FanDuel is hosting their usual College Football Hail Mary Tournament on Saturday. The prize pool consists of $40,000 with $5,500 going to first place. It is $25 to enter.
The contest starts at noon ET, as it is the FanDuel “Early Only” CFB Slate.
I have outlined a tournament team below, explaining my rationale for each player.
QB Fredi Knighten – Arkansas State (FanDuel Price: $9,100)
This slate features some lesser known smaller schools, which I personally really like. This creates a substantial edge for those who have done research, compared to the casual fans selecting off of name recognition. Speaking to that theme, Brandon Doughty and Greg Ward Jr. are two of the more recognizable premium QBs in the player pool. Both are fine options, but Fredi Knighten has just as much upside as those two, looking at a much lower ownership percentage. Not only that, but Knighten also has the best matchup of any QB in this slate, facing a Texas State team that ranks 124th vs the run and 109th against the pass. Knighten is a dual-threat signal caller who has recorded 7 passing and 2 rushing TDs over the past two games. Both of those came in similarly good matchups as the one in front of him.
RB Larry Rose III – New Mexico State (FanDuel Price: $7,400)
Rose is a workhorse running back for New Mexico State, seeing 20-25 carries routinely. That has translated to some big games in the past, including a 31 carry, 207 yard, 2 TD performance at Texas State a few weeks ago. The matchup against UL-Monroe is a good one, as they rank 112th in rushing defense on the season. Rose has went over 100 yards in the past five games, surpassing the 200 yard threshold in two of those.
RB Jalen Richard – Southern Miss (FanDuel Price: $5,200)
This has to be some sort of pricing error. Richard is averaging a legitimate 19 FPPG on the season, yet he’s hovering slightly above minimum salary at $5200. This Southern Miss-Western Kentucky game should feature a ton of scoring from both sides, and Richard is an excellent candidate to get in on the action. He usually splits carries with teammate Ito Smith, but that hasn’t limited him as of late – scoring 7 TDs in the past three games.
WR Tres Houston – Arkansas State (FanDuel Price: $7,200)
There are a lot of good wide receivers in this range (namely Taywan Taylor of WKU), but I’m taking a risk by pairing Houston with his QB Knighten. As I mentioned earlier, Texas State ranks 109th in passing defense, Houston is red-hot right now, snagging 4 TDs in the past two games, achieving FP totals of 29 and 25 respectively. He’s definitely a candidate for multiple touchdowns once again.
WR Michael Thomas – Southern Miss (FanDuel Price: $6,800)
Nope…it’s not the WR Michael Thomas from Ohio State. Even though this Michael Thomas is lesser-known, he’s a much better fantasy commodity, averaging 19 FPPG on the season. He has been remarkably consistent throughout this 2015 campaign, and Southern Miss will certainly utilize him to the maximum in an effort to keep pace with Western Kentucky. Thomas has scored a TD in eight straight games, surpassing 100 yards in six of those. I’m willing to bet he furthers that mark on Saturday.
WR KD Cannon – Baylor (FanDuel Price: $4,500)
Cannon has been somewhat spotty this season, but the upside is undeniable. Last week he only had 3 catches for 28 yards at TCU. However, that can be thrown out the window, as both teams struggled to pass the ball in the rain last Saturday. Before that, Cannon recorded 14 catches, 395 yards, and 3 TDs in his previous three games. That’s some hearty upside for someone priced at minimum salary.
TE Tyler Higbee – Western Kentucky (FanDuel Price: $4,700)
Higbee is the best fantasy tight end in the country, and I’m not going against the grain here. He was out with an injury for over a month, returning last week to post a 6 catch, 92 yard, 2 TD line vs Marshall. That’s all I need to see moving forward, as he’s a top-flight pick once again. Sometimes with Western Kentucky, we worry about them throttling down with a large second half lead. That shouldn’t be the case this week, as they are only favored by 7 – meaning they’ll be chucking the ball for 4 quarters.