The back-end of the college football regular season starts this week as teams continue to jockey for position in their respective conferences.
But first, I apologize for the delay in the Power 5’s publishing last week. I had to work late at home on some things for my full-time career and then my daughter got sick Thursday. Those two things really through off my routine and therefore, I just wasn’t able to get around to the Power 5 until later in the week.
But we are back in action, on time and ready to rock for this week’s 10-game main early slate.
You are going to notice that this week’s recommendations will be out of the Big 12. Not all, but many come from the Texas Tech/Iowa State, Oklahoma/KSU and TCU/KU games. I have a little bias toward the Big 12 because my favorite team, Texas Tech, plays in this conference. It wouldn’t hurt to branch out of this conference for this slate if you want to get exposure to some other games.
But the premier game of this slate isn’t in the Big 12, it’s Houston and USF, flying over the radar with a 74.5 over/under. Stay tuned, plenty of goodness there.
It’s time to dive into the Week 9 Power Five, good luck and hope you bring home the dough!
D’Eriq King – Houston – $10,200
Analysis: Play Kyler Murray, that’s clear. But you can also drop down a few hundred bucks and get the dual-threat QB in the highest-totaled game on the board. Facing South Florida, the Bulls’ defense against the pass is a bit skewed. They haven’t faced an offense quite like Houston. And have been in a shootout or two this season, specifically with UMASS, who amassed tons of yards through the air and on the ground, and tossed 5 touchdown passes. So enter D’Eriq King who is averaging 37 DK points per game this season. He’s scored less than 40 points twice and when he didn’t, he was still in the mid-20s, which doesn’t kill you even at his current salary, should you get his floor this week. He’s got a bevy of wide receiving weapons and he’s basically the only player on this team that runs the ball consistently. I honestly think he’s a lock button.
Blake Barnett – USF – $9,700
Analysis: I am going on a hunch here and suggest that Barnett is priced so high because of his expected output in this game against Houston. Barrett hasn’t really flashed much of a ceiling lately for a QB to be priced at nearly $10K. For this reason, I think Barnett does go underowned this week. He’s a dual-threat and might have the best matchup of the entire slate as Houston has allowed 333.6 passing yards per game to opposing offenses. USF does have a sold rushing attack, but with Ed Oliver and the other Houston front, that could be really difficult this week. Barnett and his receivers will have to really help carry the load to keep pace with the Cougars.
Alan Bowman – Texas Tech – $9,000
Analysis: Bowman and T.J. Vasher both decided to return last week. And if you got that information early enough, which many didn’t, not even me, then you should’ve won some serious dough. I worry about this matchup very much, but if there’s 0ne thing you can count on from the Red Raiders is they will always be running a lot of plays, a lot of passing plays and are throwing and throwing when they get behind. The worry here is that it’s an 11 a.m. game on the road in Ames. It’s already tough to play in Ames and Tech seems to underperform in early games, especially away from home. You saw what Iowa State did to West Virginia, right? Same worries here.BUT, I am trusting that Tech and Coach Cool are and have been smart enough to study that West Virginia tape to make sure they don’t fall victim to the struggles of the Mountaineers had against the Cyclones. Bowman is healthy and so are all three of his main weapons. I think Tech’s x-factor is there ability to run the ball with multiple running backs, something West Virginia couldn’t do successfully. Anyway, Bowman will be throwing and we can’t ask much more for that in a high-octane offense.
Brock Purdy – Iowa State – $7,000
Analysis: Kempt is questionable and could be available, but I am not banking that he will see the field even if he can go. Freshman Brock Purdy has pretty much come in and performed his best Kyle Kempt impressions and quite possibly stealing his job that he earned last year. Purdy has shown accuracy and arm strength and some wheels. He led a win over WVU and Tech doesn’t have the defense that WVU has. They are weak against the run, but are susceptible to big passing plays in the backend of the secondary. Purdy is my favorite value QB in a game with a 55.5 O/U and could easily hit the over if both offenses get it going.
Michael Collins – TCU – $7,300
Analysis: Collins is the starting quarterback and another solid value QB this week on the road against the lowly Kansas Jayhawks. Collins and the Horned Frogs don’t run the ball much or efficiently when they do try. Collins will rely on his two best targets to move the ball up and down the field, meaning we have a concentrated arsenal of weaponry to choose from for DFS. As for Kansas’ defense, it’s not as good as it looks coming into conference play. The Jayhawks have been getting rock, chalk, Jayhawked for 29.6 points per game, 255 passing yards and 167 rushing yards per game.
David Montgomery – Iowa State – $7,200
Analysis: A way for Iowa State to keep Texas Tech’s offense off the field is to feed David Montgomery, one of the top RBs in the Big 12 and on this slate. Monty doesn’t catch many passes out of the backfield, but his price isn’t at the top of the pricing tier, so getting 25-30 carries in this game should be well worth the price. Any receptions he gets are a bonus and you are paying for the touchdown equity with his usage as Monty has four-straight games with a rushing touchdown.
