This final college football article is my biggest article yet and I plan on giving you all the information you’ll need to help yourself cash the King of the Campus and the CFB Cash Bowl. I’ll be focusing on this action as one slate that way I cover players in both of these major tournaments on FanDuel and DraftKings. I have ranked the players as guys I love, hate, are risky, or are somewhere in between. Best of luck to you in your big tournaments this bowl season and thank you for being with me all season long. I can’t wait for 2015!
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State – If I’m paying up for quarterback then Prescott and Mariota are the two guys I’m going for. Prescott has struggled against teams who can rush the quarterback well, and in this matchup Georgia Tech just isn’t that kind of team. They ranked 110th in the regular season for sacks per game at 1.39. Even though GT is a ball control offense, they ranked 69th in passing yards per game and fared worse with 7.5 yards/attempt (95th). What has Prescott done this season? Well, he has ten straight games of 21 fantasy points or more and has gone for 32+ fantasy points six times. He has been average as of late, but that was against some tough matchups like Alabama, Ole Miss, and Arkansas. His one other game was Vanderbilt, a game in which he wasn’t challenged.
Josh Dobbs, Tennessee – Dobbs has made a case to be the starting quarterback when Tennessee opens up the 2015 season by the way he has played in 2014. He has 17 total TDs in the last six games with monster games against South Carolina and Kentucky. He had an average game against Vanderbilt to end the season, but still showed promise with almost 100 rushing yards and two TDs on the ground. Mitch Leidner had major success against this Iowa defense going for four passing TDs on 10-13 passing and ran for a 7ypc average on 11 carries. Dobbs has major potential to go for 40 with one of the best price tags on FanDuel. His DraftKings price is tough as he assumes more risk with an 8k price tag.
Connor Cook, Michigan State – Cook is a second year starter, but he already has a ton of big game experience. Just last season, Cook threw for 332 yards and two TD passes against Stanford in the Rose Bowl. His numbers in 2014 haven’t been eye popping, but he’s been efficient. He has 22 passing TDs to just six INTs and does have some big games under his belt. When the Spartans have needed to score points, Cook has put up big numbers. Against Ohio State he threw for 358 yards and two TDs. Against Indiana he threw for 332 yards and three TDs. Finally, against Purdue he threw for 238 yards and three TDs. With a matchup against Baylor, he will definitely need to put up big numbers to win this game and I think he will. Baylor has allowed 7.5 yards/attempt (95th) and 260 yards per game (104th).
Marcus Mariota, Oregon – This is a bold move picking the Heisman winner (sarcasm), but I think he’ll be worth the cost against Florida State. There’s no real reason to dig deep into how great he’s been, but one thing to not is his six straight games of 35+ fantasy points. With an over/under of 72 and 41 projected points for Oregon, you have to think Mariota does his fair share of the damage. He’s picking it up in the passing game going for 300+ yards in each of his last three and now gets an average FSU defense. The ACC is not a passing conference, but four of the ten ACC teams they have faced (if you count Notre Dame then five) have thrown for 300+ yards against FSU. Jacoby Brissett threw for 359 yards and three TDs against the Seminoles. Marcus Mariota is more than capable of continuing his dominance over the NCAA in this semi-final game.
Clint Trickett, West Virginia – This has to be one of the most frustrating plays for me in 2014 because I consistently see people use him and he consistently does average at best. He’s had a high price tag all season due to a monster start, but has struggled in the second half of the season. His best fantasy output in the last eight games was a 19-point effort against Baylor in which he threw for 322 yards and three TDs. His problem is that he doesn’t run at all and rarely puts up the yardage numbers to make his price tag worth it. His matchup against Texas A&M would be great if we knew he was starting. He sat out due to concussion issues at the end of the season and Skylar Howard played great with his limited playing time. And at this point, nobody knows who will be under center for the Mountaineers when this game starts.
Trevor Knight, Oklahoma – Knight played great for a few games, but then had a pretty serious injury against Baylor. Now, he is going to play in the bowl game, but gets matched up against one of the best pass rushes in the country in Clemson. This is a very scary situation for a guy who has upside due to his running ability. Clemson has 44 sacks on the season ranking them 5th in 2014. They also rank third in passing yards per game with just 162 yards thrown on them. The Tigers have allowed more zero passing TDs in a game (five) than multi-TD games (three).
