College Football DFS: Texas Bowl Showdown Slate

College Football DFS: Texas Bowl Showdown Slate

This article is part of our College Football DFS: Weekday Slate series.

Slate Overview

We've reached the end of bowl season and now we get one more game before the National Championship caps off a fun 2021-22 season. I'm not going to try to put lipstick on a pig as it pertains to this game, we've got a low total (47.5) between two teams that don't really come to mind when you think of squads with high entertainment value. Kansas State has been on-brand this year as it ranks 81st in scoring offense and 23rd in scoring defense. The LSU side of this matchup is interesting because of the unknowns. Per Brody Miller of The Athletic, LSU is rolling with 39 scholarship players. That would have been enough absences to have the game canceled under last year's rules. 

Not only is LSU missing Max Johnson (transfer portal) and Myles Brennan (injury), but a playing-time crunch is expected to keep Garrett Nussmeier on the sidelines so he can preserve his redshirt. That leaves the Tigers with a pair of former walk-ons, Tavion Faulk and Matt O'Dowd, to lead the way. There's also an expectation that Jontre Kirklin gets some wildcat packages for LSU – more on that later. 

This all sets up to be a funky finish to bowl season with Kansas State playing their methodical style in what will be Skylar Thompson's final start going up against LSU, which comes into this with a Nothing To Lose mentality. 

DFS Tools

Slate Overview

We've reached the end of bowl season and now we get one more game before the National Championship caps off a fun 2021-22 season. I'm not going to try to put lipstick on a pig as it pertains to this game, we've got a low total (47.5) between two teams that don't really come to mind when you think of squads with high entertainment value. Kansas State has been on-brand this year as it ranks 81st in scoring offense and 23rd in scoring defense. The LSU side of this matchup is interesting because of the unknowns. Per Brody Miller of The Athletic, LSU is rolling with 39 scholarship players. That would have been enough absences to have the game canceled under last year's rules. 

Not only is LSU missing Max Johnson (transfer portal) and Myles Brennan (injury), but a playing-time crunch is expected to keep Garrett Nussmeier on the sidelines so he can preserve his redshirt. That leaves the Tigers with a pair of former walk-ons, Tavion Faulk and Matt O'Dowd, to lead the way. There's also an expectation that Jontre Kirklin gets some wildcat packages for LSU – more on that later. 

This all sets up to be a funky finish to bowl season with Kansas State playing their methodical style in what will be Skylar Thompson's final start going up against LSU, which comes into this with a Nothing To Lose mentality. 

DFS Tools

Matchup Info

Strategy

Deuce Vaughn ($19,200 DK Captain, $12,800 DK UTIL, $17,000 FD) is basically unavoidable in any lineup build Tuesday. He's the only sure thing between Kansas State's otherwise poor offense and LSU's YOLO approach. Even if he's not used in your Captain/MVP spot, Vaughn needs to be in your lineup to be viable. Tonight will be a story of who can build the best Vaughn lineup and it's hard to see it going any other way.

In looking at the LSU side of things, the lack of certainty surrounding the quarterback situation makes it hard to feel confident in either Faulk ($6,000 DK, $10,000 FD) or O'Dowd ($9,000 DK, $6,000 FD). The salary variance between the sites makes it tough to read the proverbial tea leaves, too. The x-factor is Jontre Kirklin ($1,000 DK, $6,000 FD). Per Miller, Kirklin has a background as a quarterback dating back to high school when he threw for 7,500 yards and ran for another 3,000. He's expected to get some wildcat looks and it's not out of the question that he's the best passer available for the Tigers. He'll be especially popular on DraftKings given that fact along with the salary savings, but that also means you're unlikely to get a ton of leverage in using him. Still, he's a worthwhile dart throw on both sites.

Looking at the LSU backfield, the two available running backs are Corey Kiner ($3,400 DK, $12,500 FD) and Josh Williams ( $1,000 DK ,$7,000 FD). Take note: Tyrion Davis-Price is opting out and both Armoni Goodwin and Tre Bradford are not on the depth chart, which suggests that neither are available. Kiner has the larger body of work this season with 65 carries for 271 yards and two touchdowns while Williams logged 75 yards on 16 carries. Kiner projects to see more carries but Williams stands to have his busiest game of the season. 

LSU's pass-catchers are a risk based on the projected lack of pass volume. Jack Bech ($6,400 DK, $8,000 FD) has been the most reliable option after Kayshon Boutte's injury and led the team in targets (70) receptions (43) and his 489 yards ranked second behind Boutte. Jaray Jenkins ($8,400 DK, $13,000 FD) led the team in targets (13) in the season finale and is more explosive than Bech but we can't bank on that volume repeating in this game. Malik Nabers ($6,800 DK, $11,000 FD) is the only other LSU pass-catcher I'd consider using tonight and I won't be going with more than one LSU pass-catcher in any lineup. 

On the Kansas State side, Skylar Thompson ($10,800 DK, $15,00 FD) is healthy and poised to start. He hasn't been as effective as a runner as he was earlier in his career, and injuries have likely had something to do with that, but he still has four rushing scores on 42 rushes this season. As a passer, Thompson has a low ceiling. He has a solid completion rate (69%) and YPA (8.6) but he attempts just 26.7 attempts per game and threw a grand total of nine touchdowns on 205 attempts. We simply don't have another truly trustworthy quarterback on the slate, so Thompson is close to a de facto must-play. Fading a quarterback on one side of a showdown can work, but going zero-QB Tuesday might sink you. 

We round things out with the Kansas State passing game. Phillip Brooks ($5,400 DK, $9,500) is more appealing on DraftKings than FanDuel as he leads the team in targets and receptions but his explosiveness (7.8 YPT) lags behind that of Malik Knowles ($7,600 DK, $9,000 FD) who has nine more yards than Brooks on 14 fewer targets and 10 fewer receptions. Nobody in this passing game projects to see much more than five targets given the nature of the offense and Deuce Vaughn's presence in that facet with a team-leading 65 targets.

One last wrinkle applies only to DraftKings where kickers are in the player pool. Cade York ($4,200) made 15 field goals on the year, including five from 50+, which tied for the FBS lead. Chris Tennant ($4,600) took over kicking duties down the stretch and plays for a team expected to be in scoring position most often Tuesday. He's not as talented as York, making five of eight field goals, but if you're in on the Kansas State offense putting up close to 30 points, Tennant will have a piece of that. 

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only College Football Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire College Football fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John McKechnie
John is the 2016 and 2021 FSWA College Writer of the Year winner. He is a Maryland native and graduate of the University of Georgia. He's been writing for RotoWire since 2014.
Spring Practice Preview: Pac-12
Spring Practice Preview: Pac-12
Spring Practice Preview: AAC
Spring Practice Preview: AAC
Spring Practice Preview: ACC
Spring Practice Preview: ACC
Spring Practice Preview: Sun Belt
Spring Practice Preview: Sun Belt