Pitt (-3.5) @ Tennessee OU: 53.5
After a dominant performance against UMASS, Pitt takes on Tennessee this week coming in as a 3-point favorite. QB, Kenny Pickett ($8,500) should see a close game that allows for him to keep passing but at his price point and general lack of rushing upside, Pickett is too costly against a top-30 Tennessee defense.
In addition to a strong performance through the air, Pitt also added 222 rushing yards in Week 1 led by RB, Rodney Hammond Jr ($3,000), and RB, Israel Abanikanda ($4,300). Unfortunately the Panthers didn’t tell us much about their utilization moving forward in the blowout win. I would proceed with caution in the backfield and treat Hammond as a dart-throw at best. For what it’s worth Pitt has three RBs listed as co-starters for this week’s match up.
The passing game for Pitt is where the value can be found. WR, Jordan Addison ($7,700) had a 17.8% target share last week although he only posted 38 yards. Addison is a little pricy given the 9th-highest implied team total but does have the juice to break one.
The secondary options, headlined by Jared Wayne ($5,200) and Taysir Mack ($4,400) are interesting. I prefer Mack to Wayne as he ran more routes (38 vs. 21) last week and had only one fewer target than Wayne. Of all the receiving options on Pitt, my favorite is TE, Lucas Krull ($3,700). Krull ran 31 routes and had 5 targets for the Panthers last week in their blowout win. I don’t think they’re going to throw 45 times, but at Krull’s price, the athletic TE is a great value.
The Vols also had a cakewalk last week teeing off on Bowling Green. QB, Joe Milton ($8,000) posted 25 fantasy points but his production fails to capture the poor performance he had after the first few drives. His price makes him entirely unattractive this week despite some rushing upside.
The ground game is where Tennessee dominated Bowling Green last week, rushing for 326 total yards. Led by RB, Tiyon Evans ($6,300) and his 16 carries for 121 yards and a score. He is somewhat in play despite a strong Pitt defense. However, Evans didn’t run a route last week while his backfield mateJabari Small ($5,800) ran 10 routes and was targeted once. Tennessee won’t be able to run out the clock this week so Small might be the one to roster of the two.
In the passing game, it was WR, Jalin Hyatt ($6,600) time. His 8 targets led the team and he should be a featured receiver on this offense going forward. However given the struggle we saw from Milton, Hyatt is hard to fit into lineups at his price. WR, Cedric Tillman ($5,300) ran alongside Hyatt in two-WR sets and had 6 targets in his own right, but Milton just caps this offense. WR, Velus Jones ($4,700) is clearly third here, only running 9 routes, and is not nearly discounted enough this week. The entire Tennessee passing offense is one to avoid.
Tulsa @ Oklahoma St. (-17) OU: 52.5
Despite a monster day rushing for Tulsa last week, the Golden Hurricanes fell to FCS program UC-Davis 19-17. QB, Davis Brin ($5,000) struggled mightily with only 5.74 DraftKings points. Now as 17-point dogs with an implied team total of 17.8, he’s not in play.
The running game was the only part of the Tulsa offense that worked last week. The offense managed 247 total rushing yards led by RB, Deneric Prince ($6,200) who posted a 14-179-1 line. After his big game, Prince does come in with a substantial premium in an entirely unfavorable matchup. His backfield mate and presumed Week 1 starter, RB, Shamari Brooks ($3,800) comes at a discount but game-script favors neither. Brooks is the move if you want to play one since he ran the same number of routes (10) and had only 4 fewer touches.
As mentioned above, an uninspiring passing game is led by WR, Keylon Stokes ($4,900) who led the way with a 25% target share on 7 targets. Stokes, is the only option worth looking at on this team. But proceed with extreme caution.
It sounds like quarterback QB, Spencer Sanders ($7,500) is back this week for the Cowboys who have the 6th-highest implied team total on the slate of 34.75. The Cowboys were productive last week under Illingworth, averaging 7.9 yards per attempt. Sanders is interesting as he does have some rushing ability so you can expect 3-4 points added there but he has only hit the 300-yard bonus 3 times in a career 20 games. I don’t expect this game to shoot out, limiting Sander’s passing upside.
