Welcome to week 14’s CFB rankings. I’ve taken it upon myself to do things a little bit differently this week, adding in Thursday’s action as a “thank you” to my readers for their loyalty this season. It is Thanksgiving right?! While Friday and Saturday will have my typical great plays, I’m going to write about the good and the bad plays for Thursday’s two game slate. I think you’re going to enjoy it. Thank you again for motivating me to be great for ya’ll this college football season. Enjoy!
1. Kyle Allen, Texas A&M – I’m going to talk down Trevone Boykin here in a minute due to matchup, but I think Allen is a different story than Boykin. For starters, he costs a whole lot less. On DraftKings there is almost a 3k difference between the two. Also, Allen has been a top-notch passer in the last two games compared to Boykin. He has seven TD passes and a 65% passer completion percentage in the last two games. LSU’s pass defense is very good, but I think TAMU’s offense will keep it up against them especially with the Tigers being on the road. LSU’s defense is great on road and at home, but the QB rating is 21 points worse on the road than at home. Against SEC foes, LSU has given up an 8:3 TD to INT ratio compared to 0:6 against non-conference foes.
2. Tyrone Swoopes, Texas – Swoopes is a very hot/cold quarterback, but he was hot last week so let’s see if he has it again. He threw for 305 yards, two TDs, and completed 73% of passes. While Allen has been the better passer lately, Swoopes has the better matchup. TCU ranks 101st in pass defense when it comes to yardage. They have given up eight TDs in the last four games. They’ve also given up 8.4 yards per attempt in three of the last four games, which would rank them in the bottom 15 in that category overall. Swoopes has the matchup and the great receiver (Harris).
3. Trevone Boykin, TCU – Boykin isn’t a good play for me this week. I think the matchup is too tough and his passing numbers haven’t been that great lately. He has thrown for just three TDs in his last three games and had two games of less than 225 yards. If you take away his one great rushing game numbers he has just four TDs in the last three games. As it is, he has only seven TDs in those three games. Are you paying over 10k for a guy with numbers like that against a very good Texas defense? Texas has just one 300+ yard game in 2014, just one passing TD in the last four games.
4. Anthony Jennings, LSU – Ohh where to start with Jennings. This wanna be “dual threat” QB has really struggled in 2014. It doesn’t help that LSU runs it more than they pass, but maybe it’s for a reason. Jennings has six passing TDs on the season while running in zero. Texas A&M’s defense isn’t good, but you have to be decent to take advantage of a matchup. While I’m sure Jennings is a good kid and he definitely doesn’t deserve to receive death threats, he’s not to be used Thursday.
1.Leonard Fournette, LSU – Fournette is ranked here for his potential and his matchup, but does have risk. Honestly though, who doesn’t have risk in this slate? TAMU’s run defense isn’t all that special allowing almost five yards per carry and ranking 106th overall. TAMU has given up 22 rushing TDs in their last seven games and over six yards per carry in three of their last four games. Fournette’s risk comes in the fact that he ran just five times against Arkansas. In the four games before that though, he rushed the ball 21, 23, 15, and 27 times. I think this is the guy you have to target at RB Thursday.
2. Malcolm Brown, Texas – Brown is super cheap and gets the most carries for Texas. His matchup isn’t that great, and he has just two TDs in the last three games. He’s coming of a 15/31/0 games against Oklahoma State while Gray ran well against them. With that cheap price though, it’s tough to be 15-20 carries on a small slate. Can I sit here and say that he’ll put up double-digit points? No, but if using him with solid upside so you can play some studs then he’s more than worth it.
3. Jonathan Gray, Texas –If it was up to projected performance between the two running backs, I would rank him second overall, but Gray is 2,700 more expensive than Brown. The value is there and that’s why Gray is third. There’s just something about the fact that he has scored the TDs in recent weeks that has me on him. It’s almost like Brown helps get them close and Gray finishes them off. Gray has 259 yards and five TDs in his last three games. The matchup isn’t that stellar, but it’s they are a better rushing team than the two teams TCU has recently faced. TCU has allowed four rushing TDs in their last three games.
4. Aaron Green, TCU – Who knows at this point who will be starting at running back for TCU Thursday, but it seems like Green will be. Catalon’s status is still uncertain and there isn’t a peep out of that school about what his chances of playing are. Green is a super risky play because of that. In his last two games, he has rushed 19 and 18 times for 128 and 171 yards. He has three TDs during those two games and has just been a very effective back. Texas’ run defense ranks 69th in 2014, allowing almost five yards per carry in two of the last three games.
