Against the Spread Picks
California (-1.5) vs. Stanford
Iowa State (+1.0) at Texas
Notre Dame at North Carolina (Over 68.0)
Oregon at Oregon State (Under 64.0)
A quick note before I skydive into the plays. It’s been quite obvious that some of my cheap flex RB recommendations have caused a bit of discontent. I really do get it, we want every player exposure to cover value. However, we need to consider the risks involved when relying on these cheap RBs without the promise of significant volume. That is especially important in Cash games, Single-Entry tournaments. I also understand that, when I highlight a specific individual for analysis, a certain level of trust is extended that they should be guaranteed to provide ROI.
Let’s not forget that these low salary RBs’ intended purpose is to squeeze every penny to chase the top plays. After considerable thought, I will no longer provide individual analysis on sub-$5K RBs as direct lineup endorsements. I’ll focus that analysis on the individuals that I can fully sanction toward returning clear ROI. The final decisions on the low-priced options to complete lineups will be your responsibility. That said, I will still provide plenty of low-priced options at each position sans analysis, and continue to extend lineup advice on Discord.
I hope it is clear that I have zero inside sources plugged into CFB programs outside of the common information passed along on Twitter. I am simply combining my own insights from viewed footage with the percentages I’ve collected, openly available to everyone. We are all on the same team in my opinion, so let’s work together to find success over the rest of the season, and beyond.
Malik Willis, Liberty vs. Massachusetts (DK: $10.3K | FD: $12.0K | O/U: 56.5 | Implied: 46.75)
Massachusetts has played three games this season where they’ve been outscored 116-12. As 37-point home favorites, paying out over $10K for Malik Willis may give you immediate pause. However, we can simply look back to the Flames’ Week 11 game to get a decent projection on Willis in this vanilla matchup. Facing the Western Carolina Catamounts, Willis passed for 306 yards, three TDs, rushing for 97 additional yards -- 101 if not for the damn negation of sack yardage, and two TDs. That amounts to 48.9 FPs! While his $12K FD salary is too rich for my blood, I am perfectly fine with a 48.9 FP evaluation at $10.3K on DK.
The Bottom Line: Not going to spend too much time convincing you why the UMass defense is bad. The Minutemen rank in the bottom 20 percent of schools in 14-of-19 defensive categories I use to evaluate matchups. This matchup is simply tailor-suited to Willis’ playstyle. Hence, the salary. All of that said, don’t feel locked into the idea that you simply must play him. We have plenty of options on this nine-game -- 10 on FD -- slate.
Sam Howell, North Carolina vs. Notre Dame (DK: $8.7K | FD: $9.7K | O/U: 68.0 | Implied: 31.25)
Thinking of a worthy pivot off Willis at QB? You’ve come to the right place. Some may be driven away from Sam Howell defended by a Notre Dame squad that has been outrageously good this season. But take a look at who they’ve played: Duke, USF, Florida State, Louisville, Pittsburgh (sans Kenny Pickett), Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Boston College. Outside of the Tigers, the Irish have either played rebuilding programs (i.e., BC), or complete pushovers. The 47-40 output is in line with what we can expect in this spot.
He may not have blown you away early in the season, but Howell is easily one of the top-five NFL QB talents in the nation. What has really set Howell and the Tar Heels’ passing offense ablaze was Dazz Newsome finally deciding to join the party. Javonte Williams and Michael Carter -- both of whom I am fading -- have been consistent all season, but adding that second passing element has been the difference.
The Bottom Line: Evaluating the UNC options by simply factoring the defensive metrics of Notre Dame is ill advised. For QBs of Howell’s talent level, these types of games bring out all of the reasons surrounding his sparkling future. We can take a look at D.J. Uiagalelei’s output against the Irish for an expectation. Uiagalelei passed for 439 yards, a pair of TDs, 15 yards rushing, and another TD. That’s 36.1 FPs for those counting at home. An impressive total, but I actually think Howell’s upside is even a bit higher leading the highest scoring offense on the slate (43.1 PPG). A Howell-Dyami Brown -- possibly even Newsome -- stack with a Notre Dame RB or two as run-back options should provide nuclear detonation upside.
