It's the last week of the crazy 2020 CFB/DFS season. It was a bumpy ride, but somehow we managed to complete a reasonable pseud-schedule! Here are my favorite championship week DFS bargains from the nine game Saturday DraftKings Main slate.
Connor Bazelak - Salary - $5,900 = 12th - Projected Points = 19 - PPT = 3.22
Missouri HC Eli Drinkwitz’ trust in his first-year quarterback has grown as the season has progressed, with his signal caller throwing at least 30 passes in six of his last seven games. Besides last week’s blowout at the hands of a stout Georgia defense, Bazelak has shown considerable improvement, scoring 48 points with 7.8 yards per pass against Arkansas and 41 points with 8.6 YPP against Vanderbilt. He also torched LSU for 406 yards and four TDs back in October.
Mississippi State is allowing 256 YPG passing with a 63% completion percentage to go with 7.6 YPA and a 20-to-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Their pass rush isn’t anything to write home about either, as they only posted 19 sacks in nine contests while ranking 110th in the country in tackles per game. I expect a competitive game that should eclipse the 49.5 Over/Under mark.
Will Rogers - Salary - $6,200 = 9th - Projected Points = 20.8 - PPT = 3.35
Both first year starting quarterbacks from this game are reasonably priced in a shortened nine game slate. Rogers is in a similar situation as Bazelak, as the true freshman has gotten more comfortable in the Mike Leach Air Raid offense with increased reps. He has attempted at least 51 passes in each of his last three games, averaging 332 passing yards in that span. On the year Mississippi State is ranked 11th in pass yards per game while ranking first in attempts, unleashing 54 passes per contest.
Missouri’s defense has been getting lit on fire recently as well, allowing 41 points to Georgia. 48 to Arkansas, 41 to Florida and another 41 to LSU. They have shown a demonstrable weakness to pass-heavy offenses, allowing 18 passing TDs to only two interceptions. Rogers should continue that trend and presents a considerable value as the 9th rated quarterback on this week’s salary chart.
Top Projected QB Scorers
Matt Corral - $9,700 = 30.6
Justin Fields - $9,800 = 25.4
Ian Book - $7,900 = 23.5
Jordan Travis - $7,200 = 23.2
Trevor Lawrence - $8,700 = 23
Chris Curry - $4,100 - Salary = 29th - Projected Points = 6.9 - PPT = 1.68
With Tyrion Davis-Price out and John Emery Jr. trending in that direction, Curry will likely get the start in a prime matchup against an Ole Miss D that is allowing 39 PPG, ninth most in the country. Last week in LSU’s dramatic win over Florida, Curry received 17 carries after TDP left the game and should get a similar workload against a porous Rebels defense that is allowing 218 rushing yards per game which is the 18th worst mark in the nation.
LSU has followed the 2019 trend of leaning on their passing game, putting the ball in the air 41 times per game (8th most in the country) while rushing 36 times on average which ranks 93rd. A rising tide lifts all boats however, and if Max Johnson can repeat his stellar performance last week there will be ample opportunities to punch in a couple of TDs. Four-star true freshman KeavonTre Bradford ($4,200) will also see an increase in reps as well if Emery Jr. is out.
Nakia Watson - $3,600 - Salary = 37th - Projected Points = 8.9 - PPT = 2.47
When a post-mortem is done on Minnesota’s ill-fated 2020, the woeful run defense will have shown to have sprung a leak in PJ Fleck’s now famous boat. The Gophers have given up 213 rushing yards on a per game basis while allowing the highest yards per carry in the entire nation with 6.6 YPC. Throw in fifteen rushing touchdowns in just six games and it’s clear why Minnesota’s vessel capsized following a strong 2019.
While Wisconsin’s rushing attack isn’t up to the lofty standards set during the Barry Alvarez era, they are still running the ball at a 43 carry per game clip which is 30th most in the nation. With freshman sensation Jalen Berger slated to miss the game, Nakia Watson will be the beneficiary of his absence. Last game he received 13 carries for 29 yards and a touchdown against a much more stingy Iowa defense. He should see at least 15 totes against the rudderless ship that is the UM run defense and return plenty of value on his bargain basement $3,600 salary.
