this offseason, Scott Frost hired retread, failed signal caller Matt Lubick. After running horrific offenses at Washington, Lubick took 2019 off of football. The time off didn’t help. Nebraska runs 69.7 plays per game with a 43.5% pass rate. Nebraska returned every offensive line this offseason, including NFL hopefuls Brendon Jaimes and Matt Farniok. However, it hasn’t helped them win games as they sit at 1-2.
Luke McCaffrey ($6,900) – Starting his first game for the Cornhuskers last week, McCaffrey game-managed his way to 152 yards on 21 pass attempts. Known more for his dual threat ability, McCaffrey has 196 cumulative yards rushing this year, despite playing a limited role until last week. It is possible that Adrian Martinez rotates in at any time, making this a risky situation to target.
Dedrick Mills ($6,200) – Banged up in last week’s game, Mills is a major question mark for this contest. He clearly leads the backfield with 31 rushing attempts when healthy. However, when injured, the team uses Wan’Dale Robinson as a running back instead of any of their actual backups.
Wan’Dale Robinson ($5,200) – Nebraska only dropped back to pass 22 times last week. Playing a Jarvis Landry-esque role in this offense, most of Robinson’s opportunities come as screens. His 20 targets equate to a 25% target share in the offense. Behind Robinson, no other receiver even played 50% of Nebraska’s snaps last week. Still, Robinson plays an added role as a rusher. With Mills banged up, he carried 16 times last week and would likely do so again here.
Austin Allen ($3,400) – Tight end, Allen ran the second most routes among Nebraska pass catchers last week. He has a route rate of 80% in back-to-back weeks. Nebraska is running 12-personnel as their primary package right now. This takes most of the receivers off the field and second tight end Travis Vokolek is a pure blocker.
LSU vs Arkansas
LSU CFB DFS Picks
Offense – LSU underwent some major changes this offseason, including the losses of co-offensive coordinator Joe Brady, as well as stars Joe Burrow, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Justin Jefferson, and four starting offensive linemen. Not to mention defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and nine players with starting experience on defense (Patrick Queen, Michael Divinity, Jacob Phillips, K’Lavon Chaison, Rashard Lawrence, Breiden Fehoko, Grant Delpit, and Kristian Fulton). To make matters worse, Ja’Marr Chase opted out. Steve Esminger remains in place as offensive coordinator. Despite the changes, LSU has run 76.8 plays per game, while passing 55.4% of the time. The offense looks exactly the same without the Joe Burrow efficiency.
TJ Finley ($6,400) – Coach Orgeron hinted that Finley would start again this week. Standing 6-foot-6, 242 pounds as a true freshman, Finley is a monster of human. His on-field performance leaves much to be desired. He has yet to eclipse 265 yards passing and offers very little with his legs. LSU has embraced more of a run-first approach under Finley.
John Emery ($5,100) – After getting out-carried by Tyrion Davis-Price in back-to-back games, the script finally flipped in Emery’s favor. Last week Emery out-touched Davis-Price 10-4 in an overall inefficient LSU game. This week, the Tigers find themselves favored over an Arkansas team allowing over 180 yards rushing per game. Taking a stab on one of these rushers makes sense in tournaments.
Terrace Marshall ($7,000) – LSU’s top receiver participated in 48% of routes in their most recent game. However, that game was a blowout and Marshall still paces the team with 44 targets and 540 yards. He remains the go-to wide receiver here.
Arik Gilbert ($4,300) – Technically LSU’s most active receiver of late, Gilbert ran a route on 91% of drop backs in their last game. Gilbert is LSU’s five-star freshman tight end who ranks second on the team in most major receiving categories. He is the top value option in the offense.
Kayshon Boutte ($3,800) – Boutte hasn’t eclipsed a 50% route rate in any individual game this year. However, he did see seven targets last week and his high-profile recruiting numbers give him a chance to see an increased role moving forward.
Racey McMath ($3,500) – McMath lost snaps to Jontre Kirklin last week. Ultimately, behind Marshall, Boutte, McMath, Kirklin, Jaray Jenkins, and Koy Moore will all participate in 35-50% of LSU’s available routes.
