DraftKings CFB Early picks September 15: Score big with Hawaii
There are only ten early games for the early DraftKings tournament this week, which makes it the smallest one we have had so far. Most of the action will be tonight, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t money to be won early on. There are some good games in here and a couple of clunkers. Which ones should we attack? Let’s check it out!
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Kyler Murray ($10,200): The injury to Rodney Anderson could put a little more of the offensive weight on Murray, at least in the short term until Sermon gets acclimated to the lead back role. Iowa State has a solid defense and is tough at home, so I expect this game to stay pretty close throughout. Although if Kempt can’t start, there is a chance this one slips away from the Cyclones. At any rate, Murray is what is going to make this offense go here. He put up 45.14 DraftKings points against UCLA, and that was a blowout. Murray should at least come close to that here.
Eric Dungey ($9,300): I’ll take the guy who is the heart of the offense over a game manage like McSorely any day. The Florida State defense has been about a half notch above awful. Dungey beat Clemson last year. Most of you don’t remember that because Dungey, and Syracuse’s season, went down with him the next week. A healthy Dungey has been carrying the Orange so far. He will here as well.
Cole McDonald ($9,200): Anyone remember Colt Brennan? This is who McDonald reminds me of. This Hawaii offense is flying high, and Army is going to have a rough time stopping this. McDonald seems primed to throw another 50+ passes. A whole lot of fantasy goodness can come from that.
Deondre Francois ($8,700): For all the good Dungey has done on offense, the Syracuse defense has given most of it back. I don’t think that Syracuse can harass Francois the way that the Hokies did in the opener. Samford couldn’t and Francois spent his afternoon dissecting the defense. That is likely to happen here today in what could be a very high scoring game for the ACC.
Shea Patterson ($8,000): This should be the coming out party for Patterson here against a Grade-A awful SMU defense. There is always a chance that Michigan runs it 80 times with all of the backs they have, but I do tend to think that the Wolverines will let Patterson throw it around some to get him more comfortable heading into conference play. The Wolverines still have a shot in the Big Ten(14), so I do think Patterson gets turned loose a little here.
Kelvin Hopkins Jr ($7,500): Hawaii’s run defense has been pretty bad, so the Army option should get some good run here. Hopkins is at the heart of that. He isn’t Ahmad Bradshaw, but he isn’t priced like him either. This is a good spot for Hopkins because no matter how far Army is behind, they are always going to run the ball.
Kenny PIckett ($6,400): The weather and the Penn State defense locked down Pickett last week. Georgia Tech isn’t capable of that. South Florida routinely picked them apart last week. Pickett is somewhat less methodical and his receivers may not be as good, but Pickett is plenty good enough to pick apart the Bees here.
Kyle Kempt ($6,000): It sounds as though Kempt is going to be able to play this week. Does anyone remember what he did in Norman last year? I sure as hell do. If Kempt is anywhere close to 100%, he is very underpriced. I do think the Oklahoma defense is better than last year, but not enough to lock down Kempt. He should throw for 300 here with a couple of touchdowns so long as the ankle is okay. I’ll take that for six grand.
Jonathan Taylor ($9,700): Taylor had a career high 253 yards last week against New Mexico. He wont have quite that much room to run against BYU, but they did get gashed by Cal last week. The thing to take away from Taylor’s game last week is that Wisconsin gave him 33 carries in that game. This should stay closer than the game against the Lobos did, so I could see another 30 carry day for Taylor. If that’s the case, this may be cheap for him!
Karan Higdon ($8,600): The presence of Chris Evans caps Higdon because Michigan wont feed Higdon like Wisconsin does Taylor. That said, Higdon is playing a defense that is one of the worst in FBS right now. He can do a lot of damage even if he only plays a half.
Miles Sanders ($8,300): An awful Illinois team ran for nearly 300 yards on Kent last week. Sanders is going to chew them up as well. Sanders has separated himself from the pack that is trying to replace Saquon Barkley. That will work in his favor here. Sanders should see a career high in yards, if not carries, in this one.
Justice Hill ($7,800): If Oklahoma State is to win this game, it will be because of Hill, not the passing game. Boise has actually allowed Troy and UConn to run on them. Oklahoma State has several backs to throw at the Broncs, but Hill is by far the most talented. He should receive the bulk of the carries.
