DraftKings College Football: Week 4 Picks

DraftKings College Football: Week 4 Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings College Football series.

Welcome into Week 4 of our DraftKings Main Slate picks. Last week, well, it didn't go so well, but I #TrustTheProcess and luckily won't be tempted to use Florida State players this week...or maybe ever again. I'll offer up a few thoughts on the slate below before you get into the cheat sheet, tools, and the picks themselves.

Running Back Strategy

There are enough premium quarterbacks and elite receivers on this slate to where you can use the mid-tier running backs to save some coin. The North Carolina-Pittsburgh matchup features two awful run defenses to go with reasonably priced and surprisingly talented running backs on either side, which makes that game a decent place to start if you're going this route. Of the elite options, J.K. Dobbins saw his season-high workload a week ago and could regain the workhorse title now that Urban Meyer is back on the sidelines. Clemson's Travis Etienne is an all-world talent, but I fear the clock drain effect from Georgia Tech and likely comfortable Tiger lead will lead to a limited workload.

Georgia vs. Missouri Breakdown

This game has the second-highest implied total on the slate along with some household names on both sides. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock is in his fourth year as the starter and has thrown for 629 yards and seven touchdowns against Georgia in the last two years. He has star wideout Emanuel Hall and talented tight end Albert Okwuegbunam at his disposal. Missouri also has a talented backfield led by

Welcome into Week 4 of our DraftKings Main Slate picks. Last week, well, it didn't go so well, but I #TrustTheProcess and luckily won't be tempted to use Florida State players this week...or maybe ever again. I'll offer up a few thoughts on the slate below before you get into the cheat sheet, tools, and the picks themselves.

Running Back Strategy

There are enough premium quarterbacks and elite receivers on this slate to where you can use the mid-tier running backs to save some coin. The North Carolina-Pittsburgh matchup features two awful run defenses to go with reasonably priced and surprisingly talented running backs on either side, which makes that game a decent place to start if you're going this route. Of the elite options, J.K. Dobbins saw his season-high workload a week ago and could regain the workhorse title now that Urban Meyer is back on the sidelines. Clemson's Travis Etienne is an all-world talent, but I fear the clock drain effect from Georgia Tech and likely comfortable Tiger lead will lead to a limited workload.

Georgia vs. Missouri Breakdown

This game has the second-highest implied total on the slate along with some household names on both sides. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock is in his fourth year as the starter and has thrown for 629 yards and seven touchdowns against Georgia in the last two years. He has star wideout Emanuel Hall and talented tight end Albert Okwuegbunam at his disposal. Missouri also has a talented backfield led by Larry Rountree, who is coming off a 168-yard outing against Purdue. On the Georgia side, the Jake Fromm enigma could be a major factor in this slate. Fromm has yet to play a full game, but has been profoundly efficient when given the chance to let it rip this season. This should be a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair with DFS options aplenty.

Value Report
Lineup Optimizer
Target Stats
Team Trends

Quarterback

Will Grier, West Virginia ($10,500) vs. Kansas State

We don't need to overthink this one. If we're paying up at quarterback, it's hard to go wrong with any of Dwayne Haskins, Tua Tagovailoa, or Grier. With Grier, we have a quarterback who will be pushing 35-plus pass attempts against a Kansas State defense that hasn't been tested through the air. Grier averages 12.1 yards per attempt while completing 74 percent of his passes and has a top-five receiving corps. There's nothing to scare you off Grier this week when constructing a lineup with a top-tier quarterback.

Jake Fromm, Georgia ($7,300) at Missouri

Fromm's raw stats to this point in the season have been admittedly meh. Merely 46 attempts through three games, and his 479 passing yards rank 11th in the SEC. He's only 82 yards ahead of Nick Fitzgerald in that category, and Fitzgerald was suspended for Week 1! But if we're talking rate stats, though, we start having a different look at how good Fromm has been. 80.4 percent completion rate. 10.4 yards per attempt. Six touchdowns in just 46 attempts. The deal is Fromm hasn't needed to play all four quarters in any game this season. This week should be different, as Missouri has the offensive firepower to hang around with Georgia and will be playing at home. What's more, Missouri is giving up 305 yards per game through the air and just let David Blough throw for 572 yards. Fromm is a solid pivot off the top tier that won't carry a huge ownership number.