5. Texas A&M Running Backs – These guys are the worst options of the night and with great reason. The number one reason is that they aren’t good. They average 43, 41, and 32 yards per game and have scored just 13 total TDs. LSU’s run defense has very good this season besides the two games against Mississippi Sate and Auburn. Even if you could combine two of the three running backs into one slot, I’m not sure they’d be worth playing.
THURSDAY WIDE RECEIVERS
1. John Harris, Texas – Of course I like Harris as my top guy especially after he has played in recent weeks. He has had two 100+ yard games during that stretch, but only one TD. He also caught 16 passes, which is one third of the passes completed by Swoopes in that stretch. The matchup for him is great with TCU being 101st in yardage allowed. They give up a ton of big plays ranking 115th in 30+ passing plays and last in 40+ yard pass plays. Harris is averaging 16.5 yards per catch and should be in for a big game on Thanksgiving.
2. Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M – Reynolds has been the guy for Allen since he has gotten hot. Reynolds has accounted for 11 catches, 213 yards, and four TDs. He has four games of multiple TDs and has a very nice 12 TDs overall. TAMU is certainly not going to be running it often or well, so there should be plenty of targets looking his way. I don’t think the matchup is that great, but if they’re going to throw it 30+ times then Reynolds should be fine.
3. Ty Slanina, TCU – Slanina has played sparingly with guys like Doctson and Gray ahead of him, but he’s gotten more time in recent weeks. He actually has two TDs in the last four TCU games including a great 6/95/1 game last game against Kansas. Slanina’s value relies solely on Gray’s availability with their size and style being similar.
4. David Porter TCU – Porter is in the same boat as Slanina, but his value relies on Doctson’s effectiveness in the game. Porter has been playing great in the last two weeks with 13 catches, 151 yards, and one TD. Doctson should be better off with the bye week that just passes and the fact that he has played, but just not as much as usual. When it comes to this play, you’ll need Doctson to still be hampered. When it comes to Josh Docston though, he just needs to be healthy and he should be a top three WR for the Thursday slate.
5. LSU WRs – If you’re going to use one then it would be Travin Dural, but he’s just too expensive to take a huge risk on. He’s been bad in recent weeks, mostly because of the way his quarterback has played. If he was in the 3k range then I would definitely consider him, but at 5k on DraftKings, no thank you.
THURSDAY TIGHT ENDS
I’m not going to rank any tight ends because they’re all hard to predict. Geoff Swaim and M.J. McFarland seem like “decent” plays considering they have a catch or two lately, but it’s really a mess. I would stay away from LSU tight ends and I’m not even sure TCU and TAMU even use that position. The Texas guys seem like the way to go.
1. Dane Evans, Tulsa – Evans has been hot and now he’s about to be a part of a shootout. East Carolina has the offense to put up 40+ points on any given night. They’ve actually done it four times in 2014. Now, Evans has eight TD passes in his last three games and over 50 total rushing yards in his last two. The SMU game was his second best game in 2014 putting up almost 31 fantasy points, but he’s also been good for 24 points in three of the last four (including SMU). This ECU defense has given up tons of yardage through the air allowing Gunner Kiel, Michael Brewer, Garrett Krstich, Marquise Williams, and even Chandler Whitmer to have huge games.
2. Rakeem Cato, Marshall – By now, we know all about the Marshall offense: Devon Johnson and Rakeem Cato. I think this week the game goes towards Cato’s favor though because Western Kentucky’s defense is so bad in the passing department. They rank 105th in passing yards given up and are fifth worst when it comes to yards per attempt. WKU is also bad on the ground, but their rushing numbers don’t look as bad when looking at yards per attempt. Because of that, and the fact Cato is starting to heat up, I like him more a decent bit. It’s also great news that Cato has thrown it 38 and 37 times in their last two game and that Western Kentucky can put up huge points and both teams might feel the need to abandon the run period.
3. Jake Rudock, Iowa – Rudock’s value obviously depends on how much he throws the football, but it’s really the case for him. There’s just no value for a guy that throws it 19 times. Because of this, he’s a risk. In the last two games though he has thrown 30 and 21 times for two TDs in each. He has also been better on the ground rushing in a TD in each. Vegas has this game being pretty even and each team scoring around four TDs each. While the rushing defense for Nebraska has failed them, they’ve also face ground heavy teams. Iowa isn’t really a run heavy or pass heavy team. I could see Iowa passing 40+ times Friday if Nebraska gets up a little bit early and slows the Hawkeyes run down.
4. Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky – Doughty is going to be a big beneficiary of a high scoring game in Marshall and I truly think it happens. He’s been great in the last three games throwing for 11 TDs and zero INTs. He has thrown for a 64% completion rate in three straight and has 300+ yards twice. We’ve seen how great WKU can be through the air this season with eight games of 300+ yards and two games of 569+ yards. Marshall’s pass defense looks good at first, but they have also played teams nowhere near the quality as WKU’s pass offense. Also, they have played in five games where opponents have attempted less than 30 passes.
5. Greg Ward Jr., Houston – Ward didn’t have that great of a game last week, but his passing and rushing totals will only be better against a team like SMU. He has thrown for a 77% completion rate in three of the last four games and now faces a defense worse than during that stretch. He hasn’t exploded during those games, but with 46 rushes in the last four games, he is a very safe play. SMU ranks last in scoring defense, and has given up 11 passing TDs in their last four games.
1. Nick Wilson, Arizona – If Terris Jones-Grigsby is out again against Arizona State then roll Wilson as the top running back. In the two games TJG has been out recently, Wilson has rushed 50 times for 322 yards and five TDs. The guy has been outrageously good and now he gets an average Arizona State run defense. They have eight games of 150 yards and are currently allowing over 4ypc. They shut down teams like Notre Dame, Stanford, and Arizona State, but none of them come close to Arizona’s rushing attack. Anu Solomon could be out in this one, so it could mean more carries for Wilson, but it could also mean more guys in the box against him. Arizona’s backup quarterback did well enough where I don’t think Wilson’s upside gets hurt due to Solomon’s injury.
2. Kenneth Farrow, Houston – Farrow gets the top rushing matchup of the day with a game against SMU’s terrible defense. SMU has allowed 25 rushing TDs on the ground and we’ve certainly seen how much Houston is running the football with Greg Ward Jr at quarterback. In three of the last four games, Farrow has rushed 18+ times even though he’s a part of a RBBC. He’s the starter and better runner and even has PPR potential. He has a catch in seven games including two games of five catches. SMU has yet to give up a game of less than 4ypc.
3. Devon Johnson, Marshall – Johnson is the safe play here, but he’ll cost you a ton. Even after being out a few weeks due to injury he’s been great but just hasn’t gotten in the end zone much. Johnson has rushed for 8.6 and 7.4ypc in those two games back, but only has one TD. Against Western Kentucky, he’s going to get enough carries to break 100 yards and should be able to find the end zone. Now, I do like Cato more than Johnson this week, but I can certainly see the other way. Johnson has runs of 75, 66, 71, and 64 this season and he could easily do that twice for TDs and you’re looking at 130 yards and two TDs off two carries.
4. Trey Edmunds, Virginia Tech – I tweeted about this play Monday night in code and with good reason. He’s been out due to a broken clavicle, but should be good to go against Virginia. I have read many quotes saying he’s good to play, but it just depends on how he practices. And from first glance, it sounds like he’s being pretty physical, so that’s a good sign. Edmunds has only played in three games this season and it’s been just barely in them. He has only 17 rushes on the season, but was the main back in 2013. Edmunds ran for over 4ypc in 2013 with 12 total TDs. Virginia’s run defense is top 20, but Virginia Tech is going to have to do something about their offense to put points on the board. I think Edmunds is going to be risky, but if he has good practices this week he could get 18-20 touches at minimum price.
5. Ryan Jackson, Houston – Jackson doesn’t get the carries that Farrow gets, but he gets enough to have value against SMU. He has rushed 12, 5, 14, and 18 times in the last four games with decent success. Well, against SMU he should see better results with the same amount of carries. Jackson is coming off his second best game of the season rushing 12 times for 95 yards against Tulsa last week. With Houston running it a ton lately and the fact they’ll be up early, I could easily see 12+ carries for Jackson this week.
FRIDAY WIDE RECEIVERS
1. Keevan Lucas, Tulsa – Lucas is the main guy in the Tulsa offense even if Garrett has stepped up in recent weeks. In Lucas’ last four games he has caught 14 passes, made a highlight reel TD catch, caught two TD passes against SMU, and caught 11 more against a solid Memphis team. Now, he gets to face an East Carolina team that ranks in the 100s in terms of passing defense. I really like Lucas’s quarterback Dane Evans, so I have to rank Lucas here. Lucas has caught 10+ balls in five games and 7+ in eight games.
