This article is part of our DraftKings College Football series.
Well, the unannounced injury to Sam Craft made last week's lineup complete garbage aside from some 50/50s, so hopefully this week's lineup can at least benefit from some given transparency. As always, I think the merit of the matchups themselves is quite sound.
ALERT: It was announced shortly after the publication of this article that Kyle Allen will start over Kenny Hill against Louisiana-Monroe. As I said in the original posting, I would revamp my lineup by placing Allen at quarterback in such a scenario. Below is the new lineup. I've left the original article italicized below the lineup, so you can read through that if you'd like to see the alternative selections as well as the player explanations for my original lineup.
As always, feel free to ask any questions in the comments, you guys.
Kyle Allen - Texas A&M vs Louisiana-Monroe ($4,000)
Cody Kessler - USC vs Washington State ($7,800)
Duke Johnson - Miami (FL) vs North Carolina ($8,700)
James Conner - Pittsburgh vs Duke ($6,600)
Isiah Myers - Washington State at USC ($5,300)
Devin Funchess - Michigan vs Indiana ($4,700)
Allen Lazard - Iowa State vs Oklahoma ($4,100)
Bucky Hodges - Virginia Tech vs Boston College ($3,000)
Kevin Parks - Virginia at Georgia Tech ($5,800)
Cody Kessler - USC at Washington State ($7,800)
Kessler is averaging a touchdown pass every 13.25 pass attempts this year, and he faces off against a Washington State squad that has seen opponents attempt an average of 36.3 pass attempts per game despite facing run-heavy offenses like Rutgers, Nevada, Stanford and Oregon. The Cougars, meanwhile, have allowed 21 touchdowns through the air while intercepting just two of 290 passes. While Javorius Allen figures to steal at least two touchdowns, I think it's reasonable to expect three touchdowns out of Kessler.
Clint Trickett ($7,400) is a very tempting target since West Virginia is expected to score about 34 points at home against TCU, but I'm terrified by the completion percentage allowed by TCU (46.9), and I think Kessler's floor is so much higher that it's worth the increased price.
Brad Kaaya - Miami vs. North Carolina ($6,800)
Kaaya is a dark horse to be the most-selected player in this slate. With the prices so tough at quarterback, Kaaya stands out for his affordability as he takes on a North Carolina defense allowing 41.3 points per game and three passing touchdowns per game to ACC opponents. Kaaya quietly has a total of 17 passing touchdowns on just 216 attempts, meaning he's a great bet for three or more touchdowns if he attempts 36 passes against the Tar Heels, who are allowing 35.8 pass attempts per game so far.
QB Alternatives: Clint Trickett - West Virginia vs. TCU ($7,400), Trevor Knight - Oklahoma at Iowa State ($7,100), Cyler Miles - Washington at Colorad ($6,400), Devin Gardner - Michigan vs. Indiana ($4,700)
Melvin Gordon - Wisconsin at Rutgers ($9,800)
Gordon is not very affordable with such a tough cap, but I really wanted to make room for him against a Rutgers run defense allowing 226.6 yards and three touchdowns per game on the ground against FBS teams with winning records. Gordon has 990 yards and 15 touchdowns in his last five games, and the Rutgers defense could get especially tired if quarterback Gary Nova (knee) is unable to play and backup Chris Laviano leads the offense to three-and-outs and/or turnovers.
Bill Belton - Penn State vs. Maryland ($3,700)
Belton is the pick that makes me most queasy, but I think his price makes him worth the risk here. Belton, Akeel Lynch and Zach Zwinak combined to average 21.1 carries per game this year, but Zwinak is out for the season with a leg injury he suffered Saturday. Belton has the depth chart advantage over Lynch, owning 92 touches (72 carries) compared to Lynch's 38 (36 carries), and Belton's 20 catches make him a noteworthy PPR threat in DraftKings' scoring. Belton goes against a Maryland squad this week allowing 219 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns per game against FBS squads.
RB Alternatives: Kevin Parks - Virginia at Georgia Tech ($5,800), Javorius Allen - USC at Washington State ($9,100), Duke Johnson - Miami vs. North Carolina ($8,800), James Conner - Pittsburgh vs. Duke ($6,600), Nick Chubb - Georgia vs. Florida ($6,500), Synjyn Days - Georgia Tech vs. Virginia ($4,300)
Isiah Myers - Washington State at USC ($5,300)
While the matchup isn't ideal, this price is tough to pass on given that Myers is averaging 23.9 points per game on Draft Kings and regularly sees 10 or more targets per game. Given that he caught eight passes against a much tougher Stanford defense, you have to like Myers at this price against USC.
Devin Funchess - Michigan vs. Indiana ($4,700)
The Indiana defense doesn't have nearly as much talent as Penn State and Michigan State do, and Funchess managed to total 12 catches for 133 yards and a touchdown against them in Michigan's most recent two-game stretch. I'd be shocked if Funchess doesn't score Saturday, and I'll be at least a little surprised if he doesn't score twice.
Juju Smith - USC vs. Washington State ($4,400)
Is Smith about to do to Nelson Agholor what Agholor did to Marqise Lee, and Lee to Robert Woods? USC has a reliable recent tradition of heading into a year with an established, elite No. 1 wideout, only to see a younger incoming player step in and steal the spotlight. Agholor headed into this year as the clear lead man, but it's possible that Smith, a five-star true freshman recruit, is going to steal some of Agholor's production. Smith has 10 catches for 181 yards and two touchdowns over the last two weeks, and he should see a reliable workload this week against a vulnerable and shootout-prone Washington State squad.
WR Alternatives: Tyler Boyd - Pittsburgh vs. Duke ($5,800), Jamison Crowder - Duke at Pittsburgh ($4,800), KD Cannon - Baylor vs. Kansas ($4,500), Deontay Greenberry - Houston at South Florida ($4,400), Darius Jennings - Virginia at Georgia Tech ($3,500)
Jimmay Mundine - Kansas at Baylor ($3,400)
Kansas should get absolutely clobbered in this one, forcing Kansas to attempt more passes than they might like, and Mundine is the team's top receiver in the last two weeks. New quarterback Mike Cummings is feeding Mundine all he can handle, hitting him with 12 catches for 170 yards and a touchdown against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
Allen Lazard - Iowa State vs. Oklahoma ($4,100)
Lazard was a high-ranking recruit this year but stayed in state to join the Cyclones, and it's looking like he's everything Iowa State fans could have hoped for. The 6-foot-5, 221 pound emerging star has 16 catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games, and he should remain heavily targeted at home this week against a Sooners squad scoring 39 points per game.