College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 10/11/19
The Friday night slate usually forces us to dig deep on some mediocre Group of 5 teams, but Week 7 gives us two good Power 5 matchups and a couple games with high-scoring potential.
Normally, I try to find at least one player from every game to highlight as a potential play, but on this slate, I've intentionally ignored the matchup between the Virginia Cavaliers and Miami (FL) Hurricanes. Both teams are carried by their defense -- as a result, the total for this matchup is set at 43.5 points. This should be a good game, with Miami favored by just 2.5 points, but it's difficult to identify any players to target. So while this is technically a three-game slate, you'll probably want to load up on players from the other two available matchups.
In this preview, I'll break down the Friday slate into three categories based on FanDuel's prices: 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 Justin Herbert, Oregon ($10,000) vs. Colorado
Every quarterback Colorado has faced this season has put up at least 20 fantasy points, with an average of 27.2 points per game. Justin Herbert is averaging 22.8 fantasy points per game, but his ceiling is substantially higher against a poor defense like Colorado's. Herbert's per-game average is driven down by his matchups against two of the best defenses in the country (Auburn and California) as he was held under 15 fantasy points in each game. In his other three outings, Herbert eclipsed the 20-point mark each time, surpassing 30 fantasy points twice.
RB C.J. Verdell, Oregon ($8,100) vs. Colorado
Oregon Ducks running back C.J. Verdell has been a disappointment this season, racking up just 277 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. However, this is an ideal matchup against a struggling Colorado defense. The Buffaloes' run defense has allowed at least five yards on 42 percent of opponents carries this year, which ranks 59th out of 65 Power 5 schools. It's worth mentioning Verdell is coming off a sprained ankle suffered on Saturday against Cal, but he was back on the practice field by Monday.
WR Warren Jackson, Colorado State ($9,300) vs. New Mexico
After missing the last two games due to a concussion, Warren Jackson has been cleared to return on Friday. Through Colorado State's first three games, Jackson led the team with a 31.9 percent target share. New Mexico has allowed an opposing receiver to reach at least 20 fantasy points in three of its four games against FBS opponents.
WR Dante Wright, Colorado State ($8,500) vs. New Mexico
Dante Wright has reached double-digit fantasy points in every game this season and draws a great matchup against New Mexico's defense. According to Sports Info Solutions, the Lobos are allowing 11.8 yards per target to slot receivers. Wright is Colorado State's primary weapon in the slot, where he's received 32 of his 47 targets.
WR Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado ($8,300) vs. Oregon
If you want to use Laviska Shenault Jr. on Friday, you'll need to closely monitor his injury status. Shenault missed last week's game with a "core muscle strain" and has been knocked out of two other games this season. If Colorado determines Shenault is healthy, however, he could be a bargain. Shenault opened the year at $10,300 in Week 1, so the injuries have knocked $2,000 off his price tag. Oregon has a tough defense, but Colorado will need to throw to keep pace with the Ducks. Through Colorado's first three games -- which included Shenault missing a portion of the Nebraska game due to injury -- he led the team with a 26 percent target share.
QB Patrick O'Brien, Colorado State ($7,700) vs. New Mexico
Since Colorado State quarterback Colin Hill went down with a torn ACL, Patrick O'Brien's tenure as the starter hasn't been going smoothly. O'Brien has been held to 10 or fewer fantasy points in two of his three starts (versus Utah State and San Diego State). However, if you're hoping to save money at quarterback, O'Brien is your best best as the second-cheapest starter on the slate. New Mexico's defense has allowed at least 20 fantasy points to every FBS quarterback it has faced this season, and this matchup carries the highest total (66.5 points) on the slate.
RB Marcus McElroy, Colorado State ($5,800) vs. New Mexico
Marvin Kinsey Jr.'s fumbling issues have opened the door for Marcus McElroy, who led Colorado State with 11 carries last week (compared to six carries for -8 yards for Kinsey). The Rams are a pass-happy team, so McElroy doesn't have a high ceiling, but at this price, he's worth considering. The game script could also be in McElroy's favor, as Colorado State is favored by three points. The Rams haven't had many opportunities to play with a lead this season, which has contributed to their lack of a run game in past contests.
WR Juwan Johnson, Oregon ($7,000) vs. Colorado
If you want to roll the dice on a player with high upside but low ownership, Oregon's Juwan Johnson looks like a great candidate. The graduate transfer from Penn State made his long-awaited debut for the Ducks last week after missing the first five weeks with a calf injury. Johnson did not record a catch against Cal, but Oregon may have been easing him in against an elite defense. The number-one receiver role was expected to be Johnson's prior to the season, and no one has claimed it in his absence. Against a weak Colorado defense, this could be an opportunity for Herbert and Johnson to finally develop that connection.
Players to Avoid
RB Marvin Kinsey Jr., Colorado State ($8,900) vs. New Mexico
Marvin Kinsey Jr. is just a few weeks removed from rushing for 247 yards against Toledo, but his role in the Colorado State offense is in jeopardy due to his six fumbles. Last week against San Diego State, Kinsey didn't touch the ball until Colorado State's third drive of the game, with McElroy getting the majority of the early workload. Kinsey then fumbled on the first play of the second half and saw just four more touches the rest of the game. Maybe Kinsey will bounce back against a bad New Mexico defense, but it's unclear if the coaching staff trusts him enough to give him the ball. At this price, he isn't worth the risk.
QB N'Kosi Perry, Miami FL ($7,000) vs. Virginia
Last week N'Kosi Perry stepped in for Jarren Williams, who is dealing with a shoulder injury, and will get his first start of the season against Virginia. Perry played well against Virginia Tech, throwing for over 400 yards, but the Cavaliers' defense presents a different type of challenge. Virginia's defense is allowing just 13.8 fantasy points per game to opposing FBS quarterbacks and recently held Notre Dame's Ian Book to just 7.6 points. Perry is the cheapest starting quarterback on this slate, but even at this price, he probably isn't worth it against the Cavaliers.
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.