Happy Thursday, everyone! It’s time for your single favorite moment of the week! Outkick the Coverage’s weekly DraftKings college football preview… the only preview that guarantees that if you take our advice, you’ll be holding one of those giants checks above your head by the end of the weekend!
Ok, so maybe I can’t promise that. Maybe DraftKings got mad at me for even mentioning it, I don’t know. But what I do know is this: If you took our advice last week, you probably made a little cash. And we’re back to do it again today as well!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with DraftKings, here’s a refresher.
-$1,000,000 prize pool.
– First place wins $100,000
– FREE for new users or $3 to enter
– Top 84,950 scores win money guaranteed
– Starts on Sunday, September 27th at 1 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.
Now, let’s get to the preview, but before we do, there is one important note: With so few marquee games early Saturday, we had to go a little off the radar with some of our picks this week. Now that’s not to say our picks are bad (quite the opposite, they’re amazing), but you will probably see a few names that you’re not totally familiar with below. Which is perfectly fine; we’re not here to tell you about a bunch of guys you already know. We’re here to tell you about the guys that are going to make you rich!
Seth Russell, Baylor ($9,700)
Yes, he’s pricey, but ultimately when it comes to quarterbacks I only care about two things: Are they going to throw the ball a lot? And do they have a bunch of receivers who can catch it?
Well with Russell, I’m not saying both are guaranteed. But —
Wait, what am I talking about?! Of course both are guaranteed! This is Baylor! The day they stop throwing the ball, is the same day that Mexico welcomes in Donald Trump as an international ambassador. And as for their receivers, well, let’s be honest. They’ve got more NFL-caliber pass-catches on their roster than the Philadelphia Eagles do at this point.
Sorry Chip Kelly, it’s true.
Point being that Baylor is going to score a ton of points Saturday. Add in the fact that they’re coming off a bye, and that this is their last tune-up game before conference play starts next week, and I think that as good as their offense has been so far this season, it’s going to be better than ever this week.
It doesn’t matter what Russell costs, only the numbers he puts up. And I expect him to put up huge numbers Saturday.
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green ($9,400)
Remember how I just said that I love drafting quarterbacks who throw the ball a ton? Well, who throws the ball more than Johnson?
The answer is “no one.” Almost literally.
Johnson is third in the country in pass attempts with 91, and is leading all of college football with almost 1,400 yards through the air. That’s pretty darn good. But as good as it’s been, let me ask you this: If Johnson threw for 900 combined yards against Tennessee and Maryland (which he did), what the heck do you think he’s going to do against Purdue? The Big Ten might have to call in the National Guard to stop Bowling Green’s offense this weekend.
Johnson will have a big game.
And you will too if you add him to your DraftKings lineup.
Another QB I Like:
Skyler Howard, West Virginia ($6,800)
If those two quarterbacks are too pricey for your budget, consider Howard. For starters, you know West Virginia is going to throw a ton, and it’s not exactly like the defense they’re facing (Maryland) is the ’85 Bears over here. Did I mention the Terps gave up nearly 700 yards of total offense to Bowling Green a few weeks ago?
Yes, that’s a thing that happened. And I think that means it will be a big day for Howard.
However, if you are going to take Howard, there is one concern worth noting: He hasn’t exactly played the best competition so far. West Virginia’s only two games this season have been against Liberty and Georgia Southern, which aren’t exactly the best preparation for what’s coming later in the year.
If you can get past the soft schedule, Howard could be your guy. If you’re worried about it though, stay away.
Speaking of “stay away”…
QB I’m Staying Away From:
Connor Cook, Michigan State ($8,200)
I try to give one QB to stay away from every week, and this week it’s Cook.
Look, I watched basically every play of the Air Force-Michigan State game last week, if only because I had Cook’s top receiver Aaron Burbridge in my lineup. And while Burbridge was outstanding (seriously, Aaron, you were amazing. Thank you. I don’t have any kids, but if I did, I could finally afford their braces this week), it also concerned me just how much Cook was targeting that one single wide receiver. It almost felt like Cook was so focused on Burbridge that it was at a detriment to the rest of the passing game.
I’m guessing that most people probably looked at the final box score from last Saturday’s game and thought, “Man that Michigan State offense is really humming.” But anyone who watched closely thought “Man, they have some work to do.”
Eventually some opponent will figure out that Burbridge is by far Michigan State’s best offensive weapon, and when they do, I think the Spartans’ offense goes in the toilet.
Therefore, I’m staying away from Cook. At least for this week.
Darrel Williams, LSU ($4,300)
With so much money invested in quarterbacks, I had to cut back a little on running backs.
Here are a few reasons why I like adding Williams to my lineup:
1. LSU just beat Auburn by 24 in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicated. If the Tigers’ can win by three touchdowns against a fellow SEC team — that knows them inside and out, and plays them every year — how badly will they beat Syracuse? I’m thinking they win by at least 30.
