College Football Daily Fantasy: Week 5 Picks – Early Slate
FanDuel prices first. DraftKings prices second.
(!) Injury watch
We have 19 (yes 19) games on the slate. I usually provide a lot of picks, but there are particularly going to be a lot this week. While I’m still going to provide a lot of players in order for you to choose which guys are best, I have still very much condensed this list. There are A LOT of juicy matchups this week, not just in terms of top teams, but more so in terms of points expected.
If you would like advice on which players I like the most or have any college football strategy questions, please visit the forum, or I will be doing my first college football Twitch on Friday. It will be in the afternoon or evening. I’ll tweet out and post in the forum when it will be exactly soon.
Before I start with the specifics – if you’re making several GPP lineups, every quarterback who is $8,000 or more on both FanDuel and DraftKings are in play. I’m excluding a few of them, but this is a really bizarre week with so many great top-tier quarterbacks, no good mid-tier options and a few solid underpriced cheap ones.
Seth Russell $10,100/$9,300 – Baylor is still averaging over a first down per play (10.2 yards). Russell has already fired 15 TDs in just three contests, and he hasn’t even played a full game due to blowouts. Russell gets the best part of both worlds here – Texas Tech’s defense is still a major work in progress, but their offense is very good and will keep the game competitive enough for Russell to play the whole game. Baylor is -17 and projected for an insane 54 points.
Trevone Boykin $10,000/$9,200 – The questions about Texas’ defense still exist, and they particularly struggled with Cal’s up-tempo offense. There’s no reason why this week would be different against TCU with the Horned Frogs projected for 44 points as a 15-point favorite. His dual-threat ability always gives him the highest ceiling of all college football quarterbacks and TCU is running the fifth-most plays per game.
Brandon Doughty $9,400 (FanDuel) – Western Kentucky goes against Rice who runs the fourth-most plays per game. The best part is, anytime Western Kentucky goes against an up-tempo offense, Doughty typically goes off. Western Kentucky is -7 and projected for 40 points.
Jared Goff $9,400/$8,600 – Remember the Cal Washington State game last year? Cal won 60-59 with no OTs. Granted these teams aren’t the exact same, but the same kind of potential is there for Goff to go off in a shootout that was similar to TCU vs Texas Tech last week. Cal is -18 and projected for 45 points.
Greg Ward Jr $9,200/$8,900 – An off the radar game, but Houston is -7 at Tulsa and the O/U is 81. So, with Houston projected for 44 points and Ward as a dual-threat quarterback, he’s definitely one of the best options.
Luke Falk $8,800/$8,900 – That Cal vs Washington State game last year? Connor Halliday threw the ball 70 times! He finished with 734 yards passing and 6 TDs. Again, this is just in regulation. Wazzu is an 18-point dog, but they will be throwing nearly every down to keep up with this Cal offense for how bad their defense is.
Patrick Mahomes (!) $8,600/$8,500 – Mahomes was banged up quite a bit in the TCU game and has been limited in practice this week, but Mahomes was still running a bit. With some rest this week and going against Baylor, I expect a great week from him needing to throw the ball a ton to keep up with Baylor. Mahomes was also vultured by DeAndre Washington with four rushing TDs last week, which is very unusual. Keep an eye on Mahomes’ status this week to make sure he’s playing, but I expect him to with a huge game against Baylor. This game will also be on a neutral field at Jerry’s World.
S.B. Richardson $6,900 (DraftKings) – This is the perfect matchup for Iowa State. They are -16 and projected for 43 points against the worst power five team in Kansas. Kansas is allowing 11 yards per pass attempt (124th out of 128 FBS teams), and their schedule so far has been South Dakota State, Memphis and at Rutgers. Richardson isn’t a huge speed guy, but he will run and take off, and he can carve up this Kansas secondary.
Lorenzon Nunez $6,500/$6,900 – This projection does not look pretty (Mizzu -2.5 with an O/U of 41.5), but Nunez is incredibly cheap for a dual threat quarterback (better on FanDuel as well). Last week he was not only the leader in rushing with 123 yards, he also had the most rushing attempts with 18 carries. Nunez would up with 30.66 FPTS against UCF. Granted he likely won’t finish with that many at Missouri, but Mizzu isn’t a tough place to play, Nunez didn’t get any rushing TDs last week and 25 FPTS is perfectly reasonable that would be great value.
Montell Cozart $5,000 (DraftKings) – While the Kansas defense is horrible, Iowa State’s isn’t too great either. Cozart will start in Ames, and he is certainly a big dual-threat guy. Getting 20 FPTS won’t be that hard, and that would be great value.
