The first truly full slate of college football is always a bittersweet moment. CFB is my favorite of all the daily fantasy sports, but it is also the most time consuming and challenging. This is a 16 game slate, with no stats for these teams yet this season, with half the teams playing junior varsity opponents.
While we don’t have Vegas lines for every game, we do have models that can help to fill in those blanks. Here are the top team totals for Saturday’s slate:
- Missouri – 58
- Clemson – 56
- Ohio State – 51
- TCU – 49
- Oklahoma – 46
- USC – 45
- Georgia – 45
- South Carolina – 43
- West Virginia – 36
- Texas – 35
- California – 34
- Texas Tech – 34
Similar to what we saw with the Thursday slate, the chalk is pricey… it’s going to be tough to start Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins, A.J. Brown, Will Grier, J.K. Dobbins, or just about any other well known player in this slate as they are all in that $10,000 range (20% total salary).
That being said, with 16 games, there is obviously some value to be found in this slate. We included around 5 of our favorite value plays in this article.
Picks for DraftKings Week One CFB Saturday Slate
After several requests for deep sleepers: Check out receivers Easop Winston, Ty Jones, Nate Moore, and KJ Hamler
Drew Lock – $9,500
Looking at the top priced quarterbacks for this slate, and you can raise concerns with each of them outside of Lock. Kyler Murray is going to get his, but at $11,900 he has to push 50 points to reach 4x and he’s going to be handing the ball off to Rodney Anderson a bunch. Haskins has multiple backs that will all get carries, and I think OSU gets Martell into this game at some point. Grier is going to be solid, but didn’t hit 4x his current salary once last season.
With Lock, the Tigers won’t score without him being the catalyst. He also reached 4x his $9,500 salary in three games last season, including 50+ in Mizzou’s opener.
Ross Bowers – $7,000
Bowers didn’t have the most consistent 2017 season. He went over 26 fantasy points in three games and was under 10 three times. That being said, he had 32 against UNC last season and certainly isn’t going to have a dud here. Cal returns 10 starters on offense, including their entire offensive line and this game is in Cal.
D’Andre Swift – $9,300
If you are looking to hit a home run in this slate (like Trayveon Williams on Thursday night), Swift is the guy. Not only is this system run-first, but they certainly aren’t afraid to give their lead back a ton of carries, and Swift is a guy that Bulldogs fans think has legit Heisman potential. Obviously this Georgia offensive line against Austin Peay is a mismatch of epic proportions. Look for Swift to break a bunch of big plays here.
Travis Etienne – $8,100
I have Etienne in handful of lineups, if for no other reason than an excluse to watch him play. Forget the top end spped, his initial 5 yard burst is unlike anything I have ever seen on a football field. He’s in a time share and will be big pay dependent, but the big plays will likely be there against the mighty Furman.
Ivory Kelly-Martin – $7,000
Kelly-Martin is the safest value running back bet in this slate. I think he has a legitimate 2.5-3x floor with 5x+ upside. While we know Ferentz will get other backs involved, the majority of the work will go to Kelly-Martin. The Hawkeyes returned the majority of their offensive line, and there is no way NIU will be able to load the box with Nathan Stanley returning with all of this primary pass catchers.
Tre Watson – $5,500
Tre Watson transferred into Texas from Cal and won the starting RB job this past off-season. This is a Texas team that we are extremely high on this season as they enter their second year under Tom Herman. We know from his time at Cal that Watson has big play ability and is solid in the passing game. Texas returned the majority of their offensive line and have stated throughout the off-season that they are committed to improving their run game this year.
Scottie Phillips – $5,100
Another power 5 starting running back that is under valued here. Phillips is the lead back for an Ole Miss team that is replacing a 1,000 yard rusher, and should run the ball even better with 4 of 5 starters returning this season. Luke stated that not only will Scottie start the game, but will get the majority of carries on Saturday. Obviously we want to target this out of conference matchup with a Texas Tech team that always struggles defensively and never wins the TOP battle.
Deebo Samuel – $8,000
Prior to breaking his leg in a week three matchup with Kentucky that he already had 5/122/1 in, Deebo Samuel was on an absolute tear. He averaged over 27 DraftKings PPG, with 450 total yards and 6 touchdowns in less than three weeks of work. Reports out of Columbia are that he is all the way back and looks more than ready this season. He will get great QB play out of Jake Bentley, and obviously Coastal Carolina has little hope of successfully covering him.
Jalen Reagor – $7,700
Jalen Reagor looks like he could have a Doctson-like season for the Horned Frogs in 2018. A four star recruit that was once committed to Oklahoma, Reagor is clearly the most experienced and talented pass catcher on this roster. If Southern can’t keep up with the pace of the TCU offense, it seems inevitable that they catch them sleeping and hit a big play or two to Reagor over the top.
Vic Wharton – $5,800
We are stacking Wharton with Bowers in a lot of our lineups. The top returning receiver, he has a solid rapport with Bowers, and should get a ton of targets in what will likely be a high tempo, high scoring game. Wharton had 5/156/1 in this matchup to open last season, then closed the year with 36 catches in the last 5 games. Given the offense, volume, role, and pace of this game, he’s a safe value play for Saturday.
Nate Moore – $4,400
Moore was the second leading receiver on this Tigers team in 2015, was hurt in 2016, struggled last season, but has been their breakout player throughout camp. He and Johnson should be Mizzou’s number one receivers this season, a role that is especially intriguing given how talented Lock is and the production that J’Mon Moore had in the role just last year.
KJ Hamler – $3,900
This was an extremely easy value pick… Trace McSorley lost his favorite target, DeSean Hamilton this offseason, so we looked for his replacement. Hamler will start in the slot for Penn State and should absorb a share of targets that went to both Hamilton and Gesicki last season. At $3,900 he doesn’t have to put up Hamilton numbers to reach value, 6/60 gets you to 3x value, and is more than in reach with McSorley at the helm.