Cardale Jones, Ohio State – Props to Jones on his great first start against Wisconsin a few weeks ago, but this Alabama defense is head and shoulders better than the Badgers’ defense. They have allowed a 2.81ypc average and just three TDs on the ground. They have allowed 224 yards per game through the air ranking them in the 60s, but only a 6.4 yards/attempt average which ranks them 23rd. Jones will have to rely on scrambles and TDs to get himself even remotely close to value. Those are two things I don’t think will happen even though I do like his receiver Devin Smith.
Trevone Boykin, TCU – Boykin was a special player during the regular season and had many strong games, but against Ole Miss with his price tag he’s a guys I’m avoiding. Ole Miss has allowed just 188 yards through the air per game and a great 6.1 yards/attempt average in 2014. They also have an amazing 8:19 TD to INT ratio on the season. While Boykin does have big game potential, he also has struggled in games. Against Kansas he put up 16 fantasy points and against West Virginia and Baylor he only managed 20.
Jake Waters, Kansas State – I’m really not feeling Waters against UCLA even though the matchup isn’t that bad. UCLA ranks 89th in yards per game, but they own a 6.5 yards/attempt average. Those numbers tell me they have fallen victim to a schedule that has a ton of passing attempts on it. Waters has put up four of his best yardage totals in his career in his last four games, but even then he ended with games of 22, 36, 20, and 19 fantasy points At a high end price, I can’t imagine playing him over a guy like Dak or Mariota when they aren’t far away at all.
Bryce Petty, Baylor – Bryce Petty has to be one of the most overpriced quarterbacks in 2014. He is consistently towards the top in pricing, but really doesn’t have many big games this season. In his last six games, his best outing was his last one, 26 fantasy points. He has faced many average pass defenses and I just can’t justify paying up for him with the guys priced around him. I’d rather save money and use it elsewhere for guys with better matchups and more consistency. Michigan State’s defense doesn’t scare me that much, but this is more of a Petty issue for me than it is a matchup issue.
Pray (Risky plays that could hit big)
Jameis Winston, Florida State – Winston has a really enticing price on DraftKings while his FanDuel price seems about right. He is going to be a part of a really high scoring game (total is 72) and they’re projected to score about 31 points. Winston should be a major part of that and is coming off one of his best games in 2014. He threw for three TDs and over 300 passing yards in the ACC Championship Game against Georgia Tech. His game log shows why he is a risk with many solid matchups and many point totals in the teens. With Oregon’s top cornerback out, I could see Winston connecting with Greene for some big numbers. If those two don’t reach the end zone though, I fear Dalvin Cook or Karlos Williams swallows up the TDs. That is why he is ranked here.
Kyle Allen, Texas A&M – Allen is a super risky play and probably one I’m avoiding all together on FanDuel due to his price, but I could see some reason to play him. He has plenty of young receivers and this extra month of practice will give them a major boost in chemistry. With Allen not starting until late in the season, you better believe that is important. He does have some great passing games with two of his last three games going for 20 fantasy points or more. In those games, he threw for seven TDs. West Virginia’s matchup is average as they rank in the middle for yards/game, but have a solid yards/attempt. With a point total in the high 60s at this point, Allen could be the benefactor of a fast paced up and down game.
Cole Stoudt, Clemson – This play is not just a “pray” play, but a “don’t stop saying hail mary’s until the end of the game” type play. Stoudt is ranked because of one thing, matchup. Oklahoma ranks 119th in yards allowed per game and even though their yards/attempt has been solid in 2014, they have struggled with it against conference foes. Against nine Big 12 teams, they gave up a 7.6 yards/attempt average seven times. They gave up five 300+ yard passers. In those games their TD to INT ratio was 16:6 while it was 4:6 against non-conference foes. Clemson has the receivers to do damage and Stoudt will have a ton of time to prepare for this matchup.
