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DFS building blocks, punt plays for the college football New Year's slate

Chad Kelly gets to face an Oklahoma State defense that allows plenty of big plays. Matt Bush/USA TODAY Sports

As part of ESPN Fantasy's efforts to give daily gamers intel on whom to target in DFS, our team is here to show you which players to build lineups around, along with cheap punt-play options. The panel for the New Year's slate consists of ESPN Insiders Will Harris and KC Joyner.


Player to build around

Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss ($7,000)

A half-dozen quarterbacks cost more, but none play in a more pass-happy offense than Kelly, whose Rebels boast the highest team total on the board, elite wide receiver talent and a favorable matchup with an Oklahoma State defense that gives up plenty of explosive passing plays. -- Harris

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State ($8,000)

This is a simple matter of going with the best matchup. Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook and Samaje Perine all have what look to be very difficult rush-defense matchups.

Notre Dame isn’t a pushover defense by any means, but the Fighting Irish did allow 150 or more rushing yards six times from October to the end of the season. Only 13 Power 5 teams allowed more games of that caliber, so this was not an area of strength for Notre Dame.

Given the difference in matchup caliber, Elliott looks to be the ball carrier to build around in this slate. -- Joyner


Punt plays

Warren Long, RB, Northwestern ($3,000)

The Wildcats are going to run, run and run some more against Tennessee, probably with some success. It's true that lead back Justin Jackson ($7000) is third in the nation in carries per game, but Long is the next guy in for an attack that runs it nearly 50 times per game. And Long has produced with five scores, while posting more than a yard per carry more than Jackson. -- Harris

Damore’ea Stringfellow, WR, Ole Miss ($4,400)

Most of the games in this slate have the potential to be low-scoring affairs.

That shouldn’t be the case with the Mississippi-Oklahoma State game, as both of these clubs have a tendency to get into high-scoring shootouts.

A contest of this nature is a major plus for fantasy owners who have Stringfellow in their lineups. He ranks second on the Rebels in vertical targets (16), vertical receptions (8), vertical receiving yards (170) and vertical touchdowns (2). Stringfellow also has posted a double-digit fantasy point total in four of his past eight games, so he has a solid production track record. -- Joyner