Pooka Williams Jr. – Kansas – $5,900
Analysis: After being well overpriced, including last week where I fell into the trap, Pooka almost is a lock button this week at just $5,900 against TCU, who has been rocked by opposing running backs this season. TCU has allowed 157 yards rushing per game and 28 points scored per game. TCU is really good against the pass and Kansas doesn’t have any reliable player to roster or use in DFS from the QB or WR positions. Pooka is the guy and is at home in an early game. Maybe TCU parties too much and Pooka smashes this defense.
Eno Benjamin – Arizona State – $6,800
Analysis: I don’t know a lot about Eno, this is really one of the first main slates ASU is on this year. They travel to take USC, who is allowing 158 yards rushing per game to opposing offenses. Benjamin is averaging this line this season – 19 carries, 107.6 rushing yards per game and 7 touchdowns on the ground. Through the air, Benjamin owns 28 catches for just 199 yards out of the backfield this season. That’s still an average of 4 catches per game. This game also has a high total, sitting at 54.5.
Kennedy Brooks – Oklahoma – $5,000
Analysis: We aren’t really hearing much about starting running back Trey Sermon’s availability this week. Should he miss, Brooks is a lock button in my mind. He’s going to see all of the work in one of the country’s best offenses. Should Sermon play, you can pretty much ignore this recommendation. But I am going to ride the dice roll with Brooks takes on Kansas State, who has allowed 173 rushing yards and 25 points per game.
Ivory Kelly-Martin – Iowa – $4,700
Analysis: Iowa has one of the better defenses on this slate and when you think of the Hawkeyes’ opponent Penn State, you also imply that they play good defense, too. But they don’t, especially against the run. In 2018, PSU is allowing an average of 165 rushing yards per game. The points have been held in check, but offenses can move the ball with rushing attempts. K-Mart is Iowa’s starting running back and he’s received touches of 20 and 24 the past two games. The touchdowns haven’t happened, but the volume is there. Usually, we can’t find this kind of volume at this price.
T.J. Vasher – Texas Tech – $5,700
Analysis: Antoine Wesley and Ja’Deion High are great wide receiving options for Tech and if you’ve read the Power 5 all year, you know I have mad love for Vasher. This is the cheapest he’s been all year and I am willing to bet that if he’s healthy, he’s going to eat into the production of the aforementioned receivers, making them maybe not worth their price in a tougher matchup. Trust me, I am playing all of them, but Vasher will be my highest-owned Tech receiver. The guy is a stud as long as he’s healthy, so roster him at your own risk.
Marquez Stevenson – Houston – $7,600
Analysis: We have another instance where a team has a wide-array of receiver options to choose from. In the Tech situation, I opted for the cheaper one because I think he’s the best talent. Here, I am taking the top-priced guy because I think he’s the most consistent and also really the most talented. The Cougars’ passing attack can shred this USF secondary despite what their stats may say. The implied team totals suggest this game shoots and even if it falls under the total a bit, lots of points will still be scored.
Jalen Reagor – TCU – $6,900
Analysis: Play Kevontae Turpin, he’s going to get some looks and returns kicks. His price has crept up and I like Reagor to bounce back after last week’s ride on the struggle bus. Hopefully he finds some chemistry with the new starting quarterback and can get back to his old ways with 6-8 catches, maybe 100 yards and a score. He gets all three this week and he will be well worth the price. Kansas’ defense is allowing enemy passing attacks to 255 yards per game. That number has crept up this season as conference play goes deeper.
Tyre McCants – USF – $6,000
Analysis: Gotta have some love for the USF receivers this week, too. McCants is the steady and most consistent this season, failing to score in double digits only once, which was against a very stout ECU defense. I’ve mentioned how Houston is a sieve for opposing passing attacks, so McCants should have plenty of opportunity to find open space and perhaps the end zone once or twice.
Hakeem Butler – Iowa State – $7,200
Analysis: Texas Tech is allowing 288 yards passing per game this season and Hakeem Butler is the No. 1 option on this Iowa State team. The Cyclones should be fired up to take on another solid Big 12 foe. In two games with Brock Purdy as his QB, Butler has 8 catches for 168 yards and two scores. He accrued 107 of those yards against West Virginia in their last outing. I expect another heavy dose of Butler again this week as the Red Raiders bring in their fast-paced offense.
Marquise Brown – Oklahoma – $8,600
Analysis: CeeDee Lamb is a great receiving choice this week. You have to play him considering his ability to get into the end zone. But Hollywood Brown just has that “it” factor as a receiver. He’s a big-play guy who runs great routes and is a favorite target of Kyler Murray. They both complement each other so well in the passing game and Murray isn’t afraid to be aggressive and force the ball downfield to his No. 1 target. The only qualm here is that Brown is priced like Antonio Brown whereas CeeDee Lamb is priced like Juju Smith-Schuster. Can both go off and pay their price tags off together? Sure they can. Will this be the week? Maybe not. Kansas State is stiff against opposing offenses, allowing just 233 yards passing per game. But this is Oklahoma and they’ve shredded everyone offensively this year. Brown is a big reason why they have been able to put up points and impose their will offensively.