This article is part of our FanDuel College Football series.
FanDuel has decided to switch things up this week, moving the main slate off of the early games to include just a smattering of afternoon and night contests. As a result, we miss out on a huge game in Ohio State-Penn State. While there are no other top-25 matchups, we do have some expected high-scoring contests, led by LSU-Arkansas with an over-under of 69.0. Most of that scoring (56.3) is expected to come from the Tigers, while Arkansas (12.8) is projected to pump out the second-lowest score on the slate. Vegas believes other high-scoring contests will include Navy-SMU (66.5), USC-UCLA (65.5) and Oklahoma-TCU (65.0), with Oklahoma (41.5) and USC (39.8) projected to churn out the next-highest scoring outputs.
Week 12 Review
- FanDuel Lineup Optimizer
- Team Trends
- Defense vs. Position
- Team Rankings
- DFS Main Slate Primer
Link to matchup chart for sorting/research purposes
Note: RotoWire expected scores are generated by a mathematical equation excluding special teams and points directly off turnovers (from what I understand).
Week 13 Plays
Kedon Slovis, USC ($9,300) vs. UCLA
Slovis is coming off of back-to-back 400-yard passing efforts and three in his last four games, having tossed 15 touchdown passes over that four-game stretch. It's hard to believe that success will change this week with a UCLA defense on tap allowing a slate-high 9.1 pass yards per attempt that ties for the second-worst mark in the country behind only UMass. USC enters the contest as a 14-point favorite, positioning them to score a good chunk of points with the game likely to remain close enough to keep the passing game in use. Arizona State and Colorado were two of the opponents Slovis has shredded during that span, both ranking 115 or worse. Slovis is averaging north of 30 FanDuel points in three games against opponents that fall into that category and Saturday is no exception.
Adrian Martinez, Nebraska ($9,000) at Maryland
Martinez has returned from a slight knee issue with a vengeance, accumulating more than 26 points in each of the last two weeks. He should have another opportunity to surpass that threshold Saturday versus a Maryland defense surrendering 8.1 yards per attempt, 268.7 passing yards per game and another 174.2 yards per contest on the ground. Martinez has shown the ability to contribute in both aspects of the offense, throwing for 328 yards against Illinois earlier this season and rushing for 147 yards and three scores over the last two weeks. With two subpar defenses going at it, Saturday marks a good chance for Martinez and the Husker offense to rack up some points.
Skylar Thompson, Kansas State ($8,400) at Texas Tech
Thompson is coming off a pair of down weeks for the Wildcats, though that has mainly been due to a lack of Kansas State scoring. That shouldn't be as much of a problem Saturday versus a Texas Tech defense allowing 34.9 points per game during conference play. In fact, West Virginia is the only conference opponent to not top 30 points in the scoring column. Vegas has Kansas State slated to score 28.3 points in Saturday's tilt, but there's a good chance the Wildcats topthtat score. Even if they don't, Thompson is coming off his two biggest passing outputs of the season (299 yards and 253 yards) and squares off against a defense allowing 310 passing yards per game Saturday. He also has a chance to get it going on the ground again versus a defensive front allowing 168.2 rushing yards per tilt and 4.4 yards per carry and 1.9 rushing scores per tilt. Prior to being shut out the last two games, Thompson racked up eight rushing scores in a three-game span versus Kansas, Oklahoma and TCU. It wouldn't be surprising to see multiple rushing scores from Thompson again this week.
GPP Dart: Kenny Pickett ($7,300) at Virginia Tech
If you're really looking at a shot in the dark, Pickett has a couple of factors making him an intriguing candidate.Pickett has topped 300 yards passing on three different occasions this season and even added 53 rushing yards and a pair of scores last week versus the Tar Heels. while Virginia Tech doesn't appear to be a great matchup on the surface, it's worth noting that the Hokies have allowed 266.5 passing yards per game in conference play in addition 16 touchdowns over six conference contests. In the three games that the Hokies have played versus FBS teams with winning records, they have let up 347.7 passing yards per contest and eight touchdowns.
Strongly Consider Charlie Brewer ($10,200) at the the top of the board as well. He faces a Texas defense that has been torched on a weekly basis.
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin ($10,600) vs. Purdue
Following a slow week against Ohio State, Taylor has turned in a pair of 200-yard rushing efforts, including 250 versus an Iowa defense surrendering just 106.5 per contest on the season. The Boilermakers are from the Hawkeyes against the run. Through 10 contests, opposing offenses have averaged 4.5 yards per carry and 172.2 rushing yards per contest to go along with 18 rushing scores. Given the game script (Wisconsin -24.5), the matchup and Taylor's recent success, there is little reason to look past the top option on the board for your RB1 this Saturday.
