College Football Saturday: FD/DK Main Slate
Kentucky @ Auburn -7.5 O/U 49.5
Florida -13.5 @ Mississippi O/U 57
Kansas State @ Oklahoma -28 O/U 61
Georgia Tech -7.5 @ Syracuse O/U 52.5
Notre Dame @ Wake Forest ——-*CANCELLED*
Louisville @ Pittsburgh -3 O/U 55
Mississippi State @ LSU -16.5 O/U 56.5
West Virginia @ Oklahoma State -6.5 O/U 51
Texas -17 @ Texas Tech O/U 71
Army @ Cincinnati -13 O/U 45
Duke @ Virginia -5.5 O/U 45.5
Georgia -28 @ Arkansas O/U 53
Iowa State -2.5 @ TCU O/U 44
Alabama -28 @ Missouri O/U 56
Florida State @ Miami -11.5 O/U 53.5
Tennessee -3.5 @ South Carolina O/U 43.5
Kentucky (21 Implied Team Total)
Terry Wilson ($7.7k FD/$5.3k DK) starts at QB for the Wildcats. The senior started 2 games last season before sustaining a season ending injury which eventually led to the Lynn Bowden show at QB. The dual threat signal caller completed 33/52 passes for 360 yards and 2 TDs while also running for 44 yards and 1 TD on 17 carries last season. Wilson posted game averages of 145.3 passing yards, 42.1 rushing yards, and 1.15 total TDs in 2018. He threw 8 interceptions in 13 games back in 2018. Back in 2018 with Wilson at the helm, the Wildcats offense was extremely run-heavy (64.4/35.6 run-pass split) and averaged 64 plays per game.
AJ Rose ($7.4k FD/$5.2k DK) starts at RB with Chris Rodriguez ($6.5k FD/$4.7k DK) OR Kavosiey Smoke ($6.2k FD/$4.8k DK) listed as the backup. All 3 RBs saw significant action in 2019 which I’d assume will be the case this season which hurts each of their individual DFS appeal. Rose is the Wildcats top returning rusher as he ran for 826 yards and 6 TDs on 149 carries last season. Smoke ran for 616 yards and 6 TDs on 101 carries while Rodriguez turned 71 carries into 533 rushing yards and 6 TDs. Rose is the best bet to contribute to the passing game after catching 11 passes for 67 yards last season (Smoke/Rodriguez combined for 3 receptions in 2019). Combine the RB by committee approach and Auburn’s historically good run defense and this an avoid spot for me. Auburn only surrendered 10 rush TDs in 13 games last season.
The starting WRs are Josh Ali ($6.9k FD/$4k DK), Allen Dailey ($6.3k FD/$3.7k DK), Bryce Oliver ($6.7k FD/$3.8k DK), and Clevan Thomas ($6.5k FD/$3.3k DK). Both Ali and Thomas were full-time starters last season while Dailey and Oliver saw significant action last season. Ali led the Wildcats in targets (50), receptions (23), and TD receptions (3). He had 233 yards in receiving last season in 13 games. Dailey caught 7 passes for 75 yards (0 TD) in 2019 (13 games). Oliver (9 games) posted 6/111/1 on 12 targets last season while Thomas (12 games) caught 11 balls for 99 yards and 1 TD on 16 targets. While this group should be more involved this season since Wilson is back at QB (and not Lynn Bowden), they will be TD dependent since Kentucky LOVES to run the ball. I don’t think we need to consider any Wildcats pass catchers on this large Saturday slate (Auburn allowed 21 pass TDs in 13 games in 2019).
Justin Rigg ($5.2k FD/$3.7k DK) will start at TE. Rigg had 11 receptions and 128 receiving yards on 21 targets in 13 games last season.
In 2019 (13 games), Kentucky was 2nd in passing yards allowed with 167.8 yards/game. They were 64th in rushing yards allowed with 156.8 yards/game. The defense gave up 21 TD on the ground (1.62 TD/game) and 9 TDs through the air (.69 TD/game) last season.
Auburn (28.5 Implied Team Total)
Dual threat Bo Nix ($8.8k FD/$7.3k DK) enters his second season as Auburn’s starting QB. As a freshman, Nix posted game averages of 195.6 passing yards, 24.1 rushing yards, and 1.77 total TDs (6 INT in 2019). Nix’s 7 rush TDs last season was 2nd amongst Auburn ball carriers. The Auburn signal caller accounted for at least 1 TD in every game a season ago. He’s a fine play as he should take a significant leap from year 1 to year 2. The Auburn offense favored the run (58.1/41.9 run-pass split) last season and averaged 72.9 plays per game.
Shaun Shivers ($8.2k FD/$4.4k DK) is likely to start at RB with DJ Williams ($7.7k FD/$5.8k DK) entering 2nd off the bench. Reportedly, Tank Bigsby ($4.5k FD/$3k DK) has the highest upside amongst the RB rotation and will likely enter 3rd off the bench. Shivers ran for 286 yards and 3 TDs on 55 carries in a reserve role last season. Williams ran for 400 yards and 2 TDs on 84 carries a freshman. Bigsby, a 5-star recruit, is expected to seize the starting role at some point this season. However, for this week’s sake, Shivers is likely to lead the backfield in touches. The matchup with Kentucky favors the Tigers’ running game. Further complicating the RB picture is that the RBs are likely to lose carries to QB Nix. Nix averaged 7.5 rushing attempts last season. The Wildcats allowed 156.8 rushing yards last season and surrendered 21 rush TDs in 13 games. The Wildcats pass defense was their strength last season as they were beaten for a paltry 9 TDs in 2019.
Auburn returns a productive and experienced set of WRs from last season. Seth Williams ($8.5k FD/$6.5k DK) and Shedrick Jackson ($5.8k FD/$3.9k DK) will man the outside WR spots with Anthony Schwartz ($7.7k FD/$5k DK) OR Eli Stove ($6k FD/$4.5k DK) will line up in the slot. Williams led the Tigers in all relevant receiving stats last season. The sensational pass catcher caught 59 of 107 targets for 830 yards and 8 TDs in 12 games last season. He caught at least 4 balls in 10 out of 12 games in 2019. Jackson played in 9 games last season and made 5 starts. In 2 full seasons at Auburn, he 4 receptions for 46 yards. Meanwhile, Stove posted 37/321/3 on 53 targets as a junior last season. He’s a tough roster as he topped 50 yards receiving in only 1 out of 13 games in 2019. Blessed with track star speed Schwartz is a threat in the passing and running games. The versatile WR caught 41 balls for 438 yards and 1 TD on 53 targets in 12 games a season ago. He also ran for 118 yards and 2 TDs on 11 carries. While I favor Williams amongst the Tigers’ pass catcher, Schwartz is a close second.
John Samuel Shenker ($5.1k FD/$4k DK) will start at TE. Shenker played in all 13 games last season which included 5 starts. He totaled 3 receptions, 21 receiving yards, and 1 TD.
In 2019 (13 games), Auburn was 47th in passing yards allowed with 213.8 yards/game. They were 25th in rushing yards allowed with 123.2 yards/game. The defense gave up 10 TD on the ground (.77 TD/game) and 21 TDs through the air (1.62 TD/game) last season.
Florida (35.5 Implied Team Total)
Kyle Trask ($9.2k FD/$7.2k DK) is one of the best QBs in the SEC. He closed out the 2019 season by eclipsing the 300-yard mark in 3 out of the last 4 games. He also attempted 30+ passes in each of the last 8 games. Trask accounted for 29 TDs in 2019 despite backing up Feleipe Franks for the 1st 2 games a season ago. I like him a lot against Mississippi to start the season. The Rebels were blistered by opposing QBs in 2019. They allowed nearly 280 yards passing and surrendered 20 pass TDs in 12 games last season. The Gators offense favored the pass (54/46 pass-run split) last season and averaged 66.5 plays per game.
Malik Davis ($7.5k FD/$4.2k DK) OR Dameon Pierce ($8.4k FD/$5.9k DK) will start in the backfield. Reportedly, it’s likely that a few different RBs will see action early in the season. Davis had a strong freshman season in 2017 but his star fizzled in 2018 and 2019 as he battled injuries. He was limited to 86 yards rushing and 1 TD on 34 carries last season. He’ll look to regain his form from 2017 in which he piled up 526 yards rushing and 2 TDs on 79 carries. Pierce figures to lead the backfield in carries to start the season. The junior was Lamicale Perine’s backup a season ago. Pierce totaled 305 yards rushing and 4 TDs on 54 carries last season.
Jacob Copeland ($7.3k FD/$4.9k DK), Kadarius Toney ($6.8k FD/$5.3k DK), and Trevon Grimes ($8.3k FD/$6.6k DK) will be the starting WRs. All 3 players saw significant action in 2019 and all 3 possess game breaking ability. Copeland recorded 21 receptions, 273 receiving yards, and 2 TDs on 36 targets in 13 games last season. Toney is a versatile weapon in the Percy Harvin mold (small but shifty and extremely fast). The dynamic playmaker posted 10/194/1 on 12 targets in 7 games last season. He also received 12 carries and turned in 59 rushing yards. Lastly, Grimes had 33 receptions, 491 receiving yards, and 3 TDs on 44 targets in 2019. He topped 50 yards receiving in 6 out of 13 games last season. The Gators utilized a deep WR rotation last season which suppressed individual stats. With an inexperienced set of reserve WRs in 2020, I’d be surprised if the Gators utilize 6-8 players WR rotation this season.
Kyle Pitts ($7.7k FD/$5.4k DK) will start at TE. He is the Gators top returning pass catcher from 2019. The future NFL TE had 54 receptions, 649 receiving yards, and 5 TDs on 80 targets. He recorded at least 3 receptions in each of the Gators’ last 12 games in 2019.
In 2019 (13 games), Auburn was 47th in passing yards allowed with 213.8 yards/game. They were 25th in rushing yards allowed with 123.2 yards/game. The defense gave up 10 TD on the ground (.77 TD/game) and 21 TDs through the air (1.62 TD/game) last season.
Mississippi (22 Implied Team Total)
John Rhys Plumlee ($8.5k FD/$6k DK) OR Matt Corral ($8.5k FD/$5k DK) will start at QB for the Rebels in the season opener. Both QBs rotated for the latter half of the 2019 season. Plumlee has monster upside due to his rushing ability. In 9 games last season, the dual threat signal caller threw for 910 yards and ran for 1,023 yards. He accounted for 16 TDs (4 pass/12 rush). He topped 109 yards rushing in 5 games. If we find out he’s starting, he’s an intriguing play despite the tough matchup with Florida. However, it’ll be a downgrade to the WR group since Plumlee’s high-water total in passing was 141 yards. If Corral starts, I’ll avoid him. Lane Kiffin will be making his Ole Miss coach debut so it’s hard to guess which way he’ll go at QB.
