Week 12 College Football Slate Breakdown & DraftKings CFB DFS Picks
CFB DFS Picks: Syracuse vs Louisville
Syracuse (19.5 Team Total)
Offense – Dino Babers returns for his fifth season as head coach of Syracuse. Babers hired Sterlin Gilbert to coordinate the offense. Gilbert already has familiarity with Babers and runs the same veer-and-shoot offense that Syracuse is known for. Last year, Syracuse ran 80.5 plays per game (fourth) and passed the ball 47.5percent of the time (68th). So far this year, Syracuse averages 64 plays per game, with a 54.1% pass rate. Syracuse returns four offensive line starters after one of the worst performances in college football last year. This group has already allowed 33 sacks. Syracuse continues to struggle to put together drives, reducing their overall play volume.
Rex Culpepper ($5,200) – After missing Syracuse’s most recent game, Culpepper reportedly practiced to open this week. His status still remains questionable, potentially thrusting true freshman JaCobian Morgan into another start. Morgan played admirably in place of Culpepper, completing 70% of his 37 pass attempts for 245 yards and a pair of scores. He accumulated -12 rushing yards, but that isn’t surprising considering Syracuse’s horrific offensive line. Culpepper hasn’t reached 245 yards in any of his starts this year and currently completes less than 50% of his passes. Moving to Morgan may be a superior long-term answer for Syracuse. Morgan could have some tournament dart throw upside, if we receiver clarity on the situation.
Sean Tucker ($5,400) – Injured through various points of 2020, Tucker plays a feature back role for Syracuse when healthy. Upon his return to the lineup, Tucker handled 11 carries and three targets while playing on 80% of Syracuse’s run plays.
Taj Harris ($5,100) – Syracuse’s top receiver, Harris paces the Orange in targets (68) and receiving yards (507). Harris holds a 30.4% target share in the offense, despite missing portions of the season with injury. Harris only stands 6-foot-2, 164 pounds, but he will continue to dominate opportunities on the outside for this offense.
Anthony Queeley ($3,600) – Syracuse’s other boundary receiver is sophomore Queeley. Queeley’s 46 targets rank second on the team (20.5% share), as does his 282 receiving yards. Queeley has at least five targets in four straight games, making him a fine target within the offense for your CFB DFS lineups.
Nykeim Johnson ($4,100) – Syracuse’s third-most targeted receiver, Johnson sits at 29 targets for the year. Johnson still provides big play ability, averaging 15.4 yards per receptions. After splitting time with Courtney Jackson to open the season, Johnson has run a route on at least 74% of dropbacks in four straight weeks.
Louisville (37 Team Total)
Offense – Scott Satterfield enters his second season as head coach, along with offensive coordinator Dwayne Ledford. So far this year, they’ve run 67.6 plays per game with a 45.8% pass rate. They are a bit pass heavy after throwing just 37.7% of the time last year and running 70.9 plays per game. This is influenced by their losing ACC record. Their low plays per game is also influenced by a 45-play outing against Notre Dame earlier this season. Still, this team could further struggle with Javian Hawkins opting out. Rumors continue to swirl that Tutu Atwell may opt out as well.
Malik Cunningham ($9,300) – Surprisingly efficient in a sub-optimal situation, Cunningham continues to complete 63.2% of his passes for 8.6 yards per pass attempt. Throwing 28 times per game, Cunningham averages 238 passing yards. He also provides upside with his legs, notching 417 cumulative yards this season, despite taking 26 sacks. Atwell’s presence would boost Cunningham, but his dual threat ability makes him a solid play regardless.
Hassan Hall ($5,000) – With Javian Hawkins opting out of the season, Hall looks likely to handle a sizeable workload in his return from injury. Hall hasn’t playing in any of Louisville’s last four games, but he averaged 11.5 opportunities per game and 68 rushing yards prior to the injury. Maurice Burkley and Jalen Mitchell handled 12 and 7 carries respectively for Louisville last week. Both backs could play change-of-pace rolls in an uncertain offensive environment.
Tutu Atwell ($6,700) – Despite opt out rumors, Atwell is reportedly dealing with an injury instead. Satterfield said he hoped that Atwell could suit up for Friday’s game and he will function as the top wide receiver within the offense if he is able to do so. Despite missing last week’s game, Atwell still leads the team with 60 targets (28.9% share) and 528 receiving yards as the team’s primary slot receiver.
Dez Fitzpatrick ($4,800) – Without Atwell in the lineup last week, Fitzpatrick remains in his near every-down role. Fitzpatrick also stepped up for a team-leading eight targets, giving him two straight game with at least that many opportunities. Without Atwell, Fitzpatrick would be a supreme value.
