Thursday's college football bowl schedule is a smaller one, but we still have three games to build CFB DFS lineups from. It all gets going with Rutgers vs Miami (FL) in the Pinstripe Bowl at 2:15 pm ET. Plus, we get NC State vs Kansas State in the Pop-Tarts Bowl and then Arizona vs Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl. Note that the early game between SMU and Boston College is not included on the main CFB DFS slate for Thursday's bowl games. As usual, 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 as you enjoy Thursday's CFB bowl slate. All odds are via DraftKings Sportsbook at the time of this publishing.
College Football Schedule for
Thursday, December 28
CFB DFS Saturday Main Slate
- 2:15 pm ET – Rutgers (-2.5) vs Miami FL – 41.5 O/U (Bronx, NY)
- 5:45 pm ET – NC State vs Kansas State (-3) – 47.5 O/U (Orlando, FL)
- 9:15 pm ET – Arizona (-2.5) vs Oklahoma – 60.5 O/U (San Antonio, TX)
College Football CFB DFS Picks for December 28 Bowls
Top CFB DFS Quarterbacks
|Since Noah Fifita took over as Arizona’s QB in Week 5, he had a 23:5 TD:INT ratio over eight games while averaging 305 passing yards and 25 DK per contest. The freshman completely stole the job from Jayden de Laura and didn’t look back with Arizona winning six straight to end the year. Fifita should continue the strong play in this bowl game as the Wildcats are slightly favored in the highest total of the slate. He’s a top cash QB as the most trustworthy option available to roster.
|With Dillon Gabriel transferring to Oregon, we have Jackson Arnold as OU’s new starting QB. The true freshman came in with plenty of hype as a five-star recruit but was stuck behind Gabriel all year. This bowl now gives Arnold a chance to showcase what he’ll be doing for OU next season. He played in a handful of games this year, going 18-for-24 for 202 yards and 2 TDs across five contests with 78 rush yards and a rush TD added in. Theoretically, Arnold can have a good game but it’s pretty unknown what we’ll get from the youngster. On this slate, he’s an upside GPP play but hard to trust in cash.
|Avery Johnson is now Kansas State’s starting QB with Will Howard transferring away. Johnson saw playing time in multiple games this season as a change-of-pace QB, so this isn’t some inexperienced backup being thrown into the fire like we’ve seen in other bowl games so far. The freshman is a dual-threat guy who had 217 rushing yards and 6 rush TDs in seven games of action this year. The running ability gives him a decent cash floor with plenty of upside – like when he exploded for 42 DK vs Texas Tech earlier this season.
|After getting benched earlier this season, Brennan Armstrong returned as NC State’s starting QB for the final three games of the regular season. He performed better in his second stint as the starter with 24, 37, and 30 DK in those last three outings. Armstrong has dual-threat upside to run for 80-100 yards with multiple rush TDs on a weekly basis and can do it again in this bowl. It’s his final collegiate start and MJ Morris has transferred away, so Armstrong should have plenty of motivation to play well.
|The QB value tier is pretty ugly on this slate with Gavin Wimsatt and Jacurri Brown as the cheapest options. Both guys are playing in the lowest total game of the slate, so you might want to stay away in general. Wimsatt at least has some proven dual-threat upside with 9 rush TDs and 488 rush yards this year. He should provide a decent cash floor, but might be better suited as a GPP Super-Flex.
Top CFB DFS Running Backs
|DJ Giddens should see on a big workload in this bowl with Treshaun Ward transferring and Kansas State starting a freshman QB. The K-State backfield was split between Giddens and Ward for most of this season, but the former is likely the feature back here. Giddens had 20+ touches, 100+ rushing yards, and 20+ DK in three straight games to end the year – so we know he can produce with a larger workload. NC State has a strong run defense, but Giddens is still a top play as Kansas State’s top offensive weapon with heavy involvement.
|The Oklahoma backfield was a revolving door for most of the season but Gavin Sawchuk emerged as the workhorse lead back late in the year. He had 100+ rushing yards and a larger volume of carries in each of the last four games to end the season. We should see Sawchuk heavily involved for this bowl with Tawee Walker and Marcus Major both in the transfer portal and Jovantae Barnes barely involved in recent games. Plus, Sawchuk could be leaned on with Dillon Gabriel transferring away. Arizona has a strong run defense but he can be solid for cash with the workload.
|Arizona used a split backfield this season and that’s likely the case for this bowl. It makes both Jonah Coleman and Michael Wiley tough to trust in cash lineups, but both have GPP upside at their affordable prices. As for Wiley, he just had 26 and 30 DK in the last two games to end the season with five total TDs across the two contests. He also had 22 DK with two scores in Week 9. His cash floor and touches are inconsistent, but the GPP ceiling is there to smash value if he finds the end zone once or twice in this higher-total matchup.
