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College Football DFS: Week 8 DraftKings & FanDuel CFB Picks | Friday, 10/22/2021

Matt Gajewski



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Week 8 action continues with a Friday slate, and DraftKings and FanDuel have great contests for these games. This college football DFS breakdown will look at each team and provide information about each skill position player of note. Make sure to check out our projections, depth charts and datasheets for more information. With that said, let’s dive into the first iteration of the Week 8 CFB DFS picks for Friday’s matchup.

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College Football DFS: Week 8 Friday CFB Picks

Middle Tennessee State vs. UConn

Middle Tennessee State (34.75 Implied Total)

Plays/Game – 68.2 (86th)

Pass Rate – 54.84% (22nd)

Middle Tennessee State enters this game with a 2-4 record. Their only notable win came against Marshall, while they dropped games to Virginia Tech. UTSA, Charlotte and Liberty so far this year. Like last year, Middle Tennessee State continues to pass at an elevated rate. However, their plays per game have dropped sharply due to efficiency. That does not project to continue here against UConn.

Chase Cunningham ($7,100) will continue to lead Middle Tennessee State, following Bailey Hockman‘s benching. Cunningham has been the much better quarterback and has solid mobile, with 97 cumulative yards rushing this year. As a passer, he completes 60.9% of his passes for 7.3 yard per attempt. He has one 300-yard passing game this year, but he has also shown a limited ceiling. Fortunately, this is his best matchup of the year.

Middle Tennessee State uses a nasty running back by committee. Amir Rasul ($3,000) technically leads the group, but he only saw 15 snaps and did not receive a carry last week. Chaton Mobley ($4,900) led the group with 23 snaps and four carries. Frank Peasant ($3,000), Brad Anderson ($3,100) and even Martell Pettaway ($3,000) will be involved to some degree, making this backfield one to avoid.

At receiver Jimmy Marshall ($5,400) and Jarrin Pierce ($5,800) continue to function as the top two options. However, Pierce has seen his route rate decrease in three straight week all the way down to 63%. Marshall jumped to 70% last week. Pierce still averages 6 targets per game in Middle Tennessee State’s last four games to Marshall’s 4.3. Part of the role reduction has been the emergence of Yusuf Ali ($3,900). Ali averages 4.5 targets per game in Middle Tennessee’s last four and continues to see more snaps. Unfortunately, none of these options look likely to play a full-time role with Izaiah Gathings ($3,200), D.J. England-Chisolm ($3,700), Jaylin Lane ($4,800) and C.J. Windham ($4,100) all still involved.

UConn (19.25 Implied Total)

Plays/Game – 63.3 (124th)

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Pass Rate – 52.63% (35th)

Now 1-7, UConn picked up their first win of the year against Yale last week. This UConn team is brutal, dropping games to Holy Cross, Vanderbilt and UMass along the way. UConn did not play football last year. Predictably, they have been forced into pass heavy game scripts, while struggling with efficiency on offense.

After benching Jack Zergiotis ($5,700), UConn has found their new starter in Steven Krajewski ($5,900). Krajewski has solid mobile, with 95 yards on the ground so far this year. Through the air, he only completed 56.2% of his passes for 5.8 yard per attempt, but this is an upgrade for UConn. Middle Tennessee State’s defense is not good, but UConn’s implied team total renders Krajewski a dart throw at best.

Nathan Carter ($5,300) continues to operate as UConn’s lead back, with Kevin Mensah ($3,900) providing a change of pace. Carter averages 53.6 rushing and 9.1 yards receiving per game on 14.3 touches. Mensah has been far less efficient with 27.8 rushing and 5.4 yards receiving per game on 8.8 touches. Neither is a solid option here, despite Middle Tennessee State allowing over 200 yards rushing per game.

At receiver Keelan Marion ($5,200) leads the team with 43.3 yards per game on 4.6 targets. In UConn’s last four games, he averages 6.8 targets per game. Aaron Turner ($3,400) and Kevens Clercius ($3,800) are also full-time receivers. Turner averages 6.3 target per game in UConn’s last four, compared to 3.5 for Clercius. Jay Rose was left off the depth chart this week, pointing to another week with Brandon Niemenski ($3,500) operating as the every-down tight end. He saw six targets in this role last week and will play just as much as the receivers.