Davis Mills, Stanford at California (DK: $7.8K | FD: $9.5K | O/U: 52.0 | Implied: 25.25)
Looking to drop down another QB tier to play some of the high-priced RBs in smash spots? We have just that with Davis Mills leading the Stanford offense. While the Cardinal defense has struggled to contain much of anything, the offense has displayed plenty of promise after two games. The rushing attack is in the capable hands of true sophomore Austin Jones, and Mills has developed strong connections with receivers Connor Wedington, Simi Fehoko, and Michael Wilson.
Stanford will face a California defense allowing 32.5 points/game (PPG) without anything resembling a pass rush. At first glance, the Golden Bears’ secondary may actually be competent since they’re only allowing 175.5 passing YPG (ranked 7th-lowest out of 127 teams). That is, until you take a look at their run defense. Cal is permitting 5.35 yards/carry (YPC, 14th-highest), 224.5 YPG (12th), and 34.5 FPG (28th). Factoring in the run D, learning that they are granting 2.5 passing TDs/game explains everything. Schools are running right down their throats without any need to rely on the pass.
The Bottom Line: Don’t let any of that alarm you on Mills’ upside. He’s averaging 9.9 FPG on the ground alone. He also ranks third on the slate with an average of 179.4 air yards/game. The Cardinal will head into Berkeley as 1.5-point road dogs. That expected negative game script is precisely why I feel we will actually see Mills go after that untapped resource of the Golden Bears’ secondary.
Brock Purdy, Iowa State at Texas (DK: $6.7K | FD: $9.0K | O/U: 56.5 | Implied: 27.75)
It almost feels like I am going against my nature in fading both Javonte Williams and Breece Hall. But here we are, that’s exactly what I intend to do. For all of the vulnerabilities within the Texas secondary, combined with poor tackling, the Longhorns have simply been lights out against the run. In fact, this slate is littered with phenomenal run defenses. Notre Dame, Wyoming, Iowa, Central Michigan, and Liberty are not teams you want to face without the very most elite rushing attacks in tow. The two run defenses that I intentionally left out of that list will face off in Austin. Texas has limited opposing backfields to 3.16 YPC (15th-lowest), 117.9 YPG (24th), 1.43 TDs (47th), and 20.4 FPG (32nd).
The Iowa State run defense ranks superior to Texas in every one of those categories. Since Vegas is calling for this game to be decided by a single point, the majority of those 56.5 implied, combined points will need to come through the air. Similar to Sam Howell, Brock Purdy started the season slow, but has come on strong over the last five weeks. He’s not setting the world on fire with an average of 134.3 air yards/game, but he’s been one of the most difficult QBs to sack, and he’s garnering an 11 percent carry share to average 6.2 FPG on the ground.
The Bottom Line: With Xavier Hutchinson emerging as his No. 1 WR and TE Charlie Kolar at 100 percent health, Purdy and the Cyclones have finally brought balance to the force. Purdy’s ability to stay upright will be huge facing the wicked pass rush of the Longhorns. The Texas secondary has been oh-so-generous in allowing a 64 percent completion percentage (37th-highest), 283.1 YPG (16th), 2.0 TD/game (35th), and 19.3 pure passing FPG (24th). Purdy is my No. 1 target at superflex with Wyoming QB Levi Williams following closely behind.
Levi Williams, Wyoming at UNLV (DK: $6.9K | FD: $8.7K | O/U: 52.0 | Implied: 34.25)
Dillon Gabriel, UCF at USF (DK: $9.2K | FD: $11.0K | O/U: 67.0 | Implied: 46.0)
Sam Ehlinger, Texas vs. Iowa State (DK: $9.0K | FD: $10.4K | O/U: 56.5 | Implied: 28.75)
Cheap super-flex options:
Jordan McCloud, USF vs. UCF (DK: $5.9K | FD: $7.1K | O/U: 67.0 | Implied: 21.0)
Justin Rogers, UNLV vs. Wyoming (DK: $5.5K | FD: $6.3K | O/U: 52.0 | Implied: 17.75)
Daniel Richardson, Central Michigan at Eastern Michigan (DK: $6.6K | FD: $7.6K | O/U: 59.0 | Implied: 33.0)
Tyler Shough, Oregon at Oregon State (FD: $11.2K | O/U: 64.0 | Implied: 21.0)
Kyren Williams, Notre Dame at North Carolina (DK: $8.3K | FD: $9.6K | O/U: 68.0 | Implied: 36.8)
As briefly alluded to above, the Notre Dame backfield should hold a special place within the hearts of DFS degenerates this week. Since most of the Tar Heels’ opponents are forced into negative games scripts, the UNC run defense is another with somewhat confusing metrics. Due to that scoring differential, they’re only allowing 151.9 rushing YPG (72nd-most), but have missed tackles at a bottom-20 rate, and have permitted 2.0 TDs/game (42nd). Don’t be fooled. The issues are real.