Arkansas CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Arkansas hired Sam Pittman as their new head coach and he brought in Kendal Briles as offensive coordinator. Briles most recently coordinated a Florida State offense that ran 74.9 plays per game (21st) and passed 56.7% of the time. So far this year, they’re averaging 72 plays per game, with a 45.5% pass rate. This number has fluctuated drastically based on opponent. Overall, Arkansas looks like they’re trying to play with pace. The offense also returned a ton of playmakers, including four starting offensive linemen, who accumulated 61 career starts.
Feleipe Franks ($6,200) – Franks has quietly played efficient football for Arkansas, completing 68.3% of his passes for 8.3 yards per attempt. Franks only throws 28.9 times per game, making his 234 yards about average. Franks does a little with his legs, posting 186 yards this season. He also draws one of his top matchups all season against an LSU defense allowing 335 yards passing per game.
Rakeem Boyd ($5,000) – After dealing with an injury earlier this season, Boyd has out-carried Trelon Smith three straight games. This year, Boyd averages 15.7 touches per game, with an active role in the pass game. While LSU remains stronger against the run, the projected close game keeps Boyd in play.
Treylon Burks ($6,100) – Burks remains the top wide receiver in Arkansas’ offense. Burks often runs out of the slot and leads the team with 40 targets. Interestingly, Arkansas hasn’t gotten off as many plays recently, but Burks presence on the field bodes well for future high output contests.
Mike Woods ($5,000) – Woods may play an elevated role moving forward with De’Vion Warren tearing his ACL in Arkansas’ offense. Woods already participated in 89% of Arkansas’ routes and ranked second on the team in targets (37).
Tyson Morris ($3,200) – Morris had been pushing for a larger role in the offense before injury. Upon his return, he ran a route on 28% of drop-backs last week. However, he crested an 80% route share earlier this year, making him the favorite to take over for Warren.
Cincinnati vs UCF
Cincinnati CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Luke Fickell is still the head coach for Cincinnati, with Mike Denbrock as his offensive coordinator. Cincinnati returns four starters on the offensive line on a team that ranked among the run-heaviest last year. Cincinnati dealt with injuries last year, so a couple of these guys started out of necessity. They also added Michigan transfer James Hudson, who sat out last year. He will play left tackle and should help. Cincinnati currently runs 67.2 plays per game, with a 43.7% pass rate.
Desmond Ridder ($9,200) – Former game manager, Ridder continues to impress during the 2020 season. He only averages 26.1 pass attempts and 212 yards passing per game. However, he has 469 yards rushing and nine rushing scores this year. Unlike the other signal callers in this price range, volume and passing efficiency remain a concern for Ridder. For that reason, he should be treated as a more volatile asset.
Gerrid Doaks ($6,700) – Lead back Doaks continues to cede more work to Jerome Ford as the season moves along. To be fair, Ford’s elevated role may be a function of blowouts. However, now Ridder and Ford both squeeze Doaks for touches. He hasn’t eclipsed 20 carries in any of this last three games.
Alec Pierce ($4,500) – Cincinnati’s top wide receiver, Pierce continues to rehab his injury. He only participated in 17% of routes last week in a blowout. When healthy, he operates as the alpha.
Michael Young ($5,500) – Young is the top wideout for Cincinnati without Pierce in the lineup. He has a route rate of 82% and currently leads the team with 32 targets. His value depends on Pierce’s availability.
Jayshon Jackson ($4,200) – Slot receiver Jackson has seen an elevated role without Pierce. He remains volatile as an ancillary pass catcher in a run-heavy attack. However, he may pop up as a value if Pierce misses time.
Central Florida CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Josh Heupel remains the head coach of Central Florida. So, expect much of the same from this program. They ran 78.8 plays per game last year (6th) and passed 46.9% of the time (72nd). UCF replaced a lot of production this year, but they’re still playing exciting football. They currently run an absurd 88.9 plays per game with a 48.4% pass rate.
Dillon Gabriel ($8,700) – The ever-efficient Gabriel averages 396 yards passing on 40.4 pass attempts per game in UCF’s hyper-speed offense. Gabriel also has 106 yards rushing on the year, but passing volume generally drives his fantasy production. Falling just below the $9,000 mark, Gabriel presents a bet-on-talent over matchup play.
