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Week 8: Barrett's Back in Town

by Thor Nystrom
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

FanDuel Saturday late lineup


Quarterback- J.T. Barrett, Ohio State Rutgers ($8,000) 


Analysis: Barrett's ceiling for much of the season has been capped due to the fact that it was difficult to know when or how much he would play behind Cardale Jones. An impressive performance against Penn State (two passing touchdowns plus 101 yards rushing and two ground scores) has finally boosted him to the QB1 slot on the depth chart. And now we can theoretically reap the DFS rewards. Remember, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound sophomore posted a Heisman-caliber campaign (64% completions, 34/10 TD/INT ratio) in 2014 prior to the season-ending injury that allowed Jones' rise to prominence. Even beyond that, the Buckeyes have a sweet match-up here. Rutgers is allowing the fourth-most passing yards in the nation on average. Included in that is the 437-yard, four-touchdown shredding Indiana's Nate Sudfeld dished out against the Scarlet Knights last weekend.


Alternate- Patrick Towles, Kentucky @ Mississippi State ($6,200). Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott checks in at $9,000 on the FanDuel board, but I'm actually more interested in Towles. After having thrown for a season-high of just 257 yards through Kentucky's first four games, the junior's suddenly started racking up the frequent flier miles, passing for 329 and 359 yards in his last two contests. Towles' effort against the Bulldogs in 2014 was perhaps his best of that entire season, as he threw for 390 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 76 yards and an additional two scores. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder offers a nice price tag, too, though there's a reason for that. To put it kindly, Towles' production this season has been somewhat erratic. He holds an 8/7 TD/INT ratio and has three games where he hasn't thrown for a touchdown at all.


Option I wouldn't touch with my worst enemy's lineup- Sefo LiufauColorado @ Oregon State ($8,300). Like Towles, Liufau's production has picked up of late. Through his first five games of the season, his best yardage total was 231 against Oregon on October 3. He's thrown for 389 and 339 yards in his last two games, though, and currently holds an 8/3 TD/INT ratio. This is all well and good, but there's not enough numerical upside in his current numbers to justify an $8,300 price tag (fourth-highest dollar tag on a QB in the late game slate). Liufau has just two games this season with multiple touchdown passes.


Running Back- Stanley “Boom” Williams, Kentucky @ Mississippi State ($6,500)


Analysis: Williams missed Kentucky's October 3 showdown with Eastern Kentucky due to a personal issue, but he returned against Auburn in winning style last Thursday, rushing for 113 yards and two touchdowns. The man they call Boom has rushed for fewer than 80 yards just once in five games, while tallying three 100-plus yardage efforts over that same span. Mississippi State's been serviceable (but not spectacular) against the run, surrendering an average of 161.57 rushing yards per contest. Williams represents an upside option at an affordable price. His 7.2 YPC average looks mighty tasty.


Running Back- Anthony Wales, Western Kentucky @ LSU ($7,000)


Analysis: Wales tallied 259 total yards and three touchdowns in last weekend's win over North Texas. Breaking down those impressive numbers further, the 5-foot-10, 195-pound junior rushed for 193 and two scores on 21 carries while catching five passes for 66 yards and a touchdown. He's posted consecutive rushing efforts of 111 and 193 yards against Middle Tennessee and North Texas over the last two weeks. Perhaps the most encouraging sign, Wales received 19and 21 carries in those contests. LSU's defense will be the toughest the Hilltoppers have faced this season, but if HC Jeff Brohm is committed to Wales receiving a legitimate workload, I think he'll still post numbers. It helps that he served as a viable receiving candidate out of the backfield against North Texas. If the running game proper is slow to develop against LSU, expect to see Wales popping out for short receptions and screens as Western Kentucky tries to find ways to get him moving in space.


Alternate- Devontae Booker, Utah @ USC ($9,900). If you happened to flip on last weekend's NBC telecast of USC v Notre Dame at any point, you were likely greeted by the sight of C.J. Prosise either scoring a touchdown or bubbling off for a long gain. Notre Dame's stud senior gashed the Trojans for 143 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Similar numbers could be in store for Booker, who's racked up 783 rushing yards with eight touchdowns scored through six contests completed. His two low-yardage games this season have been against Michigan and Oregon. Even in those relatively quiet statistical showings, he still rushed for 69 and 98 yards, respectively. He's been over 100 yards rushing in every other game played this season and has scored four touchdowns in the last two weeks. Booker's a dependable option. I'm also high on Jeremy McNichols of Boise State if he's recovered from the concussion symptoms that forced him to miss last Friday's route at the hands of Utah State. McNichols has scored in every game he's seen the field, though, with at least two rushing touchdowns in five of six contests. BSU's Saturday opponent, Wyoming, is surrendering 213.57 rushing yards per game on average.


Option I wouldn't touch with my worst enemy's lineup- Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State @ Rutgers ($9,900). There's no arguing with Zeke's numbers this season. He's rushed for at least 100 yards in all seven of Ohio State's games while scoring touchdowns in all but one of those contests. Rutgers has been surprisingly sturdy against the run, though, allowing 127.43 yards on average. If I'm shelling out big bucks for a running back, both Utah's Booker ($9,900) and LSU's Leonard Fournette ($10,400) are facing softer match-ups. Elliott could well continue his sterling run of 100-yard games, but I'd prefer not to roll with him when there are more opportune options on the board.