The ground game struggled in week one but we did see RB, LD Brown ($6,100) emerge as the team leader. His 15 attempts and receiving upside (23 routes run last week and 3 targets) make him interesting in a likely positive game script. Given the spread, another back could provide some value. RB, Jaylen Warren ($4,100) was second in carries, but I wouldn’t be surprised Dezmon Jackson ($3,000) is the better punt play. Jackson was more efficient on limited touches despite Warren’s touchdown.
The receivers to note include WR, Tay Martin ($6,900) who led the team in targets (10) and yards (107). I don’t know if he can duplicate that this week but it’s within the range of outcomes as he slides into a Tylan Wallace type role. Behind Martin is slot WR, Brennan Pressley ($5,600) who managed 7 targets but was out-snapped by both Martin and Braydon Johnson ($4,000). Johnson is interesting at his price as not only did he have 5 targets and out-snap Presley, he also had two rush attempts. Johnson could see more manufactured touches in this matchup and that puts him in play as a price-saver.
South Carolina @ East Carolina (-2) OU: 54.5
For once, it looked like the Gamecocks were competent. Led by superstar grad assistant, Zeb Noland, the offense was firing last week but face a tougher test in East Carolina. It sounds like QB, Luke Doty ($6,500) is back this week but given his injury status and lack of upside, he’s an avoid in this matchup.
The Gamecocks do bring one of the country’s better backfields into this game and should add 2020’s leading rushing Kevin Harris ($7,500) into the mix. Harris should see a good chunk of the work but expect more of a committee approach as he gets eased in from a back injury. Given the poor state of ECU’s defense (ranked 101st in ESPN’s SP+ and allowed 226 rushing yards last week on 6.30 yards per attempt), Harris is still in play. Last week we saw RB, ZaQuandre White ($4,900) make a name for himself scoring 35.7 fantasy points. Given the discount off Harris, White is a nice money-saving pivot this week as he should still be involved and ran 15 routes out of the backfield.
The passing game under Luke Doty leaves a lot to be desired and none of the options are worth investing in until we have more clarity. If you feel the need to make a dart throw, I’d target WR, Josh Vann ($3,700) who had two receptions and two touchdowns last week but did run more routes than WR Ahmarean Brown ($4,000), WR, EJ Jenkins ($4,200) and Dakareon Joyner ($4,700).
The Pirates got blown out in their opener against App St but now get a Gamecock team who leaves a lot to be desired. Led by QB, Holton Ahlers ($7,500), they should be able to throw against a mediocre South Carolina secondary. I wish Ahlers was cheaper but he’s still in play as he’s hit the 300-yard bonus 7 times in the last 21 games (including passing totals of 295 and 298). He’s not sexy but that should keep him fairly un-popular.
Both ECU running backs are interesting this week. RB, Keaton Mitchell ($6,600) comes in as the more expensive back but did have 5 receptions and ran 25 routes. He gets an easier challenge this week but I prefer his backfield partner RB, Rahjai Harris ($5,500) at $1,100 cheaper. Harris had 4 receptions and ran 16 routes so he was also productive in both phases of the game. In general, I might avoid this split for the most part but prefer Harris as he out-touched Mitchell 14 to 11.
None of the receivers did much last week and this week WR, Tyler Snead ($6,500) comes in still too high. Snead is a productive player but he and WR, C.J. Johnson ($5,400) are priced slightly too high in this matchup. The one player I might target here is TE, Shane Calhoun ($3,000). Priced at min, the tight end ran 16 routes but only had one target. I think he could operate as an extreme punt play this week.
Oregon @ Ohio State (-14.5) OU: 63.5
Avoiding a scare against Fresno State last week, Oregon travels to Ohio State looking to cement their status as the Pac-12’s top team. QB, Anthony Brown ($6,900) starts again this week and despite doing alright against a good Fresno defense, he’ll have his hands full against the Buckeyes this week. I don’t like Brown (really ever, but especially this week.)
Both RB, CJ Verdell ($5,400) and, RB, Travis Dye ($4,800) got run last week with Verdell out-touching Dye 18 to 15. Both could be options against an Ohio State defense that was torn up by Minnesota last week but in this matchup I prefer Dye. Dye ran more routes (19 to 10) than Verdell and in a game where the Ducks are 14.5-point dogs, he could see the field more.
