This article is part of our DraftKings College Football series.
Welcome to this week's main slate breakdown on DraftKings, which features 13 games following the Liberty-Coastal Carolina and Georgia-Vanderbilt cancellations. Coastal Carolina is still playing Saturday but that game is not on the main slate while neither Georgia nor Vanderbilt will have a replacement opponent in time.
Notre Dame leads the way in implied total at 42.5 as it heads into a lopsided matchup against Syracuse while Ohio State and Florida round out the top three in that regard, though each of those games are expected to have margins of three-or-more scores. Games like North Carolina State-Georgia Tech, Virginia-Boston College and Purdue-Nebraska carry reasonably high totals with more competitive spreads, so exposure to those games will be key Saturday.
Below you'll find our suite of DFS tools along with matchup info and a detailed breakdown by position.
- DraftKings Lineup Optimizer
- NEW Matchups Page (Vegas odds, opponent averages, etc.)
- Advanced Lineups Page
- Team Trends
- Defense vs. Position
- Team Rankings
Two of our top options are off the board with Malik Willis' Liberty squad being off the slate and J.T. Daniels' Georgia Bulldogs being the latest SEC team to face a cancellation. We press on, though, so let's look at the other top options at quarterback.
Brennan Armstrong, Virginia ($8,200) vs. Boston College
Everything sets up well for Armstrong here. He pilots a Virginia offense that throws it 51.7 percent of the time (31st in FBS) and faces a middling Boston College defense at home. Armstrong has been solid in his own right, too. Outside of the first time I recommended him – AKA the game where he got injured after nine attempts and finished with -0.3 points – Armstrong has been automatic this season, averaging 25.8 points in those other seven games.
Armstrong also has nice stacking options to pair with him. Billy Kemp gets listed as a running back but he sees 10.1 targets per game and Terrell Jana is a 30-catch player as well. Tony Poljan is a strong play from the tight end position, but if going after TE's in DFS isn't your thing, you'll find one more Virginia option in the receiver section that has a nice setup.
I like Phil Jurkovec (knee) as an option on the other side of this matchup to make a game stack, too.
Jack Plummer, Purdue ($7,900) vs. Nebraska
Now that we don't have to play the guessing game with Aidan O'Connell's injury status, we know that Plummer is the clear-cut starter for Saturday. Plummer isn't a great talent but this offense is so quarterback-friendly that a player of his caliber can still produce and support his receivers' fantasy values as well. He has at least 35 attempts in his two starts and has answered the bell with a 5:2 TD:INT, 604 passing yards and 44 rushing yards. That'll work.
He faces a Nebraska defense that hasn't been terrible against the pass this season but also hasn't faced a good passing offense since the opener against Ohio State. Volume, matchup, and superior weapons will help Plummer return value on Saturday.
One for the Road
Tennessee could be turning to freshman Harrison Bailey ($4,500) on Saturday against the Gators after getting next to nothing from Jarrett Guarantano all season. Coach Jeremy Pruitt has already said that Bailey will play, but not to what extent. If it comes out in pregame that Bailey is starting, he could be worth a punt in the SUPERFLEX spot that opens up flexibility for the rest of your lineup.
Bijan Robinson, Texas ($5,700) at Kansas State
The runway is starting to clear for Robinson to take off for the Longhorns. Keontay Ingram is opting out and transferring after not playing last week against West Virginia, which opens up even more work for Robinson. Now, the freshman only churned out 57 yards from scrimmage on 16 carries and two targets against Iowa State in his start last week, but I'm less concerned with his efficiency and more interested in that workload. Robinson now has four straight games with at least 12 carries and has posted a total of 53 carries for 281 yards in that stretch. He hasn't scored any touchdowns just yet, but that could work in our favor as he checks in under $6K this week.
Robinson was one of the top running backs in the 2020 class – a five-star talent – and the fact that we don't have to worry about his workload anymore is huge. Kansas State is solid but not spectacular against the run, allowing 159.8 rushing yards per game on 4.2 YPC, and that's not enough to make this matchup a concern. Robinson getting double-digit carries once again versus a pedestrian Kansas State run defense makes him one of the top mid-tier RB options on the board this week. The talent is immense and the production is soon to follow.
