This article is part of our College Football DFS: Night Slate series.
College Football DFS Picks: DraftKings and FanDuel Week 0 Night Slate Plays
The inaugural weekend of the 2022 college football season is finally here, and there are a variety of contests available on DraftKings and FanDuel Saturday evening. Both sites offer night and late-night slates to play. We're going to give you the best picks among the five available games, and you'll notice we've notated which games are headlined in the later slate for both sites.
DFS Late and Night Slate Odds and Matchups
Florida Atlantic (-7.5) vs. UNC Charlotte O/U: 60.5
North Carolina (-35.5) vs. Florida A&M O/U: 57.5
North Texas (-0.5) @ UTEP O/U: 54.5*
Nevada (-8.5) @ New Mexico State O/U: 48.5*^
Vanderbilt (-8.5) @ Hawaii O/U: 53.5*^
*- FanDuel After Hours Slate
^- DraftKings Late Night Slate
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- Team Rankings
CHAR/FAU- 95% chance of rain, 75 degrees, 5 MPH winds
College Football DFS Night Slate Quarterback Plays
Chris Reynolds, Charlotte (DK $8,000, FD $8,600) @ FAU
DraftKings is much higher on Reynolds than FanDuel, which favors N'Kosi Perry (DK $7,100, FD $8,900) on the other side of the ball, but Reynolds and Perry are both capable dual-threat signal callers. As the underdog, you could figure that Reynolds and company will need to air it out a bit more, and I believe Charlotte could cover and possibly win this contest. Weather is a definite concern for this game, so it carries some risk for the passing attack of both teams, but I still like the salaries for both players. Reynolds is more of a steal on FanDuel, while Perry is the discount on DraftKings.
Drake Maye, UNC (DK $7,400, FD $11,000) vs Florida A&M
Again, there's great salary disparity between the two sites, with FanDuel placing him atop the QB pool at 11k. He's much more attainable on DK, and I am confident that Mack Brown will try to give Maye four quarters as the recent winner of the QB battle to replace Sam Howell. A weak opponent should give Maye all the confidence he needs with big shoes to fill. As always, there's some blowout risk involved, but this is a special circumstance where they want to give Maye all the reps he can handle at game speed. Loading up on a huge favorite can sometimes backfire, but this is a high-confidence play for this slate, especially on DraftKings.
Gavin Hardison, UTEP (DK $6,400, FD $6,800) vs. North Texas
This game is a toss-up, and it will probably not generate many points, but Hardison is at a great salary point in what should be a very competitive contest. A lot of Hardison's sophomore success (3,218 yards with18 touchdowns) was due in large part to Jacob Cowing, who left through the transfer portal to join Arizona. Also, Justin Garrett left for the NFL. The receiving room for the Miners is a bit thin, but Hardison still has some promising targets. The junior loves to throw deep, and he'll be doing it against a UNT defense that is probably weakest in the secondary. North Texas is intimidating up front with one of the best front sevens in the conference, making it necessary for Hardison to air it out often.
College Football DFS Night Slate Running Back Picks
Toa Taua, Nevada (DK $7,600, FD $8,800) vs. New Mexicos State
This will be an intriguing game to watch, as both teams have had to hit the reset button in the offseason. For Nevada, coach Jay Norvell bolted to Colorado State and gutted the roster, taking several players with him to Fort Collins. The team also lost Carson Strong to the NFL along with some transfer portal losses. Despite the turmoil, these events could possibly work in Taua's favor. Coach Ken Wilson will probably make Taua the centerpiece of this offense, as Strong's likely replacement, Nate Cox, has very little real-game experience and will need time to break in.
Ford's salary is probably the highest you'll see from a non-starter. Although he is arguably the better back, coach Willie Taggart has decided to increase McCammon's role despite struggles and injury problems earlier in his career. With rain in the forecast, both FAU and Charlotte are great smash candidates for the running game, but it's anyone's guess as to how the touches will be divided. Ford's salary might be a little inflated in this scenario, but if McCammon gets 7-10 touches, he's quite a bargain.
Ronald Awatt, UTEP (DK $5,500, FD $6,700) vs. North Texas
Although North Texas is the better overall rushing team, UTEP's backs are nothing to sneeze at. Awatt is the 'Lightning' to Deion Hankins' (DK $4,900, FD $5,800) 'Thunder', and although they're not exactly Reggie Bush and LenDale White, they get the job done. Awatt had a breakout season in 2021, and although he's smaller and quicker, he'll probably have more success around the edges than Hankins, who will run north-south against a very tough UNT defensive front.
College Football DFS Wide Receiver Plays
Tyrin Smith, UTEP (DK $6,100, FD $6,900) vs. North Texas
We mentioned how thin the Miners are at wideout a little while ago, and Smith is the headliner of the group. He's easily the most experienced wideout of the bunch, and he managed 570 yards and for touchdowns last season while competing with Jacob Cowing. No one can absorb all of Cowing's production, but Smith will be first in line to take on the challenge. He's an obvious stack candidate for those who click on Hardison.
Grant DuBose, Charlotte (DK $6,800, FD $8,700) @ FAU
DuBose is Reynolds' favorite target and he's an excellent stack in this game. DuBose caught six touchdowns with 892 yards receiving last season, and this QB-WR connection should be even better this year with experience under their belt. The game will likely be tight and Reynolds will look for DuBose as a deep threat.
Kamari Morales, UNC (DK $4,100, FD $5,400) vs. Florida A&M
There's no denying that Josh Downs is the top wideout for the Heels, but with Antoine Green (upper body) sidelined, Morales should emerge with a larger role, especially when this game gets out of hand. Mack Brown won't risk Downs in a blowout game, and Morales would be the next man up to help break in their new quarterback. Taking a tournament flier on other UNC receivers isn't a bad idea, either. Bryson Nesbit and J.J. Jones should also show up as the blowout takes shape.
College Football Week Zero Night Slate Picks Recap
QB: Chris Reynolds, Charlotte; Drake Maye, UNC; Gavin Hardison, UTEP
RB: Toa Taua, Nevada; Larry McCammon and Johnny Ford, FAU; Ronald Awatt, UTEP
WR: Tyrin Smith, UTEP; Grant DuBose, Charlotte; Kamari Morales, UNC
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