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.
"Uncertainty" is the theme of Thursday's slates with some of the best tailbacks in the country this year opting out of their bowl games. Will these teams pass more, or will they lean on their rushing attacks with new faces?
Note: All stats are from PFF.com. All tables are sortable by any category.
With two more totals in the 60s, we'll largely keep the points rolling on Thursday.
You can make an argument for either sizable 'dog to keep things close in their games, too. Both Syracuse and Oklahoma were wildly inconsistent this year due to quarterback injuries, but it appears they both have a good shot to have their main man under center.
The nightcap certainly appears to be the prototypical game stack with a tight spread and mouthwatering 67.5-point total.
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)|
Yesterday's slate features a smorgasbord of bad defense. These units are strong across the board.
Washington sports the worst pass defense on the slate by a mile. All others are top-50 in yards per attempt (YPA) allowed, and the Huskies are the 20th-worst unit in the country.
The Sooners are also the easiest target to run on, holding a 91st-ranked rush defense that was exploited multiple times this year. Oklahoma is also likely a sizable underdog given the Seminoles were also the sixth-best pass defense in FBS this year (in terms of YPA). That's a bad combination should OU trail.
I'll approach quarterback on this slate as a way to harness the most ambiguous passing offense volume.
By that, I mean I know who Dillon Gabriel ($10,500), Garrett Shrader ($9,400), and Quinn Ewers ($7,800) will target. On the other hand, when I look at Michael Penix Jr. ($11,200), Jordan Travis ($10,600), and Tanner Morgan ($7,000), I have no reasonable idea of who their top wideout will be in these games.
Penix Jr. has two lead wideouts whom we'll address, but he's otherwise in a pass-happy, spread-it-around offense we want pieces from. He flung it a slate-high 41.7 times per game this year. The paths to failure are obvious, though. He doesn't run (8.7 rushing yards per game), and Texas' stingy pass defense could give him trouble.
As for Travis, his floor is higher given the dual-threat aspect. He ran for 36.7 yards per contest but tried to run less than last year. OU is as good of a matchup as we have given they're the worst rushing defense on the board and second-worst against the pass. He's my pick in cash games.
Morgan would be a SuperFLEX punt if anything, but he's a supreme example of what I'm talking about. Four Golden Gophers averaged between a 21.4% and 25.9% target share this year, so your guess is truly as good as mine which optimal Minnesota wideout would emerge.
Wednesday's slate was about star quarterbacks. This one features some of the top running backs in all of college football daily fantasy. They just won't play.
One who appears ready to go is Mohamed Ibrahim ($10,500), who amazingly toted the ball 34.0 times on average in his last five games during B1G play. He handled 64.6% of Minny's total carries this year, and he's a true lead tailback in every sense of the word. As a 10.5-point favorite, I won't fade him.
Eric Gray ($9,500) emerged as the Sooners' top guy with 23.2 carries per game in his past five, but there's one problem. He's already declared for the NFL Draft, so Jovantae Barnes ($5,900) will be the lead guy there and is a near-lock in all formats.
Only three backs on the slate averaged over 60.0% of their team's carries this year: Ibrahim, Bijan Robinson ($4,000), and Sean Tucker ($8,000). Robinson and Tucker won't suit up, though. There isn't a clear one-to-one swap to value backs in those offenses. Juwan Price ($4,500) just transferred from New Mexico State to Syracuse, but it'd be wild to see him in heavy action already.
Trey Benson ($9,000) is the last guy I'd consider on this slate. He has separated from Treshaun Ward ($6,500) in the past five games with 17.4 carries per game to Ward's 4.5.
Washington and Texas' backfields are both committees, and the Longhorns are especially messy in Bijan's stead.
You can handily fit in Ibrahim, Tucker, and a pair of quarterbacks on this slate without much cooking at wideout.
As mentioned with Penix, UDub does have two primary targets, and they're the highest-salaried wideouts on the slate. Rome Odunze ($9,200) sees 9.1 targets per game (21.0% share overall), and Jalen McMillian ($8,800) sees 8.8 targets per game (21.7% overall). They're both in decent positions with a hefty implied team total, but neither stands out as the key guy above the other.
Xavier Worthy ($8,300) does in a sublime matchup. His 30.0% target share led the team this season, and Jordyn Whittington ($6,300) was the only other wideout that had a target share north of 8.0%. Tight end Jatavion Sanders ($6,700) had an 18.9% share, too. All three should see massive lifts with Bijan out of the equation.
In that same vein, only Marvin Mims ($8,200) had a target share north of 16.0% for the Sooners. He's their clear guy at 23.7% for the year. Orondre Gadsden II ($7,600) is the only other player -- not on the aforementioned Gophers -- with a target share north of 23.0%.
In good faith, I can't recommend a Minnesota pass-catcher. "Four guys with a target share north of 22.0%" sounds awesome, but in reality, it's an unpredictable mess with no one north of 5.5 targets per game.
Florida State is similar. They didn't have a pass-catcher above 4.5 targets per game (or an 18.0% share) in their last five games. Yuck.