Let me tell you about the best kept secret in town. Think about fantasy NFL, but with players that aren’t getting a paycheck, just straight cash homie. In a world where it is encouraged to run up the score and teams win by 50 points; there is a fantasy sport that is untapped.
Fantasy college football had a giant party last weekend and now they are hung over. Everyone’s cure for it is fantasy NFL and the excitement of huge GPP tournaments where you could wake up to thousands of dollars in your account. For me though, it’s a lot like the lottery. I like to tell people that I’m fine with losing the Megaball and the hundreds of millions to go along with it as long as I can win the Fantasy 5 and the much smaller, but lucrative prize. Fantasy college football has a fan base that is much smaller than fantasy NFL and with that your chances of winning increase.
Obviously stepping onto the dance floor doesn’t guarantee you with the hottest girl in school, but it is a start. Think of this article as the dance moves that impress everyone and get you that slow dance or twerking, if you’re into that kind of thing, with the prom queen.
Just like in actual college football, it all starts with quarterback play. On Draftkings you’re given two spots and although there is no right way to pick those two, there is definitely a wrong way. There are always cheap plays that will do great in their matchups, so there is no reason to use up to $20,000 and almost half of your salary cap on this position. Find a value play and pair it up with a stud, or if you’re feeling extra bold go with two value plays and beef up your RB/WR positions.
Top 5 Studs:
1. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville $8,750: Bridgewater is one of the leading candidates in the race to be the first overall pick next season and there’s a good reason why. The guy is a machine. Just think of the old ESPN Albert Pujols commercial. Last Sunday against Ohio, Bridgewater threw for 355 yards on 23 of 28 passing. Add those five touchdowns to go with it and you could say he had a decent day. This week against Eastern Kentucky he’s a lock to play great and throw for three touchdowns in our eyes. The question is will he stay in the game long enough to throw for five?
2. Johnny Football, Texas A&M $10,000: Yes, I know his name isn’t technically Johnny Football, but if he can do whatever he wants than I’m going to. This guy had quite the exciting half of football against Rice. Not only did he throw half of his passes for touchdowns (6 for 8 passing, 3 TDs), but he got pulled because of a taunting penalty. Against Sam Houston State, it’s a sure thing that Texas A&M blows them out, but I don’t think that limits Football’s potential. Whether Kevin Sumlin likes it or not, he hasn’t even played in a full half yet. Sumlin will need to play his star QB for at least the first few drives into the third quarter.
3. C.J Brown, Maryland $7,000: Brown hadn’t played since the 2011 season, but if you watched him play against Florida International last Saturday you would have never known. He passed for over 280 yards and threw for three touchdowns while also running for 105 yards and another two touchdowns. The best part about this play is whom Brown goes against Saturday. Maryland plays Old Dominion and although I have not personally scouted them, I have twitter intel from a follower that ODU’s defense is compared to a “thin wet paper bag.” Yes, my followers are brutally honest, but I love that Maryland putting up another 40-point performance shouldn’t be too difficult.
4. Marcus Mariota, Oregon $9,750: Mariota was fairly accurate last week completing just over 57% of his passes, but it was his rushing numbers that puts him on this list. He ran five times for 113 yards and two touchdowns to go along with one passing touchdown. It’s this kind of rushing performance by your QB that could take you right to the top of the GPP you’re playing. Virginia played in a low scoring game last weekend against BYU, but there is no way that happens against this dynamic Oregon offense.
5. Sean Mannion, Oregon State $6,750: Mannion had a tough time holding onto his job last season, but after his performance against Eastern Washington (don’t laugh, they beat the Beavers) I think he’ll hold onto for a little while longer. He is more of a value option as he won’t cost you close to max salary, but his ability has made me put him in the stud category. Mannion threw for over 400 yards and three touchdowns in the season opener. This weekend he plays Hawaii and points will be put up faster than your fantasy scoreboard can update. The Beavers defense might as well be a bunch of those dummy bags that you see in practice. This bodes well for everyone on the Oregon State offense, as they’ll have to keep up from getting embarrassed for another loss.