2. Cam Worthy, East Carolina – Worthy really has been great since returning from suspension. In the last four games, he has gone for 5 catches and 100 yards or better. Now, Tulsa is on the schedule and points will be a plenty. Tulsa ranks 109th in passing yardage per game and has given up 25 TDs through the air this season. Their defense has given up 10+ yards per attempt five times in 2014, which would rank them dead last in that category overall.
3. Bud Sasser, Missouri – All Bud Sasser has done in the last four games is be consistent. He has 4, 6, 6, and 5 catches in those games and has at least one TD in three of them. Sasser is clearly one of Mauk’s two favorite targets and we’ve seen him to be very reliable. Arkansas’s pass defense is only 50th overall, but they’ve only seen 325 passes attempted against them, which is 33rd in the NCAA. When it comes to yards per attempt, they rank 89th with a 7.4 average. Sasser should continue to be consistent in this matchup.
4. Tommy Shuler, Marshall – Shuler has started to break out and play more like he did in 2013 in recent weeks and with good reason: Marshall is throwing the ball more now. In those two games, Shuler has gone for lines of 8/79/0 and 10/132/1. Those are encouraging numbers and he has an elite matchup Friday. I certainly think they continue to throw it against WKU’s putrid pass defense. If Marshall throws it 35+ times you can start to feel very comfortable about another great game from Shuler.
5. Steven Dunbar, Houston – When Greg Ward Jr made the move to quarterback, the receiving group saw a big piece leave them. Then, Daniel Spencer got hurt for the season and the gap grew huge. Well, in the last two weeks, freshman Steven Dunbar has played great going for stat lines of 6/64/0 and 7/150/0. Now, he has a matchup similar to the game where he went for over 100 yards and is at an affordable price.
6. Samajie Grant, Arizona – Forget Cayleb Jones these days, Samajie Grant has been a very good receiver for Arizona. He hasn’t posted huge numbers, but has been good for 80+ yards and four catches in three straight games. He has two TDs during that time, but that was in one game against Colorado. Against Arizona State, Arizona has a decent matchup, but Grant’s price and big play ability has me ranking him. Who knows who is at quarterback for them this week, but I don’t think it matters. Grant is one TD catch away from a very nice fantasy point total.
FRIDAY TIGHT ENDS
It’s getting too late in the season to talk about random tight ends whom will most likely shatter our dreams of just one double digit performance out of a minimum priced guy. This week I’m doing it different. Jake Duzey has been great in the last two games as has Jake Rudock. He has 182 yards and one TD during that stretch. Bucky Hodges consistently gets catches and has six TDs on the season, two of those coming in the last three games.
SATURDAY EARLY QUARTERBACKS
1. Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee – I know I’ve been all over Dobbs lately and honestly I didn’t want to write about him again, but I have to with a matchup like Vandy. Dobbs has 60 fantasy point potential and because Tennessee isn’t some stud team he has a real shot at going for at least 40 in this one. Since he became starter three games ago, he has thrown for six TDs and ran four more in. Vandy ranks 69th in pass defense even though they have seen the 35th least amount of passes attempted against them. Mississippi State just threw four TDs against them this past weekend.
2. Reggie Bonnafon, Louisville – Bonnafon has a good shot at putting up big numbers against Kentucky. He has three rushing TDs in the last two games and three passing TDs in the last two as well. His passing numbers are nothing to be thrilled about, but Kentucky’s pass defense is pretty average and has been beaten up lately. They have given up ten passing TDs in those games to Missouri, Georgia, and Tennessee. Bonnafon gets a real shot at putting up nice passing numbers with a receiver like DeVante Parker.
3. Christian Stewart, BYU – Stewart has the best matchup of all quarterbacks on Saturday playing against Cal. They have allowed 37 passing TDs on the season and have given up 4+ TDs through the air in five games. Teams have thrown for 300+ yards in four of the last five games and BYU’s top rusher is out for the season. BYU should throw plenty like we’ve seen in recent weeks. Stewart was barely challenged against Savannah State throwing four TDs on just 17 attempts. Before that, he threw for over 300 yards and at least two TDs in the two previous games. Stewart also has value on the ground with four rushing TDs in the last four games.
