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Steven Montez
Daily Fantasy Decisions

CFB DFS Bargains: Week 8

by Mark Lindquist
Updated On: October 18, 2019, 10:58 am ET

In this column, going position-by-position, we’ll offer up one building-block DFS sleeper priced at $6,000 or cheaper ($6,500 and cheaper at QB) and three deeper bargains priced at $5,000 or cheaper (two QBs at $6,000 or cheaper). We’re plucking our dark horses from DraftKings. Player pool drawn from the Friday and Saturday slates.


Affordable building block ($6,500 or less)

Colorado QB Steven Montez ($6,500) at Washington State (Saturday night slate) -- A week ago, we suggested you strike against WSU with Arizona State QB Jayden Daniels, who responded with 363 passing yards and four total touchdowns. We’ll double down on that notion with Montez on Saturday night. Montez had just 131 passing yards in Eugene last Friday and has thrown just one touchdown pass in his last two games, but started out the campaign tossing multiple touchdown passes in four straight contests. We think he plays up to that earlier level in this matchup. Wazzu is allowing 282 passing yards on a per-game average, good/bad for 116th in the country and just slightly better than, say, UMass. 

And two from the bargain bin ($6,000 or less)

Boise State QB Chase Cord ($5,900) at BYU (Saturday late night slate) -- We’re playing a hunch on this one, as BSU is predictably being coy on the status of Hank Bachmeier (lower body), who was injured against Hawaii. When asked during the practice week if we would see Bachmeier on Saturday, BSU HC Bryan Harsin said, “Well that remains to be seen now, doesn’t it?” in a beautiful bit of elliptical coach speak which tells us nothing.

Or, more accurately, it tells us something -- that Bachmeier’s enough of a question mark that Harsin is willing to leave it a question. And if Bachmeier does sit versus the Cougars, as is our guess, that would put Cord in line for the start. Against Hawaii stepping in for Bachmeier this past weekend, Cord hit on 12-of-18 passes for 175 yards and three touchdowns. 

Our bigger concern, here, less than whether Cord plays -- you’ll know before you punch your lineup in -- actually comes in the matchup, as BYU has generally been very staunch against the pass, allowing just two passers (Kedon Slovis and Jacob Eason) to top even 210 yards through the air this season. 


Louisville QB Malik Cunningham ($5,800) vs. Clemson (Saturday main slate) -- As a spooky surprise fit for the holiday, your author thought briefly about recommending Northwestern’s Hunter Johnson or Aidan Smith against OSU on Friday. But rather than burn your money, invest it in Cunningham. The Cardinals might be facing off with Clemson on Saturday, but this is a Clemson team with a slightly muddy stripes and this Louisville squad isn’t being coached by Bobby Petrino.

Scott Satterfield has done miracle work in transforming this team in the course of an offseason. Louisville’s offense is averaging 37.3 points per game, a mark good for 24th best in the country. Louisville’s offense averaged 19.8 points per game last season, good for 122nd in the country. Think on that for a moment. Starting in place of Jawon Pass for the past four contests (Pass has now been ruled out for the season with a foot injury), Cunningham has thrown for multiple touchdowns in three games and has topped 40 yards rushing likewise in three-of-four starts. 

Running back

Affordable building block ($6,000 or less)

Iowa State RB Breece Hall ($5,600) at Texas Tech (Saturday early slate) -- Hall entered the season with a fair amount of freshman hype, but had been ghosting things with single-digit rushing yards in two of his last three games entering this past weekend’s game against West Virginia. And then, suddenly, things began to click. Hall received 26 carries in that contest, 26 carries which he spun into 132 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Now, that certainly could have been a mere frosh flash less than a sign of things to come, but in the same breath, Iowa State has been flailing about for a David Montgomery replacement for the whole of the season and the fact that Hall ended up with 26 totes is encouraging. 

Texas Tech could allow for a fine followup, as they have surrendered 75 yards rushing to five separate backs this year. 


