Week 13 CFB DFS Picks: A Purdy Good QB Option
Brock Purdy is your top quarterback on this main slate, generating a whole lot of usage on the season and having an implied team total of 41 points this weekend. It’s no surprise to see him as the clear top choice for this game against Kansas. In 2019, he’s averaging 37 passing attempts and just under 8 rushing attempts per game with highs of 62 and 15 respectively (not in the same game). Purdy is a guy I’ll use in all formats and while he’s the top quarterback on the slate, I won’t be using him as high as a guy like Anthony Gordon last week. I don’t think there’s a clear heavy usage guy at the position.
Instead of focusing on Purdy in this slate, I’m going to take the plunge and go with Malcolm Perry instead. The Midshipmen quarterback has 16 rushing touchdowns on the season and should see 20+ carries in a game where they’re projected to score 36 points. As Perry goes, Navy goes and vice versa. Last week he struggled against Notre Dame, but this week he only has to face SMU who is giving up 32 points per game (has not faced a triple-option offense and is coming off of a bye week though). He’s a great option in all formats and more than worthy of being the guy you focus on the most at this position.
Another quarterback in that same category as Purdy is Sam Ehlinger. The two faced off last week and nearly produced identical days and like I say each week, it’s his usage that consistently puts him towards the top. Surprisingly, he has thrown nearly the same amount of times in 2019 but is averaging 12.3 rushing attempts per game. He’s priced higher on DraftKings though and has an implied team total in the high 20s. I’m looking at him in all formats but as an even lower owned option than Purdy. It’s hard to pay up for him at his current price tag on DraftKings but I’m definitely more of a fan of him on FanDuel where the cost savings from the top guys there is better.
Instead of paying up for Purdy and Ehlinger, give me Justin Fields instead. The Buckeyes’ quarterback has a floor sitting in the mid-20s and is matchup proof thanks to his talent, the team’s talent, and their offensive style. Fields hasn’t been utilized as much on the ground because of the blowouts but should be pushed to use his arm and legs to get a home win. I’ll gladly pay up for Fields over Ehlinger and consider Fields the better cash option over Purdy (Purdy over Fields in tournaments).
A salary relief option from all of the above (some more than others) this weekend is Shane Buechele from SMU. He’ll be a higher owned player for you with plenty of receiver options to target/group against Navy. This is because he’s red hot over his past four games, throwing for 16 touchdowns and 400+ yards three times. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s throwing it 38.8 times per game and SMU has an implied team total of 32. Buechele is an option in all formats with obvious upside as we’ve seen in recent weeks.
One of the best values at the position and this week’s $6k-ish option that you’re going to want a lot of is Justin McMillan. The Tulane quarterback isn’t going to light it up through the air, but he will run it 10+ times a game with effectiveness. He’s averaging 55 rushing yards per game and has found paydirt 12 times so far in 2019. When he didn’t score against Temple last week, it was the first time he hadn’t found the end zone on the ground in seven games. UCF’s defense hasn’t done anything to prove they can shut down an offense and Vegas agrees, giving Tulane an implied team total of 32.5. McMillan should be a heavy favorite for one of your two-quarterback positions in cash game formats and in tournaments as well.
The cheap quarterback option that has been catapulted into relevance in week 13 is Dru Brown. The former Hawaii quarterback has thrown for over 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in essentially two seasons and now takes over at quarterback with Spencer Sanders allegedly having surgery. It’s hard to predict how Brown will be used, but it’s tough not to expect about 10 carries and 25+ passing attempts in this matchup against West Virginia. At $4,900 it’s hard not to use him in all formats at a large rate. (Please monitor this situation and confirm that Sanders is out and the surgery rumors are true).
One tournament option that is cheaper than the majority already mentioned is Kedon Slovis. He’s been a force under center over his last four games, throwing for 15 touchdowns and 400+ passing yards three times (just like Buechele!). With the receiver group that he has, it comes as no surprise to me that he could be thrust onto the scene and perform well over time. I don’t mind him in cash games because of the talent around him and the implied team total of nearly 40, but I do think that if the running back group gets healthy for this one against UCLA, I could see him finding the end zone less than normal.
