This article is part of our College Football DFS: Friday Slate series.
Happy Holidays! We've already had some crazy bowl results and here's another interesting matchup between Memphis and Hawaii on Christmas Eve. We'll examine this game via the unique Showdown format with both DraftKings and FanDuel pricing!
Hawaii vs. Memphis (-8.0) O/U: 55.5 points
This would have been an exciting barnburner between two intriguing teams in the past, however, these teams really struggled down the stretch with both Memphis (6-6) and Hawaii (6-7) backing into bowl eligibility. Memphis was an uninspiring 1-4 on the road and with this being the Hawaii bowl, they're going into essentially another road game against the Rainbow Warriors.
The Tigers defense has been particularly bad this season while ranking 92nd in points allowed. The question will be whether Hawaii can take advantage of that weakness as two of their best offensive weapons in QB Chevan Cordeiro and RB Dae Dae Hunter have entered the transfer portal. With the team likely turning to an inexperienced freshman at quarterback, It's something to be worried about.
Meanwhile, the Memphis offense kept chugging in the 2021 season with 435.8 yards and 30.1 points per game. Although they won't have NFL-bound WR Calvin Austin, they will have most of their other offensive weapons which are discussed below. They shouldn't have much problem moving the ball against a Hawaii pass defense that gave up 289.7 yards per game, one of the worst marks in the nation.
If you aren't familiar with the Showdown format, the roster consists of five FLEX positions and one Captain (CPTN) position. Any player can fill these positions. The CPTN position receives 1.5x of his score, but the player's salary is also increased by 1.5x when he is placed in that slot. While conventional wisdom dictates that your goal is to find the player who scores the most points and put them in the Captain spot, that is not always the case. That best player's high salary could compromise the quality of those FLEX positions.
Luckily for college football formats, there are a plethora of options and that's what I'm here to walk you through. For cash games, it's smart to go with players that have high floors and in tournament formats, you want to try to predict some players with low ownership that could have big days.
Top CPTN Pick & Overall Play
Sean Dykes, WR, Memphis ($4,800 DK, FD, CPTN - $7,200 DK, $12,500 FD)
Dykes has excellent value at this price and enters the game as the Tigers' leading receiver with 48 catches for 657 yards and seven touchdowns because the aforementioned Austin (74 catches for 1,149 yards and eight scores) has opted out of the game. I would expect Dykes to have high ownership in a flex spot, but utilizing him as the captain will allow you to get all of the other highly projected players in this match-up because of his price. This is a fairly safe option at captain as well as Dykes averaged 13.5 DK points on 5.0 targets per game. With Memphis expected to attack Hawaii through the air, this makes sense as a top play. With this extreme value play in the captain spot, it gives plenty of room for spending on the following players who I like the most:
Seth Henigan, QB, Memphis ($12,200 DK; $16,000 FD)
Calvin Turner, RB, Hawaii ($9,400 DK; $14,000 FD)
Javon Ivory, WR, Memphis ($7,600 DK; $11,000 FD)
Dedrick Parson, RB, Hawaii ($6,000 DK; $9,000)
Eddie Lewis, WR, Memphis ($6,800 DK; $10,500)
Other Value Plays (*For Tournaments or If You Spend Higher on Captain)
Zion Bowens, WR, Hawaii ($4,200 DK; $6,500 FD)
Bowens had a huge game in Week 12 with six catches for 172 yards and a touchdown against Colorado State, so we do know he has breakout potential. This is a riskier play though as QB Brayden Schager ($10,200) is unproven. In five appearances this season, he's thrown just two touchdowns and five interceptions on 107 passing attempts. In cash games, it's likely smart to fade the Hawaii passing game and think about this only in deeper tournament scenarios.
Rodrigues Clark, RB, Memphis ($4,600 DK; $9,500 FD)
With Brandon Thomas ($5,000 DK) banged up, I like Clark to get the bulk of the carries in the backfield if you need a piece of the Tigers' running game. Marquavius Weaver ($2,400 DK) is also extremely cheap and will get some carries. I don't prefer this option in most formats though as I do think Memphis will try to air the ball out against Hawaii.