September 12 CFB DFS Early Slate Picks and Analysis – Let’s Make A Deal
Welcome to Saturday’s Early Slate 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.
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*Format for players is: PLAYER (School at/vs. Opponent)
**Advanced statistics courtesy of Football Outsiders
Luke Falk (Washington State vs. Rutgers) – It doesn’t get any safer at the quarterback position than Luke Falk on Saturday. Last week was a great example of the type of floor that we can expect out of Falk in this system. Washington State lost against a FCS team (Portland State) and Falk didn’t even finish the game. However, he still ended up with a 20 plus Fantasy point performance and his upside is much greater due to the opportunities he receives in this offense. In 2014, Washington State quarterbacks attempted 64 passing attempts per game. Not only are the opportunities astounding, but Falk is actually an accurate passer. He completed 65 percent of his passes in four starts in 2014 and posted the same percentage in his first game in 2015. In five starts in this offense, Falk has thrown 15 touchdowns to seven interceptions (averaging three touchdowns per game) and he’s averaging 430 passing yards per game. He has never posted a sub 20 Fantasy point performance on DraftKings.
When you evaluate his matchup, the context improves even further for Falk. The Rutgers ranked 83rd in Def. Passing S&P+ in 2014 and they allow an alarming amount of explosive plays (ranked 107th in IsoPPP+). Vegas believes that this game will be one if not the most competitive game on this slate (three point spread) and a shootout (game total is over 62 points). We’ve run out of ways to say this; if you’re paying for a quarterback, Falk represents the top choice. He’s easy to fit on a site like DraftDay (plenty of minimum priced values that we like at other positions) but on DraftKings, we feel like the best way to approach your cash game lineups is by starting a couple of value quarterbacks (two of them are dual threat options).
Malik Zaire (Notre Dame vs. Virginia) – If you wait another week, you might not be able to roster Zaire at a discount. As of this week, Zaire is still priced favorably on most sites (particularly on DraftKings). Zaire is likely going to be a superstar for the Irish. To show how much confidence coach Brian Kelly has on Zaire, think about this; he let Everett Golson, the quarterback that took him to the National Championship in 2012, transfer to Florida State. Kelly is a great offensive mind and he now has a dual threat capable quarterback in Zaire to lead the offense he loves the most – a fast paced, spread offense. In his two starts at Notre Dame, Zaire has shown his versatility. In 2014, he drew his first start in a bowl game vs. one of the best SEC schools, the LSU Tigers. In that game, Zaire carried the ball 22 times and attempted 15 passes. He went on to rush for 96 yards, a score on the ground and added another one through the air. In his first start in 2015, Zaire went off against a Texas team that’s known for their stout defense. He threw for three touchdowns, accumulated 313 yards and completed 19 of his 22 passing attempts. If Texas was a breeze, then Virginia shouldn’t be a concern as far as defensive matchups go. This defense was very good in 2014 (ranked 19th in Def. S&P+) but they’re only returning about half of their defense and most of their losses were in their secondary. We already saw a glimpse of a regressing defense. In their first game of the season, the Cavaliers surrendered 34 points to UCLA. Notre Dame has a team total around the 30s. I’m starting my cash game rosters with Zaire on DraftKings and Fantasy Aces.