Branden Smith ($3,500) – Without Atwell last week, Smith saw his route rate jump from 64% to 85% within the offense. This amounted to five targets for Smith as well. Similar to Fitzpatrick, Atwell’s absence would boost Smith’s role. It would even help rotational receiver Justin Marshall, who saw his route share jump above 60%.
Marshon Ford ($4,400) – Ford runs a route on about 44% of Louisville’s dropbacks and this remained constant without Atwell in the lineup.
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CFB DFS Picks: Purdue vs Minnesota
Purdue (32.5 Team Total)
Offense – Jeff Brohm coaches Purdue, and Brian Brohm coordinates the offense. Both have been in place since 2017. So far this year, Purdue runs 73.3 plays per game with a 65.9% pass rate. This remains in line with Purdue’s offense from a season ago. Purdue returned four starters along the offensive line this year and Greg Long transferred over from UTEP. The Purdue offensive line holds a major advantage over a porous Minnesota front seven.
Aidan O’Connell ($6,600) – Junior, O’Connell currently completes 64.7% of his passes for 6.7 yards per attempt in Purdue’s offense. What O’Connell lacks in efficiency, he makes up for in volume. He currently averages 45.7 pass attempts per game for 305 yards. O’Connell remains a liability on the ground with negative-69 rushing yards on the year. This makes him semi-dependent on the 300-yard bonus, but Minnesota hasn’t shown the ability to stop anyone this year. Coach Brohm revealed that O’Connell is dealing with an injury and will enter Friday as a game-time decision. Jack Plummer ($6,200) would start if O’Connell can’t give it a go.
Zander Horvath ($8,200) – With King Doerue dealing with an injury, Horvath has handled a massive 71.6% of all rush attempts in this offense. Horvath averages 23.7 opportunities per game for an inefficient 83.3 rushing yards. Still, Horvath out-snapped Doerue 69-5 last week, pointing to a continued sizeable workload moving forward.
Rondale Moore ($5,600) – Believed to be dealing with a hamstring injury, Moore hasn’t played a game this season. Moore remains a top wideout in the country after notching 1,258 receiving yards and 213 rushing yards as a true freshman in 2018. Purdue plays games with injuries. For example, stud defensive end George Karlaftis entered last week with an injury, suited up, warmed up, and subsequently missed the entire game. This makes Moore difficult to trust even if active.
David Bell ($8,500) – Sophomore sensation, Bell continues to pace Purdue with 47 targets. Bell averages an absurd 15.7 targets per game with 107 yards receiving. Standing 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Bell notched 1,035 receiving yards on 86 catches as a true freshman last year. He will continue to dominate opportunities in this offense.
Milton Wright ($4,900) – Behind Bell, Purdue runs a time-share among the ancillary receivers. Wright runs a route on 59% of dropbacks to date, with Amad Anderson ($3,200) coming in at 53%. Last week, Jackson Anthrop returned to lineup as well. He ran a route on 36% of dropbacks and further muddying the receiving room.
Minnesota (30 Team Total)
Offense – P.J. Fleck remains the head coach of Minnesota. Following the departure of Kirk Ciarrocca, Mike Sanford and Matt Simon will function as co-offensive coordinators. Simon called the plays during Minnesota’s victory over Auburn, while Sanford comes from Utah State. Minnesota remains a fancy triple option team with their 39.7% pass rate. Minnesota runs 73.8 plays per game and leaves the pass for negative game script and third-and-long situations.
Tanner Morgan ($5,800) – Game manager, Morgan averages 26.3 attempts per game for 191.5 passing yards per game. Morgan is currently completing 57.5% of his passes for 7.3 yards per pass attempt. Displaying severe regression from 2019, Morgan’s price is the only factor keeping him in play on a four-game DFS slate.
Mohamed Ibrahim ($9,700) – College football’s premier feature back, Ibrahim currently averages 34.8 opportunities per game, with at least 27 carries in every game this year. Ibrahim also remains active as a pass catcher. His eight targets actually rank third overall on Minnesota’s offense. Still Ibrahim brings an elevated price tag and tough decisions at his current price. Enough value exists to take a look at him here in your CFB DFS lineups.
Rashod Bateman ($8,000) – One of the country’s top receivers, Bateman continues to handle absurd volume in Minnesota’s neutered pass attack. Bateman currently owns a 48% target share, with at least eight targets in every game. He averages 12 targets per contest with 103 receiving yards. Bateman always deserves consideration.
Chris Autman-Bell ($4,500) – Seldom used WR2, Autman-Bell’s 18% target share equates to a mere 18 total targets (4.3 targets per game). Autman-Bell still averages 46.5 receiving yards per game off his play-making ability. However, his role brings volatility in this offense.