Greg McCrae ($5,600) – McCrae splits UCF’s backfield evenly with Otis Anderson ($5,800), while Bentavious Thompson ($3,000) mixes in as a change of pace runner. Both runners have exactly 109 opportunities this season, making McCrae the slightly better value at $200 less.
Tre Nixon ($5,400) – Nixon participated in warmups, but ultimately did not suit up for UCF’s game. Dealing with a multi-week injury, most expected Nixon to function as UCF’s WR1 this year. He will be an incredible value if active.
Marlon Williams ($8,300) – The WR1 in place of Nixon, Williams has 91 targets (34.1% share) and 919 yards receiving this year. This equates to 131 yards per game in the air. As efficient as they come, Williams’ 13 targets per game always deserve a look.
Jaylon Robinson ($6,500) – An Oklahoma transfer, Robinson quickly settled in as a secondary option in this high-powered attack behind Williams. He already has 822 yards on 59 targets this year, averaging 117 yards receiving per game. Almost $2,000 cheaper than Williams, Robinson makes a strong value play in this offense.
Jacob Harris ($4,000) – Harris has seen his role reduced in recent weeks. In UCF’s last two games, his routes hover around 50% and Ryan O’Keefe has worked his way into a larger opportunity share.
Wisconsin vs Northwestern
Wisconsin CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Paul Chryst remains head coach of Wisconsin, with Joe Rudolph as his offensive coordinator. Last year, Wisconsin ran 69.7 plays per game (77th) and 37.9% of the time (118th). Wisconsin currently runs 75.5 plays per game with a 30.5% pass rate. Basically a fancy triple option system, Wisconsin likely runs directly into the strength of the Northwestern defense, while Graham Mertz’s talents erode.
Graham Mertz ($6,900) – After being forced to sit behind game-manager Jack Coan, Wisconsin’s highest quarterback recruit in recent memory continues to suffer as the Badgers slam their fullbacks into the back of their offensive line incessantly. Mertz averages a neutered 21.5 attempts per game for 187.5 yards. He isn’t a dual threat with six cumulative yards.
Garrett Groshek ($5,900) – Former walk-on and redshirt senior, Groshek missed last week’s game along with Isaac Guerendo. Groshek practiced this week, but still should be monitored ahead of the game. He plays a hybrid role as a full-back/receiving back. His volume remains capped around 12 touches in this role.
Nakai Watson ($5,200) – Lead rusher, Watson leads the team with 31 carries this year. After 19 carries in his debut, freshman Jalen Beger out-carries Watson 15-12 last week. Wisconsin beat down Michigan last week potentially leading to Berger’s elevated role. Watson remains superior play. It should be noted that Guerendo also carried 11 times in Week 1. Combined with a few fullback carries here and there, this backfield remains a complete mess.
Jake Ferguson ($7,200) – Tight end, Ferguson leads the Badgers with 11 target and 123 yards receiving this year. The Badgers barely throw, making $7,200 an absurd price for any receiver in this offense.
Danny Davis ($5,300) – Even $5,300 is a bit expensive for a Badgers’ pass catcher. With Davis in particular, his seven total targets leave plenty of room for improvement. Only Kendric Pryor should be considered and that’s because of his $3,800 price tag.
Northwestern CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Pat Fitzgerald coaches Northwestern. He has held this position since 2006, but he hired a new offensive coordinator in Mike Bajakian this year. Northwestern runs 76.5 plays per game with a 37.6% pass rate. Northwestern returned four starters on the offensive line. They’ve played well even without their stud left tackle Rashawn Slater. For reference, Slater is a potential first-round pick and one of the few tackles who matched up well against Chase Young.
Peyton Ramsey ($7,000) – Former Indiana signal caller, Ramsey has meshed well with Northwestern’s offense. He won’t have as many big games with Northwestern playing slower and run-heavier than Indiana. He is currently completing 65.8% of his passes for 6.5 yards per attempt. Ramsey offers decent dual threat ability, but this is one of his toughest matchups of the season.
