This week’s rankings were probably the toughest ones I’ve had to put together all season. So much so, that I resorted to picking multiple players from the same team. You’ll notice that I really like Badgers and Bears this week with their great matchups. For my number one QB and RB, it’s time for redemption as they try to bounce back from their worst games of the season last week. Let’s get to the picks!
1. Jake Waters, Kansas State – Waters is coming off his worst game of the season, so I see no better reason to rank him number one this week. He gets to face off against UTEP, a big underdog and defense that should struggle against KSU. They have allowed over 600 yards passing in the last two games and have given up at least 24 points in all three games this season. Waters will be the best all around QB they have faced so far, so I like that for him. Before that bad game against Auburn, Waters had scored six TDs and ran for over 193 yards in just two games.
2. J.T. Barrett, Ohio State – You might not realize it, but Barrett has been a very solid fantasy QB this season. Besides his six TD game against Kent State, Barrett has still put up nice numbers. Against a very solid Virginia Tech defense, he had two TDs and ran for 70 yards. Now, he gets to face Cincinnati and their defense that has struggled in 2014. Against Toledo and Miami (OH), the Bearcats have given up five passing TDs and 58 total points. Barrett should do great through the air Saturday and worst case he’ll use his legs to give us good numbers.
3. Tyrone Swoopes, Texas – Typically I’m not a huge Texas passing game fan, but against Kansas you have to like Swoopes. I’m not sure if you watched the Texas/UCLA game, but Swoopes threw for two TDs and a 70% completion percentage. In a much better matchup, I certainly see him doing damage through the air and possibly more on the ground as well. Kansas has given up 26 points per game against some weak competition in 2014.
4. PJ Walker, Temple – I’m back to writing about PJ Walker and with good reason. The guy has two passing TDs in each game, but also does damage on the ground. His numbers are negatively skewed in that against Delaware State he was barely challenged. He didn’t even attempt one rush. That is unlike him and that’ll certainly change as Temple tries to beat UConn. Against BYU and Boise State, UConn struggled giving up 548 yards and six TDs. Walker should continue those kinds of numbers in this one and at an affordable price across the industry.
5. Trevone Boykin, TCU – If it wasn’t for Jake Waters, I’d probably have Boykin as my top play for high priced QBs. I like to mix in a variety of prices in these rankings, so that’s how I can push Boykin to five. Why do I like him so much? Well, he gets to face this school called Southern Methodist University. SMU is terrible and has given up six total TDs to teams that were willing to throw the football. TCU should throw it at least 25 times and with Boykin that should mean an automatic two TDs passing and a good amount of yardage. Boykin does bring rushing yards to the game with a stat line of 22/121/1 in two games this season.
6. Chris Streveler, Minnesota – I might have been the only one to talk about Streveler last weekend, but you can guarantee I won’t be alone this weekend. If Mitch Leidner sits again then Streveler has to be considered with the way his price is. It’s not every day you get a QB that completes one pass, but still ends up with a great fantasy day. He ran for 161 yards and one TD in that game against San Jose State, which was more than enough for his owners. Now he gets a matchup against Michigan and remains very cheap. Although the matchup will be a tough one, Minnesota refuses to put the ball in the air, but instead runs it till they’re forced into obvious passing downs. Last year Leidner ran 18 times and you can almost guarantee this week’s Minnesota QB gets those kinds of attempts again.
7. Tanner McEvoy, Wisconsin – McEvoy has been outstanding in his last two games and against USF he gets another soft matchup. What’s not to like about a former safety playing QB?! Well, McEvoy ran for 158 yards against Bowling Green and showed us he can still move. Against Western Illinois he was 22 for 28 passing and had four total TDs. It’s safe to say USF will not beat Wisconsin, but will pose enough of a problem where the Badgers starters will get at least three quarters of action Saturday.
