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DFS Bargains: Week 13

by Mark Lindquist

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 this week will be drawn from the Friday and Saturday slates.

 

Quarterback

 

Affordable building block ($6,500 or less)

 

Georgia Tech QB TaQuon Marshall ($6,200) at Georgia (Saturday, 12:00 EST Slate) -- Marshall was in a somewhat uncertain situation earlier this autumn, with Tobias Oliver coming on hot to push him for starting work. That’s behind him, now, and he put up 107 yards rushing against Virginia this past weekend. While Georgia offers shiny name appeal, we expect the Yellow Jackets to be able to move the ball against them. Marshall has scored 11 touchdowns rushing this season.

 

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

 

Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond ($5,600) vs. LSU (Saturday, 7:00 PM EST Slate) -- You get Mond at a reduced price due to his playing against the Tigers, but we will happily look into the abyss with the Aggies signal-caller. We have seen him perform well against multiple top-flight defenses this season, notably versus Clemson, Kentucky and UAB. Mond has stepped up with five touchdown passes over his last two games. Uncertainty regarding this matchup is understandable given the opponent -- LSU boasts the No. 2 pass defense in the country by S&P+ -- but Mond offers more upside than any other quarterback in this price range, uncertainties be darned.

 

South Carolina QB Jake Bentley ($5,400) at Clemson (Saturday, 7 PM EST Slate) -- You have a few somewhat intriguing cheaper options beyond the aforementioned Mond. Bentley and JT Daniels ($5,800) both caught our eye in addition, but we will pass on Daniels against Notre Dame’s dominant defense. Clemson -- Bentley’s opponent -- possesses a crushing defense in its own right, but in weighing the Daniels vs. Bentley, we will take the $400 difference while feeling confident in Bentley’s ability to run into a few more productive drives than the Trojans signal-caller. Daniels has yet to face a defense in Notre Dame’s stratosphere this season. Bentley has thrown 12 touchdown passes over his last five games, with four of those contests of the multi-touchdown variety.

Running back

 

Affordable building block ($6,000 or less)

 

Oklahoma State RB Chuba Hubbard ($5,800) at TCU (Saturday, 7 PM EST Slate) -- An interesting one, as Hubbard’s upside for production figures to be tied in large part to whether Justice Hill ($5,500) can play against the Horned Frogs. Hill did not take the field in this past Saturday’s upset win over West Virginia due to a rib injury, leaving room for Hubbard to put up 134 yards rushing on 26 carries. He also logged five catches, including a touchdown grab. All of this came just a week after he busted up Oklahoma for three touchdowns in a one-point loss. Hubbard isn’t going to go Wally Pipp, here. This remains Hill’s starting job if he is healthy. That said, the Cowboys have received enough production from Hubbard in the last two games -- on a combined 48 carries -- that we expect him to receive a fair workload even if Hill does manage to return against the Horned Frogs.

 

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

 

Syracuse RB Moe Neal ($5,000) at Boston College (Saturday, 12 EST Slate) -- While the Orange were summarily shut down by Notre Dame in Week 12, Neal received his third-highest carry mark of the campaign in that defeat, taking 18 totes of the rock and spinning them into 74 yards. His work against Louisville the previous weekend was considerably more impressive, with Neal blasting the Cardinals for 159 yards and a pair of scores on just eight carries. He had been held under 70 yards rushing in each of his last four games prior to waking up against Louisville, but we will take the risk on this one given his more recent output. Boston College ranks a ho-hum S&P+ No. 50 against the run.

 

Houston RB Patrick Carr ($4,900) at Memphis (Friday, 12 EST Slate) -- Carr put together his most masterful performance of the campaign in a blowout win over Tulane in Week 12, rushing for 139 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 18 carries. That came in part due to injuries which nixed Mulbah Car and Terence Williams in advance of the contest, but even beyond this one game, Carr has received double-digit carries in six of his last seven games. Even if Car can return from the foot injury which has sidelined him for the past two contests, Williams has already been ruled out for the season and we expect a heavy workload, here. Factor in that starting QB D’Eriq King will miss this one while rehabbing from a torn meniscus, and Carr becomes all the more appealing. Houston is going to feed him and then some.

 

Michigan RB Chris Evans ($4,700) at Ohio State (Saturday, 12 EST Slate) -- Karan Higdon is the meatiest piece of the UM offense, but would cost you $7,600. While that is not a completely rotten price, it’s not palatable for working the bargain edges. Consider Evans at $2,900 cheaper. He was held out of the end zone against Indiana this past Saturday, but had scored touchdowns each of his previous two games (versus Rutgers and Penn State). He’s not much to look at on the yardage front, granted, having failed to top 75 yards in a game since September. The appeal in this spot comes in his price, and the flagging opponent. OSU ranks No. 68 against the run on S&P+ and is one of the worst teams in the country when it comes to allowing chunk yardage to opposing runners. Our hope here? 80 yards and a touchdown for $4,700 doesn’t sound too bad.

 

Wide receiver

 

Affordable building block ($6,000 or less)

 

USC WR Michael Pittman ($5,800) vs. Notre Dame (Saturday, 7 PM EST Slate)  -- You do have to roll the dice against Notre Dame’s elite defense -- something we’d be hesitant to do with QB J.T. Daniels -- but USC figures to be in throw mode in this one, and when healthy this season, Pittman has been dynamite. Against UCLA on Saturday, he caught seven passes for 106 yards, marking his third 100-yard performance of the campaign. He has posted at least 90 yards receiving in each of his last four games, catching a combined 23 passes in that space. Bite the bullet against Notre Dame with this strong recent resume in mind.

 

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

 

Ohio State WR Terry McLaurin ($4,900) vs. Michigan (Saturday, 12 EST Slate) -- Obviously, making a play against the Wolverines’ suffocating defense -- arguably the best in the country -- comes with its built-in drawbacks. And we think UM is going to roll into Columbus and win this one in convincing fashion. That won’t necessarily knock McLaurin’s value (and we are already getting a nice price), especially if Dwayne Haskins can get his feet under him as the game progresses. McLaurin was integral to Ohio State’s nail-biter of a win against Maryland this past Saturday, logging a 4-118-1 receiving line. He has caught a touchdown pass in seven of his nine healthy games this season.

 

East Carolina WR Tyler Snead ($4,800) at Cincinnati (Friday, 9 AM EST Slate) -- We previously highlighted Snead’s fine recent work in our waiver wire column posted on Monday. To recap, the former walk-on snared three touchdown passes against UConn in Week 12, this after catching five passes for 124 yards against Tulane in ECU’s prior contest. We flat-out love the offensive upside with Holton Ahlers running the ship at quarterback and while Cincinnati has played mostly strong ball this season, the Bearcats are limping into this one having just been decisively humbled by UCF. Snead could be in line for another strong performance on Black Friday.

 

Texas A&M WR (TE) Jace Sternberger ($4,600) vs. LSU (Saturday, 7 EST Slate) -- We already threw our lot in with Aggies QB Kellen Mond. Time to double down with one of his favorite targets. Sternberger hauled in a pair of touchdown passes against UAB this past weekend. In addition to his eight touchdowns scored this season, he has four games of at least 75 yards receiving for the campaign. And if LSU does mostly limit Texas A&M’s passing offense, Sternberger could still earn his keep as a short-to-medium area safety blanket. We would confidently play him at this price.

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.