Isaiah Bowser ($5,700) – Lead back, Bowser returned from injury last week but still played his normal role in Northwestern’s offense. He will split time with Drake Anderson to some degree, Bowser functions as the 1A rusher in that backfield. Wisconsin’s run defense remains stout here, making Bowser risky.
Ramaud Chiakhiao-Bowman ($4,800) – Northwestern’s top pass catcher, Chiakhiao-Bowman leads the team with 23 targets. This equates to a 23% target share in the offense, but his 196 yards easily pace the team. Again, the difficult matchup makes this game difficult to stack.
Kyric McGowan ($4,100) – McGowan’s route share sits at 80% and his targets come in at 21. He is another dart throw for Northwester.
Riley Lees ($3,600) – Northwestern’s primary slot receiver, Lees has worked his way into a full time role following an early season injury. Lee likely has a larger target share if he doesn’t get banged up earlier in the year. He seems like the top value receiver of the bunch.
John Raine ($4,300) – Northwestern’s primary tight end, Raine has a route rate of at least 83% in back-to-back games. Raine has the second-most slot snaps on the team behind Lees (60). Still, Raine’s 13 overall targets remain tough to target.
California vs Oregon State
California CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Justin Wilcox has coached Cal since 2017 with solid success. He fired failed Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave to coordinate his offense. Musgrave spent 2019 away from football after being laughed out of the NFL. Cal ran 67 plays and passed 58.2% of the time as they received a pounding from UCLA in their debut. In their defense, they played UCLA on short notice after losing a vast majority of their elite 2019 defense.
Chase Garbers ($6,700) – After game-managing his way to 1,772 passing yards last year in nine games, Garbers disappointed in Week 1 against UCLA. The junior signal caller completed just 54.5% of his passes for 122 yards and an interception. Garbers historically provides dual threat ability with at least 223 rushing yards in both of his seasons at Cal. However, he only managed six cumulative as he took five sacks in his debut. Cal’s best matchup comes on the ground, making Garbers a contrarian play at best.
Christopher Brown ($6,300) – Brown did not see the feature back workload that most expected. He touched the ball 12 times while Damien Moore, Marcel Dany, and Bradrick Shaw combined for ten touches themselves. Positively, Brown still saw four targets in the pass game. He is expensive here, but exploits an Oregon State run defense allowing 248 yards on to opponents.
Kekoa Crawford ($3,800) – Crawford ran a route on 79% of drop backs and led the team with seven targets. This is typically a run-first team, giving Crawford volatility on a weekly basis.
Nikko Remigio ($4,900) – Remigio ran a route on 90% of drop backs, with a majority of those coming from the slot. Remigio only saw five targets, which he turned into seven receiving yards. He looks too expensive for this offensive inefficiency.
Makai Polk ($4,300) – Polk ran a route on 62% of drop backs, but Trevon Clark mixed in for a 55% route rate himself. This led to five targets for Polk and three targets for Clark respectively. With Crawford coming in cheaper, playing Polk doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Oregon State CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Jonathan Smith enters his third season as Oregon State’s head coach. Brian Lindgren has coordinated the offense for that same length of time. Last year, they passed 52.7% of the time (32nd) and ran 72 plays per game (66th). So far this year, they’re running 72 plays per game with a 54.9% pass rate.
Tristan Gebbia ($5,300) – Junior signal caller, Gebbia is completing 63.3% of his passes for 5.8 yards per attempt in Oregon State’s offense. Gebbia averages 36.5 attempts per game for 206 passing yards. Gebbia has -19 cumulative rushing yards this year, making him somewhat dependent on the 300-yard passing bonus. Still, he remains very cheap and will throw the ball a lot today.
Jermar Jefferson ($8,900) – Feature back, Jefferson will handle a sizeable workload in this offense after besting 1,000 yards as a freshman in 2018. He has at least 25 touches in both games this year and easily averages 127 yards rushing. He is expensive, but the volume is there.
Trevon Bradford ($5,700) – Top receiver, Bradford battled injuries last year. He is tied for a team-leading 15 targets through two games and leads the team with 95 receiving yards. He remains a solid-price adjusted play and stacking option with Gebbia.
