Tanner Mordecai, SMU ($9,000) @ Memphis: This play is contingent on Seth Hennigan playing for the Tigers but if he does, expect a shootout. With a total already over 70.5, Vegas thinks SMU will be explosive with an implied team total over 38. As for Mordecai, he’s been nothing but exceptional this year, averaging 34.2 points per game and leading a top-25 team in terms of pace. Facing a Memphis defense allowing a 17.6% explosive pass rate, Mordecai is a big saving off the “big two” quarterbacks this week with a similar upside.
Seth Henigan, Memphis ($8,200) vs. SMU: Hennigan is underpriced if he plays this week. He’s potentially my favorite quarterback option, getting an SMU defense that ranks bottom-15 in key passing statistics: 125th in explosive pass rate (29.4%) and 114th in EPA per pass attempt. This Memphis team is entirely different with Henigan under center and when healthy he had over 300 yards in 4 of 6 games, including twice over 400. You’ll want to monitor his status and fortunately for us its a noon kickoff. Tune into the Tailgate live show as we will certainly be on top of this story.
Gerry Bohanon, Baylor ($7,700) @ TCU: I keep going back to Bohanon week over a week but this is another great matchup. TCU ranks 130th in opponent yards per pass attempt (9.41), 123rd in explosive pass rate allowed (35.9%), and 95th in defensive success rate against the pass. Bohanon also has a rushing ability where TCU also ranks 122nd in defensive success rate. He’s been under 20 the last two weeks but this feels like a get-right game.
Adrian Martinez, Nebraska ($7,000) vs. Ohio State: We’re back on #HeismanMartinez this week in a better matchup than advertised. Ohio State has taken a step forward on defense but they are still struggling in the secondary, evidenced by ranking 86th in defensive success rate against the pass. Martinez will be playing hero ball as Nebraska is a 15-point underdog in the matchup, which is historically the recipe for success with him. At $7K, he’s a nice value this week.
Aidan O’Connell, Purdue ($5,600) vs. Michigan State: Last week we saw Michigan State get exposed by Michigan with explosive plays despite ultimately winning. This week, we could see similar results from O’Connell. Although Purdue hasn’t been exceptionally explosive, this week could be different. The Spartans rank 62nd in explosive pass rate allowed and have given up over 300 yards per game. The real kicker with O’Connell is his price. He has 20+ point upside under $6,000 and represents a huge saving this week.
Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State ($8,600): Kenneth Walker is simply unreal this year. As one of the top Heisman candidates, I expect Walker to be productive again this week. Purdue ranks 51st in explosive rush rate allowed and 100th in rushing success rate on defense. The key for Walker this week is that he’s under $9K, which is an excellent price point. Walker is averaging 149 rushing yards per game and 29.5 DraftKings points. I expect high rostership but can you afford to fade him?
Jerome Ford, Cincinnati ($8,300) vs. Tulsa: A discounted Jerome Ford? Don’t mind if I do. Cincinnati comes into this game as 22.5-point favorites on a mission to prove they belong in the top four of the playoff. Ford should be the primary beneficiary as he has been all year, evidenced by his 26.3 DraftKings points per game. On the ground, Tulsa allows an explosive rush rate of 19.1% despite having the 103rd strongest strength of schedule. Ford should feast again this week as Tulsa also ranks 80th in defensive success rate against the run. An unfair discount off a meh week, Ford should be a staple in lineups.
Abram Smith, Baylor ($7,300) @ TCU: Smith had a solid week against the Longhorns but his price has barely risen. At $7,300 Smith represents one of the worst misprices on the slate. TCU has allowed an explosive rush rate of 26.4% and ranks 122nd in defensive success rate this season. Smith has taken a stranglehold on this backfield, rushing for 20 attempts in two straight games. I like him again this week in what is an excellent matchup.
Zamir White ($7,100)/James Cook ($5,900)/Kenny McIntosh ($3,900), UGA vs. Missouri: All the Georgia backs are in play this week against the country’s 2nd worst rushing defense. Ranking 130th in defensive EPA per rush attempt and explosive rush rate of 36.3%, Georgia is going to run over the Tigers this week. I prefer the cheaper options (very original, I know). Cook is still seeing a large workload and McIntosh at under $4K is interesting. UGA comes into this matchup as a 39.5-point favorite which could result in a McIntosh heavy game-script late.
Mar’Keise Irving, Minnesota ($6,300) vs. Illinois: Minnesota has been much better since their loss to Bowling Green (???) led by a prolific rushing attack. Irving leads an excellent duo between him and Ky Thomas ($5,000) who is also in play this week. I prefer Irving from a game theory perspective as I think Thomas will be higher rostered (see, sometimes we pay up!). As for the matchup, Illinois ranks 77th in defensive success rate, 93rd in defensive EPA per rush attempt, and allows a 17.2% rush rate. Both Minnesota backs are good to go this week.
Josh Downs, UNC ($8,700) @ Wake Forest: Josh Downs is currently seeing a massive 39.6% market share on the season and has 27 targets over his last 2 games, averaging over 12.1 targets per game on the season. Wake Forest currently ranks 125th in defensive success rate against the pass and Downs should feature heavily again. There’s no reason to be controversial here, he’s the top receiver on the slate.
A.T. Perry, Wake Forest ($7,200) vs. UNC: I prefer Perry to Jaquarii Roberson ($8,000) this week with the $800 discount. Perry has out-targeted Roberson 18 to 17 in the last two weeks and should once again operate in a 1A/1B role. North Carolina’s pass defense ranks 97th in defensive EPA per pass attempt and is allowing a 22.8% explosive pass rate. I expect a high-scoring game and Perry should be a beneficiary.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State ($5,800) vs. Nebraska: Don’t look now but JSN has moved into the WR2 chair for the Buckeyes this season. With 13 targets in his last two games, he trails only Garrett Wilson in that span and gets a great matchup in Nebraska this week. The Cornhuskers rank 92nd in defensive passing success rate and face deadly accurate CJ Stroud this week. While Stroud is absolutely in play, JSN is my favorite target on this team given he’s under $6K.
Jahcour Pearson, Ole Miss ($4,900) vs. Liberty: Pearson is the cheapest viable option in a 68.5 game total. Pearson is leading the team in routes run with 116 in the last three weeks to go along with 16 targets, which ranks second. Matt Corral should be healthier and in PPR format, Pearson could be leaned on.
Javon Ivory, Memphis ($4,400) vs. SMU: I like Ivory this week as I have occasionally throughout the season. He’s operating as the WR2 for Memphis and has 7 targets in his last two games which ranks second on the team. In Henigan returns this week, Ivory has upside as the second option in a game that good easily shoots past its 70-point total.
Justin Olson, UNC ($3,000) @ Wake Forest: At the minimum, Olson stands out as a value as he’s currently operating as the WR3, running 67 routes in the last two weeks despite not receiving targets. The opportunity is there and in a 76-point total, Olson is absolutely in play.