CFB DFS: Week of 10/3 (Pt 1)


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CFB DFS: Week of 10/3 (Pt 1)

We head into Week 5 with all of the Big 12, SEC, and 10-of-15 ACC teams in play. If this is your first time reading my weekly CFB DFS analysis, I have spent countless hours researching every facet of each listed matchup in order to provide you with trusted DFS recommendations on DraftKings and FanDuel. You’ll find listings below each game writeup for multi-entry tournaments, single-entry tournaments, and cash games alike. Make sure that you also jump on Discord tomorrow afternoon where I’ll post a link to access my personal spreadsheet. There you’ll find second-to-none statistical detail covering the entirety of the main slate.

*Please note that the growing field of teams in action will prevent me from providing breakdowns for eight Group of Five games, the three Power Five teams facing FCS opponents, or LSU at Vanderbilt. These matchups are not included within the main slate on either DraftKings or FanDuel. However, I will be on Discord throughout Saturday where I’ll be available to discuss utilizing players from each of these unlisted matchups for DFS purposes.

South Carolina @ Florida

Gametime: 12:00 PM ET

Location: Gainesville, FL

Betting line: Florida -17.5

Over/Under: 57.5

The outstanding talent of Kyle Pitts was put on full display last week against Ole Miss. The true junior collected TD passes of 1, 16, 71, and 17 yards in Week 4 to eclipse 50 FPs (45 FPs on FD). To think “KP” didn’t even play on offense full-time while at Archbishop Wood HS. Chasing Pitts this week could seem toxic but, despite playing on 65 percent of passing snaps, Pitts saw a 22 percent target share, 27 percent red zone (RZ, inside the 20) target share, and half of Kyle Trasks six goal line (GL) targets. Considering South Carolina made Jarrett Guarantano appear to be an FBS QB (61.3 C% and 8.4 YPA), I am entirely comfortable with exposure to both Kyle’s this week.

The Gamecocks run defense also proved to be a liability (4.9 YPA, 7 MTs, 2 TDs), making Dameon Pierce and, to a greater degree, Malik Davis solid values. They split the No. 1 role with around a third of attempts apiece, Davis ran nearly three times as many routes, and took the only RZ target. Yet Davis is priced 27 percent less on DK. The target share for Gators’ WRs is not as promising. Only Kadarius Toney eclipsed 60 percent of routes on passing snaps and targets were split pretty evenly amongst six WRs. But Toney appeared to be the UF WR of interest.

SC let the Tennessee game get away from them despite Shi Smith’s best efforts (10/140/1). Florida allowed Ole Miss to pass for 443 yards last week and 227 yards to slot Elijah Moore. Smith ran nearly 75 percent of his snaps from the slot last week that places him squarely on the DFS map for Week 5. Smith garnered a 43 percent target share to go along with a pair of rushing attempts. He has more than enough talent to succeed even in spite of having serious doubts about Collin Hill’s fortunes this week. I think you can find better value outside of South Carolina RBs. Nick Muse appeared better than adequate last week with a 17 percent target share while running 74 percent of routes. But I’ll give it another week to avoid the all-too-common single-game scout mistake.

Chalk: Kyle Trask (DK: $8,400 | FD: $10,100), Kyle Pitts (DK: $7,300 | FD: $9,200), Shi Smith (DK: $6,400 | FD: $9,000)

Cash: Pitts

Digging Deep: Dameon Pierce (DK: $5,300 | FD: $7,400), Malik Davis (DK: $3,900 | FD: $6,800), Kadarius Toney (DK: $6,300 | FD: $7,100), Kevin Harris (DK: $5,000 | FD: $6,900), Nick Muse (DK: $3,500 | FD: $5,600)

On the fence: Trevon Grimes (DK: $6,700 | FD: $8,200), Collin Hill (DK: $5,600 | FD: $7,400)

Fade: None

Devy Talents: Pitts, Trask, Pierce, M. Davis, Grimes, Nay'Quan Wright, Iverson Clement, Toney, Xzavier Henderson, Jacob Copeland, Justin Shorter, Jonathan Odom, Smith, and MarShawn Lloyd

TCU @ Texas

Gametime: 12:00 PM ET

Location: Austin, TX

Betting line: Texas -12.0

Over/Under: 63.0

I really thought TCU HC Gary Patterson was simply playing mind games with his depth chart last week. Matthew Downing was listed as the starter despite Max Duggan receiving clearance to play. Nebraska transfer JD Spielman was surprisingly listed behind Taye Barber, and Derius Davis in the slot. And five-star true frosh Zach Evans was buried behind four other RBs. But Downing actually started the game with 21 ineffective passing attempts. He was finally replaced by Duggan with enough time to add 21.7 FPs on 22 targets and nine rushing attempts. The reason for Evans not playing a single down was very recently reported to be due to COVID contract tracing. He returned to practice on Sunday and will be an excellent tourney dart with future cash game-upside. Spielman only ran 38 percent of routes and saw two targets despite playing in a heartbreaking 37-34 loss to Iowa State. Unfortunately, even playing with the fifth-highest expected total in Week 5 at 63.0, only Duggan and Barber are considerable DFS targets.

