College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 9/4/21
Week 1 of college football is here! FanDuel's college football DFS main slate on Saturday includes 12 games.
As for the basics, your roster consists of a quarterback slot, two running backs, three wide receivers (which also includes tight ends), and one superflex. In the superflex, you can insert one player from any position, including quarterbacks.
Here, our goal is to help you field a roster full of fantasy goodness, and in true numberFire fashion, we'll use our in-house projections as well as betting totals and advanced statistics to tackle as many slates as possible in the lead-up to the College Football Playoff. In this piece, we are breaking down Saturday's main slate, which locks at 12:00 p.m. EST.
Let's look at which players are in great spots as well as identify some players with low salaries who will allow you to roster the high-salary players.
Bryce Young, Alabama ($9,700) – The newly minted millionaire will make his first career start for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Notably, Young was the nation's top ranked dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school back in 2019. He won't have DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle to work with, but Young is set up for immediate success. Per Pro Football Focus (PFF), Young will be protected by the SEC's second-best offensive line. He also has the SEC's second-best running back group and fourth-best wide receiving corp. The matchup with the Miami (FL) Hurricanes may seem like a tough task, but the Hurricanes' defense is expected to take a step back this season. PFF has the Hurricanes' D line ranked sixth in the ACC while their secondary is ranked ninth (out of 14 teams).
Max Johnson, LSU ($8,500) – The lefty ended last season with a big statement as the LSU starting quarterback. Johnson carved up Florida for 239 passing yards and three touchdowns while also running for 52 yards on 18 attempts. Then the sophomore ripped Mississippi in the season finale for 435 passing yards and three touchdown passes. Johnson also ran for 45 yards and two touchdowns in that game. Johnson will test UCLA's pass defense, which struggled last season. The Bruins allowed 274.1 passing yards per game, which ranked 114th nationally. D'Eriq King ($8,400) has been bumped down in salary due to the matchup with Alabama. He makes for an interesting under-the-radar tournament play. Jack Plummer ($8,600) is also a solid pick; he attempted at least 35 passes in all three of his starts last season.
Sam Noyer, Oregon State ($7,800) – Noyer was named the Oregon State Beavers' starting quarterback after transferring from Colorado. He's an inconsistent passer (completed only 55% of his passes), but the senior's primary DFS appeal comes from his running ability. While starting at Colorado last season, Noyer managed to tally 208 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns across six games. Additionally, he provides a ton of salary relief. Throw in an intriguing matchup with Purdue's pass defense, and Noyer makes for a nice value play. The Boilermakers allowed 254.2 passing yards per game last season, including 7.94 yards per pass attempt (ranked 94th nationally).
Others to consider: Spencer Rattler, Tyler Shough, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Clayton Tune, Cade McNamara, D'Eriq King, Jack Plummer, Skylar Thompson, Michael Penix Jr., DJ Uiagalelei, Taulia Tagovailoa, Kaleb Eleby, Sean Clifford, Jarret Doege, and Graham Mertz.
Leddie Brown, West Virginia ($9,600) – Brown is one of the true workhorses in college football. As such, he is one of the safest plays on the Saturday slate. Brown averaged 19.0 carries and 101.0 rushing yards per game last season. Further enhancing his appeal is the fact that he’s an exceptional pass catcher out of the backfield. The senior recorded 31 grabs, 202 yards, and two touchdowns in the passing game in 2020. Brown should have a huge day against Maryland's atrocious run defense. The Terps allowed a staggering 14 rushing touchdowns in five games to opposing ball carriers last season.
Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State ($8,300) – The sophomore was the Kansas State Wildcats' leading rusher and top pass catcher a season ago. Despite playing just six games, the diminutive speedster ran for 642 yards and seven touchdowns. He also tallied 25 receptions, 434 receiving yards, and two touchdown receptions. Vaughn’s 36 targets last season also ranked first on the team. The season-opening matchup with Stanford is a tremendous spot for Vaughn and the Wildcats' ground game. A year ago, Stanford coughed up 222 rushing yards per game, including 5.46 yards per carry. The Cardinal allowed 12 rushing touchdowns in six games.
