After being afforded the opportunity to ease back into the swing of things with College Football DFS via a trio of short slates, the action really ramps up on Saturday. DraftKings has chosen 16 solid matchups to comprise the early docket, and that means we have a ton of choices to sort through.
While extra choices are a good thing, it can also be little harrowing when it comes to CFB DFS, especially in the early part of the season. Many depth chart situations remain unsettled, and that naturally makes it challenging to find the all-important targets and touches for skill position players.
The easiest way to sift through the noise and narrow down your player pool is to take a gander at projected totals. You can save yourself a healthy amount of time by doing so, but be forewarned that other players will be doing the same.
As such, you’ll still want to do some digging for the diamonds in the rough. A solid mix of stars and under the radar selections can give you a fighting chance on the leaderboard, and it also helps you navigate your way through the challenging salary cap.
Here are some selections for you to keep in mind at each position as you build out your lineups for Saturday’s slate of games.
QB: Jordan Ta’Amu – Ole Miss Rebels ($9.9k)
Points are in the forecast at NRG Stadium in Houston on Saturday at noon. The Ole Miss Rebels take on the Texas Tech Raiders in a game with a projected total of 67 points. Players from both squads are going to be quite popular for DFS purposes as a result, but we’re not going to let that dissuade us from pulling the trigger.
Jordan Ta’Amu was handed the keys to the offense for the final five games of the 2017 season, and he was quite productive. In those five contests, he threw for 1,604 yards and 11 touchdowns, and he added on another 113 yards and 4 scores on the ground for good measure.
Anticipation is high on what Ta’Amu can deliver over the course of a full season. We should get a glimpse of the possibilities in a game that shapes up as a shootout.
RB: Devin Singletary – Florida Atlantic Owls ($7.1k)
One of the more intriguing matchups of the early afternoon games takes place at Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma when the Sooners welcome the Florida Atlantic Owls to town. Oklahoma is a 21-point favorite in a game with a projected total of 72 points, which means there will be plenty of gems to find for DFS purposes.
We don’t have to dig too deep to find one either, as Devin Singletary sticks out like a sore thumb at a price of $7,100. After a stellar 2017 season in which he ran for 1,920 yards and 32 scores, he’s poised to be a focal point for the Owls once again. The spread is a little daunting, but that’s mitigated by the question marks that abound on the defensive side of the ball for the Sooners.
RB: Nico Evans – Wyoming Cowboys ($4.5k)
Last Saturday night, all Nico Evans did was run for 190 yards and 2 scores in a 29-7 victory over New Mexico State. While he’ll be facing off against stiffer competition this week in the form of Washington State, this is still looking like too much value to pass up.
Pricing has been pretty tight on DraftKings with the return of CFB, but there are inefficiencies to be found. When you come across them, it’s a good idea to pounce on them. This is one that many DFSers will be on, but you can find differentiation for your lineups elsewhere if you decide that Evans has the right stuff for your lineups.
WR: CeeDee Lamb – Oklahoma Sooners ($7.2k)
The aforementioned tilt between Oklahoma and FAU has a whopping 72-point projected total. We’re going to want at least some exposure to this game, and we have zero problem taking several players if we can make it work for salary cap purposes. Here’s another player you can fit in pretty easily.
CeeDee Lamb is the starting X receiver in the Sooners offense. The sophomore wideout hauled in 46 balls for 807 yards and 7 scores last season. While the offense may look a bit different with Kyler Murray behind center, we can still pencil in Lamb for having at least solid probability of making some noise in a game with such a high projected total.
WR: Sal Cannella – Auburn Tigers ($3.1k)
Value plays are a must if we have any hope of fitting in potential studs at multiple positions. For the first week of the regular season at least, we have been finding some potential value on the southern end of the salary chart at the wide receiver position. Here’s another one to keep in mind.
Sal Cannella has been designated as the starting slot receiver for Auburn’s opening tilt against Washington. Auburn is currently a 2-point favorite in a game with a projected total of 49 points, so we shouldn’t be anticipating a shootout.
However, it doesn’t take much for Cannella to return nice value. If he winds up having a stellar game, he would be in line to be one of the top value plays on the state.
WR: KJ Hamler – Penn State Nittany Lions ($3.9k)
A little north from Cannella on the salary chart, we find KJ Hamler, who has also been designated as starting slot receiver for the season opener. Penn State welcomes Appalachian State to town on Saturday, and the general expectation is that the Nittany Lions will be taking them to the woodshed.
As 24-point favorites, there’s a risk that PSU will be calling the dogs off before too long. That makes Nittany Lions skill position players slightly risky, but we’re not too worried here. Similar to Cannella, it just doesn’t take much for Hamler to return exceptional value.
If he has a big hand in helping Penn State run up the score, he can be a game changer on the leaderboard for DFS purposes.
Flex: Da’Leon Ward – Texas Tech Red Raiders ($5.4k)
We already covered the potential for a shootout between Ole Miss and Texas Tech, and we’ll be happy to buy a few shares of the various possibilities. One of them comes in the form of Da’Leon Ward, the name at the top of the running back depth chart for the Red Raiders.
The Rebels were sieve-like against the run last season – surrendering an average of 245.3 rushing yards per game and 29 rushing TDs on the year – and there’s nothing to suggest that there will be a dramatic overnight improvement.
As such, Ward looks like a fine choice in a game that could keep the scoreboard operators busy. One note to keep in mind: Ward has had some legal troubles, but there’s nothing to suggest he’ll be penalized by the school as of this writing.
That said, be sure to keep an eye on the news around roster lock if you put Ward in your lineups. Unpleasant surprises can pop up at the last second in College Football DFS, so it’s always good to be around a screen near kickoff.
S-Flex: JT Daniels – USC Trojans ($8.7k)
True freshman JT Daniels has been named starting quarterback of the USC Trojans. That’s an incredible achievement, but he now has to go out and deliver on the field. He has an excellent chance to do just that against a UNLV squad that was middle of the road against the pass in 2017.
There is some risk here due to the fact that the Trojans could lean heavily on the ground game with an inexperienced signal caller at the helm. However, Daniels obviously has the right stuff if the coaches are giving him the opportunity, so they’re going to want to see what he can do in a game that matters.
Daniels is an intriguing option for S-Flex that is not without risk, but he could pay some nice dividends when all is said and done.
That takes care of the big Saturday sate of games on DraftKings. There are plenty of different ways for you to go with your lineups, and we hope that we have helped you uncover a few nuggets that you’ll be comfortable using in your lineups. Best of luck this weekend!
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