Trey Sermon ($7,300): This is not a great matchup for Sermon, but he is still priced low enough as the lead back for Oklahoma to give him a shot here. Sermon opened last season as the number one back, so this is not unchartered territory for him. Sermon can handle the load, but the Cyclones did a pretty good job shutting down the Iowa rushing attack last week. I like Sermon as the starter, but I still don’t know how much he can get going against Iowa State.
Nick Brossette ($6,200): Brossette faces a huge test against Auburn, but LSU is going to try to win this game by running the ball and playing defense. I expect Brossette to get a lot of carries in this one. Yards per carry don’t matter in DFS, so Brossette could end up having a pretty good game for his low price just because of the volume of carries he will get.
Jordan Mason ($5,600): Mason is going to start with Benson sidelined, and he is really cheap against a Pitt defense that couldn’t really stop Sanders last week. I expect a healthy load for Mason here. He ran for 96 yards on just 13 carries last week. He should get well over the century mark here, which makes him an incredible bargain for the price.
Qadree Ollison ($4,700): Ollison topped the century mark against a pretty good Penn State rush defense last week. Georgia Tech isn’t nearly that good. Ollison is the guy that filled in nicely for James Conner when he was out with cancer, so he can handle the load. He is still priced like a backup since Ollison was listed there to open the season. His performance against Penn State virtually assures that Ollison will receive the lion’s share of carries going forward.
John Ursua ($8,100): I realize that most of you either don’t care enough about football to watch Hawaii or aren’t up late enough to do so. At any rate, you’re missing out on a guy who has great hands, runs good routes, and has a QB that looks to him first over anyone else. Ursua has 423 receiving yards already with five touchdowns. Don’t ask, just play him.
Hollywood Brown ($7,600): Brown has emerged as Murray’s favorite target to the surprise of no one. Brown has yet to have a really big game, and it likely wont come against Iowa State either. That said, this secondary wasn’t tested because Iowa can’t throw the ball beyond ten yards. I see Oklahoma throwing more with Anderson out, and Brown stands to gain the most from that. He could be in for a big game here.
Cedric Byrd ($7,400): Don’t worry, Hawaii throws more than enough passes to satisfy two receivers at the top of the heap here. I could make a case for using both and McDonald against Army. This is an offense worth stacking because the defense allows points almost as fast as the offense can put them up.
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Cee Dee Lamb ($6,700): For all the attention that Brown gets, Lamb actually has the better hands. This guy reminds me of Sterling Shepard. He can catch anything within a five yard radius, even if it is thrown behind him. I can see Iowa State keying on Hollywood, which could leave Lamb open for another big game.
Jamal Custis ($6,500): Custis has emerged as the go to receiver for Eric Dungey. He has received 32% of the Syracuse targets, which is a massive number. The Orange wont win this game without throwing, so Custis could have a very good game here.
A.J. Taylor ($6,100): If you thought Custis was a target monster, check out this stat: Alex Hornibrook only completed eight passes last week. Taylor caught five of those. If you are going to use a Wisconsin receiver, it has to be Taylor. Anything else is roulette.
Kalija Lipscomb ($5,400): The dirty little secret here is that Ball State was able to throw the ball on the Irish enough to get back in the game. Vanderbilt quietly has a pretty good offense down there with Lipscomb easily the most dynamic player on the unit. He could be a very nice bargain at this price.
JoJo Ward ($4,900): Another Hawaii receiver? Hey, I told you they throw 50+ times a game. I wasn’t kidding. Ward took the top off the Navy defense a few times last week, racking up 161 yards on just six catches. Ward gets less targets than the other two, but all three went over the century mark against Navy last week. Don’t be shocked if it happens to Army as well. That makes Ward a desirable GPP option due to the high upside, albeit without a consistent floor.
Tamorrion Terry ($4,000): The true freshman has received good run for the Seminoles here. Terry still isn’t at the top of the depth chart, but he has shown really good hands and four the end zone on both catches last week. That should only help him get more targets in the future. The Syracuse D has had trouble guarding anyone, so Terry should have plenty of room to get something going here.
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