Drew Lock $5,100/$4,300 (!) – This isn’t an injury watch, but more checking in on to make sure Lock is the starting quarterback for Missouri on gameday. The usual starter, Maty Mauk, was suspended for the game on Monday along with offensive lineman Malik Cuellar. While I have yet to see head coach Gary Pinkel say that Lock is specifically the QB, Chris Gervino of KOMU-TV who is a sideline-reporter for the Tiger Radio Network tweets out that Lock will be the first true freshman to start at quarterback under Pinkel. While Lock is a true freshman and this isn’t the greatest matchup, no starting QB should ever be this cheap, and both sites priced him as a complete backup. Plus, Missouri is still favored at home, this South Carolina defense has been poor all year, and Mauk has been mediocre at best this season.
Ezekiel Elliott $9,100/$8,400 – We still haven’t quite seen the Elliott we’re accustomed to seeing, but Ohio State has another great matchup with an average Indiana defense. Ohio State is favored by 21.5 and projected for 44 points. He will have one of his monster games sooner or later, and this is as good of a time as any.
Shock Linwood $8,100/$7,300 – Linwood is actually somewhat priced a bit too highly (mainly on FanDuel), but this is the best matchup of the year for Baylor, and that’s definitely saying something. Again, Baylor is -17 and projected for 54 points.
Aaron Green $8,000/$7,800 – Really good matchup here as well. TCU is projected for 44 points as a 15-point favorite. Green is clearly the main running back, and he really benefits with easy running lanes with a strong OL and Boykin at QB.
Dalvin Cook $7,700/$8,800 – Wake Forest’s rush defense actually isn’t as bad as you think, but Florida State still has a superb matchup as they are -20. Cook has been an absolute beast this year, and he’s definitely underpriced on FanDuel.
Zack Langer $7,300/$6,100 – Houston’s rush defense has been pretty good so far this year by just allowing 2.9 yards per carry, but the only legit team they’ve faced so far is Louisville, and their offense is a complete work-in-progress. Langer has received 88 touches (fifth most) so far this season, and with this reasonable price, he’s certainly in play.
Daniel Lasco $7,000/$5,700 – Very high floor and ceiling here for a player at this price. Cal is favored by 18 in this expected shootout, so 20-plus carries for over 100 yards and a touchdown or two is very likely. Great value here on both sites, but Lasco is way too cheap on DraftKings.
D’Andre Ferby $6,700 (FanDuel) – Since Leon Allen went down, he’s had over 20 carries in each game. Rice is allowing seven yards per carry, which is second-worst in the nation.
Jordan Howard $6,600/$7,200 – I know they’re playing Ohio State as a three-touchdown underdog, but it’s not like Indiana is going to completely abandon the running game here. Both FanDuel and DraftKings have lowered Howard’s price significantly, and I think they lowered it too much. Howard is second in the nation with 111 rushing attempts and leads FBS with 675 rushing yards. Despite the opponent, I still expect Howard to get 20-plus carries and get over the 100-yard mark.
Justin Jackson $6,300/$6,500 – Have you seen how many carries this guy gets? The answer is 118, which comes out to 29.5 touches and leads the nation. Northwestern is -3.5 at home, and the Minnesota rush defense has been average.
Elijah Hood $5,800/$5,300 – Hood has emerged as the primary running back, and Georgia Tech’s defense really struggled against the run versus Notre Dame and Duke.
Patrick Skov $5,700/$5,700 – Skov is a great bet for about 20 carries this time out. The first two games for Georgia Tech were blowouts, and they trailed in their next two games. Georgia Tech is back home and favored by against a North Carolina team that does have a better defense than last season, but is still average. Skov won’t break away with huge speed, but he has tremendous touchdown upside.
Matt Dayes $5,100/$5,300 – I get the competition hasn’t been great, but really? Shadrach Thornton has been kicked off NC State, effectively making ayes even more so the clear No. 1 back. Huge no-brainer here, especially considering it’s supposed to rain the entire game (hurricane effect) and that both teams will run a lot (O/U is down to 46.5.
Ke’aun Kinner $4,900 (DraftKings) – Way too cheap in this matchup. Iowa State is tied for 108th in allowing 5.5 yards per carry.
Mike Warren $4,400 (DraftKings) – The recently new starting running back on Iowa State. He carried it 21 times for 126 yards at Toledo. What do you think he will do to Kansas? Huge no-brainer here.