Texas, on the other hand, gave us one of the most exciting games of the season in a 63-56 OT win over Texas Tech. Not only are Sam Ehlinger, Jake Smith (if he plays), and Joshua Moore significant cash game/single-entry options, Texas’ tackling inefficiencies and secondary vulnerabilities set each of their Big 12 opponents up for expected shootouts. The expected return of Smith unrelatedly coincides with Tarik Black dropping to second on the depth chart behind Brennan Eagles at split end. With Bijan Robinson likely to sit after taking a hard hit last week, a few extra carries will be up for grabs. However, Ehlinger took a third of rushing attempts last week, and leaves Keaontay Ingram and Roschon Johnson as very risky bets. The prudent will focus their Longhorns’ exposure to Ehlinger, Moore, and Smith. If Smith were to sit again, Eagles and Brenden Schooler would come into play.

Chalk: Sam Ehlinger (DK: $8,800, FD: $11,000), Joshua Moore (DK: $7,000, FD: $9,100), Jake Smith (DK: $5,500, FD: $7,000), Max Duggan (FD: $5,800, FD: $8,500), Taye Barber (FD: $5,700, FD: $7,600)

Cash: Ehlinger, Moore, Smith, Duggan and Barber

Digging Deep: Blair Conwright (DK: $5,300, FD: $5,800) and Zach Evans (DK: $3,100, FD: $5,000)

On the fence: Keaontay Ingram (DK: $5,200, FD: $7,700), Roschon Johnson (DK: $5,000, FD: $7,400)

Fade: Tarik Black (DK: $6,300, FD: $7,100), JD Spielman (DK: $3,600, FD: $6,500)

Devy Talents: Ehlinger, Smith, Moore, Ingram, Johnson, Bijan Robinson, Hudson Card, Barber, Spielman, and Evans

Missouri @ Tennessee

Gametime: 12:00 PM ET

Location: Knoxville, TN

Betting line: Tennessee -11.5

Over/Under: 48.5

Even with the fourth-lowest anticipated total from the main slate, we might be able to pluck a target or two. Missouri actually gave Alabama garbage time-fits combined with effective tackling last week. Take what you will from Tennessee’s victory over South Carolina, my opinion remains unchanged after only converting 1-of-12 third-down attempts. The Volunteers were able to make up for offensive deficiencies with a fierce pass rush led by Will LB Deandre Johnson. Jarrett Guarantano is simply a waste of DFS space and the Tigers have a full-blown timeshare at QB that should be avoided.

As 11.5 point home favorites, Eric Gray and Ty Chandler have so-so levels of value in an equal timeshare. But Josh Palmer is the DFS target for my money. He generated 3.40 YPRR with a 25 percent target share on 71 percent of routes against SC. For Mizzou, as long as the Vegas line holds up, Tyler Badie will cede the majority carry share to Larry Rountree III, but will maintain passing down work (10 percent target share). Were the QB situation not such a mess, Jalen Knox would be a relevant play. Knox is relegated to tourney dart-status.

Chalk: Josh Palmer (DK: $6,600, FD: $7,500)

Cash: None

Digging Deep: Eric Gray (DK: $5,800, FD: $7,200), Ty Chandler (DK: $4,900, FD: $7,200), Tyler Badie (DK: $5,200, FD: $6,900), Jalen Knox (DK: $5,200, FD: $6,500)

On the fence: Larry Rountree III (DK: $5,300, FD: $6,500),

Fade: Jarrett Guarantano (DK: $6,700, FD: $7,900), Missouri QBs

Devy Talents: Badie

NC State @ Pittsburgh

Gametime: 12:00 PM ET

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Betting line: Pittsburgh -14.0

Over/Under: 46.5

The Wolfpack throws us another easy fade QB controversy between Bailey Hockman and Devin Leary. That avoidable situation has extended onto the value of NC State receivers. Devin Carter (18 percent target share) and Emeka Emezie (12 percent) are the two tourney dart options, if you so desire. Once again, NC State’s offense will center around Ricky Person Jr. and Zonovan Knight. And it’s partially because the Wolfpack relies so much on their ground game that they find themselves as two TD road dogs. Pittsburgh’s defense prides itself on stonewalling the run. I am left with no alternative but to fade NC State entirely with the second-lowest implied total (16.3) on the main slate working against them.