Wide Receiver- Christian Kirk, Texas A&M @ Ole Miss ($7,400)


Analysis: I'm riding with Kirk for a second consecutive week. While the Aggies took a beating from Alabama on Saturday, their standout freshman receiver still managed to catch seven passes for 90 yards and return a punt for a touchdown. QB Kyle Allen ($7,800) is unlikely to repeat the kind of three-interception nightmare that he turned in against the Crimson Tide. If Texas A&M can keep from turning the ball over, Kirk should see a number of opportunities. He's caught at least six passes in five of six games. Just last weekend, Memphis shredded the Rebs through the air, with Anthony Miller catching 10 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. This game has the potential to turn into a shootout, which should raise the DFS tides of all notable offensive parties involved.


Wide Receiver- Thomas Sperbeck, Boise State vs Wyoming ($7,700)


Analysis: One of the most underrated receivers in the country. Through the first two games, Sperbeck had caught just five passes for 41 yards as Boise State's offense struggled to find a rhythm. Once freshman QB Brett Rypien ($6,900) took over for the injured Ryan Finley against Idaho State in Week 3, though, Boise State's offense began to click. Sperbeck's benefited from the sudden influx of competency. Even in last weekend's loss to Utah State—in which BSU turned the ball over a whopping eight times—the 6-foot, 175-pound junior caught six passes for 156 yards. That big receiving number is no fluke, either. In his last five contests (all with Rypien at the helm), Sperbeck's posted totals of 99, 121, 87, 178 and 156 yards. Wyoming's limiting opposing passing offenses to under 190 yards on average during the 2015 campaign. Normally, this would concern me at least a little, but Boise State has the game at home and Sperbeck's proven that he can produce under adverse circumstances.


Wide Receiver- Malachi Dupre, LSU vs Western Kentucky ($5,800)


Analysis: Sir Edmund Hillary's first ascent of Mount Everest. The moon landing. The day that you put an LSU Tiger in your lineup whose name isn't Leonard Fournette. These are all things that should be remembered. I've been vocal about my distaste for LSU's passing game this season in terms of DFS upside, but there might finally be sparks of life. While Dupre's caught just 18 passes for 311 yards and four touchdowns through six contests, he logged 115 receiving yards and two touchdowns in last weekend's win over Florida. He's now caught at least four passes in three of his last four games. Those numbers aren't overly slick, but HC Les Miles has slowly, very slowly, not quickly begun to open up the passing offense. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Dupre was graded as a five-star recruit out of high school, so the talent's there even if the numbers aren't quite up to par as of yet. At $5,800, Dupre's a cheap lottery ticket that could pay dividends, especially if Western Kentucky's able to start hot and turn this into a throwing match.


Alternate- Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss vs Texas A&M ($8,200). Treadwell logged 80 receiving yards or fewer in four of his first five games, but the 6-foot-2, 210-pound junior's turned into a monster of late, culminating with a terrifying 14-144-1 effort against Memphis in last weekend's loss. For the season, he's caught 49 passes for 654 yards and four touchdowns, with 457 of those yards coming in his last four games. As was the case with Kirk, Treadwell could post huge numbers if the contest turns into a festival of scoring.


Option I wouldn't touch with my worst enemy's lineup- Leonte Carroo, Rutgers vs Ohio State ($8,800). Carroo was a beast in last week's wild win over Indiana, catching seven passes for 157 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately, he tweaked his ankle in the victory. While he vowed that he would play against Ohio State this weekend, he was unable to practice on Tuesday or Wednesday. HC Kyle Flood said that his 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior wideout's “moving in the right direction,” but Carroo remains a game-time decision. If he does suit up, Ohio State boasts one of the best defenses against the pass in the country, surrendering 143.57 yards through the air on average. I would lay off this week and wait until he's facing a defense that's less stingy against the pass, but if you still plan on rolling with Carroo this weekend, check to make sure that he's actually playing.


Tight End- Jacob Hollister, Wyoming @ Boise State ($2,400)


Analysis: As usual, if you're priced out of the higher salaried tight ends, as is the case with my lineup, you're more or less rolling the dice on a hopeful touchdown. Hollister's caught at least three passes in four of seven games this season. Overall, he's logged an 18-214-2 stat-line. One of the two touchdowns came in last week's win over Nevada. For what it's worth, Hollister's yet to be held completely off the stat sheet in any game this season. There's no guarantee here for real points unless he finds the end zone, but he's at least shown himself to be a consistent offensive contributor.


Alternate- Austin Hooper, Stanford vs Washington ($3,600). Hooper owns the second-highest price for a tight end on the late FanDuel board. While he's been held to 50 or fewer yards in all but one contest, the 6-foot-4, 248-pound junior's turned into a legit touchdown target as of late and has caught solitary scores in three of the Cardinal's last four games. QB Kevin Hogan ($8,000) and the Stanford offense has gradually morphed into something of a machine. They've scored 40 or more points in each of their last four games.


Option I wouldn't touch with my worst enemy's lineup- Tyler Higbee, Western Kentucky @ LSU ($3,800). Higbee would be the one man priced higher than Hooper. He's an incredibly dependable tight end option when healthy, but a knee injury suffered against North Texas is likely to keep him out of Saturday's road date with the Tigers. It's a pity, as he had already caught six touchdown passes. Until he's returned to health, though, stay away. There's little reason to risk rolling with Higbee on the very, very slim chance that he suits up against LSU. 

Thor Nystrom

Thor Nystrom is Rotoworld’s lead CFB writer. The 2018 FSWA College Sports Writer of the Year, Nystrom’s writing has also been honored by Rolling Stone magazine and The Best American Essays series. Say hi to him on Twitter @thorku!