4. Jake Waters, Kansas State – Waters has the pleasure of playing against Kansas this week and he should be highly owned because of it. He’s the main rusher for the Wildcats and in this rivalry game I think they’re going to score a lot of points. Waters has thrown 30+ times in three of the last four games and has five TD passes in the last three games. Waters hasn’t been that effective in recent weeks on the ground, but does have games of 17/105/1 and 20/138/2 on the season. I think he’s the perfect high floor, high ceiling guy this week.
5. Skyler Howard, West Virginia – Howard played great against Kansas State last week and is completely deserving of getting the start after Trickett was hurt last game. He came in and threw two TD passes and had over 200 total yards. Howard certainly has more potential on the ground than Trickett ever had, but he did only rush three times for 16 yards. Against Iowa State, the sky is the limit with ISU ranking in the bottom part of pass defense. They’ve also given up eight passing TDs in the last three games. Trevor Knight had a monster game against this defense totaling six TDs and over 140 yards on the ground. Tyrone Swoopes also ran for 95 yards and a TD against them. Finally, Jake waters ran for 138 yards and two TDs. The potential is there if Howard can get the start.
SATURDAY EARLY RUNNINGBACKS
1. Justin Jackson, Northwestern – Jackson had a great game against Purdue last week putting up a stat line of 23/147/2 and now gets a great matchup against Illinois. The starting quarterback for the Wildcats has been deemed out, so Jackson is going to get a large amount of carries. When he has carried the ball 20 times or more, Jackson has run for 100+ yards or a TD. This has happened seven times so far in 2014. Illinois’ run defense ranks 6th worst in the country allowing 258 yards per game. Penn State struggled against Illinois, but in the six games before that Illinois gave up 4ypc or more in each and a total of 20 rushing TDs.
2. Javorius Allen, USC – Buck Allen has struggled in recent weeks to get it going on the ground, but has kept up his point because of PPR. He only has rushed for 60 yards in each of the last two games, but has added 11 catches and 91 yards through the air. It’s time he gets back on the board though for a big game when he faces Notre Dame at home. The Fighting Irish have allowed over 4ypc in each of their last four games and a total of 11 rushing TDs.
3. Jalen Hurd, Tennessee – Tennessee couldn’t get the offense going against Missouri’s solid run defense and instead Hurd had to get his points through the air with six catches. I expect he sees 15-20 runs and if so I like him to put up a big game like he had against Kentucky or South Carolina where he ran for over 100 yards. Vandy’s run defense ranks 88th in the country and has allowed 200+ yards on the ground with six total TDs in the last two games.
4. T.J. Logan, UNC – After watching last week’s Duke/UNC game, it’s safe to say that T.J. Logan is the top back for the Tar Heels. He has run 18 times in each of the last two weeks with great numbers. In each game he has rushed for 5ypc or better with one TD and two catches. NC State’s run defense ranks 92nd in the country, has allowed 21 rushing TDs and a 4.47ypc average in 2014. Recently Marquise Williams has had trouble holding onto the football inside the red zone and because of that, we saw Logan receiver a ton of carries inside the ten-yard line last week.
5. Robert Martin, Rutgers – Martin has been receiving more carries in recent weeks and has looked decent in them. He has rushed for 4.3, 7.5, and 4.8ypc in the last three games and has three total TDs. Against Indiana, a similar run defense as Maryland, he ran for 83 yards and three TDs. Now, the TDs probably aren’t going to be the same on just 11 carries, but if he can get 15-20 carries against the 104th ranked run defense he should be in for a good game. Even Michigan ran for over 6ypc last week against them.
6. Devin Chafin, Baylor – Chafin is the second back for Baylor, but he does receive goal line carries. So, headed into the Texas Tech game, he has plenty of value in that regard. The Red Raiders rank 5th worst in the NCAA when it comes to yards per game. They rank 113th in yards per carry (5.24) and have given up the 5th most TDs in 2014 (33). In recent weeks, Chafin has received 10+ carries in each game with 100+ yards twice. He also has seven TDs during that stretch. He seems to be a relevant guy in the offense even when up by 3-4 TDs like against Oklahoma State and Kansas.