I know Kenny Pickett has quite a following of supporters, but he is simply off of my radar this week. He has only garnered seven percent of the rushing attempts this season heading into a game expected to feature a positive game script. But don’t let that turn you away from Taysir Mack or, more importantly, Jordan Addison. Mack was fed with a 16 percent target share in his return from an undisclosed injury. His involvement should only increase from here on out. Addison is one of the top breakout WRs in the nation this season. The true frosh has combined a four percent ground share, 50 percent RZ target share with a 27 percent overall target share. Even with his salary on the rise, Addison remains a substantial play. The Panthers’ backfield should feed under Vegas’ scripted scenario. Vincent Davis has emerged as the go-to option with a 40 percent carry share, 27 percent GL carry share, and 14 percent target share.

Chalk: Jordan Addison (DK: $5,900, FD: $8,300) and Vincent Davis (DK: $4,700, FD: $7,900)

Cash: Addison

Digging Deep: Taysir Mack (DK: $4,700, FD: $8,000)

On the fence: None

Fade: NC State Offense, Kenny Pickett (DK: $6,100, FD: $8,700)

Devy Talents: Addison, Ricky Person Jr., and Zonovan Knight

Baylor @ West Virginia

Gametime: 12:00 PM ET

Location: Morgantown, WV

Betting line: Baylor -3.0

Over/Under: 53.5

Baylor cruised to a 47-14 victory over Kansas last week despite allowing similar yardage and losing the time of possession. NFL prospect Charlie Brewer wasn’t asked to do much after Tristan Ebner became a one-man show. Ebner scored on a 1-yard run, 18-yard pass, and KO returns of 100 and 83 yards. As a counter to my stance on chasing a repeat performance from Kyle Pitts, I will not be chasing after Ebner’s big day. The opponent, Vegas expectations, and the road matchup each impacting my decision. Ebner was lucky to receive the only GL carry and one-of-two RZ targets. And I will not be expecting any further KO return TDs… possibly all season. John Lovett was clearly superior on the ground -- nearly doubling Ebner’s yardage after contact per attempt -- with greater volume.

With the Bears scoring on the opening KO of the second half to go up 24-7, they only attempted seven passes the rest of the way. I am of the mind that we should enter this week free of significant offensive expectations without further action from which to draw our conclusions. As such, Tyquan Thornton, who failed to see a target on 73 percent of routes, and R.J. Sneed are the WRs to go after. WVU is superior defensively, especially in tackling fundamentals, so I’ll be fading Baylor RBs. Brewer’s salary dipped, especially on FD, and will be underowned on both platforms.

Kansas exposed a good amount of issues with the Baylor defense. Baylor’s sloppy tackling will likely lead to another big game for Leddie Brown fresh from a 100-yard effort against Oklahoma State. I will never be a DFS supporter of Jarrett Doege. His upside is simply capped without a rushing share. But he can still be counted on to support DFS WRs. Winston Wright has emerged with the lead in route percentage (79 percent) and receiving yards (158) over two games. But I don’t think we should eliminate Sam James from the discussion after one down game. James still leads the team with a 23 percent target share and his salary has dipped a tad.

Chalk: Charlie Brewer (DK: $7,100, FD: $8,600), Tyquan Thornton (DK: $5,400, FD: $7,500), Leddie Brown (DK: $7,300, FD: $9,000)

Cash: Brewer and Brown

Digging Deep: R.J. Sneed (DK: $5,800, FD: $7,400), Sam James (DK: $5,600, FD: $8,400), Winston Wright (DK: $4,700, FD: $6,300), T.J. Simmons (DK: $5,200, FD: $6,800)

On the fence: None

Fade: Baylor RBs, Jarrett Doege (DK: $6,600, FD: $8,100)

Devy Talents: Brewer, Thornton, and Simmons

Texas A&M @ Alabama

Gametime: 3:30 PM ET

Location: Tuscaloosa, AL

Betting line: Alabama -17.5

Over/Under: 51.5

The final score from last week’s game (38-19) doesn’t translate just how much the Crimson Tide controlled the game heading into the fourth quarter up 35-6. Mac Jones did all of his damage in the first half completing 75 percent of attempts at an elite 10.4 yards per attempt (YPA). Even with the score out of hand in the second half, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and John Metchie III ran every single WR route. It turned out to be Waddle’s time to shine with an 8/134/2 line. However, all three WRs will be in consideration on a weekly basis if they continue to never leave the field. Even Metchie, who only received a six percent target share to Waddle’s 32 and Smith’s 39, requires sincere attention.

