Welcome back to another season of CFB DFS plays! Each week throughout the campaign we’ll be providing you with lineups, bargain bin steals and more. Values provided by DraftKings.
The Matchup: Miami vs UAB
Captain: Miami QB D'Eriq King ($18,300)
The costliest player on the board is also the no-brainer play of the contest. Don’t overthink this one. King possesses the highest statistical upside of any player in this contest. Even in his truncated four-game redshirt campaign from 2019, even in what felt like a kinda vacant start, King posted two 100-yard games rushing (three games over 90 yards rushing), six rushing touchdowns (at least one in every game) and six passing touchdowns. He also failed to 230 yards passing in any contest, with three games under 200 yards passing.
But we’re not worried about King’s ability to sling the ball. With the Cougars in 2018 he was tremendous through the air, posting a PFF overall grade of 90.3 while ripping off three-touchdown performances in eight contests. We have no clue what we’ll see from a Miami offense which so often went sideways-to-nowhere in 2019, but King’s an offense all his own. Oh Captain, my captain.
Utility: Miami RB Cam'Ron Harris ($9,600)
While we love King, here, we’d actually generally prefer to fade the Miami receiving corp in this one, though not completely, as you shall see below. That’s because King is a year removed from when he last played football. And he was wobbly through the air in that 2019 season as previously noted. Without a real offseason, we’ll hold off on throwing dollar bills at Miami’s receiving corp, even as we invest in King’s sheer ability to be awesome. Rather than shell out bucks for Mike Harley ($11,700) or Dee Wiggins ($10,800), instead, we’ll invest in King’s backfield mate in Harris. Stepping up as starter this season in place of DeeJay Dallas, former top-200 prospect Harris is looking to build on an intriguing 2019 campaign in which he put up 576 yards rushing and five touchdowns on 114 carries. All you now, Mr. Harris.
Utility: UAB RB Spencer Brown ($9,200)
That the Blazers allowed Central Arkansas to stay within striking distance throughout last week’s contest is a bit uncomfortable, and we were hoping for much more out of QB Tyler Johnston III, but if there was one good thing to come out of that almost-collapse, it was the return of Spencer Brown from his wilderness year of last fall. In 2019, a dinged-by-injury Brown rushed for just 566 yards and five scores, that on the heels of back-to-back campaigns over 1,200 yards on the ground. Versus Central Arkansas, Brown showed a bit of that pre-wilderness scrap, finishing the contest with 127 yards rushing, plus a trip to the end zone on the ground.
Miami is simply going to be fielding more talent than UAB on Thursday. But even if the Blazers end up completely out-flanked, we think Brown gets his.
Utility: Miami TE Brevin Jordan ($6,200)
Miami HC Manny Diaz did DFS combatants no favors at tight end when he released his crew’s Week 1 depth chart (do weeks still exist?). Diaz slapped a big ol’ “or” at the position, with Jordan and Will Mallory tagged as co-starters. We’ll actually take both of them, baking in everything we wrote above about King’s passing. If he is frisky on the ground but rusty through the air, he has a few big targets to help him out. Jordan is a name we’ve known seemingly for the whole of time. He was a consensus top-35 recruit in the 2018 class (and initially committed to the Canes way back in April of 2017) and began to play like it last season, when he posted a 35-495-2 receiving line. And that came in a Jarren Williams-led offense. Jordan could out-and-out soar this fall if King plays up to true D’Eriq King levels. Remember, King has never worked with talent of this kind, either. It should be a fun learning experience.
Utility: Miami TE Will Mallory ($4,400)
The other side of the “or” on the depth chart, you can get Mallory for $1,600 cheaper than Jordan. At least on name value, this makes sense, but keep in mind that Mallory actually started eight games last season. And has been crushing it in preseason camp. We think both Jordan and Mallory are worth stacking in the same lineup.
Utility: Miami WR Marshall Few ($1,600)
Needing a cheap target to round things out, we’ll take a depth-chart roll. Few will back up Mike Harley on Thursday. And we’re talking a roll, for real, here, as Few does not yet have a catch at the collegiate level. But with monetary resources just about dry, you throw a dart and cross your fingers as it flies.
Avoid at all cost: UAB QB Tyler Johnston III ($15,000)
Johnston has to show us that he’s more than an inconsistent decision-maker with mediocre instincts before we’re willing to consider pulling out the wallet for him. And we don’t think that happens this week, not against Miami. It’s a bad matchup for Johnson, and even this format is not enough for us to push our chips in on him.