Two names that intrigue me in tournaments at cheaper costs include Jarret Doege and Tommy DeVito but at very low rates of usage. Doege received his first start of the season last week and threw for three touchdowns at Kansas State, which impressed many. His implied team total sits in the mid-20s, and Oklahoma State has been impressive against the pass recently intercepting three passes in each of its last three games. Tommy DeVito really was a guy I was excited to watch this season, but he has severely disappointed. He’s battled some injuries but really hasn’t been all that great under center for Syracuse. That whole team has been disappointing, unfortunately. He’s picking up steam a little bit with five touchdown passes in his past two games, so I’m roped in enough to use him in large entry tournament formats but nothing more than that.
A few other tournament options include Charlie Brewer (implied team total in the high 20s and has been very effective on the ground this season) and Dillon Gabriel (can’t not use the UCF quarterback at least a little considering their offense and explosiveness).
Coming into this slate, there’s no question who the top back is, it’s Chuba Hubbard. The man has continued his tear in 2019, this week coming off of a game where he only ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Oklahoma State is a touchdown favorite with an implied team total in the low to mid-30s, which means there’s no reason for him not to see 20+ carries like he has in every FBS matchup. While he comes at a heavy cost, barring injury he’s a near-lock for 100+ rushing yards and two touchdowns against West Virginia.
While Breece Hall didn’t have a huge fantasy game last week, he still ran for over 100 yards on 24 carries. Both of those numbers are encouraging and going into his matchup against Kansas, I’m intrigued to see more. With an implied team total of 41, it’s hard to imagine a world where Iowa State comes close to that number without Hall having a major impact and scoring at least once. I still believe there is a world where Hall and Purdy can coexist in the same lineup, so I won’t be limiting lineups to just one of them. I also encourage you to find room for at least one of them in the majority of your lineups.
JK Dobbins is very similar to Hall in that he’s a back I really don’t mind using with his quarterback, Fields. He has two touchdowns in four straight and finally has a matchup where the spread isn’t an enormous number. In games where Ohio State wasn’t a massive favorite this season, Dobbins has put up lines of 20/163/2 (and 3/58/0 through the air against Wisconsin), 24/172/1 (Michigan State), 24/177/0 (Nebraska), and 17/141/2 (Cincinnati). We should see a ton of Dobbins against Penn State and at a price tag of $7,700 on DraftKings, I’m a huge fan of him in all formats.
Kenny Gainwell actually rates as our third best back on the slate, but I apologize for not having a ton of confidence in him with Patrick Taylor Jr. nearing full strength. Both are electric players but at Gainwell’s price, there’s no way I’m using him in anything more than a few large entry tournament entries. Unfortunately for us when building projections, it’s impossible to gauge what will happen in their backfield and it’s best practice to go off of the numbers rather than gut feel. I can see more information coming to us Saturday morning so be aware of this Gainwell/Taylor situation as one of the biggest of the weekend.
Rounding out the top five is Javian Hawkins and with a price tag of $5,500 on DraftKings, expect a whole lot of him when using the optimizer. The Cardinals have an implied team total in the mid-30s, Hawkins has averaged just under 20 carries per game in 2019, and Syracuse is a below-average run defense (94th in yards allowed and Maryland/FSU/Boston College each scored 5+ against them on the ground). It doesn’t feel like the best move to go HAM on Hawkins, but I’m going to have him as one of my highest owned backs in all formats across both sites.
There are six options at running back that really separate themselves from the rest of the pack and the last of the six is Xavier Jones. Jones had a monster game against East Carolina a few weeks back, scoring three times and rushing it 20 times for 157 yards. I still believe that you should either go Jones or the SMU passing game because hoping for 50+ points is unrealistic. His price is very similar to JK Dobbins and higher than Breece Hall on DraftKings, so he’ll be considered more of a third or fourth option of the expensive guys at running back this weekend there. On FanDuel the running back options at the top are thin, but I still would prefer to look elsewhere like Jonathan Taylor at only $1,000 more who has a much higher floor and ceiling.
Two other value options that will pop this weekend are Darius Bradwell and Stephen Carr. We’ve already talked about their quarterbacks and high implied team totals, but individually, both have reasons to be used in tournament entries. Bradwell has been banged up this season, but Tulane has used him in large doses multiple times this season including last week when he ran 18 times for 63 yards and a touchdown. For Carr, he’s likely in a little bit of an RBBC, but has some upside considering where their implied total sits.