|Kyle Monangai will be returning to Rutgers next year so he should be motivated to perform well in this bowl game. Miami had a good rush defense this year but is also down 5-6 starters on defense due to portal or opt out. So, despite the tough matchup on paper, Monangai can still have success against some backup defenders. He had 100+ rushing yards in four of the last six games to end the season and has 20+ DK upside at his best.
|Delbert Mimms III
|For this bowl game, NC State has listed three RBs as “OR” starters in the backfield. Delbert Mimms and Kendrick Raphael should see the bulk of carries and both are worth GPP darts to exceed value. In the last three games with Brennan Armstrong under center, Mimms was used more often with 13, 9, and 14 carries in those contests. He has the larger carry share and TD potential than Raphael.
Top CFB DFS Wide Receivers
|Arizona’s WR corps is a two-headed monster with both Tetairoa McMillan and Jacob Cowing being top plays on this slate. Cowing is interesting because he’s expected to play in the bowl despite accepting a Senior Bowl invite. He could go off in his last game with Arizona, but the playing time might also fluctuate. McMillan, though, seems a bit safer after he put up a team-high 1,242 receiving yards this year and was a top target for Noah Fifita. He had 22+ DK in six of eight games with Fifita under center and should do that or better here.
|Kevin Concepcion has been the clear alpha in the NC State receiving corps all season with his 64 catches, 767 yards, and 11 TDs leading the team by a good margin. Concepcion also was used plenty as a ball-carrier with 38 rush attempts for 297 yards. That rushing role was bigger late in the season as he saw 9 and 11 carries in the last two games. Concepcion announced he’ll be staying at NC State for next season, so he should be locked into touches as both a receiver and rusher in this bowl as the offense’s top overall playmaker. He's a strong cash play with 30+ DK in four of the past seven.
|Drake Stoops was a focal point in the Oklahoma offense late in the season with 10+ catches and 100+ yards in three of the last four games. He was a PPR machine and a favorite target when Dillon Gabriel was under center, so we’ll see if he continues in that role with Jackson Arnold now at QB. There’s also the unknown of OC Jeff Lebby now gone. Stoops should have a strong cash floor in this bowl, but he’s also a tad risky because of the QB and OC changes.
|First off, rostering any Miami receiver is risky because Jacurri Brown is now the QB with Tyler Van Dyke transferring and Emory Williams out with an injury. Plus, the matchup vs Rutgers is a tough one and this is a lower-scoring game. Even so, Jacolby George should be locked into more targets for this bowl with Colbie Young transferring away. It’s basically George and Xavier Restrepo as the two proven pass-catchers in Miami’s WR corps, so Brown should lean on them.
|Kansas State’s passing game will not only have to make do without Will Howard, but also its top two pass-catchers. Tight end Ben Sinnott and WR Phillip Brooks have both opted out, so Jayce Brown is a prime candidate to step into a bigger role. Brown was third among K-State’s WR/TE’s this season in yards and catches (behind Brooks and Sinnott). It’s tough to tell if Avery Johnson will have a favorite target, but Brown is the most accomplished guy in the receiving corps now. He has double-digit DK points in three of the last four games.
|While Tetairoa McMillan and Jacob Cowing are the headliners in Arizona’s passing attack, Tanner McLachlan is a cheaper way to get exposure to the offense. The tight end’s 42 catches and 500 yards were both third on the team this year as a reliable third option for Noah Fifita. He’s usually good for 4+ catches and 50+ yards for a decent cash floor.
|Garrett Oakley is now listed as a co-starter at tight end for Kansas State with Ben Sinnott opting out. Either he or Will Swanson (the other co-starting TE) are worth a GPP dart because the tight end was used a ton as a receiver in this K-State offense. It’s notable that interim OC Conor Riley mentioned Oakley by name when discussing the offense for this bowl. He was also a bit more involved in the offense down the final stretch of the season. Plus, freshman QB Avery Johnson might look for his TE more for easy completions.
CFB DFS Core Plays
- Noah Fifita – Arizona
- Kevin Concepcion – NC State
- DJ Giddens – Kansas State
- Jackson Arnold – Oklahoma
- Michael Wiley – Arizona
- Garrett Oakley – Kansas State
- Noah Fifita – Arizona
- Gavin Sawchuk – Oklahoma
- Kevin Concepcion – NC State
- Avery Johnson – Kansas State
- Drake Stoops – Oklahoma
- Kyle Monangai – Rutgers