Hello FanCavers! After a long, and overdue wait the lovely people over at Draftkings have decided to bring NCAAF DFS back in our lives!
So with all this excitement lets dive into this first 3 game slate of the season with my top plays at each position!
K.J Carta-Samuels (Colorado State, $10,800):
The graduate transfer from Washington checks in as both the highest priced QB, and overall player on this slate. Over the last 3 season Carta-Samuels has only thrown 47 passes while getting mop up duty for the Huskies. This is a mild cause of concern for me due to his price tag and not truly knowing what he is capable of. However, he does have a few things going for him. For starters, he was originally slated to transfer to UCLA (a high profile power 5 conference team) before ultimately deciding on the Rams. Secondly Hawaii ranked 114th in the country a season ago in total defense while giving up 458 YPG (only 210 through the air) of total offense. Despite a rather low YPG allowed through the air I like Carta-Samuels’ chances of being able to pick apart the Hawaii D.
Tyler Vander Waal (Wyoming, $6,100):
Vander Waal has some very big shoes to fill with Josh Allen departing for the NFL after last season, and he is in a great position to get his feet wet this week. This matchup comes against New Mexico State, who ranked 119th in the nation last season giving up 280 passing YPG. I am by no means expecting him to go out and throw for 350 yards in his first collegiate start, but at this price tag I believe he gives you enough salary remaining to fit in some higher tiered skill players.
Izzy Matthews (Colorado State, ($7,200):
The second of three Colorado State players you will see in this article, Izzy Matthews is possibly my favorite play on the entire slate. As I touched on earlier, this Hawaii defense was brutal a year ago and most of the damage came on the ground where teams averaged 239.8 YPG. To make Matthews even more appealing, two of Colorado State’s backup RB’s are out this week, and star WR Michael Gallup from a year ago has moved on to the NFL. Matthews is an absolute lock for me at $7,200.
Emmanuel Esupka (Rice, $6,900):
Esupka is the top RB on the depth chart this week for Rice and is expected to see most of the touches out of the backfield with presumed starter Nashon Ellerbe sidelined for undisclosed reasons. Prairie View only gave up 111 YPG on the ground last season, but that was mostly going up against FCS competition. I like Esupka to get a good amount of touches and to have a solid performance starting for Rice this week.
Other(s) to consider: Jason Huntley, NMSU, $8,200 – Austin Walter, Rice, $5,100
Olabisi Johnson (Colorado State, $8,700):
The third and final member of Colorado State to make today’s article, Johnson is another beneficiary of the departure of Michael Gallup. As a junior, Johnson caught 41 passes, racked up 595 yards, and scored 5 TDs which is very impressive since he was playing alongside a star like Gallup. I want to pick on this Hawaii D as much as possible this week and I believe pairing Johnson with Izzy Matthews is an excellent way to attack the slate.
Austin Conway (Wyoming, $7,000):
Conway was the top receiver a year ago for Wyoming, catching 62 passes for 553 yards and 3 TDs. Not only was Conway used in the passing game, he also carried the football 15 times for 70 yards and a TD. With Josh Allen now gone I don’t see Conway’s numbers slipping at all as he will be the most reliable hands for Redshirt Freshman Tyler Vander Waal going against the extremely poor New Mexico State defense. I expect the connection between Vander Waal and Conway to get started early and be a common theme of Saturday night’s game.
Cedric Byrd (Hawaii, $5,100):
The run and shoot offense is back! The Rainbow Warriors are heading back to their old ways with a very pass happy offense that will give the WRs all kinds of chances to score points this season. I will say however my confidence is not very high in the QB situation, but throwing the ball 50 times a game, it will be necessary to have exposure to at least one WR. Now, onto Byrd. He is listed as a starter on the depth chart for Hawaii, and I see him getting a TON of targets on Saturday night. The only other Hawaii player that may get more targets here is John Usura, and even then I will take the $5,200 discount on a guy like Byrd and take my chances on him staying in Usura’s ballpark. I will have plenty of Byrd exposure in my lineups and I recommend you do as well!
Jason-Matthew Sharsh/JoJo Ward (Hawaii, $3,000):
We have two WRs here who are listed as starters on the Hawaii depth chart. I really don’t have a personal preference on either of these wideouts because in the end they should get equal opportunities to catch the football in a pass happy offense. At minimum price I will most likely have exposure to both of these receivers in my lineups.
Other(s) to consider: OJ Clark, NMSU, $5,400 – John Usura, Hawaii, $10,300
DraftKings has decided to give us multiple flex spots, as well as a super-flex spot (basically gives you the ability to play another QB) with the new college football product where there will be many different routes to go on larger slates with more notable teams playing. For this week I would recommend not playing multiple QBs and add in another skill player. OJ Clark did not make my top plays but is a strong candidate for a flex position due to his production a year ago. If you have enough salary, John Usura has big game potential as well, but has not seen live game action since last October when his season ended with an ACL tear. I personally won’t be playing Usura but would not fault anyone with the salary for doing so.
Side Note: With this slate being 3 games and having many question marks, I recommend playing lightly and just dipping in to get the feel of the game before a fun group of slates next weekend.
Don’t forget that for just $5 a month you could have the opportunity to talk to myself as well as other FanCave analysts about each and every slate throughout the week in our Discord Chat, for all sports as well not just NCAAF! Thanks for reading and let’s #BuildPlayWin.