Somewhere in between
Grant Hedrick, Boise State – There are many reasons to love this play, but his price isn’t one of them. Hedrick is close to the “pray” section, but I feel he has some safeness to him due to his legs and matchup. The total in this game is close to 70 and although Jay Ajayi could take over a game at any moment, I don’t feel that’s necessarily going to be the case in this one. Hedrick has five rushing TDs in his last five games with positive rushing yards in nine of his last ten. He has a very nice 16 passing TDs in his last six games. Arizona’s matchup is pretty good with them ranking in the bottom ten for yards/game and in the middle for yards/attempt. They have allowed seven multi-TD games in 2014. Hedrick is probably going to go for mid 20 fantasy points, but at his price tag I can’t say I love that. He definitely has potential for 35 points though if he gets it going on the ground.
Nick Marshall, Auburn – The biggest issue for Marshall going into this game is his running back Cameron Artis-Payne. Both will be healthy with good matchups meaning both could steal points from each other. Marshall has become a legitimate passer in 2014 with 60% completion percentage and good games against Alabama, Ole Miss, and LSU. Besides his stinker against Georgia, Marshall has been pretty solid and consistent going for 20+ fantasy points in every game he has started and 30+ fantasy points in four of the last seven games. Wisconsin just got tore up by a third string quarterback and Ohio State, so the matchup is there. It just depends on who is getting the TDs in this one, CAP or Marshall.
Greg Ward Jr, Houston – Ward is red hot right now with 67 fantasy points in his last two games totaling six TDs and 177 rushing yards. He has a good matchup against Pitt, but not nearly as good as his matchups against Cincinnati and SMU (his last tow games). Pittsburgh actually ranks pretty high in defensive passing stats, but can we really trust them when they haven’t faced that many good passing attacks in 2014? Duke and UNC were two of the best offenses they faced and they gave up 266 and 276 yards to them and four passing TDs. Ward’s matchup questions and lack of big game besides his prime matchups has left me somewhere in between when it comes to ranking him.
Brett Hundley, UCLA – Hundley had a bad game against Stanford, but that defense is very stout even if it doesn’t show with all those losses they have. Before that bad game though, he had thrown for 300+ yards in two straight with five passing TDs and another three TDs on the ground. UCLA is projected to score four TDs, so you have to imagine he is a part of at least three of them with the way UCLA plays. He has accounted for 29 of the team’s 45 total offensive TDs (64%). What holds me back from using him more confidently is his price and lack of running in recent weeks. While he does have three rushing TDs in his last three games, he only has 20 attempts and two yards. He also has a price close to Dak and, to me, isn’t as safe as Dak.
Rushel Shell, West Virginia – Everyone should consider the running back facing the Aggies. It’s a formula that has worked great in 2014 with monster games from Leonard Fournette, Russell Hansbrough, and just about every other SEC running back. It’s safe to say that because they have a 5.97ypc average against SEC foes giving up 22 TDs in eight games. He almost seems like a must play for me. His quarterback situation is odd for me, but in the end I think he gets 18-22 touches and that should mean dynamite. He has 37 carries for over 200 yards in the last two games. Shell has rushed 15+ times in six games and in those games he has six TDs.
Dwayne Washington, Washington – This could get confusing with the last name/team situation we have here, but I think this is one running back that will prove beneficial to use come tourney time. He has reemerged as the starting running back in recent weeks with 100+ yards in each and 49 carries. The Huskies definitely want to run the ball and that’s a good thing with their matchup. Oklahoma State has a 4.37ypc average against Big 12 teams with 19 TDs allowed in nine games. In recent games they have gotten crushed with 13 TDs allowed in their last four games. Granted, recent teams have ran the football almost 200 times, they’ve also given up 4ypc in three of the four games.
Cameron Artis-Payne, Auburn – Although I’ve already stated that Nick Marshall could steal some of the shine from CAP, I think he’s still safe enough to love for bowl season action. Even with tough matchups in his last two games, he managed 10 and 17 fantasy points. Now, that’s not great, but I think his matchup against Wisconsin is better. This offense is dynamic and Ohio State ran it down the Badgers’ throat with a more basic rushing attack. I think CAP is a safer pick here and although I don’t see 30+ fantasy points (something he’s done just twice in 2014), I do think 20+ points is a safe guess.