Jerrion Ealy ($7.9k FD/$5.5k DK) OR Henry Parrish ($5.5k FD/$3k DK) will start at RB. This group is also affected by the QB decision. If Corral starts, this group can be considered. Ealy ran for 722 yards and 6 TDs on 104 carries last season. The sophomore averaged 14 carries, 98 rushing yards, and .67 TDs over the final 3 games in 2019. Ealy also contributed 20 receptions (24 targets), 172 receiving yards, and 1 TD last season. Parrish will be making his collegiate debut. The 4-star prospect received offers from Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Miami, and Oregon. If Plumlee starts at QB, he’ll take carries from this duo. QB Plumlee is the Rebels top returning rusher from 2019.
Jonathan Mingo ($6.6k FD/$4.2k DK), Elijah Moore ($7.9k FD/$6k DK), and Dontario Drummond ($6.4k FD/$4.2k DK) will start at the WR spots. Moore is a flat-out stud and one of the best WRs in the country. Moore was targeted 115 times (84 more than anyone else), caught 67 passes for 850 yards and 6 TDs in 2019. He was targeted 10+ times in 6 out of 12 games last season. Mingo was the 2nd most targeted Rebel last season. He turned in 12 receptions on 31 targets. He recorded 172 yards receiving and 1 TD in 2019. Drummond posted 13/188/0 on 26 targets (3rd most on the team) last season. Moore is the only WR worth rostering this week.
Kenny Yeboah ($5.9k FD/$3.7k DK) will start at TE. The former Temple Owl recorded 47 receptions, 538 yards receiving, and 6 TDs during his four seasons with Temple.
In 2019 (13 games), Ole Miss was 120th in passing yards allowed with 213.8 yards/game. They were 42nd in rushing yards allowed with 138.5 yards/game. The defense gave up 16 TD on the ground (1.33 TD/game) and 20 TDs through the air (1.67 TD/game) last season.
Kansas State (16.5 Implied Team Total)
Dual threat QB Skylar Thompson ($8.9k FD/$5.7k DK) is hopeful to suit up this week after being banged up in the Wildcats season opener. Thompson threw for 259 yards and 2 TDs in KSU’s 35-31 upset loss to Arkansas State. In 13 games last season, he posted game averages of 178.1 passing yards, 31.2 rushing yards, and 2 total TDs (15 pass TD/11 rush TD). He encounters an Oklahoma defense that was wildly inconsistent last season. In last season’s matchup with Oklahoma, Thompson threw for 213 yards and also ran for 39 yards and 4 TDs (nearly 35 fantasy points). Kansas State’s offense favored the run last season (64/36 run-pass split) and averaged 64.7 plays per game. Will Howard figures to be next in line if Thompson can’t go this week. The freshman also possesses dual threat ability.
Harry Trotter ($7.2k FD/$5k DK) starts at RB will rotate with jitterbug Deuce Vaughn ($6.8k FD/$3.8k DK) backing him up. The senior opened the 2020 campaign with 43 yards rushing and 1 TD on 16 carries (also caught 2 balls for 8 yards). Trotter ran for 263 yards and 3 TDs on 66 carries last season in a reserve role. Vaughn is a tiny guy with a ton speed. He’s a freshman and comes to the Wildcats as a 3-star prospect. He ran for 47 yards and 1 TD on 12 carries in the season opener. He also recorded 24 yards receiving on 1 reception.
Target counts from KSU’s season opener: Briley Moore (6), Chabastain Taylor (6), Malik Knowles (5), Phillip Brooks (5), Harry Trotter (2), Deuce Vaughn (1), Jax Dineen (1), Samuel Wheeler (1), and DJ Render (1). Malik Knowles ($7k FD/$5k DK), Chabastain Taylor ($6.8k FD/$4.7k DK), Wykeen Gill ($6.5k FD/$4.5k DK), OR Joshua Youngblood ($6.2k FD/$4.2k DK) were listed as the starters to open the season. However, Gill and Youngblood missed the season opening upset. It looks both are set to return this week. Reportedly, KSU is set to miss another 10 players or so this week due to COVID contact tracing so we’ll have to monitor that information pre-lock. Regardless, if Gill and Youngblood are back, I’d only consider Knowles. If Gill and/or Youngblood miss this week, Taylor, Knowles, and Brooks would all be in play. Brooks would start in the slot with Knowles and Taylor on the outside. Taylor dropped 4/98/0 in the season opener. His day could have been even bigger as Thompson just missed Taylor for a TD. Knowles, the team’s best WR, was held to 1 reception for 27 yards against Arkansas State. Brooks posted 2/24/1 in the season opener.
Briley Moore ($6.8k FD/$3.8k DK) caught all 6 of his targets for 54 yards and 1 TD in KSU’ season opener. Moore is more of a traditional TE and transferred to Kansas State from Northern Iowa. In 2018, he hauled in 39 receptions for 536 yards and 4 TDs. I’d still rather roster Knowles and Taylor over Moore though.
In 2019 (13 games), KSU was 33rd in passing yards allowed with 202.9 yards/game. They were 76th in rushing yards allowed with 165.5 yards/game. The defense gave up 19 TD on the ground (1.46 TD/game) and 12 TDs through the air (.92 TD/game) last season.
Oklahoma (44.5 Implied Team Total)
Spencer Rattler ($10.1k FD/$8.2k DK), the highly touted and former 5-star recruit, made his 1st college start at QB and promptly eviscerated significantly over-matched Missouri State. Rattler completed 14/17 passes for 290 yards and 4 TDs in one half of football being taking a seat on the bench for the 2nd half. While he only recorded 1 rush yard, he does possess dual threat upside. With a competitive matchup on tap against Kansas State, he’s the top QB on this slate. He should have no problem taking advantage of a KSU defense that was torched by Arkansas State QBs. KSU surrendered 330 yards passing, 5 TDs, and 1 INT in their season opening 35-31 loss. The Oklahoma offense ran 71 plays in the season opener.
With TJ Pledger ($8.4k FD/$5k DK) ruled out prior to kick-off, Oklahoma rolled with Seth McGowan ($7.3k FD/$4k DK) and Marcus Major ($8.1k FD/$6.9k DK) at RB. McGowan was the first RB to receive a carry. He ran for 61 yards and 1 TD while also catching 1 pass for 37 yards and 1 TD. Major led the Sooners in total carries (11). He only ran for 31 yards. If Pledger returns, he’s likely to start at RB though he could potentially be limited if he was one of the players getting over COVID. The junior reportedly had his best preseason camp since enrolling at Oklahoma (2018). If Pledger is still out, it’ll be the McGowan and Major show with Rhamondre Stevenson suspended. McGowan was the #147 in ESPN’s 2020 class. Major missed most of the 2019 season with a knee injury. He ran for 28 yards on 10 carries as a reserve last season. McGowan will likely be more popular than Major in DFS tournaments if Pledger is out which makes Major an intriguing tournament play (on FD, I’d rather take the discount on McGowan on DK though). I will note that the Oklahoma offensive line was in-flux to start the season due to COVID and that is also a concern once again for this week.
Target Counts from the season opener: Charleston Rambo (5), Theo Howard (5), Trevon West (4), Marvin Mims (4), Mikey Henderson (4), Theo Wease (3), Damon Smith (3), Fin Corwin (2), Austin Stogner (2), Seth McGowan (1), Marcellus Crutchfield (1), Marcus Major (1), and Jeremiah Hall (1). Rambo ($9.5k FD/$7.8k DK) is looks like he’ll ascend to the #1 role this season with CeeDee Lamb now playing on Sundays. Rambo dropped 4/80/2 in the season opener against Missouri State. Freshman Marvin Mims ($6.6k FD/$4.9k DK) saw more playing time with Marshall transfer Obi Obialo ($7.4k FD/$4.7k DK) a pre-lock scratch. Mims made a good impression as he dropped 3/80/1 in his first taste of college football. He was a consensus 4-star prospect. Speaking of Obialo, he was slated to start the season opener. He had 81 receptions, 998 receiving yards, and 4 TDs in his Marshall career. Howard ($6.4k FD/$3.8k DK), the former UCLA Bruin, led the Sooners in the season opener with 5 receptions (63 yards receiving, 0 TD). He compiled 107 receptions, 1,271 receiving yards, and 8 TDs in 2017 and 2018 at UCLA. West played almost exclusively in the 2nd half so it’s likely he won’t see a ton of playing time in a competitive game. Lastly, Wease ($7k FD/$3.6k DK) recorded 2 receptions for 44 yards. However, some beat writers are bullish on him and believe he has the ability to replace CeeDee Lamb which is high praise to say the least. With all that said, I’d consider Rambo and Wease and take a wait and see approach with the rest of the bunch.
In 2019 (14 games), OU was 58th in passing yards allowed with 222.4 yards/game. They were 32nd in rushing yards allowed with 134.1 yards/game. The defense gave up 20 TD on the ground (1.43 TD/game) and 27 TDs through the air (1.93 TD/game) last season.
Louisville (26 Implied Team Total)
Micale Cunningham ($10k FD/$8.4k DK) has as much upside as in QB in DFS. The emerging junior is averaging 325 passing yards, 15.5 rushing yards, 3.5 total TDs, and 1 INT through 2 games this season (WKU and MIA). This week’s matchup with Pittsburgh isn’t great. The Cardinals implied team total of 26 is significantly lower than their first two games. Pittsburgh was good against the run in 2019 while they were decent against the pass. Through 2 games, Pittsburgh has only allowed 2 points. However, those games were against Austin Peay and struggling Syracuse team. I think Cunningham makes for a great tournament play because he’ll fly under the radar this week with some more established QBs in better spots. The Cardinals offense is favoring the run (55.5/44.5 run-pass split) and is averaging 78.5 plays per game this season.
2019 Breakout freshman Javian Hawkins ($8.9k FD/$6.7k DK) continues to be a bellcow for the Cardinals out of the backfield. In 2 games, Hawkins has run for 235 yards and 2 TDs on 46 carries. He’s received at least 15 carries in all but one game in young Louisville career. As noted above, Pittsburgh was solid against the run in 2019. They only allowed 12 rush TDs in 13 games last season.
Notable target counts from Louisville’s 1st 2 games are: Dez Fitzpatrick (18), Tutu Atwell (18), Marshon Ford (6), Justin Marshall (6), and Braden Smith (5). Atwell ($9.2k FD/$7.5k DK) is a flat-out stud and one of the best WRs in the country. The speedster has piled up 15 receptions, 192 receiving yards, and 2 TDs. He’s always a good choice on any slate. Fitzpatrick ($8.1k FD/$5.4k DK) is a solid WR in his own right. He has recorded 11 receptions, 184 yards receiving, and 1 TD through 2 games. Marshall ($5.7k FD/$3.7k DK) is the other starting WR. He’s posted 3/48/0 through 2 games. Both Atwell and Fitzpatrick are in play with Atwell being the better play.