The Bottom Line: Kyren Williams has been tremendous as the lead dog for the Fighting Irish backfield. He did leave Week 11 against Boston College with an injury that was explained to be precautionary. However, it did allow an opportunity for true freshman Chris Tyree -- one of the top-two cheap flex RBs I’m targeting -- to take on a 35 percent carry share, leading to 79 yards. As for Williams, he’ll face one of the bottom-five run defenses behind a mauling O-line, and a near 50-percent share of backfield touches.
Xazavian Valladay, Wyoming at UNLV (DK: $7.9K | FD: $10.3K | O/U: 52.0 | Implied: 34.25)
Speaking of touches, no RB on the slate can hold a candle to the workload Xazavian Valladay has earned. In three games this season, Valladay has carried the ball 82 times to go along with 16 targets. That’s good for an amazing 32.7 touches/game. He also leads the slate’s RBs with a 20 percent target share. However, the Cowboys are not in the passing business. They’ve run the ball at the 12th-highest rate in the country (57 percent).
The Bottom Line: Valladay isn’t simply being touted on volume alone. The UNLV run defense has actually been worse than North Carolina’s. However, they haven’t had that scoring differential to cover up their numbers. The Rebels have conceded the fourth-highest YPC (6.18), 21st-most YPG (213.2), 14th-most TDs/game (2.75), and 13th-most FPG (37.8). You know what to do.
Kobe Lewis, Central Michigan at Eastern Michigan (DK: $7.4K | FD: $9.1K | O/U: 59.0 | Implied: 25.25)
As listed above, a slew of the top run defenses populate the slate, but they are balanced by nine schools allowing at least 4.70 YPC. To give that some perspective, only 38 schools in the nation are allowing 4.70 YPC -- 24 percent are found on FDs 10-game slate. Without Oregon and Oregon State on DK, that number of generous run D’s drops to seven. One of those is Eastern Michigan. They’re donating 4.98 YPC (28th-highest), 235.7 YPG (7th), 2.0 TDs/game (42nd), and 35.6 FPG to backfields (22nd).
The Bottom Line: In three games this season, Kobe Lewis is averaging 97.3 rushing yards and 1.7 TDs. Those three opponents: Ohio, Northern Illinois, and Western Michigan are far better in run defense than the Eagles. Even with WR Kalil Pimpleton rushing for 101 yards and three TDs in Week 12, Lewis still accrued 121 yards and a pair of TDs of his own. As seven-point road favorites, implied to score 33 points, a positive game script will allow for considerable upside to Lewis. We just need to wear sunglasses if we want to watch this game played on Eastern Michigan’s mesmerizing blue field.
Tyler Goodson, Iowa vs. Nebraska (DK: $6.4K | FD: $9.0K | O/U: 53.5 | Implied: 33.5)
After limited output from a pair of low scoring games against solid run defenses (Purdue and Northwestern), Tyler Goodson erupted for 120 YPG and 1.7 rushing scores over his last three. Another of the struggling run D’s mentioned, Nebraska is allowing 4.70 YPC (38th-highest), 223.2 YPG (13th), 2.75 TDs/game (14th), and 38.8 FPG (11th). The Hawkeyes likely possess the second-best O-line on the slate, specializing in their run blocking.
