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11/12 CFB DFS: Let’s Have Some Good Juju with Ronald

11/12 CFB DFS: Let’s Have Some Good Juju with Ronald
Chris Kay
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11/12 CFB DFS: Let’s Have Some Good Juju with Ronald

Welcome to Thursday’s edition of the Daily Fantasy Rundown with “RealestChrisKay” and “TheNumbersGuy.” Each week we break down the largest college football slates to give you the best top, value, and cheap plays based on the Daily Fantasy Industry’s pricing for salary cap games. The goal of our analysis is to help you improve consistency and become a better player long-term.

If there’s something you’d like to see added or have any questions, please email us at cfb@dailyroto.com.

*Rankings are out of a possible 128 schools
**Advanced statistics courtesy of Football Outsiders (updated as of 10/31/15)
***Target statistics courtesy of NCAA Savant

Please note that we have added the S&P+ metrics in list form now to the article. We did this to clean up the wording in these write-ups and give you an idea of where each team ranks without having to sift through the analysis to find them.

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Quarterback

1. Cody Kessler, USC
2. Justin Thomas, Georgia Tech
3. Cody Clements, South Alabama

Running Back

1. Ronald Jones II, USC
2. Travon McMillian, Virginia Tech
3. Elijah McGuire, UL-Lafayete

Wide Receiver

1. Juju Smith-Schuster, USC
2. Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech
3. Nelson Spruce, Colorado

Tight End

1. Gerald Everett, South Alabama
2. Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech @ Georgia Tech

Virginia Tech Team Total: 25
Def. Rushing S&P+: 31
Def. Passing S&P+: 75
Def. IsoPPP+: 76

Georgia Tech Team Total: 28.5
Def. Rushing S&P+: 92
Def. Passing S&P+: 51
Def. IsoPPP+: 59

Virginia Tech’s offense has sputtered quite a bit in Frank Beamer’s final season, but should see one of its better matchups of the year on Thursday. Michael Brewer is the cheapest starting quarterback in this slate. He has an average matchup, but has been very good in his limited action this season. He completed 15 of 21 passes in the Hokies last game (at Boston College) for 180 yards. The week before that, he threw for 270 yards and three touchdowns against Duke. Brewer has plenty of weapons outside and a running back that can catch the ball out of the backfield. The Hokies’ team total is low (25), so we can’t be that high on a guy like Brewer. He’ll be a fine option in this slate, but is best used for salary relief. Isaiah Ford leads the team with nine targets per game with 2.6 of them coming in the red zone on average. He was targeted just four times last game, but saw 16 targets the week prior. Ford’s upside is limited due to having the second lowest team total, but he has cash game written all over him. He has produced double digit Fantasy points in three of his last four games. Bucky Hodges is one of the most talented tight ends in the country, but has fallen off in production this season due to drops (completions on 42.86% of passes). He has five touchdowns in 2015 and averages 5.4 targets per game, so he does garner attention. On such a short slate, Hodges is best served as a tournament option. Travon McMillian has shown himself to be a workhorse back after taking over as the starter a few weeks ago. Since the Miami game, he has rushed 16, 29, and 33 times. Over that stretch, he averaged 115.3 rushing yards and one touchdown per game. The Georgia Tech defense is much worse against the pass than the run and it shows. The Yellow Jackets are giving up 4.83 yards per carry and have allowed 18 rushing touchdowns. McMillian should reap the benefit the most of anyone on this Virginia Tech offense – he’s our favorite Hokies’ target.

Georgia Tech’s offense has been effective, but limited in previous seasons against Bud Foster and this Virginia Tech defense. Justin Thomas is always worth an entry in large tournament fields due to the style of offense Georgia Tech runs (triple option). Thomas is averaging 14.6 carries per game and will throw it plenty when he has to (31 passing attempts last game). Virginia Tech is very good against the run making him a risky option come Thursday. There are no other options in this offense that are worthy of mentioning. The team is young with fresh faces at key positions (all three running backs).

