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 game by game (going from the highest over/under to the lowest) and write up the players who have the highest probability of outscoring their 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).
Syracuse vs. Wake Forest (75 O/U)
Syracuse 39.5 implied points (3rd out of 22 on slate)
WF Def. S&P Rank: 102nd
WF Def. Passing S&P Rank: 109th
WF Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 108th
QB Eric Dungey ($8,400) is hot off a 40.6 DK point performance against NC State, and the dual-threat quarterback now faces a Wake Forest that is ranked outside the top-100 in both passing and rushing. In the last five games, Dungey has eight rushing touchdowns, and Vegas believes there will be plenty of opportunities for him to find the end zone. This is a game to stack up, and that begins with Dungey. … WR Sean Riley ($5,900) had his best game of the season last week, and his salary only increased by $300. Syracuse has four receivers – Riley, Custis, Johnson, and Harris – that are capable of popping for 4x or 5x their salaries, and it’s been tough to gauge when it will happen.
Wake Forest 35.5 (5th out of 22 on slate)
Syracuse Def. S&P Rank: 81st
Syracuse Def. Passing S&P Rank: 61st
Syracuse Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 87th
WR Greg Dortch ($7,900) is one of the most explosive athletes in the nation, and I certainly don’t want to fade a player capable of scoring four touchdowns like he did against Rice in Week 5. Dortch, whose mom runs an Instagram account called “You Got Dortched,” was slowed by Florida State and Clemson in recent weeks, but Syracuse is nowhere near as good as them. Dortch is a great tournament option. … RB Matt Colburn ($6,700) has two straight games with 20 carries, which puts him squarely in tournament range. Colburn, who will be facing the 87th best rushing defense this week, should be able to approach 80-120 rushing yards with some touchdown equity given the high team total and close point spread.
Nebraska vs. Ohio State (72.0 O/U)
Nebraska 26.5 (17th out of 22 on slate)
OSU Def. S&P Rank: 45th
OSU Def. Passing S&P Rank: 89th
OSU Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 52nd
QB Adrian Martinez ($7,800) has four games with over 32 DK points, and he’s being priced as if Ohio State has been a tough passing defense this year. The Buckeyes are just 89th against the pass according to S&P+, and we have seen Martinez have ceiling games. In a similar matchup, Martinez put up 37 DK points on the road against Wisconsin. His floor is still low – he has three games with less than 20 DK points – so he is just a tournament option. … WR Stanley Morgan ($6,300) is also too cheap and is a great pairing with Martinez for tournaments. Morgan has caught 17-of-23 targets in the last two games. Morgan might get peppered with targets when the Cornhuskers are trailing in the second half. … WR JD Spielman ($6,200) is in a similar spot as Morgan, but he hasn’t been targeted as much. Spielman has made it up with seven touchdowns despite only converting 1-of-11 red zone targets for touchdowns. Martinez + Morgan + Spielman stacks are viable.
Ohio State 45.5 (2nd out of 22 on slate)
Nebraska Def. S&P Rank: 63rd
Nebraska Def. Passing S&P Rank: 77th
Nebraska Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 69th
QB Dwayne Haskins ($9,800) is the quarterback of a team projected to score 45.5 points. It’s really as simple as that. Haskins has paid off this salary, which is $700 less than it was last week despite coming home after a bye, in 6-of-8 weeks. Haskins is cash game viable, but he is also a decent tournament option despite not providing much with his legs. … WR Parris Campbell ($6,600) is as explosive as it gets, but he has also been a highly targeted receiver in the last five weeks. In that time frame, Campbell has at least seven receptions and at least 13.3 DK points. He will need a touchdown or two to be worth it in tournaments, but he is a great bet of finding the end zone. Just two games ago, Campbell was $800 more expensive. Let’s take advantage of the discount. … WR K.J. Hill ($6,300) has been heavily involved the last two weeks – he has a 18-192-2 receiving line – but his salary has only increased $100 from last game. Hill and Campbell have the ability to 4x their salaries this week.
Oklahoma State vs. Baylor (68.0 O/U)
Oklahoma State 38 (4th out of 22 on slate)
Baylor Def. S&P Rank: 101th
Baylor Def. Passing S&P Rank: 95th
Baylor Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 114th
QB Taylor Cornelius ($8,700) is in a classic let down spot going on the road after a big home win, but he’s shown too much of a ceiling to not be in tournament consideration. Cornelius has had three games with five total touchdowns this year, and Baylor is the 101st best defense according to S&P+. Things should break his way this week, and Vegas certainly agrees. … WR Tylan Wallace ($8,100) has made the most contested catches in the nation, and he has the most red zone targets (17) on the slate. Wallace is too expensive for cash consideration, but he is certainly viable in tournaments since he’s coming off a 47.2 DK point performance. … RB Justice Hill ($6,400) was once a $9,000+ player, but he hasn’t scored touchdowns at the same rate as he was in the beginning of the year. Hill is in a great spot to get back in the touchdown column with the 38-point team total. 20 carries and a touchdown should get him to the 20 DK point mark that he needs to pay off his salary.
