College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: 12/15/18 Main Slate
It's officially bowl season in college football! We've had many weeks come and go, but this week should be fun both on the field and on the daily fantasy slate.
College football DFS? Yes, you heard that right. And in case you're unfamiliar with how it works, you can check out the rules and scoring on FanDuel, where you can hit the lobby each week to see the full array of slates and contests being offered.
As for the basics, your roster consists of a quarterback slot, two running back slots, three wide receiver slots (which also includes tight ends) and one super flex slot. In the flex, you can insert one player from any position, including quarterbacks.
Here, our goal is to help you field a roster full of fantasy goodness, and in true numberFire fashion, we'll use our in-house projections as well as betting totals and advanced statistics to tackle as many slates as possible in the lead-up to the College Football Playoff. This week, we are breaking down Saturday's main slate, which locks at 1:30 p.m. EST and consists of five games. The highest over/under (68.0) of the day goes to Utah State/North Texas in the New Mexico Bowl Presented by Progressive.
Who should we be targeting in what matchups this week in college football?
Marcus McMaryion, Fresno State ($9,800): Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion might be one of the most efficient quarterbacks that almost no one knows about. In throwing for 3,453 yards and 25 touchdowns (to 3 interceptions) this season, he's completed 69.8% of his passes en route to 9.6 adjusted yards per attempt and a 161.9 quarterback rating, according to Sports Reference. But he's also been nearly as effective on the ground, rushing for 253 yards and 7 touchdowns on the year. That has provided him with a ceiling of 35-plus FanDuel points, which he's hit three times this season. If that wasn't enticing enough, he draws an Arizona State defense ranked 92nd by Football Outsiders' S&P+ and 89th against the pass alone. His Bulldogs have an implied total of 30.0, so McMaryion should be good for at least two or three total scores in this year's edition of the Las Vegas Bowl.
Jordan Love, Utah State ($9,300): Given their slate-high 37.75 implied team total, the Aggies are a team we want to target in a big way. And fortunately for us, we can target both parts of the offense with the spread at just 7.5 points in their favor. That keeps the sophomore signal caller firmly in play against the Mean Green, who rank 82nd against the pass compared to 68th against the run. While Love has shown the ability to run, having totaled six scores on the ground, he does most of his damage through the air, passing for 3,208 yards and 28 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. His 9.5 adjusted yards per attempt rank 11th nationally and make him a threat to rack up fantasy points in bunches. Based on the $500 discount, he's the top quarterback to target on Saturday.
Justin McMillan, Tulane ($8,800): Following the opening Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl -- not on the FanDuel DFS slate -- the AutoNation Cure Bowl will kick off the fantasy day in Orlando. Taking on the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, the Tulane Green Wave will be out to prove their nickname is best, but more importantly they'll look to take down a team ranked six spots ahead of them by S&P+ despite a 3.5-point spread in their favor. McMillan, formerly of LSU will be the one leading the charge after throwing for 1,159 yards and 9 touchdowns in just 8 games this year. He wasn't the starter to begin the year, but he's gained steam since taking over, most recently putting up 35.74 FanDuel points and four touchdowns in a win over Navy. Working in his favor is a Ragin Cajun defense sitting outside the top 100 in both overall defense and passing defense, which creates an opportunity for McMillan as a tournament-winner on this short slate.
Ronnie Rivers, Fresno State ($9,400): Pairing Rivers with McMaryion might not be a bad idea, particularly in cash games. In all likelihood, rostering both would get you exposure to every Bulldogs touchdown in some shape or form. After all, the sophomore back has taken 108 carries for 531 yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground, while also contributing 22 catches, 278 yards and 3 tuddies in the passing game. He's a dual-threat scatback of sorts, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him get around the 20.3 touches he's averaged over the last three. Oh -- and did I mention the Sun Devils are even worse (99th) against the run.
Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State ($9,300): If you haven't noticed already, this seems like a slate where you shouldn't have to pay over $9,500 to get to some solid backs. There are four players who have all gotten heavy workloads of late, but Evans is much too cheap for a guy averaging 13.8 carries for the season and 18.3 over the last eight. Since a breakout 100-yard game against Arkansas State back on October 9, the junior has tallied 11.1 or more FanDuel points in seven of eight all the while running for 100-plus yards in six. He has just one multi-touchdown game, but adding a touchdown or two to his volume-based numbers could easily put him over 20-plus FanDuel points, a mark he's eclipsed on four occasions. With Appalachian State a seven-point favorite in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (being played in the Superdome), Evans should get all the work he can get. He's the preferred running back play based on price and upside.
Gerold Bright, Utah State ($8,400): The Utah State running game is less appealing than Love and the passing game, as Bright and Darwin Thompson ($9,000) seem to split work as part of a timeshare. As a rule of thumb, taking the cheaper guy in these two-back attacks makes the most sense to me. With Bright, you get a $600 discount and still gain exposure to Utah State's high total. Plus, North Texas' 68th-ranked rush defense isn't anything to be scared off by. They've allowed 100 or more rushing yards in eight games, two of which opponents have rushed for 195-plus. Bright's carries can fluctuate, but his 6.3 yards per carry will play, and with 19 catches for 3 touches, he might even add a receiving touchdown to his line.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Darnell Mooney, Tulane ($8,700): If looking to go with McMillan at quarterback, there's no easier stack than putting Mooney alongside him. For his talent, Mooney is relatively cheap, having garnered the top target share (33.07%) in the American Conference. And even with the instability around the quarterback spot, he's managed 987 yards and 8 touchdowns on 47 catches. That's an average of 21.0 yards per catch. He has had two touchdowns twice this season, and he's topped out at 36.7 FanDuel points. As we already hit on, ULL's defense is exploitable as they come in bowl season.
Ron-quavion Tarver, Utah State ($8,600): Having a Utah State player at each of the three positions isn't too much when you take everything into account. If you're like me and believe in Love as the top option at quarterback, you have to fit in a receiver, regardless of whether you go with one of the backs. Jalen Greene ($7,700) isn't a bad pay-down play, but you shouldn't have to go there. Tarver, the number-one receiver, is a great investment at his price. Averaging 11.8 FanDuel points, he has posted 15 or more in five games this season, including the regular-season finale against Boise State (16.6). His 17.86% target share leads the team, as do his eight red zone targets. Don't overthink this in such a plus matchup.
Jalen Guyton, North Texas ($6,800): The reason you should be able to fit in some higher-priced options across the board lies in Guyton. The 6'1" junior figures to benefit if the team's top receiver Rico Bussey is sidelined for this one. At this time, he's considered questionable, which means he could either be out entirely or limited in some capacity. And to be honest, it might not matter much. Guyton's already turned 50 catches into 702 yards and 5 touchdowns this season after posting similar numbers -- 49 for 775 and 9 -- in 2017. He has at least 62 yards in back-to-back games, and he's shown the ability to go for 20-plus FanDuel points. The fact that the Green Wave have the second-highest total (31.25) on the slate is just icing on the cake.
Brett Oswalt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Brett Oswalt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username BRO14THEKID. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.