The receiving options for Oregon are kind of gross but are led by WR, Johnny Johnson III ($5,100) who had 16.6 fantasy points on 4 targets last week. His price is fine but he was out-targeted by WR, Mycah Pittman ($4,200) who you can land with a $900 savings. I don’t really love either option, but WR, Kris Hutson ($3,200) is the one I may target. His 31 snaps outpaced both Johnson and Pittman, but he only had two targets. If the Ducks do need to throw, he could be the beneficiary based on usage.
The Buckeyes welcome Oregon this week and as a home team, hopefully, QB, CJ Stroud ($8,600) can settle in. Although his end-of-game stats were very solid, most of the big plays happened with the receiver doing work. Stroud needs to be better this week and he gets an Oregon defense traveling across the country and that just gave up 298 yards to Jake Haener and is still missing key pieces in the secondary. I like Stroud but I’m approaching him with caution.
The rushing game, headlined by RB, Miyan Williams ($7,300) gets a challenge this week. At his price, Williams doesn’t have the upside we need as he probably still splits time with TreVeyon Henderson ($4,300) and Master Teague ($5,000). Given the matchup and split, I’m looking elsewhere to fill RB slots this week.
The receivers had a big game last week with both going over 19 DraftKings points. WR, Chris Olave ($7,200) had 6 targets and a huge play where he scored downfield. He should be heavily involved again but the real value here is WR, Garrett Wilson ($5,900). Wilson will probably have the highest rostership of any receiver on the slate but his 50% target share (11 targets) makes him one of the best values this weekend. After the big two, Jeremy Ruckertt ($3,200) is an option as a punt play but not a priority target.
Florida (-28) @ USF OU: 57.5
The Gators have the highest implied team total of the week at 57.5 points and get a South Florida team who scored zero points last week. QB, Emory Jones ($9,000) started last week and struggled but QB, Anthony Richardson ($8,400) dominated on the ground. Right now, it’s hard to feel confident in this situation despite the matchup. If Richardson is announced as the starter, he’s a must-play. As of now neither makes my lineups.
Florida ran for a nation-leading 400 yards last week and South Florida gave up 293 to NC State. This is a feast. RB, Dameon Pierce ($6,000) should be in play as well as RB, Malik Davis ($5,600). Both were heavily involved last week and while I expect Pierce get the first crack, Davis is a small savings that could help you elsewhere. Both could post 100-1 type weeks.
The passing game struggled last week under Jones but leading target WR, Rick Wells ($4,200) is priced the lowest. WR, Ja’Markis Weston ($3,000) is the min and was the leading receiver. Neither ran more than 12 routes though. Both WR, Justin Shorter ($5,200) and WR, Jacob Copeland ($6,400) are too risky this week. The final option you could consider is TE, Kemore Gamble ($3,000) again, another min play, Gamble ran the most routes of all players listed above as tight end.
This team scored 0 points against NC State last week and not that they are going to be blanked again but…they do have the second-lowest implied team total on the slate at 14.8 points. The only player I would come close to considering here is WR, Xavier Weaver ($4,000) he’s cheap enough to justify and had 10 targets last week for the Bulls. If you’re invested in Florida, he’s a good runback candidate.
Rutgers (-1.5) @ Syracuse OU: 51.5
The Scarlett Knights had an offensive explosion last week that was shocking. Scoring 61 points against Temple is great but with multiple drives starting inside Temple’s 30, it was more of a Temple implosion. I’m not sold on this Rutgers team. QB, Noah Vedral ($6,700) leads the way, but I’m not sure they’ll hit their implied team total of 26.5. Vedral has hit the 300-yard bonus once in his 20 career games. He’s a low upside play.
The same goes for RB, Isaih Pacheco ($5,200). Pacheco is the bell-cow here but again, is a low upside option in a game that I believe goes under the Vegas total of 51.5.
