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College Football DFS: Bowl Games Projections & CFB Picks | Wednesday, 12/29/2021

Matt Gajewski



Today’s slate features three 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

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Maryland vs. Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech (25.75 Team Total)

Pass Rate – 39.46% (116th)

Plays per Game – 67.7 (93rd)

Virginia Tech finished the regular season with a 6-6 overall record. The Hokies also finished 4-4 in conference and fired their head coach. This team will be dealing with multiple absences including James Mitchell, Tre Turner, Jordan Williams, Amare Barno, Jermaine Waller, Tayvion Robinson, Knox Kadum, and Braxton Burmeister. Some of these players entered the NFL Draft and others hit the transfer portal. Most, if not all, of this group should miss this game. At quarterback, that leaves Connor Blumrick ($5,500). Blumrick originally started his career with Texas A&M before transferring to Virginia Tech. He only has 50 career yards passing on 16 attempts. However, he has displayed excellent mobility with 279 career yards rushing on 51 attempts. Maryland plays poor defense across the board, making Blumrick an interesting option here.

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In the run game, Raheem Blackshear ($5,900) announced his intent to enter the NFL Draft but stated he would play in this game first. Blackshear is strong pass catcher and recently took on a larger role in the run game with 18 carries in Virginia Tech’s season finale. Maryland allows 4.1 yards per carry, setting up Blackshear for involvement both as a runner and receiver. Behind him, Malachi Thomas ($6,000) will receiver change of pace touches, but this backfield will remain around a 60/40 split in favor of Blackshear.

At receiver, Virginia Tech lost Tre Turner and Tayvion Robinson. This leaves Kaleb Smith ($3,500) as their lone returning starter. Smith accounted for 260 yards receiving on 37 targets this year, but he should play a much larger role with Turner and Robinson vacating 28% and 27% target shares. Da’Wain Lofton ($3,400) is also a candidate to play more after playing a rotational role at the end of the season. Lofton has five targets over the last two weeks and should be the WR2. Nick Gallo ($3,600) has functioned as the primary tight end with James Mitchell going down early in the year. He only has 14 targets, but he could also be a candidate for more work. Outside of that Jaylen Jones ($3,000) is probably the best bet for the WR3, with the health status of Jaden Payoute ($3,000) still cloudy. Overall, Smith and Lofton are cheap enough to target here without getting cute.

Maryland (29.25 Team Total)

Pass Rate – 55.80% (14th)

Plays per Game – 74.5 (29th)

Battling injury for most of the year, Maryland fell to 3-6 in Big Ten play after getting out to a hot start. Overall, Maryland plays uptempo and pass heavy football with their veteran signal caller Taulia Tagovailoa ($6,700). Tagovailoa has been excellent this year, averaging 298.1 yards passing per game on 37.8 attempts. Tagovailoa is not very mobile, but he makes up for this with elevated volume in the pass game. He already has seven games over 300 yards passing this year and Virginia Tech’s defense lost most of their best players to opt outs. Tagovailoa is still a solid option for these reasons.

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Peny Boone and Isaiah Jacobs hit the transfer portal, leaving Tayon Fleet-Davis ($5,300) to lead the Maryland backfield. He averages 13.3 touches per game, but 3.2 of this touches come as targets in Maryland’s pass first offense. Still, this should be a three-man backfield with Colby McDonald ($3,100) and Challen Faamatau ($4,300) listed as c0-backups to Fleet-Davis. All three are volatile, but Virginia Tech is dealing with an enormous amount of opt outs.

At receiver, Maryland already lost Dontay Demus, Jeshaun Jones, and Marcus Fleming for the season. Rakim Jarrett ($5,800) has stepped up as the teams WR1, averaging 8.5 targets per game over the last four contests. Tight end Chig Okonkowo ($4,700) has also played a much larger role, averaging nine targets per game over that span. Jarrett is more explosive down field and worth the extra salary. Behind them, Carlos Carriere ($4,600) and Brian Cobbs ($3,200) have emerged as the ancillary receivers. Cobbs averages 4.8 targets per game over Maryland’s last four games, compared to 4.5 for Carriere. At a much cheaper price, Cobbs is the preferred option.