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UL-Lafayette @ South Alabama

UL-Lafayette Team Total: 29
Def. Rushing S&P+: 117
Def. Passing S&P+: 82
Def. IsoPPP+: 104

South Alabama Team Total: 32
Def. Rushing S&P+: 89
Def. Passing S&P+: 77
Def. IsoPPP+: 80

Elijah McGuire is an elite running back talent, but has really struggled recently to get it going on the ground. His price, mixed with lack of recent production (53 carries, 164 yards, two touchdowns over last three games), makes him risky even against a below average run defense. He didn’t do a whole lot against similar defenses (UL Monroe ranked 74th, Arkansas State 61st), so we can’t condone paying his $7,600 price tag in cash games. McGuire is great out of the backfield (10 catches against Arkansas State) giving him great potential on PPR sites. Al Riles has become the top target in this offense, surpassing Jamal Robinson at 6.8 targets per game due to his recent usage (42 targets over last four games). He’s priced pretty low for this kind of usage, matchup, and team total. We love this change, given that early in the season, he was basically irrelevant (three targets per game in first three games of season). Riles is usable in all formats. The aforementioned Robinson is a consistent threat in the ULL passing game, averaging 6.6 targets per game and six on the dot over his last three games. He didn’t record a stat in the game against Arkansas State a few weeks back, but that was because of an injury he sustained early in the contest. He bounced back with over 90 yards and a touchdown the subsequent week, which was a great sign for Robinson fans. We think he’ll continue to be used enough on such a short slate to make him viable in all formats.

dk_sandiegoCody Clements is one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, starting quarterback around the industry, and we think he’ll outperform his price tag. He’s averaging 29 passing attempts per game, which should be more than enough to take advantage of a bad ULL pass defense. He has become more efficient in the run game recently (17 carries for 66 yards and two touchdowns compared to negative rushing yards in five of the six games prior), giving him value for such a low cost. The ULL defense has the slate’s worst yards per attempt average (7.5) and has intercepted the least amount of passes (four). Clements is viable in all formats due to his low price and high team total. Tyreis Thomas is not the most explosive running back on the team (Xavier Johnson is), but he gets the majority of the carries (15-plus carries in three of the last four games). It’s hard to bank on 8-10 carries from Xavier Johnson even in an elite matchup. Instead, we’ll take the salary relief and the higher usage from Tyreis Thomas and take advantage of the 117th ranked rushing S&P+ defense he’ll be facing Thursday. He has yet to score a touchdown on the season, but he should see 15 touches and he comes with a great price tag for cash games on DraftKings. Gerald Everett is the leading receiver on the team in targets (5.9) while playing the tight end position. His price tag on FanDuel certainly reflects that usage for a tight end ($4,400), but on DraftKings the small slate and large roster make him a cash game option. He has four touchdowns over his last three games to go along with eight catches. It’s not his usage that we love, but his production in limited touches (four touchdowns on 11 touches). Marvin Shinn is a decent near minimum option, but comes with risk. He’s generating 3.8 targets per game on the season as one of the team’s best big play receivers. He’s averaging 20.8 yards per catch, but only has eight receptions on the season. Consider him a tournament option.

USC @ Colorado

USC Team Total: 38.5
Def. Rushing S&P+: 23
Def. Passing S&P+: 40
Def. IsoPPP+: 34

Colorado Team Total: 22.5
Def. Rushing S&P+: 106
Def. Passing S&P+: 78
Def. IsoPPP+: 103

USC has the highest team total (38.5) on a slate filled with unattractive DFS options at all positions. The Trojans have the top ranked quarterback (Cody Kessler), top ranked running back (Ronald Jones II) and top ranked receiver (Juju Smith-Schuster) in our rankings this evening. Interim head coach Clay Helton has given the Trojans an offensive identity; they’re going to be a running football team. To complement the run, they’ll have Cody Kessler throw to Juju Smith-Schuster as many times as possible. We’re not sure if Kessler will have the same ceiling he once had, but he does have the best skills (65.2 completion percentage, 8.9 yards per attempt) of any quarterback on this slate. Use him in any format of your choosing.

While Kessler is our top ranked quarterback, it’s Juju Smith-Schuster who’s the core play of this slate. The gap at the wide receiver position is noticeable, as Smith-Schuster’s average Fantasy performance is twice as big as most of our value options at the position. He had surgery on his hand last week and he still managed to play and perform at a high level (eight receptions, 136 receiving yards, one touchdown). In a matchup against a below average passing defense, Smith-Schuster is in line for yet another big performance. He’s a staple of all lineups tonight.

With Tre Madden out, Ronald Jones II and Justin Davis will be asked to shoulder a bigger workload. They were both asked to do this last week and they responded well. Jones II carried the ball 19 times for 177 yards, one rushing touchdown and one receiving touchdown. Davis added 16 carries for 85 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Expect more of the same this week against a terrible rushing defense (Colorado is allowing 5.2 yards per carry). We prefer Jones II, who’s the best running back in this offense (averaging eight yards per carry). Ronald Jones II and Davis are in play across all formats and we don’t mind using both in cash games. From the Colorado side (22.5 points represents the lowest team total on this slate), we’re only interested in Nelson Spruce. He hasn’t been as productive as last season and this matchup isn’t very good, so he should only be used in tournaments. We prefer Spruce on full PPR sites.

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