The receivers are more interesting than Vedral and Pacheco. Although I don’t think Vedral has spike week potential, I think WR, Bo Melton ($5,700), and WR, Aron Cruickshank ($4,400) are worthy options. Melton is slightly pricier but can back it up with explosive plays. Cruickshank actually out-targeted Melton 7 to 6. It isn’t sexy but either could be players with low rostership.
Like, Rutgers, Syracuse had a great week 1 performance and look to keep that momentum going. QB, Tommy DeVito ($6,200) had under 100 yards passing but did have 49 yards and a rushing TD on the ground. That isn’t a recipe for success long-term and like Vedral, Devito is low upside in this matchup.
The one Syracuse player that is interesting is RB, Sean Tucker ($6,800). Tucker handled bell-cow duties for the Orange last weekend posting 25-181-1 including one target. Rutgers rush defense doesn’t scare me and Tucker’s huge workload should carry itself into this week. He’s not a bad play and could see another big week.
The pass-catchers in this matchup are uninteresting at best. WR, Taj Harris ($5,100) had 8 targets but with DeVito at QB, his upside is minimal. He’s worth a dart throw in a GPP but even as a target hog, don’t expect much as Syracuse’s 60 offensive plays Week 1 ranked 104th in the country.
Toledo @ Notre Dame (-16.5) OU: 54
The Rockets are one of the country’s better G5 schools and look to potentially upset an Irish team that struggled defensively Week 1. Toledo’s implied team total is only 18.8 points but not only do I think they cover, I think they outperform their implied team total. QB, Carter Bradley ($5,700) is one of the better value QBs on the slate and has potential 300-yard upside in this matchup. Bradley went 8/11 and 183 yards last week and could post another efficient line. Notre Dame does have a good pass defense but at his price, 3-4x porduction is in play.
The most interesting play on Toledo is RB, Bryant Koback ($6,500). Koback, who regularly features heavily in all phases of the game should outperform his price. The Notre Dame defense allowed 264 rushing yards and 5.5 yards per carry against Florida State. Last season Koback posted 4 games of 25+ touches and 5 games of 20+ touches in only 6 games. He averaged 4 receptions a game but in both losses he had 7 each. Koback could see one of those negative game scripts this week.
Toledo didn’t need to pass Week 1, making it difficult to discern the leading target but WR, Devin Maddox ($4,800) is the most explosive, going 2-98-1 only two targets. The leading receiver from last season, WR, Isaiah Winstead ($4,200) provides a $600 savings. He’ll be needed in the passing game this week. TE, Jamal Turner ($3,000) led the team in routes as a tight end and received two targets last week as well, he is one you can get crazy with.
The Irish look to keep offensive momentum going into the week against Toledo starting with QB, Jack Coan ($8,900). Coan had a phenomenal week against Florida State, but Toledo actually brings a better defense into South Bend. Given his lack of rushing upside, Coan is a fade at his price this week.
Another key Irish player that excelled last week was RB, Kyren Williams ($7,300). Williams lined up as a receiver and 24 total opportunities including 6 targets on 30 routes run. Williams feels discounted at this price and I’m more than happy to plug him in even against a good Toledo defense. RB, Chris Tyree ($5,100) is usually involved as well but at his price, I’m less interested this week.
Along with Coan’s big game, WR, Kevin Austin ($5,800) was second on the team in targets with 7 and was explosive downfield. Although I don’t expect the Irish to repeat, Austin is a good savings off of the top options. Speaking of top options, TE, Michael Mayer ($7,400) had a 37.1% target share (13 targets) and ran 40 routes. Mayer is a key piece in this offense but at his price, it’s difficult to expect a repeat performance.
UAB @ UGA (-26.5) OU: 44.5
UAB’s offense is not nearly as prolific as Clemson’s, and the Tigers infamously could get nothing going last week. UAB’s implied team total is only 9 points, the lowest on the slate. This offense still ranks outside the top 90 according to ESPN’s SP+ and while they may exceed their implied total, it won’t be by much.
The entire Bulldogs offense looked bad in Week 1 and while I think UAB is an okay defense, UGA should have more success this week. I’m not targeting QB, JT Daniels ($7,900) as I think there are better options at his price point, but he should be fine this week albeit with low upside.
