It’s time for Week 3 of Outkick the Coverage’s “DraftKings College Football Preview.”
If you’ve playing along the last two weeks you know what we’re all about: Like you, we’re at home, wagering our own real money, all in hopes of winning a little side cash, and ending up on one of those commercials where we get to hoist a huge check over our heads.
That is the American dream after all, right?
– $100,000 prize pool
– $10,000 first place prize
– Free for new users or $3 to enter
– Top 7,850 scores win money guaranteed
– Starts Saturday, September 19th at 12:00 PM EST
– Salary cap drafting style to select 9 players
– Roster format: 2 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, and 2 Flex
Anyway, let’s get to the picks. There are a lot of good games, and a couple players that are ready to make you rich (or at least less poor)!
Here’s who we’re picking this week.
Kyle Allen, Texas A&M ($7,400)
Look, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s bit a little bit of a bumpy road making quarterback selections the last few weeks.
Ok, it’s been really bumpy.
Like bumpier than the highway Bobby Petrino used to ride his motorcycle down every morning in Arkansas.
But much like Petrino we’re ready to bounce back, and expecting big things from our QB’s in Week 3.
Speaking of Week 3, this week’s play is Kyle Allen.
Besides all the obvious reasons to select Allen (that he’s really good), he also offers maximum efficiency (throwing three touchdowns on just 13 passes last week) at a much cheaper price than more expensive quarterbacks like Vernon Adams (injured), Connor Cook (who won’t throw the ball a ton) and Cardale Jones (who could potentially split reps with J.T. Barrett).
Add in the fact that he’s got a bunch of receivers that can turn any random, eight-yard catch into an 80-yard touchdown, and he’s set to put up a lot of points this week.
Dane Evans, Tulsa ($7,400):
Sure Tulsa is playing Oklahoma, meaning that anyone who watched the Sooners’ wild comeback victory at Neyland Stadium last week is probably thinking to themselves “Geez, if Eric Striker, his middle finger and OU’s defense shut down Tennessee, what are they going to do to a quarterback I’ve never heard of?”
It’s a good point, but I’d counter with three reasons why I think Evans puts up plenty of yards (and Daily Fantasy points) on Saturday:
1. Tulsa will throw the ball. It seems dumb, but a QB can’t put up stats if his coach doesn’t let him loose. Given that Evans has averaged over 30 passes per game this season, I’d say that the Tulsa staff has full faith in him.
2. He’s a third-year starter, meaning that even if he throws an interception or two, the coaching staff isn’t going to lose faith in him, or yank him from the game all together.
3. Three, he’s playing Oklahoma!
I’m not saying the Sooners are going to lose, but wouldn’t it be the most Oklahoma move ever to get that big win against Tennessee, and follow it up by coming out flat against a non “name” opponent, in a noon kickoff, and end up needing a wild rally to avoid another embarrassing upset?
Of course it is! Nobody does a letdown game bigger and better than Oklahoma does! We’ve seen that script a million times before, and all the ingredients are in place for it to happen again Saturday.
Therefore, be warned. We all know that someone, somewhere will be sitting there at 2:30 Saturday, screaming at their TV, and praying for a miracle, after watching Oklahoma go three-and-out for the fifth straight possession.
It’s just what Oklahoma does.
And you don’t want to be that guy, do you?
He’ll have a big game.
Another Quarterback I Like:
Wes Lunt, Illinois, $8,100:
I know you think I’m crazy. That’s ok. But at the same time, let me ask you a question: If I asked you to name me the only quarterback in the Big Ten who is completing more than 65 percent of his passes, has five or more touchdowns, and also happens to be averaging seven yards a completion, what would you say?
If your answer is “Kerry Collins”… well, you’re really terrible at this game.
Instead, the actual answer is Illinois’ Wes Lunt.
Yes, I know it’s Illinois, and I know the Fighting Illini have played two lousy teams.
At the same time, they’re 2-0, and have piled up a ton of yards in those two games. In a world where Arkansas lost to Toledo last week, and Maryland got boat-raced by Bowling Green, something needs to be said about a Power-5 team simply going out there and taking care of business.
Maybe it’s all a fluke, and Lunt and Illinois will make me look stupid on Saturday.
Or maybe they’re not quite as bad as everyone thinks.
With the numbers Lunt has put up, I think it’s worth taking a chance.
Quarterback to Stay Away From:
Cardale Jones, Ohio State ($9,100)
J.T. Barrett, Ohio State ($7,400)
I genuinely like both QB’s, and genuinely believe each can lead Ohio State to a National Championship.
But until one firmly takes the starting spot, I can’t play either here.
Let me put it to you another way: For the same price you can get J.T. Barrett — who won’t even start Saturday — you can get Kyle Allen, who you know will start, and you know will put up stats for Texas A&M.
Point is, until one quarterback firmly takes the job from the other, I’m staying away from both.
Peyton Barber, Auburn ($4,800)
I already know what you’re thinking: “Dude, I watched Auburn last week against Jacksonville State. Their offense is abysmal. LSU is going to load the box Saturday, and make Jeremy Johnson beat them with his arm.”
You’re probably right.
