Life and CFB DFS operate the same way. When you suffer the consequences of self inflicted mistakes, the best way to respond is to pretend like it never happened, avoid responsibility, and never change. That, is the emphasis of my approach this week. I’m back baby!
As always, I focus on DraftKings targets each week here on Fake Pigskin. My goal is to identify three to four low-cost/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.
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Here are the Vegas odds (favorites in bold) for the 12 games included in the Saturday afternoon DK contest:
|OU@KSU 12:00PM ET|||||23.5|||||59|
|[email protected]LSU 3:30PM ET|||||10.5|||||59|
|[email protected]OSU 12:00PM ET|||||14.5|||||49.5|
|[email protected]ISU 3:30PM ET|||||10.5|||||64|
|UT@TCU 3:30PM ET|||||1|||||57|
|[email protected]FSU 3:30PM ET|||||10.5|||||59.5|
|[email protected]TA&M 12:00PM ET|||||10.5|||||50.5|
|PSU@MSU 3:30PM ET|||||5.5|||||43.5|
|[email protected]UNC 4:00PM ET|||||3.5|||||53.5|
|[email protected]MINN 3:30PM ET|||||16.5|||||58|
|[email protected]PITT 12:00PM ET|||||5|||||42.5|
|[email protected]STAN 3:30PM ET|||||1.5|||||52.5|
For example, I am not going to come at you with hot suggestions like Jalen Hurts and Chuba Hubbard. What I will do is point out that rostering the chalky duo will leave your average remaining price per player at $5,417.
This is the price range I will focus on each week. Enough. Onto Week 9 targets!
Isaiah Spiller | RB | Texas A&M $5,400
One of the main themes I discussed on the CFB DFS recap segment of last week’s podcast below, was the idea that player roles are becoming more entrenched at this point in the season. The way the schedule plays out in college, most Power-5 teams’ seasons really don’t get started until the leaves turn. Or, in the case of Michigan, your season is over before Halloween.
Sorry, I can’t help it. As a Spartan fan, seeing bad things happen to Michigan is all I have left.
But, enough about my petty Small Ten bickerings. The point, is that the competition in week to week conference play forces coaching staffs to lean on the guys that they really believe gives them the best chance to win.
Take Iowa State, for example. A few weeks ago, I speculated that the Cyclones were settling in on Johnnie Lang to have a lion share role in the ISU backfield. Of course, I was 100% incorrect as head coach Matt Campbell took a 2×4 to my nuts by turning full-time to highly recruited freshman, Breece Hall, who dropped a monster 26-132-3 line on the Mountaineers.
Since losing starter Jashuan Corbin, the Aggies backfield has mostly been an unreliable cluster, primarily splitting carries between veteran Jacob Kibodi and their 4-star freshman, Isaiah Spiller. That trend seemed to shift last week, as Spiller carried the load, with 16 of the 18 Aggie running back attempts.
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He took advantage by gaining 78 yards, added three catches, and scored the game deciding touchdown on his longest run (22 yards) of the day, in a 24-17 win over Ole Miss. Even more telling might be the fact that Kibodi was shut out, recording zero touches.
Matchup and Game Script
Up next, the Aggie offense has a plus matchup against Mississippi State’s run defense that has allowed almost five yards per carry to opposing Power-5 running backs this season. Within those five games includes letting running backs from Kansas State, Tennessee, and Kentucky to average 4.6 yards per run. So, it’s not just some sample flaw thrown off from one or two bad games. They consistently blow.
Head coach Jimbo Fisher has been giving Spiller enough shine and discussing the move to get younger players more involved enough, that I’m willing to make the gamble that he continues the bell-cow role, this week. With 20 plus touches against this defense and positive game flow projections, a similar stat line to Hall mentioned above, is not out the question.
Cameron Scarlett | RB | Stanford $5,700
Continuing that theme, the days of Ja’Marr Chase in the 5k range, and Elijah Collins being the contest minimum are long gone. Hell, the Buckeye’s time share minority stake holder Master Teague III isn’t going to save you much CFB DFS cash either. The repeated point is, hitting big on the guys in this range is needed more than ever to hit the cash line.
True story: I’m playing Scarlett over Charleston Rambo in a flex spot for a season-long league. Am I insane? Perhaps. But, I think my reasons are valid.
I discussed the putrid Arizona defense at length for last week’s night slate. To paraphrase, they stink. And, they didn’t show any signs of improvement against an injury ravaged Trojan backfield.
Before leaving the game with an injury, redshirt freshman Markese Stepp was getting in that ass, with a 13-66-1 line in less than three quarters of play, without a true feature role. But wait, it gets better.
After Stepp’s departure, freshman Kenan Christon, who had yet to record a touch this season, broke off rushing touchdowns of 55 and 30 yards. Yes. It’s that bad for the Arizona run defense.
Similar to USC’s running back injuries, Stanford is down to their third starting quarterback this season. The best way to keep him in manageable positions, is to feed the guy who has one of the most clear feature running back roles in the Pac-12. In a touch less of a lion share role, copy/paste this exact analysis for Duke’s Deon Jackson, as well.