Memphis vs. UCF

Memphis (31.25 Implied Total)

Plays/Game – 69.2 (74th)

Pass Rate – 50.12% (49th)

Now 4-3 to start the year, Memphis’ only losses have come to UTSA, Temple and Tulsa. They also have a marquee win over Mississippi State this year. Memphis has reduced their pass volume this year, but they are still throwing at an above-average rate. They have also seen their play volume drop close to the league average.

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Emerging as Memphis starter this year, Seth Henigan ($9,000) has played solid football for the Tigers. Henigan is somewhat mobile, with 42 yards rushing on the year. He also benefits from a high-volume passing attack, averaging 307.7 yards passing per game. UCF is worse against the run, but Henigan’s 9.5 yards per attempt keep him firmly in play for tournaments in this game environment.

Brandon Thomas ($6,800) remains Memphis’ lead back, averaging 16.1 touches per game. This equates to 97.7 yards per game. Marquavius Weaver ($3,700) has emerged as Memphis change of pace back. He saw elevated opportunity against Navy in a blowout last week. However, he averages just 5.6 touches per game on the year. Rodrigues Clark ($4,000) also missed the Navy game. If Clark returns, he should regain his role as change of pace back. Kylan Watkins ($3,300) only played nine snaps last week. UCF allows 207.2 yards rushing per game.

Calvin Austin ($9,200) has one of the best roles in college football. He averages 121.9 yards receiving per game on 10.7 targets. He only ran eight routes with Memphis dismantling Navy last week. He is still an elite option. Tight end Sean Dykes ($5,600) is the second-most targeted option here. He averages 63 yards per game on 4.7 targets. Javon Ivory ($5,000) is the WR2. He averages 45 yards per game on 4.1 targets. Gabriel Rogers ($3,000) continues to be called day to day ahead of this game here. In his place, Eddie Lewis ($4,200) has move into a full-time role and played well. This was highlighted by a 92-yard game last week.

UCF (33.75 Implied Total)

Plays/Game – 68.6 (82nd)

Pass Rate – 47.81% (68th)

Playing without their starting quarterback Dillon Gabriel, UCF is now 3-3. Their losses have come against good competition in Louisville, Navy and Cincinnati. They also beat Boise State and East Carolina by single digits. With Gus Malzahn taking over, UCF has predictably seen their play volume and pass rate plummet. The same is true with offensive efficiency. They opened as the favorite here, but money continues to come in on Memphis.

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Without Gabriel, UCF has been forced to turn to Mikey Keene ($6,100). Keene is not mobile, with negative-5 yards rushing this year. He has also struggled as a passer, completing just 62.1% of his passes for 6 yards per attempt. He has not eclipsed 200 yards in an individual game this year, raising questions about his leash moving forward. Joey Gatewood ($6,000) played 14 snaps. Keene is a pure dart throw in DFS, despite Memphis poor pass defense.

In the run game, Northwestern transfer Isaiah Bowser ($6,500) returned last week. He saw 13 carries, while Johnny Richardson ($4,700) mixed in for 13 touches himself. The split the backfield evenly, with Bowser out-snapping Richardson 31-30. Bowser only averaged 2.1 yards per carry, so this could be a time-share moving forward.

Jaylon Robinson ($6,400) is not expected to return anytime soon, thrusting Ryan O’Keefe ($6,100) in the WR1 role. O’Keefe has suffered dramatically from poor quarterback play. He averages 62.7 yards per game on 7.7 targets. Brandon Johnson ($4,500) will operate as the WR2. He only averages 41.8 yards per game on 5.7 targets per game. Auburn and Colorado State transfer Nate Craig-Meyers ($3,000) has fully usurped Amari Johnson ($3,600) as the WR3. Johnson still has a 50% and 48% route rate over the last two games. However, Craig-Meyers has eclipsed 80% in both of those games. This has yet to translate into on-field production. Craig-Meyers only has two targets all year. Johnson averages 4 target per game over UCF’s last four games.