D'Andre Swift, Georgia ($9,000) vs. Texas A&M
Swift has seen a dip in his fantasy output over the last few weeks, scoring no more than 11.5 point. At the same time, each of the three defense he faced over that span allowed 3.99 yards per carry or fewer during conference play. That is far from the case for the Aggies thus far. Through six conference games, opponents are racking up 5.0 yards per carry. It's worth noting that opponents have only recorded seven rushing scores in those six games, but there hasn't been a heavy rushing volume against them either. That could be the case Saturday if the Georgia offense holds a second-half lead as the game script (Georgia -13) would suggest. Swift's lack of fantasy production was largely a result of him not reaching pay dirt in any of those three contests, so he should have a good chance to provide value if he makes it back this week.
SaRodorick Thompson, Texas Tech ($8,000) vs. Kansas State
While Thompson is coming off of just six carries for 19 yards last week and 11 caries for 27 yards the prior week, he has also been banged up with an ankle issue. The coaching staff believes he's between 90 and 100 percent healthy heading into Saturday's game, so there's a good chance for him to get back on track versus a Wildcats rushing defense allowing 5.2 yards per carry en route to 153.3 rushing yards and 1.6 rushing scores per contest. Assuming the game remains as close as the one-point spread suggests, Thompson should see a healthy enough volume to take advantage. Prior to last week's goose egg in the touchdown column, Thompson compiled seven scores over the previous four games. A trip or two to the end zone Saturday should be more than enough for him to return value.
Dedrick Mills, Nebraska ($7,300) at Maryland
Mills' $7,300 price tag likely doesn't take into account his 24.8-point output last week against Wisconsin. Mills toted the rock a season-high 17 times in the contest and could be in line for another hefty workload Saturday if Wan'Dale Robinson (who hasn't practiced this week) sits out again. As mentioned in the Martinez section above, Maryland has proven vulnerable on the ground this season, allowing opposing offenses to collect 174.2 rushing yards per game and 4.3 yards per tote. When factoring in just conference play, those numbers skyrocket to 217.3 rushing yards per contest and 5.1 yards per carry to go along with 22 rushing scores over seven games. Nebraska proved last week versus Wisconsin how effective the running game can be with a healthy Martinez and the matchup this week could yield similarly massive results.
James Proche, SMU ($9,400) at Navy
Proche is as consistent as they come in the passing game, leading the country in targets per game (12.9), targets (129) and receptions (88). The matchup Saturday against a triple-option Navy squad is expected to provide a challenge for the Mustangs' defense and SMU is, in fact, a 3.5-point underdog in the contest. While the Midshipmen have allowed just 212.8 passing yards per game this season, it's worth noting that they have surrendered 7.4 yards per pass attempt and that number rises to 10.9 pass yards per attempt versus FBS teams with a winning record. Opposing top wideouts have had field days against Navy as well, most recently in the form of Chase Claypool hauling in four touchdown passes last Saturday. Tulane's Darnell Mooney marked the example before that, racking up a season-best 112 receiving yards and matching a season-high five receptions. Proche is on another level from those two wideouts, positioning him for another massive day that could rival his outings in the previous two contests.
Michael Pittman Jr., USC ($9,000) vs. UCLA
As my selection in the quarterback section would suggest, I'm a fan of the USC passing attack this week, and there is little reason not to be. If there is any player to favor in the passing game for the Trojans, it is Pittman. He is coming off of 140-plus receiving yards in the last two and three of the last four games, also collecting four touchdown receptions in that span. There's certainly reason to believe he will improve on those streaks Saturday versus a porous secondary. Pittman owns the fifth-largest target share percentage (27.0) on the slate. That percentage has risen to 30.3 percent over the past three weeks, with his 13.3 targets per game ranking fifth among wideouts on the slate and first among players who have played all three weeks. Given the matchup, recent success and his sky-high touch count, Pittman may be the best option among the top-priced receivers this week.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC ($8,300) vs. UCLA
It seems a bit unorthodox to suggest two wide receivers from the same offense, but this seems like a good spot for an exception to that. St. Brown is coming off of back-to-back weeks with a receiving touchdown and has combined for 258 receiving yards versus Cal and Arizona State. Another reason to invest in St. Brown this week is that Tyler Vaughns (ankle), who typically competes for targets in the passing games, is reportedly at around 75 percent, so Vaughns could be either held out or limited in the team's regular-season finale. St. Brown and Pittman should benefit as a result. St. Brown is averaging nine targets per tilt over the last four, including two of his three top target counts of the season versus Oregon and Arizona State. Assuming the game remains within striking distance, a heavy volume of passing could be on tap again with the running game banged up.
Tyquan Thornton, Baylor ($7,000) vs. Texas
Thornton's production has taken a nosedive over the past two weeks, compiling a combined four grabs for 20 yards against TCU and Oklahoma. As a result, his price has sunk to $7,000 despite the fact that he tallied double-digit scores in each of the team's five games prior. Thornton also has a history of upside for fantasy purposes, racking up 11 grabs for 141 yards and a touchdown in late September versus Iowa State. With a Texas defense on tap that allows 304 passing yards per game and 8.2 passing yards per attempt. While Denzel Mims is expected to play this week, he was a little nicked up on the final play of last Saturday's contest, so there's a chance he is less than 100 percent healthy. Thornton gives you promising upside with injury concerns at the top of his position group and a matchup that should leave the Bears' offense salivating.