Daniel Jackson ($3,100) – Technically Minnesota’s third wide receiver, Jackson saw his route rate jump to 85% in Minnesota’s last game as they played from behind. Jackson still only has five targets this year, making him a pure dart throw in your CFB DFS lineups.
CFB DFS Picks: UMass vs Florida Atlantic
UMass (9 Team Total)
Offense – Walt Bell enters his second season as head coach of UMass after coordinating Florida State’s offense in 2018. Angelo Mirando coordinates the offense after coaching quarterbacks in 2019. UMass currently runs 56.5 plays per game with a 46% pass rate. Last year, UMass managed 70.3 plays per game with a 50.5% pass rate. UMass currently sits at 0-2 after a pair of blowout losses to Georgia Southern (41-0) and Marshall (51-10).
Will Koch ($4,700) – UMass rotates three quarterbacks, making this situation unusable. Koch technically leads the group with 18 pass attempts. He is completing 67% of his passes for 5.5 yards per attempt. As a group, this team has averages 23.5 pass attempts per game for 114.5 yards. Koch runs a little bit, with 46 cumulative rushing yards, but this situation is atrocious. Positively, all of Koch’s 18 attempt came in UMass’ second game, which he started 79% of snaps in. He is the preferred choice, if picking a UMass signal caller.
Ellis Merriweather ($4,500) – Functioning as UMass’ lead back, Merriweather has out-carried Jared Cole 26-7 in two games. In UMass’ most recent game, Merriweather handled 67% of running back plays, while Cole mixed in for 29%. Neither back plays much of a role in the pass game.
Samuel Emilus ($4,000) – Emilus leads UMass in targets with 14, which equates to a 31.8% target share. He also has a team-leading 57 yards. Emilus is a 6-foot-1, 200-pound receiver, who finished third on the team in receiving last year with 273 receiving yards.
Jermaine Johnson ($3,300) – Last year’s fourth-leading receiver, Johnson will primarily play in the slot for UMass. He ranks second on the team in targets (11), but he only has 21 receiving yards. Outside of Emilus and Johnson, no receiver has more than four targets.
Florida Atlantic (41.5 Team Total)
Offense – Florida Atlantic hired retread head coach Willie Taggart after a failed tenure at Florida State. Taggart actually promoted from within the FAU staff and made Clint Trickett the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with Drew Mehringer. Mehringer coached wide receivers for Texas last year, while coordinating the pass game. So far this year, FAU is running 66.6 plays per game with a 34.8% pass rate. The offense has struggled mightily, but the team is still 4-0.
Javion Posey ($10,200) – Taking over for an inefficient Nick Tronti, Posey completed 10 of 16 passes for 80 yards and a pair of scores in his first start. However, he also added 182 rushing yards and another score on the ground as a rusher. Posey is still a redshirt freshman and simply possesses more upside than the other signal callers within this team. With that said $10,200 is an egregious price for him here.
BJ Emmons ($3,600) – Behind Posey, Emmons led the backfield with 12 carries and a target out of the backfield. This rotation is typically difficult for DFS, but Larry McCammon’s season-ending injury narrowed the rotation slightly. Emmons still only has 88 total rushing yards this year. In his defense, he has dealt with multiple injuries. He got banged up last week, but Taggart wouldn’t elaborate on the injury. He just said he will be good to go.
Malcolm Davidson ($7,700) – FAU’s leading rusher with 283 yards on the season, Davidson only handled ten touches in FAU’s most recent game. Davidson made his return from injury so perhaps his role grows in the coming weeks.
James Charles ($4,700) – Typically the third back in this system, Charles received some early run against FIU last week. However, his seven total carries ultimately fell behind both Emmons and Davidson. As the least talented runner of the bunch, Charles could struggle to find value on his volume. His presence hurts the others backs.
TJ Chase ($5,300) – FAU did anything but narrow their target distribution last week in a blowout win over FIU. Chase’s route rate paces the team at 70%. His 23 targets (23% share) and 195 receiver yards also pace the team. Still, with a 4.8 target average over his last four games and just one target last week, $5,300 remains a lot to pay.
LaJohntay Wester ($3,900) – Wester’s route rate sits at 40.1% this season and he only ranked fourth on the team in route rate last week. His 14 targets rank second on the team, but he only had 58 total receiving yards this year. He remains a dart throw in your CFB DFS lineups.
Jordan Merrell ($4,300) – Merrell typically plays in the slot for FAU. He has the second-highest route rate on the team at 47%. Merrell’s 12 targets tie for third on the team, but his 117 receiving yards rank second. He led the team with four targets last week.
Brandon Robinson ($3,700) – Robinson continues to see a steadily increasing role in this offense. He has back-to-back weeks with route rates of 72.2% and 60%. However, he only has five total targets to show for his efforts.