The Bottom Line: Goodson has harvested a 49 percent carry share with 19.6 touches/game. Favored at home by 13.5-points, Iowa will have little reason to pass the ball with the ability to run it down the Huskers’ throat. Exposure to Goodson does bring along a bit of risk should the game get out of hand. Goodson was rested late in last week’s blowout of Penn State. But nearly 20 touches against this Nebraska defense should be more than enough to cover 19.2 FPs on DK. I would just pivot off him on FD requiring 27 FPs for floor ROI.
Elite play, if active (check status):
Christopher Brown Jr., California vs. Stanford (DK: $5.2K | FD: $6.6K | O/U: 52.0 | Implied: 26.75)
If Brown is ruled out, immediate replacement:
Marcel Dancy, California vs. Stanford (DK: $5.1K | FD: $6.4K | O/U: 52.0 | Implied: 26.75)
My preferred Flex RB salary-savers:
Shedro Louis, Liberty vs. Massachusetts (DK: $3.4KK | FD: $6.8K | O/U: 56.5 | Implied: 46.75)
Chris Tyree, Notre Dame at North Carolina (DK: $3.2K | FD: $5.6K | O/U: 68.0 | Implied: 36.75)
Austin Jones, Stanford at California (DK: $7.0K | FD: $8.5K | O/U: 52.0 | Implied: 25.25)
Joshua Mack, Liberty vs. Massachusetts (DK: $6.2K | FD: $8.7K | O/U: 56.5 | Implied: 46.75)
Bijan Robinson, Texas vs. Iowa State (DK: $5.8K | FD: $6.9K | O/U: 56.5 | Implied: 27.75)
Greg McCrae, UCF at USF (DK: $5.3K | FD: $7.5K | O/U: 67.0 | Implied: 46.0)
Lew Nichols III, Central Michigan at Eastern Michigan (DK: $5.0K | FD: $7.0K | O/U: 59.0 | Implied: 33.0)
Otis Anderson, UCF at USF (DK: $4.9K | FD: $7.1K | O/U: 67.0 | Implied: 46.0)
$4.7K-or-less flex options:
C’Bo Flemister, Notre Dame at North Carolina (DK: $4.7K | FD: $5.8K | O/U: 68.0 | Implied: 36.75)
Trey Smith, Wyoming at UNLV (DK: $4.2K | FD: $6.7K | O/U: 52.0 | Implied: 34.25)
Kelly Joiner Jr., USF vs. UCF (DK: $3.5K | FD: $6.0K | O/U: 67.0 | Implied: 21.0)
CJ Verdell, Oregon at Oregon State (FD: $8.8K | O/U: 64.0 | Implied: 38.75)
Jermar Jefferson, Oregon State vs. Oregon (FD: $9.4K | O/U: 64.0 | Implied: 25.25)
Travis Dye, Oregon at Oregon State (FD: $8.6K | O/U: 64.0 | Implied: 38.75)
Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina vs. Notre Dame (DK: $7.2K | FD: $8.8K | O/U: 68.0 | Implied: 31.25)
Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina vs. Notre Dame (DK: $5.7K | FD: $7.5K | O/U: 68.0 | Implied: 31.25)
As I’ve already covered, every one of the statistical measures for Notre Dame’s defense will set off alarms. But, also already examined, the Tar Heels are one of the most dangerous offenses in the country. They don’t offer the level of O-line talent, but they are far superior at all skill positions, sans TE.
Prior to Dazz Newsome emerging, Dyami Brown nearly carried the entire WR load on his shoulders. He did well enough without Newsome, but he has exploded to the tune of 46.8 FPG partnered with 23.5 FPG from Newsome over their last three games. What would really give that offense an additional boost is a return of their starting flanker, Beau Corrales, who is a game-time decision.
The Bottom Line: Corrales doesn’t offer the fantasy upside of his contemporaries, but he is a chain mover capable of forcing attention away from his teammates. Fortunately for us, Newsome is priced $1.5K/$1.3K less than Brown. Triple stacks along with Sam Howell are entirely possible.
Xavier Hutchinson, WR, Iowa State at Texas (DK: $5.9K | FD: $7.6K | O/U: 56.5 | Implied: 27.75)
If you end up with exposure to Brock Purdy at superflex, you’ll want to stack him with Xavier Hutchinson. The Blinn Community College transfer has been an integral catalyst to Purdy’s improved play. He’s averaged 17.5 FPG over his last six games with a Week 10 4.3 FP-output against Baylor pulling that average below 20 FPG.
