College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 9/6/19
If you followed along with last week's Friday DFS helper, hopefully, you're coming off a successful Week 1 in college football. Four players mentioned in last week's column ended up in the perfect lineup on FanDuel, including the recommended quarterback/receiver stack of Wake Forest's Jaime Newman and Sage Surratt.
Week 2 is a smaller slate and presents some unique challenges to building a lineup. All three games feature a double-digit spread, significantly decreasing the odds of a shootout to help generate fantasy points. As a result, you may not benefit from stacking your lineup for certain matchups this week.
If you're new to college football DFS, here's a rundown of the rules from FanDuel. As for the basics, your roster consists of a quarterback slot, two running back slots, three wide receiver slots (which also includes tight ends) and one super flex slot. In the flex, you can insert one player from any position, including quarterbacks.
In this preview, I'll break down the Friday slate into three categories: players to build around, value plays, and players to avoid.
Players to build around are more expensive but their ceiling is high enough that you should consider prioritizing them in your lineup. Value plays are cheaper options who usually come with some risk, but adding them to your lineup will help you afford the expensive stars. Players to avoid are guys you might normally consider at their price tag, but who have a tough matchup this week and are unlikely to live up to their usual expectations.
All references to betting totals and spreads are from the FanDuel Sportsbook.
Players to Build Around
QB Hank Bachmeier, Boise State ($9,000) vs. Marshall
Boise State freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier exceeded expectations in his debut, leading the Broncos to a 36-31 victory over the Florida State Seminoles, throwing for over 400 yards in the process. The performance was made even more impressive by Bachmeier holding up under pressure. According to Sports Info Solutions, 45.1 percent of his attempts came under duress, the sixth-highest rate among FBS quarterbacks (minimum 25 attempts).
Bachmeier's success against Florida State's pressure could prove to be a valuable experience going into his Week 2 game against a strong Marshall defense. The Thundering Herd ranked eighth in the nation with 42 sacks a season ago.
While hyping up an opposing defense may sound odd, Marshall's defensive unit could actually be a reason to buy Bachmeier on this slate. Compared to the other top quarterbacks available, Bachmeier may be the only one forced to throw the ball to win.
Marshall also ranked eighth in the nation in rushing defense a season ago, and is coming off a Week 1 performance in which it allowed just 56 yards on 27 attempts to FCS opponent VMI.
Favored by 12 points, Boise State is still expected to win relatively easily, but Marshall could provide enough of a challenge to force Bachmeier to continue airing it out into the second half.
QB Bryce Perkins, Virginia ($10,300) vs. William & Mary
The Virginia Cavaliers are favored by 34.5 points on Friday night, so you'll have to hope Bryce Perkins does some damage early before likely getting pulled at some point in the second half. Sometimes it's best to avoid quarterbacks in lopsided matchups because teams tend to run the ball at a higher rate. In Perkins' case, the game script might not matter much.
In Week 1 against Pittsburgh, Perkins led the Cavaliers with 15 rushing attempts (excluding sacks), matching the total attempts by Virginia's running backs. And although Perkins didn't reach the end zone in the ground game, he did lead the team with five red zone rushing attempts.
In it's lone game against an FBS opponent in 2018, William & Mary got roughed up 62-17 by Virginia Tech -- the same Hokies squad that lost to Old Dominion in its next game. So even if Perkins doesn't play a full four quarters, there should be plenty of opportunities for him to rack up some fantasy points before exiting.
RB Wayne Taulapapa, Virginia ($9,100) vs. William & Mary
Putting Wayne Taulapapa into your lineup will take a leap of faith, but the game script in this matchup should set him up for a strong performance. Other than Perkins, Taulapapa appears to be the primary ball carrier in the Cavaliers' backfield.
The downside to trusting Taulapapa is his inexperience. After playing exclusively on special teams as a freshman, Taulapapa made his offensive debut with 10 carries against Pittsburgh in Week 1 -- most among Virginia running backs.
If offensive coordinator Robert Anae was hesitant to put too much on Taulapapa's shoulders in his debut against a respectable Pitt defense, this matchup against William & Mary should be an ideal opportunity to ramp up his workload.
RB Cade Carney, Wake Forest ($9,400) vs. Rice
In an expected blowout, Cade Carney is unlikely to play a full game, but his role in the offense makes him a strong candidate to reach the end zone at least once against a weak Rice defense.
