CFB DFS Week 4 Picks – Night Slate
FanDuel prices first. DraftKings prices second.
(!) indicates injury watch
Cody Kessler $8,900/$8,700 – USC has been involved in two blowouts and one tough defensive matchup. While USC is on the road, this is their best matchup of the year for Kessler to stay in the game as USC is projected for 34 points as a six-point favorite. Kessler should get back on track here from a FPTS perspective.
Dak Prescott $8,600/$8,900 – Prescott was one of the best DFS QBs last season, and he’s actually priced fairly reasonably here. Auburn has been a mess so far on both sides of the ball, although oddly enough, Auburn is favored by 2.5 tomorrow with an O/U of 59, making Mississippi State projected for over 28 points. This line is a bit fishy to me, which makes me think Auburn could win, but I think it will be in a shootout if Auburn does. A QB change could really spark their offense, but their defense still looks like a big work in progress. Prescott is one of the best, if not the best, dual-threat QB in the nation from a fantasy perspective.
Chad Kelly $8,400/$7,900 – This game is in let-down territory for Ole Miss as they just won at Alabama and have to play at Florida next week, so I think Vanderbilt covers with the line at Ole Miss -27 (meaning Kelly will play the whole game). Ole Miss is projected for 41 points as a 27-point favorite, and his dual-threat ability is very appealing with this potent offensive attack.
Fredi Knighten (!) $7,700/$6,900 – We definitely need to check on Knighten’s status before kickoff, but he’s currently listed as probably with his groin issue. Arkansas State is a 7.5-point underdog at Toledo, but Knighten is an excellent dual threat QB and ASU is still projected for 26 points.
Kendal Thompson $5,600/$5,600 (Travis Wilson $5,700 on DraftKings) – Both Utah QBs are very cheap on DraftKings, which is very bizarre considering obviously one of them has to play. We are still waiting on the official word on whether Wilson will be able to go this weekend, but if Thompson is the guy, he will be in play on both sites while Wilson is just for DraftKings considering he’s $7,600. Utah is on the road at Oregon, which may not seem like a great matchup, but the Utes are projected for over 27 points and the Oregon defense has not looked good so far. Furthermore (and this is important), Thompson is the better DFS option since he is a dual threat guy, so if you’re on FanDuel or want to use a cheap QB on DraftKings, root for Thompson to start.
The starting QB for San Jose State $5,700-$4,400 (DraftKings) (!) – This situation is an absolute mess. You can read more about it on SFGate.com, but here’s the simple version: Kenny Potter ($5,500) is questionable with an ankle injury, Joe Gray ($5,700) is the likely replacement and it’s possible Malik Watson ($4,400) will be the guy but unlikely. Whoever starts, he is playable, and since this game is only on DraftKings, you can wait until kickoff to see who gets the nod. Potter is the best of the bunch not only since he’s the usual starter, but he’s a dual-threat QB. San Jose State is projected for 30 points as a four-point favorite, and Fresno State has one of the worst pass defenses in the NCAA.
Paul Perkins $9,200/$8,400 – UCLA is projected for 34 points as a three-point favorite at Arizona. This game should be up-tempo the whole way, and Arizona’s rush defense is average. Perkins should have another great game and bring the PPR value once again.
Royce Freeman $9,100/$8,900 – Freeman is the clear No. 1 back for Oregon and is a huge playmaker. Utah isn’t the greatest matchup, but the game is in Eugene, and the Ducks are projected for 39 points as an 11-point favorite. Plus, with Vernon Adams questionable, we could see increased touches for Freeman if Adams plays with his hurt finger or the backup is the guy.
Tyler Ervin $7,600 (DraftKings) – Ervin has been a stud for San Jose State putting up 40.1 FPTS, 32.9 FPTS and 30.3 FPTS in his first three games. He is running a bit hot in the red zone, but given San Jose State’s QB issues and that they are projected for 30 points as a four-point favorite, he’s in line for another outstanding game.
Nick Wilson $8,200/$7,500 – Arizona hasn’t been running Anu Soloman nearly as much to start the year (probably smart from a health perspective since he’s on track to start four seasons, which is a long time as an up-tempo zone read QB at the FBS level), and Wilson has been the beneficiary. While Arizona is a three-point underdog, they are at home, Wilson is the clear No. 1 back and projected for 31 points.
Kareem Hunt $7,600/$7,300 (!) – This is one you absolutely need to check on before kickoff. Hunt is questionable with a hamstring issue, but as I said last week, Hunt is an absolute stud and he had a great opening game against Iowa State with 24 carries for 129 yards. Arkansas State is an even better matchup for Hunt, and he should find the end zone at least once if he plays. If he is ruled out, Damion Jones-Moore is your guy at $4,500, who will likely split some time, but he should still easily hit his value.
Marteze Waller $6,800 (DraftKings) – Despite the uncertainty of the San Jose QB situation, Fresno State’s QB position might be in worse shape. Waller has 66 touches for 307 yards in his first three games, and Fresno has played Abilene Christan (won 34-13), Ole Miss (lost 73-21) and Utah (lost 45-24). That is pretty darn impressive considering the game flow of two of those contests. Waller also has been unlucky that he hasn’t found the end zone yet, and this game should be closer with a much better matchup for rushing success.
