Dustin Crum, Kent State vs. Eastern Michigan ($9,200 DK | $10,500 FD)
As far as the QBs in the MAC are concerned, Dustin Crum has the most NFL upside by a wide margin. The Golden Flashes would have a serious chance of finding their way to an FBS ranking this season if not for a below average defense. We can expect to see the Kent State offense utilize a near even run/pass split as six-point home favorites. Crum may not have as many total opportunities as a few other QBs in the MAC, but he will have the top WR on the slate in Isaiah McKoy, and a quality ground game to balance the attack.
The Bottom Line: The ability to roster Crum on DraftKings will depend on if you plan to go after Buffalo RB Jaret Patterson. Rostering both will not be advisable since it’ll be nearly impossible to stack Crum with McKoy. However, if you want guaranteed ROI value at QB, Crum is your guy.
Preston Hutchinson, Eastern Michigan at Kent State ($6,100 DK | $8,100 FD)
Some may consider it to be a bit risky to roster both QBs from the same game. However, if I had to pinpoint another QB in the MAC with NFL potential, Preston Hutchinson would be the guy. Only increasing the attraction, Hutchinson also plays alongside a must-start No. 1 target, Quian Williams, either in a stack or as a stand-alone play. In addition, he’ll have solid supporting receivers in Dylan Drummond and Hassan Beydoun. The running game is a complete unknown with redshirt freshman Darius Boone Jr. out of Union HS taking over the lead role.
The Bottom Line: Unless we see significant changes from last season, the Eagles should run with a 60/40 pass/run split. Eastern Michigan is also expected to play from a negative game script on Wednesday night and the Eagles do not have the proven playmakers of the Golden Flashes. But Hutchinson should have zero issues outpacing the 18.3 FPs we need from him in order to cover floor value against a generous Kent State secondary utilizing excellent accuracy and 0.88 FPs/carry (FP/C).
Daniel Richardson, Central Michigan vs. Ohio ($6,000 DK | $7,500 FD)**
In order to insert Daniel Richardson into our lineups, we need to track the availability of David Moore. Moore was busted for performance-enhancing drugs -- something I personally have zero patience with -- and the NCAA has yet to rule on his eligibility. My hope is that they make an example out of him. If he’s not cleared, Daniel Richardson has a ton of potential to make Moore an afterthought. Richardson passed for 8,191 yards and 84 TDs while rushing for 1,600 yards and an additional 32 TDs over his career for Carol City HS in Miami.
The Bottom Line: I really want to see Richardson succeed in this spot to secure the starting role for the Chippewas. He has the dual-threat capability to give us a weekly whale. He’ll have the home advantage as one-point favorites to go along with arguably the top returning WR duo in the MAC with Kalil Pimpleton and JaCorey Sullivan. As with much of the slate in the opening week, exposure to Richardson does require a bit of faith.
Drew Plitt, Ball State at Miami (Ohio) ($8,100 DK | $9,700 FD)
Kaleb Eleby, Western Michigan at Akron ($7,000 DK | $9,00 FD)
Cheap super-flex options (Possible Timeshare or Basement Floor, Be Warned):
Kurtis Rourke, Ohio at Central Michigan ($5,900 DK | $7,700 FD)
Matt McDonald, Bowling Green vs. Toledo ($5,700 DK | $6,700 FD)
Kobe Lewis, Central Michigan vs. Ohio ($7,200 DK | $8,800 FD)
Another factor greatly favoring the potential success of Richardson is Kobe Lewis. Even as the No. 2 RB behind Jonathan Ward last season, Lewis made a clear statement with an elite 0.94 FP/C. The Bobcats will return an average run defense against Central Michigan’s inside zone blocking. What really stacks the cards in Lewis’ favor, outside of his talent, is the Chippewas’ top-three overall returning defense. With Ohio still undecided on its starting QB, Vegas is simply not giving Central Michigan nearly enough respect.
The Bottom Line: Lewis has already proved himself to be a fantasy stud last season with 1,112 rushing yards and 12 TDs. We can expect around 20 touches for Lewis toward fulfilling my expectation that he’ll easily surpass the floor 21.6 FPs in order to reach value.
Jaret Patterson, Buffalo at Northern Illinois ($9,800 DK | $11,000 FD)
Here it is: do we pay out a fifth of your salary cap for Jaret Patterson or not? First of all, Patterson has not been a significant receiving threat. So, we will need him to reach value solely on the ground. For a back that exceeded 150 rushing yards and multiple TDs in five games last season, that’s not an insane expectation. I should also point out that Patterson rushed for 300 yards and six TDs against Bowling Green in Week 14 last season. It’s that performance facing easily the worst defense in the MAC that brings us to trying to fit his $9.8K salary into our cap.
The Bottom Line: If Patterson is going to reach his floor of 29.4 FPs on DK, he’ll need to do so against the top returning MAC run defense of Northern Illinois. That is simply not a wager I am willing to make. Even if he rushes for 150 yards and two TDs, he wouldn’t provide floor ROI with 27 FPs. Do I think he is going to faceplant? Absolutely not. However, we have plenty of upside options on DK to roster outside of Patterson to profit in Week 10. On FanDuel, Patterson’s salary is much more manageable with the additional $10K in cap space.
