5 Impact Games for CFB DFS
Welcome to the fifth edition of this column, where each week I examine a handful of DFS-relevant games expected to produce a large quantity of points. The idea here is that more points will lead to more opportunities for individual players to make an impact on fantasy rosters.
The featured game from last week’s article, East Carolina vs Tulsa, was a disappointment that resulted in 31 fewer points than the projected total and a quarterback carousel for ECU. That said, there were quality plays to be found in the other featured games and I hope it was a successful weekend for you. This week, we will look at two games from the Big 12, one from the Pac 12, one from the SEC, and an interconfertnce clash.
In order to be included here, a game needed to appear in both DraftKings and FanDuel contests for the upcoming weekend. Also, I wanted to make sure that both slates were fairly represented, so we have three early games and two late games, instead of strictly looking at the five highest totals on the board.
Iowa State @ Baylor (Early)
Projected total of 78 points
Baylor: As if Baylor’s offense wasn’t lethal enough, this week they get Iowa State’s dreadful defense in Waco. How bad have the Cyclones been? Through six games they rank 117th in yards-per-play defense and 120th in pass efficiency defense. Moreover, if Baylor surpasses 60 points for the sixth straight game, they will be in sole possession of a new NCAA team record for most consecutive games over 60. As with every week, the disclaimer about Baylor’s starters being pulled early in a blowout applies.
WR Corey Coleman is the most expensive receiver at both sites by at least $600, but his projection is also the highest by a fair margin, so your decision to play him is purely a matter of lineup construction. In the last two weeks Iowa State has allowed three receivers to go for at least 100 yards and a touchdown, so there’s a good chance KD Cannon or Jay Lee could make for a solid, discounted play from the Baylor passing game. Over the last three games, Cannon has 14 catches and a touchdown to Lee’s seven catches and two touchdowns. Cannon is cheaper at both sites and, even with a slightly lower projection, I like the way he’s trending. QB Seth Russell is the highest priced passer at both sites. He carries my No. 2 projection, but has 500 total yard upside, so I’m not going to nitpick over his projection.
On the ground, RB Shock Linwood has a top-four salary at each site. I think he’s a good bet for 100 yards and a touchdown, but I think there’s a very real chance his backup, Johnny Jefferson, could match that feat. Given that Jefferson is significantly cheaper, I lean toward playing him.
PFF now has weekly projections for college players, which you can explore here.
Iowa State: For as good as Baylor’s offense has been, you might be surprised to learn that their defense has not allowed only one rushing touchdown in the last three games. If Iowa State is going to make hay in this game, it will almost certainly be through the air.
Unfortunately, quarterback Sam B. Richardson has struggled lately. In the Cyclones’ last three games he has averaged 220 yards per game with three passing touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s priced as a top 25 quarterback at both sites, but I’m not sure he can live up to that underwhelming bar, especially if game script turns against him as expected.
If Richardson is to find some success through the air, it will likely be in the direction of Allen Lazard. He has two touchdowns in the last three games and has accumulated 256 receiving yards over that period. Lazard has a top 20 salary at both sites, but I don’t like his chances of performing up to that level.
On the ground, Mike Warren is Iowa State’s top back, but Baylor’s run defense has been solid and Warren hasn’t caught a pass in his last two games. There’s just not enough upside here to warrant a top 15 salary.
Jon Moore is a contributor at PFF Fantasy, RotoViz and TheCFX. Continue this conversation with him on Twitter @TheCFX.