Colorado State vs. Utah State

Colorado State (28.75 Implied Total)

Plays/Game – 77.8 (19th)

Pass Rate – 39.33% (108th)

After a rough start to the year, Colorado State is now 3-3 after back-to-back wins. Their wins came against Toledo, San Jose State and New Mexico. They also played Iowa to ten points and Vanderbilt to a field goal. Like typical Steve Addazio teams, Colorado State is extremely run heavy. Interestingly, they have also played with a fast tempo. That could make this a sneaky shootout spot against Utah State.

Despite his ups and down, Todd Centeio ($7,400) remains Colorado State’s quarterback. Centeio is an excellent rusher with 238 yards on the ground already this season. He leaves much to be desired as a passer with a 60% completion percentage and 7.2 yards per attempt. His mobility keeps him somewhat viable, but Colorado State’s run-heavy offense gives him a low floor.

David Bailey ($6,000) returned from injury to handle 22 touches in Colorado State’s last game. Bailey has not been efficient with 64.2 yards rushing per game. However, the volume has consistently been there, and he averages 19 touches per game. Utah State allows over 200 yards rushing per game to opponents. A’Jon Vivens ($3,800) and Jaylen Thomas ($3,300) will be involved as change of pace backs. Vivens handled most of the work without Bailey earlier this year, giving him a slight edge over Thomas.

At receiver Dante Wright ($5,300) continues to work his way back from injury. Head coach Steve Addazio straight up lied to the media, saying Wright would be more involved last week. He is the WR1 when healthy, but Colorado State remains one of the worst teams in the country when it comes to handling injuries. Tight end Trey McBride ($7,000) will function as the top pass catcher here in his stead. He averages 99.5 yards per game on 11.3 targets. Ty McCullouch ($5,100) and E.J. Scott ($3,800) are the next-most involved. McCullouch is the preferred option with four targets in three straight games. Ultimately, this is a low-volume, inefficient offense. Taking shots on the rotational receivers does not make much sense.

Utah State (25.75 Implied Total)

Plays/Game – 82.8 (3rd)

Pass Rate – 49.76% (52nd)

Utah State is 4-2 to start the year, with wins over Washington State, Air Force and UNLV. They lost to Boise State and BYU along the way too. Similar to last year, Utah State is slightly above average in terms of pass rate. However, their plays per game have absolutely soared after running just 62.7 plays per game last year.

After splitting time with Andrew Peasley ($7,500) earlier in the year, Logan Bonner ($7,700) has emerged as Utah State’s full-time starter at quarterback. Bonner is somewhat mobile, with 44 yards on the ground this year. He also averages 260 yards through the air on 32 attempts. Bonner only completes 59.3% of his passes for 8.1 yards per attempt, but he has shown more upside than Peasley. Colorado State plays tough defense, but Bonner is still live in tournaments.

At running back Calvin Tyler ($5,000) has functioned as the lead back for Utah State. He averages 81.9 yards per game on 17.2 touches. He draws a tough matchup here and will cede change of pace work to John Gentry ($3,000) and Elelyon Noa ($3,400). None of these backs are particularly involved in the pass game. Tyler is a middling play based on price.

At receiver Deven Thompkins ($8,700) continues to play one of the highest volume roles in college football. Thompkins averages 140.2 yards per game on 12.8 targets per game. He will always be an option with this volume. Derek Wright ($4,300) continues to play the WR2 role, based on routes. However, he is still cheaper than Arkansas State transfer Brandon Bowling ($4,800). After starting the year hot, Bowling has cooled a bit. He holds a 400-303 yardage edge over Wright, despite seeing just two more targets on the year. Justin McGriff ($3,600) will also play rotational snaps here and offers punt viability.

Washington vs. Arizona

Washington (30.75 Implied Total)

Plays/Game – 69.2 (73rd)

Pass Rate – 52.02% (38th)

Finally getting healthier, Washington still has a 2-4 record in the PAC-12. Their only wins came against Arkansas State and Cal, while they dropped games to Montana, Michigan, Oregon State and UCLA. Washington looks largely the same as last year in terms of pace. However, they have been forced to drastically increase their pass rate due to negative game script.

Dylan Morris ($6,500) continues to game-manage Washington’s offense with limited success. Morris is not mobile, with negative-25 yards rushing this year. He also fails to capitalize on his volume in most cases. He only averages 241 yards passing per game, despite throwing it 35 times per contest. His 60% completion percentage and 6.9 yards per attempt leave much to be desired. Morris’ only 300-yard game this year came against Arkansas State, but his volume should keep him viable in tournaments. The worry remains Washington simply embracing the run in cupcake matchup.