And three from the bargain bin ($5,000 or less)

FAU RB Malcolm Davidson ($5,000) vs. Marshall (Friday slate) -- Davidson missed early time due to injury, but has come on hot hot hot of late, putting in 83 yards and two touchdowns against Charlotte at the end of September before springing out of the bye to paste MTSU with 149 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries on Oct. 12. Davidson has a nice blend of floor and pop upside. Owls HC Lane Kiffin has raved about his top end speed, something he showed off when he busted a 57-yard touchdown sprint versus the Blue Raiders. 

Marshall’s isn’t exactly the doughiest of run defenses, but that said, the Thundering Herd have allowed four backs north of 70 yards this season.


USC RB Markese Stepp ($4,300) vs. Arizona (Saturday night slate) -- Jump on Stepp at this price, now, while you still can. His tag could rise considerably in the coming weeks. It’s not just that Stepp has topped 60 yards on the ground and scored touchdowns in two of his last three games, though those are palatable pluses in their own right. The big allure, here, comes with Vavae Malepeai being knocked out after undergoing knee surgery. Right now, you’re getting Stepp at the price of a backup. You’ll probably be paying for him as a starter several weeks down the road. Stepp to it before DraftKings adjusts.


UNLV RB Chad Magyar ($3,800) at Fresno State (Friday slate) -- UNLV starting back Charles Williams will cost you a pretty penny at $6,800. Knock $3,000 off that and you get Chad Magyar. Playing against Vanderbilt last weekend, Magyar took 22 carries and worked them into 116 yards and a score. Now, Williams remains the big dog in this backfield, but both players proved capable of coexisting with big carries last weekend. Making matters all the sweeter, Fresno State has allowed six runners at least 70 yards on the ground this season.

Wide receiver

Affordable building block ($6,000 or less)

Iowa State WR Deshaunte Jones ($5,800) at Texas Tech (Saturday early slate) -- Going all in on Iowa State this week after earlier recommending RB Breece Hall. His buddy in the receiving corp, Jones, turned in a 10-catch, 110-yard effort against West Virginia last weekend, giving him 17 catches in his last two games. That kind of volume is difficult to ignore. Jones may only have two touchdowns on the season, but if he continues to see seven catches, eight catches a game, the scores are going to come (in theory). Generally speaking, Iowa State’s offense is one that we’re beginning to trust more and more. 


And three from the bargain bin ($5,000 or less)

North Carolina WR Beau Corrales ($4,900) at Virginia Tech (Saturday main slate) -- Care to play a little touchdown roulette? Corrales has made three scoring grabs on the season, including one in each of his last two games. He has also caught at least three passes in four-of-five contests. Corrales is unlikely to give you much value added in terms of yardage -- he has just one game this season over 55 receiving yards -- but we’re not adding him expecting a 100-yard effort. His value, to us, comes in QB Sam Howell’s trust in Corrales around the end zone. Hunting that touchdown, baby.


Tennessee WR Marquez Callaway ($4,800) at Alabama (Saturday night slate) --  We’re not expecting miracles against the Crimson Tide by any stretch, especially given that Callaway and crew will be shepherding along a true freshman quarterback in the form of Brian Maurer. That said, we already saw Callaway have success against a toothsome SEC foe in Georgia earlier this season, catching three passes for 105 yards and a score against the Bulldogs. Callaway has caught touchdown passes in half of his six games total and makes for the most intriguing offensive option on this problematic ship.


Ohio State TE Jeremy Ruckert ($4,800) at Northwestern (Friday night slate) -- Some weeks the bargains seem to be bursting off the shelf, other weeks you find yourself scraping a little. This is one of those latter weeks at receiver, unfortunately. We’ll cross our fingers that Ruckert might be able to find the end zone versus the Wildcats, as he did twice in OSU’s opener against FAU, but just be  warned that he is far from an offensive focus in this attack. Ruckert has just 66 receiving yards on the season. Let’s hope for better bargains next time out

Mark Lindquist
Mark Lindquist holds a master's degree from the University of Iowa and writes baseball and college football for Rotoworld.com. He's currently working on a memoir about life, death, rock 'n' roll and his year teaching at a Chinese university. You can reach him on Twitter @markrlindquist.