Top 5 Value Plays:
1. Angel Santiago, Army $6,750: Ok, so I know we’re talking quarterbacks here, but the best part about Santiago’s game is his running ability and the system that he is in. Every year Army will be a top five running team and it’s not because they have unbelievable talent in the backfield. Their commitment to running the football is only outdone by that stage five clinger from last summer. The Black Knights will run it until the other team can stop them and then run some more! This past weekend against Nichols State, Santiago ran for over 100 yards and recorded three rushing touchdowns and one through the air. Santiago gets to display his talents this week against Ball State and I’m not intimidated one bit.
2. B.J. Denker, Arizona $4,000: Denker wasn’t tested at all last weekend and his 20 fantasy points on DraftKings is only the floor of what he can do when pushed for a full game. Against Northern Arizona he was accurate (9 for 13 passing with one touchdown) and impressive on the ground rushing for 71 yards and one touchown. He’s going to get a good number of carries in Rich Rod’s spread offense and against UNLV he’ll see more playing time than in week 1. This is the kind of play that not only saves you cap space, but also leads you to a 30 point play.
3. Connor Wood, Colorado $4,250: Colorado is not afraid to throw the football and that was evident last week against in-state rival Colorado State. Wood threw 46 times completing 33 of them for 400 yards and three touchdowns. Against Central Arkansas there’s no reason to think he won’t have his way with them and because of the fact Colorado is a weaker Pac-12 team, I see this one being (insert Lee Corso voice here) closer than the experts think .
4. Christian Hackenberg, Penn State $5,750: This freshman QB impressed many with a solid neutral site victory over Syracuse last week and really caught a groove in the second half. Penn State has a great wide out in Allen Robinson and he will get to play a full game against Eastern Michigan. The rushing game wasn’t impressive against Syracuse, so I’m thinking that the passing game will remain the reason why they win games for now. Hackenberg is sure to throw for upwards of 300 yards and three touchdowns against this MAC opponent.
5.Munchie Legaux, Cincinnati $2,500: Like picking up a dirty dancing girl at the club, Legaux is a risky choice. You never know what exactly you’re going to get, but there’s a lot of potential and it might be a night you’ll never want to forget. He has big potential passing and on the ground. Last weekend he only threw for one touchdown, but he also ran for 55 yards and another touchdown. Those aren’t outstanding numbers, but if you saw what Southern Illinois did to Cincinnati’s opponent this weekend (Illinios) you’d see why I’m excited about the play. The Salukis passed for 341 yards against Illinois, so there is massive potential for a guy like Legaux.
Fantasy NFL and college football are both point per reception, but there isn’t as much of a focus on it as there is in the NFL. Relying on a college running back to get 5+ receptions is just not smart. With the scoring on DraftKings, there is a bonus for 100+ rushing yards and that is the end goal. This bonus means that even if your back doesn’t score a touchdown, it’s still not a waste of a play. This week there are many great running backs to choose from, so in your GPPs you might want to run with the one you think will be the least owned.
Top 5 Studs:
1. James White/Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin $6,000/$7,000: Wisconsin seems to be the same team of old. They will run the ball under center and just kill you with their two-headed monster. What’s not to love about two running backs that averaged over 11+ yards per carry last week and each scored a touchdown? I’ll tell you what’s not love; How about the fact that I just want one of these talents to do all of the damage and the backup sits in the corner not making a peep?! I’ve never considered doing something as insane as what I’m going to tell you, but this is the week to do it: use both White AND Gordon and guarantee yourself 250 yards and 2 TDS at the very worst. Now, this is more of a 50/50 thought as taking the chance on just one of these studs is worth it for a GPP. Against Tennessee Tech, there is no reason why these two backs can’t combine to do that much damage.