Kamari Pleasant, Washington ($5,000) vs. Stanford
Stanford's defense has struggled mightily against the run this season, coughing up 229.0 rush yards per game on 5.7 YPC. It's a small sample, yes, but giving up 241 rushing yards to Cal is a red flag no matter how many games you've played. So this is a unit to target on Saturday.
Sorting through the Washington run game is trickier as Pleasant is one of three Husky running backs with over a 20 percent carry share. That's fancy talk for a strict backfield committee. Pleasant has an edge over backfield mates Sean McGrew and Richard Newton, though. The 221-pound Pleasant has scored in each game this season, leads the team in carries with 30, and is starting to get involved in the passing game after being targeted five times last week against Utah.
Pleasant's upside is a little capped because of Washington's deep backfield rotation, but he's still the leader of this unit and gets the softest matchup on the board. At $5,000, you could do much worse.
Jalen Berger, Wisconsin ($5,800) vs. Indiana
Berger's takeover of the Wisconsin backfield is in progress as the freshman has led the team in carries in each of the last two games after not seeing the field in the opener against Illinois. It's hard to question whether he's the best back on the team. In two games, Berger has 30 carries for 180 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Elsewhere in this backfield, Nakia Watson has a team-leading 38 carries that have netted just 153 yards (4.0 YPC). Anyone running for less than 4.5 YPC behind a Wisconsin offensive line makes me suspicious.
As for the matchup, Wisconsin checks in as two-touchdown favorites over an Indiana team that just lost its quarterback for the season. Indiana has been tough against the run, surrendering just 135.0 rush yards per game, but that was aided by having a functional offense on the other side. If Indiana's dropoff without Michael Penix is as bad as I think it will be, that will lead to shorter drives for the Hoosiers and a lopsided field position battle in Wisconsin's favor. Wisconsin's run game leaning on you is the last thing a tired and backed-up defense wants, especially when Berger is getting fed.
Dezmon Jackson, Oklahoma State ($6,200) at TCU
The setup isn't as good this week, and neither is the price, but we can't ignore Jackson either way. Chuba Hubbard and LD Brown are still nicked up and it's unclear if either will be available. Coach Mike Gundy himself said that Jackson was the starter earlier in the week. It'll be key to follow the injury news come Saturday morning, but if the current trends hold and Hubbard and Brown are unavailable, Jackson will be primed for another heavy workload against the Horned Frogs.
Bargain Bin Options
Trey Sermon, Ohio State ($3,500) vs. Michigan State
Master Teague is the alpha of this run game but Sermon is still getting over 10 carries per game on average and his YPC (5.16) is almost just as good as Teague's 5.21. If that trend holds and Teague sees double-digit carries again Saturday, he can return value on his salary even against a solid Michigan State run defense.
Kenny McIntosh , Georgia ($3,200) vs. Vanderbilt
Chris Tyree, Notre Dame ($3,200) vs. Syracuse
This one is a dart throw but hear me out. Notre Dame is playing its final regular-season game before the ACC title game and the last thing it wants to do is overwork Kyren Williams, the leader of the backfield. Williams already had to sit out the second half of the Boston College game as a precautionary measure a few weeks back, and it wouldn't be surprising for Notre Dame to lean on its backfield depth to take care of business in the second half against Syracuse in a game where the Irish are favored by 33.5. The Orange are one of three teams allowing over 200 rushing yards per game on the slate. Tyree averages a strong 5.7 YPC over 61 carries this season and if he gets even eight carries on Saturday, I like his chances at returning value.
Zay Flowers, Boston College ($5,200) at Virginia
This game is a nice way to get away from the chalk but still target a matchup with a reasonably high total (54.5) relative to the slate where both teams are expected to push for 30 points. Both defenses are suspect – BC gives up 4.5 YPC and 162. 3 rushing yards per game while Virginia is weak through the air, allowing a slate-worst 9.1 YPA. That last number is the one that gets my attention, especially when it comes to Flowers.
