CFB DFS Week 8: Value Plays to Target

·9 min read

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Two of the biggest plays you could have happened on in Week 7 was if you played LSU running back Tyrion Davis-Price and Cincinnati running back Jerome Ford. Davis-Price, priced at $4,400 on the slate, turned in a performance that garnered drafters 11.30 points per $1,000 on the weekend. He rushed 36 times for 287 yards and three touchdowns, setting the LSU record for most rushing yards in a single game, and walked away as SEC Player of the Week.

Performances like that from Davis-Price are exactly the ones we want to get behind, but ones that can be difficult to pinpoint. Prior to last weekend's game against Florida, Davis-Price had only 67 rushes on the season, and had only one other game of 20+ rushes, which came in LSU's Week 6 loss to Kentucky when Davis-Price rushed for 22/147/2.

From an efficiency standpoint, Davis-Price was well under the radar, as he had only averaged 0.7 points per touch on the year.

Trying to get ahead of these performances and targeting them when possible is always ideal. It's something to bear in mind going forward into Week 8.

Caleb Williams, Oklahoma QB

Game: Kansas (+38.5) vs. Oklahoma - O/U 66.5
DraftKings Price: $9,800

Oklahoma vs. Kansas Week 8
Oklahoma vs. Kansas Week 8

If there's one thing I've learned over the course of this college football DFS season, it's that you don't need to pivot off a solid quarterback to have a strong lineup. Quarterback scoring tends to be massively inflated due to the high scoring nature of the game, whether it be by a single team, or a shootout between two opponents.

Looking at the NBC Sports EDGE DFS Past Results tool, we can see that the perfect lineup in Week 7 features North Carolina QB Sam Howell, who posted 35 DraftKings points at a $9,200 salary. In Week 5, Louisville quarterback Micale Cunningham made his way into the perfect lineup thanks to a 40.0 point performance at $9,500.

Perfect Lineup Week 7 DFS
Perfect Lineup Week 7 DFS

Knowing this, why not consider going with the second-highest priced quarterback on the slate in Oklahoma freshman Caleb Williams.

Williams has been the talk of the town since he first donned the Superman cape in Week 6 against Texas.

You know the story by now. Down 38-20 at halftime, freshman quarterback Caleb Williams took over for Spencer Rattler, and promptly leaded the Sooners to a 35 point second half, before downing the Longhorns 55-48.

Williams was electric in that second half, completing 15-of-24 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for another 88 yards and a score.

The following week, Williams got the start against TCU, where he went 18-of-23 for 295 yards and four touchdowns. He found the end zone on the ground again in Week 7, rushing for 66 yards and another score while finishing with 40.4 DraftKings points.

Caleb Williams Oklahoma QB
Caleb Williams Oklahoma QB

Looking back at Williams' last game and a half, he has been one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the nation. Comparing his last two performances to the rest of the quarterback's seasons on the slate, Williams ranks first in both fantasy points per attempt (1.5) and fantasy points per completion (2.2).

Now he and the Sooners get a Kansas team whose greatest strength is giving up fantasy points to opposing players. On the season, the Jayhawks are allowing 43.3 points per game which ranks as the second-most in the nation. The Sooners have totaled 107 points over the past two weeks, with 87 of those points coming when Williams is under center.

Oklahoma is also in a unique position given the benching of former starter and favorite no. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft Spencer Rattler, that even in a blow out, Williams could see significant play in this one.

Williams would need to reach 29.4 points on the day to 3x his $9,800 salary. Whether through the air or on the ground, against a bad Kansas team, I think he has a strong chance at doing just that.

SaRodorick Thompson, Texas Tech RB

Game: Texas Tech (-1) vs. Kansas State - O/U 60.5
DraftKings Price: $5,900

Texas Tech vs. Kansas State Week 8
Texas Tech vs. Kansas State Week 8

Kansas State and Texas Tech square off this week in a game that features multiple talents at the running back position in KSU running back Deuce Vaughn and TTU running back SaRodorick Thompson. Both Vaughn and Thompson have been highly productive runners for their respective teams throughout the season, but Thompson looks like a strong play at his $5,900 price in a game that's total currently sits at 60.5.

On the season, Kansas State is only allowing 107 rushing yards per game, but Pro Football Focus rates the Wildcats as one of the lesser run defenses in the nation at 59.7 and one of the worst tackling defenses in the nation at 57.7. Both rank as 97th out of 130 FBS teams.

