After a palatable Week Zero, college football returns in full force this week, and DraftKings has brought back CFB DFS. The first big slate of the year kicks off today at 7:00 pm ET.
- New Mexico State at Minnesota (-20.5), Over/Under: 46 – 7:00 pm ET
- Central Connecticut at Ball State (-13.5), Over/Under: 61.5 – 7:00 pm ET
- Central Florida (-23) at Connecticut, Over/Under: 74 – 7:00 pm ET
- Weber State at Utah (-23), Over/Under: 48.5 – 8:00 pm ET
- Missouri State at Oklahoma State (-36.5), Over/Under: 73 – 8:00 pm ET
- Wake Forest (-6) at Tulane, Over/Under: 55 – 8:00 pm ET
- Northwestern at Purdue (-1.5), Over/Under: 51 – 8:00 pm ET
- Northwestern State at Texas A&M (-43.5), Over/Under: 63.5 – 8:30 pm ET
There are eight spots in each daily fantasy lineup: One quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one flex and one superflex.
Game of the Week: Central Florida (-23) at Connecticut
This game has the highest point total (74) on the slate, and both teams are flush with offensive talent and looking for a statement performance to kick off the season. Ample value can be found at each skill position, offering nice upside and opportunity to stack the game with unique combinations.
McKenzie Milton (Central Florida): $11,700
It’s impossible to undersell Milton’s statistical upside. Last season he passed for 4,037 yards and 37 touchdowns and rushed for 613 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. He accounted for 67.4% of UCF’s total offense on a team that finished seventh in the country in total yards and second in total points. UConn’s defense ranked 126th overall and 121st against the pass in 2017, and this year it’s 118th in Defense Returning Production.
The Knights are -23 favorites. They’re on the road, which is some cause for concern, but Milton is a 40-1 Heisman hopeful, and UCF will likely play with vengeance after being denied a College Football Playoff berth last year. Milton is a fantastic cash-game play, but he may also be chalky, so he warrants fade consideration in guaranteed prize pools.
Jonathan Banks (Tulane): $8,000
Tulane runs an up-tempo pistol/gun triple-option offense that provides Banks with reliable touches and a high fantasy floor. Down the stretch last season, Tulane also began throwing the ball more frequently. In his final six games of 2017, Banks averaged 215.8 passing yards, 54.2 rushing yards and two total touchdowns per game. The over/under has dropped to 55 points after opening at 61,but the sharp money is on Tulane, and Banks has potential to pile up the points as a dual-threat player regardless of game script.
David Pindell (UConn): $6,300
Pindell is a dual-threat quarterback who spent time at wide receiver last season, but he seized control of the starting job this offseason after the departure of Bryant Shirreffs. The “dual-threat” moniker is thrown around a lot, but Pindell is the real deal. In three games as a starter last season, he averaged 38.3 pass attempts and a whopping 20 carries per game.
In that three-game stretch, Pindell averaged 238.3 yards passing, 79.3 yards rushing and two total touchdowns per game, good for 47.1 DraftKings points per game. As a massive home dog, Pindell will likely be required to dominate touches for the Huskies as they play from behind for most of the game.
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Rodney Smith (Minnesota): $8,500
Smith has over 2,000 total yards and 19 touchdowns in the past two seasons as Minnesota’s undisputed lead back. The Golden Gophers are breaking in a true freshman walk-on quarterback and will likely use run-heavy conservative game plan as massive home favorites against the New Mexico State Aggies, who allowed 313 yards rushing last week to the Wyoming Cowboys. This slate has several lopsided contests, but Smith might have the largest and most stable projected workload of any back. On top of that, The Action Network’s Collin Wilson likes the under, which further suggests a run-heavy game script.
Otis Anderson (Central Florida): $5,800
Anderson is unique in that he’s officially listed as a utility player on the depth chart, and the UCF coaching staff intends to deploy him as both a running back and receiver. Last season as a freshman he gained 494 rushing yards and 351 receiving yards and scored seven total touchdowns. He’s worked with the receiving group this spring, and coaches have praised his ability to line up at multiple positions. Anderson offers the high-touch stability of a running back with the high-efficiency upside of a receiver against the inexperienced UConn defense.
Zavier Scott (UConn): $4,600
Scott is an upside play, especially in tournaments. With his reported combination of size (6-feet-1, 205 pounds) and athleticism (4.38-second 40 time), the redshirt freshman this offseason was impressive enough in practice to displace 2017 starter Kevin Mensah. Recruited as a wide receiver, Scott has the receiving ability needed to play as a full-time three-down back.
In Pindell’s three starts at quarterback last season, UConn running backs averaged 137.3 total yards and 0.67 touchdowns per game. Even if Mensah splits work with him, Scott has enough upside at his salary to warrant a roster spot.
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Greg Dortch (Wake Forest): $7,700
Dortch is a strong option for cash games in that he offers both a high ceiling and floor. As a freshman last year, Dortch averaged 6.6 receptions, 90.3 receiving yards and 1.1 touchdowns per game for the Demon Deacons and was electric as both an after-the-catch runner and return man. Despite missing five games due to injury, he still finished with top-10 ACC marks in receiving yards (722) and receiving touchdowns (9). Wake Forest is starting a freshman at quarterback, but that could work to Dortch’s advantage as a middle-of-the-field high-percentage chain mover.
Hergy Mayala (UConn): $6,000
Mayala is the top returning receiver for the Huskies, posting a 43-615-7 line in nine games last season. With a dynamic playmaker at quarterback, Mayala has elevated upside in what’s expected to be a shootout. UCF is transitioning to a new defensive scheme under a new coaching staff, so there could be some missed assignments in the secondary and big plays for the Huskies.
Rashid Shaheed (Weber State): $3,000
A Football Championship Subdivision school, Weber State has a big opportunity to impress on a national stage against Utah, and the Wildcats will probably feature Shaheed. As a redshirt freshman last year, Shaheed was an All-American return man (29.7 yards per return, two return touchdowns) and big-play specialist as a receiver (21.8 yards per reception) and runner (8.4 yards per rush). Weber State has significant receiving production to replace from last season, and Shaheed is an obvious candidate to claim available targets as an explosive playmaker.
The pass-happy offense raises the floor for the entire receiving corps in a potential shootout.
- QB: Milton
- WR: Dredrick Snelson
- WR: Gabriel Davis
- WR: Tre Nixon
UConn will likely play from behind in a high-scoring contest, with Pindell targeting Mayala at a high rate in a pass-heavy game script.
- QB: Pindell
- WR: Mayala
Banks will look to target Terren Encalade downfield (18.7 yards per catch), especially if Tulane gets behind.
- QB: Banks
- WR: Encalade
The Cardinals want to use a run-heavy attack, and they are double-digit home favorites. Rostering both running backs allows fantasy players to lock in the majority of the rushing production to be accumulate vs. Central Connecticut (FCS).
- RB: James Gilbert
- RB: Caleb Huntley
Photo Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Pictured Above: McKenzie Milton