Brennan Armstrong - Virginia vs. NC State (DK: $6,800 | FD: $9,000 | O/U: 60.5)
It was mind-blowing watching Brennan Armstrong against what may be the top defense in the country in Clemson last week. The redshirt-sophomore had only made a single start in his college career prior to facing that test. Armstrong began the game completing only one-of-eight passing attempts and 31 total yards by the end of the first quarter. He would average 114 combined yards and one passing TD per quarter over the remainder of the game while facing the massive step up in talent.
Looking back to his high school days at Shelby, averaging over 19 FPG solely with his legs indicates that Armstrong’s early season success is not an outlier. And we can count on healthy rushing totals each week since nearly 80 percent of Armstrong’s 27 rushing attempts have been by design. That in combination with the steady play of the Cavaliers’ offensive line provides nothing short of DFS eye candy.
The Bottom Line: As 8.5 point home favorites, Armstrong will ultimately split carries with Wayne Taulapapa inside a positive game script. Stacking options with Armstrong include slot Billy Kemp IV or 6-foot-7, 201-pound flanker Lavel Davis Jr. Although, keep in mind that Armstrong’s rushing volume also provides standalone value against NC State.
Zach Wilson - BYU vs. UTSA (DK: $9,500 | O/U: 63.5)
Through five weeks, the biggest breakout performance for me from the QB position has been Zach Wilson. The true junior has the same number of total TDs this season as he does incomplete passes. The fact that Wilson has the fourth-highest average FPG (32.5) among all QBs on the main slate despite ranking 28th in total touches (passing plus rushing attempts) is impressive. Adding to his weekly upside, despite BYU outscoring opponents 148-24 this season, Wilson averages 12.1 FPG on the ground thanks to taking a 50 percent share of goal line (GL) carries.
The keys to Wilson’s success include one of the most dominant offensive lines in the country. In addition, Gunner Romney and Dax Milne makeup the best WR duo in the nation that most are entirely unaware exist. Texas-San Antonio has won three-of-four games this season and should provide a decent challenge behind an excellent defense. A return of Frank Harris under center for the Roadrunners would be a welcome sight, helping to increase that lowly implied 14.5 points for UTSA.
The Bottom Line: At his bloated salary, the last thing we want to see is BYU jumping to a 28-point first-quarter lead, and Wilson taking an early seat. But the increasing attention the Cougars are receiving from Wilson’s play provides me with great confidence that he’ll be allowed to ball out for at least three quarters. That’s more than enough time for Wilson -- one of the absolute best QBs in the nation at picking apart zone shells -- to produce big numbers against the UTSA Cover 3 and Cover 4 zones.
Max Duggan - TCU vs. Kansas State (DK: $7,300 | FD: $9,500 | O/U: 50.0)
Considering just how bad the TCU offensive line has played this season, the fact that Max Duggan was able to generate 19.9 FPs on the ground against Texas last week is notable. Luckily for Duggan, the Wildcats’ run defense is one of the worst on the main slate. After facing solid passing defenses from Iowa State and Texas over the first two games, Duggan will face a beatable Kansas State secondary this week.
Both Blair Conwright and Quentin Johnson are on the cusp of breaking out at WR for the Horned Frogs. It is still surprising to see JD Spielman play such a small role in the offense, but Taye Barber has emerged as Duggans’ No. 1 WR. While the averages for Duggan are slightly skewed from only playing the one half against the Cyclones, his 47 touches (passing and rushing attempts) against Texas provide us with a better indication of weekly volume.
The Bottom Line: The only aspect of Duggans’ game this season that has held him back from providing elite DFS FPs is a lack of passing TDs. In Week 6, he’ll face off with a Kansas State defense that is tied for allowing the most passing TDs in the country. TCU heads into this matchup as 8.5-point home favorites, implied to score around 30 points. Providing a pivot away from the top salaries of Zach Wilson, Sam Ehlinger, Spencer Rattler, and Kyle Trask, Duggan will do more than enough to provide considerable value this week.
Spencer Rattler Oklahoma vs. Texas (DK: $8,900 | FD: $10,200)
Kyle Trask Florida at Texas A&M (DK: $8,500 | FD: $9,900)
Terry Wilson Kentucky vs. Mississippi State (FD: $8,800)
In play if healthy:
Skylar Thompson Kansas State at TCU (DK: $6,300 | FD: $7,000)
Breece Hall - Iowa State vs. Texas Tech (DK: $8,600 | FD: $9,700 | O/U: 64.5)
Similar to the outstanding upside from Zach Wilson at QB, Breece Hall has a stranglehold on both the Cyclones’ backfield, and for the title as the top RB in the nation this season. Three out of every four Iowa State rushing attempts will go through the hands of Hall this season. He has also been the catalyst in back-to-back upset victories over TCU and Oklahoma while eclipsing 100-plus rushing yards in three straight.