Marshon Ford ($6.2k FD/$4k DK) led all ACC TEs with 7 TD receptions last season. He’s a TD or bust candidate. The red zone monster has 5 receptions, 17 receiving yards, and 2 TDs in the 2020 campaign.
In 2019 (13 games), Louisville was 79th in passing yards allowed with 234.2 yards/game. They were 112th in rushing yards allowed with 205.8 yards/game. The defense gave up 27 TD on the ground (2.08 TD/game) and 31 TDs through the air (2.38 TD/game) last season.
Pittsburgh (29 Implied Team Total)
Kenny Pickett ($8.7k FD/$6.5k DK) is an under the radar play this week. Through two games, Pickett has completed 39/56 passes for 492 yards, 3 TDs, and INT. He’s also recorded a rushing TD. The senior will likely throw 35+ times in the matchup with Louisville. In 2 games in 2020, the Cardinals have allowed 4 pass TDs (Pigrome WKU had 1 and King of MIA had 3). Louisville’s defense remains a work in progress after allowing 31 TDs through the air last season.
Vincent Davis ($7.8k FD/$5.4k DK) and AJ Davis ($7k FD/$4.1k DK) are the 2 relevant RBs to know for Pittsburgh. Vincent Davis started for the Panthers in last week’s win over Syracuse. He out-carried AJ Davis 17-11 and out-gained AJ Davis 66-37. Through 2 games, Vincent has 109 yards rushing and 2 TDs on 28 carries while AJ has 61 rushing yards on 16 carries (0 TD). Vincent has also recorded 3 receptions for 35 yards. This is a decent spot for Pittsburgh backfield as Louisville has yielded 2 rushing TDs in each of the 1st 2 games. I prefer Vincent to AJ.
Notable target counts for the Panthers’ pass catchers through 2 games: Jordan Addison (17), DJ Turner (7), Shocky Jacques-Louis (7), and Jared Wayne (6). Addison ($8.3k FD/$6.1k DK), the freshman, had recorded 7 receptions in each of the 1st 2 games. In total, he has 14 receptions, 92 yards receiving, and 1 TD. Turner ($7.4k FD/$5.3k DK), the Maryland transfer, leads the Panthers with 124 receiving yards. He has 1 TD reception this season. Jacques-Louis ($6.6k FD/$4.7k DK), the diminutive speedster, has 4 receptions for 95 yards in 2 games. While he hasn’t received a carry yet this season, Shocky received 20 carries in his 1st two seasons at Pittsburgh. Lastly, Taysir Mack ($8k FD) is questionable after missing the 1st 2 games (top returning WR from 2019).
In 2019 (13 games), Pitt was 34th in passing yards allowed with 204.5 yards/game. They were 12th in rushing yards allowed with 108.5 yards/game. The defense gave up 12 TD on the ground (.92 TD/game) and 19 TDs through the air (1.46 TD/game) last season.
Georgia Tech (30 Implied Team Total)
Highly touted freshman Jeff Sims ($6.3k DK) is averaging 260.5 passing yards, 73 rushing yards, and 1.5 total TDs (2 INT) through 2 games. After starting off with Florida State and UCF, Sims steps into a phenomenal spot as the Yellow Jackets travel to Syracuse. The Orange surrendered 518 yards passing and 4 total TDs to opposing signal callers in their 1st two games this season (UNC and Pitt). In 2 games this season, the Yellow Jackets offense is favoring the run (54.2/45.8 run-pass split) and is averaging 77.5 plays per game.
All ACC runner Jordan Mason ($8.2k FD/$6k DK) received 14 carries but only managed 55 yards rushing against FSU in the season opener. He missed last week’s game and is presumed out since he’s not listed on the “above the line depth chart.” If he misses this week, former 4-star recruit Jahmyr Gibbs ($5.4k DK) is a good bet to lead the backfield and would make for an excellent play. Gibbs showed off his versatility in last week’s loss to UCF. The freshman ran for 66 yards and 1 TD on 15 carries while also hauling in 4 passes for 60 yards and 1 TD. This is a plus spot for the Yellow Jackets backfield. Syracuse surrendered 160 yards rushing and 3 TDs in their season opener to UNC; they also allowed UNC RBs to pile up 7 receptions for 82 yards. They fared better against Pittsburgh (127 yards rushing and 1 TD). I will note that Pittsburgh loves to air it out so I wouldn’t be swayed away from rostering Gibbs (or Mason if he plays).
Notable target counts through 2 games: Jalen Camp (12), Malachi Carter (10), Ahmarean Brown (9), Jahmyr Gibbs (6), and Marquez Ezzard (5). Camp ($4.5k DK) has 7 receptions (tied for team high) for 84 yards (leads team) this season. Carter ($4.9k DK) has posted 7/77/1 but QB Sims is posting a 125.8 passer rating when targeting Carter (only 45.1 when targeting Camp). Brown ($4k DK), the Yellow Jackets top pass catcher in 2019, has struggled to get on the same page with QB Sims. He’s only caught 4 out of 9 targets for 36 yards (0 TD). I’d have to think it’s only a matter of time before Brown gets going. The talented WR had 7 TD receptions in 2019. Him and Carter will both carry little ownership on this slate and make for interesting tournament plays. Lastly, Ezzard ($3.6k DK) has four receptions and 78 yards receiving. The former Miami player is a speedster but he’s a TD or bust roster in DFS.
In 2019 (12 games), GT was 36th in passing yards allowed with 207.7 yards/game. They were 117th in rushing yards allowed with 215.3 yards/game. The defense gave up 27 TD on the ground (2.25 TD/game) and 18 TDs through the air (1.5 TD/game) last season.
Syracuse (22 Implied Team Total)
Tommy DeVito’s ($6.6k DK) 2020 season has started just like the 2019 season ended. He’s struggling mightily while also losing time to the backup QB (Rex Culpepper). DeVito has completed 22/46 passes for 0 TD and 1 INT. He’s been sacked an astounding 14 times in 2 games. I have no interest in him. Culpepper ($5.5k DK) has seen action in both games this season. He’s completed 7/16 passes for 110 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. He’s also recorded -1 rushing yards. In theory a matchup with Georgia Tech is a good thing for a QB. The Yellow Jackets were torched for 417 yards and 4 TDs by UCF’s Dillon Gabriel last week. However, UCF’s QB and offensive line are light years better than Syracuse’s offensive line and QBs. The Syracuse offense is favoring the run (52.7/47.3 run-pass split) and is averaging 65.5 plays per game.
Jahwar Jordan ($4.9k DK) is Syracuse’s starting RB. He’s been bottled up through 2 games this season. The freshman has compiled 66 yards rushing on 27 carries. The positive news is that he has received 21 more carries than his backup (Markenzy Pierre) already this season.
Notable target counts for Syracuse pass catchers through 2 games: Taj Harris (20), Anthony Queeley (10), Nykeim Johnson (9), and Aaron Hackett (1). Harris ($6k DK) is easily the best WR on the Syracuse roster. Despite shoddy QB play, the junior has 8 receptions, 136 receiving yards, and 1 TD this season. Queeley ($4.5k DK) appears to be the second-best option in the passing game. The sophomore has 7 receptions for 55 yards (0 TD). Nykeim Johnson ($4k DK) is an uninspiring possession WR and he has compiled 5 receptions for 25 yards this season. Harris is a solid option and the only Orange pass catcher I’m considering. If the QB play improves, he could post a monster box score.
Aaron Hackett ($3.2k DK) is a TD or bust play. He caught 23 passes for 205 yards and 6 TDs on 27 targets in 12 games last season.
In 2019 (12 games), Syracuse was 110th in passing yards allowed with 262.5 yards/game. They were 109th in rushing yards allowed with 201.6 yards/game. The defense gave up 26 TD on the ground (2.17 TD/game) and 21 TDs through the air (1.75 TD/game) last season.
Mississippi State (20 Implied Team Total)
Mike Leach will take his famous Air Raid offense to the SEC. Former Stanford transfer KJ Costello ($8k FD/$5.9k DK) will start for the Bulldogs at QB. QBs under Leach have notoriously put up monster stats. In Leach’s offense last season, 1st year starter Anthony Gordon threw for 5,579 yards, 48 TDs, and 16 INT. While Costello will be hard pressed to approach those numbers (as the SEC is a superior conference to the PAC 12, especially defensively) he is in a great spot for DFS purposes this season. Leach’s QBs have averaged nearly 52 pass attempts per game in the last 2 seasons. Based on volume-alone, Costello is a solid play even with Mississippi State carrying an unimpressive 20 implied team total.
Star RB Kylin Hill ($8.8k FD/$6.8k DK) spurned the NFL to return to Mississippi State for his senior season. The senior complied 1,350 rushing yards, 180 receiving yards, and 11 total TDs last season. While the number of carries (242 carries in 2019) will decrease this season, he should see a significant increase in targets out of the backfield. Leach’s RBs recorded 86 receptions and 83 receptions in the last two seasons, respectively. Hill is not likely to find success against LSU’s run defense as Tigers limited opposing backfields to 120.8 rushing yards per game. They also ceded only 19 TDs in 15 games via the ground game a season ago. However, his expected increased involvement in the pass game keeps him viable despite the difficult matchup.
Malik Heath ($7k FD/$3k DK) OR Cameron Gardner ($6.1k FD/$3k DK), JaVonta Payton ($6.2k FD/$4k DK), Austin Williams ($6.9k FD/$3.3k DK), and Tyrell Shavers ($7.3k FD/$3.4k DK) are expected to start at the WR spots for the Bulldogs. Head Coach Leach’s offense has always utilized a ton of WRs so we should expect Geor’quarius Spivey, Jaden Walley, and Osirius Mitchell ($7.6k FD/$5.2k DK) to see significant action. In Leach’s last season at Washington State, 7 players had at least 40 receptions including 3 players with at least 78 receptions. Heath is a ju-co 4-star transfer via Copiah-Lincoln Community College. In 2 seasons at CLCC, he recorded 61 receptions, 835 receiving yards, and 7 TDs in 17 games. Gardner is a big bodied WR (6’4”, 220lbs) who appeared in all 13 games last season. He made on start; he caught 1 pass for yards last season. Payton was a highly regarded ju-co transfer. He had 9 receptions, 147 receiving yards, and 0 TDs last season at MSU. Austin Williams caught 11 balls for 119 yards and 2 TDs in 2019. His hands, size, and precise route running have been praised. Perhaps he’s one of the guys that’ll pile up receptions this season. Shavers is a former Alabama recruit, so he has the pedigree to be a big-time WR. He also beat out MSU’s top returning WR in Osirius Mitchell. Spivey is a 6’4” 240 behemoth at WR. The sophomore started 2 games last season; he finished with 3 receptions for 32 yards in 2019. Walley is a former HS quarterback; the freshman was a 3-star recruit. Mitchell led the Bulldogs last season in receiving yards (430) and TD receptions (6). His 29 receptions was 3rd amongst the pass catchers. Leach has made it known that he plans to play 8 WRs. Needless to say, it’ll be key to pick the right WR(s). I’m considering Shavers, Williams, and Mitchell here (in that order). One thing I will note though is we’ve seen teams struggle mightily in their season openers (SMU, OKST, and ISU to name a few). It wouldn’t be a surprise if MSU really struggles against LSU with a completely new offensive system in place. Lack of a real offseason also didn’t help MSU’s case.
