This article is part of our DraftKings College Football series.
CFB DFS Plays: Week 10 DraftKings Main Slate Picks, Lineup Strategy and GPP Targets
We've got a 14-game mega slate on our hands this week at DraftKings and six of those games have totals north of 60 points, so there are plenty of ways to attack the board. TCU-Texas Tech has the highest total at 69.0 while Georgia-Tennessee is expected to have some fireworks as well with a 66.5 total. We also have a couple of gigantic spreads in games featuring teams we love to target most weeks. Ohio State is being asked to beat Northwestern on the road by almost 40 points and Oregon is checking in as a 31.5-point favorite against lowly Colorado. That throws a wrench in things to a degree; do we feel confident backing the usual cast of characters for the Buckeyes and Ducks when they could be emptying the bench at halftime? Or will they keep their foot on the gas and let the likes of C.J. Stroud and Bo Nix continue to build their Heisman cases?
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CFB DFS Matchup Info
Hendon Hooker ($8,000) Tennessee at Georgia
It's reasonably well-documented where my rooting interests lie in this game, but you know that I am a true professional who is unbiased when it comes to these articles. No, this is not a reverse jinx on Hooker and the Vols. I believe that regardless of the outcome Saturday, Hooker is in line for another big game.
To be clear, Georgia's defense is still very good even if it's not quite up to par with last year's unit. Over the last month, the Dawgs allowed just 5.6 YPA. It's something of a tainted sample, though. The opponents in that stretch were Missouri, Auburn, Vanderbilt and Florida -- none of whom are lighting it up through the air. Georgia simply hasn't faced a team with this type of explosiveness and efficiency yet, or anything close, really. Hooker has steered the Vols to the second-highest passing yardage per game mark at an astounding 11.3 YPA that is nearly a full yard better than what C.J. Stroud and Ohio are mustering.
Hooker has established an unreal connection with Jalin Hyatt this year and Cedric Tillman, who might be the Vols' most talented receiver overall, should be closer to full-go after returning from a five-week absence against Kentucky. Georgia is missing the key to its pass rush with Nolan Smith done for the year, so Hooker should have time to sit back and operate against this secondary. The matchup may be scary on paper, but this has a similar feel to me as Alabama vs. Georgia Round 1 last year.
Drake Maye ($8,200) North Carolina at Virginia
No quarterback has been more productive from a fantasy standpoint this season than Maye. He flies a bit under the radar nationally but those in fantasy and scouting circles are very familiar with his work. He has thrown for 29 touchdowns against three interceptions through eight games and has added another 439 yards and three scores on the ground. Some of the other top-tier quarterbacks on this slate are playing in expected blowouts (Stroud, Bo Nix) or have tougher matchups (Hooker). Meanwhile, Maye is in a relative sweet spot as the Heels are 7.0-point favorites in a game with a reasonably high total (60) and North Carolina's defense might just be bad enough (103 in SP+) to keep Virginia in this one, which will set up Maye for a busy afternoon. Maye's stacking options aren't cheap as DK's pricing has caught up to Antoine Green's ability but you can still cobble together a nice lineup using all of Maye, Green and Josh Downs.
*If they're announced as the starter
Mar'Keise Irving ($5,800), Oregon at Colorado
Colorado's run defense has worked its way towards competency over the last month, allowing 151 rushing yards per game on 4.55 YPC, good for 71st in the nation. That ain't good, but shoot that's a lot better than the 323 yards on nearly 7.0 YPC the Buffs allowed in September. Progress. Still, Colorado isn't stopping Oregon this weekend.
The Ducks are colossal favorites in this spot (-31.5) so there's some risk that Irving doesn't get a massive workload, so he'll have to take advantage of his opportunities. Luckily at $5,800, he can get to 20 points and we'll be happy with it. And even if Colorado is trending in the right direction defensively, it's not going to be enough to stop Oregon in any appreciable way. Noah Whittington ($4,200) offers some nice savings and if Oregon does indeed blow out Colorado, he should be more busy than usual. He's peeling off 8.3 YPC over his last three games (28 Att).
Devon Achane ($5,500) Texas A&M vs. Florida
It's exciting to have Achane back on the radar in the main slate after the Aggies played a bunch of night games in October and the offense itself was a mess anyway. A&M showed some life on offense with a competent passing game last week with Conner Weigman at the helm and that will open things up for Achane and the run game. There were immediate results last week as Achane took a season-high 25 carries for 138 yards and added seven catches for 41 yards and a score on nine targets. Achane has had at least seven targets in three straight games and seven catches in back-to-back games. His season-long investors may not have been thrilled with his first half of the season but Achane could be a monster down the stretch, including Saturday against a Florida defense that is allowing 173 yards on the ground per game in conference play (99th).