Kolby Taylor ($4,000) – Taylor functions as Oregon State’s primary slot receiver. Taylor also has 15 target this year. However, his 75 yards rank third on the team as he sees lowed ADOT opportunities in the offense.
Champ Flemings ($4,500) – While a distant third receiver on the team, Flemings still averages 73% of Oregon State’s routes. He has nine targets to his name this year and 62 yards receiving.
Luke Musgrave ($3,300) – Tight end Luke Musgrave averages a 40% route rate to start the year. Somehow, his 13 targets come in above Flemings. He remains a dart throw in the offense.
Iowa vs Penn State
Iowa CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Iowa’s head coach is Kirk Ferentz and his nepotistic coaching staff features his son Brian Ferentz at offensive coordinator. Iowa is currently running 68.8 plays per game and passing 50.9% of the time. They’ve been getting smashing so far this year, outside of blowout wins over Michigan State and Minnesota. Their offense has been extremely sensitive to game script, running when ahead and passing from behind. Last year, they rank 68.5 plays per game and passed 49.1% of the time.
Spencer Petras ($5,800) – Game manager Petras averages 190 passing yards per game, despite a healthy 33.8 pass attempts. He doesn’t offer much with his legs, notching just 27 total yards this year. Petras’ passing numbers have declined in four straight games and he only attempted 18 total throws in Iowa’s most recent blowout win. Even at a cheap price, Petras isn’t interesting.
Tyler Goodson ($7,500) – Sophomore, Goodson continues to feast on solid matchups of late. He cedes some work to Mekhi Sargent, but he still averages 18.8 touches per game and 94.5 rushing yards per contest. Despite coming in 0-4, Penn State’s defense will the toughest Iowa has faced this year.
Ihmir Smith-Marsette ($4,400) – Smith-Marsette is the lone full-time receiver in this offense. He led the team in receiving last year, while adding dynamic play-making ability as a rusher and as a receiver. No one else outside of Sam LaPorta averages a route rate north of 60%. LaPorta comes in at 78%.
Penn State CFB DFS Picks
Offense – James Franklin is the head coach of Penn State, with Kirk Ciarrocca coming over as offensive coordinator. Last year, Minnesota ran 70.6 plays per game (70th) and 38.8% of the time (115th). So far this year, Penn State is running 85.8 plays per game, with a 51.3% pass rate. That will happen when they start out 0-4. Look for Penn State to slow a bit and embrace run-heavy schemes when playing with a lead.
Will Levis ($7,000) – After multiple turnovers to start the year, Sean Clifford found himself benched for Will Levis last week. Levis hasn’t impressed either, completing 45.2% of his passes this year for 219 yards. Still, this remains an open quarterback competition. While both offer intrigue as dual threats, a split quarterback room is useless for DFS.
Devyn Ford ($4,800) – After melting CFB DFS lineups as the chalk two weeks ago, Ford split work 50:50 with Caziah Holmes two weeks ago. Last week however, Ford reasserted himself as the lead back. He touched the ball 18 times, compared to four times for Holmes and eight times for Keyvone Lee. He actually looks like a decent value on a poor running back slate.
Jahan Dotson ($7,100) – Dotson currently averages 97 receiving yards per game on 11.3 targets. Without the option to stack here, getting to Dotson looks difficult. However, he has some of the best volume in the entire country.
Pat Freiermuth ($4,800) – Reportedly dealing with an injury, Freiermuth will be a name to monitor ahead of game time. He has 21 targets in his last two games alone. Perhaps Brenton Strange benefits from a potential Freiermuth absence.
Parker Washington ($4,800) – Washington is the clear WR2 with an 88% route rate this season. He now has 14 and 10 targets in back-to-back games. With Freiermuth’s status in question, Washington could find himself in an even larger offensive role.
Kentucky vs Alabama
Kentucky CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Mark Stoops remains the head coach of Kentucky, with Eddie Gran in place as the offensive coordinator. Last year, Kentucky on threw 33.3% of the time, but they were using converted wide receiver Lynn Bowden at quarterback. So far this season, Kentucky is running 61.9 plays per game with a 37.9% pass rate. Kentucky remains built for the run after returning four starting offensive linemen for a group that ranked second in the entire country in yards per carry. Despite their clear strengths, most opponents have no trouble defending this one-dimensional attack.