Fringe Plays: WR Landon Wolf ($5,600), RB Chuba Hubbard ($3,300)
Baylor 30 (12th out of 22 on slate)
OKST Def. S&P Rank: 69th
OKST Def. Passing S&P Rank: 76th
OKST Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 78th
WR Jalen Hurd ($7,000) would be in a much better spot if Brewer can return from his concussion this week because Brewer is a better passer and worse runner than McClendon. Hurd is valuable because he’s a capable and explosive receiver, but he’s also a goal line option for the Bears highlighted by his three rushing touchdowns in the last four weeks. Especially since Hurd has the fourth most red zone targets (14) on the slate, Hurd has by far the most TD equity on Baylor, so he benefits most from the relatively high implied team total. … WR Denzel Mims ($6,100) is slightly more than a “fringe play” if Brewer is starting.
Injury Notes: QB Charlie Brewer ($6,800) is in the concussion protocal and is questionable to play. He’s coming off a stone-cold disaster performance, but Brewer put up 31 DK points in a similar matchup against Oklahoma just a few games ago. If he’s unable to play, QB Jalan McClendon ($6,600) would draw the start. Neither are cash options, but both are low-end tournament dart throws with a relatively high game total.
South Carolina vs. Ole Miss (66.5 O/U)
South Carolina 33.25 (6th out of 22 on slate)
Miss Def. S&P Rank: 110th
Miss Def. Passing S&P Rank: 82nd
Miss Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 116th
Ole Miss 33.25 (6th out of 22 on slate)
SCAR Def. S&P Rank: 54th
SCAR Def. Passing S&P Rank: 28th
SCAR Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 71st (run funnel)
QB Jordan Ta’amu ($8,900) doesn’t have the best matchup – the S&P+ suggests Ole Miss should be running the ball against the Gamecocks – but Ta’amu has been too good to leave out of tournament consideration. Even in last week’s difficult matchup against Auburn when Ole Miss only put up 16 points, Ta’amu scored 24.26 DK points in part to his nearly automatic 300 passing yards bonus. The senior quarterback also has rushing equity, as he’s eclipsed 40 rushing yards or scored a rushing touchdown in four of the last five games.
Georgia Tech vs. North Carolina (61 O/U)
Georgia Tech 32.5 (8th out of 22 on slate)
UNC Def. S&P Rank: 82nd
UNC Def. Passing S&P Rank: 67th
UNC Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 88th
Read the “Injury Notes” below for analysis on QB Tobias Oliver ($8,000).
Injury Notes: QB Tyquon Marshall ($8,100) hasn’t played (knee) since October 13th, but he might be ready to make his return this week. Since most of his production comes from his legs, the injury is keeping me away despite the Yellow Jackets 32.5 implied team total. If Marshall can’t play, then QB Tobias Oliver ($8,000) would draw another start. Oliver rushed for 215 yards and three touchdowns on 40 carries last week, so he’s certainly on the tournament radar. A few weeks back, this UNC defense allowed 88 yards and a score on the ground to dual-threat QB Ryan Willis, and they just allowed 112 yards and a score on the ground to QB Bryce Perkins.
North Carolina 28.5 (14th out of 22 on slate)
GT Def. S&P Rank: 106th
GT Def. Passing S&P Rank: 103rd
GT Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 85th
QB Nathan Elliott ($6,000) nearly paid off this salary in back-to-back road games, and he now comes home to the 103rd ranked pass defense. Elliott isn’t the sexiest play, but he’s a Super-Flex tournament option. … WR Dazz Newsome ($4,000) has paid off this salary three straight weeks, and the matchup is a plus like mentioned earlier.
Louisville vs. Clemson (59.5 O/U)
Louisville 10.75 (22nd out of 22 on slate)
Clem Def. S&P Rank: 2nd
Clem Def. Passing S&P Rank: 5th
Clem Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 1st
Try your absolute hardest to not roster players against Clemson.
Clemson 48.75 (1st out of 22 on slate)
Louisville Def. S&P Rank: 99th
Louisville Def. Passing S&P Rank: 108th
Louisville Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 110th
RB Travis Etienne ($7,700) has 15 rushing touchdowns this year, and Clemson is 38-point favorites. Oh yeah, DraftKings brought his salary down by $1,200. You can do the math on that. … QB Trevor Lawrence ($8,200) had by far his best game last week, but DraftKings didn’t budge on his salary. This passing offense is beginning to hit it’s stride and Louisville has no chance at stopping it. … From last week: “To my surprise, DraftKings only made WR Tee Higgins ($6,100) $100 more expensive this week after Higgins exploded for 8-119-1 last week. Higgins is the most targeted Clemson player in the red zone (8), and he is building great chemistry with freshman QB Trevor Lawrence. Last week, NC State did everything they could to stop stud RB Travis Etienne, which forced Lawrence into his best passing game of his career. I expect teams to test the Clemson passing attack since Etienne has shredded run defenses all year long. If that’s the case this week, Lawrence will be targeting Higgins regularly.” Last week, Higgins posted a 6-62-2 receiving line, and DraftKings raised his salary a whole $100. … WR Amari Rodgers ($4,700) had a breakout game last week – he had 36 DK points – and he’s in another great spot with Clemson’s No. 1 team implied total.