The Bottom Line: Texas is allowing opposing receivers to average 67.6 FPG (12th-most) this season. Forcing the Cyclones away from Breece Hall would push additional volume directly into Hutchinson’s hands. That Week 10 game stands as the only instance in which Hutchinson failed to garner at least a 20 percent target share. He’s currently at 27 percent on the season with 2.19 YPRR.
Kyle Williams, WR, UNLV vs. Wyoming (DK: $5.2K | FD: $7.2K | O/U: 52.0 | Implied: 17.75)
To be clear, all UNLV passing stacks should be contained within GPPs. It’s not entirely clear who will draw the lion’s share of QB snaps between TCU transfer Justin Rogers and California transfer Max Gilliam. Rogers passed for 162 yards and a TD against San Jose State -- a very strong defense -- in Week 11. Gilliam led the offense in Week’s 9-10, displaying some ability on the ground. We can disregard both in Cash/SE, but true freshman Kyle Williams has emerged as the Rebels’ No. 1 WR.
The Bottom Line: In Week 13, Williams will be defended by a Wyoming crew stout in run defense, and lenient against the pass. A lackluster pass rush has done zero favors for a secondary permitting 65 percent of passes to be completed (26th-highest), 261.7 YPG (37th), and 60.8 FPG to receivers (28th). We may not have the cap left over to equip lineups with Williams but, if either Gilliam or Rogers are named the starter, putting that sub-$6K QB at superflex stacked with Williams would save a good deal of salary.
Brennan Eagles, WR, Texas vs. Iowa State (DK: $4.2K | FD: $6.7K | O/U: 56.5 | Implied: 28.75)
Joshua Moore has been hampered by a shoulder injury for several weeks, providing Brennan Eagles time to shine as Sam Ehlinger’s preferred deep threat. Even if Moore were to return, Eagles has been good enough to warrant consideration. If Moore were to be held out, Eagles could end up as one of the top overall values. Over the last four weeks, these are his target shares: 34 percent, 15, 26, 28. Since Ehlinger is averaging 39.7 passing attempts/game, those percentages are significant playing with the second-fastest pace of play on the slate.
The Bottom Line: Iowa State’s secondary is no joke. Likely top-three on the slate. However, Ehlinger is not shy when it comes to airing it out. If he finds it difficult to move the ball on the ground with his 21 percent carry share, Eagles could end up with a season-high in targets.
Marlon Williams, WR, UCF at USF (DK: $8.1K | FD: $10.0K | O/U: 67.0 | Implied: 46.0)
Hassan Beydoun, WR, Eastern Michigan vs. Central Michigan (DK: $5.4K | FD: $7.4K | O/U: 59.0 | Implied: 26.0)
Jaylon Robinson, WR, UCF at USF (DK: $6.1K | FD: $8.7K | O/U: 67.0 | Implied: 46.0)
Connor Weddington, WR, Stanford at California (DK: $5.1K | FD: $7.1K | O/U: 52.0 | Implied: 25.25)
Jake Smith, WR, Texas vs. Iowa State (DK: $5.1K | FD: $7.1K | O/U: 56.5 | Implied: 28.75)
Kekoa Crawford, WR, California vs. Stanford (DK: $5.6K | FD: $7.9K | O/U: 52.0 | Implied: 26.75)
Simi Fehoko, WR, Stanford at California (DK: $4.8K | FD: $7.2K | O/U: 52.0 | Implied: 25.25)
Noah Frith, WR, Liberty vs. Massachusetts (DK: $6.3K | FD: $8.4K | O/U: 56.5 | Implied: 46.75)
Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State at Texas (DK: $4.5K | FD: $6.8K | O/U: 56.5 | Implied: 27.75)
Javon McKinley, WR, Notre Dame at North Carolina (DK: $4.3K | FD: $7.0K | O/U: 68.0 | Implied: 36.75)
Isaiah Neyer, WR, Wyoming at UNLV (DK: $4.1K | FD: $7.4K | O/U: 52.0 | Implied: 34.25)
Joe Scates, WR, Iowa State at Texas (DK: $4.1K | FD: $7.4K | O/U: 56.5 | Implied: 27.75)
Michael Mayer, WR, Notre Dame at North Carolina (DK: $3.5K | FD: $5.5K | O/U: 68.0 | Implied: 36.75)
Kalil Pimpletom, WR, Central Michigan at Eastern Michigan (DK: $7.5K | FD: $9.1K | O/U: 59.0 | Implied: 33.0)
Optimal Passing Game Stacks (Cash/SE)
Pay particular attention to the labels between each receiving option. Here are the guidelines:
Plus (+) = Optimal receiving stack
Plus/Minus (+/-) = Triple stack option
Plus/or (+/or) = More than one optimal receiving stack and worthy triple stack option
Or = More than one worthy secondary option in a triple stack
For the Run-Back Options: salaries are not included in provided cap calculations.
