FanDuel is hosting their usual College Football Hail Mary Tournament on Saturday. The prize pool consists of $70,000 with $9,000 going to first place. It is $25 to enter.
The contest starts at noon ET.
I have outlined a tournament team below, explaining my rationale for each player.
QB J.T. Barrett – Ohio State (FanDuel Price: $8,800)
Barrett has really hit his groove, taking over as Ohio State’s starting quarterback. He has accounted for 8 rushing TDs and 6 passing over the past four games, and the rushing upside is the most attractive element of his game. The price is still moderate, and there aren’t many other high-end QBs garnering similar attention. The matchup against Michigan State looks tough, but consider that Barrett torched a better Spartan defense for 300 yards, 3 TDs on top of two rushing scores inspires some confidence.
RB LeShun Daniels Jr. – Iowa (FanDuel Price: $7,300)
It appears that Daniels is fully healthy and ready to resume the starting RB role he won early in the season. Last week, he went for 195 yards on 26 carries, scoring 3 TDs against Minnesota. We can expect another dose of 20+ touches and high upside against a Purdue defense that ranks 110th against the run.
RB Taquan Mizzell – Virginia (FanDuel Price: $6,400)
After starting the season strong, it appears that the wheels are coming off the Duke defense. They have lost three straight games, allowing a total of 127 points combined in that stretch. That sets up well for Mizzell and the Cavaliers. Most of the offensive production funnels through this Virigina RB, both rushing and passing. That has given him a solid fantasy floor of 18 FPPG this season. There’s upside for much more than that considering the matchup.
WR JuJu Smith – USC (FanDuel Price: $7,500)
This USC-Oregon matchup is the highest projected scoring game of the early slate, so you’ll definitely want some exposure. JuJu Smith has been rock solid, scoring 4 TDs over the past five games, crossing the 100 yard threshold in three of those (6 times overall this season). He is the epitome of consistency, and it’s safe to assume that continues in a high-scoring shootout with Oregon.
WR Darren Carrington – Oregon (FanDuel Price: $6,400)
On the other side of this high scoring game lies Carrington. He has been over 100 yards in three of four games this season, scoring 4 TDs over that stretch. USC has a solid run defense, which could force Oregon to throw more than usual. If that’s the case, Carrington will stand to benefit as the Ducks’ primary receiver.
WR Michael Thomas – Ohio State (FanDuel Price: $6,000)
Thomas has been great this season, scoring 8 TDs in ten total games. He has caught a touchdown pass in four straight games, and it’s safe to assume that he could get another against Michigan State. The Spartans have a respectable run defense, which means Ohio State could throw the ball more than usual, giving Thomas more chances to break one.
TE Alan Cross – Memphis (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
Cross isn’t exactly an inspiring pick, but he’s cheap and the tight end position isn’t very good within this slate. He has caught 2 TDs over the past four weeks, piling up 13 receptions over that span. That’s all you are looking for in a cheap tight end: 3+ catches, 40+ yards, and a reasonable chance of scoring.