This article is part of our DraftKings College Football series.
CFB DFS Picks: DraftKings Main Slate Plays, Lineup Strategy and GPP Targets for Week 8
Last week was built up as one of the best regular season slates of games in years and it absolutely delivered. Luckily, we get to ride that into Week 8 as we have another killer menu of games for our college football Saturday and specifically for this DFS main slate. Chip Kelly takes his merry band of Bruins back to his old stomping grounds to face Oregon and Ole Miss gets its biggest test to date with a trip to the Bayou to face LSU. We also get plenty of great Big 12 action and enough AAC sprinkled in to keep the DFS grinders happy. Without further adieu, let's see what we're cooking with this weekend.
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DFS Matchup Info
College Football DFS Plays: Quarterback
Sam Hartman ($8,900) Wake Forest vs. Boston College
BC has been one of the bigger disappointments this season with a 2-4 record featuring losses to Rutgers and Virginia Tech. The Eagles allow 35 points per game away from Chestnut Hill and that plays into the Deacs' hands this week as Hartman himself has fairly stark home/road splits.
Hartman on the road (2 Games): 8.8 YPA, 3.0 TD/GM
Hartman at home (3 Games): 9.9 YPA, 3.3 TD/GM
His home splits could be even stronger if not for the game against Army when Wake mustered just 64 plays. Hartman is set up for a big game here; he hasn't thrown for over 300 yards since the Clemson game and that streak ends here.
Michael Pratt ($6,300) Tulane vs. Memphis
Folks, it's late October and we have a ranked Tulane. Pratt is a big reason why as the junior has accounted for 15 touchdowns (11 passing, four rushing) in six games while averaging 9.5 YPA and a tick over three yards per carry. Pratt can do it all; the lone concern is the passing volume as Tulane averages just under 70 plays per game and throws it just 42 percent of the time. Luckily, Pratt's efficiency smooths over the volume concern and Memphis has an accommodating defense that surrenders 301 passing yards per game and two passing touchdowns per game. It's also interesting that Memphis is fairly stingy against the run (118.1 YPG), so it's possible that Tulane's offensive philosophy shifts a bit more toward the pass Saturday. At $6,300 with dual-threat ability and a soft matchup, Pratt is a worthwhile dart if you're looking to save at quarterback this week.
Bo Nix ($9,300) Oregon vs. UCLA
DTR will probably have a higher roster % than his opponent, Bo Nix, given that there's a $1,400 difference between the two. That's an important detail considering that this game has the highest total on the slate and will be extremely popular, so getting the correct side is crucial.
Nix carries a bit of risk because so much of his production is fueled by the eight rushing touchdowns he has accumulated over the last four games. He'll need to punch at least one in on the ground for this play to fully work out, but it's not hard to imagine him doing that. Nix has also taken a step forward as a passer this season, averaging career-highs in YPA (8.2) and completion percentage (70.4) by a significant margin.
UCLA has a solid defense and has a pair of impressive wins on its resume, but it has only gone on the road once this season and that was at lowly Colorado. Traveling to Autzen will be a different story and that's why we see the Ducks favored in this spot. I think both DTR and Nix will have strong outings Saturday but Nix gets the official nod from me as the home favorite against this Bruin defense that isn't travel-tested yet.
Aidan O'Connell ($6,000) Purdue at Wisconsin
Wisconsin is generally not a defense to target and the weather at this time of year is usually not hospitable to passing games. Neither is the case this time around. It's going to be a beautiful day in Madison and Wisconsin is allowing 8.2 YPA to conference opponents with four games of sample to draw from. This means O'Connell should be mostly unimpeded Saturday. Of course, star wideout Charlie Jones is nicked up, but the Purdue offense is built around the pass regardless of who's available out wide and it looks like Jones will be available in some capacity. At $6,000, O'Connell is in a good setup to return plenty of value.
College Football DFS Plays: Running Back
Xazavian Valladay ($6,600) Arizona State at Stanford
The Wyoming transfer has been one of the few bright spots in a rough season out in Tempe. Valladay has a stranglehold on the lead role in this backfield with a 52 percent carry share and has responded with four 100-yard games and six rushing scores with a 5.9 YPC average.
Stanford's run defense looks worse than it actually is -- that 351-yard meltdown at Oregon is tainting the sample a little bit -- but the Cardinal are still surrendering 150 yards on the ground with a high YPC every week. Arizona State runs the ball 53 percent of the time and with Valladay accounting for over half the rushes, he projects to see plenty of work against a shaky run defense. He's a strong play at $6,600 in a game that might be somewhat ignored by the field this week.
Casey Filkins ($5,800) Stanford vs. Arizona State
On the other side of this matchup we have Filkins. There isn't much that stands out about Filkins' production; he averages just 3.8 YPC against FBS opponents and has three rushing scores on 108 carries in that split. However, Filkins is starting to see crazy volume. He has a 56 percent rushing share and that number has ticked over 80 percent in the last two weeks. With E.J. Smith out for the season, that workload should stay on trend in this spot. It also helps that Stanford is a slight favorite and faces a suspect Arizona State run defense. Filkins averaging 3.5 yards per carry doesn't matter if he's getting the ball 30 times and finding the end zone at least once.
Quinshon Judkins ($6,700) Mississippi at LSU
This game has been breaking my brain all week. Ole Miss, which is getting very little national attention despite being undefeated and ranked No.7 in the country, is a 2.0-point underdog at LSU after opening as a suspiciously low favorite to begin with. Yes, LSU's offense woke up and the Tigers got a win in the Swamp, which is never easy, but I'm not sure that this year's Florida team holds a candle to the Rebs.
