2014 College Football: CFB DFS Week 9 — Late Only
Below are my favorite plays from various price ranges at each position for this week’s late college football contests on DraftKings. Within each price range, players are listed in the order in which I would prefer to roster them. If you’re looking for additional CFB DFS content, check out the work of Ben Pritchett of FantasyInsiders.com (@naturalslugger) and Chris Kay of LuDawgs.com (@realestchriskay).
You can read my breakdown of the early contests on DraftKings here.
High (Priced above $7,000)
Cody Fajardo / Nevada / $9,200 / @Hawaii
Aside from wanting Jafardo in a lineup so you have a reason to stay up until midnight and later to watch Nevada and Hawaii, you want him in a lineup because he’s the best QB option in this slate of games. I would normally prefer Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett, but Fajardo’s matchup with Hawaii is just too good. And Fajardo has been used heavily with good results recently. In his last three games he has at least 48 opportunities (pass attempts plus rushes) with at least three touchdowns in each game. And he has seven rushing touchdowns in his last four games. Pay up.
Taylor Kelly / Arizona State / $7,500 / @ Washington
Kelly has missed ASU’s last three games with an injury, but he is reportedly 100% and good to start this week. Prior to injury, Kelly was averaging over 25 fantasy points per game. The matchup with Washington is just average, but I feel like Kelly’s price tag would be a bit higher if this wasn’t his first game back, so he may be a bit of a value.
Medium (Priced between $5,500 and $6,900)
Tyler Jones / Texas State / $6,500 / @ Louisiana-Monroe
After a pretty solid four game start to the season, Jones has been slowed a bit in the last two games. In one of those games his own teammate slowed him down as RB Terrance Franks went off for 284 yards and three scores on just 15 carries against Idaho. Jones simply wasn’t needed in that game. Last week’s no show against a weak Louisana-Lafayette defense is concerning, but this is still a guy who put up huge numbers earlier in the season and has at least 16 carries in four of his first six games. Hopefully the poor recent performances just serve to make him a better value this week with a depressed price tag.
Garrett Grayson / Colorado State / $6,100 / vs. Wyoming
A lot of college quarterbacks run a lot, but Grayson is a pure passer. He has gone over 400 yards twice in his six games, over 300 yards in another game and has 13 touchdowns to four interceptions. He failed to throw a touchdown pass last week for the first time this season, but that probably just presents another opportunity to roster a player with a price tag that should be higher. The matchup with Wyoming may limit his upside somewhat, but he should be a solid cash game play.
Low (Priced under $5,500)
Jameill Showers / UTEP / $4,000 / @ UTSA
UTEP is a super run-heavy team, and Showers doesn’t run much so his upside is limited. But he’s priced at the minimum so you probably weren’t expecting a ton from him anyway. However, he does have two or more touchdowns in three of his last four games, including four touchdown passes against Kansas State. The matchup with UTSA is a good one, so it’s possible he could deliver another two touchdown performance with 200+ yards. I could live with that for the minimum, but I’d probably rather spend more on QB.
High (Priced above $6,000)
Devontae Booker / Utah / $6,800 / vs. USC
As you’ll see below, I also really like the other running back in this game, but I like Booker’s value more. Looking at Booker’s stats for the season can be a bit deceiving as Booker was in a committe for the first three games of the season, but the job has been his for the last three weeks with great results. In that time frame he’s averaging almost 30 carries per game, 187.6 yards per game, and he has five scores. Game flow could prevent him from getting quite that much work this week as Utah is a 10 point dog, but 20 carries, 100 yards and a score seems like a safe floor. Nothing wrong with that.
Javorius Allen / USC / $9,100 / @ Utah
Allen is the most expensive running back in the late slate, but he’s also easily the best. The matchup with Utah is not a great one as the Utah run defense is above average. But the most important thing about the matchup for Allen is that USC not be able to run away from the opponent. For example, Allen only got 15 carries last week in a romp of Colorado. Of course he still managed over 100 yards and a score. But this week USC shouldn’t run away from Utah as only a 10 point favorite. With at least 100 yards or a touchdown in six of seven games, Allen is pretty much money in the bank.
