College football bowl season rolls on with another full slate of games for Saturday, December 23rd. These are still some lower-tier bowls, but we have plenty of interesting matchups with top CFB DFS picks. The DraftKings and FanDuel main slates both kick off at 12 pm ET with Troy vs Duke in the Birmingham Bowl and Arkansas State vs Northern Illinois in the Camelia Bowl. This Saturday's college football bowl slate also features Georgia State vs Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Utah vs Northwestern in the Las Vegas Bowl, and James Madison vs Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl. Let's dive into the top CFB DFS picks and value plays for your college football daily fantasy lineups this weekend. All odds are via DraftKings Sportsbook at the time of this publishing. 


College Football Schedule for Saturday, December 23

CFB DFS Saturday Main Slate 

  • 12 pm ET – Arkansas State (-2.5) vs Northern Illinois – 54.5 O/U
  • 12 pm ET – Troy (-7.5) vs Duke – 44.5 O/U
  • 3:30 pm ET – James Madison (-1.5) vs Air Force – 40.5 O/U
  • 3:30 pm ET – Georgia State vs Utah State (-1.5) – 59.5 O/U
  • 7 pm ET – South Alabama (-17) vs Eastern Michigan – 45 O/U
  • 7:30 pm ET – Utah (-6.5) vs Northwestern – 41.5 O/U
  • 10:30 pm ET – Coastal Carolina vs San Jose State (-9.5) – 49.5 O/U


College Football CFB DFS Picks for December 23 Bowls

Top CFB DFS Quarterbacks

Darren GraingerGASTUTST740022.681070021.76
Darren Grainger had an up-and-down season for Georgia State, but he should be a top QB play on this bowl slate. First, this game vs Utah St has the highest total and a tight spread – which is a great spot to target for DFS in general. Grainger has dual-threat ability with 625 rushing yards and 8 rush TDs this year. The Utah St rush defense ranked 128th nationally in rush yards allowed per game and Grainger should have success on the ground. He’ll also do enough as a passer in what should be a back-and-forth offensive game.
Rocky LombardiNIUARST700013.58920013.01
Rocky Lombardi was pretty inconsistent in DFS and real life this season for NIU. This weekend, though, he has plenty of GPP upside against a poor Arkansas State pass defense that ranked 121st in yards allowed per game. Lombardi does have a few 25 DK efforts this year, so we know the potential is there at his best. He also brings some dual-threat upside with 6 rush TDs this season.
Levi WilliamsUTSTGAST640016.591100015.84
Levi Williams will start at QB for Utah State with both Cooper Legas and McCae Hillstead reportedly out with injuries. Williams just started in Week 13 and went off for 51 DK points as he ran for 153 yards and 3 TDs (on 25 carries) with 2 pass TDs added in. Williams hasn't played much over the past two seasons, but he coincidentally played in this same Famous Idaho Potato Bowl back in 2021 with Wyoming and ran for 200 yards with 4 rush TDs. The dual-threat upside is one thing, but he gets an easy matchup here vs a weak Georgia State pass defense (131st in FBS). He’s a top QB play in all formats.
Jordan McCloudJMUAF450029.381120028.90
If you like playing with fire, go ahead and roster Jordan McCloud this weekend. JMU’s star QB is in the transfer portal but also expected to play in this bowl game. Honestly, we have no idea how much or if he’ll actually play. He could play the whole game and break the slate, or he could just play a quarter or a half with a terrible stat line. It’s probably safer to avoid him in general, but the GPP upside is there to smash this min DK price tag. For what it's worth, Air Force does have a strong pass defense and this is a very low total.
Bryson BarnesUTAHNW450016.73900016.26
Similar to Jordan McCloud, we have Bryson Barnes expected to play in this bowl game despite being in the transfer portal. Again, we’ll see if he actually plays or how much he’s out there. This one requires some more context, though. Barnes said himself on Twitter that he will have “one last ride” in this bowl game. Plus, Utah’s other QB Nate Johnson has committed to Vanderbilt and should be out. If you want to take a chance on Barnes, he’s min price on DK and can easily crush value despite the low-scoring matchup vs Northwestern. Keep an eye on any other concrete news surrounding Barnes.


