5 impact games for CFB DFS
Welcome to the seventh 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.
Last week in this space I previewed the Texas Tech – Oklahoma State, which saw a combined 123 points and saw huge performances from Jakeem Grant, Patrick Mahomes and James Washington. Hopefully we have another whale on our hands in the slate below.
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.
Texas Tech @ West Virginia (Early)
Projected total of 80 points
West Virginia: When the Mountaineers have the ball, they’ll be facing a Texas Tech defense that has allowed at least 600 yards and 63 points in each of their last two games. This marks the seventh-straight week that Texas Tech has been in one of the highest-total games of the week.
Although quarterback Skyler Howard has been up and down this year, the encouraging thing about his game is the volume of opportunities. In his four conference games this year, he’s thrown the ball at least 32 times every game and run the ball at least 10. With that as a baseline, I’m optimistic about Howard because he’s been markedly better at home, as he is this weekend, than on the road, posting a rating of 166.2 at home and 104.7 on the road. He projects as my No. 3 passer, but has the 13th highest salary at FanDuel and seventh-highest at DraftKings, making him an intriguing value.
On the receiving end of Howard’s passes should be sophomore Shelton Gibson, who ranks third in the Big 12 in terms of market share of receiving yards, behind only Josh Doctson and Corey Coleman. He’s scored at least one touchdown in six of seven outings and has surpassed 80 receiving yards five times. He is a top-four receiver for me, but has a salary outside the top 10 on both sites. Deeper in the Mountaineers receiving corps, I want to mention David Sills, a prized quarterback recruit turned temporary wide receiver who has only played at receiver for two games and been first or second in yards in each of those outings. He’s a cheap flier.
On the ground, Rushel Shell and Wendell Smallwood are the two main options. Over the last four games Smallwood has 82 touches from scrimmage compared to Shell’s 76, but Smallwood has been much more prolific in the yardage category. Smallwood has surpassed 88 yards in every game, while Shell has been held to 77 or less every game. Given the ample volume of touches they both receive and the favorable matchup, I think they both make good value plays this weekend.
PFF now has weekly projections for college players, which you can explore here.
Jon Moore is a contributor at PFF Fantasy, RotoViz and TheCFX. Continue this conversation with him on Twitter @TheCFX.