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College Football DFS: Bowl Games Projections & CFB Picks | Thursday, 12/23/2021

Matt Gajewski



The 2021-22 college football bowl schedule has been released and we are embarking on postseason play. Today’s slate features two games on DraftKings and FanDuel. This college football bowl game projection article will provide a DFS breakdown and look at each team and provide information about each skill position player of note. Make sure to check out Awesemo’s projections, depth charts and datasheets for more information. With that said, let’s dive into this week’s iteration of the CFB DFS picks for today’s bowl game matchups.

CFB DFS Picks: College Football Bowl Projections

Football Frisco Classic: North Texas vs. Miami (Ohio)

North Texas (25.75 Implied Total)

Plays/Game – 82.3 (1st)

Pass Rate – 38.67% (118th)

Barely finishing with the requisite six wins to earn bowl eligibility, North Texas won five in a row to close out their schedule. This included a statement win over future conference champion UTSA. Now humming offensively, North Texas will continue to employ their uptempo, run heavy attack. The Mean Green are quarterbacked by Austin Aune ($6,800), who has played up and down through most of the year. He only completes 51.7% of his passes for 6.7 yards per attempt, averaging 146.7 yards per game. However, Aune is mobile, with 301 cumulative yards rushing on the year. Aune still does not possess the same ceiling as other quarterbacks on this slate. His only 300-yard passing game occurred against Missouri and he likely needs negative game script to reach this mark. Miami plays middling pass defense overall, making Aune an average price-adjusted quarterback to target in this spot.

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At running back North Texas uses two backs in DeAndre Torrey ($6,800) and Ikaika Ragsdale ($3,000). Torrey leads the group with 1,195 yards on 246 carries. On the year, he averages 99.6 rushing and 9.6 yards receiving per game on 22.3 touches. However, Torrey has begun to increasingly split work with Ragsdale, who averages 55.4 yards on 9.8 touches per game himself. However, Ragsdale has at least 15 carries in three of North Texas’ last four games. It should be noted that all three of those contests were blowouts. In North Texas’ one close game within their last four, Torrey out-carried Ragsdale 18-2. From there, North Texas will also use Ayo Adeyi ($3,000) as an occasional change of pace. Adeyi averages 53.5 yards per game on 8.8 touches himself. He is a distant third option behind Torrey and Ragsdale here. Overall, Ragsdale strongest the safest price-adjusted option against a middling Miami defense. However, Torrey has the safest workload.

In the receiving game North Texas’ top receiver is Roderic Burns ($5,800). Burns averages 60.1 yards receiving per game on 7.8 targets, which equates to a 27.4% target share. Behind him, Jason Pirtle ($3,500) is the second-most targeted pass catcher on the year from the tight end position. Pirtle averages 29.1 yards receiving per game on 4.3 targets. However, he has only seen two targets in each of his last two games. Jake Roberts ($3,000) has increasingly split time with Pirtle, but this could simply be the result of blowouts. The WR2 in this offense is Damon Ward ($4,000), who averages 21.9 yards receiving on three targets per game. Behind him, North Texas uses a rotation consisting of Khatib Lyles ($3,100), Bryson Jackson ($3,300), and Detraveon Brown ($3,200). Lyles has run the most routes of late, but Jackson leads this group with 30 targets. Lyles and Brown each check in with 17, respectively. Overall, Burns, Pirtle, and Ward are going to be the top targets within this passing attack.

Miami (Ohio) (28.75 Implied Total)

Plays/Game – 68.5 (80th)

Pass Rate – 51.39% (38th)

Also finishing 6-6, Miami went 5-3 in MAC play to find themselves bowl eligible. Unlike North Texas, Miami plays very slow and pass heavy football. This matches up well against a North Texas defense, allowing 7.9 yards per pass attempt. At quarterback, Miami is led by veteran Brett Gabbert ($8,800). Gabbert currently averages 268.9 yards passing per game on 30 attempts. He is also somewhat mobile, with 145 cumulative yards rushing this year. Fortunately, Gabbert has shown plenty of upside through the air. In fact, Gabbert has at least 350 yards passing in two of his last three games. With an uptempo, weak pass defense on the other side, volume should favor Gabbert here. Gabbert is expensive in this spot, but he is a solid option at the quarterback position in this game.