Shakif Seymour, Toledo at Bowling Green ($5,000 DK | $7,900 FD)
Toledo comes into the MACs opening weekend as the most significant favorites at 22 points at home. The Bowling Green defense has been a punching bag in the MAC over the last couple seasons. What’s even better for Toledo RBs is that the Falcons’ run defense is the most porous on the slate. Although, allow me to get this out of the way, Shakif Seymour is not the starting RB for the Rockets. Bryant Koback will eat first as the alpha with my forecast of 18.6 rushing attempts. However, Seymour will have plenty of opportunities to fill his belly with the remaining scraps.
The Bottom Line: He may not be the lead dog, but Seymour is far from a backup. Early in his Toledo career, it appeared as though he would take over this offense. Then Koback transferred in from Kentucky. Seymour may’ve lost out on first dibs, but it’s made him into a better overall back. With at least 13 carries to go along with passing game involvement, Seymour should have zero issues reaching a floor value of 15 FPs.
Bryant Koback, Toledo vs. Bowling Green ($8,200 DK | $9,900 FD)
Erin Collins, Northern Illinois vs. Buffalo ($6,100 DK | $6,700 FD)
Sean Tyler, Western Michigan at Akron ($5,800 DK | $8,500 FD)
Xavier Williams, Kent State vs. Eastern Michigan ($5,700 DK | $7,600 FD)
De'Montre Tuggle, Ohio at Central Michigan ($5,300 DK | $7,300 FD)
Darius Boone Jr., Eastern Michigan at Kent State ($5,100 DK | $6,800 FD)
Marquez Cooper, Kent State vs. Eastern Michigan ($3,000 DK | $5,800 FD)
Iaiah McKoy, WR, Kent State vs. Eastern Michigan ($8,000 DK | $9,400 FD)
As described above, Isaiah McKoy is the premium receiver, teamed with the top QB on the slate. As the stack with the highest upside, every constructed lineup should run through the possibility of rostering this connection. In 2019, McKoy averaged 2.25 yards per route run (YPRR), 16.9 air yards/attempt, and provided Crum with a 128.3 QB rating when targeted. McKoy drew at least 10 targets in half of his games last season and at least seven in eight of 11 games played. Those are reliable numbers we can bank on for success.
The Bottom Line: It’s entirely understandable if you feel Patterson’s upside is simply too much to pass up. However, if you agree that he presents formidable value risk, rostering Crum and McKoy is simply a no-brainer.
Quian Williams, WR, Eastern Michigan at Kent State (DK: $6,000 | $8,100 FD)
As much as I love the Crum-McKoy stack, Quian Williams is my No. 1 WR value on the slate. Williams generated 2.69 YPRR last season to go along with a 142.1 QB rating when targeted. The most vulnerable aspect of the Golden Flashes’ defense just so happens to be the secondary. If you decide to roll with Hutchinson at superflex, Williams provides you with a salary saving stack.
The Bottom Line: In order to keep up with the dynamic Kent State offense, Eastern Michigan will need Williams to shake everything out of his pockets in Week 10. At 0.63 FPs/route (FP/Rt), Williams will work in tandem with Dylan Drummond to provide the Eagles with plenty of firepower to keep this close.
JaCorey Sullivan, WR, Central Michigan vs. Ohio (DK: $5,100 | $7,600 FD)
If you should have the salary to spare, Kalil Pimpleton has a slight advantage over JaCorey Sullivan in both quality, and volume of targets. However, Sullivan is the more dangerous deep threat with 11.6 air yards/attempt to Pimpleton’s 8.3. When facing MAC competition, Sullivan finished second in receiving yards and TDs last season.
The Bottom Line: As mentioned, Vegas insiders have sold Central Michigan short in a home matchup with Ohio only favored by a point. Much of that is likely due to the unknown at QB in Richardson. For me, the upside Richardson displayed at a top HS in Carol City is more than enough to roll the dice on the Central Michigan offense, as a whole.
Bryce Mitchell, WR, Toledo vs. Bowling Green ($6,800 DK | $8,700 FD)
Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan at Akron ($6,300 DK | $8,900 FD)
Kalil Pimpleton, WR, Central Michigan vs. Ohio ($6,500 DK | $8,600 FD)
Yo'Heinz Tyler, WR, Ball State at Miami (OH) ($5,500 DK | $7,100 FD)
Shane Hooks, WR, Ohio at Central Michigan ($5,300 DK | $7,300 FD)
Jack Sorenson, WR, Miami (OH) vs. Ball State ($5,200 DK | $7,500 FD)
D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan at Akron ($4,400 DK | $6,500 FD)
Daniel Crawford, TE, Northern Illinois vs. Buffalo ($4,000 DK | $6,100 FD)
Isaiah Winstead, WR, Toledo vs. Bowling Green ($3,000 DK | $5,700 FD)
Mac Hippenhammer, WR, Miami (OH) vs. Ball State ($3,000 DK | $4,500 FD)**
**Check Pre-Game Status: Either Not listed on Depth Chart or Injury-Related