In 2019 (13 games), MSU was 97th in passing yards allowed with 246.8 yards/game. They were 59th in rushing yards allowed with 152.4 yards/game. The defense gave up 25 TD on the ground (1.92 TD/game) and 22 TDs through the air (1.69 TD/game) last season.
LSU (36.5 Implied Team Total)
The defending champs will hardly be recognizable as they take the field for the first time in 2020. Myles Brennan ($9.5k FD/$7.7k DK) will be tasked with replacing the legendary Joe Burrow at QB. Brennan was one of the top QB prospects back in 2017. Despite playing behind Burrow, he should be successful in LSU’s high octane spread offense. In 17 career games as a reserve, the junior has completed 42/70 passes for 600 yards and 2 TDs. He’s in a good spot as the Tigers take MSU which had one of the worst defenses in the SEC last season. The Bulldogs allowed nearly 400 yards of total offense per game to opponents last season. They also surrendered 47 total TDs on defense. The LSU offense favored the pass (52.5/47.5 pass-run split) last season and averaged 72 plays per game.
Chris Curry ($8.3k FD/$7.1k DK) OR Tyrion Davis-Price ($7k FD/$4.5k DK) OR John Emery ($5.8k FD/$4.3k DK) will start at RB. Curry will reportedly start and, if he’s the top RB, there will still be a rotation in the backfield. All 3 guys saw action behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire last season. Davis-Price led the reserves with 295 yards rushing and 6 TDs on 64 carries. Curry ran for 189 yards and 0 TDs on 38 carries while Emery ran for 188 yards and 4 TDs on 39 carries. Curry started in the National semi-final last season with CEH sidelined. He managed to run for 89 yards on 16 carries. The sophomore is a former 4-star recruit. TDP is also a former 4-star recruit. The 230lb back is blessed with 4.5 40-yard speed. Like Curry and TDP, Emery is a sophomore. Emory was one of the nation’s most sought after recruits in 2019. He was the highest rated RB to sign with LSU since Leonard Fournette.
Kayshon Boutte ($6.4k FD/$5k DK), Terrace Marshall Jr. ($9.1k FD/$7k DK), and Racey McMath ($7.3k FD/$5.3k DK) will be the starting WRs. Boutte is a freshman was ranked #52 on ESPN’s 2020 top 300 list. Marshall Jr. should be LSU’s undisputed #1 WR after catching 46 balls for 671 yards and 13 TDs last season. The big bodied junior is major red zone target. Marshall Jr. ended the 2019 season with 5 TDs in the Tigers’ final 3 games. McMath spent 2019 as a reserve. He should have a good rapport with QB Brennan as both guys played together as reserves. He’ll carry significantly less ownership than Marshall Jr. McMath totaled 17 receptions, 285 receiving yards, and 3 TDs.
Arik Gilbert ($5.3k FD/$4.5k DK) will get the start at TE. The freshman is a highly touted recruit from Georgia. The 5-star prospect was 12th on ESPN’s 2020 top 300 list. He figures to be a significant contributor since LSU heavily involved the TE last season (Thad Moss 47/570/4 last season). He’s cheap especially on FD.
In 2019 (15 games), LSU was 59th in passing yards allowed with 222.7 yards/game. They were 21st in rushing yards allowed with 120.8 yards/game. The defense gave up 19 TD on the ground (1.27 TD/game) and 20 TDs through the air (1.33 TD/game) last season.
West Virginia (22.5 Implied Team Total)
Including the season opener, Jarret Doege ($8.4k FD/$6.9k DK) has now made 5 starts as the Mountaineer QB. In those 5 games, Doege completed 98/145 passes for 1,046 yards, 10 TDs, and 3 INT. He’s no real threat to run the ball as he’s recorded -41 rushing yards in those 5 games. The matchup with Oklahoma State isn’t a spot I’m going out of my way to target. Despite allowing a ton of yardage through the air last season, Oklahoma State shut down Tulsa’s spread offense in the season opener. While Tulsa isn’t as talented as WVU, they do have an experienced QB along with 2-3 solid WRs. Oklahoma State held Tulsa’s Zach Smith to 166 yards passing, 1 TD, and 1 INT. Combine that with WVU’s low implied team total (hovering near 22) and I probably won’t roster Doege this week. The WVU offense favored the pass (57.6/42.4 pass-run split) last season and averaged 65.6 plays per game.
Leddie Brown ($9.4k FD/$7.3k DK) is the established starter in WVU’s backfield and, as the season opener showed, is ready to be the Mountaineers’ primary ball carrier. Brown ran for 123 yards and 2 TDs on only 10 carries against Eastern Kentucky. He also scored a TD on his lone reception (15 yards). The matchup with the Oklahoma State run defense is relatively neutral. The Cowboys allowed nearly 160 yards rushing last season. However, they only ceded 18 rush TDs in 13 games. They held Tulsa ball carriers to 3.5 yards per carry in the season opener. This matchup with Oklahoma State will tell us a lot about the state of West Virginia’s offensive line. They struggled mightily last season and a season opening beatdown of EKU is nice but doesn’t answer that important question.
Target counts from the season opener: Sam James (7), Bryce Ford-Wheaton (7), Winston Wright Jr. (4), Reese Smith (4), Sam Brown (4), Sean Ryan (3), Graeson Malashevich (3), Charles Finley (1), Leddie Brown (1), and Alec Sinkfield (1).
The starting WRs listed on the depth chart for this week are Bryce Ford-Wheaton ($7.9k FD/$5.8k DK), Winston Wright Jr. ($5.8k FD/$4.4k DK), Reese Smith ($6.7k FD/$3.6k DK), and Sam James ($8.7k FD/$6.3k DK). Curiously, TJ Simmons (preseason Big 12 2nd team) is listed as the backup to Smith in the slot after Simmons ($7k FD/$4.6k DK) missed the season opener. James is one of the best young WRs in FBS and enters this season with massive expectations after a productive freshman season. James led WVU in receptions (5) and receiving yards (72) in the season opener (1 TD). He’s formed a strong rapport with QB Doege. The sophomore is averaging 6 receptions per game with Doege starting. Ford-Wheaton and Wright Jr. were reserve WRs last season. Ford-Wheaton posted 4/67/1 in the season opener while Wright Jr. posted 3/31/0. Smith will man the slot after recording 4 receptions for 32 yards against EKU. He’s a freshman and came to WVU as a 3-star prospect.
TJ Banks ($5.1k FD/$3k DK) OR Mike O’Laughlin ($6k FD/$3.5k DK) will start at TE. Banks saw action in the final 4 games last season, and he was used sparingly (0 receptions). O’Laughlin caught 6 passes for 24 yards on 10 targets in 12 games last season (0 TD). These guys are TD or bust plays. The TE position in WVU’s spread offense is largely ignored. Neither TE caught a pass in the season opener.
In 2019 (14 games), WVU was 88th in passing yards allowed with 239.9 yards/game. They were 69th in rushing yards allowed with 159.4 yards/game. The defense gave up 20 TD on the ground (1.67 TD/game) and 20 TDs through the air (1.67 TD/game) last season.
Oklahoma State (29 Implied Team Total)
Spencer Sanders ($9.1k FD/$6.4k DK) sustained a foot/ankle injury early in the season opener. The Cowboys struggled mightily on offense throughout the game with Tulsa. Reportedly, Sanders was expected to shed his walking boot on Tuesday. It’s likely that we won’t find out if he’s available until the team comes out for pre-game warm ups. If Sanders can’t go again, it’s possible that OSU plays both Ethan Bullock ($6k FD/$6.2k DK) and Shane Illingworth ($8.1k FD/$6k DK). Bullock was awful (8/13 for 41 yards and 1 INT) before he was pulled for Illingworth. Illingworth (a former 4-star prospect) saved the Cowboys from an embarrassing loss as he was able to engineer a few scoring drives late in the game. The freshman completed 4/5 passes for 74 yards (0 TD, 0 INT). The Cowboys offense favored the run (60.8/39.2 run-pass split) last season and averaged 71.1 plays per game.
Star RB Chuba Hubbard ($10.2k FD/$8.7k DK) will start in the backfield with LD Brown ($5.7k FD/$4.2k DK) (221 yards rushing and 2 TDs on 40 carries in 2019) backing him up. Hubbard led all the FBS with 2,094 rushing yards a season ago. The workhorse RB found paydirt 21 times in 2019. He recorded multiple TDs in 7 out of 13 games. Hubbard was stifled in the season opener as he was held to 93 yards rushing on 27 carries. He managed to find the end zone early in the 4th quarter to avoid total DFS failure. Backup Brown recorded 63 yards rushing on 9 carries in the season opener. Oklahoma State will likely ride Chuba for 30+ carries if Sanders can’t go. Brown should see a decent amount of action in that scenario as well. With that said, I’ll feel better rostering Hubbard if Sanders is back. That will keep WVU from stacking the box and, in theory, should give Hubbard more run to operate. Regardless, Chuba is the top RB on the slate.
Target counts from the season opener: Tylan Wallace (5), Dillon Stoner (4), Chuba Hubbard (2), Braydon Johnson (2), Landon Wolf (2), Brennan Presley (1), Jelani Woods (1), and Logan Carter (1).
Tylan Wallace ($8.9k FD/$6.9k DK), Braydon Johnson ($6.4k FD/$4.4k DK), and Dillon Stoner ($7.1k FD/$5k DK) will start at WR for the Cowboys. Tay Martin ($5.5k FD/$4.2k DK) and Landon Wolf ($5.9k FD/$3.4k DK) are amongst the other WRs that should see time in the WR rotation. Wallace managed to post 4/94/0 amidst the shoddy QB play in the season opener. Despite missing 5 out of 13 games last season, the stud WR led the Cowboys in targets (87), receptions (53), receiving yards (895), and TD receptions (8). The ultra-reliable pass catcher recorded at least 5 receptions in every game that he played in last season. Wallace is obviously a great option at WR. If Sanders is unable to go, I do think Tylan makes a for a decent tournament fade. Braydon Johnson was nearly invisible in the season opener (1 reception for 7 yards). He recorded 23 receptions, 491 receiving yards, and 4 TDs on 35 targets in 13 games. Johnson was relatively quiet with Wallace in the lineup last season (221 yards receiving and 2 TDs in the first 9 games of 2019). Slot man Stoner was the Cowboys second leading WR in 2019. He caught 52 passes on 76 targets for 604 yards and 5 TDs. He really took off when Wallace missed the last 5 games. In 9 games with Wallace, Stoner only topped 60 yards receiving 1 time. He was limited to 3 receptions for 14 yards to kick off the 2020 season. In 5 games without Wallace, Stoner crossed the 60-yard receiving threshold 4 times. Martin and Wolf are the 2 reserve WRs of note. For me, it’s Tylan or no one from the WR group.
