This week’s college football rankings article is something I was very excited about. I’m excited because of an idea that was given to me by a follower this past week. I’m going to include a link to a private game amongst article buyers and the top three players will receive a free week 14 rankings article! What else is inside this article? The same great content you’ve been reading for months now. I have 44 players listed and written about for almost 4,400 words including pivot plays and contrarian plays. For example, I guarantee my number one quarterback will be written about by 10% of analysts and should give us a leg up on GPP players. Good luck this week and let’s get right into this!
1. Jameis Winston, Florida State – “Screw it, Winston is going to be number one for me.” That is a direct quote from me Tuesday morning as I try to make sense of my quarterback rankings. He’s at one of the cheapest salaries he’ll see all year and I think now is the time to hop on. Against Boston College’s legit run defense, FSU will have to pass to win this game. Winston has been throwing it plenty in recent weeks averaging 41 passes per game in the last three. Winston could easily pass 30 fantasy points as long as he gets the TDs. Opponents have a 15:6 TD to INT ratio and have only scored 12 times on the ground. I think Winston can pull this one off for us and we’ll likely be the few using him.
2. Patrick Mahomes/Davis Webb, Texas Tech – Mahomes is “ma homie” if he gets the start Saturday. If not, Davis Webb will do. Webb should be coming back from an injury and be thrown right into a great matchup against Iowa State. The Cyclones are allowing 250 passing yards per game and have struggled against Big 12 teams in 2014. Their TD to INT ratio is just 8:8, but that’s because of their 32 rushing TDs allowed. Who on Texas Tech is going to be great on the ground for them in the red zone? Mahomes is coming off a four TD game with almost 400 passing yards while Webb has three TD passes or more in six of his eight games.
3. Justin Holman, UCF – Last week we got a little too adventurous using South Florida’s quarterbacks against SMU. This week we get a quarterback that is more proven and is coming off some nice games. He has seven passing TDs in the last three games with a low of 284 passing yards. With his price across the industry, I really don’t see how he doesn’t hit value of high 20s in fantasy points. In one of SMU’s best games of the season, they allowed 211 yards and two TDs to zero INTs. Holman should take advantage of this defense like almost every other quarterback has in 2014.
4. Marcus Mariota, Oregon – If you got the money then spend it on Mariota. He’s been super efficient with his fantasy points lately going for 40, 37, and 38 even though his passing attempt high is 30. He ran it 18 times last game, but only ran it 15 times the two games before that. Well, Colorado has one of the worst run defenses in football and Mariota is going to eat. In his last three games, he has run 33 times for 235 yards and three TDs. Through the air he has thrown for ten TDs. Mariota should be a safe mid 30s bet this weekend and could see another 40 point game if he gets the TDs on the ground instead of Royce Freeman.
5. Greg Ward Jr, Houston – Have you seen what recent quarterbacks have done to Tulsa? In that last four games, Mike White has thrown for 272 yards and three TDs, Matt Davis ran for 188 yards and totaled three TDs, and Justin Holman 291 yards and three TDs. Ward Jr. should have a great game against this same defense. He’s throwing it efficiently completing 66%, 79%, and 88% of passes in each of his last three games. He’s also rushed 38 times in the last three games. While the yardage has been low (just 129 yards), it’s only going to be better against Tulsa’s defense.
6. Cody Thomas, Oklahoma – Thomas made his first start last week in a prime matchup and threw for one TD and added 103 yards on the ground. I see Thomas as a risky play here because he only rushed it eight times and Kansas could be beat up by Oklahoma’s running backs alone. I think Thomas has to be a part of the action in some way, so I have him ranked here. Kansas is another great matchup for him as long as he’s used. Make sure Trevor Knight sits this one out before plugging Thomas in your lineups.
7. Matt Davis, SMU – Davis had a pretty solid game last week against South Florida and should at least repeat that against UCF this weekend. He’s rushing it plenty with 11 and 28 attempts for 53 and 181 yards in his two starts in 2014. He’s also throwing it a bunch as well averaging 31.5 attempts per game. While his yardage numbers have been low, he has done enough on the ground to make up for it. His matchup against UCF is tough, I’ll admit that, but the game could be out of hand and Davis will be going against backups. There’s no reason to sit Davis with how the season has gone for SMU.