2. Jeff Scott, Ole Miss $5,750: You must think I’m crazy to put an Ole Miss running back as one of the best plays of the week. As odd as it seems though, I am fully conscious and can make valid reasons as to why he is ranked this high. For one, the guy had a stellar performance last week against Vanderbilt. In one of the most exciting games of the week, Scott ran for 138 yards on only 12 carries and also added four catches for 25 yards. The biggest and best stat to show why Scott is ranked this high is that SE Missouri State (Ole Miss’ opponent Saturday) gave up 309 yards rushing last week to SE Lousiana! If you’re wondering if that’s where Bobby Boucher became a household name then you’re missing the point. Ole Miss loves to pass the ball, and even run it with Bo Wallace, their QB, but they will want to keep Wallace safe and hand it off a few more times to Scott.
3. Jordan Hall, Ohio State $4,750: It is in my blood to hate all things Ohio State as I’m a fan of that team up north, but I can’t hate what is a great play in Jordan Hall against San Diego State. Last week he made Carlos Hyde, the suspended former starting running back, sweat after running for over 150 yards and two touchdowns. SDSU played as bad as the score sounds giving up 40 points and 172 rushing yards to Eastern Illinois in the loss. This weekend I’ll be using my Hall pass and actually rooting for Ohio State to do something positive.
4. Tevin Coleman, Indiana $5,000: Indiana fans please pay attention to this next comment, as I’ll probably regret it once it’s blurted out. While watching the Indiana/Indiana State (I’m a degenerate, I know), I compared Coleman’s running style to Adrian Peterson. They have similarities in size, as Coleman is 6’1, 210 while Peterson is 6’1, 217, but they also have wheels for their above average stature. Coleman ran for 169 yards on 14 carries in that Indiana State game and capped off the night with two touchdowns. I will fully commit to this man crush as soon as the Navy game is over and he has another big night.
5. Storm Woods, Oregon State: Against Eastern Washington, Oregon State was electric through the air and this running back was a part of it. He not only rant he ball 16 times (for 68 yards and two touchdowns), but he also caught 8 passes (for 44 yards) out of the backfield. He is likely to see that kind of action again against Hawaii in what should be one of the highest scoring games of the night.
Top 5 Value Plays:
1. Rajion Neal, Tennessee $4,250: Neal is my top value play of the day. Think of him as your favorite handle of liquor that just was marked down to a crazy low price. Well, in this case Neal wasn’t marked down, but didn’t see much if any of an increase in his price after a stellar 141 yard, one touchdown performance on 16 carries. I see him playing the full game against a somewhat competitive Western Kentucky team that gave up 216 yards on the ground to Kentucky. This play means business and will be in every one of my lineups.
2. Jeremy Langford, Michigan State $3,500: The Spartans offense makes me rethink how exciting watching paint dry is and I mean that in the nicest way possible. I think I’d rather get blood taken for three straight hours than watch them on offense, but with a running back like Jeremy Langford there is hope. Langford had a slow, but solid game against Western Michigan last week. Langford replaced Le’Veon Bell nicely running for 94 yards and one touchdown against WMU. MSU faces South Florida who is coming off a game in which they gave up 53 points to McNeese State. If there is ever a time for MSU to score four touchdowns offensively than this is it and Langford will be the reason why.
3. Raymond Sanders, Kentucky $3,750: Sanders had himself a very good game last weekend when they lost to Western Kentucky, but didn’t have many fantasy points to show for it. This weekend I see that changing when Kentucky plays Miami (OH). He is averaging seven yards per carry (98 yards on 14 carries), and added three catches for 17 yards receiving. Sanders is a speedy 5’8 running back who has the talent to go big against the Redhawks who gave up 304 yards on the ground against Marshall.
4. Matt Jones, Florida $4,250: Jones finds himself as one of the riskiest dance partners at the prom, but he is the guy who could catapult you to a GPP victory. With him coming off a viral infection that has slowed him down for a month, he is likely to be owned by a small percentage. He obviously has the talent to be a Florida Gators running back because he won the spot in the offseason and last season he averaged over five yards per carry.