8. Maty Mauk, Missouri – Mauk had a good game last week, but not the huge one some people expected against a team like Indiana. He gets South Carolina and a pass defense that has struggled to start the season. With Mauk’s consistency it’s hard not to like him, but I had to list him here this week because of his upside. He has run the ball 12+ times twice this season and has thrown for 14 TDs. He has a plethora of receivers to throw to, so even with one out he shouldn’t be affected by it.
1. Cameron Artis-Payne, Auburn – Like Waters, CAP struggled in that Thursday night game last week. I think he bounces back in a very nice way Saturday against Louisiana Tech. In week one, Oklahoma ran 40 times for 183 yards and five TDs against them. If LA Tech can’t stop them then they certainly can’t stop Auburn’s offense. LA Tech is currently averaging three rushing TDs allowed per game. Guess who was great against weaker competition the first two weeks? Arkansas has proven to be a solid team, but even they couldn’t stop CAP as he ran for 177 yards and one TD. In his second game he had an even bigger game rushing for three TDs and 112 yards.
2. Leon Allen, Western Kentucky – Allen is the workhorse back for the Hilltoppers and against Navy that’s a very good thing. The Midshipmen have allowed six rushing TDs and over 200 rushing yards in their last two games. They also average 4.86 yards per carry on the season. Not only does Allen run the ball a lot, but he also has 16 catches on the season. It’s those kinds of numbers that make him a very safe play with good upside against a team like Navy.
3. Javorius Allen, USC – Allen has been mighty impressive in 2014. He followed up two 100-yard rushing games with a nine catch 118 yard game against Boston College. Sure, his rushing numbers were weak, but he proved valuable even when the ground game was off. Through three games this season, Oregon State has allowed seven rushing TDs and a 4.25 yard per carry average. Even with a miserable game against BC, Allen is averaging 5.3 yards per carry.
4. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin – It’s really easy to put Gordon on this list, but we’ve seen his price skyrocket on some sites. I still really like him though. It’s not much of a surprise after rushing for five TDs last week, but the big thing for him is that he’s likely to get even more carries against USF. If he doesn’t get 15 carries or more then you’re almost guaranteeing that he blows up on 10-13 carries and they just don’t need him anymore. The best running team USF has faced so far was NC State. They put up 315 rushing yards and five TDs on them just a few weeks ago.
5. Desmon Peoples, Rutgers – I think both Rutgers RBs are risky plays, but at least one of them should be great this weekend. Tulane has struggled way too much against the run to not have either Peoples or Goodwin in your lineups. I’m rolling Peoples here only because some sites don’t even have Goodwin in their database. With that being said, it’s hard not to have either when Tulane has given up 600 rushing yards and eight TDs in their last two games against FBS teams.
6. Shock Linwood, Baylor – Linwood isn’t the best of plays, but he’s taken advantage of the carries he’s gotten in 2014. He gets a lot of usage around the end zone as he has four TDs and his longest run of the season is only 24 yards. His yards per carry isn’t that great, but against Iowa State that should get a boost. I expect Baylor to get up early and pound the rock with him and Jefferson.
7. Corey Clement, Wisconsin – Another Wisconsin player on here?! Well, it’s starting to seem like they’re the safest players on the board against weak teams. I’ve already talked about how this is a great matchup, but where cheap, Clement is the best way to handcuff your Gordon lineups. If Gordon doesn’t have a huge game then you can guarantee Clement is the reason why. It also doesn’t hurt that last week Clement ran for 111 yards and two TDs, which was the same game Gordon had five TDs.
8. Johnny Jefferson, Baylor – On some sites, Jefferson provides major value with little risk. He’s averaing 72 yards per game and has two TDs on the season. There’s no doubt in my mind that Baylor doesn’t win by 30+, so we should see Jefferson get 10+ carries. With that kind of usage in a dynamic offense that is always around the end zone it’s hard not to like him.