Superflex Quarterback: Ian Book, Notre Dame (at Wake Forest)

A changing of the guard is coming at Notre Dame after Brandon Wimbush's uneven start to the season has opened the door for Book to take get a legitimate shot. Coach Brian Kelly stopped short of naming Book the starter, but he will be playing and if he does end up starting, there's a decent chance his performance is such that he never comes off the field. Admittedly, there isn't much of a track record on Book, who has attempted just three passes this season and is best remembered for leading the Irish to a win in a sloppy bowl game. What we do have is some evidence that Wake Forest's secondary is suspect. It allowed Tulane's Jonathan Banks -- a shaky quarterback -- to throw for 281 yards and two scores. It also allowed Boston College's Anthony Brown to torch the Deacs for 304 yards and five scores on just 25 passes. That says more about Wake's secondary than it does either of those two quarterbacks, in my opinion. Book is a somewhat risky play that could pay off big time.

Running Back

AJ Dillon, Boston College ($9,000) at Purdue

Dillon is the priciest back on the board, and with good reason. Nobody on this slate challenges Dillon in terms of steady workload. As I mentioned above, you don't have to go premium at running back; there's plenty of value in the middle and lower tiers to give you quarterback or receiver flexibility. But rostering Dillon means you're getting heavy carries at an efficient clip against a Purdue defense that A.) gave up 233 yards on the ground to Missouri and B.) gave up four rushing touchdowns to Northwestern.

Antonio Williams, North Carolina ($5,400) vs. Pittsburgh

This is the game to target if you're looking to go cheap at running back. Pittsburgh gives up 197 yards and two touchdowns per game on the ground and UNC has coughed up 190.0 and 2.50 touchdowns per game* (two games). Williams' usage from his last game is worrisome at first glance, but it's important to note Jordon Brown overtook the backfield because Williams was ejected for targeting in the first half, which means he's good to go for the start of Week 4. Targeting (in the DFS sense) a leaky defense that might still be a little hungover from stopping 56 Georgia Tech triple option runs is always a good idea.

Darrin Hall, Pittsburgh ($4,300) at North Carolina

The aforementioned North Carolina defense struggles heavily against the run. Hall led the Panthers in rushing last season, scored nine touchdowns, and rushed for nearly 5.0 yards per carry. And yet, he's been woefully underutilized this season, seeing no more than seven carries or 29 yards in any game. The coaching staff publicly stated this week that Pittsburgh intends to get Hall more involved in the rushing attack after he scored his first touchdown of the season in Week 3. There's admitted risk here and Qadree Ollison will still likely get the start Saturday, but if Hall pushes for double-digit carries against a porous defense, there's a good chance he reaches value.

Wide Receiver

Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri ($6,000) vs. Georgia

Catching the SEC's leading receiver (143.3 YPG) at just $6K when there are worse receivers with less volume priced ahead of him seems almost too good to be true. Sure, it's a tough matchup, but as I mentioned in my article earlier this week, DeAndre Baker isn't going to shadow him for all four quarters, and the rest of Georgia's cornerback corps is inexperienced. Hall has seen 19 targets in two games against FBS opponents and will certainly be featured again Saturday as Missouri tries to beat the Bulldogs through the air.

Mecole Hardman, Georgia ($5,900) vs. Missouri

Sticking with the game with the second-highest implied total (64.5) on this slate, Hardman is my next recommendation. Hardman, in just his second year as a full-time receiver, has a team-high 20 percent target share and has turned his 13 targets into 12 grabs for 187 yards and three touchdowns. Again, Georgia will go to the air more Saturday than it has needed to thus far this point in the season, and Hardman's rapport with Fromm should lead to four quarters of explosive production.

JD Spielman, Nebraska ($4,100) at Michigan

This pick hinges a bit on the health of quarterback Adrian Martinez, who is working his way back from a knee injury. If Martinez is in, Spielman becomes a superb value at just $4,100. He owns 25 percent of the target share in an offense that mostly funnels its volume to him and Stanley Morgan in the passing game. Michigan has a strong defense to be sure, but Spielman is a dynamic ball that will be seeing plenty of targets in a PPR format.

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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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