FanDuel College Football: Week 8 Main Slate

FanDuel College Football: Week 8 Main Slate

This article is part of our FanDuel College Football series.

We head to Week 8 with a pair of SEC clashes expected to top the scoring charts. Leading the way is the Ole Miss-LSU game at 76.5, clearing the No.2 expected score (Alabama-Tennessee) by 8.5 points. Oklahoma-Kansas checks in third in that realm, though nearly all of the scoring is expected to come from the Sooners, who top the scoring charts this week with an implied 52.75 points. Alabama (46.5), Ole Miss (42.5) and Ohio State (40.0) round out the implied scores at 40 points or above. The Sooners (-38.5) and Crimson Tide (-25.0) also lead the way with the biggest spreads on the slate, followed by Michigan (-23.5), Penn State (-23.5) and Ohio State (-21.0) to round out the double-digit favorites, who all happen to be 20-plus point favorites as well. These are the games with the best chances to become blowouts that lead to starters on the bench in the second half.

Let's check potential weather impacts for this week:

Kansas State at Texas Tech - Wind sitting around 14 mph could have a slight impact on passing games.

Oklahoma State at Iowa State - Wind sitting just above 10 mph in the first half could impact scoring and passing a smidge in the first half.

N.C. State Wolfpack at Miami - 40-45 percent chance of rain all game so there could be some showers. Doesn't seem like anything too severe but worth monitoring.

Overall, there's a fairly minimal weather impact across the board as of this writing and nothing extreme enough to warrant much movement from a DFS perspective.

Notable Injuries/Absences

QB

Matt Corral, Ole Miss - Status appears to be in doubt for Saturday. Afternoon kickoff so plan accordingly.

Hendon Hooker, Tennessee - Expected to start under center.

Michael Penix, Indiana - Considered week-to-week and seems unlikely to play Saturday.

Brandon Peters, Illinois - Cleared for practice but no word on who will start yet.

RB

Tiyon Evans, Tennessee - Day-to-day this week but status for Saturday remains unclear.

Tahj Brooks, Texas Tech - Hasn't played since mid-September and his availability for Saturday remains unclear.

Miyan Williams, Ohio State - Expected to be back in the mix Saturday.

Will Shipley, Clemson - Considered a game-time decision and has looked "better than anticipated" this week.

John Lovett, Penn State - Left against Iowa and his status for Saturday is unclear.

Devyn Ford, Penn State - Same situation as Lovett.

Mike Hollins, Virginia - Sat out last week and no word on his status for Saturday.

Jaylen Wright, Tennessee - Continues to hold day-ot-day status ahead of Saturday.

Dezmon Jackson, Oklahoma State - Not listed on the depth chart this week.

WR

Braylon Sanders, Ole Miss - Left versus Tennessee with a hamstring injury and his status is unclear.

Kyle Philips, UCLA - Was available in practice this week, which bodes well for his chances of playing.

Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss - Hasn't played since early October and no update on his status for Saturday. Seems unlikely to play but keep an eye out.

Brian Thomas, LSU - Was in a yellow no-contact jersey during practice Tuesday.

Roman Wilson, Michigan - Missed the last game and his status remains unclear.

Jaden Bray, Oklahoma State - Listed on the depth chart this week.

Bryce Kirtz, Northwestern - Good chance to miss the rest of 2021.

E.J. Williams, Clemson - Underwent knee surgery and is out indefinitely.

Frank Ladson, Clemson - Remains day-to-day ahead of Saturday's clash. 

Deion Smith, LSU - Out again this week.

Kayshon Boutte, LSU - Out for season.

TE

Michael Trigg, USC - Out against Notre Dame at a minimum.

DFS Tools

Week 8 Plays

Quarterback

Caleb Williams, Oklahoma ($12,000) at Kansas

The main question surrounding Williams last week was whether or not he would start. He ultimately did and showed why he could be the next big name in college football, posting huge numbers against TCU. This week the matchup is even juicier versus a Kansas defense that has some of the worst marks on the slate across the board. With Oklahoma favored by 38.5 points, the primary question is how long the starters will remain in the game. It should be long enough for Williams to deliver returns, given that the Jayhawks have allowed 318 rushing yards and nine rushing scores to opposing quarterbacks this season. That doesn't even factor in the 9.5 yards per pass attempt Kansas is yielding. Williams should take advantage of plenty of this before he leaves the contest.