There’s no way around it, Najee Harris is the focal point of the Tide offense. Rostering him will eat up more salary than every QB on the main slate sans K.J. Costello and Shane Buechele. To put that into perspective, if Harris is unable to reach 30 FPs, he will drag rostered LUs down with him. So we need to decide if he is going to do enough based on his opponent each week. In 2019, Harris collected a 20/114/0 rushing and 3/19/1 receiving line. A repeat performance would not be enough to cover his salary. This Harris valuation also dooms this week’s prospects for Brian Robinson Jr. and Trey Sanders. Robinson did well against Texas A&M last season (16.4 FPs) but will be splitting 12 touches with Sanders this time around.

Ainias Smith and Isaiah Spiller essentially split RB carries in last week’s 17-12 victory over Vandy. Smith dominated passing down work with 77 percent of routes run and two-of-three RZ targets. Caleb Chapman and Jalen Preston did little with their 25 percent/apiece target shares despite staying on the field on 90 percent of passing snaps. Kellen Mond desperately needs highly-touted, true freshmen Demond Demas and Moose Muhammad II on the field, and soon. Until then, Jalen Wydermyer (97 percent passing snaps and 14 percent target share) is the only Aggies’ player I’ll be targeting in DFS this week.

Chalk: Mac Jones (DK: $7,700, FD: $9,000), Najee Harris (DK: $9,000, FD: $10,000), Jaylen Waddle (DK: $7,500, FD: $9,200), DeVonta Smith (DK: $6,800, FD: $8,700), John Metchie III (DK: $5,000, FD: $5,900), Jalen Wydermyer (DK: $4,500, FD: $5,700)

Cash: Waddle, D. Smith, Wydermyer

Digging Deep: Ainias Smith (DK: $5,500, FD: $6,900)

On the fence: Kellen Mond (DK: $6,000, FD: $7,500)

Fade: Brian Robinson Jr. (DK: $4,100, FD: $5,400), Trey Sanders (DK: $3,400, FD: $5,000), Isaiah Spiller (DK: $5,500, FD: $6,700), Texas A&M WRs

Devy Talents: Bryce Young, Jones, Harris, Sanders, Roydell Williams, Jace McClellan, Waddle, D. Smith, Metchie, Xavier Williams, Mond, Demas, Muhammad, Wydermyer

North Carolina @ Boston College

Gametime: 3:30 PM ET

Location: Chestnut Hill, MA

Betting line: North Carolina -14.0

Over/Under: 54.5

The Tar Heels will finally play their second game after an entirely unnecessary match with Colgate was canceled due to COVID protocols. Boston College narrowly escaped with a 24-21 victory over Texas State last week. Phil Jurkovec simply played a terrible game (pedestrian 5.5 YPA) and proceeded to snipe three-of-five GL carries for an undeserved pair of TDs. The Eagles desperately need to get David Bailey rolling to have any chance of winning this week. Splitting reps with Travis Levy is taking that offense in the wrong direction. As much as it pains me considering Bailey’s upside, fading BC RBs is the risk-averse action. Jurkovec is caging his best version of 2019 Jameis Winston oversaturating Mike Evans’ top routes to the point of nullification. Zay Flowers playing the role of Evans. We still need to give Flowers (91 percent passing snaps, 22 percent target share, and 2.49 YPRR) proper LU consideration. But Hunter Long (94 percent passing snaps, 31 percent target share, and 2.31 YPRR) is the guy I’ll be targeting with maximum exposure.

As I wrote before the Colgate game was canceled, do not fade Sam Howell simply because he struggled, by his standards, against Syracuse. Prior to that game, Howell had passed for multiple TDs in every career game and four-or-more in three. UNC is loaded with talent at WR, starting with Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome. Howell will no doubt be itching to get back on track after that ‘Cuse showing. I feel that this game will remain relatively close despite North Carolina coming in as two TD road favorites. That is, unless Jurkovec implodes early. Javonte Williams ended up with a 45 percent carry share against the Orange and with Michael Carter taking the passing down work (19 percent target share). You’ll need to evaluate for yourself how this game will play out to decide which RB to target, fade.

