This past weekend was one of the toughest I have had to endure as a college football fan. I saw my fantasy teams do so well only to be hit by the injury bug. Antwan Goodley and Jeremy Johnson prevented me from cashing and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. As frustrating as it is, it’s part of what fantasy football is.
I like to think of these injuries though as a good sign. I’m staying positive and using my inner baseball mind to bring good karma to these plays. When I played baseball we used to joke that for every line drive or hard hit ball that was caught, there would be a bloop, seeing-eye single, duck fart, lacrosse thrown, broken bat hit to make up for it. The point of this thinking is that they are all thought of as the same. Nobody cares that you won or lost because of an injury, they only care about the end result. With that said, let’s take a look into this weekend.
College Football Week 10 has rolled into town and it’s a very intriguing one to me. There are a lot of regional and in-state rivalries going down and should provide for exciting games and fantasy outputs. Some of the rivalries I’m avoiding altogether (Michigan/MSU) while others I don’t mind grabbing some players from (FSU/Miami).
One of the other biggest rivalries on the board Saturday is the Florida/UGA game (or the UGA/Florida game depending on who you are talking to) and I’ll actuallybe in attendance for that one. It should feature the return of Todd Gurley against a Florida defense that is beat up and injured beyond belief. Besides Gurley the only thing UGA fans have to look forward to Saturday is the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party’”.
There are 27 games on tap and I have a feeling players will be higher owned than usual. Because of this, I’m going to give you my top 10 players to consider at each position and include some “off the wall” choices to help separate yourself from the crowd.
**DraftKings pricing on all selections
1. B.J. Denker Arizona $7,250– Denker had a huge game for me last week when Arizona faced Colorado. Well, this week’s matchup is just as nice when Denker faces off against California. Cal has given up 44 points per game and the best their defense has done is hold Portland State to 30 points. For those that don’t know Denker, he averages between 10 and 15 carries per game and has gone for 27+ fantasy points in 4 of his last 5 games. Last game he had a season high 192 rushing yards on 15 carries. He only scored 1 touchdown and still put up 35 points against Colorado. Start him with confidence against Cal.
2. Davis Webb Texas Tech $7,250– Webb is a safe 20 point play with a chance for 35 points on Saturday. The more I look at him, the more I like him. He has gone for 21, 30, and 30 in his last 3 starts. He has thrown 50+ times in each of those games and has thrown for at least 385 yards in each of those games. I really feel that against Oklahoma State he is a safe call for 25-28 points. Last weekend’s game was really his worst-case scenario due to -30 yards rushing and 2 interceptions. If Webb can connect for a few long TDs to combat a goalline vulture or two I think 30+ points is possible.
3. Gary Nova or Chas Dodd Rutgers $4,500/$2,500– I’m not sure what Gary Nova has been doing in the last two weeks, but it has caused there to be a QB battle. Chas Dodd replaced Nova last weekend and although only threw for 78 yards, his completion percentage was high as he was 11 for 15. Why do I insist upon one of these players as a top QB option this week? Well, Temple has averaged 31 points allowed per game and is coming off a game where they gave up 59 points to SMU. In this game Garrett Gilbert threw for 538 yards and 4 TDs. Whoever starts at QB for Rutgers this weekend will be a great play.
4. Maxwell Smith Kentucky $4,000– Smith played most of the game last weekend against Mississippi State and only managed 10 fantasy points. So, why am I recommending Smith this weekend? Well, Smith goes up against Alabama State that is giving up 25 points per game against FCS teams. Most notably, ASU has given up eye-popping numbers to QBs like 533 yards and 4 TDs against Prairie View A&M. On the season, ASU has given up 19 touchdowns in 8 games. Kentucky will put up a lot of points against them just like they did against Miami (OH) a game in which Smith put up 27 fantasy points.
5. Connor Shaw South Carolina $5,500– Shaw has to be one of the toughest players in college football right now. Within the last month he has endured an injury to his knee and throwing shoulder and has still put up big numbers. He is a safe play for 19 fantasy points and has put up at least that much in 6 of his last 7 games. The last great offense that Mississippi State has faced was LSU and they put up 59 points on them. I’m not saying Shaw is going to lead them to 50+ points, but I’d be surprised if the Gamecocks didn’t score 35 Saturday.