Brennan Armstrong, Virginia ($10,900) vs. Georgia Tech

Armstrong has both plenty of upside and a great matchup to exploit this week that makes him still a solid value near the top of the board. The Cavaliers don't have a ton in the way of a rushing attack and will be down Mike Hollins again this week, so it wouldn't be shocking to see a high volume of pass attempts again. That should work out well against a Yellow Jackets secondary yielding 8.2 yards per pass attempts and 1.8 passing scores per game. Even more encouraging on that front is the fact that the last three quarterbacks to face Georgia Tech have all thrown for 292 or more yards and a combined eight passing scores. That should set Armstrong up for a huge day under center.

Sean Clifford (listed as questionable), Penn State ($9,500) vs. Illinois (if he starts)

Clifford's health is certainly something to monitor, but he was spotted taking reps and looking fairly mobile during Wednesday's practice. That is a key part of Clifford's game and could add to his fantasy value slightly versus the Illini. Clifford will also have a solid matchup through the air against an Illini defense giving up 264.7 passing yards per game and four games of 277-plus passing yards out of seven played so far. The Nittany Lions have the ability to put up that kind of scoring if Clifford is healthy and will likely be aiming to prove they belong near the top after a tough loss to Iowa prior to the bye week.

Potential GPP "Dart" Play: Jaxson Dart, USC ($5,400) at Notre Dame (Caution: Late Game and he's far from a guarantee to start)

See what I did there? Anyway, Dart could be worthy of a look on Saturday's slate if by some chance he winds up starting Saturday. He hasn't been ruled out for the contest and head coach Donte Williams also seemed to suggest he has a chance to start against the Fighting Irish in place of Kedon Slovis. As mentioned, there are plenty of red flags that will likely scare people away from Dart. The freshman hasn't played since Week 3, and that only came because Slovis was injured. This game is also among the night contests, so there will be fewer contingency plans on the market. That also doesn't take into account that Notre Dame isn't a great matchup. That being said,  Dart did throw for 391 yards and four touchdowns against Washington State in his only start and is likely going to see minimal usage because of all of those factors, so there is a chance to earn some big gains late at a minimal salary if this scenario plays out.

Running Back

Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma ($9,200) at Kansas

Brooks has seemingly taken control of the Sooners' backfield, handling a combined 45 totes over the last two weeks compared to Eric Gray's combined 12. That bodes well for Brooks, who has averaged 27.8 FD points in those two contests, versus a Jayhawks defensive front that's returned ugly results thus far. Prior to last Saturday's 102 yards on 20 carries for Texas Tech, the previous four games resulted in opposing running backs averaging 39.8 FD points per game. Most of that figures to head the way of Brooks in what should be a blowout, which sets him up to deliver plenty of value at this salary.

Tyrion Davis-Price, LSU ($8,500) at Ole Miss

Davis-Price's salary sits in an easily affordable range for a player that is coming off of a school record 287 rushing yards and three scores against Florida last week. He also compiled 147 yards and a pair of scores the week prior. This is expected to be an uptempo contest featuring plenty of scoring versus Ole Miss, hence the slate-high 76.5 over-under, but the absence of a lot of weapons in LSU's passing attack could lead to a ground-heavy approach for the Tigers again in what is expected to be a close contest. This would likely benefit Davis-Price the most, and he still sits just 10th on the salary chart. This is a part of that game where I want a piece.

Hassan Haskins, Michigan ($8,300) vs. Northwestern

Haskins clocks in at a salary tag $1,100 below teammate Blake Corum despite owning a 47 percent total of the rushing attempts over the last two games compared to Corum's 33 percent. That likely factors in that Haskins isn't much of a receiving threat, but I'll take the discount against a Northwestern defense allowing more than 200 rushing yards per game. Power-five opponents have averaged 35.3 FD points versus the Wildcats and that number jumps to 44.4 if we exclude Rutgers' minuscule effort last game. The game script (Michigan -23.5) also calls for a heavy ground game approach in the second half, so I'm expecting big things from Haskins in this one.