So why is this?

At 3-3, Kansas State kicked off its 2021 season with a stellar 3-0 start that featured wins over Stanford, Southern Illinois and Nevada. Southern Illinois is an FCS opponent, who ironically rushed for the most yards of the three against Kansas State, while Stanford and Nevada are a combined 8-5, but are two of the worst rushing teams in the nation at 94.9 and 95.3 rushing yards per game, respectively.

Now, the Wildcats are on an 0-3 skid, and have given up 159.3 rushing yards per game over that span, which includes five rushing touchdowns surrendered.

On the Red Raiders side of the ball, they have thrived in the rushing game, leaning on it 33.4 times per game this season, while averaging 168.6 as a team on the ground. grades Texas Tech as the 37th best rushing attack in the nation at 83.0 with a run blocking unit that sits just above averaged at 58th in the nation with a grade of 66.0.

SaRodorick Thopmson Texas Tech
SaRodorick Thopmson Texas Tech

Red Raiders running back SaRodorick Thompson missed the first two games of Tech's season, but has returned to average 13.8 opportunities per game and 16.6 DraftKings points per game.

Thompson's per game average is largely inflated by a 42.7 point performance against TCU in Week 6, but after getting off to a slow start through the first three weeks, Thompson appears to be rounding into form.

He's managed to find the end zone six times this season, and is the RB5 on this weekend's slate in terms of efficiency, averaging 1.2 points per touch on the year.

Looking at some advanced stats per Pro Football Focus, Thompson has posted seven breakaway runs on the season (runs of 15+ yards), and has averaged two breakaway runs per game over the last two weeks. He's also forced 15 missed tackles on the season, good for a 3.0 per game average.

Given the strength of Tech's rushing attack, and how exposed Kansas State has looked on the ground, Thompson looks like a nice bet to continue his recent string of success as he continues to distance himself from an early season shoulder injury that led to him missing most of the offseason.

Honorable Mention: I would also like to briefly include Oregon running back Travis Dye, who narrowly missed this article, but had a stellar performance last week against Cal in the team's first game without C.J. Verdell. Dye totaled 26 touches for 218 yards and one touchdown, finishing with 37.8 DraftKings points. He is priced at $7,400 on the week and is also averaging 1.2 fantasy points per touch.

Kyle Philips, UCLA WR

Game: UCLA (-2) vs. Oregon - O/U 60.5
DraftKings Price: $5,900

UCLA vs. Oregon Week 8
UCLA vs. Oregon Week 8

UCLA wide receiver Kyle Philips was a puzzling inactive last week against Washington. While we still don't know why Philips missed, head coach Chip Kelly also confirmed that Philips will be back for Week 8 against Oregon. Philips never appeared on an injury report, so we could assume that this was something personal, as Philips didn't even travel with the team last week, but we'll never know for sure.

This week against Oregon, Philips comes in at what looks to be a bit of a discounted price, after being priced at $6,800 against Arizona before returning only two receptions for 17 yards and 3.7 fantasy points.

On the year, Philips has led all UCLA receivers in targets (39), receptions (24), yards (369) and touchdowns (6). Serving as the team's primary slot receiver, (92.1% slot rate), Philips, along with tight end Greg Dulcich have feasted on defenses over the middle of the field, with 583 of their combined 743 receiving yards coming from that area.

Kyle Philips UCLA
Kyle Philips UCLA

On the year, Philips has gone over the century mark twice, and has found the end zone on six occasions. He had a four game touchdown streak from Weeks 1-5 which included two touchdown performances against Fresno State and Stanford.

Oregon's defense has struggled against the passing game this season, allowing the 270.5 passing yards per game, which is the 21st most in the nation. The 9.5 air yards per pass attempt they are allowing ranks 39th highest in the nation, while their adjust net yards per attempt (ANY/A) is slightly worse at 37th.

Taking a look at the wide receivers on this weekend's slate (min. 20 receptions), Philips ranks as the WR4 in fantasy points per reception (4.0), and is the second most cheap WR in the top-5 of that category. Maryland's Rakim Jarrett is the cheapest receiver amongst the top-5 in fantasy points per reception (4.0) at $5,800, but has struggled over his last three weeks, totaling six receptions for 60 yards despite three touchdowns. Jarrett is averaging only 10.0 points per game over that span.

Philips has a great combination of price, efficiency and matchup to make for a productive fantasy week.

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