Cheez-It Bowl: Clemson vs. Iowa State

Clemson (22.5 Team Total)

Pass Rate – 46.81% (67th)

Plays per Game – 69.9 (71st)

The worst season in recent memory for Clemson, the Tigers finished the regular season with a 9-3 record. However, outside of a few transfers, this Clemson team remains intact ahead of the bowl game. As an offense, Clemson struggled mightily in 2021. This reflected in their below average 46.8% pass rate and 69.9 plays per game. However, Clemson did find some success as a run-first team towards the end of the year. Quarterback, D.J. Uiagalelei ($5,700) plays a role in the run game with 304 cumulative yards on the ground this year. As a passer, he leaves much to be desired, averaging 171.5 yards per game on 28.7 attempts. Uiagalelei did not hit 300 yards a single time in 2021 and only eclipsed 200 yards passing on four occasions. He even split time with Taisun Phommachanh towards the end of the season. Phommachanh hit the transfer portal, so Uiagalelei has job security. He just does not have much upside in a poor game environment.

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Returning from multiple injuries this year, Will Shipley ($6,900) is Clemson’s lead back heading into this game against Iowa State. He touched the ball 19 and 20 times over Clemson’s last two games as the Tigers morphed into a run-based team at the end of the regular season. Still, Shipley spent enough time on the shelf to keep Kobe Pace ($4,800) and Phil Mafah ($3,300) involved in this backfield. Pace has 31 carries over Clemson’s last two games, while Mafah checks in at 13. Shipley should still lead the group, but he does not have a pure feature back role.

In the receiving game, Justyn Ross, E.J. Williams, and Brayden Galloway are hurt/ill. Frank Ladson and Ajou Ajou hit the transfer portal. Luckily, it looks like Joseph Ngata ($4,100) will return to this game after an extended absence. Ngata leads the team with 54.8 yards per game on 5.4 targets. Beaux Collins ($6,300) should operate as the WR2. He averages 8.5 targets per game over Clemson’s last four, but he is too expensive with Ngata back in the picture. Dacari Collins ($3,900) should operate as the WR3 after seeing 4.8 targets per game in Clemson’s last four. Finally, Davis Allen ($3,600) rounds out the group at tight end. He did not see a target in Clemson’s season finale, but he saw eight the week prior. Overall, Ngata is the best price-adjusted play, assuming he enters this game at full health.

Iowa State (21.5 Team Total)

Pass Rate – 53.07% (28th)

Plays per Game – 68.2 (87th)

A team with playoff aspirations entering the year, Iowa State fell to 7-5 with all five losses ending within ten points. Iowa State began the year as a slower, run based team. However, they embraced the pass more as the season wore on behind incredible efficiency from Brock Purdy ($5,900). The veteran signal caller averages 249.7 yards per game on 30.8 attempts. These numbers could have looked far better if Iowa State did not neuter their offense to start the year. Purdy also has excellent mobility with 224 cumulative yards on the ground. To end the year, Purdy only finished with two games above 300 yards. However, he threw for at least 250 in each of Iowa State’s final four games. Overall, Clemson plays strong defense, making this a volatile situation. However, Purdy still looks playable in tournaments based on his overall efficiency.

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Breece Hall opted out of this game, leaving Jirehl Brock ($5,700) as the presumed lead back. Brock only has 23 carries and four targets on the year. However, Deon Silas ($3,800) and Eli Sanders ($3,900) only have 11 and 12 touches on the year behind him. All indications are the Brock will get the first crack at this job, making him a volume-based play in a tough matchup against a strong Clemson defense.

At receiver, Xavier Hutchinson ($7,200) and Charlie Kolar ($6,400) are the top two options, averaging 9.8 and 10.8 targets respectively over Iowa State’s last four games. Behind them, things get dicey quickly. Iowa State did lose Tarique Milton and Joe Scates to the transfer portal, somewhat slimming the rotation. Jaylin Noel ($4,000) should work as the primary receiver opposite Hutchinson. He has 44 targets and 215 yards receiving this year. Iowa State uses a lot of 12 personnel, so Chase Allen ($3,600) likely remains in his high snap share, low volume role. Darren Wilson ($3,000) is the favorite for WR3 duties when Iowa State puts three wide receivers on the field.