Jelani Woods ($5.4k FD/$3.3k DK) will start at TE after recording 1 reception for 8 yards in the season opener. The TE is an afterthought in Mike Gundy’s spread offense. Woods recorded 16/112/1 on 20 targets in 13 games last season.
In 2019 (13 games), OSU was 102nd in passing yards allowed with 253.8 yards/game. They were 67th in rushing yards allowed with 158.5 yards/game. The defense gave up 18 TD on the ground (1.38 TD/game) and 23 TDs through the air (1.77 TD/game) last season.
Texas (44 Implied Team Total)
Sam Ehlinger ($10.8k FD/$8.9k DK) put up video-game like numbers in Texas’ season opening 59-3 beatdown of UTEP. The Texas star QB threw for 426 yards and 5 TDs while also adding 12 rush yards. Ehlinger accounted for 39 of the Longhorns’ 58 offensive TDs in 2019. The matchup with Texas Tech doesn’t not get any better for the senior QB. Texas Tech surrendered 572 passing yards and 4 TDs to Houston Baptist’s Bailey Zappe in the Red Raiders season opener. The Longhorns’ offense operated at a nearly 50/50 run-pass split last season and averaged 73.1 plays per game.
Roschon Johnson ($7.8k FD/$5.7k DK) was a surprising starter over Keontay Ingram ($8.5k FD/$6.1k DK) in the Longhorns season opener. Ingram ended up out-carrying Johnson 9-8. The former QB turned RB Johnson ran for 38 yards and 1 TD while Ingram ran for 44 yards. It’s likely these two see a near 50/50 split in touches this week and the two may rotate which RB sees action 1st according to Head Coach Tom Herman. Freshman Bijan Robinson ($3.4k DK) should also see some carries this week. He ran for 38 yards on 5 carries. Ingram and Johnson are in play this week, but their upsides are likely capped since we also must factor in that QB Ehlinger also runs a ton.
Notable target counts from the season opener: Joshua Moore (8), Tarik Black (6), Brennan Eagles (5), Kai Money (4), Marcus Washington (4), Brendan Schooler (3), Cade Brewer (3), Jordan Whittington (3), Bijan Robinson (2), Brayden Liebrock (2), and Paxton Anderson (1).
Tarik Black ($8.1k FD/$6.2k DK) and Joshua Moore ($8.5k FD/$7.1k DK) are the 2 known starters. Jordan Whittington ($4.3k DK) rounded out the starting WRs as he received the start in place of Jake Smith ($6.5k DK) in the season opener. Whittington is out while Smith is questionable this week. He reportedly just started running this week, so I doubt he plays much if he suits up. Brennan Schooler ($6.3k FD/$3.8k DK) is expected to start in place of Whittington/Smith. The former Oregon player posted 2/65/1 in the season opener. It didn’t take Black long to flash his game breaking ability. The former Michigan pass catcher posted 5/80/1 in his first action of 2020. He’s an NFL talent provided he avoids the injury bug. Whittington played RB last season and was used sparingly. He was the 134th recruit nationally in 2019. He caught 2 balls for 45 yards against UTEP. Moore redshirted last season; he appeared in 6 games before a season ending injury in 2018 (7/53/1 that season). He was the #45 overall recruit back in 2018. Moore looks like the real after he eviscerated UTEP in the season opener. The sophomore led all Texas pass catchers with 6 receptions and 127 receiving yards. He found the end zone as well. Despite not starting, Brennan Eagles ($7.6k FD/$5k DK) caught 1 of his 5 targets for 35 yards. He found the end zone on that 1 reception. Ehlinger-Black-Moore should be a popular stack against Texas Tech’s vulnerable defense.
Cade Brewer ($6.3k FD/$4.1k DK) is the starting TE and, like most college TEs, he’s TD dependent for DFS purposes. Brewer posted an impressive 3/40/1 stat line against UTEP in the season opener.
In 2019 (13 games), Texas was 127th in passing yards allowed with 292.5 yards/game. They were 45th in rushing yards allowed with 138.9 yards/game. The defense gave up 13 TD on the ground (1 TD/game) and 28 TDs through the air (2.15 TD/game) last season.
Texas Tech (27 Implied Team Total)
Alan Bowman ($9k FD/$7k DK) will likely make the start for the Red Raiders as they welcome in Texas. Bowman is a talented thrower who missed nearly the entire 2019 season with an injury. The former 3-star prospect completed 38/52 passes for 430 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT in Texas Tech’s 35-33 season opening win over Houston Baptist. He’s eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark in 7 out of his 12 career games. The sophomore has thrown at least 1 TD pass in every game that he’s played in for Texas Tech. There’s a decent chance he chucks up at least 50 passes in this week’s game against Texas. The Longhorns were brutalized through the air last season as they allowed 292.5 passing yards. They were also lit up for 28 pass TDs in 13 games. Texas Tech’s air raid offense ran 95 plays in their season opener (52 pass/43 run). Bowman is a fine choice this week.
The big news here is that emerging star RB Sa’Rodrick Thompson ($8.3k FD/$7k DK) is expected to play despite reports of a traffic arrest over the summer. Thompson ran for 118 yards and 2 TDs on 22 carries in the season opener. He also hauled in 3 passes for 13 yards. The sophomore has found the end zone 14 times over his last 13 games. While Texas was a sieve against the pass last season, they were solid against the run. The Longhorns ceded just 13 rush TDs in 13 games.
Target counts from the season opener: TJ Vasher (10), Dalton Rigdon (8), Erik Ezukanma (8), KeSean Carter (7), Ja’Lynn Polk (5), Sa’Rodrick Thompson (4), Tahj Brooks (2), Trey Cleveland (2), and 4 others with 1 target.
Vasher ($8.2k FD/$5.7k DK) is an extremely talent WR when he plays. He missed 2 games last season with off the field issues. The 6’6” WR is a nightmare for smaller DBs. The senior kicked off his final season in Lubbock, TX with 8/79/0 against Houston Baptist. Ezukanma ($8k FD/$6.8k DK) is emerging star as a sophomore. He posted 4/66/1 in the season opener. He’s averaged nearly 5 receptions per game over his last 5 games, dating back to last season. Rigdon ($6.8k FD/$4.6k DK) is a shifty WR that lines up in the slot usually. He hauled in 5 passes for 46 yards in the season opener. Carter ($7.2k FD/$4.3k DK) is the last WR under serious DFS consideration. He led the Red Raiders with 86 receiving yards in the season opener. He scored on 1 of his 6 receptions. He torched Texas for 11/150/1 in the Red Raiders’ 2019 season finale. I’d rank the WRs: 1) Vasher, 2) Ezunkanma, 3) Carter, 4) Rigdon.
In 2019 (12 games), Texas Tech was 128th in passing yards allowed with 307.8 yards/game. They were 80th in rushing yards allowed with 172.5 yards/game. The defense gave up 24 TD on the ground (2 TD/game) and 21 TDs through the air (1.75 TD/game) last season.
Army (16 Implied Team Total)
QB Christian Anderson ($7.6k DK) has directed Army to a 2-0 start to the season. The Black Knights have outscored their 2 opponents 79-7 (ULM and MTSU). Through 2 games, Anderson has completed 2/7 for 28 yards, 0 TD, and 0 INT. He’s also ran for 149 yards and 3 TDs on 31 carries as the conductor of Army’s triple option offense. The matchup with Cincinnati is a tough spot for the young QB. The Bearcats run defense held opposing backfields to 14 rush TDs and an average of 138.6 rushing yards in 14 games last season. The Army offense averaged 66.8 plays per game in 2019.
Sandon McCoy ($6.4k DK), Jakobi Buchanan ($5.3k DK), and Tyrell Robinson ($3.7k DK) the main ball carriers for the Black Knights. McCoy is the starting FB and that position was responsible for 17 rush TDs in 2019. McCoy has 97 yards rushing and 4 TDs on 25 carries this season. He’s TD dependent or bust which makes him a tough roster considering Cincinnati’s tough run defense. Buchanan’s 139 yards rushing ranks only behind QB Anderson. Buchanan has 2 rush TDs in 2 games this season. Robinson is averaging 10 yards per carry but has only received 12 carries through 2 games.
Cam Harrison ($3.5k DK) and Isaiah Alston ($3.8k DK) are the starting WRs. Army has attempted a total of 7 passes this season. Harrison hasn’t received a single target while Alston leads the team with 3 targets. Alston has 2 receptions for 47 yards this season.
In 2019 (13 games), Army was 5th in passing yards allowed with 178.9 yards/game. They were 73rd in rushing yards allowed with 163.4 yards/game. The defense gave up 21 TD on the ground (1.62 TD/game) and 16 TDs through the air (1.23 TD/game) last season.
Cincinnati (29 Implied Team Total)
Desmond Ridder ($7.9k DK) made quick work of Austin Peay in the season opener. The junior QB completed 13/19 passes for 196 yards and 2 TDs. He also added 57 yards on the ground (4 carries). The dual threat signal caller struggled with injuries for most of the 2019 season. In 13 games last season, Ridder posted game averages of 166.5 passing yards, 50 rushing yards, and 1.77 total TDs (.69 INT). 263 yards passing was his high-water mark last season in any single game. Ridder was the Bearcats 2nd leading rusher last season. Ridder is a fine play but with Army running the triple option offense, they tend to limit the number of plays in any given game. While Army has allowed only 7 points this season, they’ve played 2 of the worst offenses in the FBS to start 2020 so I’m not putting a ton of stock into those stats (ULM and MTSU). Army was good against the pass last season though. They held opposing passers under 180 passing yards. The Cincinnati offense favored the run (62/38 run-pass split) last season and averaged 70.9 plays per game.
The player I like most in this game would be RB Gerald Doaks ($8.1k DK). Doaks scored 3 times in the season opener but was held to 20 yards rushing on 10 attempts. The low yardage total against lowly Austin Peay is slightly concerning. However, he appears to be the guy that the Bearcats will ride in short yardage/goal line situations. Plus he also plays a big part in the passing game (4/64/1 in the season opener). The senior played second fiddle to Michael Warren II last season. However, Doaks still ran for 526 yards and 5 TDs while also catching 8 passes for 70 yards and 1 TD. Physically and stylistically, he draws comparison to Warren II (Warren II ran for 1,265 yards and 14 TDs last season). Jerome Ford ($4.6k DK) is Doaks’ backup and the former Alabama player ran for 28 yards and 1 TD on 7 carries in the season opener. Army’s defensive weakness last season was their run defense. They allowed nearly 165 rushing yards per game and yielded 21 rush TDs in 13 games.