5. Corey Clement, Wisconsin $3,750: Yes, I just listed the third string running back as a value play, but it makes perfect sense when you consider the situation. Clement is only a good option if he makes your lineup fit perfectly. The upside is limited, but he does have a good chance at another 16 carries and a great YPC average. Last weekend against UMass, he ran for 101 yards and one touchdown. This was all if not most in the second half of that game and there’s no reason to think he won’t see at least another half of action going up against Tennessee Tech.
I like to think that the receiver position is where you spend the most and use most of your money on. These guys will be bringing in close to ten catches with 100+ yards and at least one touchdown on the GPP team winning lineups. If you don’t believe me then check it out for yourself Sunday morning. You’ll see everyone at the top will have great performance at their WR position. That is why these top five WR plays are so important.
Top 5 Studs:
1. Brandin Cooks, Oregon State $9,250: This article is just over halfway done and I’ve already talked about two offensive weapons for the Beavers. There’s no reason to keep talking about how a lot of points will be thrown around as I’ve already told you this enough. Just know this, Brandin Cooks is THE guy for Mannion as he holds onto his QB job. Last weekend he caught 13 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Those kinds of numbers mean big money and no whammy.
2. Allen Robinson, Penn State $6,750: Looking into this week’s action, I knew I wanted to plug Allen Robinson into my lineups and into this article. Hell, he had a great game against Syracuse posting a stat line of 7/133/1! Those numbers are great for any receiver, but when you see that he only played in the second half, you realize his potential is on the level of Cooks while spending $2,500 less. The ceiling is high and the floor is as well as Hackenberg clearly had the better half when Robinson was in the game.
3. Paul Richardson, Colorado $7,000: Richardson missed all of the 2012 season with a torn ACL and boy did he come back with a bang against Colorado State. On the second play of the game he connected with Wood for a big 82-yard touchdown. He ended the game catching ten passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns. I already love Wood as a play, and there’s no reason not to put his favorite receiver in your lineup if you feel the same way I do about Wood.
4. Stefon Diggs, Maryland $7,000: Some people might describe Diggs as a boom or bust play, but that’s fine to me. I’m looking for big time explosion out of my lineup as it’s the only way to win those big GPPs. Against Old Dominion, Diggs will have a big impact on the game as a deep ball threat. His QB, C.J. Brown threw great and now Diggs has a solid receiver threat on the other side to force coverage on the other side of the field. Diggs is going to be one of those plays that you wish you could pay only $7,000 for in a few weeks.
5. Mike Evans, Texas A&M $7,000: Johnny Football was 6 for 8 passing when he made his return to college football in the second half against Rice. Why am I telling you this? Because Evans was the recipient of two of those passes for touchdown. There is a clear connection between Evans and Football as these two were dynamic last year as well. The offense is going to put up big points against Sam Houston State, and because this game will clearly be a blowout we have him ranked high in the grand scheme of things, but not as high as the guys who will be in more competitive games.
Top 5 Value Plays:
1.Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss $2,500: I’m going to be honest. It took me ten minutes or so to find Treadwell’s price on DraftKings. I even thought that Ole Miss must not be playing, but I finally found him at a big time bargain price. Paying minimum for the safety blanket, which he clearly is if you watched Ole Miss play Vandy last week, is beyond bargain. It’s like DraftKings is handing out free points with this price. If you decide to go cheaper on the receiver side then Treadwell is your number one value option.
2. Davaris Daniels, Notre Dame $3,750: Going into week 2, Daniels has to be considered one of Notre Dame’s top receivers. He made two big plays last week as he recorded two touchdowns and faces an average secondary of Michigan that might be injury depleted again. This is a huge game for Notre Dame playing in the Big House in what will be their second to last game against each other for the time being.
