CFB DFS Quick Hits
We’re nearing the end of August, so get all of your “honeydos” out of the way and get ready for college football. Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of teams, new names, or offenses that look like they have come right out of flag football because I have you covered. Let’s dive right in…
Offenses to Target
In my previous article, which discussed differences/similarities between DFS NFL and CFB, I discussed how team totals play a major impact in building any DFS lineup. Well, the best way to score points (besides being insanely efficient like 2018 Alabama/Oklahoma), is to run a hell of a lot of plays.
Of the 130 FBS teams, only seven ran 80 plays per game or more (Wake Forest, Syracuse, East Carolina, Texas Tech, Ohio State, Oregon State, and Baylor). I’m a fan of every one of those offenses minus Oregon State heading into this season. A few other teams to consider heavily when in a slate are Alabama, Oklahoma State, Houston, and Clemson.
Diving deeper into a few of these offenses, Texas Tech is going to be a fun team to follow under new leadership with their 2018 head coach, Kliff Kingsbury, moving on to the NFL. They’ll now be led by Matt Wells, the former Utah State head coach. I know what you’re thinking, “Matt who?!” He’s coming off his best season yet offensively, with the Aggies scoring 47.5 points per game in 2018!
There’s no need to dive into the Ohio State, Clemson, or Alabama’s offense but you may be surprised to hear Syracuse’s name on this list. Dino Babers is a young and upcoming name in college football and is coming off his best year as the head coach of Syracuse. Four seasons ago he helped lead the Bowling Green offense to the sixth-most points scored per game (42.2). He then took the Syracuse job and has steadily improved their offense from 90th to 75th to 11th in 2018. Continuing that trend will be difficult but they should easily be a top 20 offense in the weak ACC.
Offenses to Avoid
On the flip side of things, there are definitely offenses to avoid in DFS CFB. There were only four teams last season to average less than 65 plays per game: Stanford, Maryland, Tennessee, and Georgia Southern. While these teams have players that will be a part of your lineup, understanding that fewer plays really limits their upside as well as the other offenses’ upside is key to remember.
Other offenses to avoid include Georgia Tech, Michigan State, and Arkansas and all for different reasons. Georgia Tech is moving from a triple-option offense to a balanced attack under the tutelage of former Temple coach Geoff Collins. With a drastic change taking place offensively and a lot of pieces of the offense being new to their scheme, I’m avoiding the mess that will be the Yellow Jackets offense in 2019.
Michigan State has won a bunch of games over the past five years or so but it’s never been because of their offense. In fact, last season they ranked fifth worst in points per game at just 18.7! It wasn’t much better before that either. Their 2017 offense generated just 24.5 points per game and in 2016 was just 24.1. They’re going to win some games in 2019, but it’ll be on the backs of ball control and a top-notch defense.
Arkansas is in a similar situation as Georgia Tech but is in year two of their offensive rebirth. Chad Morris did glorious things at Clemson as an assistant coach and SMU as the head man in charge and he did it through the passing game. In his first season at Arkansas, they scored just 21.7 points per game-turning themselves from a run-heavy offense to a pass friendly group. They have a ton of talent on offense but no one really out wide that has proven themselves and until then, it’s best to avoid.
New Starter, Who Dis?
Every year we see fresh faces come out of nowhere to dominate the college football landscape and this year will be no different. Offensive systems plus talent and athleticism ensures us that every year an Ohio State quarterback will be relevant (Justin Fields), an Alabama running back (Najee Harris) will a household name, oddly enough, a Washington State quarterback (Gage Gubrud) will lead the country in passing yards.
There will be others though that will impress you in 2019 that you’ve never heard of. Players like Tommy DeVito, Spencer Sanders, and Holton Ahlers possess both a passing skill set as well as rushing ability to put up big fantasy numbers for Syracuse, Oklahoma State, and East Carolina respectively.
Be on the lookout for who emerges at the top of the Hawaii receiver depth chart because the top two guys for them have averaged 84 receptions, 1,156 receiving yards, and 12.5 touchdowns in 2018. Right now we’re looking at Cedric Byrd and JoJo Ward as the top contenders for those late-night slate stats but Melquise Stovall and Jason-Matthew Sharsh are also in the mix.
The top three receivers for Ole Miss from 2018 have moved on to the NFL and now Rich Rod and the Rebels have some replacing to do. Many are a fan of Elijah Moore in the slot (36/398/2 in 2018), but I think Braylon Sanders (16/271/1) has a chance to be super productive out wide as well.
Both Washington and Michigan are replacing top 20 running backs (yards per game) in 2019. While Washington has their starter locked and (Salvon Ahmed), Michigan is fighting between a senior (Tru Wilson) and two freshmen (Christian Turner and Zach Charbonnet). Charbonnet seems to be the crowd favorite at this point in preseason camp.
All About the Workhorses
Are the coaching staffs at Arizona State, Boston College, and Wisconsin big fans of “Old Town Road” because they sure seem to be riding their workhorse ‘til they can’t no more. Of course, I’m talking about Eno Benjamin (Arizona State), AJ Dillon (Boston College), and Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin). These three averaged 22+ carries per game last season and should do more of the same in 2019. Use these three in your lineups and you’ll be able to afford a cowboy hat from Gucci before it’s all said and done.
One name not discussed enough in the “workhorse” category is J.J. Taylor, who averaged 21.25 carries per game last season at just 5’6! He led the country in CPIH (Carries Per Inch of Height) generating .26 CPIH in 2018. He might be small like a Porsche, but he runs like a tractor making him a coveted back in DFS CFB.
The 2019 DFS CFB season is almost upon us which means it’s time to get serious. You’re not going to want to miss out the premium content and projections we have going on here at DailyRoto! You can find myself (@RealestChrisKay) and my super-degen partner in crime Christopher Pacheco (@TheNumbersGuy) on Twitter for any and all DFS CFB related questions!