Our Top Plays for the Fan Picks Week One Slate
It’s hard to believe we are only a week away from having a college football game, and eight days away from the first full college football slate of the season. The opening slate for any sport can be tough, because we don’t have any data, but starting with Vegas lines is a great jumping off point.
By now most of our readers are aware that we are playing college football on Fan Picks this fall. There first slate has 10 total games, with ridiculously soft pricing, so expect high scoring.
At the time of writing this article, we only have lines for 6 of the 10 games on this slate, but will update this page as sportsbooks open their week one CFB lines. Under the graphic is a breakdown of the top team totals from these early game lines.
Lamar Jackson is the no-brainer play on this slate. There is no way Louisville get anywhere near their team total of 50 without Jackson scoring 35+ this week. He is there offense… he’s the leading returning rusher (960 yards/11 touchdowns) and leading returning passer, despite only starting 7 games as a true freshman.
Rodney Smith is the top RB in this slate and it’s not close. Shannon Brooks is out the opener, leaving Smith to carry the load for the Gophers who face Oregon State. If you need a refresher on the year the Beavers had last season, they were 111th in the nation in opponent rushing YPC and 118th in opponent rushing YPG. Smith will have a monster game week one.
Too easy.. Could lead the nation in carries, has weapons around him, FIU is awful against the run. FIU was 90+ in almost every stat against the run last season, and we know Redding will get 30+ touches. I think his ownership % could be off the charts, but he is a lock to hit 5x+ value so how do you not play him?
Newsome started last season slow, but came on late going over 100 yards in 6 of the Huskies final 9 games. He faces a FCS opponent in Maine that went 3-8 last season and gave up nearly 40 PPG to opposing FBS running backs last season. Given the fact that he was also Connecticut’s second leading receiver last season, I don’t see any way he doesn’t reach value in week one. Also worth a look here: Ron Johnson may end up leading UConn in carries this season, and at $3,300 could give you 90 yards and 2 touchdowns. Newsome has more big play ability, upside, and a big role in the passing game.
As fun as Seth Collins was to watch last season, Villamin will benefit tremendously from having a QB that can throw the ball behind center this season. Garretson has looked great this spring, and he and Villamin connected for 100+ yards and 2 touchdowns in the first half of the Beavers spring game. The Gophers’ secondary was dominate at times last season, but lose 3 of 4 starters including both corners. Villamin is our lock at wide receiver for this slate.
Cobbs didn’t catch fire until the back half of the season (averaged over 100 YPG over final 7) so he was quiet in this matchup last season. We are betting he breaks a couple big plays this year against FIU, who was 89th in the nation in opponent passer rating last season and will have their hands full in the box with Devine Redding.
The FIU passing game faded down the stretch last season, and after scoring 7 touchdowns in the first 7 games of his sophomore season, Owens only scored once in FIU’s final 5 games. We expect Indiana to jump on FIU early, and the Panthers are going to have to throw the ball a bunch. This was the case in this matchup last year as well, a game that Owens had 9/166/2 in.
I’m breaking one of my own CFB cardinal rules and paying up at the tight end spot for the first slate of the season… Could be a long year. Samuels will give you points as a runner and receiver, and finds the end zone. He had 16 touchdowns in 13 games last season, but went over 100 total yards just 4 times on the year.