Notable target counts from the season opener: Bruno Labelle (4), Jayshon Jackson (4), Gerald Doaks (4), Josh Wyle (3), Michael Young (3), Jadon Thompson (2), and Leonard Taylor (2).
Alec Pierce is expected to miss his second straight game due to injury (he’s Cincinnati’s top WR). Michael Young ($5.2k DK) is the best bet amongst Cincinnati pass catchers to produce a big day. The former Notre Dame player was a highly regarded HS prospect that hasn’t panned out… yet. Young caught 2 passes for 10 yards in the season opener. Jayshon Jackson should also see an ample amount of playing time as a starting WR. Jackson ($4.9k DK) caught 1 of his 4 targets for 25 yards against Austin Peay. Josh Whyle ($3.8k DK) led the WRs with 61 yards receiving in the first game of 2020 (3 receptions).
Bruno Labelle ($4k DK) looks like the tight end that will be featured in the passing game. He’s trying to fill the massive void left by Josiah Degura (now with the Packers in the NFL). Labelle caught 3 balls for 36 yards in his first action of 2020.
In 2019 (14 games), Cincinnati was 60th in passing yards allowed with 222.8 yards/game. They were 44th in rushing yards allowed with 138.6 yards/game. The defense gave up 14 TD on the ground (.92 TD/game) and 17 TDs through the air (1.21 TD/game) last season.
Duke (20 Implied Team Total)
It’s been a painful start for Chase Brice ($6.2k DK) and the Blue Devils. Duke has scored a paltry 19 points in 2 games this season (ND/BC). Brice really struggled in last week’s 26-6 loss to BC. The former Clemson QB was held to 217 passing yards and 2 INT on 42 attempts. If Duke hopes to win, he’ll have to get going this week against UVA. There is some reason for optimism as UVA was 78th in passing yards allowed last season. They allowed 23 pass TDs in 14 games. The Duke offense favored the run (56.7/43.3 run-pass split) last season and averaged 72.8 plays per game.
The Duke backfield is an avoid spot for me this week. While Deon Jackson ($5.1k DK) (30 carries, 126 rushing yards, and 0 TD this season) has a stronghold on the starting RB job, I’m not interested. UVA was solid against the run last season. They held opposing ball carriers to 138.1 rushing yards last season.
Notable target counts through 2 games: Noah Gray (13), Jake Bobo (13), Jalon Calhoun (11), Eli Pancol (11), Darrell Harding Jr. (8), and Damond Philyaw-Johnson (7).
Jalon Calhoun ($5.3k DK), Jake Bobo ($4.7k DK), and Eli Pancol ($4.2k DK) are the two WRs worth considering. Calhoun led the Blue Devils in receiving yards (420), and TD receptions (4) last season. He’s off to a slow start this season with 6 receptions for 60 yards (0 TD). Pancol is only a sophomore that should improve throughout the season. He has 4 receptions for 86 yards in 2 games this season. Possession WR Jake Bobo has recorded 8/84/0 through 2 games. He’s an uninspiring play despite seeing 13 targets so far this season.
Noah Gray ($6.8k FD/$4.7k DK) is the starting TE. He’s the one pass catcher that seems to have earned QB Brice’s trust. Gray has 10 receptions and 129 receiving yards through 2 games. Brice has posted a 107.5 passer rating when targeting Gray (nearly 27 points higher than any other WR that sees significant action).
In 2019 (12 games), Duke was 24th in passing yards allowed with 199 yards/game. They were 87th in rushing yards allowed with 180.6 yards/game. The defense gave up 19 TD on the ground (1.58 TD/game) and 21 TDs through the air (1.75 TD/game) last season.
Virginia (25.5 Implied Team Total)
Brennan Armstrong ($6.6k DK) will start at QB for the Cavaliers as they host Duke. Armstrong appeared in 5 games last season a reserve. He completed 15/20 passes for 196 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INT. He also ran for 19 yards on 7 carries which shows he may have some dual threat ability. This week’s matchup with Duke is a plus spot. Through 2 games (ND and BC), the Blue Devils have allowed 563 passing yards, 3 TD passes, and 2 INT. The Cavaliers’ offense favored the pass (53.8/46.2 pass-run split) last season and averaged 68.9 plays per game.
Battering ram Wayne Talapapa ($5.6k DK) will start at RB. Big Wayne figures to see more carries this season with dual threat QB Bryce Perkins (last season’s leader in rushing) exhausting his eligibility. The junior typically saw 6-10 carries per game last season. However, he found paydirt 12 times. In total, he ran for 473 yards on 116 carries. While Duke was shredded by Notre Dame’s Kyron Williams in their season opener, they held BC’s David Bailey to 51 yards rushing and 1 TD on 18 carries.
Terrell Jana ($5.6k DK) and Ra’Shaun Henry ($4.4k DK) will be the starting outside WRs while Billy Kemp ($3.7k DK) will start in the slot. Jana is the Cavaliers’ top returning WR. He caught 74 of his 102 targets. He ended the season with 886 yards receiving and 3 TDs. He ended the 2019 season with 4+ receptions in 7 straight games. He’s in great shape to ascend to the #1 receiver role this season. Henry is a graduate transfer from St. Francis (PA). He recorded 90 receptions, 1,118 receiving yards, and 9 TDs in 2019 for the Red Flash. Kemp is interesting due to versatility. The slot man had 35 receptions, 289 receiving yards, and 1 TD on 47 targets in 2019. Kemp racked up 9 receptions for 66 yards in last season’s ACC title game against Clemson.
The one drawback to Virginia is that this is their season opener while Duke has already played 2 games. There’s a decent chance Virginia struggles early in this game, especially with a new starting QB.
In 2019 (14 games), UVA was 78th in passing yards allowed with 233.7 yards/game. They were 40th in rushing yards allowed with 138.1 yards/game. The defense gave up 23 TD on the ground (1.64 TD/game) and 23 TDs through the air (1.64 TD/game) last season.
Georgia (40.5 Implied Team Total)
Will it be D’Wan Mathis ($8k FD/$6.7k DK) or JT Daniels (8k FD/$7.4k DK) behind center to start the season? Daniels was the presumed starter but still hasn’t been medically cleared. Daniels, a former 5-star pro style QB recruit, started USC’s season opener last season before sustaining a season ending injury in that game. Prior to the injury, he had completed 25/34 passes for 1 TD and 1 INT against Fresno State. Mathis, a former 4-star prospect, is intriguing should Daniels not get cleared in time. As a high schooler, Mathis threw for 1,509 yards and 20 TDs while also running for 305 yards. Regardless, which ever guy starts is in a fantastic spot. The Razorbacks had one of the worst defenses in the country last season. They allowed 450 yards of total offense and were bludgeoned for 54 total TDs in only 12 games in 2019. Typically, Georgia loves to run the ball and limit QB throwing attempts. I would not expect more than 20 passes in this game from the Georgia QB. The Georgia offense favored the run (55.9/44.1 run-pass split) last season and averaged 67.1 plays per game.
Zamir White ($8.7k FD/$6.3k DK) and James Cook ($7.5k FD/$5.2k DK) figure to lead RBs in the backfield this season. Both guys impressed in preseason camp. White ran for 408 yards and 3 TDs on 78 carries last season while Cook tallied 188 rushing yards and 2 TDs on 31 carries. Georgia typically rotates RBs so it’s likely that the Bulldogs will split the carries 50/50 between the 2 talented runners. White came to UGA as the top overall RB prospect while Cook is the younger brother of Minnesota Vikings star RB Dalvin Cook. Both guys are viable this week as the Bulldogs will likely turn to the run as they break in a new QB. This might be the best spot the two RBs see all season. Arkansas was stampeded on the ground last season. They allowed 221.5 rushing yards per game and throttled for 29 TDs via the ground.
Future 1st round pick George Pickens ($8.4k FD/$6.4k DK) dazzled as a freshman last season. He led the Bulldogs in all relevant WR statistics. Pickens was targeted 77 times, recorded 49 receptions, piled up 726 receiving yards, and scored 8 TDs. 6 of 8 TDs came over the final 6 games last season. I do think he makes for a better play in Daniels starts at QB since he’s a better passer than Mathis. If Mathis starts, I think Pickens makes for a decent tournament fade. Matt Landers ($6.1k FD/$4.8k DK) OR Jermaine Burton ($5.2k FD/$3k DK) figure to start on the outside opposite of Pickens while Kearis Jackson ($6k FD/$4.3k DK) OR Demetris Robertson ($6.3k FD/$5k DK) figure to start in the slot. Landers is a former high profile recruit; he had 10 receptions, 105 receiving yards, and 1 TD last season as a sophomore. Burton is a freshman and he was the #81 over prospect nationally. Robertson is Georgia’s second leading WR from 2019. He caught 30 of his 50 targets for 333 yards and 3 TDs last season. 61 yards receiving was his season high in 2019. Jackson played sparingly in 2019. The former 4-star prospect had 5 receptions for 79 yards in 11 games last season.
Tre McKitty was supposed to start at TE but is doubtful for the season opener.
In 2019 (14 games), UGA was 31st in passing yards allowed with 201.1 yards/game. They were 1st in rushing yards allowed with 74.6 yards/game. The defense gave up 2 TD on the ground (.14 TD/game) and 16 TDs through the air (1.14 TD/game) last season.
Arkansas (12.5 Implied Team Total)
Feleipe Franks ($7.3k FD/$5.5k DK) will start at QB for the Arkansas Razorbacks as they host Georgia to kick off the 2020 season. Franks started out 2019 as the Florida Gators starter but sustained a season ending injury 3 games into the season. He subsequently transferred to Arkansas. In those 3 starts last season as a Florida Gator, Franks completed 54/71 passes for 698 yards, 5 TDs, and 3 INT. He also tallied 68 yards rushing and 1 TD on 21 carries. While he’s a huge upgrade from Arkansas’ 2019 QB carousel, this is a brutal spot to open the season. The Bulldogs held opposing passers to 201.1 passing yards and they were only beaten for 16 pass TDs in 14 games. No need to consider Franks on this slate. The Razorbacks offense favored the pass (52.7/47.3 pass-run split) last season and averaged 65.3 plays per game.
Rakeem Boyd ($7.9k FD/$6.2k DK) gets the start at RB. The former Last Chance U star was one of the few bright spots in Arkansas’ disastrous 2019 season. The senior ran for 1,133 yards and 8 TDs on 184 carries. He also caught 19 balls for 160 yards. Boyd eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in 2 out of 8 SEC games last season. Unfortunately he encounters a Georgia defense that only surrendered 2 rush TDs in 14 games last season.