Top CFB DFS Running Backs

Kairee RobinsonSJSUC-C810025.92  
San Jose State’s rushing attack should tear up Coastal’s spotty rush defense. Coastal was 99th in rushing yards allowed per game this year and also lost a couple key defensive players to the portal. Kairee Robinson was a stud for San Jose St this season with 1,124 rushing yards and 20 total TDs. He finished strong with 30+ DK in five of the last six games and had 20+ DK in eight of 11 this season. Robinson is a top overall RB play in cash or GPP. His backfield mate Quali Conley is also worth a look in GPP or cash as cheaper exposure to San Jose State’s rushing attack.
Kimani VidalTROYDUKE800023.39980020.97
Kimani Vidal should be locked into the biggest workload of any RB on this slate. Troy’s bell-cow back averaged 21 carries and 121 rushing yards per game this season with 1,583 total rush yards and 15 TDs on the year. He just exploded for 233 yards, 5 TDs, and 56 DK in the Sun Belt title game and owns 35-40 DK upside here. Duke’s rush defense was solid this year but it’s also now without multiple players transferring away. Vidal has the upside to smash the slate.
Antario BrownNIUARST690017.62950017.05
In terms of rushing matchups, Antario Brown has one of the best on this slate. Arkansas State allowed 183 rush yards per game this season (118th in FBS) and 4.76 ypc (109th). Meanwhile, Brown racked up 1,162 rushing yards this season as NIU’s bell-cow back. He has a ton of GPP upside in this matchup to break the slate with some monster stat lines under his belt already this year.
Ja'Quinden JacksonUTAHNW530011.04830010.00
Among the mid-tier running backs, Ja’Quinden Jackson can be a solid cash play. Jaylon Glover might take some carries away, but Jackson should see a healthy workload in this bowl game. He’ll face a below-average Northwestern rush defense that ranks 83rd in rush yards allowed per game. Jackson has performed well in easier matchups this season and he’s pretty affordable for the possible 20 DK. If Bryson Barnes is out or doesn’t play the whole game, then Utah’s offense likely leans on the run even more too.
Braylon McReynoldsSALAEMU510010.855008.93
Braylon McReynolds is expected to start at running back for South Alabama with La’Damian Webb opting out for the NFL Draft. In Webb’s absence last game, McReynolds was in the workhorse role and had 19 carries for 79 yards with 6 catches for 70 yards. If we pencil in the 20+ touches for 100+ total yards, he’ll easily exceed value as a top per-dollar RB play this weekend. McReynolds gets a favorable matchup here vs a poor EMU run defense (112th in FBS).
Freddie BrockGASTUTST45001.0354001.03
With stud RB Marcus Carroll transferring to Missouri and backup KZ Adams also in the portal, Freddie Brock is listed as Georgia State’s starting back for this bowl game. Brock only saw six carries this year as the third-stringer, so we don’t have a lot to go on. Who knows how many touches he gets, honestly. What we do know is that this is a very favorable matchup with Utah State ranking 128th in rushing yards allowed per game this year. Maybe it’s a lot of Darren Grainger running around, but Brock has GPP upside if you want to take a shot on a guy that hasn’t done anything all year.
Rahsul FaisonUTSTGAST430010.0773009.19
Utah State has been rotating RBs all year, but Rahsul Faison appears to have the leg up for this bowl game. He’s been the team’s best back in two of the past three games with 18 carries for 106 yards, a TD, and 22 DK last outing and 22 carries, 181 yards, a TD, and 28 DK back in Week 11. It’s notable that Faison got the majority of touches over Davon Booth (7-for-43) last game because it was Levi Williams under center – which is the case this week. He offers major upside at his sub-5k DK price.
Kaelon BlackJMUAF300010.9558009.49
Like Jordan McCloud and other JMU players, Kaelon Black is in the transfer portal but also reportedly may play in this bowl game. For what it’s worth, Black is listed as starter on JMU’s depth chart this week. Who knows how many touches or playing time he actually gets, though. His co-starter Ty Son Lawton has already committed to Indiana, so he should be out. Black is definitely a risky play, especially in a low-scoring game with a tough matchup vs Air Force’s top 10 rush defense. Still, it’s a potential lead RB for the min DK price if you want to roll the dice.