6. P.J. Walker Temple $5,250– Walker is coming off a career game in which he threw for 4 TDs and ran for another against SMU. Rutgers is a prime matchup for a QB that is feeling confident due to their 30 points allowed per game and their vulnerability to the pass. In Rutgers’ last game, Houston threw for 400 yards and 5 TDs. If that doesn’t get your juices flowing then nothing else will. Walker also added 92 yards on the ground last week.
7. Jared Goff California $3,500– Goff played much better last weekend and should have solidified his status for this weekend against Arizona. For almost minimum price on DraftKings, I’m really digging Goff. He went for 20 fantasy points against Washington, and has been a solid fantasy QB against bad defenses. He struggled against Oregon State, Oregon, and UCLA who are all top 35 caliber teams. If you look at his earlier performances this season he has gone for 20+ points in 5 of 8 games this season. There’s no reason why Goff can’t do that against an Arizona team who is averaging 28 points allowed per game in their last 4 games.
8. Nick Marshall Auburn $7,500– Marshall was hurt early in last week’s game against FAU and still put up just under 14 fantasy points. He is a dual threat QB that has been great in his last two full games. He went for 41 points against Texas A&M and 31 points against Ole Miss. Arkansas is playing some bad football lately, and has been outscored 132-17 in their last 3 games. They have allowed 9 TDs through the air to Tyler Murphy, Connor Shaw, and A.J. McCarron who are not as physically gifted as Marshall is.
9. Braxton Miller Ohio State $8,250– Miller has been jus as good as I thought he would be in his last 2 games going for 40 and 30 in those 2 starts. He has 7 TDs to 0 turnovers in his those games and has made everyone forget about Kenny Guiton. Against Purdue and their defense that is averaging 34 points per game, I know Ohio State will go for close to 50 points Saturday. I really don’t think Miller does damage through the air against them, but if you’re feeling a big day from Miller’s legs then this is a great pick. Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois put up 4 TDs against Purdue and NIU wasn’t even trying hard in the fourth quarter.
10. Clint Chelf Oklahoma State $3,750– Chelf should be the guy starting, but make sure to confirm before finalizing your lineup. He wasn’t that impressive against Iowa State, but did the trick getting almost 15 fantasy points while only throwing for 78 yards. He should do much better against TTU who has given up 100 points in their last 3 games and is reeling after their first loss of the season.
1. Carlos Hyde Ohio State $7,000– Hyde is averaging 137 yards a game in conference and I easily see him doing that again this weekend against Purdue. I said I wasn’ that fond of Braxton Miller, but I do think that OSU scores 50+, so who does the damage? I’m usually not fond of bold predictions (because I never get them right), but I think Hyde goes for 125+ and 3 TDs. Purdue gives up 34 points a game and they haven’t been THAT bad against the pass this season. Hmmmm.
2. Ameer Abdullah Nebraska $7,500– Anyone upset with Abdullah’s game last weekend? He didn’t score any touchdowns, but ran for 165 and had 3 catches. Even with Taylor Martinez back AA went for 22 fantasy points. I see a much day out of him due to a touchdown or two against Northwestern. One of the most comparable offenses to Nebraska is Ohio State. Both have running QBs and both have dynamic RBs with average talent out at WR. Well, against Northwestern, Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde ran for 168 yards and 3 TDs on 26 carries.
3. Todd Gurley Georgia $6,250– Gurley practiced Monday and has me all jacked up for that Florida/Georgia game. Gurley has had plenty of time to come back from that ankle injury and really has been great this season. He is averaging 112 yards a game and had 73 yards on 8 carries against LSU before being hurt in the first half. Florida’s defense is starting to become overrated just because of how thin they are now and it showed against Missouri where they gave up 136 yards to Henry Josey and 205 yards total on the ground.
