Welcome to the DFS CFB rankings for week 8! This week’s action is packed with numbers and again has four lineups for the DFS sites I play weekly. A little warning before we get started though; Melvin Gordon isn’t available this week, Todd Gurley is suspended (for now), and 140% of the DFS community will be rostering Brett Hundley this weekend. I didn’t write about Hundley because he’s an obvious play, but do feel free to use him with confidence.
I avoided writing about Hundley and also refrained from any more late night stories of mine. I received some interesting comments on my night of fun and I apologize for any emotional or mental scarring that happened because of it. Hopefully with these rankings you can win yourself enough money to pay for the therapy that you now so badly need after reading KayDreaming.
1. JT Barrett, Ohio State – Barrett has been off the charts great in the last three games with 14 passing TDs to just one INT. He has thrown for 909 yards and has even added 159 yards on the ground. Against Rutgers, I’m not sure there’s a safer bet for 25-30 fantasy points. The Rutgers pass defense is deceptively bad as they’ve really only played two good passing teams out of six. And in those two games (Penn State and Washington State) they gave up 841 yards and five passing TDs.
2. Gunner Kiel, Cincinnati – SMU’s pass defense isn’t good and Kiel has more than enough targets to rely on in this game to put up big numbers. Against similarly bad teams in 2014 (Miami Ohio, and Toledo), Kiel has thrown for 10 TDs and 689 yards. He even had a big game on the road against Ohio State throwing for over 300 yards and four TDs. The only thing holding Kiel back is his health, but he finished last week’s game strong.
3. Darrell Garretson, Utah State – Garretson has come on very strong once getting the majority of snaps for the Aggies. He has put up 60 fantasy points in his last two contests and Colorado State is as good if not a better matchup than Air Force or BYU. He has a legitimate number one target in Sharp to throw to and is going to be relied on heavily to win this game. Now, he doesn’t run like Keeton did, but he will pass for a high rate as three of his last four games ended with a 68% completion percentage or better.
4. Justin Holman, UCF – Holman is another guy coming off his best passing game of the season last week. He threw 51 times for 326 yards and two TDs/INTs. It was nice to see the Golden Knights throw it up so much, but I’m not sure we’ll see more than 30 attempts in this one for Holman. I like the price and the matchup as I don’t think Tulane’s pass defense is that great, but if UCF gets up early they could just milk the clock. I don’t think UCF is at that point yet where that happens and worst case we get 250 yards passing and two TDs through the air for Holman.
5. Everett Golson, Notre Dame – Golson had a huge game against UNC throwing for 300 yards and three TDs. He also added 71 rushing yards. I think this kind of game isn’t out of the realm of possibilities when he goes down to Tallahassee. FSU has struggled against the pass giving up big games to Clemson and NC State and letting an inexperienced Syracuse QB throw for 250 yards. Golson has much more talent than any of those three QBs and has a legit receiver in Fuller to help him out.
6. Kenny Hill, Texas A&M – A GPP play at this point, Kenny “Just Kinda” Trill gets a matchup against Alabama that he could struggle with. He could also pull a Johnny Football and be great against them though. This offensive system has given Alabama fits in the last few years. As bad as Hill has played in the last few weeks, he’s still putting up fantasy points as he has thrown for six TDs and added 766 yards through the air. It’s almost a lock that Hill throws 45-50 times in this high scoring game, so why not take a flier on him?
7. Jake Waters, Kansas State – Having Waters on your team this week is going to be a very good thing. He faces an Oklahoma defense that is bad against the pass. They’ve given up 300+ passing yards in each of the last three and one of those teams was Texas. Waters is a prime spot to capitalize on the matchup coming off his best passing game (24-31, 290 yards, 4 TDs) in 2014. He’ll likely be the key hog in the ground game as well as he tries to add to his seven rushing TDs. Swoopes from Texas just ran for 50 yards on Oklahoma on 11 carries, which is great news for Waters.
8. Tyrone Swoopes, Texas – Swoopes had an unbelievable game against Oklahoma last week and should build on that game against Iowa State. I discussed my disliking for Texas running backs in Kaydreaming, so I have to like Swoopes right? Yep! He has 90 rushing yards in the last two games and we’ve seen running QBs have success against the Cyclones. Jake Waters ran for two TDs and 138 yards when he went to Iowa City and faced them. I think Swoopes is a better passer outside the pocket and he should be able to get there the way the Cyclones defense is.