The starting WRs are Trey Knox ($6.8k FD/$4.7k DK), Treylon Burks ($6.5k FD/$4.2k DK), and Mike Woods ($7.1k FD/$4.4k DK). All 3 guys have bright futures. Burks led the Razorbacks with 475 receiving yards in 2019. He had 29 receptions on 47 targets in 11 games (0 TD). Knox posted 28/385/3 on 58 targets in 11 games last season. His 6’5” frame should be advantageous in the red zone this season. Woods led the Razorbacks in targets (64) and TD receptions (4). He had 33 receptions for 423 yards in 12 games last season. QBs posted a 86.9 passer rating when targeting Woods, 56.3 pass rating when targeting Burks, and a 72.8 passer rating when targeting Knox.
Hudson Henry ($5.2k FD/$3k DK) OR Blayne Toll ($4.9k FD/$3k DK) will start at TE. The freshman tandem will be tasked with replacing Cheyenne O’Grady (33/372/3 last season). We can safely avoid these guys this week.
In 2019 (14 games), Arkansas was 69th in passing yards allowed with 229.2 yards/game. They were 122nd in rushing yards allowed with 221.5 yards/game. The defense gave up 29 TD on the ground (2.42 TD/game) and 25 TDs through the air (2.08 TD/game) last season.
Iowa State (24 Implied Team Total)
Eeek, what a brutal season opener for the Cyclones. QB Brock Purdy ($9.4k FD) torpedoed a ton of DFS lineups with that ugly performance. Purdy struggled to complete passes as he only completed 16/35 passes for 146 yards and 1 INT. He managed to compile 35 yards rushing on 7 carries. While I’d love to play him this week, the matchup with TCU isn’t great. Purdy accounted for 35 of 51 offensive TDs a season ago. His ownership will be depressed after the Week 1 performance and Iowa State’s 24ish implied team total. The Iowa State offense favored the pass (54/46 pass-run split) last season and averaged 68.9 plays per game.
Breece Hall ($9k FD) managed to scrape out 103 rushing yards and 1 TD on 20 carries in the season opener. Hall also caught 3 passes for 15 yards. The sophomore has received 17+ carries in all 9 of his career starts at RB.
Target counts from the season opener: Xavier Hutchinson (12), Chase Allen (6), Tarique Milton (5), Sean Shaw Jr. (4), Breece Hall (3), Dylan Soehner (1), Landon Akers (1), and Kene Nwangwu (1).
The starting WRs are Tarique Milton ($7.8k FD), Xavier Hutchinson ($6.4k FD), and Sean Shaw Jr ($6.9k FD). Milton was the big play threat last season as he compiled 35 receptions, 722 receiving yards, and 3 TDs. The junior was held in check by ULL in week 1 (3/18/0). Hutchinson is a highly tighted Ju-Co transfer via Blinn College, and Shaw Jr. is a more of a possession WR. Hutchinson’s 12 targets in the season opener backed up the rave reviews by people around the Iowa State football program. However, Hutchinson was only able to bring in 4 of 12 targets for 43 yards. Shaw Jr. saw action in 11 games and he posted 15/231/5 on 23 targets a season ago. He posted a 3/34/0 stat line to kick of the 2020 season.
Charlie Kolar ($7.5k FD) was a surprising pre-game scratch prior to season opener. The Iowa State struggled without him. He’s been described as day-to-day with a lower body issue. If he plays, I probably won’t bother considering him. I’d have to imagine he’d be limited after a short summer camp. Chase Allen ($5.7k FD) was the clear recipient of Kolar missing the game. Allen was targeted 6 times but only caught 2 passes for 31 yards. He’s an ok source of salary relief IF Kolar sits out.
In 2019 (13 games), ISU was 72nd in passing yards allowed with 229.8 yards/game. They were 47th in rushing yards allowed with 139.5 yards/game. The defense gave up 13 TD on the ground (1 TD/game) and 22 TDs through the air (1.69 TD/game) last season.
TCU (21.5 Implied Team Total)
Matthew Downing ($8.3k FD) gets the start at QB even though Max Duggan ($8.3k FD) has been cleared to practice and is available to play. Downing saw limited action in 2019; he completed 8/10 passes for 88 yards and also ran 6 yards on 5 carries. The sophomore is a former 4-star prospect. It appears that Duggan could also play. This should be a good game but lacks major DFS appeal on a large slate. Iowa State held ULL QB Levi Lewis to 154 passing yards and 1 TD in the season opener. The Horned Frogs offense favored the run (56.4/43.6 run-pass split) last season and averaged 75.4 plays per game.
Emari Demercado ($7k FD) is listed a top the depth chart at RB while freshman Darwin Barlow ($7.6k FD) is listed as the #2 RB. Surprisingly, 5-star prospect Zach Evans ($5.5k FD) is listed as the 3rd string RB. In past seasons, TCU has opted to rotate 2 RBs on a regular basis instead of riding a bell cow. Demercado saw action in 4 games last season; he ran for 65 yards on 18 carries. I’m not interested in Demercado; Iowa State held ULL’s talented backfield to 3.4 yards per carry in the season opener. If Evans had won the starting job, I’d have considered him, but this backfield will likely turn into a RB by committee.
Dylan Thomas ($5.8k FD), Taye Barber ($6.8k FD), Pro Wells ($6.2k FD), and Blair Conwright ($4.5k FD) are listed as the starting WRs. Surprisingly, former Nebraska stud WR JD Speilman ($8.2k FD) is listed as a backup to Taye Barber. Breaking in a new QB is never good for WR production and then throw in a tough matchup to start and we can probably move on here. Thomas played sparingly last season as he posted 8/121/1 on 13 targets in 5 games last season. Barber is the Horned Frogs leading returning WR. He managed to record 29 receptions and 372 receiving yards on 50 targets despite playing in only 9 games. Wells is technically TCU’s TE. He was tied with Jalen Reagor for the team lead in TD receptions last season with 5. Wells caught 17 of 28 targets for 196 yards. He’s TD dependent. Conwright rounds out the starters and he was used sparingly in 2019. He caught 3 passes for 25 yards on 4 targets in 3 games last season. Honestly, despite not starting, I believe Spielman is the WR to target on this team. He posted 3 straight 800+ receiving yard seasons at Nebraska. He recorded 15 TDs as a Cornhusker.
In 2019 (12 games), TCU was 27th in passing yards allowed with 199.7 yards/game. They were 39th in rushing yards allowed with 137.3 yards/game. The defense gave up 16 TD on the ground (1.33 TD/game) and 22 TDs through the air (1.83 TD/game) last season.
Alabama (42 Implied Team Total)
Mac Jones ($9.9k FD) will start for the Crimson Tide at QB. The junior started the final 3 games last season after Tua was lost for the season. In those 3 starts, Jones posted game averages of 309 passing yards, 12 rushing yards, and 3.33 TD passes. I like Jones a lot considering he has Jaylen Waddle, Devonta Smith, and Najee Harris as his primary playmakers. The matchup with Missouri isn’t great on paper; Missouri held opposing passers under 180 yards passing per game (allowed 15 TD passes in 12 games). However, Alabama has a sky-high implied team total nearing 42 so I wouldn’t be concerned about the Missouri pass defense. Missouri also projects to be tougher to run on this season as their return several seniors on their defensive line. Jones makes for a great play. The Alabama offense favored the run (51.8/48.2 run-pass split) last season and averaged 64.8 plays per game. While we’ve seen several top 25 teams struggle offensively to start the season, I wouldn’t expect a Nick Saban coached team to suffer the same fate.
Emerging star RB Najee Harris ($10k FD) will start at RB with Brian Robinson ($6.6k FD) serving as the 2nd string RB. Harris is a complete back who contributes to both the passing and running games. The senior ran for 1,224 yards and 13 TDs on 209 carries last season. He also recorded 27 receptions, 304 receiving yards, and 7 TDs on 33 targets. With Jones starting at QB, Harris averaged nearly 22 carries per game. He’ll look to top 100-yards rushing for the 3rd straight game and extend his TD streak to 8 games against Missouri this week. Robinson totaled 441 rushing yards and 5 TDs on 96 carries in 2019. He also caught 11 balls for 124 yards last season. As noted above the matchup with Missouri’s run defense should be difficult but not one, I’d avoid. The Tigers held opposing backfields to 132.8 rushing yards per game last season and allowed 12 TDs in 12 games.
Devonta Smith ($9.8k FD) and John Metchie III ($6.5k FD) will start at the outside WR spots with Jaylen Waddle ($9k FD) manning the slot. Smith led the Crimson Tide in receiving yards (1,259) and TD receptions (14) in 2019. He caught 67 of his 88 targets. In 3 Jones starts last season, Smith had 12 receptions, 230 receiving yards, and 3 TDs on 18 targets. Metchie III played in all 13 games and saw limited time as a reserve at WR. He had 4 receptions for 23 yards last season. The sophomore is a former 4-star prospect who played RB in high school. Waddle tallied 33 receptions, 560 receiving yards, and 6 TDs on 40 targets in 2019. The game changing WR had 8 receptions, 206 receiving yards, and 4 TD receptions in 3 Jones starts last season. Both him and Smith have massive upside and make for outstanding plays on FD this week. Slade Bolden ($6k FD) will back up Waddle in the slot.
Miller Forrestall ($5.4k FD) will start at TE. He’s a TD dependent play; Forrestall recorded 15/167/4 in 2019.
In 2019 (13 games), Alabama was 11th in passing yards allowed with 187.2 yards/game. They were 37th in rushing yards allowed with 137.2 yards/game. The defense gave up 9 TD on the ground (.69 TD/game) and 15 TDs through the air (1.15 TD/game) last season.
Missouri (14 Implied Team Total)
Connor Bazelak ($6.8k FD) OR Shawn Robinson ($6.8k FD) will start at QB. Missouri won’t name a starting QB prior to kickoff and it appears that both QBs may see playing time in the season opener. On a monster 12 game FD slate, there’s no reason to consider either of these guys. Robinson is a transfer from TCU. He does have dual threat upside. While at TCU, Robinson threw for 1,518 yards, 12 TDs, and 8 INT. He also run for 389 yards and 3 TDs. Bazelak is a former 4-star pro style QB recruit (#210 is ESPN’s top 300) and he was Kelly Bryant’s primary backup last season. In limited action last season, the redshirt freshman completed 15/21 passes for 144 yards (0 TD/0 INT). The Tigers offense favored the run (55.9/44.1 run-pass split) last season and averaged 71 plays per game.
Larry Rountree III ($6.6k FD) OR Tyler Badie ($6.8k FD) are both listed as the starter at RB. Both guys split time in 2019 so I’d expect something similar to start this season. ‘Tree ran for 829 yards and 9 TDs on 186 carries last season. He also caught 13 balls for 70 yards. Badie is the better pass catcher amongst the 2 and profiles as the better option this week since Missouri will likely trail throughout the game. He ran for 457 yards and 3 TDs on 108 carries in 2019. The junior led the Tigers in receptions (32). He recorded 356 yards receiving and 5 TD receptions.
