Happy New Year, college football fans! This Monday New Year's Day brings us the final full CFB DFS slate of the season with the College Football Playoff games headlining the action. Alabama vs Michigan in the Rose Bowl and Texas vs Washington in the Sugar Bowl cap off this CFB DFS slate. We also get some early college football bowl action like Wisconsin vs LSU, Liberty vs Oregon, and Iowa vs Tennessee. You can build college football DFS lineups for these bowls on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Let's dive into the top CFB DFS picks and value plays for the Monday, January 1st CFB bowl slate. All odds are via DraftKings Sportsbook at the time of this publishing.
College Football Schedule for Monday, January 1
CFB DFS Main Slate
- 12 pm ET – Wisconsin vs LSU (-8.5) – 57 O/U
- 1 pm ET – Liberty vs Oregon (-18) – 68 O/U
- 1 pm ET – Iowa vs Tennessee (-5.5) – 36 O/U
- 5 pm ET – Alabama vs Michigan (-1.5) – 45 O/U
- 8:45 pm ET – Texas (-4) vs Washington – 63.5 O/U
College Football CFB DFS Picks for January 1 Bowls
Top CFB DFS Quarterbacks
|Bo Nix is expected to play in this bowl despite likely entering the NFL Draft, so we get to roster the DFS stud one more time. Nix threw for 4,000+ yards and 40 TDs this year while also adding in 6 rush TDs for some dual-threat upside. Liberty ranked 103rd nationally in passing yards allowed per game and also didn’t face the toughest competition. Oregon’s offense should light up the scoreboard as Nix is a top overall play.
|Michael Penix Jr.
|In the Texas vs Washington semifinal, you’ll likely want to roster either Michael Penix or Quinn Ewers in cash lineups – or both if you can make it fit. You can make a good argument for both as Washington ranks 123rd vs the pass this season while Texas isn’t much better with the 95th pass D. If choosing between them, Penix brings in the better floor/ceiling combo for DFS with a more pass-focused Washington offense and Texas being strong vs the run. We could Penix throw it a ton in this game for a 30 DK performance or better.
|If Alabama wins this semifinal vs Michigan, it’ll likely be on the legs of Jalen Milroe. The Bama QB is one of the best dual-threats in college football and we should expect a game plan leaning on his strength of running the ball. Plus, Milroe always has the ability to hit a deep TD or two. Michigan’s defense, while very good, could have trouble with Milroe’s running skillset and we all know the GPP upside he brings once he gets going on the ground. He’s the GPP QB to roster if you’re fading Nix, Penix, and Ewers.
|Garrett Nussmeier is expected to be LSU’s starting QB for this bowl with Jayden Daniels opting out. Nussmeier is presumed to be the team’s starter next season, so he should be plenty motivated to put on a show. Although Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas both might sit out too, Nussmeier still has plenty of weapons to throw to in this LSU attack. He’s better suited for GPP lineups with some safer cash QBs and the tough matchup on paper vs Wisconsin.
|We’ve been targeting against the LSU pass defense all season and we get another chance to do it again here. LSU ranked 104th in the FBS in passing yards allowed per game this year with nearly every opposing QB coming through in DFS. Pencil in Tanner Mordecai for a solid stat line in this matchup. The Wisconsin QB was just decent this season and doesn’t offer a ton of confidence, but the matchup alone puts Mordecai in play as a Super-Flex cash play.
Top CFB DFS Running Backs
|In Michigan’s playoff matchup, expect Blake Corum to see a ton of touches as the focal point of the offense. When Michigan played in tighter games, Corum had the following stat lines: 26 attempts for 145 yards vs Penn State, 28 for 94 vs Maryland, and 22 for 88 vs Ohio St. He also had 2 TDs in all three of those, not to mention 24 rush TDs this year as a scoring machine. Alabama has a stout run defense but Corum’s large workload and tendency to find the end zone makes him a top cash RB.
|Like his QB, Bucky Irving is expected to play in the bowl despite heading to the NFL Draft. As always with these situations, we’ll see how much he plays. We know a full workload from Irving is good for 20-30 DK points with the upside for more. Liberty has a good run defense on paper but also benefited from an easy schedule. If Irving doesn’t end up playing or sees his touches limited, then Jordan James is an intriguing GPP play.
|Since Jonathon Brooks went down for the season, we’ve seen both CJ Baxter and Jaydon Blue step up in Brooks’ absence. Baxter is the likelty lead back for this semifinal as he’s seen the bulk of carries over the past three games with Brooks out. Blue, though, had 10 carries in back-to-back games with 24 and 16 DK. He’s more of a GPP value on this slate while Baxter is safer for cash. Baxter should be more healthy after dealing with a late-season hip injury. He’s a nice bargain on both sites.
