Bowl season is here! Four bowl games are on tap for Thursday, and then, the College Football Playoff takes place on Friday's slate.
In case you're unfamiliar with how daily fantasy college football works, you can check out the rules and scoring on FanDuel, where you can hit the lobby each week to see the full array of slates and contests being offered. As for the basics, your roster consists of a quarterback slot, two running back slots, three wide receiver slots (tight ends are included in this group), and one "Super FLEX" slot. In the "Super FLEX," you can insert one player from any position, including quarterbacks.
Here, our goal is to help you field a roster full of fantasy points, and we'll use numberFire's in-house projections, betting totals, and advanced statistics to tackle main slates all the way to the College Football Playoff. Because of limited information, college football can feel like a throwback to before advanced statistics become more widely available in the NFL, but there is still value in finding the volume to target on a given slate.
Let's break down which star players are in great spots and identify some players with lower salaries who will provide value to get to them.
Matt Corral ($10,700): The most forgiving set of defenses lies in the nightcap Sugar Bowl. Mississippi and Baylor collide with a 55.5-point total. Corral is a safe place to put salary. This game is his last showcase as a rumored top pick in the NFL Draft, and none of the Rebels' top weapons are sitting this one out. Baylor's pass defense was just 63rd in FBS in yards per attempt (7.4) this season, and Corral is a dual-threat option to exploit it. He added 59.7 rush yards per game this year to his gaudy passing stats.
Sean Clifford ($8,000): Clifford's one downside in this spot is his floor -- largely because he doesn't run. Otherwise, he makes a world of sense as a budget option for a quarterback. The Razorbacks' pass defense was just 59th in yards per attempt this season. Amazingly enough, that's the second-worst mark on this slate with defensive-minded programs. Clifford topped 20 FanDuel points in four positive matchups earlier this season, and he's a decent bet for a fifth with a 48.5-point total in the Outback Bowl.
Others to Consider: CJ Stroud ($11,500), Gerry Bohanon ($8,300), Jack Coan ($6,800)
Tavion Thomas ($9,800): Overall, I'm bearish on the 64.0-point total in the Rose Bowl between Utah and Ohio State. That may lead me to be lower in general on this game -- especially the quarterbacks. However, Thomas is the clear top option at tailback given we saw Hassan Haskins of Michigan post five scores in "The Game" this season. Thomas' 21.3 carries in the last four games is third on this slate, and he's cashed the goal-line work into 10 touchdowns in that same period.
Abram Smith ($8,300): Smith is the can't-miss play of the slate -- an unnerving label for a bowl season filled with oddities. Ole Miss' rush defense was a slate-worst 79th this season in terms of yards per attempt (4.4), and Smith had the best workload in his last four games of any tailback on the slate (22.0 carries per game). Smith is a senior, but not a highly-regarded prospect, so he should see his full workload with just a 1.5-point spread.
Others to Consider: TreVeyon Henderson ($10,500), Chris Rodriguez Jr. ($8,500), Snoop Conner ($7,000), Chris Tyree ($6,300), Gavin Williams ($6,000)
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Jaxon Smith-Njigba ($10,000): Ohio State's dynamic receiving duo is headed to the 2022 NFL Draft, and it should leave Smith-Njigba with all the work he can handle in "The Grandaddy of 'Em All". JSN was the only Buckeye to average more than 3.1 targets per game played this season with 8.0 in OSU's pass-happy offense. There's a significantly unclear picture behind him, so he is by far the best stacking partner for CJ Stroud ($11,500) when targeting the favorite inside the day's highest-totaled game.
Parker Washington ($8,000): Penn State's Jahan Dotson is off to the NFL as well. That should leave Washington in a position to absorb a bulk of Dotson's vacated 33.9% target share. Luckily, Washington saw 6.5 targets per game himself already this season -- good for a 19.0% share. Therefore, there's no guessing game about his role and ability, so he's a safe stack with Clifford, and he shouldn't be wildly popular with the larger name of Tay Martin ($8,200) next door in salary.
Trey Knox ($5,400): Guess what? A third wideout replacing an NFL-bound star. Arkansas' Treylon Burks will be a force in the NFL, but he won't be in Tampa on New Year's Day. That leaves a passing game devoid of Burks' 31.6% target share on Saturday. Knox averaged 4.0 targets per game (14.0% share), and he's a better fit to absorb Burks' role than Warren Thompson ($5,800) just because he played so much on the perimeter last year like Burks. Both are solid, low-salary dice rolls to stack with KJ Jefferson ($9,300).
Others to Consider: Wan'Dale Robinson ($9,000), Tay Martin ($8,200), Ty'Quan Thornton ($7,800), Michael Mayer ($7,400), Warren Thompson ($5,800), Julian Fleming ($5,300)