11/17 CFB DFS: Beware the Bouagnon Man
Welcome to Tuesday’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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
*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
1. Matt Johnson, BGSU
2. Zach Terrell, Western Michigan
3. Derrius Vick, Ohio
4. Cooper Rush, Central Michigan
5. Phillip Ely, Toledo
1. Joel Bouagnon, NIU
2. Kareem Hunt, Toledo
3. Jamauri Bogan, Western Michigan
4. Travis Greene, Bowling Green
5. Terry Swanson, Toledo
1. Roger Lewis, Bowling Green
2. Corey Davis, Western Michigan
3. Kenny Golladay, NIU
4. Daniel Braverman, Western Michigan
5. Jordan Williams, Ball State
1. Ben McCord, Central Michigan
2. Keith Heitzman, Ohio
3. Michael Roberts, Toldeo
Toledo @ Bowling Green
Toledo Team Total: 32
Def. Rushing S&P+: 21
Def. Passing S&P+: 38
Def. IsoPPP+: 22
Bowling Green Team Total: 39
Def. Rushing S&P+: 102
Def. Passing S&P+: 75
Def. IsoPPP+: 76
This game between Toledo and Bowling Green has the highest total (69 points). It features our top quarterback on this slate, our second ranked running back, and our top ranked receiver. Bowling Green (team total of 39 points) has the highest team total on this slate, so we’re going to use this offense (ranked third in overall S&P+) despite their difficult matchup (Toledo is ranked 16th in overall def. S&P+). Falcons quarterback Matt Johnson is our number one ranked quarterback. His average DFS performance (36 DraftKings points per game) is by far the highest of any quarterback on this slate. He’s accurate (69 percent completion percentage), explosive (averaging 9.4 yards per attempt), and highly productive (averaging 395.5 passing yards per game and 3.9 touchdowns). He’s thrown more touchdowns (39) than any quarterback in college football this season, and only Luke Falk has thrown for more passing yards. We’ve run out of ways to say the inevitable; Johnson is a core play of cash games. His main target is Roger Lewis and he’s the top receiver on this slate. Lewis is averaging seven receptions, 131 yards and 1.4 receiving touchdowns per game on the year. Lewis is in play in all formats, but the cheaper Corey Davis makes a bit more sense in cash games. Both of these receivers have similar expected values, hence why their price points matter. The secondary receivers in this offense (Ronnie Moore and Gehrig Dieter) are acceptable next in line options. We’d rather target Moore (75 percent catch rate), who’s more consistent than Gehrig (50 percent catch rate) in cash games. Running back Travis Greene has generated two excellent performances (three rushing touchdowns and over 100 yards in each of the last two games). Joel Bouagnon, Kareem Hunt and Jamauri Bogan are the only running backs that we’re targeting over Greene this week. He’s a bit more volatile and his matchup is the worse than other top tier running backs, so he’s a better option for tournaments. On DraftKings, Teo Redding is a decent cash option at almost bare minimum price. His ceiling isn’t high, but he gives you cheap exposure to the best offense on the midweek slate. He can be used as a flex player.
From the Toledo side of things, it’s all about Kareem Hunt. He’s received at least 20 carries in his last three games and he’s been a monster over the last two games (over 110 rushing yards and two touchdowns in both games). He’s skilled (averaging 5.3 yards per carry) and a matchup against Bowling Green’s 102nd ranked rushing defense in S&P+ should secure another above average performance. There’s only two other running backs on this slate that we’d rather target over Hunt (Bouagnon and Bogan). Hunt can be used in all formats. Quarterback Phillip Ely is a fine secondary option for cash games. He’s not very good (55 percent completion percentage, 6.9 yards per attempt), but the matchup and team total (32) suggest that Toledo will find some success. He’s averaging two touchdowns and 243.6 yards per game, which is about what you should expect against Bowling Green. Terry Swanson has been Toledo’s most explosive running back (averaging seven yards per carry) this season. Hunt is clearly the number one running back in this offense, but Swanson still gets his touches (14 touches per game). Give Swanson a shot in multi-entry tournaments, where we expect his ownership to be low.
