By: Kristen Ashly
NFL DFS is one of the most popular fantasy sports around. Players put money down every week, hoping their team produces the most fantasy (and real) points. What might not be as popular, but should be utilized more, is college football DFS.
Of course, there are similarities between playing daily fantasy NFL and daily fantasy college football, like how both rosters feature nine players. The biggest difference is that daily fantasy college football players are gifted a second quarterback, which can create an exciting and high-scoring atmosphere. The salary cap is identical to NFL play at $50,000.
Often, there are usually more points scored per game compared to the NFL, but there’s still the same basic idea that certain teams will score higher when against others.
Just like in any DFS system, being prepared with the proper knowledge and skill is the key to winning the big money. Let’s take a look at what you should remember during college football DFS.
The Scoring System
Ideally, you want to choose quarterbacks that prefer to pass. On the DraftKings points system, 100 yards passing is equivalent to a passing touchdown, which is equal to four points. In this system, you’d want to pick up quarterbacks like Washington’s Luke Falk or Baylor’s Seth Russell.
One can rack points with a strong rushing game, however. One point is given for every 10 yards rushing. A rushing touchdown will rack up another six points. It goes without saying that a player projected to receive the vast majority of his team’s carries should be added to a roster. LSU workhorse Leonard Fournette would be a solid choice in this scenario.
The best-case scenario for any owner is to find a true dual-threat quarterback. A signal-caller with the ability to throw for a large amount of yards, and run for their own yardage, is a diamond in the rough. TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin is an obvious choice, as are J.T. Barrett, Vernon Adams, Dak Prescott, and Justin Thomas.
Be careful of teams that use a two-quarterback system. Points will be spread evenly between the two, which is not ideal from a fantasy standpoint.
Bonuses occur for incredibly high point totals. Players will receive an extra three points for accruing a passing total of over 300 yards, a rushing mark of over 100 yards or at least 100 receiving yards.
Utilize Player Cards
DraftKings provides player cards, which are essentially quick statistical breakdowns of any athlete.
Each card provides totals for home and away games. This can be found on the “at a glance” tab. This helps you determine what kind of production that player will have against that specific opponent.
It’s easier to track season trends, as well. Use this feature to determine average yardage, pass attempts, carries, etc.
Create Different Lineups that Benefit Different Competitions
DraftKings offers two types of cash-based competitions: cash games and tournaments.
Cash games involve smaller amounts of people competing against one another. More people win money in this type of competition, but that cash prize usually isn’t as high. These head-to-head or three-person contests require an elite quarterback, since it’s not likely any other player will produce as many points. In terms of wide receivers, seek consistency over potential. A player that can constantly throw up numbers will be of more value in the cash game. Use your second quarterback as a cheap option for a backup. As long as you have a solid starter, this is just a way to ensure your points are higher. Essentially, you want to balance your roster. Keep everyone at the same level production wise.
Tournaments involve a much bigger pool of competitors. So pick the players with the highest potentials, and the highest game point grabbing. While goal-line backs only get a handful of carries a game, they could be attractive fantasy options within the tournament setup. It’s important to note sleepers in this type of competition.
Jordan Howard, RB ($8,400), Indiana
Howard is a cheaper alternative to Leonard Fournette. Howard actually dropped from $9,100 last week to $8,400 for this week’s game against Wake Forest. The Deacons have bee okay on the run, but that’s also against the lesser teams of Elon, Syracuse and Army. They haven’t been up against players like Howard, who is averaging 6.5 yards per carry and is on pace for a 2,028-yard season. He’s averaged 30.2 fantasy points through three weeks, getting 84 total touches in those games. Howard is a solid choice for a consistent RB.
Matt Johnson, QB ($9,400), Bowling Green
Johnson leads the nation in passing yards (1,358) and passing touchdowns (12), despite facing a tough schedule that includes competition like Tennessee and Maryland. Purdue’s pass defense will present no serious danger to Johnson, so look for him to once again rack up 30-40 points.
Nate Sudfeld, QB ($7,400), Indiana
There are lot of solid choices in the quarterback position this week, including Trevone Boykin, Seth Russell, Matt Johnson and Pat Mahomes.
Sudfeld is likely to produce at least 300 yards this week and is $1,500 cheaper than all of them. Wake Forest coaches are nervous against the Indiana run game, so extra attention paid there might open up some more passing lanes. Quarterback is a position you don’t want to be frugal on, and we might use one of the above choices as well, but at this price Sudfeld will be snatched up often.
Roger Lewis, WR ($7,700), Bowling Green
Elite wide receivers are aplenty this week, but a good bet is Lewis. His past two games have totaled 22 catches, 461 yards and five touchdowns. That will produce insane fantasy points.
He shows no sign of stopping and is playing in one of the two highest expected scoring games this weekend. While it may not be a safe bet to think he’ll constantly put up those numbers, expect at least one touchdown.
Trevone Boykin, QB ($10,300), TCU
Boykin is the player you want to grab, and grab quick. Boykin is a line maker’s fantasy. Boykin is already being picked for Heisman material this year and he could easily put up 50-plus fantasy points. Last year against Texas Tech, Boykin threw for 433 yards and seven touchdowns. It’s likely he’ll have an even better game this coming weekend.
Kristen Ashly is a senior editor and contributor for Nuts & Bolts Sports. You can follow Kristen on Twitter @KristenAshly.