Medium (Priced between $4,500 and $6,000)
Dee Hart / Colorado State / $4,800 / vs. Wyoming
Shaun Wick / Wyoming / $6,000 / @ Colorado State
How about another pair of backs from the same game? Hart and Wick have very similar numbers this year, so it’s strange to see them priced $1,200 apart. The reason for that is likely that Wick will face the weaker run defense, but that probably doesn’t justify the price difference. With the better matchup Wick is a little safer, so spend the extra money on him if you have it. But the odds are good that you can do something meaningful with that extra $1,200, so lean towards Hart.
Low (Priced under $4,500)
Centarius Donald / Louisiana-Monroe / $4,500 / vs. Texas State
There are two things to worry about with Donald. The first is that he missed ULM’s last game a couple of weeks ago, but it seems like he’s good to go coming out of a bye week. The other concern is that he’s doesn’t always see a ton of work. When ULM wins, Donald averages just over 20 carries per game. But when they lose he averages 10.5 carries per game. The good news is that ULM is a slight favorite this week. The injury concerns and recent usage concerns could have depressed Donald’s price and made him a nice value.
High (Priced above $6,000)
Jaelen Strong / Arizona State / $7,700 / @ Washington
Nelson Agholor / USC / $6,300 / @ Utah
Strong has been the better receiver this year and has a slightly better matchup, but the price gap should maybe a bit smaller than it is. But because I like Strong’s quarterback as a play and because USC’s offense runs through Allen, I’d prefer to get Strong in my lineup via a stack. If you need to save a little money on receivers, Agholor might be a slightly better value play.
Medium (Priced between $4,600 and $6,000)
D’haquille Williams / Auburn / $5,500 / South Carolina
Williams has been a boom-or-bust player this year. In three of his six games he’s had at least 100 yards and a score, and in the other three he has a combined 121 yards and one touchdown. This matchup lends itself to a boom game as South Carolina has the 87th rated pass defense on a schedule adjusted-bases. But as with any boom-or-bust player, Williams is better used in a GPP.
Mike Williams / Clemson / $5,600 / vs. Syracuse
Artavis Scott / Clemson / $5,100 / vs. Syracuse
The matchup with Syracuse may be the best matchup for receivers in this price range. Scott is probably the safer play because he catches a few more balls, but I prefer Williams. Williams averages almost double what Scott does per catch and doesn’t catch too many fewer balls. Scott is safer and cheaper, but Williams isn’t that much more risky or that much more expensive.
Low (Priced under $4,500)
Hasaan Henderson / Nevada / $4,300 / @ Hawaii
You don’t have to stack Fajardo with anyone because he’s so productive with his legs, but if you do want to pair him with a receiver, Henderson is your guy. If you throw out his first game of the season, Henderson has double digit fantasy points in each of his six games since, and he’s averaging a little over 14 fantasy points per game. Richy Turner catches about a ball per game more than Henderson, but Henderson averages quite a bit more yardage per catch. He’s probably got the upside.
John Ross / Washington / $4,200 / vs. Arizona State
Jaydon Mickens / Washington / $3,800 / vs. Arizona State
Once again we have teammates in the same price range with a nice matchup. And again, one is the safer play based on volume, but the other has the big play upside. Mickens has 36 catches to Ross’ 16 this year, but Ross has 50 more yards and averages 23.3 yards per catch to Mickens’ 9.0. If you need a cheap cash game play, Mickens has at least nine fantasy points in five of his last six, but that’s obviously not ideal. He’s only worth using if you feel very safe with everyone else in your lineup and have to save money in one spot. But if you’re looking for more upside, go with Ross. He has had two games out of six where he did nothing but has averaged 17 fantasy points per game in the other four.
In the interest of saving time (I’m up late writing this), let me rattle off three tight ends in different price ranges that I like. Jarred Gipson ($3,800, Nevada) has had two big games this year with two two-touchdown performances. He’s only been useful in one of his other five games, which makes him a GPP play. Bradley Miller ($3,300, Texas State) is a bit cheaper but also kind of a GPP play. He’s had one huge game, a couple of decent ones, and three stinkers. But my favorite tight end play is the minimum priced Steven Walker ($2,500, Colorado State). He has three games with more than 12 fantasy points and four games with more than nine. He’s pretty reliable and obviously comes at a good price. He’ll be the TE in most of my lineups.