When going up a little bit in price, guys like Jordan Cronkite and Greg McRae really intrigue me in tournaments. I suspect both will be low owned, but both have a huge upside. USF’s offense started off very rocky but has come around a little bit in recent weeks. While they’re not scoring a ton, Cronkite has rushed 17+ times in four of his past six games. The Memphis defense is middle of the pack against the run (4.10 ypc in 2019) but has given up big games this season. McRae, on the other hand, is a part of an explosive offense and is coming back from an injury that sidelined him for maybe a month or so. He was the starting back before the injury and even giving him just 28% of carries nets him 12 on the day against Tulane. I would sprinkle him into your lineup in some large entry tournaments considering he’ll likely be very low owned and has upside considering their offense.
A few last guys I want to touch on include Hassan Haskins (cheap on both sites, scored last week, and Michigan will divert back to controlling the game with the rushing attack against Indiana) and Otis Anderson (the other UCF back to look at who has played great in McRae’s absence).
There should be no doubt as to who the top receiver is this weekend with SMU on the slate. James Proche has been a monster this season even more so with Reggie Roberson out with an injury. In his past four games, he has seen 14, 16, 18 and 19 targets and there are no signs of it stopping. His price is very affordable at $7,700 on DraftKings and $9,400 on FanDuel, making him an elite cash and tournament game option.
Gabriel Davis comes in at the second position this weekend, but you’re likely not going to get a ton of him in your lineups. While he has seen 10.9 targets per game in 2019, his price is high enough where the optimizer gravitates to Hubbard and Proche for the extra cost therefore not leaving you with the ability to roster a third guy in their price range at RB/WR. Davis should see lower ownership because of this and is a great tournament option. I wouldn’t get cute in cash games but certainly understand going Davis as a pivot from Proche in some entries.
Devin Duvernay is in the same boat as Davis, costing the same price on DraftKings and near the same cost on FanDuel but not projecting near the same as Hubbard or Proche. If Collin Johnson misses another game then I would put Duvernay over Davis and consider him a great option in all formats but until then it’s tough to want to use him at high levels and instead of Proche/Hubbard. Johnson is a guy I definitely want to consider in all formats assuming he is in on Saturday. His price is $1,700 lower on DraftKings and $1,500 on FanDuel than Duvernay even though he’s averaging only 1.1 targets less per game than him on the season.
The optimizer is really high on a good bit of receivers in the $5-6k range on DraftKings including Johnson who I’ve already discussed. As I said, I’m a huge fan of Johnson in all formats and the two other guys in this range that fall into that category include Tutu Atwell and Dillon Stoner. Atwell is seeing 8.4 targets per game and has gone for 100+ yards and a touchdown in three straight games. Syracuse is not a defensive threat by any means so have no fear rostering him in all formats come Saturday. As for Stoner, I rank him third of this group only because there is some quarterback question marks surrounding Spencer/Brown and the fact that while he’s the top target very clearly for their offense now, he has yet to see more than eight targets in a game.
Looking at mid-range options out there for you to roster the big names I’ve already discussed, two that I really want to look at include Kylen Granson and Darnell Mooney. Granson has seen an uptick in targets since the Roberson injury, generating 6, 7, 9 and 8 targets in his past four. The crazy thing is that he’s scored seven times during that stretch (23.3% of the time). I like him in all formats but likely will only use Granson with Proche in lineups that are stacking Buechele. Mooney is the top target for McMillan and the Tulane offense, seeing 6.3 targets per game and 7+ in four of his past five games. I see him as a low owned tournament option with some good upside.
Michael Pittman Jr. becomes an elite play if Tyler Vaughns doesn’t see the field on Saturday. Vaughns left last game with an injury and while we have him as playing against UCLA, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to see him sit out. Pittman is an expensive option but is already seeing a huge amount of targets this season. He’s seen 12+ targets in three straight (9.9 targets per game on the season) and would be a lock for double digits if Vaughns was out. He’s viable in all formats but even more so if Vaughns sits.
If you’re looking to use Charlier Brewer or Tommy DeVito in your tournament lineups then you must stack them with their top targets, Denzel Mims and Trishton Jackson. They project nearly identical and have essentially the same price on DraftKings. Both have 30+ fantasy point potential (they’ve done it a combined five times on the season) and both have implied team totals nearing 30. If it was me, I’m definitely using both to stack with their quarterback but as stand-alone options I would use Mims in cash games and Jackson in tournaments.
