DraftKings College Football: Championship Weekend Main Slate

DraftKings College Football: Championship Weekend Main Slate

This article is part of our DraftKings College Football series.

Welcome to the main slate breakdown for Conference Championship weekend, where we have a grab bag of makeup games to complement the matchups with titles on the line. The Notre Dame-Clemson Part II matchup may be the most high-stakes game of the entire weekend, or even the season, but the LSU-Ole Miss matchup is where my attention will be for DFS. 

The showdown between the revamped Tigers and well-rested Rebs features an over/under that is 14.5 points higher than any matchup on the slate and there are value plays aplenty on both sides. Beyond that, Ohio State, Clemson, Utah, Texas A&M and Oklahoma are all expected to light up the scoreboard in their respective matchups. 

Below, you will find our suite of DFS tools to go with matchup info and position-by-position breakdowns. 

DFS Tools

Matchup Info

Position-by-Position Breakdown

Quarterback

Max Johnson, LSU vs. Mississippi

The Shoe Throw ate up most of the discussion about last week's win over Florida in The Swamp, leaving Johnson's first start as a secondary storyline. Johnson, a true freshman and former highly touted recruit, went on the road and completed 21 of 36 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns while adding 52 yards on 18 (!) rushing attempts. To be mistake-free in those conditions and also have the confidence to let it rip against a then-potential playoff team is

Welcome to the main slate breakdown for Conference Championship weekend, where we have a grab bag of makeup games to complement the matchups with titles on the line. The Notre Dame-Clemson Part II matchup may be the most high-stakes game of the entire weekend, or even the season, but the LSU-Ole Miss matchup is where my attention will be for DFS. 

The showdown between the revamped Tigers and well-rested Rebs features an over/under that is 14.5 points higher than any matchup on the slate and there are value plays aplenty on both sides. Beyond that, Ohio State, Clemson, Utah, Texas A&M and Oklahoma are all expected to light up the scoreboard in their respective matchups. 

Below, you will find our suite of DFS tools to go with matchup info and position-by-position breakdowns. 

DFS Tools

Matchup Info

Position-by-Position Breakdown

Quarterback

Max Johnson, LSU vs. Mississippi

The Shoe Throw ate up most of the discussion about last week's win over Florida in The Swamp, leaving Johnson's first start as a secondary storyline. Johnson, a true freshman and former highly touted recruit, went on the road and completed 21 of 36 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns while adding 52 yards on 18 (!) rushing attempts. To be mistake-free in those conditions and also have the confidence to let it rip against a then-potential playoff team is beyond impressive. 

This week, the sledding will be much easier with Ole Miss coming to Death Valley. The Rebs' defense is a big reason why LSU's implied total (37.0) is the third-highest on the board. They surrender 38.8 points per game and 310.6 passing yards per game. Even without Terrace Marshall and Arik Gilbert, Johnson can put up numbers in this spot. Plus, his salary gives you lineup flexibility, including the ability to pair him with Matt Corral ($9,700) on the other side to create a game stack. We will need to confirm Johnson's status as the starter as he was reportedly a bit dinged up after last week's game, but provided that he's good to go, Johnson is a great play at under $7K.

Jordan Travis, Florida State at Wake Forest

Travis provided a spark for the 'Noles in the win over Duke last week and he draws a similarly favorable matchup this week, albeit on the road. He accounted for 29.7 DK points by throwing for two scores and adding 90 yards and a touchdown on the ground. It's hard to expect Travis to post gaudy passing numbers as he rarely gets much past 20 attempts in his starts, but he can be efficient in this spot against a Wake Forest defense that allows the fifth-most passing yards (265.9) and eighth-highest YPA (7.7) on the slate. Travis can have success through the air here and bolster his bottom line with his dynamic rushing ability. 

Jake Bentley, Utah ($6,000) vs. Washington State

Bentley is a strong cost-saving option at quarterback this week as he draws a home matchup against a struggling pass defense. Wazzu is allowing 36 points per game and 307 passing yards per game on 8.2 YPA. It also allows 3.3 passing touchdowns per game, the highest on the slate, although the small sample size plays a role there. 

Utah is decidedly a run-first outfit and with good reason given Ty Jordan's emergence at running back, but Bentley still turned it loose 32 times in his last game against Colorado. If Bentley can push for more than 25 attempts, he'll be set up to return value against a porous secondary. 

Other Suggestions

Sam Hartman, Wake Forest ($6,900) vs. Florida State

Hartman might not be a great quarterback on his own but he plays in a pass-happy system with a strong supporting cast of pass-catchers that can help carry him to value against the 'Noles. He has just one game with over 20 DK points so there's a ceiling here. That said, Wake Forest carries a 36.25 implied total (4th on the slate) and as long as he can just facilitate to his receivers, they can do the heavy lifting against an FSU defense that allows 8.1 YPA.

Connor Bazelak, Missouri ($5,900) at Mississippi State

You could do a lot worse for a Superflex play than a sub-$6K QB that averages 36 pass attempts and completes them at a 70 percent clip going up against this Mississippi State defense. Bazelak's touchdown rate is bizarrely low -- 1.7 percent -- but he has shown an ability to put up yardage against mediocre defenses and he might be due for some positive regression in the TD department.

Running Back

Larry Rountree, Missouri ($6,900) at Mississippi State

Rountree is arguably a top-5 running back for this weekend, not just the DraftKings main slate, and yet he's listed as RB10 on the board here. Of course, I'm not the only one who will notice this, so he should be a popular play. 