Devon Achane - $4,000 - Salary = 31st - Projected Points = 6 - PPT = 1.50
With Arian Smith shuttling back to slot receiver, highly-touted true freshman Devon Achane has gradually worked his way into more carries as the season has progressed. With the bump in touches, the talented tailback has shown Aggies fans a glimpse of their future, as he has clearly established himself as the heir apparent to Isaiah Spiller when the sophomore eventually departs. Last week in a competitive contest against Auburn, Achane rushed for 99 yards on only nine carries. He also received 13 carries for 65 yards to go with two catches for 70 yards and a touchdown in a 48-3 victory over South Carolina. It seems like every time the four-star recruit is given a chance, he makes the absolute most of his touches.
With Texas A&M taking on a Tennessee team that is struggling mightily to find any sort of continuity on offense, the Aggies are sure to have plenty of chances to score. Achane checks in at a thrifty $4 and I expect the explosive tailback to continue to post DFS worthy numbers.
Top Projected RB Scorers
Ty Jordan - $7,000 = 19
Jerrion Ealy - $7,300 = 17.8
Larry Rountree III - $6,900 = 17.5
Kyren Williams - $7,500 = 15.1
Travis Etienne - $7,800 = 13.9
Jonathan Mingo - $3,700 - Salary = 51st - Projected Points = 25.1 - PPT = 6.78
Elijah Moore and Kenny Yeboah have checked out in order to prep for the NFL Draft, leaving a chasm of productivity to be filled by the remaining wideouts. Matt Corral is still slinging the ball and Lane Kiffin is still airing it out, so the remaining wideouts are queued up for a delicious matchup against LSU’s legitimately pathetic pass defense that is allowing 331 yards per game in the air, a full 17 yards more than any other team in the country. The Tigers could also possibly be without the only above-average defender in their secondary in Derek Stingley Jr., who is listed as questionable.
The main trio of Ole Miss wideouts - Mingo, Dontario Drummond ($4,400 - TDs in 3 straight games), and Braylon Sanders ($4,100 - 228 yards, TD in last two games) are all superb options and will likely be low investment staples of lineups that end up cashing. The Optimizer loves Mingo, but you want exposure to each of these three Ole Miss aerial assassins.
Osirus Mitchell - $4,700 - Salary = 22nd - Projected Points = 11.2 - PPT = 2.38
As noted with “The Cowboy” Will Rogers above, Mississippi State’s aerial attack is on the rise as their neophyte freshman QB continues to gain confidence. The Bulldogs are leading the nation in receptions per game with 37, so there are plenty of PPR points to be distributed among a wide receiver corps that has established their pecking order heading into the ninth game of the year.
Malik Heath and JaVonta Payton are both questionable to play, with Heath being the key inactive in regard to Mitchell’s chances for a big DFS performance. Jaden Walley has locked down one of the two outside spots in the Mike Leach air raid, and Mitchell will occupy the other in Heath’s absence, which is looking likely. Mitchell is averaging the second most catches and yards per game on the team this year and is an excellent bet to find the end zone against a Mizzou defense that has struggled against proficient pass offenses this season. I like Mitchell and Austin Williams ($3,900) to provide a suitable return on investment with the potential to explode.
Jaray Jenkins - $4,300 - Salary = 32nd - Projected Points = 8.1 - PPT = 1.88
The LSU vs. Ole Miss game includes two of the worst defensive units in the land with offenses that follow a high passing volume game script. This DFS bonanza features an Ole Miss passing attack that is averaging 367 yards (5th most in the nation) while LSU is racking up 314 passing yards a game (19th most in the nation). With Arik Gilbert, Racey McMath and Terrace Marshall opting out, the door is open for top-ten 2020 WR recruit Kayshon Boutte and Jaray Jenkins to stake their claims for starting spots in 2021.
For his part, Jenkins has been a steady presence in the LSU WR rotation, playing in nine games and catching 22-of-35 passes for 386 yards, an explosive 17.5 YPC and two touchdowns. In his last two games, he reeled in nine catches for 152 yards and two touchdowns as his workload has experienced an uptick in the wake of the aforementioned departures. With a thrifty $4,300 salary that ranks 32nd on this week’s DK salary chart, Jenkins could pay huge dividends in your WR3 slot.
Top Projected WR Scorers
Jonathan Mingo - $3,700 = 25.1
Jaden Walley - $5,900 = 19.3
Kayshon Boutte - $5,700 = 19
Khalil Shakir - $8,200 = 16.9
Travell Harris - $7,100 = 15.2