College football is back, with the season getting underway Saturday. FantasyLabs has DFS players covered with a breakdown of weekly action, starting with main and evening slates in Week 0.
The evening schedule includes a handful of games with several noteworthy performers, which warrant inclusion on rosters. No college football week is complete without a late-night Hawai’i game, and that’s exactly what bettors are treated to as the Warriors take on the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday night.
College football is new to FantasyLabs this season. Inside our Player Models, you’ll be able to utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups for your DFS contests.
Or if cash games are more your speed, you can build your lineups alongside our projections with our Lineup Builder. From there, you can hand-build your lineup or lock in a few guys and let the builder optimize the rest based on our projections.
Let’s dive into this week’s slate!
CFB DFS Quarterback Picks
Drake Maye (Nort Carolina Tar Heels): $7,400 DraftKings
The North Carolina Tar Heels ease into the 2022 campaign with a Week 0 contest against the FCS Florida A&M Rattlers. That will be Drake Maye’s introduction as the starting quarterback, taking the reigns of the offense from Sam Howell. Maye was effective in limited action last season, completing 7-of-10 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown.
The former four-star recruit steps into a well-established offense and should hit the ground running against a Rattlers squad that allowed 404 yards against the South Florida Bulls in their lone FBS matchup last season.
The Tar Heels have a good reputation for getting the most out of their offense, and Maye projects as the top quarterback available on the evening slate.
N’Kosi Perry (Florida Atlantic Owls): $7,100 DraftKings
The N’Kosi Perry era at FAU comes to an end in 2022, and the senior pivot will be looking to go out in style. That starts with Saturday’s season-opening matchup against the Charlotte 49ers. Based on our projections, Perry has the second-highest fantasy ceiling and should reach it against a weak Charlotte 49ers defense that hemorrhaged yards last season.
Opponents accumulated 465.6 yards per game, including 260.8 through the air. That’s good news for Perry, who eclipsed the 300-yard threshold in three games in his junior season. Moreover, Perry completed 60.9% of his passes while throwing for 20 touchdowns.
Yards will be plentiful, and the Owls’ offense runs through Perry, furthering his fantasy cause.
Mike Wright (Vanderbilt Commodores): $6,500 DraftKings
Vanderbilt has the honor of playing in the degenerates’ special against the Warriors. Although Mike Wright has one of the lower salaries, he projects as a solid fantasy option as the Commodores look to knock off Hawai’i as -9.5 chalk.
After concluding last season as the starter, Wright is looking to continue his upward trend with the Commodores. The dual threat adds a new dimension to Vandy’s offense, being able to take off if the passing routes aren’t available. He averaged 4.1 yards per carry while ending his season with a 6:3 touchdown to interception ratio over his final four games.
Opponents threw freely against the Warriors, who gave up 289.7 passing yards per game, which should help Wright cement himself as the starter for the Commodores.
CFB DFS Running Back Picks
Toa Taua (Nevada Wolf Pack): $7,600 DraftKings
The New Mexico State Aggies have a porous standard for defending the run. Toa Taua and the Nevada Wolf Pack will be ready to capitalize on that advantage, making him our top running back option on the evening slate. Taua has been the primary back throughout his tenure at Nevada and will continue to pound the ball.
The senior has averaged 4.8 yards per carry throughout his career and is expected to take on an even more significant role with a new quarterback under center. The Aggies may as well have a welcome mat on defense, although they won’t appreciate how Taua greets them.
Dedrick Parson (Hawai’i Warriors): $6,700 DraftKings
Dedrick Parson is the feature back for the Warriors now, and he’ll be ready to go against the Commodores’ inferior run defense on Saturday. Granted, Vanderbilt is in tough against its SEC opponents, but still, they gave up a conference-worse 457.7 yards per game last year, 193.4 of which came on the ground.
Parson has a knack for breaking off big chunks, rushing for 20 or more yards in four of his last nine games in 2021. Similarly to the Wolf Pack, the Warriors have a new quarterback running their offense, which should increase their reliance on the running game.
It’s Parson’s backfield, and we’ll see big things from the senior against the Commodores.
Ray Davis (Vanderbilt Commodores): $6,200 DraftKings
Vanderbilt can fight fire with fire, running Ray Davis out of their backfield against the Warriors. Davis appeared in just three games for Vandy last season before being sidelined with an ankle injury. Still, he was effective in his limited time galloping for 211 yards on 44 carries.
He’ll be the feature back for the Commodores and could see an increased workload if Vanderbilt starts to pull away. With two questionable defenses, there will be no shortage of offense, helping Davis reach his ceiling in Week 0.
CFB DFS Wide Receiver Picks
Josh Downs (North Carolina Tar Heels): $8,500 DraftKings
Our favorite correlated play is pairing Maye with top receiver Josh Downs. Downs returns for his junior season after a sensational sophomore campaign in which he went off for 1,335 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. The first-team All-ACC wideout has game-breaking ability, surpassing the 120-yard mark on five occasions last year.
For the Tar Heels to be successful this season, it’s imperative that he and Maye develop chemistry. They’ll have plenty of opportunities to make the magic happen against an overmatched Florida A&M squad.
Tyrin Smith (UTEP Miners): $6,100 DraftKings
The UTEP Miners have emerged as a top-end passing team in Conference USA action. With the departure of their top two wide receivers from last year, Tyrin Smith is left to shoulder the burden in the passing game. He and quarterback Gavin Hardison established a connection in 2021, with Smith being a preferred option towards the end of the season, with five receptions in two of his last three outings.
The sophomore receiver will get even more looks against North Texas, as the Miners feature a relatively inexperienced receiving corps.
Grant Dubose (Charlotte 49ers): $6,800 DraftKings
Look past the Grant Dubose and the Charlotte 49ers at your own peril as they enter their contest against the Florida Atlantic Owls with the highest total on the board. That implies that we should expect big things from Dubose, who ended last year as the team’s leading receiver.
Dubose has established chemistry with quarterback Chris Reynolds, and the duo will pick up where they left off last year. In his sophomore campaign, Dubose led the team in receptions, receiving yards, yards per catch, and touchdowns, illustrating his importance to the 49ers’ passing game. Yards will be easy to come by in this one, and Dubose will set the standard.