The process here is simple. Use Vegas lines to predict scores and game script. Use S&P+ to find where offenses will attack opposing defenses. And use Rotoworld blurbs to track news and depth chart changes. By doing these three things, we can build a quality player pool to build rosters with.
In this column, I’ll go team-by-team (going from the highest implied team total to the lowest) and write up the players who have the highest probability of 3x-ing their DraftKings salary. If I’m on the border of a player, then I write their name next to “Fringe Plays.” And if you don’t see the player listed, then you can assume I am fading them completely. If you want an explanation, please send me a message on Twitter (@Haydenwinks).
The link to the targets and the last four weeks data: http://bit.ly/CFBtargets
1. Memphis 38.25 points (3.5-point favorite) vs. Wake Forest
WF Def. S&P Rank: 78
WF Def. Passing S&P Rank: 69
WF Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 49
QB Brady White ($5,300) hasn’t eclipsed 20 DK points in four games, but Memphis may put the ball in his hands more this week with RB Darrell Henderson off to the NFL. White’s upside in a vacuum is limited -- the 300-yard bonus probability is low -- but the price is intriguing. With a huge 38.25 team total, White has touchdown upside even if it doesn’t come with a ton of yards. White will be a tournament winner if he scores three touchdowns against a mediocre, at best, Wake Forest passing defense. … WR Damonte Coxie ($5,500) is the receiver to stack with White if you want to go down this route. Coxie has averaged a healthy 6.8 targets over the last four weeks and that’s with Henderson being the center piece. Coxie has five games with 20+ DK points, including a 43 DK-point game against ECU. … WR Tony Pollard ($5,200) will also get some carries this Saturday, but most of his production will be as a receiver. Pollard should catch 3-5 passes with touchdown equity as a runner and receiver. … RB Patrick Taylor ($8,300) enters the game with 16 touchdowns and 1,012 rushing yards as the 1B to Henderson. Even if Henderson was playing, I’d still be interested in Taylor at this price. Taylor has six games with over 25 DK points this season, including three straight games. Please give me 15-25 carries with 2-4 receptions on this slate, especially with a huge team total. … Fringe Plays: RB Timothy Taylor ($4,000), WR Joey Magnifico ($3,800), WR Pop Williams ($3,300).
2. Wake Forest 34.75 points (3.5-point underdog) vs. Memphis
MEM Def. S&P Rank: 75
MEM Def. Passing S&P Rank: 96
MEM Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 54
WR Greg Dortch ($7,400) is questionable (finger) to play, but at least this game is the first on the slate, so we can tinker when news breaks on Saturday morning. If active, Dortch provides a ton of upside against Memphis’ No. 96 pass defense. Dortch has four games with 30+ DK points and has 10 and 11 targets in his last two games. The problem is the finger injury. That seems problematic, so I think the decision comes down to leveraging ownership. If you think Dortch will be 5% owned, then I’d pull the trigger. … QB James Newman ($8,200) has 3xed his current salary in two of his three games, but it’s going to be tough to reach upside if Dortch is inactive. Newman does offer upside with his legs however -- he has at least 44 yards in two of three games -- so he could be a sprinkled into lineups even if Dortch is out. I just wouldn’t be overly excited in that scenario. If we get news that Dortch is healthy, then Newman vaults into top-four consideration at quarterback. … If Dortch sits, then the next three Wake Forest receivers become value plays. WR Sage Surratt ($5,700) would become the favorite for targets, and he has ran laps around Bachman and Washington in terms of yards per target. Surratt checks in at 8.6 YPT while Bachman and Washington trail at 5.2 and 5.3 yards per target respectfully. Between the three, Surratt is also the most due for some positive touchdown regression. … RB Matt Colburn ($4,600) carries some risk because he hasn’t played since his Week 11 injury, but Colburn was the starter until that point and he’s currently listed as the starter on the Wake Forest depth chart. Carney has shown well in Colburn’s absence so this will likely end up as a one-two punch this Saturday, but Colburn has 5x upside at the discounted price if he returns to his typical 15-carry workload. … Fringe Plays: RB Cade Carney ($6,900), WR Alex Bachman ($4,700) and WR Scotty Washington ($4,300) if Greg Dortch doesn’t play.
3. Army 32.5 points (4.5-point favorite) vs. Houston
HOU Def. S&P Rank: 100
HOU Def. Passing S&P Rank: 94
HOU Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 65
QB Kelvin Hopkins ($7,000) is a top play for me this week for a few reasons. First, Hopkins gets a ton of volume -- he has at least 18 carries in eight of his last nine games with 5-10 pass attempts per game. Second, Army could be set up in great field position against a pass-first Houston offense playing with a backup quarterback. Lastly, the opportunity cost by selecting a high-floor, average-ceiling quarterback like Hopkins is much lower on this slate with the rest of the quarterbacks looking pretty unappetizing. … RB Darnell Woolfork ($5,700) is set up to be in positive game script just like Hopkins is. Woolfork has a high floor with 4x upside if he can reach the 100-yard bonus. Woolfork is a decent mid-priced option. … Fringe Plays: None.
