There is plenty of luck involved in putting together a successful DFS lineup, and I’m sure I’ll be wrong more often then I’ll have the best plays pegged. However in the first week of SEC and full Big 12 conference play, the advice provided here was perhaps as good as it will get. Even with an overwhelmingly positive output, I still had some misses. Let’s take a quick look back:
In hindsight for the TCU-ISU game, it may seem obvious that Breece Hall would be the top play, but only 27.5% of tournament lineups had Hall as the MVP (Brock Purdy was in the MVP slot for 52% of entries). My hidden gem Blair Conwright (rostered in just 1% of tournament entries…basically just me) came through with a TD on the last play of the game to pay off his value in a big way.
On the Main Slate, all my Stud plays paid off, each scoring over 27 Fantasy Points (Najee Harris had 3 TDs, Terrace Marshall went 8-122-2, and even Spencer Rattler put up big stats despite the loss to K-State), but without question my best call was Value QB KJ Costello, who in his first game in the SEC broke the conference’s single-game pass yardage record with 623 yards and 5 TDs against defending champion LSU. Clanga
The value calls are always going to be hit-or-miss conundrums, and I did have 2 misses with Value RB James Cook and Value WR Johnathan Mingo. For Cook, the Georgia offense got off to a terrible start, and coming out of halftime trailing Arkansas, Cook lost a fumble and didn’t get another touch the rest of the game after being heavily involved early. As for Mingo, well this was a good-process, bad-decision call: the Rebels’ game with Florida was a high-scoring affair and the Ole Miss pass catchers had great days, but unfortunately Mingo wasn’t one of them. I should have selected Ole Miss value receiver Dontario Drummond instead, who scored 2 TDs and even had a 45 yard pass, or stud receiver Elijah Moore who amassed 227 yards.
Okay, enough reminiscing, let’s look at the best plays for this week.
Single Game Slate
For the single game showdown slate, you select 5 “flex” players, which can be any offensive player, including QB. One of those 5 is selected in the MVP spot, where his points will be multiplied by 1.5.
TCU @ Texas (-11.5), O/U: 63
With both teams coming off very high scoring games in their Big 12 openers, we should expect more offensive fireworks in this one, but pegging the top performers may be more difficult as each offense spread the wealth last week.
Max Duggan, QB TCU ($14,500) – OK, so here’s the situation: it’s likely that at least 80% of entries put Sam Ehlinger in the MVP slot this week. That is the most likely safe correct play, as Ehlinger has put up massive stats through 2 games, always presents a running threat, and the TCU defense was quite giving to a less talented Iowa State offense. But if you want to win, you have to take a unique position. Put Max in your MVP spot and when he outscores Ehlinger you’re automatically in the driver’s seat over the rest of your competition, regardless of what you do elsewhere on the roster. I’m hopeful that the 2nd half last week was enough of an indication that it’s time to #LetMaxCook and the real offense gets unleashed for 4 quarters against a defense that let Alan Bowman throw for 331 yards and 5 TDs.
Jake Smith, WR Texas ($8,500) – Smith is returning from injury for his first game of the season. This may scare some people away from rostering him this week, but he is again listed on the Longhorn depth chart as a starting receiver ahead of Kai Mooney and Brenden Schooler. Last week those two combined for 11 catches for 97 yards and a TD. You’ll have to monitor his status to make sure he plays, but if he is a go, he should get plenty of looks
Reminder, your Main Slate roster will include 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, and a Super Flex (any offensive player, including QB). The Main Slate this week includes 14 games including likely shootouts from the AAC and marquee slugfests from the SEC. With a week of information, the salaries are more tightly priced and you may have to go further out on a limb to find a value play in order to fit the star performers in ideal match ups.
Brady White ($9,700): Memphis (-2.5) vs. SMU, O/U 74.5
This game has all the makings of a fantasy points explosion: dynamic offenses with star players at all positions, a super high total, with a short spread. The oddsmakers project this to be a high-flying back-and-forth shootout where the last team with the ball will come away victorious. You could probably see success simply stacking all the players from this game and watching the fireworks. But if forced to choose, I’m taking the cheaper White over the Ponies’ Buechele ($10,200) on a hunch and the expectation he creates more with his legs. My biggest concern here is that Memphis may come out flat and rusty, as they haven’t played in a month.
Zach Smith ($7,900): Tulsa (+21.5) vs. UCF, O/U 72
It’ll be hard to roster a value QB this week, with so many ideal options at the top, but I do really like the players in this price range, from JT Daniels ($7,200) to Phil Jurkovec ($8,300), but all are facing high-level Power 5 defenses in games with low totals. Even as heavy underdogs, the Golden Hurricanes still have a team total of 24.5. With star RB Shamari Brooks out, Tulsa will have to lean even more on Smith to pull the upset over the Knights again this season. I think Max Duggan at $8,500 would also be a great value play here on the Main Slate if you agree with what I said about him above.
Chuba Hubbard ($9,800): OK State (-22) vs. Kansas, O/U 54
Superstar bellcow RB as a heavy favorite, lock it in. Whether Spencer Sanders plays or not, Chuba will be heavily featured against one of the nation’s worst teams. I’m thinking he finally gets his first multi-TD game of the season.
Greg McCrae ($7,300): UCF (-21.5) vs. Tulsa, O/U 72
UCF is one of those teams that’s fussy about depth charts, so it’s hard to know whether McCrae is the starter, co-starter, or backup. However, with a team total of 47.5 and as heavy favorites, I’d expect there to be plenty of carries for McCrae. The issue will be that UCF does not use RBs in the passing game, as zero of their 32 completions last week went to a RB, so you’d probably need McCrae to score 2 TDs to be a game-changer for your lineup.
Charleston Rambo ($8,600): Oklahoma (-7) vs. Iowa State, O/U 63
It was a tough week for the Sooners, and Rambo may have been hit the hardest. No OU WR surpassed 100 yards receiving as Rattler spread the ball to 9 receivers and Rambo only earned 30 yards. I’m choosing to believe that Rattler will clean up the turnovers and get his superstar receiver more involved against a Cyclone secondary that has allowed Max Duggan and Levi Lewis to pick them apart in the last two games.
John Metchie III ($5,900): Alabama (-18) vs. Texas A&M, O/U 51.5
This pick is not logical. The Crimson Tide obviously have all-world stars Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith at WR that will be first round draft picks next season and in their opener vs. Mizzou the targets funneled to those two – each with 8 receptions. Also, Bama is a big favorite with a low total, so would anticipate a not many passes to spread around. My thought here: Metchie is a starting WR on a strong offense at a bargain-bin price, and I’m hoping Bama may need to pass more and spread the ball around more than was necessary against Mizzou.
Note: you will need a FanDuel account, but you do not need to make a deposit to join this contest, all these games are free and just for bragging rights.
I ended up taking home first prize for the TCU single-game contest! I finished 3rd for the Main Slate, using all the players from my Stud/Value calls from this column...which does not make an ideal lineup building strategy, but still kept me near the top. Can you defeat me and the competition this week? Join by copying the below URLs into your browser:
- For the Single Game TCU-Texas contest: https://www.fanduel.com/entry/50574-238365427
- For the Week 5 Main Slate contest: https://www.fanduel.com/entry/50558-238365516