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In the run game Miami uses a nasty four-man committee. Keyon Mozee ($3,900) technically leads this group with 442 yards rushing on 109 carries this year. However, Kevin Davis ($3,300), Tyre Shelton ($3,200), and Kenny Tracy ($4,100) will all play a role in this backfield. Davis led the team with nine carries in their season finale, but he only has 325 yards rushing on 55 carries this year. Shelton and Tracy each carries 54 and 41 times, respectively this season, making the backfield a true four-way timeshare. The pass game work will be split primarily by Davis and Tracy. Davis’ 22 targets narrowly bested Tracy’s 21 on the year. However, Tracy saw six targets in Miami’s most recent game, while Davis checked in with just two. Without a discernable pattern, this backfield should be left to large field tournaments.

In the receiving game Jack Sorenson ($8,700) operates as a true alpha receiver in this offense. Sorenson averages 105 yards receiving per game on 8.9 targets, but he has seen even more volume down the stretch. In Miami’s last three games, Sorenson averages 11.8 targets per game, including a 14-target performance in the season finale. At the WR2 slot, Mac Hippenhammer ($5,200) has been more than viable. On the year, Hippenhammer averages 65.9 yards receiving per game on 7.5 targets. Like Sorenson, his targets have risen to 8.8 per game over Miami’s last four contests. This also includes a 15-target performance in the season finale. The WR3 position is manned by Jalen Walker ($4,500), who averages 32 yards receiving per game on 4.2 targets. Walker averages six targets per game over Miami’s last four, making him a strong value here too. Even tight end Jack Coldiron ($3,000) has played an elevated role of late. Coldiron jumped to a 64% route share and saw six targets in Miami’s season finale. This teams runs a narrow distribution of targets, so sticking to these four is the safe play.

Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl: UCF vs. Florida

UCF (24.5 Implied Total)

Plays/Game – 65.9 (111th)

Pass Rate – 47.31% (65th)

Central Florida finished the season 8-4, but this team took a major step back under Gus Malzahn. Playing the characteristic slow, run-heavy Malzahn system, UCF not only saw their offense sputter, but premier quarterback Dillon Gabriel transferred to UCLA. Left with game manager Mikey Keene ($7,800), UCF is a 6.5-point underdog to Florida here. From a DFS perspective, Keene is a liability across the board. He is not mobile whatsoever, with negative-17 yards rushing on the year. He also averages just 160.6 yards passing per game one 25.2 attempts. Keene has neither the efficiency, nor the volume to target with confidence here. Even with a decent team total, Keene is nothing more than a large field tournament play at his elevated price tag.

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In the run game Isaish Bowser ($6,100) will allegedly make his return from injury. Bowser missed the team’s three previous games, but he averaged 77.1 rushing and 10.7 yards receiving per game on 19 touches when healthy. Without Bowser, the team has turned to a timeshare consisting of Johnny Richardson ($5,900) and Mark-Anthony Richards ($3,800). Richards has out-carried Richardson in two of UCF’s last three game, but these two basically split the backfield 50/50 without Bowser. Neither played particularly well, opening the door for Bowser to potentially regain his feature back role. Either way, this is a situation best left for GPPs. Bowser could regain his feature back role, or UCF could simply employ a three-man timeshare at the position. As near touchdown underdogs to Florida, this situation brings plenty of risk.