4. Kelvin Taylor Florida $2,500– Staying within that Florida/Geogia game, I really like Kelvin Taylor as a minimum priced player Saturday. UGA has given up 11 TDs on the ground in their last four games and can be burned on the ground. If you take Taylor’s last two games he has run for 126 yards and 1 TD on 22 carries. I could really see something like that against Georgia knowing that he should get most of the carries from Florida RBs.
5. Paul Perkins UCLA $3,500– When in doubt, pick a UCLA player this weekend. That’s not really my motto, but it sounds good after seeing how bad Colorado is on defense. They have given up 40+ points in all 4 of their 4 Pac 12 games this season and there is no way UCLA doesn’t do so on Saturday. Perkins had his best game on the ground last week at Oregon running for 93 yards on 22 carries. Remember, this is the same Colorado defense that gave up 4 rushing TDs to Ka’Deem Carey last weekend. As long as Perkins gets the start against Colorado Perkins should be in for a great day.
6. Tre Mason Auburn $7,000– Mason is a guy that I consider to be one of the safest guys to use this weekend as he has scored a TD in 5 straight games. When Auburn plays in a tighter game, Mason has played much better just because he has gotten more touches. Against Arkansas’ defense that has given up 52 points in two straight games, Mason will be used to get ahead early and then will find himself on the bench in the second half. Mason should be good for 100 yards and a TD, but could be primed for a lot more if Arkansas can keep it close.
7. David Cobb Minnesota $4,500– Cobb is a mid-range guy who has been racking up the yards lately rushing for 241 rushing yards in his last two games. Interestingly enough, since Minnesota has spent a full week gameplanning for their offense with Coach Kill not on the field, Cobb has garnered 51 carries. Those are big numbers and against Indiana’s defense Cobb is a serious play. Minnesota doesn’t pose a threat through the air, so the only player that can vulture TDs from Cobb is Leidner who isn’t getting a whole lot of run right now.
8. Mike Davis South Carolina $7,250– Well, Mike Davis had a 23 fantasy point night against Missouri last week, but it wasn’t a usual 20 point game for him. He only ran for 51 yards, but had 10 catches. Davis has been consistent putting up 20+ points in every game this season, so why is he this low? Well, at this price I just like Abdullah and Hyde much better. With Shaw banged up, there is a high likelihood of Davis getting 20+ carries, but Shaw has been better through the air recently. The emergence of Bruce Ellington as a more consistent threat certainly doesn’t help Davis.
9. Josh Ferguson Illinois $4,500– Ferguson is a player that should be primed for a bounce back game against Penn State Saturday. He struggled in his last two games, but to be fair MSU is a top defense and Wisconsin is no slouch either. Early this season Penn State was a respected defense, but not anymore. They have given up 63, 43, and 44 points in their last three games all to offenses similar to Illinois’ spread attack. Ferguson is the biggest threat for the Fighting Illini and I can see him easily getting 150 total yards against Penn State.
10. Bill Belton Penn State $3,750– Belton has been getting big carry numbers ever since eclipsing Zach Zwinak on the depth chart. He has 49 carries in his last two games and has run fairly well against two solid defenses. Now, he faces Illinois who has given up 12 rushing TDs in their last 3 games (all against Big Ten teams). That’s an astonishing number and what’s even more astonishing is the kind of numbers Illinois is giving up to #1 RBs in those three games: Langford 22/104/2, Gordon 17/142/3, and 20/225/2.
1. Mike Evans Texas A&M $8,000– At the WR position this weekend, there aren’t many great picks to choose from. The position feels fairly bare in comparison to the past few weeks, so this isn’t the week to fade Mike Evans for someone at or around the same price. His last four games have been great, and he has broken up the “every other game” theory with his 24.7 point performance last week. Against UTEP I suspect Johnny Football will throw Evans the ball early and often with nobody out there able to stop his deadly combination of size and speed.
2. Allen Robinson Penn State $7,750– Robinson’s last three games are pretty great as he went for 38, 12, and 45 points against Ohio State, Michigan, and Indiana. This week against Illinois he’s going to continue to beast and should put up 7+ catches like he has done in 5 of 7 games this season. In each of those games he has racked up 129 yards or more and has a TD in each as well due to his big play ability.