4. Hawaii 31 points (1-point favorite) vs. Louisiana Tech
LT Def. S&P Rank: 47
LT Def. Passing S&P Rank: 49
LT Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 98
QB Cole McDonald ($8,800) clearly has the most upside on the slate, but there is some risk as well. McDonald doesn’t have the most job security right now -- it would take a really bad game for him to get pulled still -- and Louisiana Tech has played decent pass defense this season. Despite those two counters, McDonald will be my most owned quarterback. The 30- to 35-point upside is too high to ignore on what should be another low-scoring slate. … WR John Ursua ($8,000) has been by far the top target for the Rainbow Warriors, and he will likely be apart of the most-owned stack on the slate. Ursua has six games with 30+ DK points, and he’s an obvious player to have tournament exposure to. … WR JoJo Ward ($6,000) has the most targets (21) on the team over the last three weeks, which is six more than Cedric Byrd who is $700 more expensive. Ward is another obvious tournament option. … WR Marcus Armstrong-Brown ($4,200) is the most interesting player on the slate. He popped up for 12 targets in the last Hawaii game, but he’s been largely ineffective this season. Armstrong-Brown sits at 6.6 YPT when the other Hawaii receivers are in the 8s. Ultimately, I think Armstrong-Brown is worth rostering in McDonald stacks, but he’s a step below Ursua and Ward on a per dollar basis. … Fringe Plays: WR Cedric Byrd ($6,700), RB Dayton Furuta ($3,300) in non-McDonald lineups for risk takers out there.
5. Louisiana Tech 30 points (1-point underdog) vs. Hawaii
HAW Def. S&P Rank: 118 (worst on the slate)
HAW Def. Passing S&P Rank: 121 (worst on the slate)
HAW Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 117 (worst on the slate)
WR Adrian Hardy ($7,100) has three straight games with 24+ DK points and has the most targets (39), receptions (30), and yards (395) on the slate since Week 11. Hardy is a cash-game play with tournament winning upside against this terrible Hawaii pass defense. … WR Teddy Veal ($5,100) has averaged 8.5 targets per game, but he also owns a 6.5 yards per target rate this season. Hopefully the Hawaii defense can bring that closer to 10 this week because I’ll have Veal exposure in tournaments as I chase volume in good matchups. … WR Cee Jay Powell ($3,000) was hit with 16 targets last game and he’s still minimum priced. Proceed with caution since it was his only big week and he’s only averaging 4.4 yards per target. … Fringe Plays: QB J’Mar Smith ($7,300), WR Alfred Smith ($5,300), and RB Jaqwiz Dancy ($3,800).
6. Houston 28 points (4.5-point underdog) vs. Army
ARMY Def. S&P Rank: 77
ARMY Def. Passing S&P Rank: 79
ARMY Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 76
I mentioned my concern with Houston in the Army section, but I’m worried about QB Clayton Tune playing against a team that wants to win ugly. Even if Tune plays well, the clock will be draining the entire time Army runs their option offense, so Tune will have to overcome inexperience, clock, and a steeper price. The only plays I like are the top skill position players in non-stacks because at least one of them will score a touchdown and reach value. … Fringe Plays: WR Marquez Stevenson ($6,400), WR Keith Corbin ($5,100), RB Patrick Carr ($5,100).
7. Buffalo 25.75 points (2-point favorite) vs. Troy
TROY Def. S&P Rank: 35 (best on slate)
TROY Def. Passing S&P Rank: 46 (best on slate)
TROY Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 15 (best on slate)
It would be hypocritical for me to select players on a team with the second lowest team total, especially when the opposing defense has the best overall defense, pass defense, and run defense. … Fringe Plays: WR Anthony Johnson ($7,600), WR K.J. Osborn ($5,400), RB Jaret Patterson ($6,800).
8. Troy 23.75 points (2-point underdog) vs. Buffalo
EMU Def. S&P Rank: 57
EMU Def. Passing S&P Rank: 83
EMU Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 80
QB Sawyer Smith ($4,900) is only being listed for those lineups where you’re really trying to be on team #JamEmIn. Smith comes with a huge salary relief, and I’m guessing he will come at low ownership since he’s the No. 14 listed quarterback by price and is just below Brady White (who is a better play all things considered). Fire up Smith at your own risk -- he has back-to-back sub-10 DK-point games -- but there is a path to a 3x at sub-5% ownership here. Ultimately, White is the better play in this range tho. … Fringe Plays: WR Sidney Davis ($4,200).