The super cheap options at receiver just aren’t there with TJ Simmons back from injury, but the guys towards the bottom of pricing that intrigue me include RJ Sneed (five targets per game - solid implied team total) and Ty Fryfrogle/Peyton Hendershot (pending if Whop Philyor plays against Michigan).
When VT plays Pitt this weekend there are two guys I’m definitely going to be targeting in all formats. Hendon Hooker is undefeated as a starter for the Hokies and should easily see double-digit carries as he has in three of his last four games (the fourth being a huge blowout where he had two rushing touchdowns on seven carries). He’s only $8,200 making him a great second quarterback option in all formats. Taysir Mack could see a boatload of targets against VT if Maurice Ffrench is out again. Ffrench has a broken jaw, so we’re projecting him to be out for this one. Last week Mack saw 11 targets against UNC with Ffrench out. His price is just $6,800 which makes him a great value play.
Anthony McFarland Jr. is a pretty decent tournament running back at his $7,100 cost. While he’s been banged up some this season and has seen limited carries as of late, if you’re playing 100+ lineups you almost have to use him once or twice. Other than that, I don’t see myself using anyone else besides maybe Dontay Demus, their top receiver. If Wan’Dale Robinson is out this weekend then Dedrick Mills is an elite option at $7,300. Adrian Martinez has a big upside against a bad Maryland defense and with a high implied team total. Obviously, JD Spielman should be in consideration with him being sub-$8k here as well.
Purdue and Wisconsin both have one player I’m considering but at high amounts. Jonathan Taylor is about as good as they come and even without bonuses impacting scoring, projects to 33 fantasy points on FanDuel. David Bell only has five touchdowns on the season but if Rondale Moore remains out as we project, he could command big target numbers like last week where he saw 19. His high yardage outputs make up for his sometimes limited scoring ability.
Max Duggan is definitely in consideration in all formats but with a price nearing $9,000, I can’t imagine myself using him as much as others. There are definitely reasons to love him like his 13+ carries in five straight games and him coming off of his best throwing performance of the season last week against Texas Tech. Jalen Hurts is the best quarterback on the slate and it’s not even close. He’s projected for 43+ fantasy points and there’s no reason for him not to produce to that level. With CeeDee Lamb potentially out, look at Charleston Rambo to pick up the load in that scenario. Lamb should play and projects as one of the best receivers on the slate but you’re going to want to confirm his status before rolling him out there. With an implied team total in the 40s, there is a lot to like about the OU studs.
With an implied team total in the 50s, it’s no surprise to see LSU players pop this weekend. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is an elite running back option on FanDuel that doesn’t have a ton of high priced guys who pop. Just make sure that he’s starting, as he was seen in a non-contact jersey earlier this week. I wouldn’t worry too much about the blowout with how concentrated their offense is, so I have no qualms recommending Joe Burrow, Justin Jefferson, and Ja’Marr Chase. The one I’m most likely to use of the three is Jefferson since he has the cheapest price tag followed by Burrow. When building lineups I’m going to try to use Hurts along with a cheaper quarterback like Hooker or Duffey, so I don’t see myself using a lot of him even though he’s a solid option.
We get two affordable quarterback options in Skylar Thompson and Jett Duffey in the KSU/Texas Tech game, both coming in below $9,000. Duffey is projected for nearly five more points than Thompson, but what projections tell me is that a game stack between Thompson with Duffey and a receiver or two is a good idea for tournaments. We have a lot of question marks around Texas Tech receivers with TJ Vasher being suspended the past two games and Dalton Rigdon leaving last week’s game with a concussion. If both play then I think you have to target Vasher first then it’s truly a mix of Rigdon, Erik Ezukanma and RJ Turner. Right now we have Rigdon playing and Vasher still out, but a lot can change between now and 7pm Saturday. Ezukanma currently projects the best after seeing nine targets last week and 15 in the past two weeks (most of any receiver) followed by Rigdon and then Turner.
Keep an eye on the Oregon/ASU game because the injury status of CJ Verdell is going to impact the value in this offense. He left last game due to an injury and while we have him as playing as of today, if he’s out then Travis Dye becomes a great option with his $6,600 price tag. Juwan Johnson is the receiver I want to target for them. He’s seen eight targets in back to back games and has really hit his stride since missing the beginning of the season due to injury.
If you have any questions about this slate or daily fantasy college football, in general, feel free to reach out to myself (@RealestChrisKay) or my super-degen partner in crime Christopher Pacheco (@TheNumbers_Guy) on Twitter!
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