3. Tyler Lockett Kansas State $5,750– Lockett is a semi-risky play this weekend due to the fact that he has put up major duds in a few games this season. He has also been unstoppable in games against West Virginia and Texas in two of the last three weeks. He has been the only WR that has been successful with KSU’s 2 QB situation. Iowa State’s defense is rough and has given up 40 points per game this season, so this game seems more like a boom to me than a bust.
4. Jared Abbrederis Wisconsin $5,750– If you want a safer play at the same price as Lockett then Abbre is your guy. He has gone for double digits in each game this season while going for 20+ in 4 of 7 games on the season. Iowa’s defense is pretty decent, but will be focused on stopping Melvin Gordon and company. Ohio State tried doing the same thing (and did a nice job stopping their running game) and it resulted in a 10/207/1 game from Abbre.
5. Paul Richardson Colorado $6,500– Richardson is the clear #1 target for the Colorado QB. Richardson has 15 of Sefo Liufau’s 31 completions. In the two games that Richardson has had this new QB he averaged 7.5/127/1. Those are great numbers and although they are facing UCLA, Richardson should be able to hit value with some late catches just like he did against Arizona last weekend.
6. Rashad Greene FSU $6,750– I was pretty high on Rashad Greene last weekend and with good reason. He put up a very nice 8/137/1 game against NC State. With FSU clicking on all cylinders and Winston putting the ball in the air more, Greene has become a big WR play. In his last two games, Greene has 16 catches, 283 yards, and 3 TDs. Miami’s defense is highly rated, but has given up 395 yards and 302 yards passing to UNC and Wake Forest in the last two weeks. What do you think Winston is going to do Saturday night?
7. Jalen Fitzpatrick Temple $2,500– My first true WR value play is Fitzpatrick from Temple. He isn’t a high volume catch guy, but has 4 TDs in their 8 games this season with 3 coming in their last 4 games. He had a big game against Army two weeks ago going for 4/128/1. He has been in double digits in 5 straight games and poses as a nice upside play going up against Rutgers.
8. Bruce Ellington South Carolina $5,250– When I have had Ellington on my lists I have always called him a boom or bust play. Well, in the last three weeks you have seen what I mean. His point totals for those 3 games are 38, 27, and 1. Luckily for us, the two great games occurred in the last two weeks and it looks like Connor Shaw has trust in him. His 4 TDs in his last two games are very nice to see going up against Mississippi State Saturday.
9. Devin Street Pittsburgh $6,500– Street and Boyd have been two of the best WR combinations this season, but Street has been more consistent as of late. Even against a tough VT defense, Street ended with over 100 yards receiving. He has a TD in 3 of the last four games and when he goes up against Georgia Tech Saturday, I expect Tom Savage to come back to life. UVA’s struggling QB threw for 376 yards against GT last week. The Yellow Jackets have become more susceptible to the pass lately giving up 244 yards passing to BYU and 324 yards to Miami.
10. Chris Harper California $6,000– Harper is on this list because Arizona’s defense can be beat with the long ball and Harper is the best deep threat Cal has. I like Goff this weekend because they throw it so much and subsequently I like Harper for the same reason. He has been better lately just missing 100 yards receiving by 2 and 7 yards in his last two games. I don’t mind this pick at all because there is a chance he has another huge game like he did against WSU when he had 14 catches for 231 yards and 1 TD. He also had another 40+ point performance against Northwestern when he posted a stat line of 11/148/2 in week 1.
1. Jace Amaro Texas Tech $6,500– Jace Amaro is a beast. That is all.
2. Matt Lacosse Illinois $2,500– Lacosse is a shot in the dark here with not many minimum priced TEs with solid numbers. If you’re going to go this cheap then why not go with a guy that has TDs in two of his last three games (3 during that time). Penn State has given up 43+ in three straight games, so why not take this chance if $2,500 TEs are your thing?
3. Jacob Pederson Wisconsin $2,750– Pederson is an option for those who feel like breaking open the bank and spending $2,750. In his last 4 games, he has caught at least 3 passes to go along with 30 yards receiving. In two of those games, he added a TD and has been targeted in the red zone plenty since returning from injury two weeks ago.
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