College Football DFS Picks: DraftKings Main Slate Breakdown for Week 12

College Football DFS Picks: DraftKings Main Slate Breakdown for Week 12

This article is part of our DraftKings College Football series.

We've got just two weeks left in the regular season, which bums me out to write. But alas, we know next weekend will be great with tons of Friday action and rivalry games all over the place and this weekend isn't too shabby in its own right. This slate has four games with totals north of 60 points with the ECU-Houston game (67.5) leading the pack. 

Below you'll find our matchup info along with all of our DFS tools to help you build your best lineup this week. 

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Matchup Info


Clayton Tune ($8,100) and Holton Ahlers ($6,200), Houston at East Carolina

It's not hard to draw up the rationale behind this one. This game has the highest total on the board (67.5) and a spread that's narrow enough that we can expect both teams to challenge for 30+ points. 

Tune is at the helm of a Houston offense that ranks 8th in SP+ and he averages 302.4 passing yards per game, three passing touchdowns, 41 rushing yards, and 0.5 rushing touchdowns. He'll face a mediocre defense and to help matters, Houston's defense is awful enough to where Tune and company will have to keep their foot on the gas all afternoon.

Ahlers plays in a lightly more up-tempo offense (71 plays per game) and the Pirates have a 52.5 percent pass rate. He also has a 22 percent rushing share and that number has ticked up since Rajai Davis went down with injury. 

The case for either is solid in a vacuum and using both in the same lineup is the best QB-SFlex in terms of game script and value. It will be very popular, so fading this will make sense if you're making multiple lineups in the (unlikely) even that it flops. Just remember that stacking these two quarterbacks might only be a prerequisite to be close to cashing, and the rest of your lineup will dictate how well it performs.

C.J. Stroud ($9,600) Ohio State at Maryland

The price might drive some people away, as will the lopsided spread. But this is also Stroud's last chance to light it up and pad his stats before next week's battle against Michigan. While winning that game will certainly bolster or even cement his Heisman case, he'll have a chance to get within striking range of 40 regular season passing touchdowns Saturday. Maryland is starting to wilt, and while that may be mostly attributed to the run defense, the pass defense can't slow down the Buckeye passing attack when it's clicking. With it set to be sunny and in the low 40s at kickoff, these will be as good of conditions as you can expect in a Big Ten matchup at this time of the year. Stroud will feast and though rostering him is a hit to your salary cap, there's enough value on the board elsewhere to make it work. 

Jayden de Laura ($7,900) Arizona vs. Washington State

I'll have a lot of interest in this game and it would not shock me if there ends up being more standout fantasy performances from this one than the Houston-ECU game. Now, neither team clears 70 plays per game, but Arizona ranks 16th in yards per play on the year and Washington State has a middling pass defense at best (243.9 PaYD/GM in conference play). 

De Laura has been sharp in conference play, averaging 9.2 YPA on a 64.7 completion rate over seven games. He also has an 18:4 TD:INT in conference play, along with two rushing touchdowns. This is a great setup for de Laura, who -- for the revenge narrative folks out there -- is facing his former team.  

Running Back

Dallan Hayden ($3,700) Ohio State at Maryland

Ryan Day said earlier in the week that he was hopeful Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson would be available Saturday. If you've been paying attention this season, the Buckeyes haven't exactly been a beacon of trustworthiness when it comes to injury optimism. With The Game set for next weekend and a soft matchup against the Terps in front of them, the Buckeyes simply don't need to risk anything with either Williams or Henderson. Even if both suit up, I doubt that either sees much action. With that, Hayden stands to be in the mix in a big way. 

Hayden has run for 357 yards on 73 attempts this season and has two games over 100 yards, including last week against Indiana. Henderson will play Saturday but Williams will not, per ESPN's Pete Thamel, so there is still a path to a role for Hayden.

Stacy Sneed ($3,800) Houston at East Carolina

If, and I mean if, you want to fade Hayden, you can have a running back with almost comparable upside at just $100 more. Sneed has taken over the backfield in recent weeks with 45 carries for 374 yards and five touchdowns in the last four weeks and added 12 receptions for 82 yards on 14 targets in that span. In a game with this high of a total and this narrow of a spread, Sneed will be a factor in both facets. East Carolina has been stingy against the run in conference play (3.15 YPC, 119 RuYD/Gm) but at $3,800 with Snead's explosiveness on the ground and usage through the air, he can push for 5X return in this spot.

Nakia Watson ($3,800) Washington State at Arizona

The pricing hasn't caught up to Watson, a Wisconsin transfer who has taken over the top billing in the Wazzu backfield in recent weeks. Washington State is running it only 41.2 percent of the time but Watson has accounted for a dominant 60 percent of the share in his last two games since returning from a two-game absence. In his last two games, Watson has taken 36 carries for 282 yards and four touchdowns. 

Arizona allows 6.19 YPC and 232.7 rushing yards to conference opponents. PAC-12 opponents had run for an absurd 25 scores in seven games against the 'Cats. This is a prime matchup and Watson will be able to return significant value even with 15 or so carries. 

