This article is part of our FanDuel College Football series.
We have a two-game slate to kick off bowl season Friday, featuring Toledo and Middle Tennessee State first (Toledo -10.5) and Coastal Carolina against MAC champion Northern Illinois in the nightcap (Coastal Carolina -10.5), The total (62.5) favors the night game by a significant margin, though Coastal Carolina (36.5 expected points) sits atop the expected points board and Toledo is second at 30.5 points. Northern Illinois checks in at 26.0, while Middle Tennesee is only expected to tally 20.0 on the day.
The weather is expected to be okay in both tilts, though there is a slight chance of rain for MTSU-Toledo and the potential for double-digit miles per hour winds. That could lead to a slight lean on the ground games, though sites are varying on just how high the winds will be.
Harrison Waylee, Northern Illinois - Not on the depth chart
Reese White, Coastal Carolina - Expected to play but won't start the bowl game.
Danzel McKinley-Lewis, Toledo - Sat regular-season finale and his status for the bowl is unclear.
Jerjuan Newton, Toledo - Missed regular-season finale and status for the bowl game hasn't surfaced.
Tyrice Richie, Northern Illinois - Not on the depth chart for the bowl game.
Xavier Gravette, Coastal Carolina - Hasn't appeared in a game since Week 10 and his availability for the bowl game is uncertain.
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Dec. 17 Bowl Plays
Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina ($11,000) vs. Northern Illinois
McCall is the likely chalk play on the slate, but I see no reason not to invest in him under center. He has surpassed 30 FanDuel points in three of the last five games and gets the juiciest matchup on the slate against a Northern Illinois defense allowing a slate-worst 23.0 fantasy points per contest to opposing quarterbacks, which encases 23 touchdown passes, 460 rushing yards and six rushing scores. McCall has the ability to take advantage of that vulnerability, running for 50-plus yards in each of the last three games and a pair of scores in that span.
Rocky Lombardi, Northern Illinois ($8,800) vs. Coastal Carolina
Lombardi's breakout effort last week came thanks to three rushing scores in the contest, but he's unlikely to have similar success on the ground against a Chanticleers defense that has allowed just three rushing scores to opposing quarterbacks all season. While Lombardi's typically can rely on the ground game, that may not be the case for all of Saturday's contest as 10.5-point underdogs. If the Huskies begin to fall behind, Lombardi may be forced to throw more than usual and he's equipped to do so in those situations, posting a pair of three-touchdown efforts during the season against Kent State and Central Michigan earlier in the year. He also has both Trayvon Rudolph and Cole Tucker at his disposal, though Tyrice Richie isn't on the depth chart and seems likely to miss out.
Bryant Koback, Toledo ($11,200) vs. MTSU
Koback sits atop the slate at running back and for good reason. Over the last four games he's turned in no fewer than 28.1 FanDuel points, tallying at least a pair of scores in each of the contests while rushing for 100 or more yards in five straight contests. While Middle Tennessee has been decent against the run overall, the defense has also allowed more than 100 rushing yards to all but three FBS opponents and isn't particularly great at covering them out of the backfield. Koback, with 10 catches to his name over the last four games in addition to his rushing prowess, is certainly equipped to contribute in both facets of the game again.
Shermari Jones, Coastal Carolina ($9,500) vs. Northern Illinois
Jones is the most reliable option out of the Chanticleers backfield with Reese White (ankle) available but not starting the contest. Jones has been a workhorse over the last month with White absent, rushing 20-plus times in three of the last four games. White doesn't seem to be 100 percent for this one either, so Jones figures to handle a sizable workload again. Prior to a noteworthy effort against Kent State in the MAC Championship Game, the Huskies were on a stretch of allowing 179 or more rushing yards to four of the previous five running back groups and seven rushing scores in those five games. That bodes well for Jones to turn in another big effort, especially if the game script of Coastal Carolina -10.5 holds true.