The Bottom Line: It will be quite a challenge to fit Hall’s top RB salary into SE/Cash LUs. However, that is the reality of Hall’s upside. He has more than enough talent in his tank to outscore most QBs this week. I would not be surprised one bit if he eclipses 40 FPs this week against a Texas Tech defense allowing an average of over 42 PPG this season. Vegas insiders are implying that Iowa State will score 38.5 points despite ISU averaging the second-fewest offensive plays per game this season. Who do you think they are predicting to score those TDs? I am all in on maximum exposure to Hall in Week 6.
Sean Tucker - Syracuse vs. Duke (DK: $6,000 | FD: $6,700 | O/U: 51.5)
Outside of tossing a few WR Taj Harris tourney darts, I have stayed away from the Syracuse offense this season. However, two factors have me on Sean Tucker in Week 6. First, Tucker took ahold of two-thirds of the Orange’s backfield to produce 24.2 FPs against Georgia Tech. Second, Syracuse will head into Durham as 2.5-point dogs and face the worst run defense in the ACC.
The Bottom Line: The Blue Devils have allowed the most rushing TDs (10) amongst Power 5 schools this season. Duke’s tackling is horrendous. They are vulnerable to allowing huge gains at every level of the defense. And, as we saw two weeks ago, the ‘Cuse offense will run through Tucker, and he offers the elusiveness to punish the Duke defense for their mistakes.
Kadarius Toney - Florida at Texas A&M (DK: $6,900 | FD: $8,200 | O/U: 57.0)
It’s a near impossibility that you haven't seen footage of Kyle Trask connecting with TE Kyle Pitts for one of his six TDs this season. Savvy DFS aficionados might look at Florida’s tough matchup with Texas A&M as a guarantee of having Pitts remain on the field throughout the whole game. I entirely agree with that logic. However, the Aggies will field zone secondary shells that have given Pitts fits during his Gators’ career. So much so that I plan to fade Pitts this week.
At the same time, Kadarius Toney has simply obliterated the exact zone coverage shells that have troubled Pitts. From my personal film study, we can expect to see a Cover 4 from Texas A&M on around a third of passing snaps. When Toney has faced a Cover 4 since 2019, his average yards per route run (YPRR) increases by an amazing 48 percent.
The Bottom Line: Pitts has been on the receiving end of six-of-10 TD passes from Trask this season. Still, Toney holds a similar target share, has a pair of TDs of his own, and has been the most electric offensive player for the Gators with the ball in his hands. If you roll out Trask this week, he should be stacked with Toney rather than Pitts.
Kevin Harris - South Carolina at Vanderbilt (DK: $6,700 | O/U: 41.5)
An aspect of last week’s loss to Florida that may have gone overlooked is the outstanding work on the ground from Kevin Harris. The Gamecocks even had a chance to pull within one TD of the Gators if not for Shi Smith dropping a third-down TD pass, and followed by Collin Hill throwing behind a wide open Smith on fourth down of the final drive.
Harris received a backfield share against UF that rivals that of Breece Hall’s. In addition, Hill has targeted his RBs on 20 percent of attempts in 2020. While it’s clear that Deshaun Fenwick will continue to hold a bit more of the backfield target share, Harris possesses the early-down work, and GL carries.
The Bottom Line: Considering what Harris has been able to accomplish against ranked teams with talented defenses, Week 6 will offer Harris with a prime opportunity. Vanderbilt is only ahead of Ole Miss in the SEC and fifth-worst in the nation in yards per rushing attempt allowed (5.8).
Najee Harris Alabama at Ole Miss (FD: $10,400)
Deuce Vaughn Kansas State at TCU (DK: $7,500 | FD: $8,700)
Wayne Taulapapa Virginia vs. NC State (DK: $6,200 | FD: $8,000)
Ainias Smith Texas A&M vs. Florida (DK: $6,500 | FD: $8,100)
Jamauri Wakefield Vanderbilt vs. South Carolina (DK: $4,500)
Kenny McIntosh (if James Cook is out) Georgia vs. Tennessee (DK: $3,400 | FD: $5,400)
Gunner Romney (WR) - BYU vs. UTSA (DK: $8,200 | O/U: 63.5)
Elite QB accuracy? Check. High-scoring offense? Check. No. 1 target share? Check. No matter the measure, Gunner Romney is at the top of the list this season. Romney is the most efficient WR in the nation and it’s not even close. With BYU jumping up seven spots to No. 15 in the AP Top 25, HC Kalani Sitake is running out of time to push his team into the top-10 before the remaining conferences get rolling.