Terry Wilson ($5,100) – Wilson started over Auburn transfer Joey Gatewood last week. Both are basically glorified running backs. Wilson averages barely over 118 passing yards a game, making him unusable.
Chris Rodriguez ($5,000) – Rodriguez will reportedly miss this game, setting up Asim Rose and Kavosiey Smoke for a larger workload. It is possible that JuTahn McClain also plays a larger role, so this offense still looks like a time-share.
Josh Ali ($4,400) – Ali has a 32.2% target share in Kentucky’s offense, but he only averages 48.9 per game. He hasn’t topped eight targets in four straight games, making his target share complete fool’s gold.
Alabama CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Nick Saban returns as head coach and he surprising returned Steve Sarkisian as his offensive coordinator. This year, they’re running 71.5 plays per game and throwing the ball 47.3% of the time. They returned four full time starters on their offensive line as well, allowing them to win in a myriad of ways.
Mac Jones ($8,500) – Another potential Heisman candidate, Jones currently completes 78.5% of his passes for 12.4 yards per attempt. Jones has at least 249 yards in every game this year. He has eclipsed 300-yards in four of six games as well. This makes him fine for stacks and a solid option regardless.
Najee Harris ($9,300) – Senior back, Harris has at least 26 touches in four straight games or Alabama. Hyper-active as a receiver, Harris averages 3.7 targets per game and over receiving yards. Kentucky’s defense may not be as difficult as initially feared. Plus, they are expected to have multiple absences of defense today, sweetening the matchup.
DeVonta Smith ($8,800) – Alpha receiver Smith averages 12.7 targets per game in his last four contests. On the season, he also averages a silly 126.5 receiving yards on a 39.3% target share. Smith is one of the top receiver targets on the slate.
John Metchie ($5,900) – Playing a full-time role in Jaylen Waddle’s absence, Metchie has 13 total targets without Waddle in the lineup. Still, Metchie averages 86.2 receiving yards per game, putting him squarely in play today.
Slade Bolden ($4,400) – Rather than trot out a third wide receiver on every snap, Alabama moved to more 12-personnel featuring Miller Forristall and Jahleel Billingsley. Still Slade Bolden ran more routes than both and participated in 56%. Bolden saw seven and three targets without Smith in Alabama’s last two games.
Kansas State vs Iowa State
Kansas State CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Chris Klieman enters his second season as Kansas State’s head coach. Courtney Messingham is also entering his second season with the program as the offensive coordinator. Both coaches come from North Dakota State. Kansas State runs one of the least exciting offenses in all of football. To start the 2020, they’re running 62.4 plays per game and passing 43.9% of the time. This offense also has major questions with five completely new starters on the offensive line and now a new quarterback.
Will Howard ($5,300) – Game manager, Howard averages 147 passing yards per game on 19.3 attempts. Howard possesses some dual threat ability with 232 rushing yards on the year. However, there is essentially no upside on Kansas State with an 18-point implied team total.
Deuce Vaughn ($5,400) – Vaughn finally has a somewhat tricky price. His volume isn’t locked in as Kansas State often plays from behind. However, 15.1 touches at $5.4 deserves a look.
Chabastin Taylor ($3,600) – Briley Moore is questionable for the game (not that it matters). Taylor is the team’s leading receiver with five targets and 36.6 receiving yards per game. This is a worthless situation most weeks.
Iowa State CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Matt Campbell remains Iowa State’s head coach, with Tom Manning coordinating the offense for his second season. Last year, Iowa State passed 55.64-percent of the time (17th) and ran 68.8 plays per game (87th). Iowa State has been even less exciting this year, running 67.9 plays per game with a 48% pass rate. The offensive line returned two full-time starters from last year, but Breece Hall continues to drive offensive success for the Cyclones.
Brock Purdy ($6,800) – Already playing slow and run-heavier than a season ago, a pace-down spot against Kansas State shouldn’t help today. Purdy averages 31 attempts per game for 211 passing yards. He accumulated 194 rushing yards this year, but he still doesn’t present much upside today.