Ole Miss has the best non-service academy rushing attack in the country, averaging 271 rushing yards per game with an FBS-leading 24 rushing scores. Judkins and Zach Evans ($6,400) have transformed the Ole Miss offense and made it a smashmouth team. Judkins has the edge in workload so for $300 more than Evans, he's the one to target. LSU is allowing 4.8 YPC against SEC competition and given up seven rushing scores in four games.
It's entirely possible -- likely, even -- that Vegas knows what it's doing by putting the line where it is. Maybe LSU bows up and grinds out a victory here. But the numbers tell us that this Ole Miss run game isn't going to be slowed down by anybody and in a hostile environment like Death Valley, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Rebs get the ground game established instead of exposing Jaxson Dart to more dropbacks than he's become accustomed to.
For the GPP folks, stacking both Judkins and Evans might be a direction to explore. It's an affordable stack relative to their production and Mississippi runs the ball 64 percent of the time, so there's more than enough to go around between the two of them.
Audric Estime ($5,400) Notre Dame vs. UNLV
Estime flopped in a smash spot last week at Stanford, though to be fair the Irish flopped in general last week and have all season. We can at once be skeptical of Notre Dame while also buying in this week at home against a banged-up UNLV team. UNLV allows the fourth-most rushing yards per game of any team on this slate and the Irish ground game should get rolling here.
It has to be said that Notre Dame has had a very even split in the backfield over its last three games with all of Estime, Logan Diggs and Chris Tyree seeing at least 34 carries. Tyree seems to have the biggest passing game role of the three but Estime is peeling off 7.38 YPC over his last 39 carries in that sample and has punched in three touchdowns. Diggs at $4K has a little bit of tournament appeal for those who think Notre Dame covers the big spread and leans on its reserves a bit more Saturday.
Charles McClelland ($6,100) Cincinnati at SMU
Cincy is coming off the bye but questions still remain regarding its quarterback situation with Ben Bryant working to clear concussion protocol. Backup Evan Prater is plenty capable, though it's worth pointing out that Cincinnati's top wideout, Tyler Scott, may be less than 100 percent with an ankle injury. This points to a run-heavy script for the Bearcats and McClelland is set up for a big game. Though Corey Kiner has started to enter the mix, McClelland is the top dog in this backfield and has run for 291 yards and two scores in his last three games while peeling off 6.77 YPC. SMU allows 209 rushing yards and 2.2 rushing touchdowns per game. McClelland is one of the best point-per-dollar running back plays this week.
College Football DFS Plays: Wide Receiver
Xavier Worthy ($6,100) Texas at Oklahoma State
Worthy remains underpriced and we'll keep going to this well as long as he's this obvious of a value. His salary is up just $400 from last week when he caught eight passes for 72 yards and two scores to extend his touchdown streak to four games (six Rec. TD in that span).
Overall, Texas' offense had trouble moving the ball last week against a tough Iowa State defense. A trip to Stillwater is another challenge, though Oklahoma State's secondary continues to be a problem for the 'Pokes. Worthy and his 26 percent target share should be heavily featured against a shaky pass defense.
Duece Watts ($5,000) Tulane vs. Memphis
This play is close to a must if you're in on Pratt. As stated, Tulane isn't a high-volume passing attack but the efficiency when Pratt drops back is outstanding. Watts is a big part of it with a team-high four touchdowns while leading the team in target share (13.2%) with a strong 11.3 YPT. Watts is coming off an eight-target outing in which he caught four passes and extended his touchdown streak to three games. Jha'Quan Jackson ($4,300) and Tyrick James ($4,200) are the other Tulane pass-catchers worth considering when targeting that game.
Texas Tech looks like it will rotate quarterbacks Saturday, which takes Donovan Smith and Behren Morton off our board unless we're feeling particularly bold. It doesn't take the passing game out of consideration as a whole, though.
Cleveland and White have started to take over as the top targets and with Myles Price (ankle) iffy for Saturday, that should continue. Both are coming off double-digit target outings with Cleveland pacing all Red Raiders with 15 targets while White has touchdowns and at least eight grabs in back-to-back games.
Texas Tech far-and-away leads the nation in pace (87 plays/game) and throws it nearly 60 percent of the time. They should be able to exploit this matchup as West Virginia surrenders 8.9 yards per pass attempt.
Oronde Gadsden ($6,300) Syracuse at Clemson
Syracuse enters this game as significant underdogs and may have to get away from its run-heavy ways if it falls behind. While I'm skeptical on Garrett Shrader and Sean Tucker this week, I am bullish on Gadsden.
The stud tight end dwarfs all of Syracuse pass-catchers in terms of target share at 24 percent while everyone else is under 14 percent. Despite defenses knowing where the ball is going, Gadsden is still dominating. He has caught 31 of 26 targets for 507 yards and five scores. Clemson's defense is good, of course, but the secondary has shown to be a weakness at points this season. Gadsden is a matchup nightmare at 6-foot-5, 216 pounds and this sets up for him to have a season-high in targets in a catchup script against a less-than-intimidating secondary.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba ($7,000) Ohio State vs. Iowa
As a JSN for Heisman ticket holder, I never expected Smith-Njigba to be a buy-low candidate in any of these articles this season. Obviously, the hamstring issue has derailed that campaign and I'm ready to set that ticket on fire, but alas, we have a nice opportunity here.
Marvin Harrison and Emeka Egbuka have been excellent and helped keep the OSU passing attack at an elite level, but JSN is still the best of this bunch when healthy. We'll have to see whether JSN is full-go in pregame but Ryan Day sounded optimistic about the star's return before the bye week. To help matters, there might be some avoidance of the OSU passing game due to Iowa's stout defense. Just remember that Ohio State is still a 30-point favorite that is expected to score 40 points.