1. Javorius “Buck” Allen, USC – Buck Allen is set to go off again Saturday when he faces off against Colorado. Before getting into Allen’s numbers, let’s chat how bad the Colorado run defense is. They’ve allowed a five-yard per carry average in 2014 with 11 rushing TDs allowed in six games. They’ve even let mediocre run teams like Hawaii and Cal run for over four yards per carry. Now, they get to face off against Allen, a guy coming off his best game in 2014. Against Arizona he ran for 205 yards on 26 carries and scored three times. He’s also a PPR monster with 22 catches in his last four games. He’s going to run you a high price tag, but he feels like a Melvin Gordon lock this weekend.
2. Devon Johnson, Marshall – Johnson has been a complete badass for Marshall and fantasy owners this season. He has a TD in every game this season (11 total) and has rushed for 100+ yards in five of six games. He has six of those 11 rushing TDs in the last two games even while Rakeem Cato has been very good. Against Florida International I easily see another 100+ rushing yard game and potential for 2-3 TDs.
3. Nick Chubb, UGA – I warned folks of Missouri’s rush defense last week, but it didn’t seem to matter as it’s tough not to put up 143 rushing yards when you run it 38 times. Chubb is likely to get the same amount of usage against Arkansas with Gurley, Marshall, and Michel all likely out. It’s gotten so bad that J.J. Green has moved from safety back to running back. Arkansas has faired well against the run, but has struggled in the past against TAMU and Auburn. Now, I’m not thrilled with this matchup, but at this price and the likelihood of 30+ carries you have to like Chubb.
4. Paul Perkins, UCLA – Perkins has been a pleasant surprise for fantasy players this season as he’s just three yards away from five straight 100 yard rushing games. His inability to get in the end zone hurts him, but against Cal he could easily break a few runs and score some points. I think pairing Perkins with Hundley is certainly possible and a great way to keep yourself in the clear in cash games. The only way Hundley doesn’t go off is if Perkins vultures a TD or two. Worst case, Hundley goes off and Perkins still goes for 125-150 yards and a TD.
5. Rushel Shell, West Virginia – Shell had yet another 100+ yard game and continues to see most of the carries in this offense. He has now rushed 20+ times in three of the last four games and the Mountaineers are 3-1. He has a TD in five straight games and has two catches or more in every game this season. It’s hard not to like Shell especially with his matchup against Baylor, a game that should see 70+ points. Baylor struggled with both TCU and Texas in their last two games and has given up eight rushing TDs in the last four games.
6. Royce Freeman, Oregon – Freeman is now the main back in this dynamic offense and they finally looked good on the ground. His yardage totals haven’t been bad in the last three weeks (121, 85, and 75), but his lack of TDs was killing him. He scored twice against UCLA, so let’s hope he’s about to get on a tear. He’s a big running back, so it’s no surprise he’s the goal line back for the Ducks. With the offensive line getting healthier for Oregon, Freeman should see better production. Washington a 4.65-yard per carry average to Stanford two games ago.
7. Kevin Parks, Virginia – It pains me to say this as a Virginia Tech fan, but I think Parks is worthy of some usage this weekend. He’s going to be a little under the radar as he has struggle most of this season, but finally some a large amount of carries last week and really produced with them. He ran 29 times for 169 yards and one TD. He only has 52 carries in his last three games (74 in his last four), so there is some risk to this play. Duke ranks 101st in rushing yards allowed per game in 2014. They’ve given up 200+ rushing yards in each of their last four games (Kansas, Tulane, Miami, and Georgia Tech).
8. Dee Hart, Colorado State – This play is a total boom or bust one as the matchup against the Utah State run defense isn’t good at all, but Hart can be such a dynamic player. The Aggies defense is averaging less than three yards allowed per carry in 2014. Hart though has rushed for 100+ yards in two of the last three games on 10 and 11 carries. He finally got a full load against Nevada and rushed 23 times for 90 yards and a TD. If Treyous Jarrells is out again against Utah State then Hart’s stock has to go up.
1. Antwan Goodley, Baylor – Against a good defense in TCU, Goodley went for almost 40 fantasy points scoring two TDs and recording eight catches. He was the clear number one target for Petty. The good thing for us is that Petty came back strong off a tough game against Texas to throw for a billion yards. This is great news for Gooldey as he can’t go unless Petty goes. Since returning from injury, he has 18 catches, three TDs and two games of 100+ receiving yards. West Virginia is a very good matchup for the Bears as they’ve struggled against good passing attacks like Alabama, Texas Tech, and even Maryland.