1. Rashad Greene, Florida State – So how about Rashad Greene against Clemson eh? He put a great game even without Jameis Winston. Against NC State Saturday, he’ll have Winston back and nobody to slow him down. Although his TD numbers are down (just two on the season), he makes up for it with yardage and catches. He’s averaging 139 yards per game to go along with eight catches.
2. Shaq Washington, Cincinnati – Is there a reason why Washington is priced low on some sites? Sure, he goes up against Ohio State, but they aren’t a team you have to worry about defensively anymore. Washingotn has a stat line of 11/125/1 so far this season, which isn’t amazing but it’s consistent. I also think that if Gunner Kiel is going to put up big numbers he’s going to have to do it with his best receiver in the red zone. I’m a big fan of this Cinci/Ohio State matchup, so of course I love an underpriced Washingotn.
3. KD Cannon, Baylor – With Norwood and Goodley out to start the season, Cannon has been a beast. His numbers are outrageous. He only has 14 catches, but he has 471 yards and five TDs. The guy is averaging 33 yards per catch. That’s nuts! Well, against Iowa State does anyone see Bryce Petty getting stopped? Petty’s price is pretty high everywhere, so to take advantage look at a guy like Cannon to really hit on the value.
4. John Harris, Texas – Harris has been one of the only consistent offensive players for Texas scoring a TD in each game so far this season. Through three games, he’s averaging a stat line of 6/82/1 and for a player who isn’t well known that makes for nice prices. Harris should be very good against Kansas and their brutal pass defense. Look for Swoopes to target Harris a lot against the Jayhawks on Saturday.
5. Jimmie Hunt, Missouri – Ever since week one, Hunt has been on a roll. I predicted a nice day from him in week two and it came through. His hamstring is healthy now and he should see more targets with Darius White out for this game. South Carolina won’t be able to double any of the receivers on Missouri because of how talented each one is and how well Mauks preads the ball around.
6. Dres Anderson, Utah – Washington State is brutal against the pass, so no need to keep talking about that. Let’s get right to Anderson. This big play receiver is doing his typical thing averaging just four catches per game, but over 80 yards. He has three TDs on the season and each week provides consistent points for your squad. Against WSU, I see no reason for that to change with upside for a stat line like 5/120/2.
7. Jalen Fitzpatrick, Temple – Fitzpatrick has been a big target of Walker’s so far this season and he’s doing a consistent job at wide out for Temple. He has a TD in each game and has catches of 3, 5, and 5 in three games. His low of three catches came on his high of yards (75), but that was also the game Walker only threw the ball 14 times. Fitzpatrick should be good for another TD against UConn.
8. Stefon Diggs, Maryland – My big boom/bust play this week is Stefon Diggs. He gets a prime matchup against Indiana and has CJ Brown coming off his best game. Worst case scenario, you’re looking at a game of 5-6 catches and 50 yards. Best case scenario he breaks a few tackles and goes off for 5/150/2. It’s going to be one way or the other and sadly his price tag brings risk.
1. Cam Serigne, Wake Forest – Serigne is a freshman for Wake Forest and although I can never really condone any Demon Deacon as a great play it’s tough to argue against using him. With his talent and the way Wake Forest has used him in 2014, he could be one of the top tight ends. He is averaging five catches and 50 yards per game. Against Louisville, it’s a guarantee that they’ll be down and passing a bunch. With that being the case Serigne will get plenty of routes and targets.
2. Austin Hooper, Stanford – Hooper is likely to be a higher priced tight end, but he brings safety to the position. He has four catches in every game, but only has one TD. Against Washington, Stanford should be able to throw the ball at will and Hooper should get plenty of targets. I can say that with confidence because of how weak the Stanford running game has been this season.
3. Jimmay Mundine, Kansas – So, we hit nicely with Mundine last week. Why not try it again? Mundine is still cheap and with tight end being such a crap shoot once dropping below the top tier guys why not take a chance here? He caught six passes for 67 yards last week against CMU, but gets a tougher matchup against Texas. Kansas will be passing often, so Cozart should look Mundine’s way enough to make him valuable.