Despite the return of Richard Newton ($4,200), Washington moved forward with a two-man backfield in Week 7. Newton and Cameron Davis ($3,000) played four and one snap, respectively. Sean McGrew ($6,200) led the backfield with 19 touches. McGrew has not been very efficient with 56.5 yards rushing per game, but he still averages 15.3 touches per game. Kamari Pleasant ($5,500) looks like the change of pace back. He is too expensive for his 8 touches per game generally. However, Arizona allows 213 yards rushing per game.

Finally healthy, Washington’s top two pass catchers are Terrell Bynum ($5,900) and tight end Cade Otton ($4,000). Otton recently missed a pair of games, but he averages 7 targets per game, making him an underpriced option in his offense. Bynum averages 56.8 yards per game on 6.2 targets. He has seen at least six targets in three of his last four games. The WR2 is Jalen McMillan ($4,700). His route rate has been above 70% in four straight games. Rome Odunze ($4,600) has also been increasingly involved. However, he will split time with Taj Davis ($3,700) at times. Odunze still holds the edge in snaps and targets. Odunze popped up for eight targets in Washington’s last game.

Arizona (13.75 Implied Total)

Plays/Game – 78.2 (17th)

Pass Rate – 53.71% (31st)

One of the few winless teams in the country, Arizona only kept two games within single digits. They played BYU and Northern Arizona tough, but this team is an utter disaster. Arizona is both fast and pass heavy, potentially contributing to solid DFS scores. However, their efficiency is so that, that they still often fail to produce.

Jordan McCloud and Gunner Cruz are both out for Arizona. With the injuries, Will Plummer ($5,000) was named the starter moving forward. Plummer is somewhat mobile, with 38 yards rushing this year. However, he has largely disappointed as a passer, completing 50.7% of his passes for 5.4 yards per attempt. He has just four touchdowns, but six interceptions. Volume will be on his side now that he has the quarterback job to himself. However, he will have to overcome his inefficiencies with raw volume and rushing ability. He has only finished with negative yards rushing in one of seven games, making him somewhat viable as a punt.

Drake Anderson ($4,100) has been battling an injury and enters this game on the wrong side of questionable. If Anderson cannot go, expect a time share between Michael Wiley ($4,400) and Jalen John ($3,600). This rushing attack has been horribly inefficient. Wiley averages 31 yards rushing and 23.3 yards receiving per game on 13 touches. John averages 37 yards rushing per game and 7 yards receiving per game on 6.7 touches per game. Both are low upside/middling floor options here.

Stanley Berryhill ($6,700) continues to operate as Arizona’s leading receiver. He averages 73.5 yards per game on 11 targets, which equates to a 30.3% target share. Behind Berryhill, B.J. Casteel ($3,900) is the second-most targeted receiver. He only averages 34 yards per game on 6.3 targets. After playing a full-time role to begin the year, he has not eclipsed 60% of routes in two straight games. This has coincided with the re-emergence of Boobie Curry ($4,400). Curry saw his route rate jump to a season-high 59% last week. He now averages 4 targets per game over Arizona’s last four. Ultimately, behind Berryhill, Arizona will use a nasty rotation. Tayvian Cunningham ($3,700), Jalen Johnson ($3,000), Jamarye Joiner ($3,000) will also be involved. Bryce Wolma ($3,000) and Alex Lines ($3,000) will split an already low-volume role at tight end.

Thanks for reading to the end of this article! If you appreciate this free content and want to see more of it every day, you can help us out by sharing this article on social media! Check out our industry-leading DraftKings CFB DFS projections for this week. Looking for more college football DFS picks for this week and college football DFS picks for FanDuel? Alex Baker, the No. 1 DFS player in the world, developed and maintains the college football DFS ownership projections for today.

Matt Gajewski graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Economics. Matt has worked in the fantasy industry for the past four years, focusing on DFS and Sports Betting. Matt specializes in NFL, College Football, College Basketball, XFL, and MMA. With GPP victories across the major sports, Matt also qualified for the DraftKings 2020 Sports Betting Championship and won a seat to the College Basketball Tourney Mania final.

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