The combined salary listings are calculated triple stacks consisting of the QB plus the first two receiving options.
Sam Howell + Dyami Brown +/- Dazz Newsome
Run-Back Options: Kyren Williams, Chris Tyree, C’Bo Flemister, Javon McKinley, Michael Mayer
North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Line: +5.5 | O/U: 68.0 | Implied: 31.25 | Combined Salary: $22K DK | $26K DK | Cap: 43% | 43%
Brock Purdy + Xavier Hutchinson +/- Charlie Kolar
Run-Back Options: Brennan Eagles, Jake Smith, Bijan Robinson
Iowa State at Texas Longhorns
Line: -1.0 | O/U: 56.5 | Implied: 27.75 | Combined Salary: $17K DK | $24K FD | Cap: 34% | 40%
Dillon Gabriel + Marlon Williams +/- Jaylon Robinson +/- Tre Nixon
Run-Back Options: Bryce Miller, Kelley Joiner Jr.
UCF Knights at South Florida Bulls
Line: -25.0 | O/U: 67.0 | Implied: 46.0 | Combined Salary: $23K DK | $30K FD | Cap: 47% | 50%
Davis Mills + Connor Wedington +/- Simi Fehoko +/- Michael Wilson
Run-Back Options: Christopher Brown Jr./Marcel Dancy, Kekoa Crawford, Makai Polk, Jake Tonges
Stanford Cardinal at California Golden Bears
Line: +1.5 | O/U: 52.0 | Implied: 26.75 | Combined Salary: $18K DK | $23K FD | Cap: 35% | 39%
Passing Game Stacks (GPPs)
Sam Ehlinger + Brennan Eagles +/- Jake Smith
Run-Back Options: Xavier Hutchinson, Charlie Kolar, Joe Scates
Texas Longhorns at North Carolina Tar Heels
Line: -1.0 | O/U: 56.5 | Implied: 28.75 | Combined Salary: $18K DK | $24K FD | Cap: 37% | 40%
Preston Hutchinson + Hassan Beydoun +/- Quain Williams
Run-Back Options: Kalil Pimpleton, Dallas Dixon, JaCorey Sullivan
Eastern Michigan vs. Central Michigan
Line: +7.0 | O/U: 59.0 | Implied: 26.0 | Combined Salary: $19K DK | $24K FD | Cap: 38% | 40%
Malik Willis + Noah Frith
Run-Back Options: None
Liberty Flames vs. Massachusetts Minutemen
Line: -37.0 | O/U: 56.5 | Implied: 46.75 | Combined Salary: $17K DK | $20K FD | Cap: 33% | 34%
Chase Garbers + Kekoa Crawford +/- Makai Polk +/- Jake Tongues
Run-Back Options: Connor Wedington, Simi Fehoko, Michael Wilson
California Golden Bears vs. Stanford Cardinal
Line: -1.5 | O/U: 52.0 | Implied: 26.75 | Combined Salary: $17K DK | $22K FD | Cap: 33% | 37%
FanDuel-Only GPP Stack
Tyler Shough + Devon Williams +/- Hunter Kampmoyer +/- Travis Dye
Run-Back Options: Trevon Bradford, Jermar Jefferson
Oregon Ducks at Oregon State Beavers
Line: -13.5 | O/U: 64.0 | Implied: 38.75 | Combined Salary: $25K FD | Cap: 42%