Damon Hazelton ($7.5k FD) and Keke Chism ($6k FD) will start at the outside WR spots with Jalen Knox ($6.5k FD) lining up in the slot. Hazelton is the former Virginia Tech WR. He’s a TD threat anytime he touches the ball. The senior topped 500 yards receiving in each of his 1st 3 seasons at Virginia Tech. He found the end zone 20 times as a Hokie. Chism is a big bodied WR blessed with speed. He’s a graduate transfer from Division II Angelo State. In 2019, he posted 60 receptions, 878 receiving yards, and 6 TDs. Knox looked like he was primed to breakout in 2019 after posting 27/419/3. However, he was slowed down last season by horrible QB and injuries. Knox will look to turn it around this season after catching 19 passes for 307 yards and 1 TD last season.
In 2019 (12 games), Missouri was 6th in passing yards allowed with 179.3 yards/game. They were 31st in rushing yards allowed with 132.8 yards/game. The defense gave up 12 TD on the ground (1 TD/game) and 15 TDs through the air (1.25 TD/game) last season.
Florida State (21.5 Implied Team Total)
James Blackman ($8.2k FD) is likely to start against the Hurricanes in this week’s rivalry game. Blackman struggled in the season opener as the Seminoles fell 16-13 to Georgia Tech at home. The junior completed 23/43 passes for 198 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. He also recorded 13 rushing yards on 9 attempts. The concerning part is that he lost time to dual threat QB Jordan Travis ($6.5k FD). The spot is decent if you trust Blackman as the Hurricanes have been vulnerable via the air so far this season. In 2 games, they’ve allowed 512 passing yards and 4 TDs to opposing QBs. The Seminoles ran 80 plays on offense in the season opener.
Jashaun Corbin ($8.6k FD) and L’Damien Webb ($7.2k FD) rotated in the backfield in the Seminoles season opener. Both guys also saw time on the field together with Webb at RB and Corbin lining up at WR. Webb out-carried Corbin 13 to 6. He also out-rushed Corbin 39 to 18. However, Corbin hauled in a team high 8 balls for 55 yards (led team in receiving yards too). The Hurricanes are limiting opposing ball carriers to 3.9 yards per carry through 2 games this season.
Notable target counts from the season opener: Tamorrion Terry (11), Jashaun Corbin (10), Warren Thompson (7), Cameron McDonald (5), Ontaria Wilson (4), Keyshawn Helton (2), and La’Damien Webb (1).
The starting WRs are Tamarrion Terry ($8.4k FD), Warren Thompson ($6.2k FD), and Keyshawn Helton ($6.6k FD). Terry is a flat-out stud and will be playing on Sundays after this season. Terry was easily the #1 option in FSU’s passing game last season. The star WR caught 60 of 103 targets for 1,187 receiving yards and 9 TDs. Dating back to 2019, Terry has recorded at least 4 receptions in 6 straight games (6/52/0 last week). Helton had 17 receptions, 239 yards receiving, and 3 TDs on 21 targets in 2019. Helton was limited to just 6 games in 2019 because of injury. The junior was the recipient of QB Blackman’s lone TD pass. Thompson posted 6/91/0 on 8 targets in 2019. Like Helton, he was limited to 6 games a season ago. Despite seeing 7 targets, Thompson only came down with 1 reception in the season opener (24 yards). Finally, Ontaria Wilson ($6k FD) posted 2/11/0 in the season opener. I’d only consider Terry from this bunch this week. The Hurricanes gave up 3/32/1 to UAB’s #1 WR Austin Watkins Jr. in week 1. They were dusted for 8/114/2 by Louisville’s #1 WR Tutu Atwell in last week’s game.
The starting TE is Camren McDonald ($5.6k FD). He recorded 6 receptions, 43 yards receiving, and 0 TD on 10 targets last season. He appeared in all 13 games. The TE position has a sizable role in Mike Norvell’s offense. McDonald had 4 receptions for 41 yards in the season opener.
In 2019 (13 games), FSU was 119th in passing yards allowed with 276.7 yards/game. They were 54th in rushing yards allowed with 147.5 yards/game. The defense gave up 18 TD on the ground (1.38 TD/game) and 19 TDs through the air (1.46 TD/game) last season.
Miami (33 Implied Team Total)
D’Eriq King ($10.2k FD) hasn’t put up quite the numbers he did at Houston so far this season. However, he’s been solid through 2 games as the Hurricanes starting QB. Through 2 games, the senior has completed 34/54 passes for 469 yards and 4 TDs (0 INT). He’s also ran for 91 yards and 1 TD on 20 carries. I love this spot for King as they host the Seminoles on Saturday night. FSU allowed GT’s Jeff Sims to throw for 277 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT in his first career start. He also ran for 64 yards on 13 carries. King is one of my favorite QB plays on this monster slate. The Hurricanes’ offense has averaged 68.5 plays per game this season.
Cam’Ron Harris ($9.5k FD) is emerging as one of College Football’s top RBs. He’s rushed for 268 yards and 3 TDs on only 26 carries in 2 games this season. He’s also caught 5 passes for 14 yards. The dynamic running back has a 66-yard run and 75 yard run already this season. With defenses focusing on containing QB King, look for Harris to continue his strong start.
Notable target counts through 2 games: Brevin Jordan (12), Mark Pope (11), Mike Harley (10), Dee Wiggins (7), Cam’Ron Harris (6), Jeremiah Payton (3), Will Mallory (1).
The WRs remain a work in progress. Pope ($7.2k FD) has 6 receptions and 82 yards receiving (0 TD). Harley ($6.7k FD) has 5 receptions for 57 yards this season. His numbers would look better but a dropped a sure-fire TD in last week’s 47-34 win over Louisville. Wiggins ($7k FD) has 5 receptions for 40 yards through 2 games.
Brevin Jordan ($8.6k FD) is emerging at the top weapon for Miami in the passing game. The big TE has 10 receptions, 171 receiving yards, and 2 TDs through 2 games. Look for King to keep targeting Jordan as King is posting a perfect 158.3 passer rating when looking Jordan’s way. King’s 85.4 passer rating when targeting Dee Wiggins is tops amongst Miami WRs.
In 2019 (13 games), the U was 18th in passing yards allowed with 195.2 yards/game. They were 17th in rushing yards allowed with 114.6 yards/game. The defense gave up 13 TD on the ground (1 TD/game) and 16 TDs through the air (1.23 TD/game) this season.
Tennessee (23.5 Implied Team Total)
Jarrett Guarantano ($7.5k FD) will start at QB. The senior signal caller has started 25 games and seen action in 34 games while at Tennessee. He’s thrown for 5,062 yards, 32 TDs, and 13 INT. This should be a positive spot for Vols QB as South Carolina was dreadful against the pass in 2019. The Gamecocks allowed nearly 2 TD passes per game last season. The Vols offense favored the run (56.2/43.8 run-pass split) and averaged 68.4 plays per game.
Ty Chandler ($6.1k FD) OR Eric Gray ($7.2k FD) are both listed as the starter at RB. Chandler ran for 655 yards and 3 TDs on 135 carries a season ago. Gray ran for 539 yards and 4 TDs while also recording 13 receptions for 115 yards and 1 TD last season. However, it was Gray that seemingly emerged as the RB of the future for Tennessee. He finished his freshman season on a high note as he posted box scores of 25/246/3 against Vanderbilt in the regular season finale and 14/86/1 in the bowl game against Indiana. The matchup with South Carolina is than ideal. The Gamecocks run defense was their strong suit last season. They only ceded 9 rush TDs in 12 games. They also return defensive 10 starters from last season.
Josh Palmer ($7.3k FD), Brandon Johnson ($6.5k FD), and Ramel Keyton ($6.7k FD) are the starting WRs with Velus Jones Jr. ($5.9k FD) and Cedric Tillman ($5.6k FD) listed as the reserves. Jones Jr. is listed as the backup in 2 spots so he should see significant action this week despite not starting. Palmer (preseason All SEC 4th team) is the Vols’ top returning pass catcher from 2019. He recorded 34 receptions, 457 receiving yards and 1 TD on 58 targets. Johnson and Keyton both play sparingly in 2019. Johnson, the senior, has 60 career receptions, 738 receiving yards, and 1 TD in 37 games with the Vols. Keyton is a former 4-star prospect; he finished last season with 2 receptions for 60 yards in the bowl game against Indiana. Jones Jr. is a transfer from USC. He’s been named to the preseason Paul Hornung watch list (nation’s top WR) and preseason All SEC third team. Jones Jr. looks like the WR to roster if going that route.
In 2019 (13 games), the Vols was 16th in passing yards allowed with 194 yards/game. They were 48th in rushing yards allowed with 140.5 yards/game. The defense gave up 17 TD on the ground (1.31 TD/game) and 14 TDs through the air (1.08 TD/game) this season.
South Carolina (20 Implied Team Total)
Former Colorado State QB Collin Hill ($7.8k FD) gets the start. In 3 seasons with the Rams, Hill completed 262/432 passes for 3,320 yards, 23 TDs, and 11 INT. He’s the protypical pro-style QB. The is a tough spot for Hill and the South Carolina passing game. The Vols held opposing QBs under 200 passing yards last year and they were only beaten for 14 pass TDs in 13 games. The Gamecocks offense favored the pass (54/46 pass-run) last season and averaged 71.8 plays per game.
Kevin Harris ($6.9k FD) OR Deshaun Fenwick ($6.9k FD) is listed as the starter on the depth chart. However, Harris is receiving the start per Will Muschamp’s radio show. Harris is a big back (225lbs) averaged 8.5 yards per carry as a reserve last year. In total, he ran for 179 yards and 4 TDs on only 21 carries. Fenwick ran for 111 yards on 22 carries as a reserve in 2019.
Shi Smith ($7.8k FD) and Xavier Leggette ($6.8k FD) will start at the outside WRs spots with former QB Dakearon Joyner ($6.6k FD) starting in the slot. Smith, last season’s top returning WR, should ascend to the #1 WR role with Bryan Edwards now with the Raiders. Smith piled up 43 receptions, 489 receiving yards, and 2 TDs on 75 targets in 10 in 2019. He also had 3 carries for 8 yards. Leggette posted 9/80/1 on 20 targets as a reserve last season (9 games). Joyner has made the impressive leap from QB to starting WR in one offseason. I’d like to think he’ll be a solid route runner after playing QB. That makes him an interesting play on DK as he’s likely to pile up receptions. As noted above, this is a tough spot for the South Carolina passing game. This game also carries one of the lowest totals on the slate.
In 2019 (12 games), the South Carolina was 80th in passing yards allowed with 235.3 yards/game. They were 66th in rushing yards allowed with 158 yards/game. The defense gave up 9 TD on the ground (.75 TD/game) and 23 TDs through the air (1.92 TD/game) this season.
All targets are from Pro Football Focus