FanDuel is hosting their usual College Football Hail Mary Tournament on Saturday. The prize pool consists of $80,000 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.
Enjoy, and good luck!
QB Greg Ward Jr. – Houston (FanDuel Price: $9,500)
There are a lot of very good quarterbacks within this slate: Patrick Mahomes, Trevone Boykin, and Luke Falk to name a few. However, while they all have some upside, Ward marginally has more due to his elite rushing upside. The Houston QB hasn’t had to do much over the past two weeks in blowout wins. However, that likely won’t be the case in a tight, high-scoring matchup vs Cincinnati this week, as Ward should see plenty of action to reach the 40-45 fantasy point range from earlier in the season. It helps that Ward is slightly cheaper than those other three QBs mentioned.
RB Demario Richard – Arizona State (FanDuel Price: $7,100)
I’m expecting plenty of points from both sides of this game, as there are three total players mentioned from this Pac-12 shootout. Richard has went over 25 fantasy points in three of the past five games this season, and this is one of his best matchups against a Washington State run defense that ranks 101st in the nation. Richard is heavily involved in both the running and passing game, and he’ll have a chance for multiple touchdowns on Saturday.
RB Wendell Smallwood – West Virginia (FanDuel Price: $6,700)
Smallwood will be a popular play this week, but I believe he is a necessity on FanDuel. He has gone over 100 yards in four of the past five games, and now he faces a Texas Tech run defense that ranks among the worst in the nation. West Virginia is favored by 8 points in this high-scoring contest, meaning Smallwood should see plenty of second half carries to put the game away. 150 yards and 2 touchdowns is a reasonable baseline.
WR Gabe Marks – Washington State (FanDuel Price: $7,800)
Marks has been fantastic this season as the leading receiver for one of the best passing offenses in the country. There should be plenty of pass attempts, possessions, and points in this projected high-scoring matchup against Arizona State, which could inspire Marks to a gaudy fantasy total. He has caught 9 TDs over the past five games, and he could easily snag another couple on Saturday.
WR River Cracraft – Washington State (FanDuel Price: $5,700)
Washington State is one of the few teams where you can roster two wide receivers and get terrific upside out of both. Cracraft has been very consistent this season, and he has proven to coexist nicely with #1 WR Gabe Marks in certain matchups. The draw against Arizona State’s 102nd ranked pass defense looks like another one where Marks and Cracraft could both eat. He’s one of the few WR options below $6000 that has legitimate 20+ fantasy point upside.
WR Jovon Durante – West Virginia (FanDuel Price: $4,500)
If you look at the game logs, you may laugh at this pick. However, the stats don’t tell the whole story when it comes to Durante. He’s a big play, deep threat for West Virginia, and he actually came close to snagging a few touchdowns against TCU last week. I’m willing to bet that the Mountaineers call his number on a fly route several times on Saturday, and there’s reason to believe that he can get behind Texas Tech’s horrific secondary. He’s risky, but he also has big play ability that can pay off his price point in one long reception. That’s essentially what you are looking for with a minimum salary tournament wide receiver.
TE Austin Hooper – Stanford (FanDuel Price: $3,700)
It’s hard to dispute that Hooper is the best tight end within this slate, speaking both in terms of overall talent and fantasy potential. He has cemented a vital role within this Stanford offense, finding himself routinely wide open on play action fakes. Hooper has scored a touchdown in four of the past five games, and I’m guessing he snags another against Colorado’s non-imposing defense.