Fringe Plays: WR Justyn Ross ($5,100).
West Virginia vs. Texas (58 O/U)
West Virginia 28 (15th out of 22 on slate)
UT Def. S&P Rank: 42nd
UT Def. Passing S&P Rank: 62nd
UT Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 32nd
QB Will Grier ($9,100) has at least three passing touchdowns in 6-of-7 games, and the Texas defense is somewhat pass funneling according to S&P+. The Longhorns also just allowed QB Taylor Cornelius to drop 42 DK points on them last Saturday. Grier has decent odds at getting the 300 passing yard bonus and three touchdowns this week, which would pay off his decreased salary.
Texas 30 (13th out of 22 on slate)
WVU Def. S&P Rank: 58th
WVU Def. Passing S&P Rank: 33rd
WVU Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 75th
QB Sam Ehlinger ($8,600) has been a great tournament option this year, so he’s worth mentioning here. However, West Virginia’s 33rd ranked pass defense gives me slight pause.
Missouri vs. Florida (58 O/U)
Missouri 26 (18th out of 22 on slate)
UF Def. S&P Rank: 26th
UF Def. Passing S&P Rank: 27th
UF Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 41st
Fringe Plays: RB Damarea Crockett ($4,700)
Injury Notes: WR Emmanuel Hall ($5,800) might make his return, but he was listed as a backup. That could be a sign that he is at least a week away. Even if he does return, he can’t be trusted against Florida’s strong defense, especially with injury concerns. … WR Nate Brown ($3,100) dressed for last week’s game, but he was not involved in any capacity. Brown should be close to a return now, but he hasn’t reached double digit DK points this season.
Florida 32 (9th out of 22 on slate)
Missouri Def. S&P Rank: 51st
Missouri Def. Passing S&P Rank: 86th (pass funnel)
Missouri Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 3rd
QB Feleipe Franks ($5,300) is in an ideal blowup spot as 6-point favorites playing against a crazy pass funneling defense. According to S&P+, Missouri is the third best rushing defense but 86th against the pass. Franks hasn’t reached the 300 passing yard bonus in a game – nor should we expect him to – but he can throw three touchdowns against this defense, especially with the fifth highest team total on the slate. Franks also has some rushing touchdown equity.
Utah vs. Arizona State (56 O/U)
Utah 31.5 (10th out of 22 on slate)
ASU Def. S&P Rank: 85th
ASU Def. Passing S&P Rank: 94th
ASU Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 98th
QB Tyler Huntley ($7,600) is much cheaper than he was after posting back-to-back games with 40+ DK points because he only scored 6.7 DK points in a blowout win over UCLA last week. If he was asked to do more, he would have, but now we get a discounted dual-threat QB playing against a poor defense for less than $8k. Huntley still has a relatively low floor, but the upside is worth chasing, especially with the Utes projected to score 31.5 points.
Arizona State 24.5 (19th out of 22 on slate)
Utah Def. S&P Rank: 17th
Utah Def. Passing S&P Rank: 34th
Utah Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 26th
Penn State vs. Michigan (52.5 O/U)
Penn State 21.25 (20th out of 22 on slate)
Michigan Def. S&P Rank: 1st
Michigan Def. Passing S&P Rank: 2nd
Michigan Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 5th
Fringe Plays: RB Miles Sanders ($6,100), WR K.J. Hamler ($5,000)
Michigan 31.25 (11th out of 22 on slate)
PSU Def. S&P Rank: 21st
PSU Def. Passing S&P Rank: 15th
PSU Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 54th
RB Karan Higdon ($6,600) received an absurd 33 carries versus a very tough Michigan State defense in Week 8, which led him to his sixth straight 100+ yard rushing game. As 10-point favorites at home, Higdon should have every opportunity to reach the 100-yard rushing bonus for a seventh straight game. If he can find the end zone like he has done in 5-of-7 games, he will pay off his reduced salary.
Injury Notes: WR Tarik Black ($4,900) might make his return this week, but his role in the offense is TBD. Black is a big time talent, but it’s a tough matchup to make a debut in.
Georgia vs. Kentucky (44 O/U)
Georgia 26.75 (16th out of 22 on slate)
UK Def. S&P Rank: 3rd
UK Def. Passing S&P Rank: 12th
UK Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 9th
Kentucky 17.25 (21st out of 22 on slate)
UGA Def. S&P Rank: 22nd
UGA Def. Passing S&P Rank: 6th
UGA Def. Rushing S&P Rank: 77th (run funnel)
Fringe Plays: RB Benny Snell ($7,300)