SATURDAY EARLY WIDE RECEIVERS
1. DeVante Parker, Louisville – Parker has legitimately been a top three receiver in the last four games and even in his worst game in 2014 he went for 4/65/1. I expect him to get back to 8-9 catches a game for over 100 yards when he faces off against Kentucky Saturday. Like I said when discussing Bonnafon, Kentucky’s pass defense has struggled recently giving up ten TDs in the last three games with similar or just barely better than Louisville’s passing attack. It’s hard not to go with the number one receiver at a good price with that being the case.
2. Kevin White, West Virginia – White is coming off a very good game against Kansas State even if the stats don’t show it. He went for 7/63/1 and could have easily had another TD if the replay challenge went his way. After a few slow weeks, White has bounced back to 23 catches, 195 yards and one TD in the last two games. Skyler Howard should be at quarterback in this one, which should mean plenty of targets for him and Mario Alford. Iowa State ranks in the 100s in pass defense when it comes to yardage and 72nd when it comes to yards per attempt.
3. Mitch Mathews, BYU – Mathews is going to be highly owned Saturday and with good reason. He is coming off two great games (4/110/2 and 6/120/1) and has a matchup with Cal that couldn’t be better. They rank last in passing yardage per game and have given up 37 passing TDs on the season. With Taysom Hill out, Mathews has been more consistent and this is the kind of matchup that he should break out for another huge game for.
4. Jalin Marshall, Ohio State – Marshall is another big play receiver for the Buckeyes and although the matchup isn’t that great, he’s a solid bargain for his price. The guy is coming off a four TD game! He caught five passes for 95 yards and three TDs and also added one return for a TD against Indiana. Michigan ranks 42nd in passing yardage allowed and yards per attempt so the matchup is just average. If Barrett goes through the air a lot then Marshall should get some looks along with Devin Smith and Michael Thomas. Marshall had a nice 5/95/1 game against Minnesota two weeks ago.
5. Quinshad Davis, UNC – Remember last season when Quinshad Davis was a stud and could go for a monster game at any point? I barely do as he really has been irrelevant in 2014. He’s starting to heat up though and that might be because of how bad Marquise Williams has been in the red zone lately. His throwing has been fine, but he can’t hold onto the football. Davis had a nice jump ball TD catch against Duke last week and has had six catches in each of his last two games for a total of 110 yards. Those two games are his best totals in 2014, so something has to be happening that’s different than earlier in the season. NC State is an above average passing defense, so I would play Davis only when needing the salary relief in GPPs.
SATURDAY EARLY TIGHT ENDS
There are some very reasonable options in the early slate like Dan Vitale for Northwestern. Even with the starting quarterback out, he should be fine. He has caught 12 passes in the last three games and had a TD last game. Illinois is a great matchup for any position. Evan Engram was used more in the offense with Treadwell out against Arkansas, which is very encouraging. He caught five passes for 65 yards and takes part in a huge game against Mississippi State on Saturday.
SATURDAY LATE QUARTERBACKS
1. Cody Fajardo, Nevada – Fajardo is an easy pick for me this week and he’s not even that expensive. I write about him week in and week out, so I’m not going to get deep into this play, but he’s a great runner with a great running matchup against UNLV. UNLV ranks third worst in the NCAA in yardage and has given up 34 TDs. Fajardo has 100+ rushing yards in three of the last four games and four rushing TDs to go along with five passing TDs during that time. He’s by far the safest quarterback on the board for me in this slate.
2. Nick Marshall, Auburn – To me, the quarterback pool is shaky after the top guys like Fajardo and Mariota, but I’m willing to take an underpriced stud like Marshall even if it’s a tough matchup. He ran for 99 yards and a TD last season against Bama and also added two TDs through the air. Marshall has struggled in the last two games, but let’s look at an earlier stretch this season. Against defenses like Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and LSU, he went for 27, 34, and 42 fantasy points. The potential is there and with some rough quarterbacks in a small slate I think it’s fair and easy to justify rolling him out there.
3. Blake Sims, Alabama – Sims is going to have to be very good in this game to beat Auburn I feel and that’s why he’s ranked here. Bama is almost a ten point favorite as of now and Auburn’s pass defense ranks 77th overall. South Carolina and TAMU threw for a total of nine TD passes against them, so there is most definitely potential for a big game for him. If Amari Cooper doesn’t play for some reason then take Sims out as he needs his leading receiver to be great. Sims has 2+ TDs in five of the last six games and has five rushing TDs in 2014.