The explosive sophomore has drawn an average of 9.4 targets per game this season, catching 48 passes for 712 yards and seven touchdowns. His catch rate is barely over 50 percent (not great) but he makes it count when he does come down with it, averaging 14.8 YPR. He leads the team in target share at 28 percent and will push for double-digit targets against one of the worst pass defenses on the slate. That makes Flowers a worthy consideration from the mid-tier of the receiver pool.
A quick injury aside: quarterback Phil Jurkovec dealt with a knee issue against Louisville but is expected to play Saturday. If that changes, Flowers' projection takes a hit.
Rondale Moore, Purdue ($6,800) vs. Nebraska
Moore under $7,000 against Nebraska may be the chalkiest play on the board this week. That's fine. We know Moore has the ability to change the entire complexion of a given slate and now he's healthy. Moore has racked up 22 catches for 192 yards on 27 carries through two games while adding five carries for 25 yards and a score. His target share is 36 percent across those two outings, moving him ahead of David Bell in the pecking order. Moore's PPR floor is extremely high on a week-to-week basis as he has averaged 12.1 targets per game with a 71 percent catch rate across his 19 appearances in a Purdue uniform. We also know he's a threat to find the end zone with 17 offensive touchdowns.
In terms of the matchup, Nebraska has decent numbers against the pass on paper. However, Nebraska's 219 pass yards allowed per game doesn't look as impressive when you look at its schedule. Outside of Ohio State, the best passing attack Nebraska has faced was Penn State's, which ranks 42nd in passing yards per game and 83rd in team YPA.
In terms of game theory, I might be inclined to go after Bell. Everyone will be on Moore for the name recognition and decreased price tag. Bell is pricier and coming off season-lows in every major receiving category. Bell, with his higher salary, could have a lower roster percentage. Not that fading Moore is a great idea, but Bell is as good of a pivot as you'll find.
Lavel Davis, Virginia ($6,100) vs. Boston College
On the other side of the BC game we have Virginia's big-play receiver, Davis. He is as boom-or-bust as it gets with 14 catches on 32 targets with three games of 15-or-fewer DK points. But the booms are great. Davis has 374 yards and five touchdowns on those five receptions. For those counting, that's 26.7 yards per reception and 11.7 YPT.
Davis' salary has crept up into the $6,000s after being a sub-$4,500 bargain earlier in the season. The hope is that Davis' low floor and non-bargain salary will keep his roster percentage low. I'm identifying Davis as a GPP target who can take advantage of Boston College's pedestrian pass defense for a big play or two.
Thayer Thomas, North Carolina State vs. Georgia Tech
Maybe I'm buying high but last week was only the latest example of Thomas' late-season dominance. Over his last five games, Thomas has 24 catches on 29 targets for 295 yards (10.17 YPT) and five touchdowns. So that's not just bankable volume and efficiency, it's also explosiveness and touchdown upside. He has double-digit targets in two of his last three outings and has both of those into 100-yard performances with multiple touchdowns. He faces a Georgia Tech defense that allows 274.5 passing yards and 2.6 passing touchdowns per game. Thomas is fine as a one-off or as part of a sneaky NC State passing stack with Bailey Hockman ($7,400).
Others to consider
Taj Harris, Syracuse ($5,700) vs. Notre Dame: Coming off a 20-target game and facing Notre Dame might make this seem like the perfect time to fade Harris. The thing is, he could easily push for double-digit targets. He has done it four times this season and owns a 31.3 percent target share. Syracuse won't be able to run at all, so there should at least be target volume funneled to Harris. He's only $5,700, too, so it's not like you're ponying up a big chunk of your cap for a player in a tough matchup. Harris is on the GPP radar.
Justin Shorter, Florida ($3,800): The former five-star receiver is finally finding his footing for Florida, racking up 12 catches for 168 yards and two scores over his last four games (17 targets). Florida will have an easy time throwing on the Vol defense (8.8 YPA allowed) and Kyle Trask could use another big game to bolster his Heisman chances, so this stands to be another big volume day for the Gator passing attack. Shorter can only be realistically projected for 4-to-5 targets but his recent surge at nearly 10.0 YPT with some touchdown upside make him a decent punt play at under $4K.