Lucky for Keene UCF’s receiving corps remains intact after the regular season finale. The leader of this group in 2021 was Ryan O’Keefe ($6,500). The speedster averaged 61.8 yards receiving per game on 8.5 targets. This target number has climbed to 9.5 per game with UCF playing some competitive games late in the year. One potential wrinkle is the return of Jaylon Robinson ($4,800). After missing a chunk of the regular season due to injury, Robinson now has three games under his belt. He only averages four targets per game since his return, but Robinson acted as the WR1 prior to injury. At his price, he is worth a flier in hopes that he can return to his 2020 form. Without Robinson, Brandon Johnson ($5,300) emerged as UCF’s WR2. Johnson still averages five targets per game in UCF’s last four, but he only managed 46.7 yards per game throughout his 2021 campaign. Unfortunately, UCF will rotate tight ends and occasionally a WR4 onto the field. Amari Johnson ($3,200) is the fourth-most targeted receiver, but he has not eclipsed a 20% route share in three straight weeks. Tight end Alec Holler ($3,200) is also seldom involved, making O’Keefe, Robinson, and Johnson the only legitimate pass catching options in this offense.

Florida (31 Implied Total)

Plays/Game – 71.2 (54th)

Pass Rate – 45.47% (77th)

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In a disaster year for Florida, the Gators finished 6-6, but only 2-6 within the SEC. Florida ran an uptempo, run-heavy scheme, but they platooned their quarterbacks for most of the year. Emory Jones ($6,400) announced his intention to transfer, but it appears he will play for the Gators one last time here. Interestingly, this could be a showcase for Jones with Anthony Richardson ($5,600) out of this contest due to injury. Jones is extremely mobile, with 696 yards rushing on the year. However, his 213.2 yards passing per game and rushing output were both depressed by Richardson’s gadget role this season. While, this looks like a slow-paced game, Florida still has a 31-point implied team total. With his newfound job security and elite rushing ability, Jones is the best overall quarterback play on this slate.

In the run game Dameon Pierce ($5,300) has been incredibly efficient on his limited attempts. Regardless of his efficiency, Florida insists on a three-man committee. Pierce leads the group with 517 yards on 87 carries. Malik Davis ($4,500) checks in with 399 yards on 85 carries, and Nay’Quan Wright ($3,100) accounts for 322 yards on 76 carries. Florida will occasionally use their backs in the pass game, but Davis leads the group with 31 targets. Pierce and Wright check in with 18 and 16, respectively, making this a timeshare through and through. With Jones also being highly involved in the rushing attack, this situation is purely GPP territory based on positive game script and a high run rate.

At receiver Jacob Copeland ($5,500) decided to enter his name into the transfer portal. Copeland led the team with 50.6 yards receiving per game on five targets. His announcement does not necessarily mean he will not play here. Monitor his status before kickoff. Behind Copeland, Penn State transfer Justin Shorter ($5,100) and Trent Whittemore ($3,500) are Florida’s starting receivers. Shorter averaged 41.3 yards receiving per game on 4.7 targets, while Whittemore checked in with 18.8 yards per game on three targets. It should be noted that Whittemore was injured for a portion of the 2021 season, so his season-long numbers are a bit depressed. At tight end, Kemore Gamble ($3,800) ranked third on the team with 41 targets and 394 yards receiving in a quietly consistent role. If Copeland sits, Xzavier Henderson ($3,400) looks like the most likely replacement. Henderson plays on the boundary and already ranked fourth on the team with 40 targets this season. It is also possible that Florida elects to use a rotation, which they have a history of doing. Backup slot receiver Rick Wells ($3,700) could also see more time after seeing four targets in Florida’s season finale. Florida still has the highest implied team total on the slate, making this a situation to monitor for DFS with Shorter, Whittemore, and Gamble being the safest plays.

Check out Awesemo college football betting experts Ben Rasa and Matt Gajewski breaking down
the entire 2021 College Football Bowl Game Schedule and giving their predictions, best betting picks and parlays.

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Check out our industry-leading CFB DFS projections for today. Looking for more DraftKings CFB DFS picks and DFS CFB golf picks? Alex Baker, the No. 1 DFS player in the world, developed and maintains the DFS CFB 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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