Week 4 of the college football season kicks off with a four-game Friday slate on DraftKings. This $15 slate has a prize pool of $80,000, with $20,000 going to the winner. With eight teams total on the slate, ownership won’t be as easily spread around, but identifying the best value plays is critical to taking down a GPP this size. Here are the best values by position for Saturday’s main slate:
Chris Reynolds, Charlotte vs. Middle Tennessee State ($5,700):
This is definitely a slate where if you’re going to play two quarterbacks, you really need to have one of the top four, salary-wise (Armstrong, Willis, Hartman, Haener). Frankly, you probably should look to build with two of those four and find your savings at running back or receiver. By default, that will make the cheap QBs lower-owned, so there is a good contrarian script to follow by using someone like Reynolds, who comes at a significant discount off the Fab 4 and plays in a game with an O/U roughly equal to the other games except the shootout expected between Wake Forest and Virginia. If that game fails to live up to expectations (see: Cowboys/Chargers), then the contrarian play could be the winning one.
Ronnie Rivers, Fresno State vs. UNLV ($5,600):
I think DraftKings is trying to tell us something about the quality of the ball carriers. Only one running back is priced over 6K on this slate. And it probably took Syracuse’s Sean Tucker ($6,400) exploding for an insane 64 points last week to bump him up that high. I prefer to go lower and start with Rivers, who has gotten better each week and had 21 carries last week for 131 yards. UNLV is arguably the worst run-defense on the slate, or close to it, so no reason for Rivers to regress off his recent success.
Christian Beal-Smith, Wake Forest at Virginia ($5,300):
This is the game of the slate with an O/U sitting on 68. We’re talking stackalicious. The most common construction will likely be QB-WR-WR, so swapping in Beal-Smith instead of a wide receiver, or going onslaught with four Wake skill players, is a great way to be different. Like Rivers, Beal-Smith had a season-high in carries last week with 19 and just missed the 100-yard bonus. He’s a live play in a shootout game.
Taj Harris, Syracuse vs. Liberty ($5,000):
We still don’t know why Harris didn’t play last week against Albany, but we saw what he did two weeks ago against Rutgers, with eight catches for 122 yards. Check Twitter for his status on Friday, but if he’s back in the lineup, he’s a terrific value and pivots off WF-VA.
Jelani Woods, Virginia vs. Wake Forest ($4,000):
Woods is going to be popular after two dominant performances the past two weeks, combining for an 11-162-2 line. We know this game is going to be stacked in both directions, and a cheap play like Woods will make it all possible. Still, this is good chalk.