College Football DFS: Thanksgiving Slate

College Football DFS: Thanksgiving Slate

This article is part of our College Football DFS: Weekday Slate series.

While we don't have a cornucopia of options for college football on Thursday, the slate is certainly big enough to fit into a casserole dish. Let's take a look at the two Thanksgiving contests available on both sites.

SLATE OVERVIEW

Fresno State (-7) @ San Jose State O/U: 51.5

Mississippi State (-1.5) vs. Mississippi O/U: 64.5

Rather than write out mentions in this small slate, we will look at our positional options paragraph by paragraph and discuss how to approach our lineup construction.

QUARTERBACK

Conventional wisdom dictates that targeting the quarterback options in the Miss State/Ole Miss contest is the wisest place to go, but it's also going to be a very chalky option, especially when you consider the popularity of Matt Corral (DK $8,900, FD $11,200) this season. Between Corral and Will Rogers, I will go with Corral for one simple reason, which is Mississippi State's run defense. They rank 17th in the nation against the run and have had trouble keeping the opponent's points off the board through the air. The Bulldogs will crowd the box to contain Jerrion Ealy, which will force the Rebels to stay competitive via Corral's arm.

I would still like some balance at the position, so a less popular QB or viable S-FLEX option is Fresno State's Jake Haener (DK $7,900, FD $9,000). He carries an impressive 28:9 TD.INT ratio coming into Thursday's contest and averages about 315 passing yards per game. There's really no comparison between Nick Starkel and Haener

While we don't have a cornucopia of options for college football on Thursday, the slate is certainly big enough to fit into a casserole dish. Let's take a look at the two Thanksgiving contests available on both sites.

SLATE OVERVIEW

Fresno State (-7) @ San Jose State O/U: 51.5

Mississippi State (-1.5) vs. Mississippi O/U: 64.5

Rather than write out mentions in this small slate, we will look at our positional options paragraph by paragraph and discuss how to approach our lineup construction.

QUARTERBACK

Conventional wisdom dictates that targeting the quarterback options in the Miss State/Ole Miss contest is the wisest place to go, but it's also going to be a very chalky option, especially when you consider the popularity of Matt Corral (DK $8,900, FD $11,200) this season. Between Corral and Will Rogers, I will go with Corral for one simple reason, which is Mississippi State's run defense. They rank 17th in the nation against the run and have had trouble keeping the opponent's points off the board through the air. The Bulldogs will crowd the box to contain Jerrion Ealy, which will force the Rebels to stay competitive via Corral's arm.

I would still like some balance at the position, so a less popular QB or viable S-FLEX option is Fresno State's Jake Haener (DK $7,900, FD $9,000). He carries an impressive 28:9 TD.INT ratio coming into Thursday's contest and averages about 315 passing yards per game. There's really no comparison between Nick Starkel and Haener in this contest, and you're putting yourself behind the pace if you decide to get cute.

It's not vital that you fill the S-FLEX position with a quarterback due to the wealth of other positional talents, but it's still viable. Corral and Haener are my definitive top picks, although Will Rogers (DK $8,600, FD $10,800) can also be sprinkled into large-field tournaments.

RUNNING BACK

We've already mentioned Mississippi State's stalwart run defense, so I believe we can safely fade their rushers on this slate and reserve them for tournament fliers only. The Bulldogs present some attractive rushing options in Jo'quavious Marks (DK $5,400, FD $8,200) and Dillon Johnson (DK $5,100, FD $7,000). Both backs get high marks as pass-catchers out of the backfield, so I like targeting one of them on DraftKings due to the higher PPR total we can get through their scoring system.  I think they are pretty interchangeable on DK, but the price differential on FanDuel is $1,200, which makes a pivot to Johnson a more cost-effective move.

By eliminating the Rebels' backs, things get a little tricky. I think San Jose State's Tyler Nevens (DK $4,700, FD $7,500) gives us more value than Ronnie Rivers (DK $5,000, FD $9,500) and Jordan Mims (DK $6,200, FD $7,300) due to their timeshare at Fresno State. Nevens doesn't have real competition at the position, while Mims and Rivers can compromise each other's output. The price differential between the major sites does give an edge to Rivers on DraftKings and Mims on FanDuel if you choose to go with a Fresno State rushing option.

WIDE RECEIVER

Thanks to some prolific passing offenses on the docket, wide receiver may be a position where we invest more than we usually would on a college slate. With Dontario Drummond (DK $6,700, FD $8,800) back to 100 percent, we can safely pair him with Corral for a productive Ole Miss stack. Corral also has Jonathan Mingo (DK $5,200, FD $6,000) back in the fold, and his attractive price on FanDuel makes him an excellent bargain on this site. 

The dropoff for Fresno State's Jalen Cropper makes him unaffordable at his current salary, but I have no problem pivoting to Josh Kelly (DK $5,700, FD $6,700), who has been a preferred target for Haener in recent weeks. The touchdown machine for the Bulldogs is Keric Wheatfall (DK $4,500, FD $6,800). He has reeled in three touchdown passes over his last four games.

We can't ignore Mississippi State's receiving options, especially if you choose to contrarian with Will Rogers as one of your signal-callers. Makai Polk (DK $6,900, FD $9,300) is worth every penny and can stand alone without a stack. The talented wideout has put up seven catches for 171 yards and three touchdowns. Few receivers in the country can match that output over the past two weeks.

CONCLUSION

We have room for two quarterbacks at the S-FLEX, especially if you take advantage of some of the price differentials for certain players between the two sites. I usually prefer to fill my QB and S-FLEX positions first and build off from there. The best non-QB option in my S-FLEX builds has been Polk, a singular talent who can potentially do more than a quarterback at the valuable spot. Where you go in the intrastate Mississippi rivalry is a matter of personal preference, but I believe that Mississippi State's defensive capabilities should tilt in Corral's favor.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for numerous sports outlets and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
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