This article is part of our DraftKings College Football series.
Welcome into this week's breakdown for the main slate over on DraftKings. We've got a 12-game slate featuring several competitive matchups and a few projected blowouts in a week where we're looking at zero ranked matchups.
Below, we've got a sortable cheat sheet with stats to help you in your research, along with all of our DFS tools. There are also breakdowns at each position to help you navigate the board and round out your lineups.
|Team||Opponent||H/A||O/U||Spread||Implied Points||Plays Per Game||Opp. Pass Yds Allowed/ GM||Pass TD/G||Opp. Rush Yds/G||Opp. YPC Allowed||Opp. Rush TD Allowed/G|
|Mississippi State||Kansas State||H||52||-7.5||29.75||66||102.5||0.0||105.5||4.91||1.0|
|Michigan State||Arizona State||H||41.5||-14.5||28||72.5||171.5||1.0||81||2.57||0.0|
|North Carolina State||West Virginia||A||45.5||-6.5||26||78||153||1.5||202||4.12||1.0|
|Kansas State||Mississippi State||A||52||7.5||22.25||78.5||250.5||1.5||136.5||4.2||1.5|
|West Virginia||North Carolina State||H||45.5||6.5||19.5||62.5||163||0.0||24.5||1.02||0.0|
|Arizona State||Michigan State||A||41.5||14.5||13.5||68||219||1.5||-3||-0.12||0.0|
Games To Target
There aren't any games that are screaming must-targets on this specific slate. Our highest over/under sits at 66.5 (Temple vs. Maryland) and only one team is projected to score more than 40 points (Alabama).
However, there are pieces of certain offenses to targets and some obvious fades.
In the fade department, look no further than Arizona State. The Sun Devils are traveling to East Lansing to face a Michigan State team that has allowed negative rushing yardage on the season. That's enough to take Eno Benjamin off the board for me, and while I'm a huge Jayden Daniels guy, I can't stomach putting him in a lineup in this spot.
I was bullish on the Maryland offense earlier this week but have since cooled off a bit. I still like Josh Jackson ($6,600) and Anthony McFarland ($6,600) but Temple is at home coming off a bye and Maryland could be in let-down territory after the emphatic win over Syracuse.
In terms of teams to target, Oklahoma State sticks out. The Big 3 of Spencer Sanders, Chuba Hubbard, and Tylan Wallace are all pricey but are all deserving of that billing, especially with them getting to face Tulsa. And of course, the top options on Ohio State all have the green light as well.
Position by Position
Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State ($9,300) at Tulsa
There's a reason this redshirt freshman is the highest-priced quarterback on a slate that also includes the likes of Tua Tagovailoa and Ohio State's Justin Fields. Actually, there are several, even if he has averaged less fantasy points per game than either of those two.
First of all, Sanders' matchup is the softest among the elite quarterbacks on the slate. Tulsa ranks 77th in defensive S&P+, and that is likely buoyed by playing San Jose State in Week 2. Sanders is an electric athlete – his 160 rushing yards rank fourth among FBS quarterbacks. But he's also polished as a passer, having completed over 70 percent of his passes with a YPA north of 10.0. As the leader of the offense with the highest implied total on the board (39.0) with explosive rushing ability to go with great passing chops and an elite receiver like Tylan Wallace, there's nothing to overthink here.
Sean Clifford, Penn State vs. Pittsburgh
Of the quarterbacks who have played two games, only Fields, Tagovailoa, and Sanders have averaged more fantasy points than Clifford. The first-year starter has completed 66.7 percent of his passes with a 12.4 YPA and six touchdowns on 30 completions. Clifford has also run for at least 50 yards in each of his two games.
Clifford is going up against a Pittsburgh team that ranks a respectable 42 in S&P+ defensively and has faced a pair of quality opponents. So this may not be easy on paper. That said, Pittsburgh's offense could be running into a buzzsaw of a Penn State defense that leaves Clifford and the offense with plenty of short fields and scoring chances.
Others to Consider
Nate Stanley, Iowa ($6,000) at Iowa State
Keytaon Thompson* , Mississippi State ($5,100) vs. Kansas State
*if Tommy Stevens is out
Zonovan Knight, North Carolina State ($5,300) at West Virginia
I laid out my case for Knight in Start vs. Sit earlier in the week but I want to use this opportunity to hammer home my take on this player and this game. Knight is the only NC State back with more than 15 carries and he's making the coaching staff look smart with that decision, notching 5.96 yards per carry and three scores.
Looking to this matchup, West Virginia is bad. It ranks 77th in S&P+ overall, and while a lot of that has to do with the 95th-ranked offense, it's still a defense that could be in a tough spot this week. Knight is looking like an upper-echelon talent at running back in the ACC and NC State is built to wear down on defenses, ranking third on the slate in plays per game (78.0). Knight is in line for another heavy workload and should have plenty of success against this Mountaineer defense.
Charles Williams, UNLV ($5,100) at Northwestern
Fun fact: Williams ranks sixth in fantasy points per game among all running backs that have played two games. 34 carries. 311 yards. Four touchdowns. This will be his toughest matchup so far, having played Southern Utah and Arkansas State to begin the year. There's also the matter of Northwestern coming off a bye, so its defense will be rested. And UNLV checks in with the second-lowest implied total on the board. So Williams is not a cash game consideration. However, if you're looking for a high-upside GPP play in this price range that is locked into a major role for his offense, Williams is worth a look.
