UPDATE: As of Saturday morning, there was still no reliable news on Jordan Howard, and there might not be any before 1:00 central time. Myles Gaskin and Travon McMillian are my favorite RBs if there's nothing confirming Howard's status.
The following is a breakdown of Fanduel's Saturday CFB slate.
Nate Sudfeld – Indiana vs. Duke ($8,300)
Indiana-Duke is a matchup that should yield plenty of fantasy production. As a senior quarterback who threw for 24 touchdowns and ran for five touchdowns in 11 games, Sudfeld projects for a big day against a Duke defense that will be without top safety Jeremy Cash. Thomas Sirk (Duke, $8,200) is the other top value on the slate, but he risks losing red-zone snaps to backup Parker Boehme. Luke Falk ($9,400) is arguably the top play otherwise, though his price is less accommodating.
Jordan Howard – Indiana vs. Duke ($7,700)
Howard is questionable for the game due to a knee injury, but if active he's the top running back on this slate, and one well worth paying for. Despite leaving two games with injury and missing three others, Howard finished the year with 1,213 yards (6.2 YPC) and nine touchdowns, and if active he'll have upside in a high-tempo game with a high projected scoring total. If his status isn't confirmed before lineup lock, probably best to look to the other options.
Myles Gaskin – Washington vs. Southern Mississippi ($6,600)
Southern Mississippi has good defensive numbers this year, but that's largely from playing a slew of horrible offenses. Gaskin showed the ability to dominate in Pac-12 competition, so I'm not worried about Southern Miss posing much resistance. In addition, Washington's defense should dominate in this one, giving Gaskin short fields and touchdown opportunities. After Howard and Gaskin, my favorite running back value on the slate is Virginia Tech's Travon McMillian ($6,400), who will play a helpless Tulsa defense.
Gabe Marks – Washington State vs. Miami (FL) ($7,600)
Marks has what appears to be a tough matchup against a Hurricanes defense that did well against the pass in 2015, but those numbers were deflated by a weak schedule featuring dysfunctional passing games such as Bethune Cookman, Florida Atlantic, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Georgia Tech, and Pittsburgh. Teams like Nebraska, Cincinnati, Florida State, Clemson, and North Carolina were successful through the air against Miami, by contrast. Lead wideouts like Jordan Westerkamp, Shaq Washington, Levonte Whitfield, and Isaiah Ford found success against the Hurricanes, so it's hard to see why a target monster like Marks shouldn't have a strong game.
Isaiah Ford – Virginia Tech vs. Tulsa ($6,800)
The Tulsa defense can't stop anyone in particular, and Ford is one of the best receivers in the country. He has a touchdown in three straight games and, as the uncontested workhorse wide receiver on a team projected to be one of the highest-scoring on this slate, Ford looks like a great play for cash games and tournaments both.
Honorable mention: Thomas Duarte – UCLA vs. Nebraska ($6,300), Jordan Payton – UCLA vs. Nebraska ($6,100), Simmie Cobbs – Indiana vs. Duke ($6,100), Stacy Coley – Miami (FL) vs. Washington State ($5,200), Max McCaffrey – Duke vs. Indiana ($5,100), Mitchell Paige – Indiana vs. Duke ($4,900), T.J. Rahming – Duke vs. Indiana ($4,800), Anthony Nash – Duke vs. Indiana ($4,600)
Bucky Hodges – Virginia Tech vs. Tulsa ($3,200)
The only other tight end consideration on this slate is Washington's Joshua Perkins ($2,900), but I'll probably go with Hodges in all of my lineups. Hodges has been targeted slightly more than Perkins and plays in the matchup much better suited for scoring points. Hodges is the better talent between the two, as well.