It’s time for Week 2 of Outkick the Coverage’s “DraftKings College Football Preview.”
For those who missed it last week, we’ll be doing this preview every week during the college football season, and if you’re wondering, yes, we’ll be spending our own, real, hard-earned money alongside you, the readers.
When we win, you win. When we struggle, you struggle. Basically, we’re in this together.
If you’ve never played DraftKings, you can sign up here, and here are the details:
– This is the biggest fantasy football contest ever.
-$10,000,000 prize pool.
– First place wins $2,000,000
– Only $20 to enter
– Over 125,000 scores win money guaranteed
– Starts on Sunday, September 13th at 1:00 PM EST
– Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 9 spots. 8 players and 1 defense.
– Roster Format: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex and 1 Defense
As for Week 1, well, it taught us some valuable lessons.
The first, and most important one, of course is as follows: “Never, ever, wager your own, hard-earned money on Christian Hackenberg.” To his credit, Hackenberg made DraftKings history last week, by becoming the first ever projected Top 10 NFL Draft pick to put up a negative point total in Daily Fantasy.
Congratulations, Christian. You really blew it for the rest of us.
Of course on a more positive note, let’s just go ahead and call Christian Kirk “America’s Sweetheart.” Because that dude made a lot of money, for a lot of people last week.
Speaking of Kirk, we’re taking a slightly different approach to filling out our lineup in Week 2. You’ll notice this week that the focus is on versatile players like Kirk; guys who can get you points in a variety of different ways (returns, rushing, receiving etc.).
Who I’m Picking: Quarterback
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville, $6,100:
Sure Louisville might have lost to Auburn in Week 1, but their loss provided two, clear bright spots.
1. It provided writers like me plenty of opportunities to make bad, “Hey, it looks like Bobby Petrino is fleeing the Georgia Dome… again” jokes. Which was fun for all involved (except probably Louisville fans).
2. The Cardinals seem to have found their quarterback of the future in Lamar Jackson.
Jackson was Louisville’s best (and at times only) offensive weapon against Will Muschamp’s Auburn defense, throwing for 100 yards and rushing for another 106.
We have no idea if he’ll be able to put up numbers quite like that on Saturday, but Louisville is facing a Houston squad that gave up 312 yards passing to Tennessee Tech last week… a school I’ve never heard of, and definitely didn’t know had a football team. That’s got to be a good sign, right?
Add in the fact that you just know Petrino is itching to run up the score on someone after Week 1, and Jackson seems like a smart play here.
Nick Stevens, QB, Colorado State, $6,400:
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t do a ton of advanced scouting on last week’s Colorado State-Savannah State game (unfortunately my Tier 2 cable package doesn’t include “Rocky Mountain Sports Net 2”) but whenever a quarterback throws for five touchdowns (like Stevens did last week) it’s impressive, regardless of the opposition or whether you actually saw it or not.
Will Stevens be as good against Minnesota? Probably not. But at the same time, this is a weird game for the Gophers too. You think they’re excited about traveling cross-country, to play a true road game, against a 10-win team last year, at altitude, after they played what basically amounted to their biggest game of the season last week against TCU?
Point being, I think Minnesota comes out a little flat here. And Stevens has a big game.
Another guy I like:
Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas, $7,800:
Yes, Allen is a little pricey, but here’s what you know you’re going to get with him: A high completion percentage, plenty of time to throw behind that huge offensive line, a couple touchdown passes, and no really bad, dumb mistakes.
Plus, as I mentioned last week, no one loves to run up the score against overmatched opponents more than Bret Bielema does. He’s like the bully at recess, if the bully at recess was 300 lbs. and wore sunglasses that made him look like he needed a walking cane.
With Texas Tech next week and then the SEC schedule opening up after that, expect Arkansas to put up a lot of points.
And Allen to put up plenty of stats.
Stay Away From:
Malik Zaire, QB, Notre Dame, $7,300
I can’t lie, I’m still hung over from all the Notre Dame kool-aid I drank last week.
Yup, I’m that guy. The one who flips on one Notre Dame game, but swears I’ll stop after one quarter. Then I stick around for another quarter or two, my friends all leave, and I’m forced to take a $60 uber ride home. By the time it’s all over, I’m eating nachos on my couch at two in the morning and proclaiming the Irish a playoff contender, and Zaire my Week 1 Heisman favorite.
Sure I knew I should have stopped after one quarter. But it felt so good at the same time!
At the same time, wouldn’t it be the most Notre Dame move ever to destroy Texas in Week 1, get their fans’ hopes up …and then crush them with a Week 2 loss at Virginia?
I don’t think it will happen, but at the same time, Zaire can’t possibly be as good as he was in Week 1? Can he?
Don’t answer that. I don’t want to wake up with a hangover Sunday.
Therefore, I’m staying away from Zaire this week.
Who I’m Picking: Running back
C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame, $5,200:
Yup, I already know what you’re thinking:
“Dude, you just spent 200 words saying how you don’t believe in Notre Dame, and should stay away from their QB. Now you’re putting their running back into your lineup? Man, make up your mind. You’re more indecisive than Bobby Petrino when an SEC job opens up.”
First off, that hurts.
Second of all, if you love Bobby Petrino jokes, this is the column for you.