Elijah Collins, Michigan State ($3,000) vs. Arizona State
Before you groan that I just gave away the big secret on the slate, relax. People were going to figure it out. In fact, everyone knew the second the slate went live.
Ok, now onto Collins. He's min-priced but he was named the starter earlier in the week on the heels of his breakout against Western Michigan where he went off for 192 yards on just 17 carries. This isn't a min-priced trap the way Keilan Robinson was for Bama in the season-opener. In fact, coach Mark Dantonio actually had real-life nice things to say about his new starter
"He'll start this football game and he'll have the opportunity to get the majority of carries early and we'll see how it all shakes out," Dantonio said as No. 18 Michigan State prepared to host Arizona State on Saturday. "I was impressed with him. I thought he had a burst. I thought he ran through tackles and he had good vision in the hole and good cutting ability. So, I mean, he did the job. I was impressed."- via Matt Charboneau of the Detroit News
The other options in this backfield were either middling, nicked up, or both. So giving Collins the bulk of the work is the right call. He'll be a huge value for his price tag, it just won't necessarily separate you from that pack when he's 20% or higher.
Others to consider
Drake Anderson Northwestern ($3,700) vs. UNLV
This isn't my favorite play in the world but if you need a sub-$4K flex, you could do a lot worse. He's set to start now that Isaiah Bowser is officially out with an injury. Good matchup plus volume here.
Adding on, James Gilbert ($5,200) is cheap for what he's done to this point. 26 carries, 218 yards and three scores in two games since joining K-State as a graduate transfer from Ball State. Mississippi State has been sneaky leaky against the run so far (163 yards and three rushing touchdowns to UL Lafayette in the opener? Really?), so this matchup isn't nearly as brutal as it may seem at first glance.
If you're buying what I'm selling on Sean Clifford, consider one of these two to pair alongside him. In Hamler you're getting a more explosive player who averages 16 yards per target and holds a 20 percent target share in the offense. In Freiermuth you're also getting a player with a target share north of 20 percent who may not be as explosive as Hamler, but is worthy of making an exception for in the sense that he's a usable tight end on DraftKIngs. Freiermuth is putting up over 10.0 yards per target and his size makes him a red zone weapon as he already has two touchdowns. I couldn't endorse either of these players more at their given price points this week.
Deshaunte Jones, Iowa State ($4,600) vs. Iowa
Jones is my type of player for this format. He and the Cyclones are at home coming off a bye in a heated rivalry game and he's the clear top target in this offense. With Hakeem Butler gone, Jones was the main holdover from the 2018 roster and his chemistry with quarterback Brock Purdy is apparent. He was targeted 16 times in the season opener against UNI and hauled 14 of those looks for 126 yards. That type of volume is so valuable on DraftKings, even if Jones isn't a big-play or red zone threat. No one else in his price range has his type of role, either. If you're looking for a more GPP play in this passing game, La'Michael Pettway was the red zone guy in Week 1, catching two touchdowns on four targets. He's a big-bodied player who can make his presence felt when Iowa State gets into scoring range.
Henry Ruggs III, Alabama ($5,300) vs. South Carolina
Ruggs is the cheapest of the Bama Big 3, checking in nearly $3,000 less than Jerry Jeudy and exactly $800 less than Jaylen Waddle. This is the first game where we can at least entertain the thought of Alabama's first-team offense being on the field into the fourth quarter, so there should be enough volume each of these three to hit value. Not that Ruggs really needs to be peppered with targets – he can make his way to the end zone any time he gets the ball in his hands.
Jeudy is obviously the safest play of the three and this could also be Waddle's first big game of the season, but the savings and upside that come with rostering Ruggs make him a strong play this week as well. In fact, Waddle actually has the best YPT (14.2) on the team, so if you have the extra $800 floating around... you get the picture.
Darrell Stewart, Michigan State ($5,800) vs. Arizona State
Stewart is a great one-off option from the Michigan State passing game as he commands a high target share at 31 percent while also averaging a team-best 10.95 YPT among receivers with at least 10 targets. Arizona State has been fairly stingy through the air but this is its first road game and it hasn't really been tested to this point defensively, no offense to Kent State or Sacramento State. Stewart should provide a high target volume along with the type of explosive upside to add a touchdown to his ledger. For $5,800, he's the obvious call from this Michigan State passing attack.
Others to Consider
Tyler Vaughns, USC ($5,700) at BYU
Maybe the rumors of USC's demise were premature. Vaughns leads the team in targets (21) and averages 12.1 YPT. BYU is at home and has been good against the pass thus far but it's also true that the Cougars haven't faced a receiving corps with this type of speed. Vaughns would be my pick from this group if I were approaching this game.
Maurice Ffrench, Pittsburgh ($5,400) at Penn State
Ffrench is the only player on the team with more than 20 targets and is commanding a 33.8 percent market share for the Panthers. The 7.7 YPT won't wow you, but when he's getting 12 targets a game, it doesn't really matter. Pitt should be trailing for the majority of this one, leaving open the possibility of a season-high in pass attempts from this offense, and Ffrench stands out as the top guy to benefit.