Clint Ratkovich, Northern Illinois ($6,300) vs. Coastal Carolina
Ratkovich isn't one to often rack up a ton of yardage but does offer a good amount of upside as a goal-line threat, scoring at least a touchdown in each of the team's last six games. That is exactly where Coastal Carolina is a bit vulnerable on the ground. While the Chanticleers allow just 135.0 rushing yards per game, they have surrendered 1.5 rushing scores per contest along the way, the second-highest mark behind Northern Illinois. This includes six rushing scores allowed to opposing running backs over the past three games. That bodes well for Ratkovich to potentially return some value even if he doesn't rack up a ton of rushing yardage.
GPP Dart: Antario Brown, Northern Illinois ($5,500) vs. Coastal Carolina
If you're looking to go off the board for an option, Brown is one who got more involved in the rushing attack in the MAC Championship Game, handling double-digit carries for the first time since Oct. 9 versus Toledo. Part of that may have been due to the blowout nature of the game as it carried on, but Brown was also involved earlier as well, handling nine carries in the first half and 12 total while the game was still in the balance. That could portend to a similar workload in the bowl game if the Huskies can keep it close enough to continue pounding the rock.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Jaivon Heiligh, Coastal Carolina ($9,000) vs. Northern Illinois
Heiligh has reestablished his connection with Grayson McCall of late, posting a total of 25 targets over the last two games while turning in 16 grabs for 188 yards and a pair of scores over that span. There's little reason to anticipate a dropoff against a Huskies defense that has been underwhelming defensively. Over the last pair of games, opposing wideouts have been targeted a combined 48 times and have turned them into 35 catches for 528 yards and six touchdowns. Heiligh seems the best option to gash a Huskies defense that has allowed 30 pass plays of 25-plus yards on the season, sporting 13 catches of 25-plus yards on the year. Isaiah Likely (eight plays) Kameron Brown (five plays) are the closest to Heiligh making big plays.
Trayvon Rudolph, Northern Illinois ($8,300) vs. Coastal Carolina
Rudolph has cemented himself as one of the Huskies' top receiving threats down the stretch, posting a stretch of four straight double-digit scoring games and three 25-plus FD point games in a four-game span prior to his two recent duds. His most recent against Kent State can be attributed to the blowout nature of the contest and starting quarterback Rocky Lombardi missed the game prior due to injury. Neither of those scenarios should factor into the upcoming bowl. Should the Huskies fall behind, Rudolph's slate-best 36.1 percent target share since Week 10 will come into focus. While the Chanticleers have been fairly stout against opposing offenses overall, allowing 190.9 passing yards and 1.1 passing touchdowns per game. the team's 7.1 passing yards per attempt number suggests there could be some holes in the defense to exploit if there is a heavy pass volume.
Cole Tucker, Northern Illinois ($6,300) vs. Coastal Carolina
Tucker is the other Husky receiver that figures to be a major factor in the passing attack Friday. Tucker slid off the radar a bit after missing time and accounting for just two catches for 30 yards in the MAC Championship Game, but he's been targeted 9.3 times per game since returning from what was essentially a four-game absence in the middle of the season due to injury, good for second-best on the slate behind Rudolph since that time. Tucker has also displayed some upside in that span, turning in a pair of double-digit performances including a 19.3-point FanDuel effort against Ball State.
Jaylin Lane, Middle Tennessee State ($6,200) vs. Toledo
Lane is the perfect place to get involved in a Middle Tennesee offense expected to finish with a slate-low 20 points. He gets his hands on the ball both as a receiver and occasionally as a runner and has recently been heavily involved in the passing attack, averaging 10 targets in his last two games played. That ranks second on the slate in that span behind only Heiligh above, whose salary is much less affordable. Lane has also turned in a pair of double-digit FanDuel efforts over the last three weeks and four total on the year, so there's a lot to like here despite facing a defense that has fared pretty well against wideouts on the year.
GPP Dart: Isaiah Winstead, Toledo ($6,100) vs. MTSU
If you're looking for a wild card here, Winstead could be worth a look for the Rockets if Danzel McKinley-Lewis and Jerjuan Newton are held out again. Winstead led the Toledo wideouts with seven targets last game and turned them into three catches for 49 yards and a score. He could be in for a worthwhile target count again Friday should the pair sit out and holds an affordable salary. The Blue Raiders have also proven to be vulnerable against opposing wideouts and are coming off of allowing 25 catches for 270 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Florida Atlantic in their last game, so there is certainly some upside in the Toledo receiving corps.