Others to Consider: Braelon Allen, Wisconsin ($7,000); 

Wide Receiver

C.J. Johnson ($6,200) East Carolina vs. Houston

Isaiah Winstead ($7,000) has had the better PPR floor than Johnson for much of the season thanks to his 108 targets and 924 yards through 10 games. Johnson is by far the more efficient and explosive player, however, and he's starting to out-target his counterpart out wide. Over the last three games, Johnson has 22 catches for 308 yards and two scores on 30 targets while Winstead has recorded 20 catches for 210 yards and no touchdowns on 26 targets in that stretch. 

So Johnson has a nice target floor in this spot and we can expect an explosive return on his opportunities, especially in a game like this against a Houston defense that gives up 289.3 passing yards per game in conference play. 

Arizona Passing Game

The trio of Jacob Cowing ($7,600), Dorian Singer ($6,700) and Tetairoa McMillan ($6,000) has really established itself in recent weeks. Cowing has been strong throughout the season and McMillan entered the year with plenty of potential as a big-time recruit while Singer has been the unexpected breakout player to round out this passing game. With Cowing, he has a high target floor and efficient catch rate, so there's a good PPR projection there. However, Cowing isn't getting into the end zone much while McMillan and Singer, both of whom are bigger wideouts, are the ones hitting pay dirt. McMillan has the lowest target share of the three but it's still close to 20 percent overall and he's scored in six of his last seven. There's arguments for any of these three in a vacuum and while Cowing-Singer might have a light roster percentage given the price, Singer-McMillan may still be the way to go. I'd be willing to experiment with multiple Arizona passing stacks using these three Saturday. Running De'zhaun Stribling or Nakia Watson back on the other side is a nice way to get a lot of exposure to this game. 

Matthew Golden ($5,300) Houston at East Carolina

Nathaniel Dell is deservedly the headliner for Houston and the receiver position on this slate. At $8,200, though, it's not always going to be easy to fit him into lineups. Luckily there are other ways of getting exposure to the Houston passing game, with Golden standing out as the best of the rest. Golden has accrued eight grabs for 165 yards and two scores in two games since returning from an injury. Prior to that return, Golden wasn't exactly lighting it up with 7.3 YPT on 32 targets, but true freshmen often need time to adjust to this level. 

Houston will be throwing it all over the yard Saturday and though Dell could see upwards of 20 targets if the game flow demands it, but Golden is a nice secondary choice either as a way to get one share of the Coug passing game or as a cheap pairing alongside a Tune-Dell stack. 

Others to Consider: Malike Knowles, Kansas State ($4,800); Xavier Worthy, Texas ($6,500); Lawrence Arnold, Kansas ($5,400)

GPP Targets

Jarek Broussard ($5,000) and Josh Henderson ($5,300) Indiana at Michigan State

With the bevy of cheap options at running back, the mid-tier guys will be a total dead zone in terms of roster percentage. This game shouldn't be completely ignored, though, because the run defenses are putrid on both sides. 

Broussard is second fiddle to Jalen Berger in the Spartan backfield but has been somewhat effective when given an opportunity. He's coming off an 11-carry, 80-yard outing against Rutgers while Berger had five more yards on five more carries, though he also punched in a touchdown. Berger is $700 more so both are in play -- not in the same lineup, of course-- but Broussard could have a roster percentage under 3% against an Indiana run defense that allows 176 yards per game.

Henderson plays for the underdog Hoosiers and with snow in the forecast, Indiana may have to go to the run more than it's used to. Henderson has been the most effective Hoosier back despite Indiana mixing carries between him, Jaylin Lucas and Shaun Shivers as Henderson has averaged 5.56 YPC over his last three outings. Henderson is also a good pass catcher out of the backfield with 18 grabs for 232 yards and three touchdowns on 23 targets. He's worth a look against the Michigan State run defense that is the fourth-worst on the slate.

Antonio Williams ($5,200) Clemson vs. Miami

Clemson has been an offense to mostly fade this season outside of Will Shipley. However, we've started to see Williams emerge and that culminated in a breakout last week against Louisville with 10 catches for 83 yards and a score on 11 targets. Clemson is a 19-point favorite and it would not be surprising to see Dabo run it up on a Miami program that he's famously less-than-fond of. With Williams as the best target going for the Tigers, look for him to turn in a standout performance again Saturday.

Others to Consider: Arian Smith, Georgia ($3,400): The caveat is that we don't know for sure if he's playing but when healthy, Smith is easily Georgia's best deep threat and gets to face a reeling Kentucky team Saturday.

Cade Stover ($4,900) Ohio State at Maryland

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. John McKechnie plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: Fanduel: mckech3; DraftKings: mckech3.
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John McKechnie
John is the 2016 and 2021 FSWA College Writer of the Year winner. He is a Maryland native and graduate of the University of Georgia. He's been writing for RotoWire since 2014.
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