This article is part of our DraftKings College Football series.
CFB DFS Picks: DraftKings College Football Main Slate for Conference Championship Weekend
Welp, the regular season is in the books and this is the final remaining big slates this season. We'll have some great bowl slates along the way later this month, but this is our final taste of a big college football slate for a couple of weeks.
Luckily, we have eight awesome games on the docket to carry us through on Saturday. As a Georgia grad living in Atlanta, I'm trying not to freak myself out about a certain game taking place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday afternoon, though there are some targets from that game discussed later in this piece.
Spoiler alert, since DraftKings is not a Point Per Punt format DFS site, I have no plays from the Iowa-Michigan matchup for the Big Ten crown. However, we should get plenty of points in the remaining tilts, such as the MWC, Sun Belt, AAC and Big 12. Even the MAC Title game will be fun.
A big development as of Friday has been centered on Florida State, as the 'Noles might not only be without Jordan Travis. Backup Tate Rodemaker may not be able to play against Louisville, necessitating one of Brock Glenn or AJ Duffy to take over. We hate to see that for many reasons -- and I mean that sincerely for once -- as it casts a pall over what has been a remarkable season for the Seminoles and puts their playoff viability into question, especially if they fall to Louisville.
Enough playoff talk. Let's dive into the DFS slate for Champ Weekend. Cheers.
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Jalen Milroe ($9,000) Alabama vs. Georgia
Milroe may not be in the running to be a Heisman finalist, but at this moment, there may not be a scarier quarterback in the nation to be facing. He has been devastating as a rusher with 439 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground, but don't sleep on how solid Milroe has been as a passer. Since Week 8 against Tennessee, Milroe is completing 69 percent of his passes at a 10.7 YPA clip to go with 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Seven of his rushing scores have come in that span, too. Simply put, if you shut down one part of Milroe's game, he can find a way to beat you with the other. Just ask Auburn fans.
We'll unpack this further in the article, but the Georgia defense isn't quite what it was in 2021 or 2022. It is beatable, especially by teams with physical ground games. Milroe alone qualifies as such, and he also happens to also have a cannon for an arm and explosive weapons all around him in the passing game. This should be a back-and-forth game like the total and spread (54.5, Alabama +5.5) suggest, and Milroe is clearly the engine of this offense. In fact, Milroe may be even more active as a runner this week with Jase McClellan likely out.
For what it's worth, I think you can stack both quarterbacks from this game in the same lineup and still find a way to a quality build without having to sacrifice much. Carson Beck is in good position to deliver on his $8,600 figure.
Joey Aguilar ($7,000) Appalachian State vs. Troy
Aguilar has been one of the hottest quarterbacks in the nation down the stretch with 17 touchdowns and 1,489 yards over his last five games, including leading App State to an upset win over then-unbeaten James Madison in Harrisonburg. He has a favorable price tag at $7K and all of his pass-catchers are salaried to where an App State stack is completely manageable.
As for the matchup, Troy ranks in the middle in terms of pass defenses on this slate. It's solid, but not unbeatable. And with App State more than touchdown underdogs, Aguilar should be in line for another busy Saturday this week as he looks to keep pace in the Sun Belt Championship Game.
Others to Consider
It's a tricky running back crop this weekend. We have some stalwarts that have helped us cash all season like Ollie Gordon ($9,000), Blake Corum ($8,200) and Ashton Jeanty ($8,000) along with some interesting value options in favorable matchup settings.
To cut to the chase -- I'll mostly be fading the aforementioned top tier at running back. Gordon's Cowboys are two-touchdown underdogs, and frankly that might be generous. A 25+ carry outing like we're grown accustomed to from Gordon might be out the window if Texas does what Vegas expects it to.
With Corum, I'm less concerned about the volume and more concerned with the efficiency. You're going to need Corum to find paydirt twice to return value in all likelihood -- that's entirely possible, but his ceiling may be 20 points. You want a little more than that from your most expensive player.
Jeanty is a great play against UNLV, but I fear (and I can't believe I'm saying this) George Holani's recent re-emergence might be enough to keep Jeanty from hitting his max points potential. With that rant out of the way, here's how I'm eyeing the RB board this weekend.
Kimani Vidal ($7,000) Troy vs. Appalachian State
$7,000 for the No.7 rusher in the country is not a bad deal, especially when Vidal is facing an App State defense that is among the worst on the slate against the run. Vidal finished the regular season with 1,350 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground while adding 17 receptions for 198 yards and a touchdown. As mentioned, the 'Neers had an uncharacteristically soft run defense this year, allowing 168 rush yards per game on nearly 5.0 YPC. Vidal will be busy, too. Troy runs the ball 52% of the time and Vidal has a 60 percent share of that rushing volume. He hasn't had fewer than 52 percent of Troy's carries in any game this season. Getting a workhorse back against a soft run defense for $7K is a nice high-floor building block for your lineups this weekend.
