College Football DFS Week 8 Targets Night Slate

Is the College Football DFS Week 8 afternoon contest on DraftKings not enough for you before NFL Sunday? Outstanding! It isn’t enough for me either, which is why, in addition to my targets for the early slate, I will be posting my approach for the night contest each week here starting with Week 4.

My goal every week is to identify three to four low cost, or reasonable floor targets as foundational pieces for all my lineups. This way, you start by boosting your remaining price per player in the range to roster as many high floor/high upside guys who we all anticipate substantial statistical output from.

Here are the Vegas odds (favorites in bold) for the 7 games included in the night DK contest:
Game Line Total
OSU@PUR 10/20/2018 07:30PM ET 12.5 68.5
UCF@ECU 10/20/2018 07:00PM ET 21.5 64.5
ORE@WSU 10/20/2018 07:30PM ET 3 68
UCONN@USF 10/20/2018 07:00PM ET 34 69
USC@UTAH 10/20/2018 08:00PM ET 7 48
VAND@UK 10/20/2018 07:30PM ET 11.5 47
MSST@LSU 10/20/2018 07:00PM ET 6.5 45

For example, this week, I am not going to come at you with hot suggestions like Dwayne Haskins and McKenzie Milton. What I will do is point out that rostering both chalky quarterbacks in the same lineup, will leave your average remaining price per player at $4,867. This is the price range I will try to focus on each week.

Since DFS relaunched college football, the value week to week is coming from receivers. In particular, freshman receivers who are still establishing roles, haven’t caught on yet among the fantasy masses, or–my personal favorite–as is the same with other fringe DFS sports, the DK pricing model has no clue what the fuck it is doing! Let’s get to it…

Aaron McLean | WR/TE | Connecticut $4,300

This week is interesting with new teams like UConn, South Florida, and ECU making their way into the night contest. In particular, in the cases of UConn and ECU, it’s the bad teams where players can find the great value, low ownership percentage guys that really help in GPPs if they hit.

That’s why I like McLean here as the Huskies top pass catching option. In blowout losses the past two weeks, it’s been the senior pass catcher that has benefited the most with 10 catches for 164 yards. As 34 point dogs against USF, the script will likely continue in Week 8 with plenty of disinterested, soft zone defensive looks for McLean to rack up stats against, in the second half with UConn trailing big again.

(Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

For a dart throw, Zavier Scott ($3,900) has been getting more run at running back lately. He has almost exclusively operated as the pass catching back when game flow calls for more throwing. A 5-6 catch day from Scott with reasonable upside would not be surprising at all.

Holton Ahlers | QB | East Carolina $5,400

Sticking with the lesser known commodities, the true freshman Ahlers, will be making his first career start Saturday night at home against the tenth ranked UCF Knights. The 6’3″ 236 pound quarterback has been the Pirate’s leading rusher this season, and has used his big frame to manage six scores (five rushing) in part-time duty. After back to back blowout losses, coaches will use the rest of this season to develop what many believe is the future of the ECU program.

Making the change here for this game tells me that even if UCF jumps out to a big lead, they will want to continue letting Ahlers solidify his footing as the full-time quarterback for years to come. He probably doesn’t have the upside that Brock Purdy had for last week’s night slate, but considering the rushing production he’ll receive, I’m expecting a floor of 20-25 points with upside for more if ECU can keep it a game into the second half. And, this might be the perfect matchup for the Pirates to do just that.

If there is recipe for ECU to make this interesting, it will be the legs of Ahlers, and the rest of their backs, exposing UCF’s biggest weakness, their 103rd ranked run defense that just surrendered 281 yards to Memphis last week.

To take advantage, I anticipate seeing a ton of Ahlers running the ball in his first career start, in what is shaping up to be East Carolina’s Super Bowl. Oh, and Ahlers to Ricky Proehl’s son ($3,900) makes for a sneaky stack too.

Johnny Ford | RB | South Florida $4,200

Like McLean above, Ford is one of the night slate’s top candidates for game script hero of the week. The speedy 5’5″ freshman has carved out the role as primary backup the past four games to starter Jordan Cronkrite ($9,200).

In their last blowout win over Umass two weeks ago, Ford got loose with a 9-77-2 line. One of those scores came in the second quarter as well, so it tells you his role isn’t entirely game flow dependent. As huge favorites Saturday night, there’s a strong chance Ford’s stat line becomes the beneficiary during clock killing time.

Others to Consider

James Williams | RB | Washington St. $6,100

One running back who has no game flow concerns at all is this guy. Normally, Williams would be priced higher in a matchup where the total is 68, but Oregon’s misleading run defense ranking may be throwing things off.

Most of the Ducks 29th ranking against the run comes from playing bad teams in their non-conference schedule, and is not indicative of how good they are when facing quality opponents. As an example, in last week’s overtime win, Oregon’s defense allowed 190 yards rushing, and two scores to Washington running backs. Even if Oregon were to stifle Williams in the run game, his versatility as a receiver will keep his floor stable.

(Oregon Live/Young Kwak)

As a sophomore last year, the California native led all FBS running backs with 71 receptions. This season, he remains heavily involved in head coach Mike Leach’s pass happy style offense, with the second most catches (32) on the team through six games.

In one of the three highest scoring projected games of the night, Williams has a great opportunity to outperform his modest price.

Amon-Ra St. Brown | WR | USC $5,300

Former high school teammates, Trojan quarterback JT Daniels is still slinging it to St. Brown for USC, both as true freshman. Their familiarity with one another has helped St. Brown already become the top option in the passing game. A few quiet games in a row has caused a slight price drop, but that could change against Utah defense that is most vulnerable against the pass.

In games against competent quarterbacks, Washington’s Jake Browning and WSU’s Gardner Minshew had their way with the Utes secondary when they wanted to. With USC already struggling to produce in the running game, it’s fair to speculate that Daniels will feel it coming in the air all night in Salt Lake City…

St. Brown, and Michael Pittman Jr. ($4,300) both should have productive games at relatively low prices.

Fading the Chalk at Quarterback

David Blough | QB | Purdue $7,600

I’ve talked about Blough raising the upside of this offense all season since he took over as full-time starter, and he hasn’t disappointed with his DK performance:

  • WK3 44.7 points
  • WK4 20.1 points
  • WK5 31.9 points
  • BYE
  • WK6 35.3 points

Can’t argue with those results. Besides the aforementioned Ahlers, if I’m fading the top quarterback plays on the night slate, Blough is my guy. Hot take: Blough will match, or outscore Haskin’s ($10,500) production in this game.

(Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

Chalk I can’t Live Without

Rondale Moore | WR | Purdue $8,300

I was tempted to go with Cronkrite ($9,200) here, and not picking him doesn’t mean I won’t be playing him in some lineups. But. I think there is considerable goal line carry risk where some could go to quarterback Blake Barnett, and potential game flow concerns that could lean in Ford’s favor.

That said, the starting tailbacks in the Washington St./Oregon game come without either of those concerns, at a much lower price.

Which leads me to spending up at wide receiver with Moore, who has been nothing but spectacular all season as Purdue’s star freshman recruit. Along with Blough, I think the entire Purdue offense is vastly under priced this week. Did someone say value stack?

One last molten lava take before I go… If you’re a person who enjoys gambling as much as DFS, Boilermakers plus the points–DO IT. Don’t be afraid to spread some units on that money line either.

Good luck for the Week 8 night slate! Follow me on twitter @realBobbyAdcock compliments and insults are greatly appreciated.

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