College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 12/29/20
In this preview, I'll break down the Saturday main slate into three categories based on FanDuel salaries: players to build around, value plays, and players to avoid.
Players to build around carry expensive salaries, but their ceiling is high enough to consider prioritizing them in your lineup. Value plays are lower-salaried options who usually come with some risk, but adding them to your lineup will help you pay for the expensive stars. Players to avoid are fantasy-relevant options you might normally consider but 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 Sam Ehlinger, Texas ($12,000)
Sam Ehlinger carries the highest salary on this slate by $1,200, but it's well deserved and he's virtually a must-roster quarterback given the alternatives. Colorado is allowing opposing quarterbacks to score 5.0 fantasy points above their average and has allowed over 30 points to quarterbacks in two of five games. The Longhorns have the highest implied total on the slate (36.5 points) and Ehlinger should have plenty of opportunities to rack up points in what could be his final game at Texas.
QB D'Eriq King, Miami FL ($10,800)
Oklahoma State's defense has mostly been one to avoid this year, but with limited options on this slate, you might want to still consider D'Eriq King. Prior to shutting down Baylor in the regular-season finale, the Cowboys had given up at least 25 fantasy points to quarterbacks in four consecutive games. In the other six games, however, Oklahoma State gave up an average of 10.2 points to quarterbacks. Those numbers make King look like a boom-or-bust option, depending on which Cowboys' defense shows up -- in other words, he's probably a better tournament gamble than cash-game play.
RB Jarek Broussard, Colorado ($9,600)
Jarek Broussard is a tournament-only option based on his inconsistent production this year -- he's topped 30 fantasy points twice and been held under 15 points in his other three contests. Colorado wants to feed him the ball -- he has 25 touches in four of five games -- so his workload makes him a strong candidate for lineups. It's worth noting, however, Texas' run defense matches up well with Colorado. According to Sports Info Solutions, 62 percent of Broussard's carries have been while Colorado is in 11 personnel -- Texas is allowing just 4.2 yards per attempt versus 11 personnel, the fourth-lowest rate among Power Five defenses.
RB Bijan Robinson, Texas ($9,100)
Five-star freshman Bijan Robinson was finally unleashed against Kansas State in the Longhorns' season finale, and he promptly put up 41.8 fantasy points on just 12 touches. He split time with Roschon Johnson ($7,500), but it's clear Robinson is the future of the Texas backfield. The Longhorns run the ball from 11 personnel on 77 percent of their attempts, per Sports Info Solutions. Against those formations, Colorado is allowing 8.0 yards per carry, the second-worst rate in Power 5. Based on these numbers, Robinson is an obvious target at running back, and Johnson is worth consideration as well.
WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State ($9,500)
Tylan Wallace is a future pro and is recovering from a knee injury, so he had every reason to justify opting out of this game. The fact that he is suiting up should tell us he's close to 100 percent and Oklahoma State plans to feed him the ball in what will likely be his last game for the Cowboys. Wallace will be facing a Miami secondary without top cornerback Al Blades Jr.
QB Sam Noyer, Colorado ($9,000)
Sam Noyer carries the lowest cap hit among starting quarterbacks on the slate and has been fairly productive, topping 25 fantasy points in two of Colorado's five games. With the Buffs entering this contest as 7.5-point underdogs, Noyer will likely find himself playing from behind, potentially elevating his workload. Noyer is especially appealing in cash games because his rushing ability (38.2 yards per game, 5 touchdowns) gives him a safe floor.
RB. L.D. Brown, Oklahoma State ($7,200)
L.D. Brown hasn't taken the field since November 21, but Mike Gundy stated Brown will be available in this matchup. Brown is listed as the starter on the depth chart -- without the dreaded "or" designation -- so he's probably a safe bet to have a solid workload in this game. However, it's worth mentioning both of his backups -- Dezmon Jackson ($8,200) and Dominic Richardson ($6,000) -- had 100-yard games in his absence. Be prepared for the possibility this is a three-man committee.
WR Jake Smith, Texas ($7,000)
Since Jake Smith returned to the field from an injury in Week 8, he's second on the team with a 20.3 percent target share, trailing only Brennan Eagles, who opted out of the bowl game. Smith has topped 10 fantasy points only three times, but the potential for an elevated workload, coupled with his reasonable salary makes him an obvious target on this slate.
WR K.D. Nixon, Colorado ($5,500)
During the three games he's played, K.D. Nixon leads Colorado with a 21.4 percent target share, and yet there are five Colorado receivers with higher salaries on this slate. Colorado will be without La'Vontae Shenault (suspension), who was second on the team in targets during Nixon's three healthy games, so an increased workload is possible for Nixon.
WR Tarik Black, Texas ($5,400)
Tarik Black's opportunities dropped off late in the year, but he's listed as Brennan Eagles' backup on the depth chart and could step into a valuable role in his absence. Early in the year, Black flashed some value with five receptions for 80 yards and 16.5 fantasy points against UTEP, but that was his only game with double-digit fantasy points. He should be considered a low-floor dart throw, but is worth a look at this ultra-cheap cap hit.
Players to Avoid
QB Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State ($10,000)
On a short slate, you can justify throwing at dart at almost anyone, but Spencer Sanders probably isn't someone to build many lineups around against a tough Miami defense. The Hurricanes have held opposing quarterbacks under their season average in nine of 10 games. Even against weaker defenses, Sanders hasn't shown a ceiling worthy of this cap hit, peaking at 26.98 points against Baylor.
WR Joshua Moore, Texas ($8,900)
Since Jake Smith returned in Week 8, Joshua Moore has six receptions on 17 targets (11.9 percent target share). Maybe he'll get a boost by Brennan Eagles' absence, but there's simply no justification for him holding the second highest salary among receivers on this slate, especially when his cap hit is nearly $2,000 more than any of his teammates. If you can fit Moore in your lineup because you're saving cap space elsewhere, go for it, but don't make Moore a priority.
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.