We’ve been wandering through the offseason for what seems like an eternity, but we’ve made it to the sweet taste of College Football once again. Week Zero brings with it a slate of seven games and should prove a quality appetizer for the season to come. So with that, let’s jump into some of my favorite plays this week.

Audric Estime (Notre Dame) More Than 15.5 Fantasy Points

Last season, Audric Estime was firmly in a committee with Logan Diggs, splitting carries nearly right down the middle (a slight nod to Diggs’ 165 to Estime’s 156). He still cleared the 15.5 Fantasy Point mark six times (and in five of the seven that he was under this mark, he only received single-digit touches). There is a worry that Navy will limit touches and play their normal ball-control style of offense, but Estime seems like a lock to touch the ball at least 12-15 times in this one with a ceiling for much more. Notre Dame is favored by 20 in this one and is projected to score five touchdowns. With those circumstances, it’s very easy to see a clear path to Estime getting more than 15.5 Fantasy Points. 

Saturday – Deion Hankins (UTEP) More Than 11.5 Fantasy Points

Deion Hankins - Football - UTEP Miners
Photo Courtesy of UTEP Athletics/Jorge Salgado

With the departure of Ronald Awatt, UTEP will be deploying Deion Hankins as the RB1, and he will, at a bare minimum, lead the backfield for the Miners. In this game, UTEP is projected to score three touchdowns in a close game. During a five-game stretch when Hankins was given the leading role last year (still in the timeshare with Awatt), he averaged 17 carries. In those five weeks, he topped 11.5 points three times. Assuming he has a bit more of a hold on the leading role in this backfield, it is not a stretch to project him for 20 carries/game. With that workload, hitting more than 11.5 fantasy points is well in sight.

Diego Pavia (New Mexico State) More Than 18.5 Fantasy Points

Originally I was going to write up Pavia’s rushing line on PrizePicks this week, as it was originally placed at 24.5 rushing yards. Hit the over ALL day with that one. However, PrizePicks has adjusted that line fairly aggressively, and as of the time I’m writing this, that line is already up to 33.5 rushing yards. So instead, I’ll lean on the 18.5 Fantasy Points and suggest playing the more option. Last season, Pavia only surpassed this mark in five of his twelve games. However, last season he was also part of a QB-by-Committee with fellow QB Gavin Frakes. So in total, Pavia played only 60% of the snaps last season. Even still, he surpassed 18.5 Fantasy Points in five games. In my opinion, this is a smash spot for selecting More on PrizePicks and seeing what type of ceiling he could have against an innocuous UMass defense.

Brayden Schager (Hawaii) Less Than -1.5 Rushing Yards

Hawaii football struggles again in loss to Utah State | KHON2
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images/Darryl Oumi

Selecting to go lower than a -1.5 rushing total is a fairly bold move, but I have my rationale. To start off, Schager ran for -7 yards against Vanderbilt when the two teams met last season. Knowing that sacks count as negative yardage at the college level means trouble for a QB’s rushing totals if his team is playing from behind and the defense knows they’ll be in passing situations. That is exactly the situation Schager will find himself in this weekend as they face the Commodores. Despite Vanderbilt not being a traditionally great SEC team, the talent disparity is likely great enough that Vanderbilt will have plenty of opportunities to pin their ears back and look for sacks against Hawaii. For reference, Schager ran for less than -1.5 yards in seven of Hawaii’s twelve games last season. I feel fairly confident this week will be more of the same.

Sieh Bangura (Ohio) More Than 12.5 Fantasy Points

Last season, Bangura emerged onto the scene from the Bobcat backfield. In ten of his twelve games, he out-produced 12.5 Fantasy Points. As mentioned across the C2C DFS mediums this week: San Diego State has traditionally been a defense that rises to the occasion and gives offenses fits. However, heading into 2023, the Aztecs will be replacing over 40% of their defensive production while Ohio’s offensive unit returns more than 80% of their own. This seems like a place where perhaps San Diego State’s defense is getting a bit too much credit from historical performances. Even if they commit to stopping the run, Bangura averaged more than three receptions per game last season and should have similar utilization heading into the new season. If he manages a touchdown and gets those three catches for even a modest ten yards, that would put him only 2.5 points off from this mark. I’ll take that play all day long.

As a reminder, if you’re new to PrizePicks and looking to maximize your deposit, make sure to use Promo Code: “C2C” for a deposit match up to $100.

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