The rushing game is where to target this matchup. RB, Zamir White ($7,700) led the way last week for Georgia and should do so again. As 26.5-point favorites, this should be a game where white has bonus upside as well. The play off White and $4,500 cheaper is RB, Kendall Milton ($3,200). With 5 carries and a target Milton didn’t have as many opportunities as RB, James Cook ($5,000) but the same number of rush attempts puts Milton in play as a good pivot off Cook.
Cal @ Texas Christian (-11.5) OU: 48
I’m not particularly excited about this Cal team and their implied team total of 18.5 speaks to that as well. QB, Chase Garbers ($6,400) failed to produce against an underwhelming Nevada team and this week gets a top-20 defense in TCU. I won’t play Garbers this week.
The rushing game is the same story, it turns out RB, Damien Moore ($5,700) was the lead back and while he did have 19 total opportunities (15 rushes and 4 targets), there are better options at his price.
Given we don’t like Garbers this week, his receivers are a tough sell. WR, Nikko Remigio ($5,200) is overpriced but was the only receiver to see more than 5 targets last week. I’ll be staying away from this passing game in general.
TCU has taken steps forward already this season and seeks to continue their progress under QB, Max Duggan ($8,800). You’ll find no bigger Duggan fan than me but this week he seems priced up in a matchup where he may not need to throw as much. In Duggan’s career 23 games he has only hit the 300-yard bonus once and has only thrown for more than 1 touchdown in 7 of those games. His upside comes from his rushing ability which keeps him in play, but I am trying to look elsewhere.
This backfield is a mess. After RB, Zach Evans ($4,600) served his two series suspension, he was productive but we still don’t know how it will shake out. Four players had more than 5 carries led by RB, Daimarqua Foster ($3,200) and RB, Kendre Miller ($4,500), who had 10 and 8, respectively. Evans is the best back here by talent and TCU should have the lead so he’s a price-saving play albeit with an extremely low floor.
For the receiving game, sophomore WR, Quentin Johnston ($5,100) lead the way last week with 7 targets and looks to led the way again. The lanky receiver is one of the more explosive players downfield in college football and should be able to hook up with Duggan or a few big plays this week. He’s a very solid option in this range against a Cal team that allowed 8.0 yards per attempt last week. Behind Johnston, WR, Marcel Brooks ($3,000) and WR, Derius Davis ($5,500) ran more routes than WR, Taye Barber ($3,500). While none are priorities, it looks like Brooks and Davis may be the preferred option for the Horned Frogs. Davis is substantially overpriced based off a good week one, don’t fall for it.
Ball State @ Penn State (-22) OU: 55.5
The Cardinals get a tough matchup this week against a dominant Penn State defense that ranks as a top-5 unit heading into this matchup. QB, Drew Plitt ($6,100) had a solid game last week but even with his discount, he’s largely unplayable in this matchup. Their implied team total of 16.8 points is 22nd on the entire slate.
RB, Will Jones ($4,900) who had a big game last week is off the list in week 2. He is bound to struggle against Penn State’s defense that gave up only 3.0 yards a carry last week to one of the country’s better rushing games in Wisconsin.
The highlight for Ball State last week was WR, Justin Hall ($6,300) who posted 137 yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets. Hall is a prolific wide receiver but like the rest of this offense, is simply not playable at his price point. The WR2 in this offense, WR, Yo’Heinz Tyler ($4,200) is the only player for the Cardinals I would consider. He had 8 targets last week and had better peripherals than his pricing indicates. He’s the runback option if you want to do so.
Penn State put the defensive smackdown on Wisconsin last week and looks to do the same against Ball State. QB, Sean Clifford ($8,100) who has had a rocky last few years for the Nittany Lions is another low upside QB on a slate that is full of them. Clifford is attractive because of his rushing upside but in 26 career games, he hit the 300-yard passing bonus thrice and the rushing bonus once.
My favorite play in this game and one of my favorites on the entire slate is RB, Noah Cain ($6,400). Cain handled 44% of the team’s rush attempts and doubled the chances of Devyn Ford ($3,000) and Keyvone Lee ($3,800) combined. Cain also had 5 receptions on 6 targets and ran 23 routes. In a nutshell, he operated as a full-fledged bellcow last week and will do so again against a brutal Ball State defense.