Mulbah Car, Houston ($6,900) – Car may finally get his chance to be lead back for the Houston Cougars after splitting carries for the past two seasons. We have seen what Car can do when he's the featured back. Due to injuries, Car started and operated as Houston's primary ball carrier for the final two games of the 2019 season. He averaged 22 carries, 134 rushing yards, and one touchdown during that stretch. The matchup with Texas Tech Red Raiders is a fantastic spot for Car and the Cougars' running game. Texas Tech allowed 186.4 rushing yards per game last season. Additionally, they surrendered 24 rushing touchdowns in 10 games. If you need more salary relief, LaDarius Jefferson ($5,700) and Chez Mellusi ($5,400) are both slated to start at running back for their respective teams. They are in tough matchups, but you don't need much from them in order to pay off their low salaries.
Others to consider: Bijon Robinson, Aaron Jones, Zander Horvath, Hassan Haskins, Brian Robinson Jr., Eric Gray, Tyler Goodson, Zamir White, Tyrion Davis-Price, Tayon Fleet-Davis, BJ Baylor, SaRodorick Thompson (if he plays), John Emery Jr., Xavier White (if SaRodorick Thompson is out), Stephen Carr, LaDarius Jefferson, Blake Corum, and Chez Mellusi.
David Bell, Purdue ($9,800) – Talent and opportunity are the reason I have Bell as my top wide receiver. With Rondale Moore now in the NFL, there’s no telling how much damage Bell can inflict on the box score. Bell played three games last season with Moore sidelined. Over those three games, Bell averaged 10.3 receptions, 107.0 receiving yards, and 1.3 touchdowns on 15.6 targets. I also like Purdue teammate Milton Wright ($6,800) as he also benefited from Moore’s absence. Both wide receivers should succeed in Purdue’s pass-happy offense (the Boilermakers threw on 63.5% of their offensive snaps last season).
Kayshon Boutte, LSU ($8,500) – The rising LSU star posted video game stats over the final two games with quarterback Max Johnson starting. Boutte had five receptions, 108 receiving yards, and one touchdown against Florida. He went nuclear against Mississippi in the season finale. The former five-star prospect had 14 receptions, 308 receiving yards, and three touchdowns on 21 targets in that game. With Johnson starting at quarterback, Boutte’s ceiling is sky-high against UCLA. Justyn Ross ($7,500) and Mike Woods ($6,700) are two players worth considering if you need a wide receiver salaried between Boutte and Wright. Both of those wide receivers will likely be less popular than Boutte in tournaments.
Jameson Williams, Alabama ($5,700) – Williams was a former four-star prospect who joined Ohio State. Unfortunately for him, he took a back seat to Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson over the past two seasons. Now he’s earned a starting assignment at Alabama. He’s expected to play a major role alongside John Metchie III. At Williams' bargain basement salary, I’ll bet on his talent and roster him this week. Jadon Haselwood ($5,500) is a viable pivot. The former five-star prospect is expected to start for the Oklahoma Sooners with Theo Wease nursing an injury.
Others to consider: Marvin Mims, John Metchie III, Jonathan Moore, Jahan Dotson, Erik Ezukanma, Ty Fryfogle, Cornelius Johnson, Justyn Ross, Rakim Jarrett, Grant Dulcich, Ronnie Bell, Austin Stogner, Trevon Bradford, Kaylon Geiger Sr., Bryce Ford-Wheaton, Mike Harley, Parker Washington, Milton Wright, Nathaniel Dell, Wynston Wright Jr., Mike Woods, Jaray Jenkins, Tyjon Lindsey, Kearis Jackson, Skyy Moore, Jermaine Burton, Malik Knowles, Elijah Higgins, KeSean Carter, Peyton Hendershot, Xavier Worthy, Frank Ladson Jr., and Will Mallory.
Matthew Hiatt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matthew Hiatt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username easternmh. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.