This article is part of our DraftKings College Football series.
Welcome to this week's main slate breakdown on DraftKings, where we have a massive 13-gamer with no postponements (fingers crossed)! It's a varied slate that spans the likes of a Clemson-Florida State matchup with a five-touchdown spread to a pivotal Sun Belt matchup between Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina.
Four teams – Clemson, Florida, Alabama, and Ohio State – are expected to score north of 40 points while Nebraska, Cincinnati, LSU and Arkansas are all slated to light up the scoreboard as well with implied totals over 30.
Below you'll find our suite of DFS tools along with a position-by-position breakdown of the slate.
- DraftKings Lineup Optimizer
- NEW Matchups Page (Vegas odds, opponent averages, etc.)
- Advanced Lineups Page
- Team Trends
- Defense vs. Position
- Team Rankings
Position by Position breakdown
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson ($9,400) at Florida State
This one is fairly straightforward. Lawrence is the best quarterback in the country facing a reeling Florida State defense that has coughed up 38-or-more points in three straight weeks against the likes of Louisville, Pittsburgh and North Carolina State. Not exactly a who's who of explosive offenses save for maybe Louisville.
Lawrence, meanwhile, returns to lead a Clemson team expected to put up 49.25 points according to its implied total. He hasn't played since Week 8 against Syracuse but has had time to get back into game shape since returning from quarantine. Look for this to be one of Lawrence's best performances of the year.
Justin Fields, Ohio State ($9,000) vs. Indiana
It's not often you see Fields anywhere further down than the second-highest billing among quarterbacks, but apparently, a Top 10 Indiana team coming to town was enough to push him down to QB5 on this slate.
Fields has posted no fewer than 30 DK points in any of his three starts this season and has been absolutely blistering on a per-pass basis. He's completing an absurd 86.7 percent of his passes at 10.9 YPA to go with an 11:0 TD:INT. And he hasn't really even begun to produce on the ground yet with just 57 yards and two scores through three games. Indiana is likely the toughest defense Fields will have faced this year to this point, but that isn't saying a ton when Ohio State has gone against Nebraska, Penn State and Rutgers.
Fields and Co. are expected to put up 44.0 points and if this game stays competitive into the fourth quarter, we could see a high-volume day out of him to go with his elite efficiency.
Luke McCaffrey, Nebraska ($6,900) vs. Illinois
This has more to do with the matchup than the player, though McCaffrey has some intriguing elements to his game as well. He's facing an Illinois defense that surrenders 9.5 YPA to opposing quarterbacks and 277.8 passing yards per game. That 9.5 YPA mark is the second-worst on the slate behind LSU (!), so McCaffrey's passing projection is looking strong.
In addition to McCaffrey's passing, he is also an excellent athlete. He ran for 67 yards and a score on 5.2 YPC in his start against Penn State and also racked up 87 rushing yards on nine attempts against Ohio State in the opener. Illinois has to respect him as a runner and McCaffrey could make the Illini pay through the air as a result. Illinois will have to pick its poison in trying to stop McCaffrey, and I doubt that whichever route they choose will be enough to stop him from returning value.
Feleipe Franks, Arkansas ($6,200) vs. LSU
Franks continues to impress as Arkansas' quarterback and gets to face one of the worst defenses on the slate, and yet his salary is more reflective of how things would be in 2019 if Franks was still struggling at Florida and facing a brutal Tiger defense.
This LSU defense, as I alluded to above, is a shell of its former self. The mass exodus of talent along with the loss of Dave Aranda has set the Tigers back on that side of the ball tremendously. LSU is allowing the most passing yards (335.2) and the highest YPA (10.0) on the slate and opposing quarterbacks average 2.8 passing touchdowns per game against it as well.
For Franks' part, he is really settling in. He went toe-to-toe with Kyle Trask and Florida last week, completing 15 of 19 passes for 250 yards (13.2 YPA) and a pair of touchdowns. That marked his fifth multi-touchdown game of the season and third in a row. He also hasn't turned the ball over during that three-game stretch. If you're looking for a bargain quarterback, Franks should be at the top of your list.
One quick note: Franks briefly left the Florida game with an apparent wrist injury. He re-entered the game, but confirmation on his status during warmups should be part of your checklist if you're planning on using him.
Jermar Jefferson, Oregon State ($8,900) vs. California
The PAC-12 adds an interesting wrinkle to this slate as those teams have 1-2 games of sample while everyone else is well into their respective seasons.