8. Sam Richardson, Iowa State – Richardson has himself a great matchup against Texas Tech and should be healthy enough to go in this one. The Red Raiders have given up 22 passing TDs this season and Richardson has thrown seven in his last three games. He’s also rushed for a TD in each of his last two games. If he continues to throw it 39+ times like he has in his last five games then there’s good reason to think he continues to play well. In his last five games, he has three games of 30+ fantasy points.
1. Brett Hundley, UCLA – Not only does Brett Hundley have a great matchup, but he’s been super efficient lately. He has thrown to a 70% completion rate or better in eight of ten games this season. His passing attempts at the beginning of the season were low, but now he’s throwing more often, passing 36 times or more in four of his last five games. USC’s pass defense ranks 105th overall and has really struggled in their last six games. They have given up five passing TDs in their last two games as well. Hundley also adds a nice dual threat ability to the game with four TDs on the ground in his last four games.
2. Cody Fajardo, Nevada – I wouldn’t say that Fajardo is the best passer to choose from, but he has a great matchup to make up for that. Fresno State ranks 109th against the pass and has given up two passing TDs in each of their last three games. Fajardo has struggled for yardage lately, but Fresno State has given up 300-yard passers in three of their last four games. Like Hundley, Fajardo has four rushing TDs in his last four games, but also has 284 rushing yards during that time. Fajardo should have a monster game against Fresno State.
3. Gunner Kiel, Cincinnati – Kiel got back on his game last week against East Carolina and I expect him to stay on it against UConn. The Bearcats finally got back to throwing it a ton and maybe Kiels’ health had something to do with it. They threw 44 times against ECU while Kiel threw it just 42 times total against USF and SMU in weeks eight and nine. When Kiel has thrown it 30+ times, he has gone for 46, 26, 33, 26, and 33 fantasy points. Cincinnati is only a ten point favorite, so they should be forced to continue to pass it for longer than those games against USF and SMU.
4. Josh Dobbs, Tennessee – What a start Dobbs has had in 2014. After filling in for the injured quarterbacks ahead of him, he has thrown it 99 times for 792 yards and seven TDs. He’s completing 61.6% of passes and has thrown only two INTs. What’s also been great for him is his 289 rushing yards and four TDs that way. He’s a true dual threat for the Vols and now has a huge game against Missouri. The Tigers just got beat up by the Texas A&M passing attack mainly because of Josh Reynolds and his tall frame. Dobbs has three key receivers at 6’3 or taller and that should be great news for Dobbs.
5. Chandler Whitmer, UConn – I couldn’t just only go with high priced quarterbacks so here is Whitmer. He has two TD passes in each of his last three games and also has two rushing TDs. UConn’s running game is pretty nonexistent, meaning that shouldn’t be a fluke. Whitmer has 28 rushing attempts in his last three games. The passing yardage likely won’t be there for Whitmer, but Cincinnati isn’t the best defensive team. In fact, they rank 118th against the pass giving up 200+ yards in every game but one this season and 300+ yards in four of nine games.
1. Royce Freeman, Oregon – I tweeted Tuesday morning about Freeman and all stats point towards a great day from Freeman. Colorado has allowed 200+ rushing yards allowed in each of their last four games. Oregon’s offense is just as dynamic as the others who have torn up Colorado, so rushing yards will be had for him. Those worried about a RBBC shouldn’t be. Freeman has more than double the carries than the rest of the rushing threats in their last four games and he’s averaging almost 120 yards and two TDs in those games. Freeman, to me, is the safest running back with a realistic price on the board with huge upside.
2. Jeremy Langford, Michigan State – Langford has been astonishingly awesome lately and still remains at an affordable price. He has 11 TDs in his last four games and has rushed for 100+ yards in seven straight games. Now, he gets to face the 101st ranked run defense in Rutgers. They’ve allowed 5.55ypc or better in four straight games and 24 rushing TDs total on the season. The lowest rushing yard total in those four games is 292 yards with 13 TDs. I really don’t see how Langford doesn’t go for another 100+ yards and two TDs at worst.
3. Justin Jackson, Northwestern – Jackson has quietly been a very good runner for Northwestern this season. He has four TDs in his last four games and over 400 rushing yards. Jackson also has four 100+ rushing yard games in his last six. He gets a stud matchup against Purdue this weekend. Their rushing defense has allowed 210 yards and three TDs per game against Big Ten teams. Jackson is going to get plenty of carries against this defense as he has averaged just under 24 carries in his last six games.
4. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska – Abdullah had a disappointing game against Wisconsin, but I can’t see that happening again. Minnesota’s run defense has avoided the stud run games in 2014 avoiding Michigan State, Wisconsin and Nebraska’s ground game so far. Ohio State ran for 7.61 yards per carry, Purdue 8.51 and TCU 6.26. I think with another week of rehab under his belt, Abdullah is a great bet going into this game. He’s averaging 6.5ypc and has 19 total TDs on the season.
5. William Stanback, UCF – There once was a man named Zack Langer who faced this very SMU defense. He was the running back to own on his team even though his stats were pretty ugly. Langer ended the day with 167 rushing yards and a 5.1 ypc average. This is exactly what Stanback is to me. He has rushed for 17, 28, 26, and 16 times in his last four games and that’s with an injury keeping him out of his recent game of 17 carries. Stanback should be back for this game and he should continue to see a big number of carries against a putrid SMU defense. He has five rushing TDs in his last four games.
6. David Cobb, Minnesota – I’m proud of myself for sticking with Cobb this past weekend as he finished with three TDs and 145 yards against Ohio State. He got his typically 27 carries and should continue to see that usage if Minnesota wants to remain relevant. Nebraska is trending downwards in recent weeks seeing yard per carry averages go from low threes to high threes and then getting blown up against Melvin Gordon for over ten yards per carry. Cobb averages 5.3ypc and even if he gets limited to four, that should mean over 100 yards per carry and a few trips inside the ten. Cobb has six TDs in his last three games.
7. Ezekiel Elliot, Ohio State – JT Barrett can’t be a stud every week can he? Elliot saw ample carries last week (18), but only managed 13 fantast points and 91 rushing yards. I think that changes with a much better matchup against Indiana this weekend. The Hoosiers have given up 15 rushing TDs in the last five games to teams like Michigan, Penn State, and Rutgers. Even Penn State running backs averaged 4.38ypc against Indiana. With a running game like Ohio State has, I’m expecting a game like Michigan State had against them rushing for 6.47ypc and five TDs.
8. Aaron Wimberly, Iowa State – Wimberly is easily my riskiest play in this early slate as he hasn’t really done much this season, but has been better when rushing 14-15 times. He has done that in two of his last three games and ran for 207 yards in them. If Richardson doesn’t play or is hobbled then we could see Wimberly get another 16-20 touch game against a bad Texas Tech defense. The Red Raiders have allowed 31 rushing TDs on the season and rank 123rd when it comes to rushing yards allowed per game.
1. Josh Robinson, Mississippi State – Robinson is the highest I’d probably go on DraftKings. He faces a weak Vandy team. Vandy ranks in the 80s when it comes to rushing yards allowed per game. Robinson had a really tough matchup against Alabama, but still fared well at least in the passing game. He caught six passes for the second time in three weeks. Robinson should be back to normal 15-20 carries and should be great with them. Before the Alabama and UT-Martin game, Robinson had put up over 100 yards and a TD in seven straight games.
2. Joey Iosefa, Hawaii – Iosefa didn’t’ take advantage of a great rushing matchup last weekend, but he gets another one on Saturday. He takes on UNLV’s bottom five run defense. They’ve allowed 31 rushing TDs and 12 in the last three games. In those three games, they’ve allowed 301, 386, and 267 yards. How in the world does Iosefa not break 100 against this defense? He’s rushed 26 and 19 times since returning from injury. The rushing yards aren’t there (68 and 64), but he does have a TD in each.
3. Josh Quezada, Fresno State – Quezada is likely to get the start against Fresno State with Waller being questionable for the game. Fresno State ranks 113th overall in rush defense allowing 221 rushing yards per game. They allow 4.82ypc. Quezada has shown to be effective this season rushing for 112 yards last week while catching three passes. He has four TDs on the season and should be fresh and ready to prove himself as a running back against this really weak Fresno State.
