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Welcome to the Week 5 DraftKings college football preview on Outkick the Coverage, the only weekly Daily Fantasy preview that guarantees you’ll either end the weekend holding a giant check over your head… or end up on the ground, grasping your phone and screaming “Why Me” like Nancy Kerrigan after some wide receiver you’ve never heard of drops a touchdown catch in the end zone with six seconds to go in a game you otherwise wouldn’t have cared about.
Look, I don’t make the rules. That’s just how we roll around here.
Anyway, as hard as it is to believe, it’s October, and over the last month, we’ve learned quite a bit about the Daily Fantasy game writing these previews. We’ve learned to never, under any circumstances take an offensive skill position player from Stanford in a noon, Eastern time road game (thanks for nothing, Kevin Hogan) and that it’s pretty much always safe to take any Big XII quarterback you please (hey Patrick Maholmes, how you doing?). Oh, and if you want to teach your children the value of a dollar, have them start Christian Hackenberg on their DraftKings roster. After watching him throw three picks and tally negative daily fantasy points, I guarantee they’ll never ask for another raise in their allowance again.
Here are this week’s details from DraftKings:
– Private contest for Outkick The Coverage readers
– Free for new users or $3 to enter
– Only 100 spots so join quickly!
– $300 in prizes
– Top 40 scores win money guaranteed
– Starts Saturday,October 3rd at 12:00 PM EST
– Salary cap drafting style to select 9 players
– Roster format: 2 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, and 2 Flex
You can sign up here.
The last two weeks have been pretty successful for us, so let’s get to the Week 5 picks.
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, $8,300
Am I overreacting to Mayfield’s last performance, when he tallied 572 yards of total offense? Sure. And am I bit worried that he’s going against a West Virginia defense that currently ranks No. 1 in the country in scoring defense and giving up barely a touchdown a game? Of course.
In my defense though, that 572 yard performance against Tulsa was…. ALMOST AN FBS RECORD, so forgive me for getting a little excited about it. And besides, what do we really know about West Virginia at this point? Their three wins are over Georgia Southern, a transitional FBS team, Liberty, an FCS school, and Maryland, which plays in the non-scholarship Division III Middle Atlantic Conference.
Wait, what’s that? Maryland is an FBS school? And they play in the Big Ten? And they give away scholarships? Are we sure about that?
Either way, the point is that we still don’t know much about West Virginia, and it doesn’t help that this is their first trip away from Morgantown this season. Add in that Oklahoma is coming off a bye, and I think Mayfield rips their defense to shreds.
He might not tally 572 yards, but look for a couple touchdown passes, some rushing yards, and a big Oklahoma win.
Greg Ward Jr., $8,900
What if I told you there was a QB out there that was completing 75 percent of his passes this season. And that the same guy has averaged over 250 yards passing a game, while throwing seven touchdowns in his last two. What if I also mentioned that this guy had rushed for at least 90 yards in each game this season? Oh, and that’s he’s going against a defense that gave up 773 yards the last time they took the field.
Well, that player does exist, and if you guessed his name is “Ty Detmer”… you’re a real idiot.
Nope his name is Greg Ward Jr., and he is not only the best college football player you’ve never heard of, but also very likely the best quarterback in the city of Houston right now.
(Seriously, for all the talk about Leonard Fournette’s inability to go pro after this year, I think the NCAA should grant Ward a special waiver to play for the Houston Texans this weekend. He honestly can’t be any worse than Brian Hoyer or Ryan Mallett, right?).
Either way, Ward is that good, and he’s also going up against a Tulsa defense that gave up nearly 800 yards to Oklahoma the last time they took the field. They’re also currently ranked 125th in the country in total defense (out of 128 teams).
As good as Ward has been, this could be his biggest game yet.
DeAndre Washington, Texas Tech ($5,500)
In life, I have three big regrets. Things that I can only sit back, and shake my head thinking about all these years later. Things that I will undoubtedly take to my grave with me.
In no particular order, they are:
1. Not attending college at an SEC school. Seriously, every time the TV cameras pan to the student section at LSU, Georgia, or pretty much any other SEC school, and Brent Musberger gives one of those, “yeah, I can believe I get to do this either” grunts, a small part of my soul dies.