Trey Benson ($6,900) Florida State vs. Louisville
It's hard to know what Florida State's offense will look like not only without Jordan Travis, but it would be even harder to project the 'Noles if backup QB Tate Rodemaker is sidelined as well. There are rumors to that effect that will be confirmed or debunked before gametime regardless, so keep an eye on our college football player news feed for the latest verified info Saturday.
If nothing else, we can suspect that Benson will be a central part of the 'Noles game plan as they get set to face Louisville with a backup quarterback. Benson rose to the occasion with Travis out against Florida in the season-finale with a season-high 19 carries that he converted into 95 yards and three touchdowns.
On paper, Louisville has been stingy against the run this season. The Cards allowed just 3.26 yards per carry and held the majority of its opponents under 100 yards on the ground. However, that run defense started to show some cracks down the stretch, allowing 120 yards to a bad Virginia rushing offense along with 159 yards and three touchdowns to Miami. It's a strong run defense, and it will be ready to see plenty of Benson on Saturday, but Benson is immensely talented and will get enough opportunities to ultimately rip off some big runs and pay off at the $6,900 price tag.
When I sat down to write, I thought Lawrance Toafili might have some appeal given the quarterback situation potentially steering some of the passing volume to the running backs. Toafili drew zero targets last week with Rodemaker, though, so I'll leave that one be.
Justice Haynes ($3,800) Alabama vs. Georgia
With Jase McClellan seemingly unlikely to play Saturday against Georgia, it may be the freshman who becomes the X-Factor out of the Crimson Tide backfield. Roydell Williams ($4,000) is more established than Haynes with 94 carries for 497 yards and four touchdowns this season compared to the freshman's 21 carries.
That said, perhaps Alabama has been waiting to unleash Haynes in this exact moment. He is a five-star recruit -- one whose father played at Georgia, mind you -- and impressed when given the opportunity this year. Haynes has 21 carries for 137 yards and two touchdowns on the season.
Lastly, Georgia's defense is a few notches beneath where it has been over the last couple of years. Whereas in 2021 when the Bulldogs were no match for Bryce Young and the Alabama aerial attack in Atlanta, it seems that Alabama has inverted its approach (out of necessity, to be clear) and may be the more physical team on Saturday. For instance, Georgia gives up more rushing yards per game than Troy or Louisville.
I think Haynes becomes a key factor in the Tide ground game Saturday and at $3,800, he's a nice way to open some roster flexibility elsewhere.
Ricky White ($6,700) UNLV vs. Boise State
Let's dig a little further into the game with the highest implied total on the slate, shall we? The Rebs, who have been a covering machine all season and one of college football's most pleasant surprises, have some legitimate offensive firepower. White has been a big part of that.
White started his career as a promising prospect at Michigan State who has some bright moments as a freshman before largely disappearing from the Spartan offense and ultimately transferring to UNLV in 2022. It has proven to be a shrewd move. He showed signs in 2022 with 51 grabs for 619 yards and four touchdowns, but has found another level in 2023. White has recorded 76 grabs for 1,308 yards and seven touchdowns on 118 targets this season, showing an impressive ability to convert taxing volume into quality efficiency. With a showdown against the slate's most vulnerable pass defense on paper, look for White to turn in one of his biggest games of the season in the biggest spot.
Dillon Bell ($3,500) Georgia vs. Alabama
Bell has been a do-it-all factor in the Georgia offense this season, especially in the second half of the season when the Bulldogs have had to patch things together without fully healthy versions of either Brock Bowers and Ladd McConkey. He has caught 22 of 30 targets for 254 yards and a pair of touchdowns and is actually third on the team in rushing with 25 carries for 157 yards and two scores. I expect both Bowers and McConkey to play but neither might be at full strength, and while Georgia has a decent stable of receivers other than Bell, I like Bell's versatility and consistent usage. Tack on the fact that Bell's at $3,500 and cheaper than the likes of less consistent threats like RaRa Thomas and we have a nice value play here.
Brennan Presley ($5,500) Oklahoma State vs. Texas
As I alluded to in the running back section, I'm worried about the 'Pokes getting run in this spot. While that's a concern for Ollie Gordon investors, we've seen plenty of evidence to suggest that the Oklahoma State passing game can get it done for fantasy purposes. Presley has been peppered with targets over the last month and responded with solid efficiency. He's averaged 12.5 Tar/G at an 8.6 YPT clip, good for a 31 percent target share with a 74 percent catch rate. There are no touchdowns to his credit in his span, but at $5,500, even something like eight catches for 90 yards would be a solid enough return on investment. Look for Presley to be busy Saturday especially if Oklahoma State has to abandon the ground game.
Kaedin Robinson ($5,000) Appalachian State vs. Troy
Simply put, Robinson has been going nuts lately. The redshirt junior has caught 20 of 29 targets for 260 yards (9.0 YPT) and six touchdowns over his last four outings. No other App State receiver has been in the same stratosphere in terms of volume or production, save for maybe Makai Jackson ($3,200).
With the 'Neers set as fairly big underdogs against Troy, look for a more pass-heavy approach than usual from Appalachian State. And with that, look for Robinson to continue to be busy as the leader of the Appalachian State passing game.