Another significant factor for emphasizing the running backs above, is that there’s so many risk factors associated with the running back position on this CFB DFS board. The Auburn backfield generated lots of interest last week in the first real chance to see how the coaches would rotate guys without Boobie Whitlow. Or, was it?
This game went sideways so quickly that it afforded the coaches to give FIVE running backs touches, in a very low-risk game flow situation. This is the week where we should see which tailbacks truly have the trust of the staff, where they will be up against it, as double digit underdogs in Death Valley. For me, it’s a complete stay away.
In the Miami/Pitt matchup, DeeJay Dallas’s status remains up in the air, so there could be an increased opportunity for Cam’Ron Harris. However, the NFL over/under for this game and Pitt’s solid run defense (ranked 7th nationally), has me wondering if the uptick in touches would even be worth it.
On the other side, I like A.J. Davis’s role but his price has reached the point where the value is gone. Especially, with guys like Jackson and Scarlett in the same range, with the matchups they have.
Kansas State’s James Gilbert has a slightly more attractive price, but then there’s that whacked out Sooner game flow risk he comes with. And, we already know Jalen Hurts is the only runner on the Oklahoma side of the equation that can be counted on.
Minnesota has been rock solid on the ground and has the right matchup, but they have morphed into a three-headed monster lately that ruined my CFB DFS night slate a couple of weeks ago. Want me to keep going? Fine!
I can’t wait to see what Jonathan Taylor and the Badger offense looks like at Ohio State. You could’t pay me $8,500 to throw him out there against that front seven, with all kinds of game flow risk, for another Small Ten opponent that the Buckeyes get to fire out of a cannon.
Sticking in that garbage conference, my Spartan’s Elijah Collins has a good role/price combo, but a really tough matchup, in what projects to be a very low scoring affair. Besides, their offense would have trouble scoring in a Petyr Baelish brothel anyways. Hey oh!
Meanwhile, the next person to make any sense of the Penn State backfield will be the first. I’ve been in uncomfortable threesomes before, but come on already James Franklin!
Anyone excited about Syracuse’s Moe Neal and his 3.4 YPC against Power-5 defenses. Yep, didn’t think so.
On the other hand, I believe Maryland’s Anthony McFarland Jr. and Mississippi State’s Kylin Hill have real talent. It’s their price/bad offenses combo that bothers me. In fact, it personally offends me when I see Breece Hall right next to them, against that Charmin Ultra Soft Cowboy defense.
At the very best, backfields in North Carolina, Texas, and even Ohio State are 60/40 time shares, with very little touchdown predictability, if any. After you sift through all those considerations, there’s only a handful of guys that interest me at running back on this 12-game board.
Oh yea. And, Zona’s J.J. Taylor is playing pretty banged up too. There it is! I just directly or indirectly managed at least one hot take for every RB situation on the board. Mom, Dad… I did it!
Fading Quarterback Chalk
Now, it’s mea culpa time. Last week’s Devon Modster play was an utter CFB DFS disaster. The matchup, price, and Vegas projection were all on the table for him. But, the one minor detail I overlooked was that he’s not good at playing football. I watched their game. It was that bad.
I’ve also watched Max Duggan play for TCU multiple times this year. I wouldn’t accuse him of being the next Aaron Rogers or anything, but he at least has the requisite capability to take advantage of a good situation. That, is exactly what he has this week, with the Longhorns indefensible defense coming to town.
Already a very vulnerable unit, the Texas defense bottomed out last week. In a home game, they allowed 569 total yards, 27 first downs, and six offensive touchdowns to Kansas. Not the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas. KANSAS!!!!
I know. The Mad Hatter turned the kids loose with the new offensive coordinator, blah blah blah. But, the problem with this defense is much bigger than last week, and it isn’t something that can improve overnight. Or, in a week. The fact is, anybody with a pulse has dropped 30 points or more on these guys, this season.
There is no reason to expect anything will be different Saturday. And, yes. TCU wideout Jalen Reagor will likely be in all my lineups. He is the exact type of profile at receiver that matches the description I discussed for the running back targets above.
Chalk I Can’t Live Without
Back to those running backs. I think this might be the first slate that there is some legit hesitation on Chuba Hubbard, for matchup reasons. Oklahoma State is on the road, against one of the only Big 12 defenses that actually defends, and ranks in the top 25 nationally against the run. Considering that, and the super stiff price tag it comes with, Florida State’s Cam Akers is looking just fine to me.
His bell-cow role, matchup, game flow projection, and receiving ability is what I need to justify the steeper price play. Also, doesn’t it just make sense to roster C.D. Lamb the week after not scoring a touchdown?
Good luck for the CFB DFS Week 9 day slate! Follow me on twitter @realBobbyAdcock compliments and insults are always welcomed. Also, listen to my podcast below now starting with weekly CFB DFS recaps!