3. Nelson Agholor, USC $2,500: Agholor was an odd play last week as he about hit value catching only two passes, butR for 35 yards and a touchdown. That kind of performance against Hawaii shouldn’t happen again as long as USC doesn’t run out the ball boy to play QB. Right now the two QB options for the Trojans aren’t the greatest, but they know to throw the ball to Marquise Lee and Agholor. When Lee is getting double teamed at the goal line, you’ll see Agholor getting most of the targets.
4. Shaq Roland, South Carolina $2,500: If you watched the UNC/South Carolina game last Thursday, you saw why Roland is on this list. Besides the fact that Roland is minimum price, he has great value in that the Gamecocks will have to throw more against UGA. Clemson showed that you can throw the football on their defense, and South Carolina won’t be draining the clock against this SEC power. Connor Shaw will have to be on his game, we think he will be, and he will have to do it through the air.
5. Damian Copeland, Louisville $4,500: Copeland was extremely effective against Ohio producing a stat line of 6/98/2. Bridgewater is no doubt going to have a great game against Eastern Kentucky, but will he throw to Copeland more than his other receivers? I wish Copeland was a cheaper option, but if you want to go against the grain and go mid range spending on this value play then you should see low ownership of Copeland Saturday.
I’m a firm believer in only a few things in life, but one of them is spending as little as possible on the tight end position in fantasy college football. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spent more than the minimum and got burned. The risk is too much when it comes to most tight ends on the board. There really isn’t much of a player pool that have enough game experience and stats for me to think otherwise. The way I go about it is pick my whole lineup and then leave tight end for last. If I have more than $2,500 available then great, but if not then so be it. You’ll see what I mean this weekend.
Top 3 Studs:
1. Connor Hamlett, Oregon State $4,500: Wow, another Beaver? The top tight ends are scarce, but this is no reach. He caught eight passes for 85 yards and a touchdown. This isn’t some fluke one game performance. Mannion will continue to look for him this season. You just have to see what kind of cap space you have left when looking at the tight end position.
2. Ted Bolser, Indiana $4,500: Bolser had an even more productive day that Hamlett did, but I feel there is slightly more risk in this play. Bolser did catch six passes with two of them resulting in touchdowns, but with Indiana not necessarily being a pass heavy team, we don’t know what to expect offensively when it comes to their tight end usage.
3. Jace Amaro, Texas Tech $4,500: Amaro only played one half in the season opener, but did end up catching three passes for 42 yards. This punch throwing tight end has potential every weekend, but is the kind of play that can really burn you. For his price, I’d much rather use Hamlett or Bolser, but using the mainstream play doesn’t usually result in a big win.
Top 3 Value Plays:
1. Arthur Kendrick, Kentucky $2,500: Kendrick caught three passes for 58 yards against Western Kentucky and that’s always a good thing to see out of your tight end. Catching a few passes isn’t impressive, but the yardage was there and Kentucky does run a spread offense. If I’m spending $2,500 on a tight end, Kendrick is probably my guy.
2. Jon Davis, Illinois $2,500: Davis was a co-starter going into last weekend’s game against Southern Illinois which is always scary, but coming out of the game he had the best day of the bunch. He only caught two passes, but one was for a touchdown. He’s the Illinois tight end I would be playing, and he’s an option for all as he saw meaningful snaps and is minimum priced.
3. Zach Swanson, Virginia $2,500: Swanson has only a few things going for him, but he does have more than most this weekend when it comes to the tight end position. For one, he is a known starter for the Cavalier offense. He was listed as first on the depth chart, and I saw him catch three passes for 21 yards against BYU. This weekend against Oregon, UVA will have to keep up with the Ducks’ high scoring offense by passing it more and Swanson should see more targets.
Well, that’s it for this weeks College Football DFS installment. If you think you want to take a shot at me, register for an account at DraftKings today and we’ll see you in the lobby. Up until kick-off (and even after the games begin) you can join in on the community discussion in the College Football DFS Thread for Week 2, here at LuDawgs.