FanDuel College Football: Week 11 Plays

FanDuel College Football: Week 11 Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel College Football series.

As we drive deeper into November, the weather up north begins to become a factor in some circumstances. Fortunately, there aren't many games that should be heavily impacted by that, though the Texas Tech-Baylor contest is expected to feature wind speeds north of 23 miles per hour, which could impact the ability to throw the football. The top game total, expected score, and largest spread of the slate all fall to UCF (-25.5) against a Temple team that is coming off of two straight losses and features a defense that hasn't allowed fewer than 31 points in the first four games. The primary question in that game is how long it will stay close enough to keep the UCF first-string offense on the field. 

Ole Miss South-Carolina is the only other game with an expected score topping 70 thanks to the Rebels' 41.5 expected points. USC is the only other team to check in with an expected score over 40 at 41.0, while North Carolina (39.5) and Florida (38.5) aren't too far behind. Aside from UCF's expected blowout, Florida (-17.5) and USC (-14.5) are the two other teams favored by two touchdowns or more.

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Week 11 Plays

Quarterback

Dillon Gabriel, UCF ($10,800) vs. Temple

Gabriel has thrown for north of 300 passing yards in each of the first five games this season and that trend should continue in Saturday's contest versus a Temple defense that has allowed 9.0 passing yards per attempt. The 223.4 passing yards per game allowed may turn some people away, but what needs to be factored into that is a game versus Navy's triple-option offense that produced a whopping 48 passing yards. 

Outside of that, opposing quarterbacks have hit 300 passing yards in two of the four contests and have averaged 3.5 passing touchdowns per contest. Assuming Gabriel hits both his usual 300-yard threshold and either three or four passing scores, that should allow him to return plenty of value. 

It would help his cause more if Anthony Russo (shoulder), who returned to practice this week, were under center for the Owls, who have averaged 34 points per game under his direction versus just 13 in the past two weeks with him out. That is something worth monitoring Saturday evening.

Anthony Russo, Temple ($9,300) at UCF

Speaking of Russo, the senior quarterback took all of the first-team reps during the practice session Tuesday. That bodes well for his chances of retaking the field for Saturday's showdown versus the high-powered Knights. Russo has averaged more than 26 points in his two starts this season and will likely be asked to throw the ball early and often Saturday as sizable underdogs. 

Adding to his intrigue, UCF's defense hasn't performed particularly well against the pass this season, allowing opposing gunslingers to rack up 283.7 passing yards and 2.8 passing touchdowns per contest in addition to 8.1 yards per attempt. Russo's likely return should provide a spark on offense that has been lacking the last two weeks and it should largely involve the passing attack.

Adrian Martinez ($7,400) or Luke McCaffrey ($7,000), Nebraska vs. Penn State

My preference in this race would be that McCaffrey, who profiles as the better passer of the two quarterbacks, ultimately receives the starting nod for Saturday's contest, but it's a decision that may not come to light until pregame warmups. 

Regardless of who gets the nod, the starting signal-caller gets a matchup with a Penn State defense that has surrendered 35 or more points to each of its first three opponents. The salary for a dual-threat quarterback is typically higher, but the Huskers haven't been able to find much offense under center through the first two games against a pair of tough opponents in Ohio State and Northwestern. Given that an 0-3 and struggling Penn State team is on deck, there's reason to believe the Huskers can have a bit more success on offense Saturday. 

The Nittany Lions have allowed 9.3 passing yards per attempt, 185 rushing yards per game, and 4.5 touchdowns per tilt. These numbers bode well for whichever quarterback starts to account for multiple touchdowns in Saturday's game either through the air or on the ground.

Running Back

Kevin Harris, South Carolina ($9,400) at Ole Miss

It's somewhat rare to recommend the running back for a team that is 12.5-point underdogs, as the game script would suggest he may not be involved a ton in the second half. On the same token, it's not often teams face an opposing defense as bad as Mississippi's. Not only have the Rebels yielded 302.5 passing yards per contest, but they've also given up 231.0 rushing yards per game and a slate-high 5.5 rushing yards per contest excluding that PAC-12 teams with just one game under the belt. 

The Gamecocks have had issues under center all season and it has devolved to the point where a quarterback competition is underway between Collin Hill and Ryan Hilinski again this week after Hill beat out Hilinski during camp. The one constant in South Carolina's offense, for the most part, has been Harris. In the four games prior to last Saturday's embarrassment at the hands of Texas A&M, Harris averaged 27.8 FanDuel points. Given that he's scheduled to face an Ole Miss defense surrendering 35.4 per game to opposing backs, there's plenty of value to be had at his salary.

CJ Verdell, Oregon ($9,300) at Washington State

Verdell sliced through a halfway decent Stanford run defense that in 2019 was 58th nationally allowing 150.8 rushing yards per game. The same can't be said for a Cougars defensive front that gave up 185.5 yards on average and 27 touchdowns over 13 games last year.

The Cougars may have allowed just 122 rushing yards in the opener, but that was against an Oregon State team picked to finish near the cellar of the North division this year. That also didn't take into account that much of the negative and short gains came against those other than the starting back. Jermar Jefferson still averaged 5.7 yards on his 21 totes and finished the day with 120 yards and three touchdowns. Verdell should be set for a similar workload Saturday and should gash Washington State's defensive front.