SATURDAY LATE RUNNINGBACKS
1. Jay Ajayi, Boise State – Utah State poses as a good run defense, but what’s not to love about Ajayi. The guy has a three game streak of 40+ fantasy points and has gone for that much or more in six games this season. Ajayi has 3 TDs in three straight games and at least two TDs in six straight games. If you can afford Ajayi then you play him end of story.
2. Royce Freeman, Oregon – Freeman has been reall good in the last six games, but I’m not sure anyone out side of fantasy sports has realized this. He has rushed for 11 TDs total and 98+ yards in each game. While his upside is fairly limited due to Mariota’s rushing ability, he is a very safe play for mid to high 20s in points. Oregon State poses as a good matchup for him as they’ve allowed 22 rushing TDs and over 4.5ypc. Washington just ran for 6.46ypc and two TDs in their game last weekend.
3. Chris James, Pitt – This play only works if James Connor is out, but I think he’s worth talking about because of the high likelihood of Connor being out. He ran for 122 yards on 19 carries when filling in for Connor last game. Miami (Fl) is a very solid run defense, but they have struggled in recent weeks. Against FSU and UVA, they gave up four rushing TDs and yard per carry averages of 6.0 and 4.53. While I do think the matchup is tough, it’s hard to say no to a guy that could get 20 carries in a run first offense.
4. Joey Iosefa, Hawaii – Between Ajayi and Freeman in pricing is Iosefa. I like Iosefa more than Freeman, but it’ll cost you $1,000 more on DraftKings and that’s a big difference in a small slate. Iosefa broke loose last week for the first time since returning from injury in week 11. In a great matchup, he ran for 219 yards and two TDs. Now, against Fresno State he gets another great matchup. Fresno State ranks 113th in rushing yards allowed per game, has given up 20 rushing TDs, and allows an average of almost five yards per carry. Iosefa is a beast and will get 20+ carries almost guaranteed.
SATURDAY LATE WIDE RECEIVERS
1. Amari Cooper, Alabama – Cooper is the entire passing offense and should be fine to play against Auburn Saturday night. Before that last game against WCU where he left early, Cooper had been good for eight catches, 80+ yards and one TD in four straight games. During that four game stretch, he caught 33 passes for over 500 yards and six TDs. There’s nothing about this matchup that I haven’t discussed already when talking Blake Sims, but know that no matter what Cooper will get his. He had a monster game against Floida and their star cornerback, so against Auburn you can feel safe rolling him out there.
2. Victor Bolden/Jordan Villamin, Oregon State – I tweeted about these two receivers the other day because of how they’ve been the past few weeks and I want to talk about that again here. Sean Mannion has been better lately and these two receivers are benefitting from it. Bolden has 10+ catches and 100+ yards in three of the last four games, but only one TD. Villamin doesn’t have the catch totals that Bolden has, but he has four TDs and two games of 100+ yards. Oregon’s past defense has been beaten up in conference with teams like Utah, Cal, and Stanford all throwing for 295+ yards in three of their last four games.
3. Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh – Boyd has been incredible this season on such a limited number of catches. It’s extremely impressive and it will continue as the season continues. If James Connor is out then I really really like Boyd in this game. He has an average of six catches and 98 yards per game on the season, but he should surely pass that against Miami (Fl). He has a streak of five catches and 100+ yards in four straight games and has a two game TD streak. The big change for Boyd if Connor is out is his TD total. I could really see that number go up and we finally see another multiple TD game from him.
4. Tyler Baker, Washington State – Barring a random River Cracraft comeback this weekend against Washington, I think baker has a lot of potential. He has caught 4+ passes in four straight games, has two TDs during that stretch, and has nine catches in two of those games. He’s on an extreme pass heavy team about to face a rival who has a bad pass defense. Washington’s pass defense ranks 118th with 22 passing TDs allowed. Baker should be the third or fourth target in a team that throws 50+ teams consistently. At a cheap price he’s definitely worth a flier.
SATURDAY LATE TIGHT ENDS
The number one tight end these days has to be Clive Walford. The guy has been Kaaya’s top target recently catching 17 passes for over 300 yards and three TDs. This means he has 20+ fantasy points in three straight games at a good price. Cam Sergine came back from a head injury in recent weeks to have a decent game against NC State (3/34/0) and Virginia Tech (6/74/0). This week’s matchup against Duke isn’t nearly intimidating and he should be very reliable in this one. Joshua Perkins has been very solid lately and went for 5/32/0 against Oregon State. Now, he gets the great matchup of Washington State.
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