Since I no longer have access to the amazing PFF database of NCAA film, I spend a good amount of time searching for college footage all over the internet. One of the many teams that I have devoted considerable time to collecting data points is BYU. My first takeaway is that RBs Tyler Allgeier and Lopini Katoa have split the backfield share right down the middle. But QB Zach Wilson renders them both fadeable with his hold on GL carries.
As mentioned above, BYU has outscored opponents 148-24 this season. Despite that insane dominance, Wilson has only surrendered three third-quarter dropbacks to backup QBs all season. In the 48-7 beatdown of Troy, Wilson played on all but six dropbacks. Last week, that number dropped to zero.
The Bottom Line: It’s very important to note school trends such as these whenever considering skill players from teams favored so highly by Vegas. We need to have some assurances that those players will remain in the game, with the starting QB. Romney can be added to LUs with those assurances. In Week 6, he’ll see nearly three-fourths of passing snaps against Cover 3 and Cover 4 shells. Against those coverages, Romney’s route efficiency increases by 32 percent. Get the kid into your LUs, when possible. If you roster Wilson, you simply must stack him with either Romney or Dax Milne.
Hunter Long (TE) - Boston College vs. Pittsburgh (DK: $5,900 | FD: $7,800 | O/U: 43.5)
With so much attention given to the NFL potential of TEs Kyle Pitts, Pat Freiermuth, and Brevin Jordan, it’s amazing to me that Hunter Long has been so criminally overlooked. However, the arrival of new HC Jeff Hafley in Chestnut Hill has coincided with the opening of the Eagles’ passing offense. Hafley will obviously need a few seasons to recruit his own team before they can make a serious run at an ACC Championship, but it’s been a great start.
Long has emerged as the go-to passing option for Phill Jurkovec with a whopping 32 percent target share this season. He is averaging the second-highest targets per game (13.3) on the main slate despite an entirely reasonable salary on both platforms. He never leaves the field, offers NFL-ready pass blocking, and enters Week 6 within an expected negative game script at home.
The Bottom Line: If you watched Pittsburgh’s last game against NC State, then you already know the Panthers will allow BC with every opportunity to take this game. The Eagles have passed the ball on 68 percent of offensive snaps this season. We can only hope Pittsburgh attempts to put man coverage on Long. His numbers against man coverage are breathtaking with his route efficiency nearly doubling. Either way, Long is an optimal play in Week 6.
Kearis Jackson (WR) - Georgia vs. Tennessee (DK: $5,700 | FD: $7,100 | O/U: 43.0)
Everyone, myself included, expected to see George Pickens continue as the No. 1 passing option for the Bulldogs this season. However, college football has a way of turning expectations on their heads. As QBs leave school, they take their targeting preferences with them. JT Daniels continues to be a huge unknown for Georgia, D’Wan Mathis flamed out, and Stetson Bennett has emerged as the current UGA starter.
With Bennett under center, Kearis Jackson has swooped in to collect that go-to WR role for himself. In two games this season, Jackson has quadrupled Pickens’ YPRR at 4.64 to 1.06, respectively. But Jackson has also shown out as the most explosive player on the entire Georgia offense, in my opinion.
The Bottom Line: I could toss in additional statistics in support of Jackson but, with such a small sample size from the youngster, you can imagine they’re all quite good. After finishing Georgia’s first game playing only 41 percent of passing snaps, that number shot up by 43 percent last week. With a target share higher than the next two behind him combined, Jackson holds considerable value heading into Week 6.
Jake Smith (WR) - Texas vs. Oklahoma (DK: $5,200 | FD: $7,100 | O/U: 72.0)
The pecking order for Longhorns’ WRs took quite a turn with Jake Smith back in the fold last week. The trust between Smith and QB Sam Ehlinger led to an immediate 31 percent target share. While Smith didn’t exactly set the world on fire with 16.9 FPs, the TCU secondary is one of the top units in the Big 12. In Week 6, Ehlinger and Smith will face an Oklahoma defense struggling to a degree that has not been seen in some time.
The Bottom Line: The Sooners’ LB unit tops the list of defensive vulnerabilities. Considering the amount of snaps OU will spend in a Cover 4 zone shell, Smith is going to have a field day in Week 6. However, as dominant as Smith has been when facing Cover 4, his numbers are even gaudier against man coverages. Take my advice, get as much exposure to Smith at his current salaries before it skyrockets to the top-five at the position.
Dyami Brown WR North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech (DK: $5,600 | FD: $7,800)
Dax Milne WR BYU vs. UTSA (DK: $6,800)
Austin Stogner TE Oklahoma vs. Texas (DK: $4,500 | FD: $5,900)
Josh Ali WR Kentucky vs. Mississippi State (FD: $7,300)
Billy Kemp IV WR Virginia vs. NC State (DK: $6,000 | FD: $6,800)
In play if healthy:
Jordan Addison WR Pittsburgh at Boston College (DK: $6,100 | FD: $8,100)