Richard Reese ($6,000) Baylor at Oklahoma
Reese finally gets his own writeup this week after being relegated to the "Others to Consider" section a few times earlier this season. Over the last four weeks (3 games for Reese), the freshman has handled 80 carries for 391 yards and five touchdowns. The lack of explosiveness (4.89) makes me wonder if Baylor is over-using him at 179 pounds and that he might be better suited to a 18-20 carry role where he can be more effective per-carry, but that's another discussion. The main point here is that we're getting Mo Ibrahim-level volume from Reese at just $6K and now he faces an Oklahoma defense that allows 232 rushing yards per game to Big 12 opponents. With this one being on the road, Baylor stands to lean on the ground game and Reese has carved out a 53 percent rushing share since Week 3. We have another busy afternoon on tap for Reese against a porous run defense.
Montrell Johnson ($5,600) Florida at Texas A&M
If Trevor Etienne is getting effectively the same amount of work as Johnson, but Johnson is priced $1,400 higher than Etienne, why on earth would we go with Johnson when we could save and get the same workload/production? Well, anyone looking at the Florida backfield is going to be thinking the same thing. And the key matter is, we should be looking at the Florida backfield. Anthony Richardson is iffy at best as a passer and this is just his second true road game of the season. He was hobbled against Georgia, which sapped his rushing ability. More on that later, but if Richardson isn't a factor in the run game, the arrow is pointing up for Johnson and Etienne.
Regarding the A&M defense, it has been a sieve against the run, allowing 205 rushing yards per game. If Florida is already hesitant to throw and Richardson can't run for his own part, Johnson and Etienne will be heavily involved. It may be something of an even split, and Etienne ran better against Georgia so recent performance and a better value will steer roster percentage to Etienne. My counterpoint is that because the stats are so similar, it's impossible to predict which will have the better game and that backing Johnson could result in massive leverage over the field, especially if it comes at the expense of Etienne. Neither is likely to garner significant roster percentage so perhaps I'm overthinking the leverage angle, but Johnson is just as good as Etienne right now and his roster percentage could be sub-5%.
TreVeyon Henderson ($6,400) Ohio State at Northwestern
Miyan Williams should be good to go this weekend if needed, but with Ohio State checking in as nearly 40-point favorites, they might not have much use for him. Henderson, meanwhile, is the Buckeyes' most proven backfield option overall. Despite his drop-off compared to last season, let's not pretend that Henderson is anything less than a standout talent who comes in at a discount against a bad Northwestern team. Maybe Ohio State opts to get its younger backs like Dallan Hayden and Cayden Saunders more in the mix this week and save Henderson and Williams for the stretch run. But Henderson should still push for 12-15 touches and he can return a ton of value on that for $6,400. It's also possible that DrafKings is saving all of us from Galaxy Braining ourselves into playing DeaMonte Trayanum (former Arizona State running back who opened camp at linebacker but has since switched back to RB) as he does not appear in the player pool.
Evan Stewart ($6,000) Texas A&M vs. Florida
Texas A&M's passing game looked alive under Conner Weigman last week in the close loss to Ole Miss; it was the first time since the opener against Sam Houston State that A&M cracked 300 passing yards and a YPA above 7.2. Suddenly, the A&M passing game looks viable for the first time since, what, the Kellen Mond days? And Stewart is a big beneficiary of this rejuvenated passing game.
Stewart has been miring in the $4,000-$4,600 range for much of the season and is finally starting to break out. He has at least 16 DK points in three straight, including 20.8 last week. Florida's pass defense has the second-highest YPA allowed (8.0) and Stewart should get north of 10 targets to exploit this matchup. Teammate Moose Muhammad ($4,700) has three touchdowns in his last four games and is coming off his best game of the season with eight grabs for 112 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets. He is a viable pivot off Stewart or even as part of an A&M passing stack.
Keylon Stokes ($7,300) Tulsa vs. Tulane
A cursory glance at this matchup would lead us to believe that passing yards will be hard to come by in this matchup. Both Tulane and Tulsa allow fewer than 190 passing yards per game. However, the Wave's pass defense has been pedestrian in conference play (266 YPG/A).
