When college football season comes around, I am pretty much resigned to the fact that every Saturday in the fall will be all day in front of the screens. Sometimes life happens though and you are forced out into the world on a weekend in the fall, which is the situation I found myself in for this slate. Given that I was on the road with no computer in sight and with only an iPhone to manage my CFB DFS lineups, I took it a bit easier this weekend in terms of entries. However, I did have some action on DraftKings main — so let’s walk through the slate and discuss what happened.
I was pretty locked in on playing Jordan McCloud and Donovan Smith all week. I thought both were fairly priced, were in solid matchups, and have some dual-threat abilities. I gave Ethan Garbers a quick glance, but I did not feel great about the stability in terms of playing time with Dante Moore practicing and UCLA being just generally a mess. It felt like a really shallow quarterback week.
I went into lock with Donovan Smith in my lineup, however, we got a bit of info around 15 minutes before the 3:30 p.m. ET window that Smith has been battling a shoulder injury and we could see the backup play. This threw me off big time because we notoriously get no information from Houston beat writers. While I thought it could be nothing, it seemed silly to play a quarterback in cash that seemed to have a legit risk of not playing, so I swapped to an extra running back (which ended up being Omarion Hampton) and moved WR from Tyler Brown to Rashod Owens. My other path was playing Ethan Garbers at QB and then moving my Irving/Hampton spot to Ollie Gordon. Ultimately I had concerns about Garbers as well and I liked both of the running back plays, so I just went RB in SFLEX.
Ty Son Lawton was a priority for me at running back this week given the massive role upside at under $5,000. I was pretty high on Sawchuk as well, but he definitely had a lot of risk. I certainly saw the arguments to avoid Sawchuk because Oklahoma has not been the most predictable team this season, however, if he maintained his role from the prior week, he would have projected among the best plays of the slate.
Beyond those two cheaper options, Ollie Gordon, Omarion Hampton, and Bucky Irving were all really solid options, but each had some risks. I had huge concerns about the health of Gordon, so he was behind Bucky for me, whose only path to failure was a huge blowout in my opinion. I liked Hampton’s touch expectation, but I did have some concerns with the matchup at Clemson. Going into lock, I had Lawton, Sawchuk, and Bucky Irving. Once the Donovan Smith news hit, I moved into Hampton. I would have played Ollie Gordon at the same price over Hampton, but at $1,600 cheaper, I liked what he got me at the last wide receiver spot.
The slate pricing effectively locked me into playing both Reggie Brown and Elijah Sarratt for JMU. I just could not come up with a case to not play them, as they were easily $1,500 underpriced. I was fine with four JMU players in cash this week, but in tournaments, it made a lot more sense to avoid playing those four (or even three of them) together.
Beyond the JMU guys, I thought any of Rashod Owens, Logan Loya, Leon Johnson, Jake Briningstool, and Tyler Brown were fine in that $4K to low $5K range. When Jaden Bray was announced as available mid-slate, I swapped Leon Johnson to Tyler Brown. Then when the Donovan Smith news came out, I moved Brown to Owens. Part of the issue I had with this slate, in general, is that I lacked conviction on the non-JMU wide receivers, but there were options at different price points, so it was kind of a play-whoever-fit type of week.
I don’t really have too many regrets this week, as really the main thing that held me back from cashing was having Bucky Irving, who only scored 12.6 points (and I was pretty set on playing him at his price tag). Oregon scored six first-half touchdowns and they all went through the arm of Bo Nix to receivers, so there was no path for me to win once blowout Bucky took a seat mid-third quarter without getting in the box. I do think if they play the game 10 times, he likely scores 20+ fantasy points a majority of the time — so that was unfortunate. Oregon’s extreme blowout win was certainly a possible outcome, so that is just how it goes sometimes, but let’s not talk like it was a lock to happen when it was a 24.5-point spread and the Ducks were up 42-0 at the half. If the game stayed within 25 points, Bucky would have played through the mid-fourth quarter at least, and likely would have seen 18-22 high-value touches (he had 14; he just did not break any huge plays).
While swapping off of Donovan Smith and then watching him crush was annoying, I think it probably was the correct move all things considered. It’s frustrating, but, over the long run, making that kind of swap will help you avoid complete disasters. It will be interesting to see if more conferences copy the Big Ten next year and require mandatory injury reports 90 minutes before kick. That has really helped this season in terms of making decisions for teams in that league, as it provides an actual status provided by the team.
Overall, the JMU chalk was fully expected, and I think it was pretty bad if you did not have at least three JMU guys in your cash lineup. They kind of struggled most of the game and still had pretty solid outputs for their price tags, outside of Reggie Brown (who seems to always fail as mass chalk). Ty Son Lawton could have buried people on this slate, as his role was pretty great for his price tag.
We have one more week of the regular season to go — see you back here next week!
Season Results in Largest Single-Entry $5 Double-Up:
Week 0: 87th-percentile lineup (W)
Week 1: 12th-percentile lineup (L)
Week 2: 49th-percentile lineup (L)
Week 3: 33rd-percentile lineup (L)
Week 4: 92nd-percentile lineup (W)
Week 5: 42nd-percentile lineup (L)
Week 6: 64th-percentile lineup (W)
Week 7: 77th-percentile lineup (W)
Week 8: 83rd-percentile lineup (W)
Week 9: 34th-percentile lineup (L)
Week 10: 97th-percentile lineup (W)
Week 11: 49th-percentile lineup (L)
Week 12: 46th-percentile lineup (L)