4. Jalen Hurd, Tennessee – Hurd has been great recently and now that Dobbs is at quarterback he’s been even better. In the last two games, Hurd has rushed for 243 yards on 45 attempts. He has included a TD and has been great in PPR formats. In his last four games, he has 16 catches. Hurd faces off against a top 30 run defense, so I’m not expecting the world of him, but I think he could be successful like UGA, Indiana, and Toledo running backs have this season.
5. Rod Moore, Cincinnati – Moore has been getting more carries lately and put up his best fantasy game last week against ECU. He ran 19 times and was one yard short of 100 yards. He ran for over 100 yards against Tulane a few weeks ago, so the explosiveness is there. He’s averaged 5.2 and 8.3 ypc in those last two games. Cincinnati is a ten point favorite and they’ll have to run it at some point to get this clock to run out. Moore will be the guy to get those carries and should do great against the UConn rush defense.
EARLY WIDE RECEIVERS
1. Vincy Mayle, Washington State – Mayle has been super consistent no matter who the quarterback has been this season. He has six catches or more in every game but one and has a TD in eight of ten games. With the new quarterback, Mayle has caught 15 passes for 226 yards and one TD. Falk does like to spread the ball around like Halliday, but Mayle is still the go-to-guy for the Cougars. Arizona State’s pass defense is average at best as they rank 76th overall. Teams have thrown 40+ times against them twice and both times they’ve allowed over 300 passing yards. Washington State will throw it more than 40 times and it’ll be for over 300 yards again.
2. Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh – Boyd is the entire passing game for Pitt and with good reason. The guy has a crazy amount of talent while the guys around him aren’t that studly. Sure, the running game for Pitt is going to keep Boyd from having a monster game, but at his price on a site like DraftKings, all he has to do is put up another 5-9 catch games for another 130+ yards like he has in the last three games to have a good fantasy game. Syracuse has dominated weak passing attacks like Duke, Clemson, Wake Forest, and NC State in their last four games to skew their stats. Maryland, Notre Dame, and FSU have all had their way with this pass defense, so I think Voytik has no trouble getting the ball to Boyd.
3. Jaelen Strong, Arizona State – Strong suffered a concussion last week against Oregon State, so tread somewhat lightly with this one if no news comes out about his injury. I think we’ll know plenty by game time though. If Strong plays then we’re going to see a top NFL receiver talent go up against Washington State’s 125th ranked pass defense. They’ve given up a TD to INT ratio of 27:2. In five straight games they’ve given up 280+ passing yards and 19 passing TDs. Strong is going to be a big part of that as he is coming off a 9/103/0 game. He had a TD in five straight before last week and has had a monster game before against a bad pass defense like 10/202/3 against USC
4. Vince Sanders, Ole Miss – When Treadwell was hurt against Auburn, we didn’t know exactly who would step up for Ole Miss at receiver. Well, apparently it’s Vince Sanders. Including that game against Auburn, Sanders has a stat line of 10/216/2 in two games. He had a big game against Presbyterian and should play well against Arkansas. Ole Miss will have to pass it against Arkansas’ solid run defense and their own average run offense. Typically Wallace throws it 28-35 times a game and if that’s the case then Sanders has to be the main target in this offense.
5. Breshad Perriman, UCF – I can’t possibly spend more time talking about how bad SMU’s defense is, so I won’t do it anymore. Perriman has a TD in each of his last four games with 2+ catches in each. He’s a big catch receiver for them that should break loose against SMU. He’s the receiver to own if you’re going to go after any in this UCF offense. JJ Worton is a sleeper pick while Rannell Hall seems to be the riskiest guy with his hamstring issues lately.
6. Rashad Greene, Florida State – Greene is the top receiver for my top quarterback this week, so you know he’s got to be included here. He has been hit or miss lately going for big games in just two of his last four games. While struggling against Louisville and Miami are no surprises, you would hope to see more than 10 catches for 115 yards. I think he has huge potential against Boston College. I see FSU’s run game being slowed down majorly and this should mean plenty of targets for Greene.
7. DeVante Parker, Louisville – Parker has been unstoppable since returning from injury, but the fact Will Gardner is now out scares me. Reggie Bonnafon had a huge game in limited time against Boston College, but there’s something about Notre Dame on the road that scares me. I think Parker has more upside than Greene even, but has a lower floor in this one. The public betting lines seem to be on Louisville plus a low amount of points, so maybe there is confidence to be had in Bonnafon and Parker. Notre Dame ranks 75th against the pass giving up big games to Northwestern, Syracuse, and UNC this season.
