And just like that, the college football season is nearly behind us. Of course, we are a National Championship short of calling it a year, leaving one final slate for players to relish before we’re left looking ahead to August. The FantasyLabs projections are live for Monday’s showdown between the defending champion Georgia Bulldogs and surprise finalists, the TCU Horned Frogs. As such, we’re digging into our model for one last kick at the DFS can as we usher in the 2023 champion.
DFS projections for the College Football National Championship are live in our Player Models.
Don’t forget to check out our Lineup Builder if you like to hand build your lineups or our Lineup Optimizer for those of you that like to enter multiple lineups into tournaments.
Now, let’s get to it!
CFB DFS Stud Picks
Stetson Bennett (Georgia Bulldogs, Quarterback – $11,200)
Where would the Bulldogs be without Stetson Bennett? Probably not playing for the natty.
The senior pivot was calm, cool, and collected, leading Georgia to a fourth-quarter comeback over the Ohio State Buckeyes in the semifinal. Bennett threw for 398 yards and three touchdowns, adding six points with his rushing score in the second quarter. The Bulldogs’ quarterback has leveled up in the postseason, totaling 672 passing yards and seven touchdowns while knocking off the Buckeyes and LSU Tigers.
TCU has a loose defensive standard, conducive to another solid performance from Bennett. The Horned Frogs let the Michigan Wolverines walk all over them, allowing 45 points and 528 yards. They’ll face a stiffer challenge from Bennett and the Bulldogs.
Max Duggan (TCU Horned Frogs, Quarterback – $11,600)
Max Duggan ranks highly in our projections, and if TCU has any chance of claiming the belt, they’ll need him to live up to his fantasy ceiling.
The senior quarterback has struggled over his last couple of games, completing just 49.2% of his passes for 476 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions. Regardless, that’s been the exception and not the rule for Duggan this year, and he could thrive against a Bulldogs defense that couldn’t contain the Buckeyes.
Duggan has completed 63.7% of his passes this year, for 253.3 passing yards per game. The fantasy impact doesn’t end there, as Duggan’s most significant contributions have come via the rushing attack. He was unstoppable in the Big 12 Championship Game, toting the ball 15 times for 110 yards, adding 57 more on 15 carries against the Wolverines.
TCU had a natural scoring ability this year, and Duggan deserves a lot of credit for it. The signal-caller has touchdowns in three of his last four outings and will be ready to take whatever Georgia gives him on Monday night.
Kenny McIntosh (Georgia Bulldogs, Running Back – $8,600)
Few running backs at the collegiate level play a three-down role as well as Kenny McIntosh does. The Bulldogs running back is an outlet on any play call and will use the National Championship as one last audition for an NFL club.
McIntosh gained 70 yards on the ground in his most recent outing, with 56 more coming via the passing game. That was the third time over the past four games in which he surpassed 100 all-purpose yards. More impressively, McIntosh has averaged 134.3 total yards per game over the four-game sample, recording at least one touch each time out.
According to our model, McIntosh has the highest ceiling of any non-quarterback player. That’s reflected in his recent boxscores and makes him a stud worth rostering on the biggest slate of the year.
CFB DFS Midrange Picks
Quentin Johnston (TCU Horned Frogs, Wide Receiver – $9,600)
With a breakout 1,000 receiving-yard season, Quentin Johnston has launched himself to the top of the wide receiver class for the upcoming NFL Draft. Still, he has one last game to leave a lasting impression on scouts. If his previous two postseason games are any indication, we should be ready for another monster performance.
Over his last two games, Johnston has totaled 302 receiving yards and one touchdown, eclipsing the century mark in both contests. Moreover, he’s been the primary receiving option for the Horned Frogs all season, earning an obscene 34.7% target share.
Without hesitation, Johnston is the pre-eminent wide receiver worth targeting on Monday. The TCU standout has broken off catch-and-runs of 48 yards or longer in six of his last eight games, with an average of 119.0 receiving yards per game over that stretch. Johnston will be heavily drafted on the final slate of the season and could exceed his lofty ceiling if Kendre Miller isn’t suiting up.
