College Football DFS Picks
I’m going to offer a value tier and a top tier for both slates.
J.T. Barrett (Ohio State) vs. Bowling Green – $6,700 (Early)
I don’t mind using either Mayfield or Ward, as I do think that matchup will be relatively high scoring. I think the price here on Barrett is just way too cheap for the upside he possess in this contest, and now he is the unquestioned, central focus of this offense. If you can think back to 2014, you’ll remember that Barrett was a monster, and I think we will see that again this year, as this offense tries to rebuild. Bowling Green’s defense is going to be completely outclasses, and Barrett should see ample opportunity to put up big numbers.
Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech) vs. Stephen F. Austin – $10,100 (Late)
Mahomes is honestly my dark horse Heisman contender this year, and I think that Texas Tech could end up being far better than many are giving them credit for. I will say – these types of games should not be included on slates, as they are one sided and kind of skew how to make lineups. Nonetheless, I think Mahomes should see ample action, and I fully expect him to put up a huge game this weekend. I think it’s very likely to see him run a few in, as well as passing for a few as well.
Trevor Knight (Texas A&M) vs. UCLA – $4,000 (Early)
I will admit that I have a bit of a bias toward Trevor Knight – I played him across the board the ONE game he had in 2014 where he was an absolute monster and it won me a ton of money. Still, this price is an absolute joke, as it is well below the average amount you can spend on a player, and it lets you load up everywhere else. This offense has some better pieces than it is given credit for, and I think Knight is in a really good spot to make his first effort at A&M a good one.
Kenny Hill (TCU) vs. South Dakota State – $4,000 (Late)
I do think that Hill is somewhat overrated – I think those expecting him to duplicate Trevone Boykin’s previous two campaigns need to bring their hopes down. This matchup is too good for Hill to be priced at only $4,000. This team is going to go through some growing pains, but I don’t expect it to happen this week. Hill should have a performance similar to his first star for Texas A&M in 2014, and is a pretty easy choice in our value section.
Nick Chubb (Georgia) vs. North Carolina – $7,400 (Early)
Chubb is coming off a very bad injury suffered in the fifth game of the 2015 season, but this is an excellent way to bounce back. North Carolina improved immensely on defense in 2015, but just against the pass. Against the run, they were still amongst the worst in all of college football. I know that there may be some concern because of his injury in terms of how long Chubb might play, but the coaching staff has indicated that he won’t be on a “pitch count”. His upside is huge in this game, and I love him at this price point.
Mike Warren (Iowa State) vs. Northern Iowa – $5,600 (Late)
There aren’t really any top tier options on the late slate, and I guess Demario Richards could be considered as one of the top plays, but I really like Mike Warren. I remember using him at minimum price last year and really ending up with one of my best lineups all year. He is going to be a very good running back, and while the Iowa State offense doesn’t seem overly sexy, it’s got some good pieces. I think Warren could be one of the better plays overall this weekend.
Barry Sanders Jr. (Oklahoma State) vs. Southeastern Louisiana – $3,400 (Early)
This is definitely a chance play, because we have not seen enough of Sanders to really know what he is. This Oklahoma State offense really was a running back away from seriously contesting for the college football playoffs last year, which is part of the reason you see Sanders here. I think the matchup is as good as it is going to get for him this year, and the price is really laughable. He’s a guy I’ll use in many of my lineups so I can stack elsewhere.
Kyle Hicks (TCU) vs. South Dakota State – $3,800 (Late)
There seems to be something seriously wrong with the pricing for TCU players on this slate. Hicks is the unquestioned running back in the TCU offense, and I think you could certainly have both he and Hill in your lineups tonight and do fine. You probably did fine if you had Mike White and Anthony Wales last night. This game should see TCU putting a ton of points on the board, and I like Hicks to be a low cost way at doing so.
Isaiah Ford (Virginia Tech) vs. Liberty – $6,600 (Early)
Ford should be in store for a big year in 2016, and is a PPR monster as he should see tons of targets go his way. Liberty is going to be completely and totally outclassed here, and I like Ford to break away for a few long gains, and in the process, a touchdown or two. He is my top wide receiver play on the early slate, and there is easily enough value on the board to fit him in to your lineups. With this being a full point PPR site, there is no question he’s in play.
