Before you say it or think it… yes it is officially way too early for this article. However, these articles are completely necessary for college football as there is no preseason. We don’t get many sleepers for DraftKings NFL week 1, because we get four weeks of preseason games to get a good idea of depth charts, playing time, targets, etc…
With college football on DraftKings, you can have a huge edge over the rest of the field if you come into week 1 fully prepared. For me personally, the first half of last season was easy pickings, and as the year moved on more of the price and popularity caught up with guys like Rashard Higgins, Devon Johnson and Corey Coleman.
We will write about 100 more articles before week one, but here are some guys to get on your DraftKings radar today:
Systems still rule, so let me start by saying you can bank on combinations like these being priced high, but they are safe locks to have monster seasons. Target vulnerable pass defenses and rack up monster weeks by stacking these combinations:
Seth Russell / Corey Coleman / Jay Lee / KD Cannon
Trevone Boykin / Josh Doctson / Deonte’ Gray / Kolby Listenbee
Jared Goff / Kenny Lawler / Stephen Anderson / Chris Harper / Bryce Treggs
Luke Falk / River Cracraft / Tyler Baker / Dom Williams
Kyle Allen / Speedy Noil / Josh Reynolds / Ricky Seals-Jones / Edward Pope
Anu Solomon / Cayleb Jones / Trey Griffey / Samajie Grant / Nate Phillips
Outside of just these ‘system’ quarterbacks, here are some quarterbacks that you can target right away this season:
Dak Prescott – He was the highest priced quarterback for the majority of last season, and will likely (and rightfully so) be the highest priced to start out this season.
Ohio State QB – It will be interesting to see what Urban does here, they could realistically win playing all three guys (assuming Miller stays) but if one guy wins the job, he’s going to be a great start every week.
Josh Dobbs – I think there is a legit chance that Dobbs is not only the top DraftKings quarterback, but that he wins the Heisman this season. I’m that high on the guy… either ready to target him early and often this season.
Some other big names you better know: Deshaun Watson, Vernon Adams, Taysom Hill, Marquise Williams, Mike Bercovici.
Sure we lost some big-name running backs, but there are some lesser-known guys that are going to put up crazy numbers this season:
Donnel Pumphrey – He’s a risky play week one with a new OC, he’s going to be $10,000+, and the SDSU running game was matchup dependent last season… meaning pick your spots to pay up for him.
Ezekial Elliot – Should come in priced similar to how we saw Gurley and Gordon priced last season, but will still be worth the money in the right matchup.
Samaje Perine – Record-setting freshman season says he has to be on this list, and the Keith Ford transfer really helps his stock… Still, Perine will likely be $9,000+, and Alex Ross could take 40% of the carries.
Nick Chubb – Will compete with Elliot and Pumphrey for the top spot in DraftKing’s week one pricing, but he’s my pick to lead the nation in rushing. That being said, Sony Michel may take a bigger chunk of his work than anyone currently expects.
Jarvion Franklin – Coming off a monster Freshamn season, but starts the season with Michigan State and Ohio State, but should be targeted in every Mac game he’s available for.
James Conner – He’s not going to catch anything, but was 7th in the nation in rushing and had 2 or more touchdowns in 7 of his last 8 games last season.
Nick Wilson – The Arizona offense is only going to be better, and Wilson looks like he will be the biggest beneficiary of having a year of Rich Rod under his belt.
Corey Clement – There are people in Madison that like him as much as Melvin… He’s not as talented, but with that O-Line he’s good enough to push 1,800 yards this season.
Leonard Fournette – Struggled with whether I should include Fournette and/or Henry on this list… LSU and Alabama backs haven’t been consistent, but I think Fournette could be the featured back right from the jump this season and put up huge numbers in the right matchups.
Royce Freeman – A top 20 back as a Freshman that started the season in a timeshare last year. Mariota leaving may leave him carrying more of a load next season.
Other big name running backs you should keep an eye on: Derrick Henry, Devontae Booker, Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, Danile Lasco.
I’m not listing the receivers that are in our systems above, but know that several of them belong in this list. Coleman, Cannon, Cracraft, Reynolds, Noil, and Doctson are going to be virtually matchup-proof this season. Here are some other guys worth watching:
Nelson Spruce – All of the multi-touchdown games Spruce had last season indicates how high his ceiling could be this year. Tends to have let-down games, and wasn’t as consistent as Coleman, but he’s locked in here as our number 2 receiver.
Sterling Sheperd –Could finish this season as the number one receiver, he has that kind of potential. His QB play can’t get much worse/inconsistent than it was last year.
William Fuller – I don’t think he projects at the next level, but Fuller is unstoppable in the college game. He’s physical, fast, runs great routes, plays in a smart system that knows how to get him open and has a quarterback that can sling it.
Pharoh Cooper – I love guys like Cooper… He kills weak defenses and virtually disappears against solid pass defenses. This keeps his price affordable and let’s you target him for cheaper in favorable matchups.
Tyler Boyd – Voytik can only improve on his numbers from last season, and Boyd gets the lion’s share of targets in the Pittsburgh passing attack.
JuJu Smith – You get favorable matchups in the Pac 12 and JuJu is now Kessler’s top target. I think his floor is 1200 yards and 12 touchdowns season.
Other big name receivers you should who’s matchups you should be watching: Leonte Carroo, Mike Williams, De’Runnya Wilson, Jalin Marshall.
Dane Evans – I have a feeling Evans could be this year’s Brandon Doughty… Video game numbers in Art Briles system (head coach was a top assistant for Briles)
Sony Michel and Alex Ross – Both of these guys are arguably as talented as the guy slated in front of them. If Chubb and Perine are $9,000 in week one, and Michel and Ross are under $6,000, theres a chance the backups are a better value.
LJ Scott – Hill and Langford are gone, Williams is suspended, and uber-talented Freshman LJ Scott could find himself starting for the Spartans in week one.
Malik Zaire – If he isn’t a top 5 QB in DraftKings’s week one pricing, he could very well be the week’s top value. Notre Dame returns basically everyone and Zaire is a dual threat quarterback that could thrive both through the air and on the ground in Kelly’s system.
Dom Williams – He’s in our system section, but along with Cracraft and Baker, Williams is going to have an absolute monster year for Washington State.
Ryan Finley – If he wins the Boise QB job, and isn’t suspended, and DraftKings doesn’t price him correctly, he’s going to be a solid value right off the jump. A lot of if’s, perhaps the real guy to get to know in the Boise offense is:
Devan Demas – With the questions surrounding Finley and the Bronco’s passing game, you have to assume Boise will lean on the run a little more this season. He’s not going to put up Ajayi-type numbers, but Demas could still find himself in the top 10 RB’s by the end of this season.
Jake Rudock – If he wins the job, he fits Harbaugh’s system perfectly and has a chance to put up better-than-expected numbers in what should be a much improved offense this season.