Top CFB DFS Wide Receivers

Jalen RoyalsUTSTGAST690022.361000018.53
Jalen Royals finished the season with 1,023 receiving yards and 14 TDs as a weekly producer. The Utah St receiving corps is essentially a two-man group with Royals and Terrell Vaughn headlining things, especially with Micah Davis out. Both Royals and Vaughn should be strongly considered here in the highest total of the slate and facing a terrible Georgia State pass defense. Royals has the slightly higher floor/ceiling combo and ended the year strong with 27 DK in back-to-back games.
Trayvon RudolphNIUARST610011.3340009.50
After originally entering the transfer portal, Trayvon Rudolph announced he’ll return to NIU next year. We can assume he’ll play in this bowl game now. The speedy receiver and returner can break off a TD any time he touches the ball and presents some GPP upside this week. The NIU receiving corps is also very thin outside of Rudolph, so expect plenty of touches and targets. He’ll face a shaky Arkansas State pass defense that ranked 121st in yards allowed per game. He's wrongly priced on FD and a lock over there.
Jamaal PritchettSALAEMU590015.14900012.37
Jamaal Pritchett is in line to be South Alabama’s top receiver for this bowl with Caullin Lacy transferring away. Pritchett had 49 catches for 756 yards and 6 TDs this season and is by far the most proven pass-catcher on the team now. He’ll replace the stud-level production of Lacy, who had 91 catches for 1,326 yards and 7 TDs. We don’t know for sure who the South Alabama QB is with Carter Bradley dealing with an injury. Whoever is under center should be looking Pritchett’s way often with a solid cash floor and GPP-winning upside.
Jordan MooreDUKETROY580016.05870012.79
With Jalon Calhoun opting out of this bowl, Jordan Moore is Duke’s clear top pass-catcher and he should be locked into targets. Though Grayson Loftis is starting for Duke and not Riley Leonard, that might actually benefit Moore. He ended the season strong with 32, 33, and 27 DK in the past three games with Loftis under center while seeing a large target share as Loftis’ go-to guy. Even against a strong Troy defense, Moore’s volume alone makes him a good play.
Sam PinckneyC-CSJSU560017.18  
With Jared Brown transferring away, Sam Pinckey is Coastal Carolina’s clear top receiver for this bowl game. He had 904 yards and 7 TDs on 64 catches this season with double-digit PPR points in all but one game. Even with third-string QB Ethan Vasko starting for Coastal, Pinckney can still have a strong cash floor as he should be locked into targets. He had 19, 20, and 10 DK in three games at the end of the season when Vasko was at QB.
Tailique WilliamsGASTUTST540011.6777008.98
Tailique Williams is now Georgia State’s top receiver with Robert Lewis transferring to Auburn. Lewis had 70 catches for 877 yards and 5 TDs this year, so it’s a lot of production for Williams and others to take on. Williams had 46 catches for 581 yards and 5 TDs this season as the No. 2 behind Lewis. He should be locked into targets for a solid cash floor in this high-scoring matchup, especially with Georgia St lacking proven pass-catchers besides him.
Jabre BarberTROYDUKE440014.7830011.32
Troy doesn’t have the most potent passing attack, but Jabre Barber is really underpriced on DK. Barber’s 892 receiving yards and 65 catches both led the team this year as he has a consistent target share in the passing game. Barber had double-digit DK points in 8 of 13 games this season with a solid cash floor of catches and yards. He shouldn’t be priced below 5k at this point, so it’s a nice salary-saver.
Landen KingUTAHNW3300756006.00
Over the final month of the regular season, Landen King emerged as a more reliable pass-catcher in Utah’s offense. The tight end had four catches and double-digit DK points in two separate games while building some rapport with Bryson Barnes. He’ll be even more important for this bowl with Devaughn Vele opting out and Mikey Matthews in the transfer portal. Utah lacks proven receivers now and King could see enough targets to return value at his cheap prices.
Elijah SarrattJMUAF300021.06400017.89
Elijah Sarratt, just like his QB Jordan McCloud, is in the transfer portal but still listed as a starting WR for JMU in this bowl game. He might play or he might not. We really have no idea until warmups and even then, these guys end up sitting out or only playing a half. If you want to risk it, then Sarratt is a steal at the min DK price. He had 74 receptions, 1,076 yards, and 9 TDs this year as McCloud’s top target. A safer JMU receiver would be Reggie Brown, but it might be better to stay away from this offense overall against a good Air Force defense in a low-scoring game with a ton of unknowns.


CFB DFS Core Plays 

DraftKings Cash

  • Levi Williams – Utah State
  • Braylon McReynolds – South Alabama
  • Kairee Robinson – San Jose State

DraftKings GPP

  • Jordan McCloud – JMU
  • Rahsul Faison – Utah State
  • Tailique Williams – Georgia State

FanDuel Cash 

  • Darren Grainger – Georgia State
  • Trayvon Rudolph – Northern Illinois
  • Braylon McReynolds – South Alabama

FanDuel GPP 

  • Rocky Lombardi – Northern Illinois
  • Jalen Royals – Utah State
  • Freddie Brock – Georgia State

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