2. Not buying stock in Netflix after reading an article about the company in 2006, and thinking to myself “Hmm, I bet they’re gonna do big things.” I’m not saying that things haven’t worked out for me since, but let’s just say that like a year after that article came out, Netflix stock was up like 2,000 percent. And here I am writing Daily Fantasy college preview articles. But no, things are going great for me. I swear.
3. And finally, not starting more TCU and Texas Tech players last week in DraftKings. Seriously, I’d be retired on a beach right now if I had.
Thankfully the one guy I did start was DeAndre Washington, and I’m doing it again this week.
Not only did he put up big numbers a week ago (188 yards rushing and four TD’s) but he’s also still the Red Raiders best rushing option (by far) and could conceivably take on an even bigger workload with Patrick Maholmes banged up after last week.
There isn’t anything I can do about my Netflix stock… but I plan on making it all back with Washington in Daily Fantasy this week.
Wendell Smallwood, West Virginia ($4,900)
Speaking of “bad decisions” remember when I talked myself into starting Leonard Fournette’s backup Darrel Williams last week instead of Smallwood?
Yeah, let’s just say that wasn’t my finest moment.
Either way I’m not making the same mistake twice, and am rolling with Smallwood this week. The West Virginia star has quietly emerged as one of the most consistent running backs no one ever talks about in college football this season. He’s rushed for at least 88 yards each week, has scored a TD in every single one of their wins, and occasionally catches a ball or two out of the backfield.
Plus, his name is Wendell. Who doesn’t trust a guy named Wendell to come up big for them?
Add in the fact that he’s going up against an Oklahoma defense which gave up over 600 yards when they faced Tulsa two weeks ago–I’m pretty sure that the Mountaineers will put up big numbers as well.
Speaking of the OU defense…
Josh Atkinson, Tulsa ($4,400)
He had 10 catches and 104 yards when the Golden Hurricane played the Sooners, and is coming off back-to-back games of at least 100 yards with a touchdown.
After going a little bit crazy spending on quarterbacks and running backs, Atkinson is a straight steal at $4,400.
Shelton Gibson, West Virginia ($4,600)
Speaking of “straight steal” I feel like I should serve jail time for getting Gibson at this price.
So you mean to tell me that I’m getting a clear and definitive go-to receiver, in a pass happy offense, facing a defense which gave up 603 yards overall, including 427 through the air, the last time they took the field? Are we sure this isn’t a scam? Are we sure I don’t have to put down a credit card? Do I need to sign up six of my friends, and then I get a commission? Is that how this works?
Getting Gibson at this price seems too good to be true.
Durron Neal, Oklahoma ($3,800)
I know, I know, I’m going heavy on the Oklahoma/West Virginia offensive players here, but what can I say? I can’t help myself. I feel like Jim Harbaugh at a “buy one pair of khaki’s, get the next six pairs free” sale at Walmart or something. How can I turn all these guys down? Especially Neal, who I believe is due for a breakout game.
He’s a small, fast receiver, capable of turning small plays into big ones (he’s averaging 14.4 yards per catch this season) and is getting better every week, catching six balls the last time OU took the field. Not to mention that he can win you points in the return game too.
Somebody has to step up in Oklahoma’s receiving game behind Sterling Sheppard, and Neal seems to be that guy.
Terrence Williams, Baylor ($5,200)
Jonny Jefferson, Baylor ($4,200)
It’s getting a little redundant at this point, but I really, really feel like an idiot for not taking more advantage of the “great Texas Tech defensive cash grab of 2015” last weekend.
Tech was awful, and I doubt things improve significantly against Baylor, a team which not only had Seth Russell throw for seven — yes, seven — touchdowns last week, but also had three different players rush for at least 85 yards.
Two of those players were Williams and Jefferson; they combined for just under 200 yards rushing and two TD’s, including the underrated Jefferson, who averaged over nine yards per carry and is also capable of catching balls out of the backfield.
Not bad, and it could only get better against Tech.
Happy betting everyone!
Aaron Torres is a contributor to Outkick the Coverage and FOXSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Aaron_Torres, Facebook or e-mail at ATorres00@gmail.com.