Tulane's offense is ground-heavy which can slow the pace of play a bit, too, but Tulsa will have to throw it in this spot and is unlikely to have much success on the ground against the Wave front. This sets up for Stokes, who has gone over 100 yards in all but two games this season, to turn in another solid outing. He averages 12 yards per target on nearly 10 targets per game. Davis Brin's shoulder issue could steer roster percentage away from Tulsa's passing game but Braylon Braxton looked competent in his stead in Week 9 against SMU, so I'm not expecting a drop-off regardless of who's at quarterback.
Cedric Tillman ($6,100) Tennessee at Georgia
Tillman's season hasn't gone as expected as an ankle injury kept him out for five weeks. He got back in the fold last week but didn't look quite himself with four catches for 22 yards on 45 snaps (four targets). With his feet under him now, look for Tillman to be more involved this week. Jalin Hyatt is of course doing his best Jameson Williams impression from last season by averaging a blistering 20.2 yards per catch and 15.6 YPT. He's a strong play as well but the price tag is a bit steeper. Those looking at the Tennessee passing game can either muster some optimism that Tillman returns to form or plunk down the extra $1K to lock in Hyatt.
Eddie Lewis ($5,500) Memphis vs. UCF
Memphis passing attack is such that any of four options are threats to produce in a given week. That can be frustrating, of course, but it also leaves the opportunity for leverage if we get our pick right. Lewis is the more explosive option between he and Javon Ivory among the Tiger wideouts seeing consistent volume. There's also the matter of recent performance as Lewis has three touchdowns in his last two games. Ivory is also worth a look at $5K, and Caden Preiskorn ($5,900) is tied for second among tight ends in touchdowns with six and he also averages a solid 8.6 YPT on over five targets per game.
The main point here is to not ignore this Memphis passing game against UCF. The Knights have allowed over 300 passing yards per game on average in conference play and that could continue here. With Memphis' top pass-catchers all reasonably priced, a stack or mini-stack of Tigers could be a nice way of differentiating your lineup in tournaments.
Others to consider
DFS GPP Targets
There's plenty of risk in using either of these players, let alone both. Hence the listing under GPP options. Richardson has been frustrating this year, showing flashes of brilliance followed by long stretches of ineptitude. His inability to run last week hurt his fantasy performance after his was dinged up on the first series, and without a long touchdown pass it would have been a bleak outing overall. It's no sure thing that his mobility will be 100% on Saturday, and if that's the case, we could get burned here. The bet is that Richardson is healthy enough to use his wheels and that would pay dividends against a shaky Aggie run defense.
On the other side, we have Weigman making his second career start. He looked as advertised in his first start last week against Ole Miss by throwing for 338 and four touchdowns. The fact that A&M is at home leads me to believe the Aggie gameplan will be comfortable with letting him drop back upwards of 30-35 times and that's important with Florida checking in with a pass defense that allows 8.0 YPA. Weigman's finishing stretch this season could help smooth over a lot of the deserved heat A&M took early in the season.
Dontayvion Wicks ($5,900) Virginia vs. North Carolina
Virginia's offense is basically unrecognizable from what it was under Bronco Mendenhall and it's been one of the great CFF tragedies of this season. Tony Elliott has turned this up-tempo, high scoring offense into something so drab that UVA fans wouldn't even consider it from the Vineyard Vines fall collection.
Virginia's 14-12 loss to Miami at home last week was the nadir, at least we hope. A matchup against UNC's 122nd-ranked pass defense could help get the Cavs' offense in gear to whatever extent it's able to under this new system. Drake Maye and the Heels are going to be putting up points on the other side and Virginia can't waste time trying to get its non-existent run game going.
Keytaon Thompson ($6,500) has a more stable target floor with a 32 percent share over the last three games, so he's the safer play. Wicks, for all this offense's flaws, is still explosive and I'll be willing to throw a dart at him looking like his 2021 self in at least one tournament lineup this week.
We run this back for another week. Tennessee has a tougher run defense than Florida did, but Georgia's ground game has been efficient regardless of the opponent this year. Edwards is starting to come through as one of Georgia's top playmakers on offense and he's getting chances when the Dawgs are in the red zone with seven touchdowns in his last four games. If Georgia is looking to keep Tennessee's offense on the sideline, it'll have to sustain drives with the run and Edwards is up to the task. Robinson didn't pop in the box score last week against Florida but had some punishing runs in the fourth quarter to ice the game. The fact that he's still min-priced despite seeing his role tick up is encouraging.