Ball State @ Ohio
Ball State Team Total: 22
Def. Rushing S&P+: 21
Def. Passing S&P+: 38
Def. IsoPPP+: 22
Ohio Team Total: 31
Def. Rushing S&P+: 102
Def. Passing S&P+: 75
Def. IsoPPP+: 76
Ball State (ranked 97th in overall S&P+) and Ohio (ranked 73rd in overall S&P+) aren’t very good offensively. We’re not going to pick on these offenses much, but Ohio’s quarterback Derrius Vick is a solid complement to Matt Johnson on multiple quarterback sites. Vick isn’t an explosive quarterback (averaging 7.3 per attempt), but he’s accurate (64 percent completion percentage) and he can give you some value with his legs. Vick is averaging nine carries per game (3.2 yards per carry), and he generated a monster performance on the ground last week (22 carries, 107 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown) in a difficult matchup (Kent State is ranked 21st in overall S&P+). He draws another below average matchup this week, but he’s only $5,400 on DraftKings. On that particular site, Vick makes sense in all formats. While he’s not as valuable for cash games on a site like FanDuel, where you’re only allowed to roster one quarterback, his cheap price point ($6,400) makes him a viable option. Vick has the best expected value at his pricing level and he gives you the necessary salary relief to load up at other skill positions. Vick’s primary target is Sebastian Smith (averaging 5.2 catches, 63 .4 yards and 0.6 touchdown per game). Smith has generated eight double-digit Fantasy performances this season. With that sort of consistency, Smith can be used in cash games. Jordan Reid is the second most targeted and productive wide receiver in this offense, and he’s very cheap on DraftKings. He’s a fine flex option on that particular site. If you need a cheap running back in cash games, Daz’mond Patterson is a fine option. He’s only averaging 4.6 yards per carry and 10 carries per game this season, but his touchdown production (eight rushing touchdowns) has been good relative to his cheap price. Tight end Keith Heitzman is our second ranked tight end on this slate, and he can be used in cash games on FanDuel.
The only player from the Ball State offense that can be used in all formats is Jordan Williams. He’s the best receiver in this offense (averaging six catches, 80 yards and 0.7 touchdowns). Williams (averaging 11 targets per game; 124 targets this season) is one of the most targeted receivers in all of college football. He’s a better option for tournaments given how poor his team is projected to perform offensively (team total of 22 points), but his opportunities and production makes him a viable target in all formats. Outside of Williams, no other player from this offense deserves cash game consideration. Kevonn Mabon has been the second most targeted receiver in this offense, but he should only be used in tournaments.
Central Michigan @ Kent State
Central Michigan Team Total: 25.5
Def. Rushing S&P+: 88
Def. Passing S&P+: 68
Def. IsoPPP+: 73
Kent State Team Total: 15
Def. Rushing S&P+: 63
Def. Passing S&P+: 15
Def. IsoPPP+: 12
Kent State’s offense only has one target, Antwan Dixon. He’s the top receiver for this young offense, seeing five targets per game (8.7 per game over last three contests). His catch rate is low (55.6% completion), but he’s a dynamic player that can hit for a big play at any time. Over the last six games, he has a 40-yard play or better in five of those games. Dixon only has three touchdowns on the seasons, making him a low-end tournament play. Target him on DraftKings as a pivot from the other punt options.
The passing attack is where we’ll focus our Central Michigan usage this week. Cooper Rush is a very safe option at quarterback this week going up against Kent State. He’s thrown it 30-plus times in every game this season and has averaged 42.3 attempts over his last three. Rush has thrown for two or more touchdowns in six straight contests. With the lack of rushing threat on the team, we don’t see how Central Michigan scores 25 points without their passing attack leading the way. With the third lowest total of the slate though, we feel Rush’s upside is limited. Jesse Kroll and Anthony Rice are two great cash game receiver options to target from this offense. They average 7.9 and 6.2 targets per game respectively and benefit largely from Rush’s 38.7 attempts per game in 2015. Kroll struggled in weeks eight and nine, but blew up for 7/130/0 against Toledo last week. He silenced all who doubted his role as the number one receiver in this offense. Anthony Rice came out of the gates slowly against Toledo, but caught a touchdown late in the game and salvaged value. It would be very difficult for us to go Rice over Kroll considering the low price differential. Rice is only 12% cheaper on DraftKings and 4% cheaper on FanDuel. Ben McCord has little value to provide this week even though he is averaging 5.3 targets per game. His catch rate is low (58.5%) and he has only caught 10 passes for 86 yards over his last four games. If you have the extra cash to spend on tight end then it’s worth giving him a look considering he’s the only option in this slate that has caught more than six passes in a game (he caught 10 in week three).