Chalk: Hunter Long (DK: $5,000, FD: $7,900), Zay Flowers (DK: $5,100, FD: $7,300), Sam Howell (DK: $8,000, FD: $9,400), Dyami Brown (DK: $6,500, FD: $8,500), Dazz Newsome (DK: $5,400, FD: $7,800), Javonte Williams (DK: $6,900, FD: $8,400), Michael Carter (DK: $6,100, FD: $7,500)

Cash: Long,

Digging Deep: Jaelen Gill (DK: $4,200, FD: $5,400), Beau Corrales (DK: $4,900, FD: $6,500)

On the fence: Phil Jurkovec (DK: $6,200, FD: $8,300)

Fade: David Bailey (DK: $5,600, FD: $7,500)

Devy Talents: Long, Bailey, Howell, Williams, Carter, Brown, Newsome, and Josh Downs

USF @ Cincinnati

Gametime: 3:30 PM ET

Location: Cincinnati, OH

Betting line: Cincinnati -22.0

Over/Under: 47.0

Vegas has implied that USF will be the lowest-scoring team on the main slate at 12.5 points. Not all too surprising after losing 52-0 to Notre Dame sans a single redeeming quality to pass along. The Bearcats didn’t exactly set the world on fire against Army and a week after allowing Austin Peay to score 20 points. Four different Cincinnati players took at least six carries against Army and combined to average 2.5 YPA. Gerrid Doaks was, yet again, able to salvage his day through the air by connecting for a 60-yard TD strike. Notre Dame transfer Michael Young separated himself from the Bearcats' WRs with 10 targets and 17 FPs. I don’t expect UC to rack up the 52 points, 276 rushing yards that resulted in 6 TDs for the Fighting Irish, but do think they’ll likely go run-heavy as over three TD home favorites. This writeup is coming in intentionally light. Follow the chart of my expected player values below. Roster Kelly Joiner Jr. and Johnny Ford at your own risk.

Chalk: Gerrid Doaks (DK: $7,800, FD: $9,300), Michael Young (DK: $5,300, FD: $7,600)

Cash: None

Digging Deep: Charles McClelland (DK: $3,300, FD: $5,800), Jerome Ford (DK: $3,900, FD: $6,900), Kelly Joiner Jr. (DK: $4,700, FD: $6,200), Johnny Ford (DK: $5,400, FD: $6,000)

On the fence: None

Fade: Desmond Ridder (DK: $7,900, FD: $9,900), Jordan McCloud (DK: $5,100, FD: $6,400), USF receivers

Devy Talents: None

Oklahoma State @ Kansas

Gametime: 3:30 PM ET

Location: Lawrence, KS

Betting line: Oklahoma State -21.5

Over/Under: 54.0

We’re all still waiting for Tylan Wallace’s first breakout game and first TD pass of the season, for that matter. I refuse to put any of the blame on true freshman Shane Illingworth. He’s led the Cowboys to back-to-back FBS wins after likely seeing limited meaningful reps this offseason as a third-stringer. Wallace is a solid play with Illingworth under center, going up against the KU defense. But he would catapult to must start, cash/SE-status if Spencer Sanders returns to the field, as is tentatively expected.

Be careful while following news reports on Sanders. This game will follow the five 12:00 PM ET games on the main slate. If Sanders were to be a late scratch, you’ll have lost the ability to replace him with either Kyle Trask, Max Duggan, Sam Ehlinger, or Charlie Brewer. It’s all about proper contingencies, my friends. A Spencer return would also be a boon to Chuba Hubbard’s value. Hubbard is priced just below Najee Harris, so we will need a considerable game for him to reach value. And we certainly wouldn’t want to see a continuation of Hubbard’s second-half pair of fumbles, regardless of the fact that Okie State recovered both. LD Brown proved to be a significantly better value last week. If Sanders is out, Brown could do the same against Kansas. As for the Jayhawks, Pooka Williams Jr.’s value is very TD-dependent since he has been splitting carries with Velton Gardner.

Chalk: Tylan Wallace (DK: $6,500, FD: $8,300), Chuba Hubbard (DK: $8,900, FD: $9,800)

Cash: Wallace and Hubbard (remove both from list if Sanders is out)

Digging Deep: LD Brown (DK: $7,900, FD: $9,900), Kwamie Lassiter II (DK: $4,300, FD: $7,100)

On the fence: Spencer Sanders (DK: $6,400, FD: $9,100)

Fade: Shane Illingworth (DK: $5,800, FD: $8,000), Kansas QBs, Pooka Williams Jr. (DK: $6,000, FD: $8,100)

Devy Talents: Wallace, Hubbard, Sanders, Deondrick Glass, and P. Williams

With a dedicated focus on studying game film and a faithful commitment to metrics & analytics, Huber’s specialties include DFS (college and NFL), Devy & Dynasty formats, and second-to-none fantasy analysis of high school prospects.