And three, the reason I like Prosise is simple. Every coach gets more conservative on the road, meaning that it’s almost certain that Notre Dame will run the ball much more this week than they did against Texas. And Prosise is clearly the guy who will get those runs, after Tarean Folson went down with a season-ending injury last week.
If Prosise finished Week 1 with 98 yards after starting the game as a back-up and playing second fiddle to Zaire, how many will he get this week?
My guess is a lot.
Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama, $6,300:
Remember when I said earlier that this week the focus would be on players who put up numbers in multiple ways?
Well your honor, I’d like to present Drake as Exhibit A.
Drake put up 72 yards rushing (and a touchdown) last week, plus another 48 yards receiving and he returns kicks, meaning he can get you points all over the place.
Plus, you know that after Lane Kiffin kept things mostly conservative in Week 1 (with the exception of when he broke out his favorite “Honey Bunches of Oats” play), Kiffin is going to want to open things up in Week 2.
That means a big afternoon for Drake, and you too if you add him to your lineup.
I Also Like:
Josh Hicks, RB, Rutgers, $5,600:
Here’s what you need to know about Hicks: He put up 118 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in Week 1, and this Saturday, he’ll be playing at home, against a Wazzu defense that allowed 233 yards rushing to Portland State last weekend.
(Let me pause here so that can sink in)
Washington State… a power five conference team… gave up 233 yards rushing… to something called “Portland State,” which must be outside the union, because I’ve never heard of it.
If Portland State rushed for 233 yards at Washington State, Rutgers might go for 500.
You’re going to want Hicks in your lineup.
Stay Away From:
Any of the big-name running backs:
Ezekiel Elliot, Ohio State, $9,500
Derrick Henry, Alabama, $9,200
Alex Collins, Arkansas, $8,900
All three are facing inferior opposition, and should have relatively light workloads.
Save your money and spend it more wisely elsewhere.
Who I’m Picking: Wide receiver:
Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State, $6,300:
Sure, Miller won’t play late into Ohio State’s game against Hawaii. And no, he probably won’t be quite as dynamic as he was last week either. Yup, you all saw the play. But let’s take a moment to appreciate it one more time.
But unlike some of the other big-name wide receivers this week (Notre Dame’s Will Fuller, Ole Miss’ Laquon Treadwell), we know that Miller will get his opportunities. Not only is Miller a receiver, but as Urban Meyer clearly showed last week, he wants to get Miller touches as a running back as well.
Basically, Braxton Miller is Percy Harvin 2.0.
And if you give Braxton Miller enough touches, you know he will break at least one for a touchdown score.
Robert Foster, WR, Alabama, $4,800:
I said it last week about Tennessee’s Marquez North, and I’ll say it here about Foster: I feel like I should be arrested for getting him at this price!
Sure, North proceeded to catch zero balls last week after I said that. But that’s not the point! The point is, that for all the same reasons I love Kenyan Drake, I love Foster too.
Lane Kiffin is going to want to put up points and put up yards, and given that Foster seemed to be the receiver that Jacob Coker was most comfortable with, I’m thinking it’s a big afternoon for him.
Somebody is going to put up big stats for ‘Bama this week.
Foster is that guy.
Jake Butt, WR/TE, Michigan $4,400:
If we learned two things about Michigan last week, it’s this:
1. Even Jim Harbaugh thinks Jake Butt’s name is funny.
2. While Michigan’s offense did struggle, quarterback Jake Ruddock found a nice, soft, cushy landing spot to throw the ball, in his tight end, Butt.
(Sorry, I couldn’t stop myself).
With an extra couple days to prepare for this game, look for Michigan’s offense to be improved.
And for Butt to have another huge day. Basically I like a big game from Butt and I cannot lie.
(Ok, that was awful. I’ll stop now.)
(Ok, for real this time).
I Also Like:
DeMarcus Ayers, WR, Houston, $6,000:
Quietly, Ayers had a monster game last week, making 10 catches for 121 yards.
He might not be that good against Louisville, but if Houston falls down early expect them to the throw the ball often.
And Ayers will be a recipient of plenty of those catches.
Stay Away From:
Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss, $5,600:
I’m staying away from Laquon Treadwell this week for the same reason I did last week: Hugh Freeze is still trying to ease him back into the lineup, and with a game against Alabama next Saturday, I don’t expect Ole Miss to be too creative with their play-calling.
Again, be patient with Treadwell. At some point, it will be time to put him into your lineup.
This week just isn’t it.
Who I’m Picking: FLEX
Brandon Ratcliffe, RB, Louisville, $5,900:
I’ll try to make these last two selections quick, and for all the same reasons I like Louisville’s Lamar Jackson at the top, I like Ratcliffe here.
Bobby Petrino is mad, and ready to put up points this week.
If he can put up 76 yards and two touchdowns (like he did against Auburn last week) there’s no reason he shouldn’t be just as good, if not better, this week against Houston.
Jalin Marshall, RB/WR, Ohio State, $4,600:
For all the talk about Braxton Miller and Ezekiel Elliot, Marshall was arguably Ohio State’s most explosive player last regular season. He finished with 38 catches with six touchdowns, and averaged over 13 yards per catch.
Plus, he returns kicks.
Plus, you know he’ll be mad after not playing next week.
You’ll never get Marshall this cheap for the rest of the season. Grab him at this price while you can.
Otherwise, happy wagering everyone!