Welcome back to the 2018 DraftKings Sneaky Plays. The DFS giant jumped back into the CFB daily fantasy pool last week and we couldn’t be happier. This weekly article will examine the pricing for the Saturday slate of games offered and try to identify some “sneaky” under the radar plays that could pay big dividends. The pricing for Week One is very tight with average fantasy players being bumped up in price, so it will be imperative this week to hit on some cheaper priced guys that allow room for the high priced studs. Without any further adieu, let’s get into some of the potential opening Saturday nuggets.
Nathan Elliott North Carolina QB vs. Cal $7600: Elliott will get the starting nod for the Tar Heels against Cal with Chazz Surratt being suspended for the first four games of 2018. He started the last four games of 2017 and acquitted himself fairly well, with 26% of his plays going for 10-plus yards and 79 rushing yards against a stout Miami defense in Week Nine of 2017. The matchup against Cal is enticing as the Bears ranked 113th against the pass last season and don’t figure to be appreciably better this year. This game could be an under the radar high scoring affair with the Tar Heel signal caller doing enough damage to pay off on his low price tag in Week One.
McLane Carter Texas Tech QB vs. Ole Miss $8600: After a summer long battle with Jett Duffey and Adam Bowman for the starting quarterback job, Carter has taken control and is clearly the top option for the Red Raiders. While he may not put up the gaudy numbers that fantasy owners have become accustomed to at the Texas Tech QB position, Carter should be more than serviceable and has a fantastic matchup in Week One. With an over/under of 67, there could be plenty of points scored and fantasy goodness to be had in this contest. Carter will have to be on top of his game this week to keep pace with a potent Ole Miss offense. Look for a back and forth battle with Carter providing plenty of big plays.
Drew Lock Missouri QB vs. Tennessee Martin $9500: If there is one thing that can be said about Drew Lock when it comes to fantasy football, it’s that he absolutely decimates non Power-5 teams. In five games over the past two seasons against such opponents, Lock has averaged 460 passing yards per game and 5.75 touchdown passes per game. Although Lock will be playing in a new offensive system, I still expect him to come out and make a big statement in Week One against an overmatched UT Martin squad. This senior gunslinger should be a “Lock” for at least 400 yards passing and four touchdown tosses in a route of the SkyHawks.
Jordan Ta’amu Ole Miss QB vs. Texas Tech $9900: With four quarterbacks being priced over 10K this week, Ta’amu could be a bargain at $9900. This senior started the last five games of 2017 and gave CFB players a taste of what is to come this fall, with 15 total touchdowns and 320 passing yards per game over that span. Ta’amu should flourish running the show in Oxford this year and become a household name in fantasy circles in the process. As discussed earlier, this game with Texas Tech could be a back and forth affair with both teams posting plenty of points and yards. Grab this Rebel baller and watch the fantasy points pile up on Saturday afternoon.
Devin Singletary FAU RB vs. Oklahoma $7100: You don’t need me to tell you that Devin Singletary is a fantasy beast and arguably the #1 running back in all of college fantasy football. He only ran for 1,920 yards last fall and added an insane 32 rushing touchdowns. Singletary would normally be priced in the 10K range, however, his price is severely depressed this week for two reasons. The first reason is the risk of Oklahoma getting out to a big lead and the rushing game for FAU being abandoned. The second is the perception that the Sooners defense will slow down Singletary and crew. I am not buying either reason and believe that he is just too cheap for the upside he possesses in any given week. I fully expect the FAU offense to hang with the Sooners for at least three quarters and that should allow Singletary to put up a very nice stat line. Another benefit to rostering Singletary this week is that he will likely carry a low ownership percentage for the reasons outlined above, which makes him a great tournament play in Week One.