|Dylan Sampson was in a secondary role in Tennessee’s backfield this year, but he might be in line for a large workload for this bowl. Jaylen Wright has opted out and Jabari Small is also likely out after declaring for the NFL Draft. It’s now Sampson left over as the only Vols RB to get meaningful carries this season. The Tennessee offense could lean on him with a freshman QB under center here. The matchup vs Iowa is a tough one, but Sampson can return value based on volume alone.
|With Braelon Allen opting out, Jackson Acker is in a prime position to be Wisconsin’s bell-cow back in this bowl. Acker is reportedly likely to play after missing the regular season finale due to an undisclosed injury. It’s possible Cade Yacamelli also sees some carries, especially if Acker doesn’t end up playing. But if Acker plays, then we should expect him to get the bulk of carries as Allen’s main backup this year. The matchup is a good one vs LSU’s 92nd-ranked run defense.
Top CFB DFS Wide Receivers
|All three of Washington’s top WRs have been good DFS plays this year and all are in play for this semifinal. Jalen McMillan and Ja’Lynn Polk both have the GPP upside to go off, but Rome Odunze is the alpha with the better floor/ceiling combo. He ended the year strong with four straight 100+ yard games and he had at least 21 DK in 8 of 13 games this year. The Texas pass D has been below-average this year, so Odunze can have success in this matchup.
|With Troy Franklin opting out, Tez Johnson is now the clear top target for Bo Nix and a top overall WR play. Johnson is reportedly undecided on whether he’ll enter the NFL Draft or not, but it looks like he’ll play in the bowl either way. Johnson’s connection with Nix grew stronger in the second half of the season and the two have a great rapport now. We’ll likely see Nix and Johnson connect early and often against a shaky Liberty pass defense.
|The Texas receiving corps is led by Xavier Worthy and Adonai Mitchell with both being GPP plays on this slate. Worthy is expected to play after suffering a leg injury in the Big 12 title game, but he’s apparently not 100%. Mitchell, meanwhile, had a big performance in that title game with 109 yards and a TD. He could be leaned on more here if Worthy isn’t totally himself. Mitchell also has that Playoff experience from playing with Georgia, so don’t be surprised if he posts a big game for Texas.
|If you want to roster an Alabama receiver on this slate, it’s basically Jermaine Burton and Isaiah Bond as the only two trustworthy guys. Both can be considered in cash, but they are better as GPP upside plays. Burton can easily go for 100+ yards and a TD if he gets behind Michigan’s defense and breaks off a long reception or two. He also brings in some Playoff experience from his time at Georgia.
|We don’t know officially yet, but it’s possible both Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas sit out as they enter the NFL Draft. If they’re both out or only play a handful of snaps, then Kyren Lacy should be locked into more targets. Lacy announced he’ll return to LSU next year, so this bowl game is a chance for him to build a rapport with new QB Garrett Nussmeier. Lacy isn’t priced like LSU’s top wideout, which he’ll likely be for this game. Aaron Anderson is also a GPP dart from LSU’s WR corps.
|Colston Loveland has been a decent value from Michigan at times this season. In this matchup vs Alabama’s good defense, the tight end might be a key part of the game plan. Bama has struggled over the middle of the field vs TEs in some games this year. Loveland could also be a safety valve for easy completions for J.J. McCarthy if the offense struggles to get going on the ground.
|As Wisconsin’s slot receiver, Will Pauling led the team in receptions (66) and yards (694) as Tanner Mordecai’s top target. He now could take on even more targets and catches with Chimere Dike and Skyler Bell transferring away before this bowl. Pauling offers a great cash floor with his solidified role in the offense. There’s even more upside now with Wisconsin dealing with WR absences and this fantastic matchup vs LSU’s terrible pass defense. For his price, he’s a top value WR on the slate.
|Traeshon Holden should move into a bigger role in this bowl with Troy Franklin opting out. He had 32 catches, 383 yards, and 6 TDs as Oregon’s third wideout this season. Franklin’s absence opens up a ton of targets for Holden and others now. We’re getting Holden at a nice discount here because his price is based on his WR3 role, but he should be safer for cash with more GPP upside.
|Bryson Green is now listed as a starting WR for this bowl with Chimere Dike and Skyler Bell transferring. Green missed the last two regular season games with an injury but will presumably be back. He’s worth a GPP dart at his dirt-cheap prices because Wisconsin’s passing attack gets a great matchup vs a terrible LSU secondary. Vinny Anthony is another cheap Badgers WR who’s also now listed as a starter.
CFB DFS Core Plays
- Blake Corum – Michigan
- Kyren Lacy – LSU
- Will Pauling – Wisconsin
- Jalen Milroe – Alabama
- Rome Odunze – Washington
- Jackson Acker – Wisconsin
- Bo Nix – Oregon
- Blake Corum – Michigan
- Rome Odunze – Washington
- Michael Penix Jr. – Washington
- Treshon Holden – Oregon
- Jackson Acker – Wisconsin