Carney failed to score a touchdown in Wake's Week 1 matchup, but he was given a whopping 13 red zone carries. Carney also led the team with 41 red zone carries in 2018.
In last year's matchup against Rice, Carney carried the ball just 13 times but reached the end zone twice. A similarly light workload might be in store for Carney, but he's worth inserting into your lineup in hopes of another multi-score game.
WR Austin Trammell, Rice ($6,400) vs. Wake Forest
Rice is a run-first team and had a 30-to-14 run-to-pass ratio in Week 1 against Army, which likely explains Austin Trammell's cheap price tag. When forced to throw, however, Trammell is the go-to guy in the offense. In 2018, Trammell saw a 31.3 percent target share and was on the receiving end of 50 percent of Rice's targets last week.
Against a fast-paced team like Wake Forest, Rice will undoubtedly try to slow things down by running the ball early, but once the Demon Deacons grab a significant lead -- they're favored by 19 points -- the Owls will be forced to throw.
Aaron Cephus, who finished second on the team with a 22.4 percent target share in 2018, is suspended, leaving Trammell as the only proven weapon in the passing game -- and his target share in Week 1 showed it. If Trammell can rack up seven targets in a game where Rice throws the ball just 14 times, it's reasonable to expect double-digit targets coming his way on Friday night.
WR Scotty Washington, Wake Forest ($7,700) vs. Rice
Wake Forest is generally a team to avoid this week (more on that later), but Scotty Washington's reasonable price and role within the offense makes him worth consideration.
At 6'5", Washington appears to be the go-to red zone receiver for Wake Forest this season. In Week 1 against Utah State, Washington saw three of the team's eight red zone targets, with one leading to a touchdown, according to Sports Info Solutions.
This game could turn into a blowout, limiting the opportunities for Wake's starters, but you only need one touchdown from Washington for him to be worth the investment at this price.
CT Thomas, Boise State ($7,900) vs. Marshall
According to Sports Info Solutions, Bachmeier threw 45.1 percent of his targets to the slot in Week 1. Nine of those targets when to Khalil Shakir, who had a big game and saw his price rise this week. But there were still eight slot targets (nine targets total) for CT Thomas, who is available for $1,100 less than Shakir.
It's possible Boise State leaned heavily on its slot receivers in order to get the ball out quickly against Florida State's pass rush. As previously mentioned, Marshall should also be able to get pressure on Bachmeier, which could lead to a similar game plan.
Players to Avoid
QB Jamie Newman, Wake Forest ($10,100) vs. Rice
If you had Newman in your lineup a week ago, you probably walked away a winner. This week, you may want to steer clear.
The Demon Deacons are favored by 19 points, and this game may not be competitive for very long. In last year's matchup -- a 56-24 Wake Forest win -- quarterback Sam Hartman racked up 26 fantasy points thanks to four touchdown passes. However, that performance came on just 17 pass attempts. It takes a good amount of luck to generate such a strong fantasy output on so few opportunities.
If you're filling out multiple lineups, throwing Newman into one in hopes of a Hartman-like game is reasonable, but you probably shouldn't be building the majority of your lineups around him. Due to Rice's weak defense and Wake's strong running game, most of the damage in this game is likely to be done on the ground.
WR Sage Surratt, Wake Forest ($9,800) vs. Rice
Surratt put up 25.3 fantasy points in Week 1, but that was largely due to Wake Forest's need to throw the ball for four quarters in order to pull out a 38-35 win over Utah State. This week's showdown with Rice is unlikely to turn into such a shootout.
In 2018, the Demon Deacons needed just 20 total pass attempts (17 from it's starting quarterback) in order to hang 56 points on the Owls. It's unlikely Surratt plays four quarters in this game, and even when he's on the field, Wake Forest is likely to be playing with a lead and leaning heavily on the running game.
WR Corey Gammage, Marshall ($7,600) vs. Boise State
6'4" redshirt-freshman Corey Gammage broke out with five receptions on a team-high eight targets for 82 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. However, after the game head coach Doc Holliday told the press Gammage was only starting in place of the injured Obi Obialo. Entering Friday's contest, Obialo's status is still unknown.
Given his Week 1 performance, Gammage might be tempting at that price tag, but you'll need to closely monitor Obialo's availability. If it's announced Obialo will play, then he becomes a potential option for your lineup at just $6,000.
Ryan McCrystal is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan McCrystal also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username cfbfilmroom. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.