JD Yonke
College Football Analyst


Matt Corral, Ole Miss – $8800 DraftKings

Matt Corral has been putting up Heisman numbers over his first couple of games:

There are a lot of top-notch QBs to choose from on the DraftKings main slate, and it’s hard to go wrong as they are all bonafide CFF studs. My preferences this week would be to ride the hot hand in Corral. This Ole Miss offense is firing on all cylinders under the Lane Train, averaging 573 yards per game (#2 in the country) and 7.4 yards per play (#5). In his first three games of the season, Corral has put up an ungodly 76.1 completion percentage, 1080 passing yards, and 9 TDs to only 1 INT. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s also rushed the ball 39 times for 141 yards. He doesn’t have a rushing touchdown  yet, but if he keeps getting looks on the ground for this high-powered offense then it’s only a matter of time before he hits paydirt. This Arkansas defense has been better so far than most expected them to be going into the year, but Ole Miss should have a huge talent advantage out wide with WRs Elijah Moore and Jonathan Mingo.

Dillon Gabriel, UCF – $8500 DraftKings

Again, no discount with Gabriel here, but the price is justified. This matchup against Memphis features an over/under of 75 points, so you’re definitely going to want some exposure to this one. This game will feature plenty of pace, as UCF averages 89 plays per game while Memphis is sitting at 82. This Memphis defense has proven to be beatable this year, allowing an unseemly 486 yards per game at a 6.4 yards per play clip. The rush defense has actually held up fine thus far, allowing only 100 yards per game and 3.2 YPC. That means the best way to attack this one from a UCF standpoint is to look toward the passing game, where Gabriel should shine. He’s already gone for 35+ DraftKings points twice in three games in this young season, and I think he’s as good of a bet as any to approach that mark again this week. 

Sam Hartman, Wake Forest – $5800 DraftKings

Hartman has gotten off to a rough start fantasy-wise, which leads to a depressed price this week. I’ll gladly throw him into a few lineups. Let’s take a closer look at why he’s struggled in his first three games. One game was against an extraterrestrial Clemson defense, and the other two were games where the run game was so dominant that they didn’t need to throw the ball much (the RBs combined to average 231.5 yards per game on the ground in those two games). While Virginia doesn’t have the stoutest defense in the country, they are better up front than they are in the secondary. I anticipate that Wake will need to throw more in this one, a game that is lined competitively. The pace should be great: Virginia averages 88.3 plays per game, while Wake sits at 84.5.

Running Back

Travis Etienne, Clemson – $8600 DraftKings

There aren’t a lot of good pay-up options at RB this week, so if I’m paying up then I’m making sure that I grab the best back available. I believe that back is Etienne this week. All options for Clemson are in play this week, as they are 27 point favorites over Georgia Tech. The obvious worry is that this is a blowout and the starters get pulled early, but GT has shown enough thus far for me to believe they’ll keep Clemson’s starters on the field for at least three quarters. Etienne is as good of a bet as any to push 25+ points this week, and he’s proven in the past that he doesn’t require a typical bellcow workload in order to produce bigtime stats. There are enough pay-down options that I feel good about my lineup centered around a star QB paired with Etienne and Clark. The second highest priced back, Leddie Brown, is also a fine option going against a weak Kansas defense, but WVU has only scored 13 and 14 points in regulation in their two games against Power 5 teams. There’s not as much worry of Etienne laying a dud in this matchup.

Rodrigues Clark, Memphis – $5600 DraftKings

I’ve mentioned Clark in this column before. I’m a big fan of his opportunity this year as Memphis’s lead RB, a role that has seen plenty of CFF stars in recent memory. He’s still underpriced on DraftKings, so take advantage before his price is sitting in the $7k range. As mentioned earlier, this game will feature plenty of points and both teams like to play with pace. While Clark has split some carries so far, he still appears to be the #1 option for this team and has garnered 19.5 carries per game. If he pushes 20 rushes in this game against a UCF defense allowing 212 yards per game on the ground, he should pay off nicely at this cheap price point. 

Ainias Smith, Texas A&M – $5200 DraftKings

Smith is really a slot WR but is listed as a RB on DraftKings. He does get some carries out of the backfield and splits time between the two positions, but where he really makes his hay is in the receiving game. Mississippi State’s rush defense has been incredible so far (#5 in the country with 75.7 rush yards allowed per game), so A&M’s best bet would be to attack them through the air, especially with short passes. This would benefit Smith, who has emerged as a reliable option for QB Kellen Mond on a team hurting for impact WRs. He currently leads the team with only 203 receiving yards, but has been rolling as of late. Teammate Caleb Chapman and his 20 targets have been lost to injury, so I’d expect Smith’s target share to only increase going forward.

Wide Receiver 

Elijah Moore, Ole Miss – $8000 DraftKings

In what seems to be a theme this week, if I’m paying up then I’m really going to get my money’s worth. This slate seems to be lacking the usual amount of studs atop the list of WR options, and Moore is sticking out as a strong bet. The game total is at 78, leaving Ole Miss with an implied team total of around 40 points. Moore has seen at least 11 targets in every game and has amassed a line of 31-462-1. He has a reliable target share, has more TD upside than he has displayed previously, is playing in a game featuring plenty of pace, and has proven to have special chemistry with QB Matt Corral.

Damonte Coxie, Memphis – $6100 DraftKings

If you aren’t able to pay up for Moore, there are a lot of good options in the $5k to $6.5k range. Coxie is one of the best of these options in that range, and is another way to attack this UCF/MEM matchup. While teammate Sean Dykes is priced all the way up at $7.3k, Coxie still leads this team in targets and provides great value for this price point. He has quite a track record to fall back on, with a career line of 185-2948-20. 

Jaylon Robinson, UCF – $6400 DraftKings

A transfer from Oklahoma, Robinson has found a new home at UCF. He immediately established himself as a dangerous asset, going over 100 yards receiving yards in each of his first three games to a cumulative line of 18-366-2. Teammates Marlon Williams and Tre Nixon are both questionable to play, so keep an eye on their availability before kickoff. If one or both of them sit, Robinson is a must roster. Even if both of them play, Robinson will still hold plenty of value and may see additional targets with his teammates banged up. He’s averaging 20.3 yards per catch, so I like his upside here as a deep play threat for a QB who just loves to chuck it down field.

Donavon Greene, Wake Forest  – $4000 DraftKings

Greene is one of my favorite pay-down options on the slate and he makes for a super affordable stack with Hartman if you choose to go that route. That’s the kind of move that is very risky but could also pay dividends. Greene is a superbly talented WR who has had a rough start to this year and has fought through injuries, leading to a depressed price point. Even when Wake wasn’t throwing the ball last game against Campell, Greene still was able to return some value and display his talent by taking a kickoff return to the house. He hasn’t gotten the start to the year that many expected, but I think he’s shown enough to be a trusted option through the air for QB Sam Hartman. If nothing else, you’re getting a dangerous option in a game featuring plenty of pace for only $4k.

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