College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 12/31/22

With daily fantasy football so popular, it was only a matter of time before it translated to the college level.

FanDuel offers college football daily fantasy contests now in most states, and there's a twist on the NFL ruleset. You select a quarterback, two running backs, three wideouts (which can include tight ends), and a "SuperFLEX" that can be any of those positions.

Finding target data for pass-catchers in college can be difficult, so finding out which players are on the field and getting work can make all the difference. Naturally, there are also more lopsided outcomes in college, so balance game scripts appropriately! Your running back's monstrous first half could lead to a bagel in the second.

The College Football Playoff is finally here. We've got the two semifinal games with another pair of bowls on New Year's Eve, and this year's playoffs could feature a boatload of scoring if the totals are any indication.

Note: All stats are from All tables are sortable by any category.

The Slate

AwayTeam HomeTeam HomeSpread Total RoadTotal HomeTotal
Alabama Kansas St +6.5 55.5 31 24.5
Iowa Kentucky +2.5 31.5 17 14.5
TCU Michigan -7.5 58.5 25.5 33
Ohio State Georgia -6.5 62.5 28 34.5

If you're new to college football daily fantasy, that Iowa-Kentucky total isn't a typo. That's just Hawkeye football.

We can pull bits from that game, but the others are much better. The semifinals are the two highest totals, and all three viable game stacks have a spread around a touchdown, implying they should be decently competitive.

Defensive Matchups and Rankings

Note: Higher numbers are easier matchups for the opposing team. Lower numbers are better rankings and tougher matchups.

Team Defensive Passing YardsPer Attempt Rank (FBS) Defensive Rushing YardsPer Attempt Rank (FBS)
Kansas St3084
Ohio State3618

As you'd expect with the four best teams in college football (and five if you include Alabama just missing the cut), there is some elite defense on this slate.

Really, the lone "weak" points are the rush defenses for Texas Christian, Kentucky, and Kansas State. They're outside the top 60 of FBS in rushing yards per attempt (YPA) allowed. Every team on this slate is 36th or better in passing YPA allowed, which is pretty wild.

Fortunately, outside of the Iowa-Kentucky battle, the six teams at hand also come with really stellar offenses. This section isn't nearly as vital for this slate as it has been for others during bowl season.


Some think Ohio State will get blown out in the Peach Bowl. Others think they can compete throughout. Either way, C.J. Stroud ($10,300) would be in for a busy and productive afternoon.

The Bulldogs' second-ranked rush defense, including top prospect Jalen Carter at defensive tackle, is no joke, but Louisiana State passed for 502 yards on Georgia in the SEC title game. Personally, it's foolish to think the nation's third-best passing offense in YPA (9.4) can't do the same.

Speaking of the Dawgs, they've been a frustrating -- if not ignorable -- target in DFS all year due to their spread-it-around style, so Stetson Bennett ($9,800) is the most reliable way to target a big day from the Georgia offense. I'd rather have Stroud.

Bryce Young ($10,600) is also viable at a top salary, but Alabama's path of least resistance might be their rushing attack. Still, Young snapping out of his funk with 343 passing yards and 4 total scores in the Iron Bowl makes us feel better about his potential to score on Saturday.

Value quarterbacks are pretty intriguing, too. With Blake Corum out, J.J. McCarthy ($9,000) has averaged 26.0 FanDuel points in the past two games. TCU is arguably his least imposing foe in this time, too. Plus, Adrian Martinez ($8,400) had nine rushing scores this year before his injury, and he'll be back for the Sugar Bowl.

Running Backs

Against TCU's 3-3-5 defense, I expect Michigan to run the ball at will.

That'll benefit sophomore Donovan Edwards ($10,000), who has handled 69.5% of UM's carries in Blake Corum's stead. He's the top back on the slate by a wide margin.

In the past five weeks, Jahmyr Gibbs ($9,200) has handled just 45.4% of Alabama's carries compared to 39.8% for Jase McClellan ($6,500). At salary, it's easy to prefer McClellan in the best rushing matchup on the slate, but both could go nuts.

From there, we've got lead tailbacks with great roles in awful matchups. Deuce Vaughn ($8,800), Kendre Miller ($8,000), and Kaleb Johnson ($6,300) all have received at least 16 totes per game in their past five, but all are facing elite rush defenses.

I still will largely stick to these six guys given Georgia, Ohio State, and Kentucky don't have nearly good enough matchups to chase their committees. Remember, the UK Wildcats are without star tailback Chris Rodriguez Jr., who is headed to the NFL.

Wide Receivers

Ohio State spread their pass game around early, but it's become the Marvin Harrison Jr. ($9,100) show.

Harrison Jr. leads this slate over the past five games in targets (10.2) and target share (32.9%). There is an argument UGA will blanket the Biletnikoff Award finalist, so Emeka Egbuka ($8,800) is an interesting tournament pivot.

I've faded Brock Bowers ($8,000) and his subpar 18.2% target share all year, but I'll bite now that Bennett's other top target, Ladd McConkey, was banged up in the SEC title game.

Even fighting a knee issue, first-round prospect Quentin Johnston ($7,800) has still maintained a 24.0% target share for TCU in their past five. His talent and the Frogs' projected negative script are extremely enticing at his low salary.

On the other side, Ronnie Bell ($7,100) has an insanely low salary for someone with the second-best target share -- behind Harrison -- in his past five (32.3%) on the slate. Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta ($5,900) also has a 29.1% share, but the burly target doesn't have the highest yardage upset with a low implied team total.

Even in tough matchups, KSU gadget Malik Knowles ($6,600) and Kentucky's Barion Brown ($5,700) are the others with target shares north of 20.0% in the past five games. Given all of the low salaries at wideout, there may not be a need to go that deep -- even in tournaments.