Justin Jackson $6,700 (DraftKings) – 28 carries, 22 carries, 35 carries in his first three games. Northwestern gets Ball State at home at night as a 20-point favorite. It doesn’t get much better than that for him.
Tra Carson $7,400/$6,300 – Arkansas typically has a strong rush defense under Bielema, but Texas A&M is favored by seven and projected for 33 points. Now that A&M finally has a primary RB in Carson, he is simply too cheap with this projection, especially on DraftKings.
Dare Ogunbowale $6,600/$4,700 – This is a high floor, low ceiling play (cash not GPP here). Corey Clement is out for the forseeable future, which leaves Wisconsin with the split carries of Ogunbowale and Taiwan Deal. Wisconsin is favored by 24.5 and projected for 37 points. Ogunbowale will start and likely get another 15 carries or so, but he should have no problem finding the end zone at least once and have a shot at going over 100 yards. Dare also brings PPR value.
Peyton Barber $6,400/$4,500 – Love this play on DraftKings, but definitely playable on both sites. I have no idea why his price isn’t higher since he got 24 carries against Louisville and 23 versus Jacksonville State. Yes, he only had seven against LSU, but LSU has one of the best rush defenses in the nation and that game was a blowout early that left Jeremy Johnson out to dry. Remember, as bad as Auburn has looked, they are favored at home against Mississippi State and projected for 30 points. The new depth chart still shows Barber as the main guy, so this looks like a steal here.
Damion Jones-Moore $4,500/$4,500 (!) – See if Kareem Hunt is ruled out before kickoff.
Ashton Shumpert $5,500/$4,200 – You might look at Shumpert and think he’s the No. 2 RB since he has had fewer than 10 touches in the first three games. However, that’s not the case. Mississippi State’s depth chart has Shumpert as the No. 1 RB. Mississippi State split action in the first game, LSU is a brutal matchup for any RB and Northwestern State was a blowout. Plus, Prescott gets a lot of rushing attempts. But remember, Josh Robinson (now the No. 2 Colts RB) got plenty of love in the MSU rushing game beside Prescott and so can Shumpert in the right matchup. Mississippi State has Auburn in what should be a close battle and Auburn’s rush defense has not looked good.
JuJu Smith $8,200/$7,500 – Arguably the best WR in college football. USC is -6 and projected for 34 points. Smith should have another 100-plus yard game.
D.J. Foster $7,100/$6,700 – If you’re unfamiliar with Foster, he’s basically a WR/RB combo listed at WR. He leads Arizona State in receiving and is playing the change of pace role for ASU’s offense. Foster hasn’t exactly gotten it going this year and he’s lost some of his usage now that he isn’t the primary RB, but he still gets the ball a lot both in the running and passing game. Upside is always strong with him.
Cayleb Jones $6,900/$5,700 – Jones hasn’t gotten off to the greatest start, but I think he’s simply running bad based on that he went for over 1,000 yards and caught nine TDs last season. He’s easily their best WR and given that most of this offense is back from last season, I think he’ll get back on track with Arizona needing to throw more to keep up with UCLA.
Christian Kirk $6,500/$6,000 – The No. 1 WR on the A&M offense is only in the 6k range? Simply too cheap.
DeRunnya Wilson $6,300/$5,000 – Wilson has gotten off to a little bit of a slow start, but he was the X WR for Mississippi State last year and clearly the No. 1 guy. That looks to be the case this year and the numbers are just a minor case of variance so far. Wilson should put up closer to what he did against LSU a couple weeks ago with 8 catches for 86 yards and a TD.
J.D. McKissic $6,200/$4,600 – Way too cheap for the highly targeted WR in this Arkansas State offense. It will help him out though if Knighten suits up given the chemistry they have.
Byron Marshall $5,800/$5,500 – Similar to Cayleb Jones. Marshall, who went over 1,000 yards last season, is fourth in receiving yards this season, but between the two blowouts and facing a tough matchup with Michigan State, he’s just running poorly so far. He’s too cheap even if Vernon Adams doesn’t play.
Corey Jones $5,600/$5,500 – Toledo has only played two games, but it’s pretty clear Jones is the No. 1 guy, and Arkansas State has a very weak pass defense. Great matchup and price here.
Drew Morgan $5,200/$4,400 – With Arkansas missing its top two WRs, Morgan is the new No. 1 who already stepped up some against Texas Tech and Toledo with 14.5 FPTS and 12.7 FPTS respectively. Now that he’s the clear No. 1 those numbers should go up, and Arkansas will need to throw to keep up with A&M.
Christan Jones $3,600 (DraftKings) – Jones was a rising star for Northwestern back in 2013 when he caught 54 balls for 668 yards and four TDs, but after he missed 2014 with an injury and that Northwestern is running it a ton this year, he hasn’t done a whole lot so far. But Jones is still by far the best WR on this team, and $3,600 is pretty darn cheap for what he’s capable of if they take the training wheels off Clayton Thorson.
TE is FanDuel only
Hunter Henry $3,500 – Arkansas is missing its top two WRs. Henry should be involved a lot versus A&M.
Gus Walley $2,000 – Walley has become a decent target for Prescott in his first year starting for Mississippi State (seven catches for 67 yards versus LSU). Given that Mississippi State should be in a tight ball game, Walley would continue to see targets.
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