Brock Bowers (Georgia Bulldogs, Tight End – $8,000)
There is no shortage of weapons in the Bulldogs’ offense, but Brock Bowers has been a constant for Bennett and the passing attack from the outset of the season. The tight end will once again feature prominently in the game planning and should maintain his impressive form.
Bowers leads the team in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns, taking on a more prominent role over the last few games. The sophomore pass catcher has led Georgia in targets in two of the previous three, earning a slight bump in target share to 21.7%. The steady-handed Bowers has maintained his solid production with the increased looks, posting a 77.8% catch rate and 55.0 yards per game.
Bennett will continue to lean into his tight end, and Bowers will continue to respond with above-average outings. The sophomore can be considered a mid-range option on the championship slate.
CFB DFS Values and Punt Plays
Kendre Miller (TCU Horned Frogs, Running Back – $10,000)
It’s tough to rationalize a $10,000 salary as a punt play, but Kendre Miller could be an unpredictable X-factor in the championship game with his status up in the air.
Arguably, Miller has been the Horned Frogs MVP this season, and if healthy, he could put together another elite performance against the Bulldogs.
Miller leads the Horned Frogs in scrimmage yards this season, accumulating 1,515 in 14 outings. Most of those yards came on the ground, but Miller has also been a factor in the passing game. Where the Texas native sets himself apart with his penchant for finding the end zone. Miller has crossed the plane 17 times this season. The only game he didn’t score was the semifinal, where he was forced to leave early.
Given his health concerns, DFS players may want to stop short of including Miller on their rosters. Nevertheless, he’s the Horned Frogs’ pre-eminent playmaker who should shine if he’s in the lineup.
Emari Demercado (TCU Horned Frogs, Running Back – $7,000)
Senior running back Emari Demercado could end his college career as the lead back of a National Champion after spending the first four years of his tenure as a secondary, if not tertiary, option.
His performance against Michigan was spectacular, but Demercado is not guaranteed to repeat that effort against a staunch Bulldogs front. Georgia allows the fewest rushing yards in the nation and has tightened its belt in crunch time. Their last three opponents are averaging just 68.7 yards on the ground.
Nevertheless, Demercado is averaging 6.9 yards per carry against top 25 ranked opponents, falling beneath 5.4 yards per carry in just one of seven contests.
Demercado is a bit of a gamble on Monday. Yet with an affordable salary and Miller being a game-time decision, he could emerge as a big-time producer for the Horned Frogs. Keep your rosters flexible as more information becomes available on Miller closer to kick-off.
Taye Barber (TCU Horned Frogs, Wide Receiver – $5,600)
Receivers not named Quentin Johnston take a back seat to the Horned Frogs’ game planning. Still, they have some secondary options that could be relied upon if the Bulldogs blanket Johnston as expected.
Taye Barber and Derius Davis have nearly indistinguishable metrics. Although Barber didn’t play against Iowa State in Week 13, both wideouts have exactly 14 targets over their last three games. Barber has been the more productive pass catcher, hauling in ten catches for 146 yards and two scores compared to Davis’s five catches and 51 yards.
Despite the metrics favoring Barber, Davis enters the championship game with a slightly higher salary. As such, we’re recommending Barber as a value play as he tries to extend his touchdown streak to three straight games.
Jack Podlesny (Georgia Bulldogs, Kicker – $3,600)
This might be a little too on the nose for our “punt plays,” but we can’t look past the value that Georgia kicker, Jack Podlesny, offers on the single-game slate.
Thanks to the Bulldogs’ explosive offense, Podlesny has no shortage of chances to amplify his fantasy output. Over his past three outings, the Bulldogs are averaging 43.0 points per game, with their kicker contributing 14 extra points and five field goals. Considering the Horned Frogs’ defensive woes, Podlesny will have ample opportunity to put points on the board.
Inevitably, more affordable options need to be added to offset the salaries of the top performers. If the Bulldogs score as prolifically as expected, Podlesny will add his fair share of fantasy value via kicks and extra points.