Jahmyr Gibbs, Georgia Tech ($7,300) at Virginia

Gibbs hasn't performed up to expectations this season, but there's a reason he was one of the earlier running backs off the board in many college fantasy drafts this season. He's an electric runner and a great receiver out of the backfield as well, giving him multiple ways to contribute. While the receiving may not be in full force Saturday, he should find running room versus a Cavaliers defensive front that allowed 155-plus rushing yards to each of the four opponents prior to Duke. Those four opponents (North Carolina, Wake Forest 

GPP Dart: Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss ($5,800) vs. LSU

Ealy's stock has taken a hit recently due to him suffering a concussion versus Alabama and playing minimally against Tennessee last week in his first game back. However, Ealy is typically a big part of the offense and could be involved in a much larger portion this week with the Ole Miss receiving corps banged up. Given the wealth of talent in the Rebels' backfield, it wouldn't be shocking to see a large amount of multi-back sets with one of the backs splitting out to catch some passes. Ealy averages a pair of catches per game on the year, which gives him some added value with FanDuel's 0.5 PPR format. Ealy also has multiple double-digit carry contests under the belt, so there is plenty of upside for him this week.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Jahan Dotson, Penn State ($9,400) vs. Illinois (If Sean Clifford plays)

Dotson is coming off of his worst effort of the season versus Iowa, which doesn't come as a surprise given the matchup and the fact that starting Clifford left the game with an injury. Still, Dotson was targeted a season-high 17 times in the contest and has been targeted 11 or more times in four of the six games this season. He should have a good chance to get back on track Saturday if Clifford is under center, notching at least one touchdown in every game prior to Iowa. Dotson goes up against an Illinois secondary that has surrendered 30-plus points to every receiving corps prior to Wisconsin last week, which bodes well for Dotson to have a big game Saturday.

Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia ($8,800) vs Georgia Tech

Wicks is the perfect pairing with Brennan Armstrong if you are looking for a Virginia stack. Georgia Tech allows the third-highest mark on the slate in terms of yards per attempt, which is an area where Wicks excels, averaging 13.6 yards per target. That ranks second on the slate to Jameson Williams among wideouts averaging at least five targets per contest. Wicks is also the team's biggest threat to reach pay dirt, notching a score in every game except for the opener versus Williams & Mary and his early departure due to injury versus Louisville.

Kyle Philips, UCLA ($7,500) vs. Oregon (check availability)

Philips is another player whose salary may be weighted down a bit by injury. In the four games prior to his injury-shortened effort against Arizona, Philips averaged five catches for 85.0 yards and 1.5 receiving touchdowns, good for 20.0 FD points per game. Add to that that both defenses in this matchup are allowing north of 270 passing yards per contest, and we have a potential for a lot of clock stoppages with high passing attempt totals. Philips has the perfect amount of upside in this range to warrant usage.

Michael Mayer, Notre Dame ($7,000) vs. USC

Speaking of upside, Mayer provides a somewhat similar upside further down the list, posting a pair of 20-point efforts early in the season before being slowed by injury a bit as well. He's healthy now and set to take on a USC defense that has allowed a slate-worst 12.3 points per game to opposing tight ends despite facing a pair of teams in Stanford and Washington State who don't utilize the tight end much. Four of the six games versus the Trojans have resulted in opposing tight ends reaching double figures, and Mayer is among the best tight end options in the country. This matchup could yield another big effort from him.

GPP Dart: Key'Shawn Smith, Miami ($5,500) vs. NC State

Smith's stat line last week versus North Carolina jumps out a bit with his season-high marks for catches (seven) and receiving yards (77), but what may fall a bit under the radar is the fact that he led the players on the slate last week in targets with 15. That could be a sign of his connection with quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, who is set to hold the job the rest of the way. The matchup isn't a particularly good one, but Smith's involvement on that scale last week could pay dividends this week if he can turn in a similar target share and find the end zone. He may be worth a shot if you're looking for a low-salary option with some potential for upside.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Chris Benzine plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Crispy272001, DraftKings: Crispy27.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Benzine
Chris is a sports editor for various sports on the site and also a consistent contributor in the college sports arena.
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