Only Coastal Carolina's CJ Marable is averaging more DraftKings points (27.0) than Rountree (24.2) over the last four weeks. Yes, Rountree is coming off a terrible game against Georgia with 14 carries for 16 yards but was bailed out by a touchdown and making an impact in the passing game. Facing off against Mississippi State is a more tenable situation as it allows 128 rushing yards per game compared to Georgia's 69.3. It's no cakewalk but it's a situation where a talented player like Rountree can still succeed. 

Prior to Rountree's 14 carries against Georgia, which was explained in part by the game-flow having to go against the run, he averaged 24.0 carries per game over his last five. A workload like that against Mississippi State will set Rountree up to return value at $6,900.

Tyler Nevens, San Jose State  ($6,400) vs. Boise State

Traditionally, it's been very easy to fade whichever Mountain West team is facing Boise State. Boise State is almost always among the best defenses, especially against the run, in the conference. But that's not the case this year as Boise State allows 183. 5 rushing yards per game. 

With Nevens, this is a running back who has been on a tear of late. In his last two outings, Nevens has 28 carries for 336 yards and three touchdowns. That's not a typo. 12.0 YPC over 28 carries. He also did this last Friday: 

Thoughts and prayers to that linebacker.

Now, Nevens hadn't seen heavy workloads until those two games, both of which were double-digit victories. That is unlikely to be the case Saturday as Boise is favored by a touchdown at most books, but this is unlikely to be a scenario where SJSU has to completely abandon the run to keep pace. If Nevens pushes for double-digit carries, and there's reason to believe he will given his recent breakout, he will have success against Boise State. 

Ty Jordan, Utah ($7,000) vs. Washington State

If you weren't picking up what I was putting down in regards to Jake Bentley but still side with Utah in this spot, Jordan is a must-play. Jordan has a monopoly on the Utah backfield, taking 52 percent of the rushes over the last two weeks and converting that into 44 carries for 314 yards (7.1 YPC) and three touchdowns. 

He's set to see a heavy workload against a Washington State defense that coughs up 4.6 YPC and 132 rushing yards per game. That number may look scary at first, but a lot of that has to do with Washington State allowing five yards on 20 carries to USC in a blowout loss. Oregon racked up 269 rushing yards on this defense, and Utah's run game is closer to that of the Ducks than it is to USC's. With so many of the top running backs on the board facing tough matchups, it makes sense to drop down to the next tier for your RB selections. 

Other Suggestions


Garrett Groshek, Wisconsin ($4,400) vs. Minnesota

 The Wisconsin offense has been off-brand all season with the run game not humming along like we're used to seeing. In fairness, it's hard to replace a player like Jonathan Taylor. However, Wisconsin has a great setup here to get some traction on the ground as Minnesota allows 6.6 YPC and over 200 rushing yards per game. With freshman Jalen Berger (undisclosed) doubtful to play, Groshek should see his carry count increase and he's already the Badgers' best pass-catcher out of the backfield. That gives him the nudge over a struggling Nakia Watson even though Watson may draw the start. 

Lawrance Toafili, Florida State at Wake Forest

Toafili racked up 143 total yards on 10 total touches last weekend, showcasing his explosiveness. Jashaun Corbin and Jordan Travis will eat up some of the rushing share but Toafili is clearly too explosive to be left out of the game plan any longer. Wake Forest is a sieve against the run (191 RuYD per game) and Toafili can capitalize on his somewhat limited volume. There's risk, but the reward could be significant.

Wide Receiver

Braylon Sanders, Mississippi ($4,100) at LSU

Elijah Moore and Kenny Yeboah did us all a favor by opting out after the salaries for this contest were released. We now have a bevy of cheap Rebel receivers looking at increased roles against a bad LSU defense. Jonathan Mingo ($3,700) and Dontario Drummond ($4,400) will both be popular as well, but let's not sleep on Sanders. 

The senior wideout has drawn just 18 targets this season, but that is explained by Moore and Yeboah eating up such a huge percentage of the target share. Sanders has produced when targeted, averaging 17.0 yards per target on 18 targets.

The volume may not tick up much past five targets, but Sanders is a 20-yards-per-catch player over the course of his career and he could have the lowest roster percentage of the starting Ole Miss receivers, so he could be a strong leverage play if he pays off at $4,100. 

Jaray Jenkins, LSU ($4,300) vs. Ole Miss

The passing games on both sides of this matchup will be a big part of most lineup builds, and deservedly so. This game has an over/under at 76.5 with both teams expected to score over 35.0 points. 

Jenkins has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of LSU's opt-outs on offense. He drew a season-high eight targets in the win over Florida and converted those looks into four catches for 65 yards and a touchdown. LSU will have to lean on the pass as Ole Miss will be putting up points at will, plus the Tiger run game has essentially disappeared. Jenkins is set to be one of the top two targets in this one and he is surprisingly low on the board in terms of salary.

Tre Walker, San Jose State ($5,000) vs. Boise State

San Jose State has a narrow target tree where Walker and Bailey Gaither combine for over 50 percent of the target share. Gaither leads the way at 27.8 percent but Walker isn't far behind at 26.7 percent. While Gaither has the higher salary ($6,800) and is more explosive -- 12.1 YPT vs. Walker's 8.2 -- the scoring format helps bridge the gap as Walker has 31 catches in six games, just five behind Gaither. Walker profiles as a high-floor option among the players in his salary range and should be a consideration if you're targeting that tier. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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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