Valero Alamo Bowl: Oregon vs. Oklahoma

Oregon (26.5 Team Total)

Pass Rate – 43.61% (89th)

Plays per Game – 68.4 (82nd)

After upsetting Ohio State to begin the year, Oregon faltered down the stretch, finishing 10-3. The Ducks closed the year with a pair of blowout losses to Utah, showing no ability to keep games competitive when they fall behind. In this game, they will also have to mask the losses of Kayvon Thibodeaux, Devon Williams, Mykael Wright, and Mycah Pittman. Much of the offensive problems stem from game manager Anthony Brown ($7,100). As a signal caller, Brown has solid mobility. He accounted for 637 cumulative yards rushing on the year. As a passer, he averages 204.7 yards per game on 27.2 attempts. While solid across the board, Brown’s issues relate to ceiling. Brown finished with just one 300 yard passing game and one 100-yard rushing game on the year. Oregon’s offense plays very slow and run heavy, limiting Brown’s volume. As seven-point favorites to Oklahoma, Brown looks like a middling play at best here.

At running back, Travis Dye ($7,200) remains the feature back with C.J. Verdell out for the year. Dye averages 18.5 touches per game, which includes four targets per game over Oregon’s last four contests. Dye is extremely involved in every phase of the game and now faces an Oklahoma defense down their top four defensive linemen. Byron Cardwell ($4,000) is the change of pace here.

In the passing game, Oregon lost Devon Williams, Johnny Johnson, Jaylon Redd, and Mycah Pittman to a combination of transfer and injury. This leaves Kris Hutson ($4,800) to play the WR1 role, averaging 5.1 targets per game in Oregon’s last four contests. Behind him, Troy Franklin ($4,200) has emerged as the WR2, averaging 3.3 targets per game in that span. Dont’e Thornton ($3,100) looks like the favorite for WR3 duties, but Oregon could rely on a rotation in this role, like they do with tight end. Terrence Ferguson ($3,000) and Spencer Webb ($3,000) will split snaps in that role. Overall, Hutson and Franklin are safer plays in the best game environment on the slate.

Oklahoma (33.5 Team Total)

Pass Rate – 50.48% (43rd)

Plays per Game – 66.5 (109th)

One of the preseason favorites to make the College Football Playoff, Oklahoma played down to competition at every turn and finished with an unspectacular 10-2 record. Making matters worse, they lost their head coach Lincoln Riley and slew of players to the transfer portal. This includes, Spencer Rattler, Austin Stogner, Jadon Haselwood, Nik Bonitto, Isaiah Thomas, Perrion Winfrey, and Brian Asamoah. Still Oklahoma, has recruited well enough to mask some of these losses. As an offense, they should continue to play slower and balance against the Ducks here. Fortunately, they retain their quarterback of the future in Caleb Williams ($7,700). Williams is extremely mobile with 408 cumulative yards rushing in seven games where he played a majority of the snaps. As a passer, Williams was up and down to say the least. He averaged 185.6 yards per game, but this included three games over 250 yards and another three games below 200 yards. This game has the best total on the board and Oklahoma’s 33.5-point implied team total paces the slate. With Williams’ mobility, he is still the top quarterback despite his volatility as a passer.

Towards the end of the year, Kennedy Brooks ($6,200) completely usurped Eric Gray ($3,600) at running back. Brooks has at least 16 touches in each of Oklahoma’s final three games, finishing with 24 in their season finale. Brooks even began working ahead of Gray in the passing game, making him one of the true feature backs on this slate. Oregon lost their top defender in Thibodeaux, making Brooks a strong play here.

At receiver, Oklahoma already lost Jadon Haselwood and Austin Stogner to the transfer portal. This should condense the target distribution a little bit, with Marvin Mims ($5,300) perhaps playing a larger role. Absurdly, Mims was used as a part-time player under Lincoln Riley. He easily led the team with 648 yards receiving on 39 targets. Michael Woods ($3,600) and Mario Williams ($4,300) should be the WR2 and WR3 in no particular order after receiving 49 and 43 targets on the year. Drake Stoops ($3,100) battled injury down the stretch, but he will play a role when healthy because of his last name. At tight end Jeremiah Hall ($3,700) should be in line for more work without Stogner. Hall already led the tight end room with 2.8 targets per game on the year. Still, Brayden Willis ($3,300) will split snaps with him here.

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

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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