We are starting to get some data for 2019, and DFS enthusiasts now have a larger sample to aid in their decision making. This week’s College Football Main Slate looks very different from last week. Light on studs at receiver, this slate provides ample bell-cow running back options. With that said, here are a few value plays and GPP Pivots on the Main Slate.
Sean Clifford ($7,200) – Penn State
In what looks like a top-heavy week at quarterback, Penn State’s Sean Clifford provides a bit of value at $7,200. So far this season, Penn State hasn’t faced much of a challenge, beating up on Idaho and Buffalo to open the year. Even with starters playing limited time, Clifford has averaged 22.5 pass attempts per game with 279.5 passing yards. Improving matters further, Clifford has at least 51 rushing yards in each of his first two starts, giving him a solid floor.
Pittsburgh remains a formidable opponent, but they present a few distinct weaknesses. On top of a pass defense that has allowed 179 yards per game, they allowed Bryce Perkins to rush for 44 yards in Week 1. Tested mainly by mobile quarterbacks to date, Clifford presents a tougher challenge for the Pitt defense here. As it stands, Penn State enters this contest favored by 17-points.
Kylin Hill ($7,500) – Mississippi State
One of the top tier running backs on this slate, Kylin Hill offers a solid pivot off Chuba Hubbard, JK Dobbins, and Eno Benjamin at the top. Hill has absolutely dominated work in Mississippi State’s offense to start the year. Accounting for 41 carries and 3 targets, Hill has a massive 320 rushing yards on the year. Importantly, these number could have been higher, had Mississippi State faced a competent opponent in Week 2 (Southern Miss).
Looking to Week 3, Kansas State presents Hill’s toughest challenge yet. While Kansas State has only allowed 105.5 rushing yards per game this season, they ranked 101st in run defense last year, according to S&P+. While this unit returns eight starters, Hill should find more room to run than Bowling Green or Nicholls State did.
While Hill remains expensive, his volume should pay off in Week 3.
Cameron Scarlett ($5,900) – Stanford
One of the cheaper bell-cow backs on the Main Slate, Cameron Scarlett enters Week 3 at $5,900. So far this season Scarlett has 39 carries for 179 yards in two games. However, he brings an elevated floor with 8 targets in the passing game to open the year.
While Scarlett’s matchup looks tough on paper, UCF has yet to face a noteworthy opponent (Florida A&M and Florida Atlantic). UCF returns the 47th ranked run defense from last year, but they also allowed a combined 162 yards to Florida Atlantic backs last week.
Currently this game has one of the higher game totals on the slate at 61.5. Despite coming in as 7.5-point underdogs, Scarlett remains in play due to heavy volume and pass game involvement.
Jahan Dotson ($3,900) – Penn State
While looking for a stacking option with Clifford, Jahan Dotson provides edges in price and ownership in Week 3. Noted above, Penn State starters have yet to see a full compliment of snaps in either game this season. However, Dotson tied KJ Hamler for team leading 41 snaps with Penn State’s first team last week. For reference, Justin Shorter played 37. So far this year, Dotson has 6 targets, potentially keeping him under-the-radar here.
Also noted above, Pittsburgh has yet to be challenged on defense. However, Pittsburgh has shown some vulnerability against the pass, allowing 193 yards per game to opposing offenses. Penn State hasn’t quite opened their offense just yet, but they have passed at a 51% rate to open the season.
With additional volume and playing time, Dotson offers a solid GPP pivot in Penn State’s offense.
Jadan Blue ($4,800) – Temple
Fresh off a bye, Temple’s offense figures to fly under-the-radar against a surging Maryland team. In one game of action, Temple ran 81 offensive plays and passed the ball at a 56.8% rate. Coming in at just $4,800, Jadan Blue provides solid target volume after seeing 12 in Week 1.
Examining the matchup, Maryland also plays with a frantic pace, running 84 plays per game in their first two contests. To open the season, Maryland’s defense has played well, but this unit faced Howard and Syracuse. So far this year, they’ve allowed 198.5 passing yards per game, where they ranked 64th in S&P+ last season. In a game with a 64-point game total, Jadan Blue provides immense price adjusted target volume and belongs in cash consideration.
Henry Ruggs III ($5,300) – Alabama
When Alabama lands on the main slate, all the skill positions warrant DFS consideration. This week Alabama enters the slate with the highest implied team total (42.75). So far this season, each of these receivers have produced massive fantasy outings. However, Henry Ruggs III comes in severely underpriced this week at $5,300.
Out of Alabama’s four primary receivers, Ruggs ranks last with only 8 targets. While the production hasn’t arrived just yet, Ruggs ranked second on Alabama with 63 targets last season, helping him reach 712 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. Last year, South Carolina ranked 85th in S&P+ pass defense and they have allowed 220 yards per game so far this year. Coming at such a cheap price, Ruggs offers cheap exposure to this high-octane Alabama offense.
Positively for Robinson, Nebraska also showed a willingness to get creative with his touches. In addition to his 8 targets, Robinson saw 4 carries on the ground. With a higher floor than his $4,100 price indicates, Robinson looks like a smash play this weekend.