Nico Evans Wyoming RB vs. Washington State $4500: All Nico Evans did in his debut last week against New Mexico State was churn out 204 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns. It appears to be a safe assumption going off that performance that he will be the bell cow back for the run-heavy Wyoming offense in 2018. While Evans will face a step up in competition this week with Washington State coming to War Memorial Stadium, this bruiser looks to be a good bet to easily outperform his minimal price tag. The Cougars lost some key players on defense and may be hard-pressed to stop the Cowboys running game. It would not be a shock to see Evans top the 100-yard mark and add a touchdown or two on the ground at home against this Pac-12 foe.
Max Borghi Washington State RB vs. Wyoming $3900: Max Borghi….who in the world is he? Turns out he is a true freshman running back for Washington State that has been turning heads all fall camp and is pushing hard for the starting running back spot. Borghi is an all-around back who chose the Cougars over Stanford and has been all the rage since stepping foot on campus. While James “Boobie” Williams is the starter and could be a breakout performer in his own right, Borghi appears to be the 1B option in the Cougars ground game. Borghi will be facing an underrated Wyoming defense that may limit the Cougars passing attack and allow Borghi to gain traction on the ground and on dump off passes out of the backfield. This kid looks way too good and productive to be priced so cheaply. Plugging this freshman sensation in a lineup will give players the freedom to afford some of the high priced studs.
Lyn-J Dixon Clemson RB vs. Furman $3000: Dixon is another freshman running back that has been making headlines in fall camp. He has been called the next “Travis Etienne” and seems to run with the same fury and fight as his Tiger backfield mate. The matchup with an overmatched Furman team may be just perfect to allow Dixon to showcase some of his skills in garbage time. It is very conceivable to see Dixon break a long TD run in the second half and finish with 100 yards and a score, which would blow his 3K price tag out of the water. This Tiger could provide players with some major salary relief against the Paladines. Play Dixon now before his price goes way up.
Jovon Durante FAU WR vs. Oklahoma $3900: Durante is a transfer from West Virginia with speed to burn who was forced to sit out the 2017 season. He looked electric in the spring and will likely be the top vertical threat for the Owls prolific offense in 2018. There could be plenty of targets coming his way this week in a potentially high scoring affair with the Sooners in Norman. Durante is simply priced too low for the matchup and expected point total. He only needs 50 yards receiving and a TD to return 3X value on his price, which is easily attainable in this matchup.
Ja’Deion High Texas Tech WR vs. Ole Miss $4100: It’s not often that we see a starting Texas Tech wideout priced at just $4100, which is exactly the case with Ja’Deion High this week. He is listed as the starting “Y” receiver and that is a very big deal in terms of fantasy production. The “Y” receiver under Kliff Kingsbury has produced fantasy studs such as Jace Amaro, Jakeem Grant, and Keke Coutee. High could be fantasy gold if he can even sniff the production of that group and appears criminally underpriced in Week One. Load up on this Red Raider and reaps the rewards.
Amon-Ra St. Brown USC WR vs. UNLV $4800: St. Brown is a five-star true freshman that has been a man amongst boys in fall camp for the Trojans. He grabbed three touchdown receptions in a recent scrimmage and looked to have a strong connection with fellow true freshman, QB JT Daniels. That connection should come as no surprise as they were high school teammates at Santa Ana Mater Dei for three years. With Daniels already locked in as the opening week starter under center for the Trojans, the sky’s the limit for St. Brown’s fantasy potential.
Gary Jennings West Virginia WR vs. Tennessee $7600: Jennings is a PPR beast and is simply underpriced on the full point per reception scoring system that DraftKings uses in CFB. He had 97 receptions last season, which included four games of 10 or more receptions. While David Sills gets most of the glory, Jennings quietly produces big numbers in the potent Mountaineers passing game. The Tennessee pass defense was lights out last year, ranking 3rd in the country and only yielding 15 receiving touchdowns on the season. That stingy defense could work in the favor of Jennings as he may see a ton of short passes come his way as the Volunteers look to nullify Sills and the deep ball. Look for Jennings to grab double-digit receptions and go over 100 yards in this potential shootout.