2. Yes, Leonard Fournette will be the focus of LSU’s offense. But as much as Les Miles is enjoying the Fournette Heisman buzz (and he is; did you see when he put Fournette back in the game late last week just to pick up a garbage time touchdown?), he’s got to limit Fournette in this game, right? Playing on the road, out of conference, on the hard turf of the Carrier Dome, this doesn’t seem like the place to get Fournette 30 carries.
3. With a big lead and Fournette out, expect Williams to get a bunch of touches.
4. A lot of touches for Williams means Daily Fantasy points for you. It doesn’t matter if they come late, against the second team, when no one is watching. They all count the same.
That’s all I really have to say about this game, but since we’re talking LSU, let me add this: Did anyone see the crazy side-story that emerged about this game a few days ago? The one about Syracuse officials being concerned that the entire city might run out of alcohol, with LSU visiting this weekend?
First of all, this might be my single favorite story of 2015 that include the words “Bret Bielema” and “Toledo.” Two, do you realize how much alcohol you need to consume to drink a city dry? Especially when that city is Syracuse?
Look, I’m not trying to rag on Syracuse here, but I’ve spent a lot of time in upstate New York. Outside of shoveling snow, watching Syracuse basketball and eating Dinosaur Bar-B-Cue (maybe the single best meal I’ve ever had), there’s nothing to do in Syracuse but drink. Saying you’re “going to drink Syracuse dry” is like saying you’re going to “eat all the maple syrup in Canada.” I don’t even think it’s possible.
Then again, when it comes to LSU fans and alcohol, they’ve been making the “impossible” seem possible for decades now.
Frankly, I don’t care if Les Miles’ team makes the playoff. This could be LSU’s single greatest accomplishment in 2015.
DeAndre Washington, Texas Tech ($4,700)
Congratulations: We are officially entering the “Guys you’ve never heard of” portion of the article. Please forgive me if half the names from here on out sound made up. Most of them aren’t. I promise.
Either way, I love Washington for a few reasons.
The first, and most important is that Texas Tech-TCU is going to be a shootout. The over/under is 80, and honestly that seems low. Remember this game last year? TCU would have gone “over” on that number by themselves. Seriously. They scored 82 points.
As for Tech specifically, well, as good as Patrick Maholmes and the passing game is, at some point they’re going to have to mix things up and run the ball. And when they do, they will almost certainly give it to Washington, who is by far the team’s leading rusher.
I’m thinking he’s due for a big day Saturday.
Ricky Jones, Indiana ($5,100)
Last week, I told you to play Jones. If you listened to me, you’re probably rich right now. If you didn’t listen to me, congratulations, you have a lot in common with my girlfriend.
Either way, Jones might be the most underrated in college football in my eyes. From a Daily Fantasy perspective, he gives you everything you could possibly want: A primary, go-to receiver, playing in a pass-happy offense, which passes even more than normal, because their defense is God awful.
Don’t make the same mistake you did last week. Add Jones to your lineup.
Daje Johnson, Texas ($4,400)
As a general rule, I try and never risk my own personal, hard-earned money wagering on Texas football or its offense. Along with “look both ways before you cross the street” and “never trust a Nick Saban coached defense to give up less than 40 points in a game” it’s one of the mottos I try to live my life by.
But at least for one week, I’m willing to break it on Johnson.
For all the talk about Jerrod Heard’s breakout as the Longhorns’ quarterback last week, little was mentioned about Johnson’s potential breakout as Heard’s go-to wide receiver. He finished the Cal game with five catches for 145 yards, and can pick up points as a big-time punt and kick returner too.
Personally, I’m dubious about the Oklahoma State defense, and think that Texas and Johnson could have a pretty big game.
Ronnie Moore, Bowling Green ($5,700)
So just how good is Bowling Green’s passing game? Here are Moore’s stats on the season: He’s got 20 catches for 238 yards, meaning that he’s not only in the Top 20 nationally in total receptions, but he’s averaging almost 12 yards per catch as well.
Not bad, but here’s the crazy part: He’s only Bowling Green’s second best wide receiver (their “go-to” guy is Roger Lewis, who leads college football with 510 yards receiving).
Point being, this offense loves to throw the ball, and as mentioned above, they are going to score a bunch of points against Purdue.
Taking any of the Falcons’ receivers seems like a safe bet.
But for the production you’re getting, relative to the cost, Moore seems like the guy you want.
Josh Malone, Tennessee ($3,000)
So let me get this straight: Malone leads Tennessee with nine catches. He basically leads the team in receiving yards. And he’s being drafted for $3,000 this week in Daily Fantasy? How is this possible? Did he murder someone this week and I haven’t heard about it? HOW IS HIS PRICE THIS LOW?
Sorry for using all caps, but seriously, this might be the steal of the entire season. Just $3,000 for this guy? It’s the equivalent of finding the Godfather trilogy on Blue Ray in the bargain bin at WalMart for $3.99.
Simply put, you can’t beat Malone’s production for his price.
Cortez Lewis, Wake Forest ($3,500)
I know nothing about Cortez Lewis, and unless you’re a Wake Forest diehard, I doubt you do either.
But what I do know is that he’s got 14 catches in three games this year, and at this price, you’re simply not going to find better value.
That’s it for this week’s fantasy preview. Good luck everyone!