At the same time, what I would say is this: Yes Auburn looked awful last Saturday. But they were also playing an 11 a.m. kickoff, against a feisty FCS team, that has in fact beaten an SEC opponent before (Google “Houston Nutt, Ole Miss” if you don’t believe me). That’s not an excuse for Auburn. But I’m also thinking that they can’t get much worse than they were last Saturday.
If they’re even a little bit better, that could mean a big game for Barber, who has already been Auburn’s most consistent player this season. He has by far the most carries on the team (47) and is still averaging over five yards per rush. The fact that his backup Roc Thomas had a crucial fumble late last week, only means that he’ll probably be getting the ball more against LSU.
Look, Auburn didn’t go from “offensive juggernaut” to “completely inept” overnight.
They will figure out a way to move the ball (at least to some degree) against LSU.
And Barber is a steal at that price.
L.J. Scott, Michigan State ($5,500)
After a big win last week, Michigan State is almost certainly going to go ultra-conservative this week. They’ve never exactly been known as a “dynamic” offensive team under Mark Dantonio, and I hardly expect them to start against a pesky Air Force team this week.
Nope, instead they’re going to try and keep things on the ground, keep the Falcons’ offense off the field and get out with a win.
They’ll also give the ball to Scott, who they seemed to trust quite a bit against Oregon last week. Scott had 11 carries, and made them count with two touchdown runs.
Michigan State might not win big, but they will win.
And Scott will have a big game on the ground for them.
Another Running Back I Like/But Also Be Wary:
Mark Walton, Miami ($5,100)
While Joseph Yearby gets all the headlines in Miami’s backfield, Walton got all the Daily Fantasy points last week. The true freshman scored three touchdowns on the ground, and added another 20 yards receiving.
Now, the question is, can he do it again?
I’m not sure, if only because I have no faith in Al Golden. Frankly, I wouldn’t trust the guy to order a meal for me at Panda Express, let alone coach my Division I football team.
Therefore, be wary of Walton, but also realize his upside as well.
If you think Golden can put together a competent game-plan and that Miami will be able to move the ball against the best defense they’ve seen all year, then go ahead and add Walton to your lineup.
If you think Golden is more likely to be selling kitchen knives door-to-door next year than coaching this football team (like I do), then stay away.
Either way, you’ve been warned.
Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State ($5,900)
If I noticed one thing during the Spartans’ win over Oregon last week, it’s that Burbridge has become Connor Cook’s security blanket whenever he’s under duress. He’s a senior, he’s steady, and he’s also had at least 100 yards receiving each of the first two weeks of the season.
Simply put, there aren’t many wide receivers who you know you can start, who will not only put up consistent stats, and continually be the top target of a really good quarterback.
Burbridge is that guy, and a great bet at wide receiver.
Ricky Jones, Indiana ($5,600)
Look, I’m not going to waste your time getting into the intricacies of Indiana’s pass offense. You have better things to do with your time, and I’ve got…
As I said, you’ve got better things to do with your time.
Either way, what you need to know about Jones and the Hoosiers offense is this: Indiana throws the ball a lot (over 30 times in each of their two games) and they liked targeting Jones, who has 16 catches for over 300 yards this year.
The fact that Indiana is facing Western Kentucky — a team which gave up 347 yards through the air to Jeff Driskel and Louisiana Tech last weekend — is only more reason to scoop up Jones.
Michael Thomas, Ohio State ($5,000)
Remember how Sports Illustrated always used the “This Week’s Sign of the Apocalypse” in their magazine every week? Well if starting three wide receivers from the Big Ten in DraftKings this week isn’t a sign of the apocalypse, I don’t know what is.
At the same time, I watched Ohio State closely last week, and while they still haven’t figured out who their quarterback is long term, I noticed that that both Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett are incredibly comfortable finding Thomas in the passing game. He’s got that rare ability to always find creases in the defense, and always get open when his quarterback needs someone to bail them out.
Braxton Miller may be the most explosive player on Ohio State’s offense. Jalin Marshall may have been the biggest name last year.
But Thomas has been their most consistent receiver in 2015.
Wide Receiver to Stay Away From:
Anyone on Texas A&M
Fun fact: Did you know that 11 different players caught passes for Texas A&M last week?
That’s great if you’re an A&M fan, but it’s terrible for projecting who might have a big game in any given week.
For that reason alone, it’s probably a good idea to stay away from all of the Aggies receivers.
Elijah Hood, running back, North Carolina, $5,400:
The last time we saw North Carolina on a big stage, it was opening night, against South Carolina. Hood finished that game with 13 carries for 138 yards. Last week, North Carolina kept his touches down, but he still managed two touchdowns.
The Tar Heels quarterback play is inept, and in a big game (at least in terms of their bowl eligibility) I have to imagine they’ll want to keep the game-plan conservative and out of Marquise Williams’ hands.
That means they keep it on the ground, and that they get a big performance from Hood.
Tyler White, wide receiver, Illinois, $3,000:
If you need to fill out the last spot on your roster with a super-cheap option, White seems like as good a bet as any.
Yes, he’s only caught five passes all year, but two have been for touchdowns.
Talk about return on your investment, huh?