Josh Doctson $8,700/$7,600 – With TCU’s WR core banged up and Kolby Listenbee’s status up in the air again, Doctson should be another huge factor this week. I certainly wouldn’t expect another 18 catches for 267 yards and three touchdowns, but I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t go over 100 yards with at least one score.
Corey Coleman $8,600/$7,900 – Coleman’s price has been jacked up quite a bit, but it’s understandable for how bad Texas Tech’s pass defense is. Not my favorite way to spend money, but his upside is ridiculously high in this matchup.
Tyler Boyd $7,400/$6,900 – Virginia Tech typically isn’t a great matchup, but Tech’s top cornerback, Kendall Fuller, is now out for the season. Boyd may not have the best quarterback situation, but he consistently puts up the numbers and will benefit more with Fuller out.
Keevan Lucas $7,400/$6,900 – Perfect matchup here. Tulas’s up-tempo scheme (90 plays per game, third in the nation) will be in full force trying to keep up with Houston (86 plays per game, seventh in the nation) going against their poor defense. Tulsa is a seven-point dog, but they are still projected for 37 points.
Jakeem Grant $6,900/$7,100 – Texas Tech throws a minimum of 60 times trying to keep up with Baylor.
Jared Dangerfield $6,800 (FanDuel) – Dangerfield is fully healthy now and is back to being the No. 1 WR. Taywan Taylor has stepped up, but Dangerfield is the X WR and we should see another explosive game against Rice.
Demarcus Ayres $6,700/$6,200 – Houston’s No. 1 WR. Ayres has 30 receptions while the next person has 11. Houston is projected for 44 points as a seven-point favorite.
Keyarris Garrett $6,600/$6,400 – See reasoning for Lucas. Garrett is the X WR who is tied for eighth in receiving.
Jordan Westerkamp $6,600/$5,500 – An expected shootout between Nebraska and Illinois. Westerkamp has scored in every game this season, and he’s had huge games in the close ball games. Nebraska is -6.5 and projected for 31 points.
Gabe Marks $6,600/$6,300 – Neither site has Marks, River Cracraft and Dom Williams priced that much differently. Marks was a stud in 2013, but he missed some time in 2014 that questioned a little bit how much he would be the main guy in 2015. Marks is leading the team with 25 catches for 273 yards, but he’s actually running a bit poorly with only two touchdowns. Don’t be surprised if Falk throws the ball 70 times in this game again…seriously.
Bryce Treggs $4,100 (DraftKings only) – Treggs is available on FanDuel for $5,800, which isn’t too shabby, but he’s just significantly better on DraftKings. Treggs is the slot WR against Cal and he had his best game last season against Washington State with 10 catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Not that you should expect those kind of numbers this time around, but Treggs should certainly have one of his best performances of the year here.
Jay Lee $6,200/$5,500 – Lee has been a bit underpriced in general this season and thanks to all the blowouts Baylor has posted, his price has not jumped this week unlike Coleman. There is huge upside here with this matchup against Texas Tech.
Aaron Burbridge $6,100/$6,400 – This price is a joke, especially on FanDuel. Three out of four games he’s surpassed 100 yards he’s easily Michigan State’s best WR and has a favorable matchup at home with Purdue.
Dennis Parks $4,900 (FanDuel) – Wayyyyyyyyy too cheap. Parks is an outstanding receiver for Rice who has 19 catches for 303 yards and three TDs on the year. Two of their games were against Texas and Baylor. Western Kentucky has a very potent offense with Rice needing to play catchup, but Rice is projected for 33 points at home.
Jesus Wilson $4,900/$4,100 – Florida State hasn’t done a lot through the air in three games, but they’ve had one blowout, one matchup in the heavy rain and a tough draw at Boston College. This is a better situation as Florida State is -20 and projected for 32 points. While it’s close between him and Travis Rudolph, Wilson is the leading receiver through three games and is a much cheaper option.
Bug Howard $4,500/$4,200 – There’s no reason he should be minimum salary on FanDuel. Not a high ceiling, but a very good cash play.
TE is FanDuel only
Tyler Higbee $4,100 – Higbee’s upside is reduced with a healthy Dangerfield. Also, with 19 games and a slight increase in price, he’s not a no-brainer anymore. However, the matchup with Rice is about as good as it gets.
Jaylen Samuels $4,000 – Keep in mind, bettors are hammering the under in the game because of the expected downpour on the East Coast. However, Samuels leads the team in receiving and the fact that he’s priced here as a tight end is way too appealing. Plus, it’s very likely they’ll have him run a lot of shorter routes as the tight end to have some kind of passing game if the rain is that bad.
Mark Andrews $3,300 – I can’t believe I failed to mention him against Tulsa…
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