This article is part of our DraftKings College Football series.
CFB DFS Picks: DraftKings College Football Week 13 Main Slate Breakdown
This is it. The final regular season main slate of the season. What a year it's been, and we're treated to an unbelievable slate to wrap it up. Not only do we have arguably the biggest game of the season taking place in Ann Arbor with Michigan and Ohio State squaring off, but we also have the Apple Cup, the Territorial Cup, and several other tremendous matchups to feast on this weekend.
Looking at the board, we have three games with totals over 60.0 and all of them have spreads between 12.0 and 15.5 points, so there should be plenty of contributions from both sides in those matchups. In real life, Michigan-Ohio State is the headliner of this weekend. For our purposes, though, a game with the top two defenses in college football and an over/under of 47.0 means that we'll probably have to tread lightly on The Game.
Looking at the units to target, Oklahoma State has the worst pass defense on the board in terms of YPA allowed, but it's hard to see BYU taking advantage of that given the state of that quarterback room. Pittsburgh also has a leaky defense on a per-pass basis (8.2) but teams haven't been able to rack up gaudy numbers against it for the most part. As I see it, going after Colorado, Vanderbilt and Washington's secondaries might be the best course of action for your QB and WR slots. Looking at the run defenses, UCF, BYU, Vanderbilt and LSU all have exploitable front sevens that give us plenty of intriguing targets to choose from at running back.
Below, I've broken down my favorite plays by position for the Rivalry Week main slate with options from all ends of the player pool.
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Jayden Daniels ($11,000) LSU vs. Texas A&M
Is $11,000 a preposterous amount to drop on one player? Yes. Is Jayden Daniels worth it? Also yes.
What Daniels is doing this season is unbelievable. Numbers akin to what you would do with your quarterback on NCAA 2014 when you were trying to get him the Heisman. He not only ranks fourth in the nation in passing yards (3,577), he leads the nation in touchdown passes while also having the most rushing yards (1,014) of any quarterback. There's nothing he can't do at an elite level.
Texas A&M has a respectable defense, but Daniels has faced better defenses and still shredded them this season. You'll have to get creative with the rest of your build, and it will be tough to stack him with Malik Nabers ($9,600) but Daniels is worth paying up for this week.
Noah Fifita ($7,400) Arizona at Arizona State
Fifita has been a revelation for the Wildcats this season and he will be a big reason why Arizona is hyped going into next season. Since taking over in Week 5, Fifita has completed 73 percent of his passes with an 18:4 TD:INT and a 7.8 YPA. He's surrounded by talented options like Jacob Cowing and Tetairoa McMillan and is supported by a strong backfield group. His home/road splits are consistent across the board so there's little worry with this being a road game against a rival. Arizona State
Arizona faces an Arizona State team that ranks 87th in defensive SP+ and has given up a whopping 23 passing touchdowns on the year. This is a good setup for Fifita to return value at $7,400.
Grayson Loftis ($6,600) Duke vs. Pittsburgh
We'll need to check for confirmation that Loftis is indeed starting, but there's little to suggest that Henry Belin will be available for this game and Loftis has earned another start with how he has played of late. In his last two games, Loftis has thrown for 467 yards with five touchdowns and one interception while also adding one rushing score.
Pitt's secondary has been accommodating this season, allowing 8.2 YPA to opposing quarterbacks. They are a bit of a bend-don't-break type of outfit, though, as they allow just 1.3 passing scores per game. It may not be a setup for gaudy numbers for Loftis, but there's enough here to where 20 points is within the realm of possibility.
Others to Consider
Michael Wiley ($4,500) Arizona at Arizona State
Going back to the well on the Arizona offense, we'll take a look at the backfield as it's a favorable setup for the Wildcat ground game as well. Wiley is an interesting play in that he has effectively lost his spot as Arizona's primary ball carrier -- that distinction now belongs to Jonah Coleman -- but Wiley has been an ace as a pass-catcher, and that's especially appealing in this PPR format.
Wiley has 26 catches for 271 yards and four touchdowns on 29 targets, which shows remarkable efficiency and explosiveness. His rushing work may be limited, but if we're targeting legitimate pass-catching upside from this range of the player pool, Wiley certainly qualifies.