Western Michigan @ Northern Illinois
Western Michigan Team Total: 29
Def. Rushing S&P+: 107
Def. Passing S&P+: 86
Def. IsoPPP+: 103
Northern Illinois Team Total: 32
Def. Rushing S&P+: 57
Def. Passing S&P+: 90
Def. IsoPPP+: 54
Western Michigan is a great team for Fantasy (great tempo, great offense, terrible defense) and on a short slate like this, makes for a core team to target. Zach Terrell struggled last week, but this isn’t the time to jump ship on him. He saw his best usage (40 passing attempts) since week one against Michigan State (50 attempts) and even added a touchdown on the ground. Terrell was the victim of two three-yard runs by Jamauri Bogan that otherwise would have given him a nice Fantasy night. With a team total of 29 and a great matchup through the air (NIU ranks 90th in passing S&P+), we love Terrell’s high floor. We’re looking to spend on flex players though, so Terrell likely won’t be an option for us at quarterback. One of those flex players we want to pay up for is Corey Davis. He projects to be one of the best performers in this slate, catching seven passes for 100 receiving yards or better in each of his last four games. Davis was targeted 20 times last week and should be in line for double-digit targets again with a great matchup and good tempo. While Corey Davis has exploded over his last four games, Daniel Braverman has come down to earth. Three games ago, we saw a massive shift in targets and production from Braverman. Over his last three games, Davis has caught 27 passes for 427 yards and three touchdowns compared to Braverman’s 15 catches for 213 yards and zero touchdowns. It’s very hard to use Braverman in cash games when he’s only at about a 7% discount on both FanDuel and DraftKings. In large tournaments though there is reason to fade Davis for Braverman. Their price is so close, that Braverman is very likely to be low owned, but has actually shown more upside than Davis in 2015. Davis has generated 31 DraftKings Fantasy points or more in three games this season while Braverman has done that five times (three times over 40 Fantasy points). While Braverman isn’t the “hot receiver” for the team, he’s still seeing 8.3 targets per game over his last three (Davis – 13). In cash games it’s an easy decision to make, but there’s a case to go with Braverman in tournaments.
Jamauri Bogan has taken over top running back duties from Jarvian Franklin, making him a great option week-in and week-out. He’s touched the ball 68 times over his last four games, averaging 1.63 DraftKIngs Fantasy points per touch. He should easily see 17 touches against Northern Illinois, which would put him at around 27 Fantasy points. Bogan is heavily relied upon around the goal line (10 touchdowns in his last four games), which negates any fear we might have about his average run matchup. We can understand using running backs like Kareem Hunt and Joel Bouagnon over Bogan on FanDuel, but can’t pass up his mid-range price on DraftKings. LeVante Bellamy has seen increased usage over his last four games going from five touches in week eight to 11 touches last week against BGSU. He saw more action last week due to Jarvian Franklin’s surprising demotion from backup to third-string running back. Bellamy is a minimum priced option that should be targeted only on DraftKings where the salary relief is more important. He has averaged six yards per carry or better in each of his last three games.
Northern Illinois doesn’t have the big names that Western Michigan has, but will play a key part in our roster construction this week. Ryan Graham has only started one game this season, but finds himself in a great spot against a poor Western Michigan defense. His usage through the air is low (24 attempts in his one start), but it’s a small sample size. He made up for that limited passing usage by running it 18 times for 78 yards. If he can generate usage in the 40s like he did last week, then Graham makes for a very safe option against Western Michigan. Joel Bouagnon’s usage in the run game makes him one of the safest options Wednesday, but its his ability to find the end zone (17 touchdowns in 2015) that makes him one of the best options overall. Bouagnon has the same matchup that resulted in Travis Greene having his best game of the year last week (24/170/3). It’s hard to not like this matchup, especially when Bouagnon is averaging 22.4 carries per game (26.7 over last three games). On such a small slate, it’s hard to fade Bouagnon in any format.
We’ve talked about Ryan Graham’s low usage in the passing game, but we haven’t talked about who it affects directly: Kenny Golladay and Aregeros Turner. With just 24 attempts last game, you’d think that these two would be affected negatively, but this was not the case. Golladay was targeted nine times while Turner was targeted 11 times (together they combined for 83.3% of targets). The focus on Golladay in this offense is no surprise, he’s averaging 9.7 targets per game this season. He’ll remain a great option in all formats because of consistent production (six or more catches in six straight games) and great upside (four touchdowns in last three games). Aregeros Turner saw a huge bump in usage (11 targets last game compared to 10 total targets in previous three games) because of the injury to Tommylee Lewis, the previous number two receiver. Turner will hold cash game value on DraftKings because of his likely usage and PPR scoring, but should only be considered in tournaments on FanDuel because of similar pricing to safer receivers (Kroll and Rice).