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College Fantasy Football: Week 1 DFS Picks for Thursday (Aug. 30) Games

Britian Covey, Utah Utes Football

Britian Covey, Utah Utes Football

Week 1 of the 2018 college football season officially begins on Thursday night. That means it’s time to pick your optimal DraftKings college football fantasy lineup. Fortunately, our college football fantasy experts are ready to help. Players from eight matchups are available to be selected on DraftKings for the first Thursday of action. 

Here’s what our best Week 1 college fantasy football DFS lineup looks like:

Quarterback: David Pindell, UConn ($6,300)

It’s a little risky to take Pindell here, but he’s the clear starter for a UConn offense that will be playing from behind on Thursday night. Additionally, the senior can produce on the ground, which adds another outlet for points in this format. UCF’s defense returns a good foundation from last season but still allowed 6.1 yards a play in AAC games in 2017.

Running Back: Matt Colburn, Wake Forest ($7,200)

Cade Carney will see his share of carries on Thursday night, but Colburn is a good play against a Tulane defense that surrendered 112th nationally against the run last season and has some turnover in the front seven.

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Running Back: Stephon Huderson, Tulane ($4,400)

Tulane ranked 10th nationally by averaging 47.9 rushing attempts a game last season. Dontrell Hilliard and Sherman Badie have expired their eligibility, but the Green Wave rushing attack won’t miss a beat behind Huderson, Darius Bradwell and Corey Dauphine. All three are going to see snaps on Thursday night, but Huderson is worth a look against a Wake Forest defense that ranked 10th in the ACC versus the run last year and lost standouts Duke Ejiofor and Wendell Dunn in the trenches, along with linebackers Grant Dawson and Jaboree Williams. 

Wide Receiver: Britain Covey, Utah ($6,700)

Covey led the team with 43 receptions for 519 yards and scored four times as a freshman in 2015. After a two-year mission, he’s back with the team and poised to become the No. 1 target for quarterback Tyler Huntley. Look for Covey to be targeted early and often in Utah’s Thursday night matchup versus Weber State.

Wide Receiver: Tyler Johnson, Minnesota ($8,300)

Johnson’s freshman season was cut short by injury, but he still posted 35 receptions for 677 yards and seven touchdowns. The Golden Gophers had inconsistent quarterback play last fall, and there’s hope for improvement behind true freshman Zack Annexstad. Look for Minnesota to get Annexstad comfortable in the passing game on Thursday night, which should give Johnson plenty of opportunities.

Wide Receiver: Bennett Skowronek, Northwestern ($6,200)

Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson’s status is still in question due to a knee injury, but even if he can’t go, there will be opportunities to test Purdue’s secondary for backup TJ Green. Skowronek caught 45 passes for 644 yards and five scores last year and faces a secondary breaking in two new starters at cornerback.

Flex: James Gilbert, RB, Ball State ($6,600)

Gilbert’s 2017 season was cut short due to injury. When healthy, he’s among the top running backs in the Group of 5 ranks. The Cardinals may not need a heavy dose of Gilbert with Caleb Huntley and Malik Dunner in the mix for snaps, but after sitting out most of last year, it’s safe to assume he will make the most of his opportunities.

Super Flex: Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M ($4,300)

This one is a little risky since this is coach Jimbo Fisher’s first game in College Station. It’s uncertain how the catches will be divided among the receiving corps or how much quarterbacks Kellen Mond or Nick Starkel will play. Regardless of those questions, Sternberger is a nice buy-low option at $4,300.