Jaylen Wright ($5,200) Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt
Picking on Vanderbilt's defense isn't exactly a galaxy brain move, but sometimes you have to just take what the slate's giving you. $5,200 for a running back who should get double-digit carries against a Vandy run defense that gives up 5.1 yards per carry is a bargain. Wright does split carries with Jabari Small and Dylan Sampson, but he still carries a 32 percent rushing share on the year and is the primary back. There's also a bit of blowout risk; fortunately, we have several instances to point to this season where Wright saw pedestrian volume and still posted quality production. For instance, 11 carries for 120 and a score against Kentucky and nine for 90 and a touchdown against Georgia last week. Look for Wright to pick up chunk yardage every time he gets the ball Saturday and he's a good way to get exposure to a Tennessee offense with the highest implied total on the slate.
TreVeyon Henderson ($7,300) Ohio State at Michigan
We know that Michigan's defense has basically been a death star all season, allowing 2.96 yards per carry to opponents and just 90 rushing yards per game (9th in FBS). We also know that this isn't expected to be a particularly high-scoring game with an over/under set at just 47.0. Sometimes, though, a true star player can transcend the obstacles in front of him, and I believe Henderson fits that bill.
On a pure talent basis, I'm not sure there are many (any?) running backs better than Henderson in this year's draft class. He has recaptured the explosiveness he showed as a freshman when he peeled off 6.8 YPC and scored 15 touchdowns; this season, Henderson averages 6.7 YPC and has punched it in 10 times in eight appearances. After a mid-season injury, Henderson has piled up 499 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns over the last four weeks and has added 13 grabs for 165 yards on 15 targets.
I expect Ohio State to limit Kyle McCord's exposure to the Michigan secondary to an extent, and that will lead to a busy day for Henderson. The price tag and the matchup should keep his roster percentage low, and that will give Henderson backers some serious leverage if he does what he's been doing all season.
Others to Consider
Rome Odunze ($8,500) Washington vs. Washington State
Odunze doesn't need much of an explanation at this stage. He ranks fourth among receivers in fantasy production per game and averages one touchdown catch per game as the top target in Washington's explosive offense. Now, it's fair to point out that quarterback Michael Penix hasn't been quite as sharp down the stretch as he was to begin the year, but that hasn't affected Odunze's output whatsoever. In fact, Odunze has caught all four of Penix's touchdown passes in the last two weeks. Odunze is a strong one-off play that doesn't need to be a part of a Washington stack to find his way into your lineup.
If you're looking for cheap exposure to the Washington pass game, tight end Jack Westover ($3,800) has caught 11 of 13 targets over the last two weeks and is getting more involved down the stretch.
Noah Thomas ($4,300) Texas A&M at LSU
It's never a bad idea to load up on the LSU offense on a given slate. It's also never a bad idea to load up on whoever's facing LSU's defense. That's what we have with A&M this week as the Aggies head to the Bayou.
News came out earlier Friday that star receiver, Evan Stewart, did not make the trip to Baton Rouge. That's a major domino to fall, and it lifts the projections for the rest of the A&M receiving corps. Thomas hasn't been as explosive as Ainias Smith or Jahdae Walker of late, but he's still drawing 4.0 targets per game and converting that into 8.4 YPT over the last month.
Thomas is already playing a healthy snap share, and Stewart's absence should help his targets per snap figure. And, finally, LSU allows 7.7 yards per attempt to opposing passers and Texas A&M has a decent implied total of 27.25, so this is a fine setup for Thomas at a bargain salary. And, for the record, Smith ($5,500) is a solid play as well from this Aggie receiving corps.
Devaughn Vele ($5,000) Utah vs. Colorado
I would not want to be Colorado this week. The wheels have already fallen off for the Buffs as it is, and now it has to go to Rice-Eccles to face a Utah team that's likely to be in a bad mood after getting trounced by Arizona last week.
The Utes carry a 34.5 implied total and Colorado has the worst pass defense on this slate, allowing just under 300 yards per game through the air at a 8.0 YPA clip. Those are good tailwinds working in Vele's favor, as Vele has been the guy in the Utah passing attack for a while now. Over the last four weeks, Vele has commanded a 31 percent target share and posted a 9.1 YPT, which adds up to 28 grabs for 392 yards and four touchdowns in that span. That type of dominant market share means he'll be busy against one of the softest secondaries in the country this week. I'd have been comfortable playing Vele at $6,000, let alone $5,000.