CFB DFS Picks: New Mexico vs Air Force
New Mexico (24 Team Total)
Offense – Danny Gonzales is the new head coach of New Mexico this season. He was the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for Arizona State last year. Derek Warehime coordinates the offense after serving as the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach with Texas last year. He comes from the Tom Herman coaching tree. New Mexico currently runs 78 plays per game with a 47.9% pass rate. They face a solid defense in Air Force this weekend, but New Mexico’s offensive line has played well enough here. They rank 53rd in pass blocking according to PFF.
Tevaka Tuioti ($7,300) – Starter Tuioti missed New Mexico’s most recent game with a concussion and enters this contest with the questionable tag. Tuioti has played well in a pair of starts, averaging 237.5 yards per game on 33 attempts. He also offers plenty of upside with his legs, recording 140 cumulative rushing yards. If Tuioti misses another game, Trae Hall ($6,900) will start. Hall played well in place of Tuioti last week. He threw for 236 yards on 19 attempts, while adding 27 rushing yards.
Bobby Cole ($6,500) – Lead back, Cole has carry-counts of 14 and 17 in back to back games. As his role grows, Cole added his first three targets of the year in last week’s game. Cole averages 75.3 rushing yards per game, making him a fine target here. Cole played on 72% run plays, while Nathaniel Jones handled 21% and Bryson Carrol only played 3%.
Emmanuel Logan-Greene ($5,000) – New Mexico’s target leader, Logan-Greene’s 29 targets equate to a 30.2% share. Logan-Greene typically plays the slot for New Mexico and functions more as a possession receiver. Despite pacing the next closest receiver by nine targets, his 155 receiving yards ranks second on the team.
Jordan Kress ($5,900) – Kress’ 20 targets (20.8% share) rank second on the team. However, his route rate dropped from 76% to 51% last week. Kress suffered a brutal drop, potentially contributing to his reduced role. This is a situation to monitor moving forward. Kress still leads the team with 170 receiving yards overall.
Andrew Erickson ($3,900) – A distant third on the team in targets (13), Erickson still plays an every-down role for this team. Erickson’s route rate jumped to 97% last week at the expense of Kress.
Air Force (31.5 Team Total)
Offense – Troy Calhoun has coached Air Force since 2007. His offensive coordinator Mike Thiessen has coached with the program since 2015. Air Force runs the triple option, leading to their 67.3 plays per game and 16.8% pass rates. Air Force’s offensive line remains a strength after all of their starters saw game action in 2019.
Haaziq Daniels ($6,800) – Daniels started Air Force’s first two games before suffering an injury. He is reportedly healthy again, but Calhoun mentioned that they may opt to start Warren Bryan ($6,400) again. Daniels has 134 rushing yards through two games, while Bryan notched 115. Bryan just put up 87 rushing yards against Boise State in Air Force’s most recent contest. Neither offers much as a passer in a triple option attack, but both are useable on rushing volume alone.
Timothy Jackson ($5,200) – Jackson currently leads Air Force with 178 rushing yards and 35 touches, despite missing their most recent game. Jackson plays the oft-used full back position for this offense and would certainly play a pivotal role here. Jackson led the team in carries in each of their first two games and expects to return from injury for this contest.
Matthew Murla ($3,900) – If Jackson cannot go for whatever reason, Murla would be the next man up at full back. He handled nine carries in his place in their most recent game.
Kadin Remsberg ($5,700) – Remsberg typically starts at tailback for Air Force. Injury also caused him to miss Air Force’s most recent game. Calhoun wasn’t optimistic on Remsberg’s status ahead of last week’s canceled game. This makes him more of a question mark ahead of Friday’s tilt. Remsberg led Air Force in rushing last year with 181 carries for 1,050 yards and eight scores. Remsberg typically plays a slot back role in Air Force’s offense.
Brandon Lewis ($4,600) – Without Remsberg, wide receiver Lewis saw the biggest uptick in volume. Lewis actually lined up at the slot-back position without Remsberg and handled nine and ten carries in back-to-back weeks. On top of his rushing, he added ten targets as the team’s top pass catcher in that span.
Joshua Stoner ($3,200) – Without Remsberg, the other listed starter was Stoner. Stoner split time with Jorden Gidrey and Elijah Robinson at this position but led the group in snaps. This only led to a pair of carries, while Gidrey and Robinson carried thee and ten times respectively. This situation is completely unsettled, but Robinson is the minimum of DraftKings.
Kyle Patterson ($4,200) – Tight end Patterson ranks second on Air Force in targets with 11 (34.4%). He easily paces the team with 106 air yards. However, he breaks the number one rule of triple option attacks – never play the pass catchers in your CFB DFS lineups.