8. Stephen Anderson, Cal – Anderson has been very good for a low price this season, but does face a tough Stanford team. The Cardinal are down this year, but still have put up good defensive numbers. I think with the amount of passing Cal does Anderson can still have a good day. He has put up 5/70/1 and 9/117/0 in his last two games. This is a total pivot play here from guys like Perriman, Baker from Washington State, and Vince Sanders.
LATE WIDE RECEIVERS
1. Antwan Goodley, Baylor – Even though Corey Coleman stole the show against Oklahoma, Goodley was still eight yards and a TD away from a 28 point fantasy game. He has eight catches in three of his last four games and Oklahoma State just struggles to stop people lately. In their last four games they’ve given up 28, 48, 34, and 42 points. I still think Goodley is the top target in this offense and the only reason why he didn’t go nuts last week was because of Coleman’s soft matchup. The Oklahoma corner was consistently playing off the ball and just isn’t good. I think Goodley has the monster game at a great price.
2. Jordan Villamin, Oregon State – Both Oregon State receivers are relevant this weekend and with good reason. Washington has struggled terribly against the pass and Villamin and Bolden have been great. Villamin has caught 18 passes for 351 yards and two TDs in his last three games. Washington ranks as the 112th worst pass defense in the country giving up 300+ yards in four of the last six games.
3. Jordan Payton, UCLA – Payton is a pretty consistent fellow and just didn’t put up last weekend against Washington. He caught five passes for 56 yards, but didn’t catch his weekly TD. Payton has seven TDs in ten games this season and now goes up against a really bad USC defense. They rank 105th against the pass giving up 262 yards through the air per game. After giving up zero TD passes in their first four games, they have given up 14 in their last six. Brett Hundley should have a day and Payton is his top target.
4. Bud Sasser, Missouri – Sasser has a great price for the kind of upside he has. In his last three games, he has two multi-TD performances. He doesn’t go for 100+ yards often (just two times in 2014), but brings in 5-6 catches and 60-80 yards per game. If you add in a TD or two then you’re getting big value for his price. Sasser has gone for double digit fantasy points in every game but two this season. Tennessee’s pass defense ranks above average, but gave up seven passing TDs in the three games before Kentucky last weekend.
5. Thomas Sperbeck, Boise State – Sperbeck has been top notch since the Matt Miller injury. He has 21 catches in the last three games including two TDs. He’s also gone for 394 yards in those games meaning almost 80 fantasy points during that stretch. He has a passing TD against Fresno State in week 8 too. The guy is their trick play star and should have a nice game against Wyoming. Wyoming has just two INTs to 18 TDs allowed through the air in 2014. They rank 80th in terms of passing yardage allowed per game.
EARLY TIGHT ENDS
1. Jimmay Mundine, Kansas – Mundine gets to face a really bad Oklahoma pass defense and should be down all game. This should mean big things for the Jayhawks’ passing attack especially Mundine. Since Cummings has become the starting quarterback, Mundine has gone for 29/413/3. In those five games, he has become a legitimate tight end in DFS.
2. Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech – Hodges is super athletic and I have a feeling that Brewer won’t be able to connect well with his receivers. Wake Forest’s pass defense isn’t the worst and has two corners with a ton of starts under their belts. I think Hodges can find the end again for a third straight game when the Hokies play the Demon Deacons.
3. J.P. Holtz, Pittsburgh – Holtz is this week’s minimum price tight end to look at. He has two TDs in his last three games and nine catches. While the yardage isn’t that great, if he can put up 2-3 catches with about 30 yards and a good shot at a TD then he’ll be worthy of some looks at his price.
LATE TIGHT ENDS
1. Malcolm Johnson, Mississippi State – Johnson has become relevant again for the Bulldogs and that’s good for us. He faces a bad Vandy team on Saturday and has really turned it up lately. If you’re not looking to pay up at tight end then maybe going with Johnson is the play. He is coming of a 4/74/0 game against Alabama last weekend.
2. Joshua Perkins, Washington – Perkins isn’t perfect here due to Washington passing it only an average amount, but he’s done well with those attempts lately. He has four catches in each of his last two games and a TD in his last game. He faces Oregon State this weekend at home.
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