College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 9/11/21
From marching bands to upsets, there is nothing quite like starting a Saturday with College Gameday and twelve games on TV at once. College football is back for another normal season following the global pandemic, and while betting college football is always on the table, daily fantasy college football is a unique way to celebrate the monstrous numbers some of these athletes put up during their four-year careers.
In case you’re unfamiliar with how it works, you can check out the rules and scoring on FanDuel, where you can hit the lobby each week to see the full array of slates and contests being offered. As for the basics, your roster consists of a quarterback slot, two running back slots, three wide receiver slots (tight ends are included in this group), and one “Super FLEX” slot. In the “Super FLEX,” you can insert one player from any position, including quarterbacks.
Here, our goal is to help you field a roster full of fantasy points, and we’ll use numberFire’s in-house projections, betting totals, and advanced statistics to tackle main slates all the way to the College Football Playoff. Because of limited information, college football can feel like a throwback to before advanced statistics became more widely available in the NFL. However, there is still value in finding the volume to target on a given slate.
Let’s break down which star players are in great spots, as well as identify some players with lower salaries who will provide value to get to them.
KJ Jefferson ($9,900): Quarterback is a central focus on any college football slate, but especially on a 14-game slate with minimal conference play. With that being the case, there is a wide variety of game environments different players will compete in on Saturday. KJ Jefferson, though, is in an optimal one for a high-salary gunslinger. Jefferson’s Arkansas Razorbacks are a 7.5-point underdog at home against the Texas Longhorns. Jefferson had 89 yards rushing last Saturday to easily dispense Rice, and although not a stellar, efficient passer, he should be forced to try more than 21 times against Texas.
Will Rogers ($9,500): My word, the Dak Prescott days for Mississippi State are gone. Will Rogers chucked it 47 times against Louisiana Tech in a game far closer than it should have been, but it speaks to the pass-heavy nature of the offense this season. Rogers averaged a solid 7.9 yards per attempt, as well as a stellar 83% completion percentage. His rushing leaves some to be desired, but he is inside arguably the best environment of the day as just a half-point favorite over North Carolina State, with a total of 55.5 in the contest.
Anthony Brown ($8,000): Brown’s Oregon Ducks are the toughest read of the slate as 14.5-point underdogs at Columbus to take on Ohio State. While that spread is large, the 12th-ranked Ducks obviously have talent and playmakers despite the tough task. If they keep it close, with their reduced salaries, they should be tremendous DFS plays. Anthony Brown is the catalyst behind that, with dual-threat upside that resulted in 40 total rush and pass attempts in last week’s win over Fresno State. He will be hard-pressed to repeat a 136.5 passer rating from last week, but the talent was on display against lower competition.
Others to Consider: D’Eriq King ($10,200), Holton Ahlers ($8,300), Conor Bazelak ($7,400)
Jo’qauvious Marks ($9,400): Rogers and Marks make for an interesting stack. Many base college football stats only show carries and catches, which might hide the fact that Jo’quavious Marks saw 12 targets, which led all running backs on the slate with a game played in 2021. Marks’ passing catching ability makes him elite, but he is the lead rusher as well if Mississippi State decides to take the air out of the ball in what profiles to be a high-scoring contest.
Ricky Person Jr. ($8,600): Person Jr. is the latest reason why a game stack of Mississippi State and the NC State Wolfpack is my favorite opportunity, personally. Person turned 16 carries into 105 yards last week and also added 3 targets while scoring a touchdown through the air. His pass and run game upside makes him the firm lead back in NC State’s offense, and he should see far more attempts this weekend, with Mississippi State keeping pace far better than South Florida did in a 45-0 beatdown.
LD Brown ($7,600): Brown’s salary is fair considering his environment, as the Oklahoma State Cowboys are 12.5-point favorites over Tulsa with just a 50.5 total for the game. However, his production is far closer to that of his high-salary counterparts. Brown saw just 15 carries against Missouri State, but his next highest competitor only saw 6. He also was targeted three times, which provides upside in both the pass and run game. OKST definitely prefers to pass, but Brown should see one of his higher carry totals of the season as a substantial favorite.
Others to Consider: Tyler Badie ($9,700), Zonovan Knight ($8,000), Richard Newton ($6,700), MarShawn Lloyd ($6,500)
Cade Otton ($7,800): In this house, we spend down at wide receiver, typically. For instance, Ainias Smith ($9,500) is a fantastic player, but as a 16.5-point favorite at Colorado, his afternoon could be cut short without scoring or receiving a typical workload. Cade Otton may allow for us not to choose between top-level production and salary. Otton saw 11 targets and caught 8 of them for 82 yards in the Washington Huskies‘ embarrassing opening loss to Montana. Otton is a tight end, so his overall yardage upside may be capped, but it also should mean his 6’5″ frame is useful in the red zone. Even despite the loss, Washington is just a 6.5-point underdog to Michigan, and Otton will need a big day should the Huskies compete.
Makai Polk ($6,500): What is a game stack without a pass catcher as well? Polk joins his Mississippi State teammates in the helper at a substantially lower salary — and for good reason. He caught all 10 targets thrown his way by Will Rogers last week, and Jo’quavious Marks at tailback was the only other Bulldog that saw more than 5. There is a realistic argument Polk should be north of $8,000 in this environment with his Week 1 market share in tow, but he is available at a tremendous salary to round out the stack.
Bryson Green ($5,300): Oklahoma State’s Week 1 market shares were fairly evenly distributed, but their salaries entering Week 2 are not. Tay Martin ($8,200) is not poor value at his salary after seeing 10 targets last week, but Bryson Green’s 8 targets will absolutely work at a much lower salary. The risk of a blowout impacts Martin far more than Green or Brennan Presley ($6,100), who saw 7 targets himself in Week 1. The latter two could easily pay off their salaries in just the first half with touchdowns.
Others to Consider: Tay Martin ($8,200), Jordan Addison ($8,000), Treylon Burks ($7,500), Jalin Hyatt ($6,600), Brennan Presley ($6,100), Sam LaPorta ($5,600), Daniel Jackson ($4,500)