Stevie Scott, Indiana ($8,500) at Michigan State

Scott has played second fiddle to Michael Penix Jr. in Indiana's early-season headlines, but Saturday's game versus the Spartans should give him an opportunity to make his own. The junior tailback still owns a stranglehold on the Hoosiers' backfield carry count, totaling 20 or more in each of the first three games to account for 64 percent on average.

While the Spartans have allowed only one rusher to top the 100-yard mark in the first three games, it's worth noting that the Spartans faced a backfield committee versus Michigan and a Rutgers offense that ranks 99th nationally in rushing offense this year and 101st a season ago.

The same can't be said about Indiana, who finished 43rd last season. Scott topped 20 points for the first time this season last Saturday against Michigan and could be in line for a similar outcome Saturday against the Spartans, returning plenty of value to justify the salary.

Stephen Carr ($7,300) and Vavae Malepeai ($6,700), USC at Arizona

The Trojans do employ a pass-first attack and should have plenty of success in that realm as well versus an Arizona defense that allowed nearly 290 passing yards per game a season ago. That being said, the passing attack with Kedon Slovis at the helm sports appropriate salaries. The rushing attack is justifiably low after the opener, but Stephen Carr appeared to finally be back in the form before the injuries began plaguing him in his freshman season when he rattled off some big games to open his career. 

Carr can impact the game both as a runner and a receiver and should have plenty of upside with the Trojans 14.5-point favorites and a run defense on the schedule that allowed 4.8 yards per carry and 181.6 yards per contest in addition to 27 rushing scores in 12 games a season ago. Malepeai was the most efficient of USC's runners in the opener with eight carries for 60 yards and added another 23 yards on four grabs through the air, while Markese Stepp ($6,300) actually led the group with 14 carries. Any of the three could be utilized, but Carr and Malepeai are a little more intriguing due to their abilities as pass catchers.

Another pair to consider: Jerrion Ealy ($8,500) and Snoop Conner ($6,100), Ole Miss vs. South Carolina

Wide Receiver

Marlon Williams ($9,500), or Jaylon Robinson ($9,300) or Tre Nixon ($7,000) UCF vs. Temple

There's not much about the Temple defense to say that hasn't already been spelled out in Dillon Gabriel's section above. It's really a pick your poison scenario involving these two wideouts and there is no reason the pair both can't have more than serviceable days. 

Williams leads the way in target share (33.9 percent), receiving yards (840), and touchdowns, making him the most logical and safe choice. However, the majority of DFS players will likely be on the same line of thinking, so Robinson can provide similar, albeit a little more volatile value at what will likely be a lower draft percentage and a slightly lower salary. This could be the way to go when aiming to separate yourself from others in GPPs.

Another name to keep an eye on Saturday evening will be Nixon, who has reportedly looked good in practice leading up to the contest. He has just one game under his belt this season, during which he turned in four catches for 94 yards and a pair of scores versus Georgia Tech. If he winds up taking the field, he should more than justify the salary. However, the game is one of the last to kick off Saturday evening, so drafting him may require having a late-game pivot at the ready.

Temple wide receivers against UCF

This is all assuming Anthony Russo gets the starting nod under center as expected, but there has been a direct correlation to primary wideouts Branden Mack ($8,200) and Jadan Blue ($8,100) producing and Russo starting under center. Mack averaged 15 FanDuel points in the three games with Russo under center and has just over 10 combined in the two games with him unavailable. The same can be said for blue who has turned in a pair of 20-plus point efforts in Russo's two games under center and has done very little over the last two.

Another under-the-radar play this week could be De'Von Fox ($5,300). The redshirt freshman flashed a bit last week against SMU, recording five receptions for 46 yards on six targets, and he could be in line for a healthy dose of snaps Saturday with both Randle Jones (undisclosed) and Jose Barbon (illness) ruled out.

Kenny Yeboah, Mississippi ($8,600) vs. South Carolina

Yeboah ranks among the better tight ends in the conference and in the country and Saturday should provide him with an opportunity to showcase his skillset. The Gamecocks have had significant trouble containing tight ends in the red zone, with Kyle Pitts nabbing a pair of touchdown passes earlier in the campaign and Jaylon Wydermyer following that up with a pair of his own last week.

Yeboah sports that same kind of ability, posting a pair of two-touchdown efforts and compiling six over six games total. He should be in line for a healthy day in the red zone for a Rebels team expected to make it there frequently with an expected score of 41.5.

Dez Fitzpatrick, Louisville ($7,300) at Virginia

While Louisville is typically a ground-first attack on offense with Javian Hawkins and Malik Cunningham, this could be a week to reconsider versus a Cavaliers defense that has given up 312.2 passing yards per game, 9.9 passing yards per attempt and 2.2 passing touchdowns per contest.

While Tutu Atwell is still Cunningham's favorite target, it's worth noting that Fitzpatrick has been a solid option to take the top off the defense, accounting for four 25-plus yard plays and 10 of at least 15 yards. While those numbers are slightly lower than Atwell's, the percentage of his catches at that length is much higher. The Virginia pass defense has struggled mightily to keep up on the deep ball, surrendering 31 passes of 25 yards or more. That should allow Fitzpatrick to do damage even if he doesn't have a huge pass volume heading his direction.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Chris Benzine plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Crispy272001, DraftKings: Crispy27.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Benzine
Chris has been a RW contributor since early 2014, focused on Breaking News, MLB Daily Lineups and occasional NFL Team Previews.
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