Breece Hall ($9,900) – Feature back, Hall has at least 24 touches in four straight weeks. Hall averages 146 rushing yards per game, but he only has 15 targets in the pass game over the course of the year. Hall enters the week as the most expensive player on the slate, bringing a massive opportunity cost.
Xavier Hutchinson ($5,200) – Hutchinson leads Iowa State in target with 53. Still, this equates to a 25.9% target share and 58.1 receiving yards per game. Other options with more upside remain on the slate.
Charlie Kolar ($4,900) – Outside of Kolar, Sean Shaw is the only other pass catcher on the field for a majority of snaps. Kolar ranks second on the team in targets at 38. However, he only eclipsed five targets once in his last four games.
Virginia Tech vs Pittsburgh
Virginia Tech CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Justin Fuente remains head coach of Virginia Tech and Brad Cornelsen remains his offensive coordinator. Playing with mostly dual threats, the Hokies average 69 plays per game, with a 37.3% pass rate. Still, they managed solid efficiency, scoring at least 38 in every game this season except Wake Forest and Miami. They certainly could have scored more last week, but they played to preserve a lead rather than press it. It cost them the game.
Hendon Hooker ($9,100) – Glorified running back, Hooker averages 21.7 pass attempts per game for 179.3 passing yards. However, Hooker has 574 cumulative rushing yards this year, despite taking 15 sacks. This comes with Hooker missing a few games earlier this year. Hooker remains dependent on the 100-yard rushing bonus at this price and Pittsburgh presents one of his toughest matchups of the season.
Khalil Herbert ($9,100) – Dealing with a hamstring injury heading into last week’s game, Herbert only out-carried Raheem Blackshear 8-6. Blackshear remains one of the least efficient running backs in football. Any touch committed his direction is a waste. Herbert only averages 16.1 touches per game this year, but an efficient 121.7 rushing yards per game.
Tayvion Robinson ($4,300) – Seeing a reduced role of late, Robinson hasn’t eclipsed seven targets in any of his last four games. Similarly, Tre Turner has out-targeted Robinson in each of Virginia Tech’s last three games.
Tre Turner ($4,800) – Kaleb Smith interestingly saw his route shar jump to 97%. Mentioned above, he continues to see more volume in Virginia Tech’s offense. Turner averages five targets per game in his last four games. He also leads the team with 430 receiving yards.
James Mitchell ($4,200) – Mitchell returned to action for Virginia Tech, but saw a reduced role (five snaps). Mitchell is an athletic receiving tight end and led the team in targets prior to his injury.
Pittsburgh CFB DFS Picks
Offense – Pat Narduzzi remains the head coach of Pitt, with Mark Whipple entering his second season as offensive coordinator. Pitt still runs their up-tempo, pass-friendly offense. So far this year, they’ve averaged 75.3 plays per game, with a 53.7% pass rate. They returned most of their offensive line, but even that couldn’t compensate for an injured Kenny Pickett. Pickett has since returned to the offense, allowing Pitt to re-introduce an increase play rate and pass volume.
Kenny Pickett ($7,300) – Perhaps rushing Pickett back too quickly from a multi-week ankle injury, Pitt simply couldn’t stomach the horrific quarterback play of Joey Yellen. Pickett averages 34.5 attempts per game and 266.5 passing yards. He also presents some dual threat ability with 132 rushing yards. That may be reduced with the injury, but Virginia Tech’s defense is brutal.
Vincent Davis ($4,600) – Specifically, the Hockies allow 193.9 rushing yards per game. Davis and the Pittsburgh running backs have been woefully inefficient, with Davis leading the way at 41.1 rushing yards per game. He will split work with AJ Davis, Israel Abanikanda, and Daniel Carter.
Jordan Addison ($4,900) – Slot receiver Addison leads the team in targets at 73 (26.2% share). He also has 607 receiving yards this year. Pickett’s presence boosts Addison and his falling price comes as the result of horrific quarterback play without Addison.
Taysir Mack (4,200) –Mack entered last week with the “or” designation on the depth chart and he subsequently didn’t see a target. Without Mack, Shocky Jacques-Louis and DJ Turner played a full compliment of snaps on the outside for Pitt. They saw four and 1 target respectively, but come in as supreme values today.
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