College Football Daily Fantasy: New Year’s Slate Top Picks
Baker Mayfield – Oklahoma is ranked No. 4, but they are -3.5 and projected for 34 points. While there has been a lot of talk that the Sooners were fortunate to face all backup QBs from the good Big 12 teams and that the Big 12 has weak defenses, Clemson’s defense is much weaker than advertised. They allowed 41 points to NC Strate, 37 to North Carolina, 32 to South Carolina, 27 to Syracuse and were fortunate to have the torrential downpour against Notre Dame when the Irish had just lost several of their key players. This offense is arguably the best in the nation. They have an amazing offensive line, a running back in Samaje Perine who put up as good of numbers as anyone last season before their high-flying passing attack was installed, and the dual-threat Mayfield who distributes the ball very effectively. Many sharks’ projections like the Sooners by a TD or more, and I think Oklahoma is in complete control of this game from start to finish.
J.T. Barrett – Ohio State was one game too late putting the pieces together. Granted Michigan’s defense was really banged up while Michigan State’s was getting healthy, the Buckeyes’ offensive line showed up in Ann Arbor and displayed what we thought we would see all season. With this much preparation and Urban Meyer an astonishing 9-2 in postseason games as a head coach, I think we’ll get the explosive Buckeyes that we saw against Michigan. The amount of injuries Notre Dame has overcome is unreal just to get to 10-2 and they could easily be 11-1 or 12-0, but I think Ohio State has a great edge with the zone-read attack and those playmakers. I think we’ll get about a 40 FPT outing from Barrett.
Chad Kelly – The SEC has lost their last six New Years Six/BCS bowl games outside the national title game.
Ohio State 42, Alabama 35, 2014/15 Sugar Bowl
TCU 42, Ole Miss 3 – 2014 Peach Bowl
Georgia Tech 49, Miss State 34, 2014 Orange Bowl
Oklahoma 45, Alabama 31, 2013/14 Sugar Bowl
Louisville 33, Florida 23, 2012/12 Sugar Bowl
Ohio State 31, Arkansas 26, 2010/11 Sugar Bowl
(average margin of victory 15 PPG)
The SEC’s last Sugar Bowl win was Florida over Cincinnati from the ’09 season. Brian Kelly had already bolted for Notre Dame. It was supposedly Urban Meyer’s last game coaching Florida and was actually Tim Tebow’s last game (huge advantage Gators). Alabama lost to Utah 31-17 in the 2008 season Sugar Bowl.
So, while the SEC teams usually have good subjective talent, that hasn’t shown up at all in their meaningful out of conference games.
Furthermore, this is an Ole Miss team that lost to Memphis by 13 and will be without Robert Nkemdiche.
Despite all this, Ole Miss is -7 and projected for 37 points. Kelly is a dual-threat quarterback and is relatively cheap. Plus, Oklahoma State’s defense really struggled against the potent offenses of the Big 12, and Ole Miss has the best offense in the SEC. I think this will be a shootout regardless of who wins and Kelly should put up big numbers.
GPP option, C.J. Beathard – You’re going to need to save salary somewhere. Beathard has had a month for his groin to rest. He’s still not 100 percent, but given that it’s the last game of the year and the Rose Bowl, we should see some playmaking with him and is always a red zone running threat.
Dalvin Cook – This game is tough to read overall. I think Houston could easily win this game, and they are tied for 15th in the nation allowing 3.5 yards per carry. However, Dalvin Cook is by far the most under appreciated running back in the nation. He was banged up all year and still rushed for 1,658 yards in 11 games (only had two carries in one of those). While I can see a couple of the other top priced running backs being held around or under 100 yards, I can’t see that with Cook even if Houston wins. Plus, Florida State’s passing attack is limited, and Cook is nearly guaranteed for the goal line work.
Ezekiel Elliott – Insert logic for Barrett.
Wayne Gallman – Yes, I do believe Oklahoma will win this game. That doesn’t exactly play into the game flow with this pick. Nevertheless, Gallman has been underpriced all season, and I do think he will still certainly exceed his salary. Plus, you don’t have many options with just eight games to choose from.
Jaylen Walton – Great place to save some salary here. Oklahoma State’s rush defense is average while Walton has had some big games this year. Walton’s poor performances have come in huge blowouts or against top-notch rush defenses. This should be a shootout and Walton should at least have a decent game nearing 100 yards.
Sterling Shepard – Sooners are expected to have a big day and this Oklahoma offense has been on a roll. There’s no reason to think Shepard will be slowed down. For more, see reasoning on Mayfield.
Laquon Treadwell – Treadwell has shown some inconsistency, but his upside is as good as anyone. He also has one of the best team point projections along with having one of the best matchups.
Aaron Burbridge – Few people are going to go with Burbridge since Michigan State is a 10-point underdog and facing Alabama. However, Connor Cook is only the second quarterback the Tide have faced who can actually throw the ball downfield. The other one was Kelly of Ole Miss and the Rebels won that game putting up 43 points. I don’t think Burbridge will have a monster game, but he will be much better than people think.
Artavis Scott – Scott has been underpriced all year, especially on FanDuel. Now with Deon Cain out, Scott has even better value.
Charone Peake – He is the likely replacement as the No. 2 wide receiver on Clemson if you’re looking for a deep GPP sleeper.
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