Jan 9, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the 2015 College Football Championship logo outside the Hilton Anatole hotel, home to the Ohio State University football team. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The grandiose opening weekend of college football continues on Friday with four games on the slate, including two top five teams in action. Note that FanDuel only uses FCS vs. FCS matchups for their tournaments. If you want the guys playing cupcakes, you will have to head on over to DraftKings.
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The options are a bit slimmer tonight, but there are still several suitable plays. Let’s see if there are any bargains hiding in here!
Here are my NCAA football FanDuel picks for September 4:
Next: Should You Spend Big At QB?
Jan 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Michigan State Spartans quarterback Connor Cook (18) throws a pass in the first quarter a Baylor Bears in the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Seth Russell, Baylor ($9,800): Russell will likely pick up where Bryce Petty left off. The Bears destroyed SMU last year, and the Mustangs didn’t get much better since then. Most of Baylor’s skill players are back, and this is going to get ugly. Even if Russell only plays three quarters, I bet he ends up with at least 30 points. That makes him worth the price.
Connor Cook, Michigan State ($8,100): Cook is the safest pick of the night. You know what you are getting with him. His top two receivers from last year are gone, but the Spartans were deep at WR last year. They will be fine. Cook is a veteran leader who is a capable passer and makes few mistakes. He doesn’t have the upside of Russell, but he is safe. Safe wins you money. Upside wins you top prize if it pans out.
Wes Lunt, Illinois ($7,000): The Oklahoma State transfer is one of the few bright spots on a well below average Illinois team. Kent will likely give them a fight, which means Lunt will be in there slinging passes for most of the game. You can’t say that for the two in front of him.
My Pick: Cook
Next: Let's Check Out The RB's
Nov 29, 2014; Evanston, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini running back Josh Ferguson (6) runs with the ball during the first half against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Shock Linwood, Baylor ($9,100): Linwood is option A in a high profile offense. He will be in the Heisman talk for much of the season, which means you will be sick of hearing about him by the end of September. Don’t let that deter you from playing him in weekly leagues. He is poised to have a huge season, and most of the time will be worth his price.
Madre London, Michigan State ($8,400): Filling Jeremy Langford’s shoes won’t be easy for London, but he will get plenty of chances to ease into the offense against a below average Western Michigan team. London might stay in the game longer than most of the Michigan State starters since they want to get him acclimated to the offense and the playbook. London could have a very nice game, but he is a bit of a risk.
Dwayne Washington, Washington ($6,600): Boise’s run defense was a work in progress for much of last year, and Washington did not have consistent QB play for a lot of last year. If Jeff Lindquist has improved, it could temper Washington’s value a little, but I like him quite a bit for his price tonight.
Josh Ferguson, Illinois ($8,200): My only beef with Ferguson is that he is not a particularly big back, so he has trouble against bigger defenses. Luckily for him, Kent does not have a bigger defense. He could have a good night, but Illinois makes me nervous with a brand new coach. We don’t really know how everyone will be used.
Devin Chafin, Baylor ($5,200): Yes, I am fully aware that Chafin is a backup. I am also aware that this game will be a blowout, and Chafin will likely be the “starter” for most of the second half. I like him better than Jarvion Franklin against Michigan State’s defense or Prescott Line against Baylor since SMU will abandon the run.
My Picks: Linwood and London
Next: Who Are The Safest Receivers?
Dec 31, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats cornerback Cam Denson (3) intercepts a pass intended for Boise State Broncos wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck (82) during the first half in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl at Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Corey Coleman, Baylor ($8,800): Coleman had a big game (7 catches for 150 and a TD) in the Cotton Bowl against Michigan State. He was the leading receiver for the Bears last year despite missing four games, and he will help Seth Russell settle in to start this season. He may not eclipse some of the gaudy numbers that he posted last year, but he will likely be Russell’s favorite target against a bad defense.
Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State ($6,500): Burbridge is the most talented receiver on the team, but that hasn’t amounted to much production so far. It remains to be seen whether he, R.J. Shelton, or Macgarrett Kings will be Connor Cook’s favorite, but the smart money is on Burbridge. Against a defense like Western Michigan, there should be plenty of balls to go around. None of the three are bad plays tonight.
Thomas Sperbeck, Boise State ($5,800): Remember him? He’s the guy that racked up 199 receiving yards in the Fiesta Bowl against Arizona on New Year’s Eve. Shane Williams-Rhodes is the bigger name, but I am banking on Sperbeck to help his new QB out more.
Geronimo Allison, Illinois ($5,600): Aside from having a great name, Allison will be the number one receiver for the Illini with Mike Dudek out. Lunt will throw. A lot. It would seem that Allison would get the lion’s share of the targets for a very reasonable price.
Deion Sanders Jr., SMU ($4,800): Now, I know you recognize this name. Sanders didn’t get a whole lot of playing time last year, but he is in line for a spike in playing time this year. SMU will have to throw a lot to try and stay in the game against Baylor, so you could see Sanders targeted quite a bit behind Courtland Sutton. If you are looking for a shot in the dark, here it is!
My Picks: Sperbeck, Allison, and Sanders
Next: Let's Throw A Dart At The Board And See What Sticks For TE's
Oct 19, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Washington Huskies tight end Joshua Perkins (82) makes a catch during the first half against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Josh Perkins, Washington ($3,000): Jeff Lindquist’s safety valve could be a good play so long as Lindquist is the starting QB. He caught at least one pass in every game he played last year, so he should at least get you something.
Josiah Price, Michigan State ($3,300): Price is one of the top red-zone options for Connor Cook, and that could increase until he picks out a favorite receiver. Price caught six touchdowns last year, which is pretty rare for a college TE. If you have the money, Price is a safe pick.
Eric Boyden, Western Michigan ($2,500): Never underestimate the value of a TE to a quarterback that is running for his life. The Spartans will be in the backfield a lot, so look for Boyden to get some dump off passes. Of course, the flip side of this is that the Broncos could elect to keep him exclusively for blocking help, destroying any value he might have.
My Pick: Perkins
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