This article is part of our DraftKings College Football series.
Welcome to Friday's main slate breakdown for DraftKings, where we have a loaded 12-game menu that pairs great with leftovers. We'll dive right into the good stuff here, so check out the DFS Tools, Matchup Info, and positional breakdowns below.
- DraftKings Lineup Optimizer
- NEW Matchups Page (Vegas odds, opponent averages, etc.)
- Advanced Lineups Page
- Team Trends
- Defense vs. Position
- Team Rankings
Justin Rogers, UNLV ($5,700) at Air Force
Once upon a time, Rogers was considered a top-three quarterback in the 2018 class. A serious knee injury his senior of high school altered his course and now the former future of TCU football is finishing out his college career at UNLV, where he has been a backup for much of the season. Rogers came in for an injured Cameron Friel last week and went off. He threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns off the bench against a tough San Diego State defense out of nowhere.
This is a GPP-only play given Rogers' lack of track record and the matchup against a team that kills the clock, but on a slate with this many games, it's unlikely that UNLV will be anything close to chalk and anything close to a repeat performance from him would give some nice leverage to your lineup.
Logan Bonner, Utah State ($8,800) vs. New Mexico
$8,800 ain't cheap for a guy coming off a mediocre performance against Wyoming. That said, Wyoming has one of the best pass defenses in the country and Bonner has performed well for the majority season, so he gets a mulligan for Week 12.
Friday, he gets to face New Mexico, which is admittedly decent against the pass but nothing to shy away from on this slate. The big factor driving Bonner's value is his receivers. Deven Thompkins has been automatic all season and players like Derek Wright and Brandon Bowling are solid complementary options with some upside of their own. A Utah State passing stack is something I'll be targeting on this slate.
Cameron Rising, Utah ($8,300) vs. Colorado
There's a little risk here with Utah checking in as heavy (24.0) favorites against the Buffs. But hey, we're talking about the quarterback for the team with the third-highest implied total on the slate (37.75).
Rising has been a steady producer in conference play, averaging 21 DraftKings points per game on the strength of an 8.1 YPA with a 10:2 TD:INT along with 283 rushing yards and five scores. That PPG average is dragged down by a low-volume performance against Oregon and a rough outing against Stanford. He has routinely gone over 25 DK points in his other PAC-12 games, and that's what we're targeting here against a bad Colorado defense that's going to be on the ropes from the jump on the road.
KJ Jefferson, Arkansas ($7,900) vs. Missouri
Jefferson is at the helm of an offense expected to challenge for 40 points Friday against Missouri. Though the Tiger defense has been better against the pass than it has against the run but Jefferson offers the dual-threat capability that can hurt Missouri in a variety of ways. Jefferson is coming off a strong showing against a far superior Alabama defense last week and has an impressive 16:1 TD:INT ratio in SEC play. The late-season lull from Jefferson against LSU and Mississippi State appears to be behind him and he's primed to finish the regular season strong against an overmatched defense.
Lew Nichols, Central Michigan ($10,000) vs. Eastern Michigan
The top-billed player on the entire slate hails from Central Michigan and if you're unfamiliar with his stylings, now's the time to fix that.
Nichols leads the nation in rushing (1,514) and is sixth in rushing touchdowns (14). He's more than just a between-the-tackles runner, too. Nichols has caught 36 of 45 targets for 261 yards and two touchdowns. That combination of high rushing ceiling bolstered with a strong passing game role makes Nichols close to a must-play on Friday, even with other elite running backs like Breece Hall ($9,300) against TCU or Deuce Vaughn ($9,100) vs. Texas.
Ponying up 20% of your salary on one player means you have to get creative with the rest of your build, but Nichols is well worth it against Eastern Michigan's leaky run defense that allows 5.1 YPC.
De'Montre Tuggle, Ohio ($6,000) at Bowling Green
The MACtion faction reading this article is plenty familiar with Tuggle at this point, but for the uninitiated, here's a quick breakdown.
Tuggle owns a healthy 32 percent rushing share in the Bobcat offense and this is a good setup for the Ohio run game against Bowling Green. Ohio is nearly a touchdown favorite, which isn't a massive number but it likely means that the Bobcats will be in the lead and leaning on the ground game. The Bobcats also have a run-heavy approach as it is, ranking 32nd in run play rate. Tuggle is impressive in his own right, too, as he averages nearly 6.0 yards per carry and has nine total touchdowns. Bowling Green gives up 205 rushing yards per game to MAC opponents and this is a great time to plug Tuggle into a lineup.
Dominique Johnson, Arkansas ($4,700) vs. Missouri
We're going back to the well and attacking Missouri's porous run defense. Now, Missouri's defense has shown a little bit of backbone in recent weeks, but those games came against South Carolina and a reeling Florida at home. Now it goes on the road to face a strong Arkansas offense and run game that ranks 12th in the nation in rushing yards per game.
Johnson has taken over the backfield in recent weeks with 41 carries for 170 yards and three touchdowns over the last three games while no other Razorback has cracked the 100-yard mark in that span. With Johnson in the lead role against Missouri's run defense that coughs up 235 rushing yards per game, $4,700 is an absolute bargain.
If you're considering the Utah State passing stack, this is the way to go. Thompkins is rightfully the top salaried receiver on this slate as the nation's second-leading receiver (1,508 yards, nine touchdowns) and Bowling checks in at a nice value relative to his recent production. There isn't much explanation needed for why Thompkins is a strong play Friday, it's really just a matter of being able to jam him in given the hefty price tag. Bowling, though, has ticked back up after a hot start followed by some midseason doldrums. He has touchdowns in back-to-back games and is coming off a six-catch, 60-yard performance on eight targets against a stingy Wyoming defense. His overall body of work (back-to-back 500-yard seasons with a combined 13 touchdowns) combined with his rapport with fellow Arkansas State quarterback Logan Bonner are convincing enough to make Bowling a worthwhile gamble among the non-Thompkins Utah State receivers.
Steve Jenkins, UNLV ($4,800) vs. Air Force
Even with shaky quarterback play, Jenkins has come on strong late in the season. He's pacing the Rebs in targets (38), catches (24), and yards (396) over the last month and was Justin Rogers' favorite target last week.
If you're in on Rogers, Jenkins is a must-play as a stacking option. Air Force limits its opponents possessions but Jenkins has such a strong share of this passing game that even with a reduced game script, he's in line to return value.
Ryan O'Keefe, UCF ($6,900) vs. USF
We're treated to another installment of The War on I-4 on Friday and UCF is expected to be the highest-scoring team on this slate with an implied total of 40.25. O'Keefe is in a great position to play a major part in UCF challenging for that total. He ranks fourth on the slate in targets per game over the last month (10.3) and he's got four touchdowns in that span.
As for the matchup, USF has the worst pass defense on the slate as it allows 279 passing yards per game and 8.7 YPA. Whether it's Mikey Keene or Dillon Gabriel (collarbone) behind center, O'Keefe is in line for a big day against the Bulls.
This matchup also makes me interested in Jaylon Robinson ($5,200). He hasn't been himself since returning from injury, but this is his third game back and it's the last game of the regular season. There's plenty of risk given his lack of recent performance but he's been playing a healthy dose of snaps (83 in two games) and this could be a good buy-low opportunity.