5 Impact Games for CFB DFS
Welcome to the sixth 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. This week, we will look at two games from the Big 12, two from the Pac 12, one from the the American Athletic Conference.
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.
Oklahoma State @ Texas Tech (Early)
Projected total of 78.5 points
Oklahoma State: When the Cowboys have the ball, expect them to have a field day against a Texas Tech team that ranks outside the top 100 in many defensive categories and gave up 617 yards last week.
Despite the favorable matchup, Oklahoma State tends to spread the ball around in such a way that makes it hard to predict where a big performance might come from. Quarterback Mason Rudolph has been the most reliable asset, averaging 313 yards per game in Big 12 play. However, he’s thrown five touchdowns compared to six interceptions and doesn’t provide much on the ground. In a week where he projects as my No. 14 quarterback, the decision to play him will rely on which site you use, as his pricing is much more favorable on FanDuel than DraftKings.
In the last three games, Texas Tech has allowed two running backs to surpass 200 yards in a game. While the Cowboys lead runner, Chris Carson, only averaged 56 yards per game, this could be a spot for him to break through. When healthy, he’s been getting most of the early work and projects as a top 25 back for me this week, despite a salary that’s lower on both sites.
At receiver, David Glidden, James Washington and Marcell Ateman all have accounted for between 15 percent and 24 percent of the team’s receiving yards. Glidden has been steadier lately, hauling in at least five passes in the last three games, while Washington has found the end zone more often lately. Glidden is my favorite value of the OK State receivers this week.
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Texas Tech: When the Red Raiders have the ball, it will be fascinating to see if they can move the ball against an Oklahoma State defense that has not allowed any quarterback to throw for more than 225 yards and ranks among the top 25 defenses in multiple facets. If there’s one thing that gives me confidence in this offense, it’s the high projected total which calls for Tech to score 37 points.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes sports a top five salary at both sites and I project him as a top three passer. Although he had a tough outing against Oklahoma last week and threw four interceptions to only one touchdown, I think he was somewhat the victim of an unfavorable game script. This week, in what should be a high-scoring, back-and-forth game, I think Mahomes is a strong candidate to surpass 300 yards through the air. He’s also a good runner in the red zone, as evidenced by his seven rushing touchdowns so far this season.
Running back DeAndre Washington has been a consistent force for the Red Raiders this season, getting at least 16 touches in each of their last four games. Although Oklahoma State has been tough against the run this year, I think Washington could have some added value as a safety valve for Mahomes against a fierce pass rush. At DraftKings, Washington’s salary and projection are closely aligned, but at FanDuel his value takes a hit due to a top-five salary, which I think represents his best-case scenario.
The Tech receiver situation continues to be a jumble. Jakeem Grant lead the team in yards again last week, which he has done in half of the games this season, but after him the mix of Reginald Davis, Devin Lauderdale, and recently-healthy Ian Sadler is too clouded to pick a favorite. I think Grant is overpriced this week, so I might turn to the more appropriately valued Reginald Davis.
Jon Moore is a contributor at PFF Fantasy, RotoViz and TheCFX. Continue this conversation with him on Twitter @TheCFX.