Among the receivers, WR, Jahan Dotson ($7,000) leads the way after a 10-target game last week. Dotson is always in play as his speed lets him get open deep consistently. I also think WR, Parker Washington ($4,000) is in play this week after having 6 targets last week as the secondary option to Dotson. Behind them, KeAndre Lambert-Smith ($3,900) is interesting and will have low rostership. He out-produced Washington last week on the same number of targets but ran more routes (34 to Washington’s 25).
Colorado @ Texas A&M (-17.5) OU: 51.5
The Buffaloes performed well last week but now get a tougher matchup in Texas A&M. QB, Brandon Lewis ($5,900) wasn’t asked to do much in a blowout but against the Aggies this week, he’ll have to show up. He has extremely limited upside with a non-existent floor.
The same can be said for both RBs and WRs in this matchup. RB, Jarek Broussard ($7,000) is overpriced, and the secondary options won’t get enough run in this matchup to do damage. Avoid the 17.5-point underdog in this contest. With Lewis under center, I don’t think there will be enough passing volume to support any of the options except maybe WR, Dimitri Stanley ($5,000) but at his price, there are better plays.
The Aggies handily beat Kent State last week but the struggles of QB, Haynes King ($8,300) in this matchup were the key takeaway. King threw two touchdowns and three interceptions against a poor Kent State defense and leaves questions about what his week-to-week upside is. I’m staying away from King this week.
The ground game powered the offense last week as both RB, Isaiah Spiller ($6,700) and, RB, Devon Achane ($5,900) went over 100 yards while Achane had two touchdowns. I expect Spiller to get most of the work this week with Achane playing a smaller role in a slightly more competitive game script. Spiller sub-$7,000 is locked into my lineup even with the other RB’s usage.
Among receiving options, WR, Ainias Smith ($7,600) has been priced up following his blowup game last week. I like Smith but I’m not certain what his role will be against a competent defense so I’m holding off at his price-point. The other two options are WR, Caleb Chapman ($5,500), and TE, Jalen Wydermeyer ($5,000). Chapman had the bigger game but Wydermeyer actually had more targets (8 to 6) and ran as many routes. As their key tight end, Wydermeyer has been a longstanding cog in the Aggies offense and their prices, I’d prefer him in this matchup.
Iowa @ Iowa State (-3.5) OU: 51.5
The Hawkeyes shocked the college football world last week, demolishing an Indiana team behind great defense. This week, we see QB, Spencer Petras ($5,400) head to Iowa State, and let’s be honest…we don’t start Petras in any matchup but especially a bad one.
The real question is starting RB, Tyler Goodson ($7,100) against a Cyclones defense that was somewhat exposed last week. Goodson is involved in both phases and had 22 opportunities in the blowout (which could have been more) but faces a good Iowa State defense. I’m staying away from Goodson this week as the game has the second-lowest total at 45 and the Cyclones allowed only 1.70 yards per attempt last week.
Although we don’t like Petras, WR, Sam LaPorta ($4,300) is in play in the low 4s. As the key focal point in the passing offense, LaPorta had 8 targets and ran the second-most routes on the team last week. He will once again be heavily involved and is a good option at his price.
Like the quarterback on the other side, QB, Brock Purdy ($6,200) isn’t in play this week against what could be the nation’s top defense. Allowing 5.2 yards per pass attempt last week, Purdy could struggle and doesn’t have the ceiling to make the risk worthwhile.
I think the biggest question in unlocking the slate is how to handle RB, Breece Hall ($8,000). With 27 total opportunities last week, Hall should once again be featured but gets a substantially tougher matchup in Iowa. I think Hall will come in at low rostership off a semi-dud last week. Those that weren’t deterred after the week 1 dud, may be concerned simply with the match up against Iowa. The Hawkeye defense is simply dominant against the run. Hall is risky, especially at his price, but could be a sharp contrarian play. He’s not a total fade for me.
The other Iowa State player worth considering is WR, Xavier Hutchinson, ($6,000) who should again operate as the alpha this week. The matchup is tough to ignore but Hutchinson is worth throwing in a few lineups due to the concentrated target share.