2. Jordan Payton, UCLA – Cal’s defense is putrid against the pass and it shows with their 128th ranking. They’ve given up 21 passing TDs in the last four games and over a 70% completion percentage in two straight games. Those are ridiculous numbers, which can only mean one thing for UCLA’s passing attack: lots of points. Payton is the number one target for Hundley, averaging six catches, 90 yards and just under one TD per game.
3. John Harris, Texas – Harris had his breakout game of 2014 against Oklahoma as did Tyrone Swoopes. Swoopes threw for over 300 passing yards for the first time and that’s great news for Harris. He struggled against Baylor two weeks ago, but showed he is still Swoopes’ number one receiver. He has a TD in every game but one on the season. While he isn’t likely to top 100 yards consistently, this week would be the game he could do it. Iowa State is a bad defensive team that is susceptible to big games from any position.
4. Josh Reynolds/Malcome Kennedy, Texas A&M – If you like Kenny Hill this weekend then you must like his top two receivers. Josh Reynolds has been great while Kennedy has been back and now he’s looking to return this week. Kennedy started the season with a bang catching 24 passes in his first three games. He has gone for double digits points in every game this season. Reynolds on the other hand has a TD in five straight games and is averaging just under 20 fantasy points per game. He has 13 catches for 140 yards in his last two games.
5. Hunter Sharp/Rashard Higgins, Utah State/Colorado State– I joined these two together because they both play in the same game and I think both are worthy of their high price tag. First, let’s talk Sharp. Sharp has been great in 2014 with four straight games of 130+ yards and a TD in three straight. The loss of Chuckie Keeton has not affected him. In those two games, he has a line of 17/337/3.
Rashard Higgins has come on the scene hot. A few weeks ago I put him in my top three and he blew up. He scored four TDs against Tulsa on six catches. He has had a great game log though, so it’s not some random hot streak. He has 140+ receiving yards in four of the last five games and a TD in each of the last four. The matchup for both these receivers is great as these two defenses rank 89th and 90th in passing yards allowed per game.
6. William Fuller, Notre Dame – Fuller has developed into a legitimate stud receiver in fantasy sports right now and the only thing that’s holding me back from ranking him higher is my constant talk of him. He is easily one of the top plays of the week, but his price is going to be a littler higher than some folks or he doesn’t have the ceiling as others (Sharp/Higgins). Fuller went for 7/133/2 against North Carolina last week and I’m not scared of this Florida State defense this week. Clemson and North Carolina State both threw for over 300 yards against them while Syracuse threw for over 250.
7. Tyler Lockett, Kansas State – Lockett is coming off a great game against Texas Tech, catching 12 passes for 125 yards and two TDs. Now, he gets another bad passing defense when he faces off against Oklahoma. The Sooners have given up three straight 300-yard passers and Lockett is the main receiver for Waters. He even has the ability to run back a TD on special teams like he did against UTEP two games ago.
8. Michael Thomas, Ohio State – Thomas was great in his first week as the number one receiver on the depth chart and I expect that to continue against Rutgers. I’ve already discussed Rutgers’ pass defense, so let’s chat Thomas. Thomas is a big play threat and is likely to only end with 4-5 catches. What he’s great at though is finding the end zone. He has five TDs on the season and even had a 6/98/1 game against Virginia Tech. I love this matchup and his price on most sites Saturday.
1. Gerald Christian, Louisville – There’s one thing that can be said for Christian; he’s consistent. The guy has yet to put up under five fantasy points in a game and has really hovered around that 5-8 point range in 2014. He does have big game potential as we saw him go for double digits twice to start the season. He had four catches last week and seemed to see more targets and is min price on most sites. It’s tough not to throw him on at least a few times with his safeness.
2. Pharoah Brown, Oregon – Brown is coming off his best game of the season catching five passes for 84 yards and one TD. He has been a solid part of this offense with Marshall and other receivers struggling in 2014. Oregon is a favorite against Washington in a game that should result in at least five TDs for the Ducks. You have to like those chances for Brown as he already has three TDs.
3. Tyler Kroft, Rutgers – Kroft has been nonexistent at times, but he’s close to min price on most sites and Rutgers is going to have to throw the ball to keep up with Ohio State. It also helps that star running back, Paul James, is going to continue to be out. He had three catches for 42 yards in his last game and could catch his first TD Saturday.