Jehu Chesson (Michigan) vs. Hawaii – $5,900 (Early)
Chesson kind of came out of nowhere last year, and when he did, he made some of his owners very happy, as he put up a few weeks of absolutely monster stat lines. Hawaii is going to be one of the worst defenses this year, and that is why we want to target Chesson here. His price is very nice, as it is barely above the average amount you get per player. I am interested to see how the Michigan offense comes together, but this shouldn’t be a test for them.
Gabe Marks (Washington State) vs. Eastern Washington – $8,100 (Late)
Marks was an absolute stud in 2015, coming off an injury that cost him all of the 2014 season. I expect things to continue to be good for him this year. I think this Washington State team is going to continue to be one of the top passing offenses in all of college football, and as a result, Marks should see a ton of action weekly. This game should be high scoring and one sided, and I like Marks to hit the end zone at least once.
Isaiah Jones (East Carolina) vs. Western Carolina – $7,000 (Late)
Jones makes a great play on Fanpicks because of the one point per catch scoring. Jones will catch a lot of passes in this offense, and it is almost like getting free points. He should be able to put up a monster game this week against a far, far inferior team in Western Carolina. Again, there is so much value on this slate that it will not be difficult to fit him in your lineups.
Chance Allen (Houston) vs. Oklahoma – $4,800 (Early)
This is probably the game I am looking forward to most this week, as I think it is going to be filled with a ton of offense. Demarcus Ayers has departed for the NFL, which leaves a sizable hole that needs filled this year. I think there is a very good chance that Allen can step up and fill that void, which is what makes his price on this slate even more attractive. He’s definitely someone I am looking at to use in all formats.
Dede Westbrook (Oklahoma) vs. Houston – $4,700 (Early)
Truth be told, I think that Oklahoma is going to have better success through the air in this game, as the Houston pass defense wasn’t as good as everyone thinks it was, and they lose their top corner and playmaker William Jackson to the NFL. With Sterling Shepard gone, I expect Westbrook to step in and handle a lot of his dirty work, which should mean some pretty nice fantasy outings. I think the first one will come this weekend.
Reginald Davis (Texas Tech) vs. Stephen F. Austin – $4,700 (Late)
One of the biggest questions for this Texas Tech team is who will replace Jakeem Grant. There are a number of receiving threats on this offense, but the one that I am looking at in this matchup is Reginald Davis. He’s a talented receiver and I expect Mahomes to look his way a number of times in this opening game. He is way too cheap, and makes a nice play in tournaments this week.
Braxton Berrios (Miami) vs. Florida A&M – $2,500 (Late)
Berrios is unquestionably one of the most intriguing picks in this breakdown. A lot of the talking heads are expecting Brad Kaaya to emerge this year as a top quarterback in college football. Miami is always fun when trying to determine which receiver is going to do what, but I’ll roll the dice with Berrios here. It certainly helps that he is Kaaya’s roommate, but I’ll save the narratives. I think he’ll get into the end zone this weekend and make it worth your while to take the risk
Bucky Hodges (Virginia Tech) vs. Liberty – $4,800 (Early)
Hodges has been a force in this Hokies offense for the last few years, and I think 2016 could be the icing on the cake for him. This is a very good matchup for the big tight end, and I expect him to come through in a big way. The cheap options at tight end aren’t really that exciting, so I don’t mind paying up on the slate to get a reliable option.
Billy Freeman (San Jose State) vs. Tulsa – $5,200 (Late)
Kenny Potter would have been by value quarterback on the late slate had Kenny Hill not been free. Freeman should be his top receiving option with Tyler Winston set to miss the season. Yes, the cost is up there, but as I’ve said repeatedly, there is so much value that you can make it work. I love the upside on this play and he will be in most of my late lineups.
Scott Orndorff (Pittsburgh) vs. Villanova – $3,700 (Early)
There aren’t a lot of value tight ends on the early slate, but Orndorff sticks out as a guy who could be a touchdown waiting to happen. This team lost a lot when Tyler Boyd left for the NFL, so it is quite possible that Orndorff could assume some of those targets. The price is cheap, and you could do a lot worse at the tight end position.
O.J. Howard (Alabama) vs. USC – $3,600 (Late)
I expect O.J. Howard to be very heavily owned, as many will recall his outburst in the National Championship game. I’m not buying into that, as it was the first touchdown he scored since his freshman year two years earlier. Still, there is certainly the potential that he could end up having a pretty good game by tight end standards, and is priced fairly.