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College Football DFS: Bowl Games Projections & CFB Picks | Thursday, 12/30/2021

Matt Gajewski



Thursday’s slate features four 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 Picks


Hendon Hooker ($8,100) – Virginia Tech transfer Hendon Hooker already announced his intention to return to Tennessee next year. Still expected to start the bowl game, Hooker stands out as a premier dual threat on this slate. Hooker already has 561 yards rushing this year, while averaging 214.2 as a passer. These number likely could have been higher if Hooker stayed completely healthy. Tennessee runs 73.5 plays per game, while Purdue runs 75.6. This sets up for a track meet of a game and that is reflected in the 64.5-point total. With Tennessee favored by 6.5-points, locking in Hooker’s dual-threat ability looks like a strong play on today’s DFS slate.

Nick Patti ($6,000) – The most impactful opt out of the day, Kenny Pickett will not play today. This leaves Nick Patti in line to start for Pittsburgh. Patti has a miniscule sample. Over his career, he has completed 40 of 62 passes for 458 yards and three touchdowns. He does appear somewhat mobile with 47 yards on 13 carries and another three touchdowns. Fortunately, Patti will still be throwing to Jordan Addison and company against a horrific Michigan State secondary that allowed 356.3 yards passing per game. The total in this game currently sits at 55.5-points, but Pittsburgh’s 79.8 plays per game and 53.7% pass rate keep Patti interesting at a cheaper price.

Aidan O’Connell ($7,800) – The other side of the Tennessee game, Purdue still has a 29-point team total as a 6.5-point underdog. Quarterback Aidan O’Connell had an excellent season, averaging 288.6 yards passing per game on 35.6 attempts. O’Connell is not mobile whatsoever, so he is reliant on Purdue’s 75.6 plays per game and 61.2% pass rate to achieve fantasy success. Unfortunately, O’Connell will be playing today’s game without two of his top receivers in David Bell and Milton Wright. For these reasons, O’Connell is risky. However, the volume will still be there to potentially rack up a high score.

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Running Back

Daniyel Ngata ($5,800) – Arizona State has one of the most depleted rosters in all of bowl season. The Sun Devils already lost their top two backs in Rachaad White and DeaMonte Trayanum. However, even with their third string back, the Sun Devils appear likely to slam their backs into the teeth of Wisconsin’s elite run defense incessantly here. The recipient of this volume should be Daniyel Ngata. On the year, Ngata carried the ball 78 times for 389 yards, while receiving five targets in the pass game. No other back has more than nine carries entering this game. White vacates 183 carries and 48 targets, while Trayanum also leaves 78 carries and five targets. Even in a difficult matchup, the volume is too much to ignore here.

Braelon Allen ($8,500) – The lone elite running back play on the slate, Braelon Allen benefits from Wisconsin’s 36.6% pass rate as a six-point favorite over Arizona State. Allen has at least 22 touches in three straight games and recently took on elevated work in the pass game. He saw six targets in the season finale, more than doubling his season totals to that point. Allen has been incredibly efficient, averaging over 100 yards rushing per game, despite taking on the lead back role late in the year. Arizona State plays middling run defense, allowing 135.8 yards per game, but Allen’s volume is too much to forgo on this slate.

Jaylen Wright ($4,200) – One impactful departure on the Tennessee offense was Tiyon Evans, who hit the transfer portal. Evans had fallen behind Jabari Smalls and Jaylen Wright on the depth chart, so the departure makes sense. With Tennessee running so many plays and favoring the run, the Volunteers use multiple backs. While Wright only has 68 carries on the year, he has actually formed a 50/50 timeshare with Smalls of late. In Tennessee’s last two games, Wright has 28 carries to Smalls’ 26. Smalls has the lone target in that span, but Smalls’ 11 targets narrowly best Wright’s seven on the year. Purdue plays middling run defense, allowing 148.3 yards per game. However, as 6.5-point favorites in a run heavy offense, Wright makes sense as a cheaper attachment to Tennessee’s offense here.

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Jackson Anthrop ($5,000) – Mentioned above, Purdue will be playing this game without their top two receivers. This means Jackson Anthrop is the favorite to lead the group here. On the year, Anthrop notched 501 yards receiving on 5.1 targets per game. However, Bell vacates 1,275 yards on 134 targets, while Wright also leaves 737 yards and 78 targets. Anthrop brings an added element of versatility in the run game as well. He has 21 carries this year for 83 yards. As O’Connell’s top receiver, Anthrop is a solid receiver to target at a cheaper price in this shootout environment.

Velus Jones ($4,800) – For those looking to stack Hooker, both Cedric Tillman and Velus Jones make sense here. On the year, Tillman averages 77.6 yards per game on 6.3 targets. However, his $7,200 price tag is drastically more expensive than Jones. Jones averaged 60.2 yards receiving per game on 5.6 targets this year, making him a desirable cheaper attachment to Hooker.

Jordan Addison ($9,000) – Even without Pickett in the fold, Addison is a desirable target at the receiver position. On the year, Addison averaged 113.8 yards receiving per game on 10.3 targets. Down the stretch, this volume jumped to 13.8 targets per game. With a younger quarterback taking over, relying on Addison’s play making ability should be a focus for the Pittsburgh offense here. Without many viable stud at the position to pay up for, Addison is the clear top option.

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

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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