CFB DFS Playbook: Thursday 8/30
A close look at the slate for Thursday, August 30th in college football. There plenty of big offenses to choose from - who are the best DFS plays. Check it out.
Here we are! College football and specifically, College DFS is BACK. Let’s get this party started with an eight-game slate on DraftKings.
General thoughts: I’m spending at running back as there are some top options playing. QB McKenzie Milton is the top play of the day and will grace most, if not all, of my lineups. I’ll find values to fill in around him. This UCF/UConn game total is at 73 points and could top that - feel confident loading up on that game. Not touching anybody from that New Mexico State offense after seeing them against Wyoming in Week 0. Sure, Wyoming is a very solid D; but Minnesota won’t be far behind on a short week on the road. Purdue QBs David Blough and Elijah Sindelar will be likely splitting time.
McKenzie Milton, UCF at UConn - $11,700
As mentioned, Milton is the most expensive for a reason. He’s the catalyst of the UCF offense that is rumored to go even faster under new head coach Josh Heupel, who led the Missouri offense a year ago. There is some trepidation surrounding this transition for the offense as a whole, but Milton will have no problem against a weak UConn defensive unit.
Sam Hartmann, Wake Forest at Tulane - $6,800
Hartmann is a true freshman handed the reigns of a high-powered offense a year ago. It was quite a departure from the grind-it-out days of former Demon Deacon offenses. Dave Clawson and company opened it up and had a field day with former signal-caller John Wolford. Kendall Hinton was expected to take over but a suspension and a subsequent apparent move to wide receiver made this Hartmann’s job. At a solid price, he could make for a high risk; high reward play tonight.
David Pindell, UConn vs UCF - $6,300
Speaking of evolving offenses, who knew that Connecticut would be the 11th fastest paced team from 2017? They get after it and keep it moving. Pindell returns to lead the Huskies offense and gets to go super-fast against an opponent who will keep it moving on their offensive side and create plenty of opportunities. His price is depressed enough to make him a value play. The UCF defense is going through a bit of an overhaul and he’ll be operating at home.
Other top options:
Tyler Huntley (Utah): Super athlete. Should put up great numbers, but worried about usage when the Utes pull away.
Riley Neal (Ball State): Another solid play. Can’t really go wrong here.
Taylor Cornelius (Oklahoma State): I only see a half of play in the cards for Cornelius here. The Pokes should run away from MO State quickly.
Other value plays:
Jonathan Banks (Tulane): Under the radar play here. Good dual-threat option who won’t be heavily owned.
Justice Hill, Oklahoma State vs. Missouri State - $9,500
I love Justice Hill in both season-long (I think I have eight shares of him) and in this first game. The Pokes should go quick and get a big lead with Hill the focal point. I am a bit worried that he’ll give way early in the second half with the game well in hand, but that’s eased by the thought of 100+ rushing yards, 3-4 catches and finding paydirt at least twice during that 30 minutes. You’ll pay for him - but you’ll be happy you did.
Zack Moss, Utah vs. Weber State - $8,900
Another guy that will see plenty of early action and I’m expecting enough production in the time that he’s out there to warrant the price tag. Moss won’t have much competition for carries - other than the quarterback Huntley - and Weber State is not one of the top FCS defenses. Get those two early scores and 150+ from Moss here. Get it.
Rodney Smith, Minnesota vs New Mexico State - $8,500
Smith gets the nod at a decent price and should be in it for the long haul in this one. It’s exciting to think that he’s going to be the main guy with Shannon Brooks out of the picture. Minnesota is working in a new, true freshman quarterback and will lean heavily on the legs of the veteran Smith. He’ll be owned quite a bit, but pair him up with the next guy and you have your running back tandem.
Stephon Huderson, Tulane vs Wake Forest - $4,400
Huderson is the more under-the-radar option from a very run-heavy Tulane offense. He’ll split carries with Darius Bradwell among others, however, he is listed first on the depth chart and that’s a good sign. The Green Wave keep it on the ground early and Wake Forest isn’t exactly a stout opponent on defense. Expect a nice value with Huderson in this one.
Other top options:
Trayveon Williams (Texas A&M): Workhorse for a Jimbo Fisher coached team? Yes, please. Just concerned of blowout potential. Northwestern State was ranked 111th in total defense in the FCS last year. Yikes.
Jeremy Larkin (Northwestern): Larkin takes over for Justin Jackson as the main guy and should succeed. Purdue isn’t exactly a tough matchup, even though they are better against the run than the pass. Consider.
Matt Colburn II (Wake Forest): Lead back in a fast-paced offense at a good price.
Other value plays:
Darius Bradwell (Tulane): The other end of the two-headed monster in the Tulane rushing attack. Certainly worth a shot.
Zavier Scott (UConn): The surprise starter in an offense that lost a lot from the position. Worried that it’s by default and they spread it around a bit. But, they’ll be moving. GPP play here.
LD Brown (Oklahoma State): After the Pokes pull away, you’ll see a lot of this guy and he’s talented enough to start.
Tyler Johnson, Minnesota vs. New Mexico State - $8,300
New Mexico State doesn’t have an answer for Johnson, Minnesota’s leading receiver (by a lot). He returns with a new quarterback, true frosh Zack Annexstad. That could be cause for slight concern, but I don’t care who is throwing the ball, this guy will go and get it. His season was cut short due to injury last year but anybody who puts up 8-106-3 against Michigan State is not to be messed with.
Cole Herdman, Purdue vs. Northwestern - $3,300
One of two stud tight ends in the Purdue offense and a red zone monster. At this price tag you must consider him in your lineup. He has a “Q” next to his name due to a lingering issue from last year but he’s healthy and will get looks in this game. Get him in for the touchdown upside.
Rashod Bateman, Minnesota vs. New Mexico State - $3,000
Okay, so if Tyler Johnson is the high-priced, stud option, this guy is the dark horse who could come out of nowhere and surprise. This true freshman did enough in camp to earn a starting role on the depth chart and could develop a nice early rapport with his fellow true froshie quarterback Annexstad. He’s the minimum, so a tourney dart throw here.
Tre Nixon, UCF at UConn - $3,000
Nixon may be third or fourth on the depth chart but there is plenty to go around. He has turned heads in camp and is going to be on the field. Another freshman with no prior experience afford him a minimum price tag and could make your GPP lineups if he connects deep with Milton. We know that UConn won’t do much to stop him, he’ll just have to snag a couple away from from Dredrick Snelson and/or Gabriel Davis. We are paying for QB and RB so we’ll need a few cheaper options at wide receiver.
Other top options:
Greg Dortch (Wake Forest): This guy was a catch machine in his freshman season last year (53 in 8 games) before a season-ending injury struck. Top option.
Dredrick Snelson (UCF): Mentioned above. He’s the projected No. 1 and could play the Tre’Quan Smith role. That’s a very good thing.
Other value plays:
Alex Bachman (Wake Forest): He’s the projected No. 2 behind Dortch and should up his production with Tabari Hines gone. Low price = good value.
Siaosi Mariner (Utah): Under the radar shot here. There are a lot of mouths to feed and Utah will run quite a bit, but this is the guy from that passing game I’d suggest targeting.
Brycen Hopkins (Purdue): The other end of that tight end duo in West Lafayette. Another touchdown-upside dart throw at a great price.