Luckily we have plenty of track record on Jefferson and his hot start to the season can't be written off as a fluke. Workload? Check. He's up to 44 carries through two games, with at least 20 in each outing. Efficiency? Check. He's averaging 5.8 YPC despite facing a tough Washington defense last week. Matchup? Big check. California got gashed by UCLA on the ground to the tune of 248 rushing yards and 6.1 YPC. Look for Jefferson to get 20+ cracks at this weak Cal defense, making him my favorite high-salaried RB play this week.
CJ Marable, Coastal Carolina ($7,300) vs. Appalachian State
Coastal Carolina has a strong run game that averages 203 rushing yards per game, and I expect that to continue Saturday despite the matchup. Now, Appalachian State has allowed a solid 140 rush yards per game on average. But when you look a little closer, it may not be that stout of a defense. App State's numbers were aided by holding Campbell, Arkansas State and Louisiana-Monroe to a combined 251 yards on the ground. In its other four games, Appalachian State has surrendered an average of 181.25 rushing yards.
With Marable, he has lost some work to Reese White and Shemari Jones in recent weeks. Both of those players have been more effective on a per-carry basis and are potential fliers below $3,500, but this should still be the Marable show in the Coastal backfield. He leads the team in every major rushing category and averages 14 attempts per game in addition to being featured in the passing game.
Marable sees an average of nearly 4.0 targets per game and has racked up 20 catches for 154 yards and five receiving touchdowns. He is arguably Coastal Carolina's most dangerous offensive player and despite his recent rushing woes, he projects for a strong output Saturday.
Others to Consider
- Gerrid Doaks, Cincinnati ($6,700) vs. Central Florida: Strong command of the backfield (41 percent rushing share) and draws a favorable matchup against a Central Florida defense that surrenders 189 rushing yards per game.
- Camerun Peoples, Appalachian State ($5,300): Daetrich Harrington is out, and while Marcus Williams will see some carries, Peoples should lead the backfield Saturday. He's averaging 5.6 YPC over his last three games and has scored in each of those outings.
- Jalen Berger, Wisconsin ($4,100) at Northwestern: He'll face a tougher defense than he did in Ann Arbor, but Berger needs to be a part of the Wisconsin rushing attack moving forward. Berger had 15 carries for 87 yards and a score in his debut against Michigan.
Keon Zipperer, ($4,600) and Trevon Grimes ($5,100) Florida at Vanderbilt
We know that Florida is going to roll Saturday in Nashville as the Gators check in with a slate-high 49.75 implied total. We also know that most of that will be through the air as the Gators rank 112th in run play rate (46.5 percent). We also also know that Kyle Pitts (nasal surgery) will be out this week, which gives Zipperer a path to fantasy relevance once again. Zipperer took advantage of his added opportunity last week, catching all three of his targets for 47 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He's no Kyle Pitts but Zipperer can still give the defense fits.
With Grimes, there's just so much value relative to his salary. With Pitts (20 percent target share pre-injury) out last week, Grimes drew a season-high seven targets, which tied for the team lead. He converted that into six catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Kadarius Toney ($7,400) is rightfully the highest-salaried Florida pass-catcher, but Florida's passing volume and wide target distribution steer me towards the value options like Zipperer or Grimes over him. Even Justin Shorter ($3,400), who has touchdowns in three straight games, is a worthwhile dart in the near-min-price end of the player pool.
John Metchie, Alabama vs. Kentucky
It feels like it's been forever since we've seen Alabama. The Tide had a bye and a cancellation since they last played in Week 9, but a Nick Saban team is not one that we worry about coming out rusty. Look for the Alabama offense to come out firing on all cylinders against Kentucky, and that means it's Metchie Time.
Metchie is just $5,900 after a dud performance his last time out, and this presents an excellent opportunity to buy the dip. We know Metchie has game-breaking talent. In a four-game stretch against Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Georgia, and Tennessee, Metche caught 19 of 27 targets (16.9 YPT) for 457 yards and three touchdowns. The only drawback to going heavy on Alabama on Saturday is that Kentucky can shorten the game with its ball-control offense. Still, there will be enough volume to let Metchie click for a big play and reach value.
Tre Turner, Virginia Tech ($4,800) at Pittsburgh
Virginia Tech has a tough matchup on the ground, but Pitt can be beaten through the air. In four losses, Pittsburgh is allowing 308.8 passing yards on 8.6 YPA and has allowed 14 passing touchdowns against just two interceptions. In wins, Pitt is holding opponents to a 2:9 TD:INT and a 4.3 YPA.
I'm siding with Virginia Tech here, so I think this one will look more like those Pitt losses than those wins where the opposition can't move the ball.
With Turner, he's a sub-$5K receiver with plenty of upside and floor. Turner has a 21 percent target share of the offense this season and averages a strong 11.3 YPT. Explosive downfield receivers like Turner are the kind that have given Pitt fits.