College football is back, and FanDuel's college football DFS main slate on Friday includes three games.
As for the basics, your roster consists of a quarterback slot, two running backs, three wide receivers (which also includes tight ends), and one "Super FLEX". In the Super FLEX spot, you can insert one player from any position, including quarterbacks.
Here, our goal is to help you field a roster full of fantasy goodness, and in true numberFire fashion, we'll use our DFS projections, game projections, and market share report to tackle as many slates as possible in the lead-up to the College Football Playoff. In this piece, we are breaking down Friday's main slate, which locks at 7:00 p.m. EST.
Let's look at which players are in great spots as well as identify some players with low salaries who will allow you to roster the high-salary players. All stats come from PFF unless otherwise noted.
Garrett Shrader, Syracuse ($12,000) – Shrader will be very popular and for good reason. The combination of floor and ceiling is unmatched on Friday night's slate. The dynamic quarterback has accounted for 11 touchdowns through three games. Additionally, the junior signal-caller has already tallied 203 rushing yards this season.
Brennan Armstrong, Virginia ($9,800) – Armstrong is a GPP play on this slate. The lefty thrower accounted for 40 total touchdowns a season ago. When he's playing well, he is capable of producing a slate-changing box score. The Virginia Cavaliers are running a different offense than last season, and the results have been downright awful. Consequently, I believe there is a good chance that Armstrong's popularity will be somewhat muted on Friday night.
Gavin Hardeson, Texas-El Paso ($6,000) - This play isn't for the faint of heart. Hardeson has struggled mightily this season. He is only completing 48.8% of his pass attempts. The appeal to Hardeson is that he attempts a ton of passes, as the Texas-El Paso Miners often find themselves trailing. That trend is likely to continue on Friday night because the Miners are 16.5-point underdogs, per FanDuel Sportsbook. Hardeson has thrown at least 40 passes in three of his four games.
Sean Tucker, Syracuse ($10,500) – Tucker is workhorse for the Syracuse Orange. The emerging star is averaging an eye-opening 23.3 carries per game. He is also a factor in the Orange's passing. Tucker leads Syracuse with 18 targets. The matchup with Virginia is juicy. The Cavaliers are allowing 152.3 rushing yards per game (81st nationally).
George Holani, Boise State ($8,900) – Holani has struggled this season, as he's been held to 3.3 yards per carry. The good news is that his workload is secure. The junior has 44 carries over the last two games. He should find some running room against UTEP. The Miners have been hammered for nine rushing touchdowns this season. Additionally, they're allowing 199.2 rushing yards per game, which ranks 116th nationally.
Toa Taua, Nevada ($7,000) – Taua has been one of the few bright spots for the Nevada Wolf Pack this season. The versatile running back has recorded 277 rushing yards, 89 receiving yards, and 4 total touchdowns through four games. The Wolfpack would be wise to lean upon their experienced ball carrier. Nevada's opponent, the Air Force Falcons, are allowing 4.51 yards per rush to opposing ball carriers.
Others to Consider: Brad Roberts ($9,600), John Lee Eldridge III ($8,200), Toa Taua ($7,000), Ashton Jeanty ($6,700), Ronald Awatt ($6,300), and Perris Jones ($6,000).
Tyrin Smith, Texas-El Paso ($9,000) – The sophomore has drawn target counts of 15, 12, 12, and 17 over his first four games. Smith has parlayed his large target share into 435 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. On a slate filled with shaky pass-catchers, Smith is a great investment.
Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia ($8,000) - Wicks had a breakout season for the Cavaliers as a freshman in 2022. He continues to be Brennan Armstrong's favorite target this season. Wicks has drawn at least 12 targets in all three games this season. While the box scores have been unimpressive so far this season, it's only a matter of time before Wicks posts a monster game.
Lavel Davis Jr. Virginia ($5,800) - Davis Jr. is the Cavaliers' home run threat. The big-bodied wide receiver has drawn at least six targets in every game this season. He leads Virginia with an appetizing 16.9 aDOT. Davis Jr. is a great way to save salary and provides adequate upside.
If you need more salary savings at wide receiver, consider BJ Casteel ($5,000). He leads the Nevada Wolfpack in routes run (115). His 20 targets rank second amongst the Wolfpack. Most of Casteel's targets come down the field as he's averaging an aDOT of 15.3. Billy Bowens ($5,200) has a similar profile with a high aDOT (16.9). Bowens' 15 targets through three games ranks second amongst the Broncos.
Others to Consider: Keytaon Thompson ($8,800), Oronde Gadsden II ($8,500), Latrell Caples ($8,100), Stefan Cobbs ($7,400), Jamaal Bell ($5,900), and Davis Koetter ($4,600).