Leonard Fournette, LSU – My first gut was all over Fournette, but looking back I’m not sure why. He’s definitely the guy I love the least here, but my first gut has typically been very good at picking these guys out. Fournette runs some risk due to Les Miles’ quirkyness. I think he’s good for 18-20 touches and when he gets that he’s been pretty dang good. Against Alabama and Ole Miss he struggled, but who wouldn’t with a quarterback like he has against a complete defense? In the other three games in which he reaches those touches, he has put up 20, 26, and 28 FanDuel points. His matchup against Notre Dame at first glance is a bad one, but teams have crushed them on the ground with yards and attempts. They have given up seven multi-TD games in the last eight with over 200+ rushing yards in four of the last five.
Josh Robinson, Mississippi State – Robinson has run into the buzz saw that is the SEC West and struggled against Ole Miss and Alabama in two of the last three weeks. In between those two games he got limited touches in a blowout against Vandy and still ended with 14 fantasy points. Before those three games, we saw Robinson be a TD machine and go for six straight games of 20+ fantasy points on FanDuel. In eight of his last ten games he has totaled over 100 yards. Georgia Tech is a great matchup for Robinson as the Yellow Jackets have given 5.10ypc in 2014 and 23 TDs. In every game but two they have given up 100+ rushing yards.
Arkansas Running Backs – Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams were pretty dang good during the regular season, but they sputtered as the season went on. Against non-conference foes, they ran for a 7.13 average and 19 TDs in just four games. Against SEC teams, they ran for 3.98 average and just 11 TDs in eight games. Texas has given up 3.90ypc and just 16 TDs on the ground in 2014. I think this Texas defense is massively underrated. TCU put up good numbers after being up huge and late in the second half. This Texas defense will be able to put eight in the box and focus on the run with how bad Arkansas is throwing the football.
Missouri Running Backs – Hansbrough and Murphy are two different styles of running backs, but one thing is the same, they will hurt each other’s value because of the split carries. While I don’t think Minnesota’s defense is that great (4.49ypc and 16 TDs), I do think this game is going to have limited possessions. With split carries and a game that should see a ton of long drives, you’re really limiting production from players in this game. Minnesota has gotten beat up in the Big Ten, but it’s also been to great running backs like Ezekiel Elliot, Melvin Gordon, and Ameer Abdullah, all of which are better than Hansbrough and Murphy.
Jeremy Langford, Michigan State – After listing the running backs in my “love” section I don’t see how you can pay up for Langford in a tough matchup. For many reasons, I see him putting up less than 20 fantasy points in his bowl game. In his last six games he has 15 TDs and over 750 yards, but I think Baylor will be able to slow him down. I also think Michigan State passes it a ton and it limits his touches. In Cook’s best games (ones they have needed to score a bunch of points), Langford has seen 24, 13, and 18 carries. I’m avoiding this MSU running back and looking to spend my money elsewhere.
David Cobb, Minnesota – Cobb gets himself a really tough matchup when he faces Missouri this bowl season. He’s the kind of running back that gets chunks of yardage and needs a bunch of carries to have a big game. While I think he’ll get 25-30 carries, I just don’t see him getting enough on each carry to have a big game and with the price tag he has I can’t pay up for him. Missouri is averaging just 3.53ypc defensively this season and before that huge game against Alabama, they hadn’t given up a rushing TD in five games. To me, this game screams a final stat line of 32/102/1 and I can’t justify putting that in my lineup.
Nick Chubb, Georgia – Chubb probably has the worst matchup off all running backs this bowl season and because of that I’m staying far far away from him. Louisville’s defense ranks third in yards/game on the ground and they’ve given up an average of 2.94ypc in both conference and non-conference games. They’ve allowed just nine TDs on the ground in 2014. While Chubb is likely to see 25-30 carries in this one, at four yards per carry you’re still looking at just 100-120 yards. This Cardinals’ defense is for real and will get to put a ton of people in the box against Hutson Mason. It took 38 carries for Chubb to put up 143 yards and a TD against a “worse” defense in the Missouri Tigers.
Ezekiel Elliot, Ohio State – I respect the hell out of Ohio State’s run game, but I’m sorry. I’m not using any running back against Alabama. How many times have I already mentioned players with subpar performances against the Crimson Tide? The answer is too many. In recent games, Alabama has given up 1.78, 3.70, 3.45, and 3.27 yards/carry. Elliot doesn’t get nearly enough carries to warrant a spot on any roster.
James Conner, Pittsburgh – Houston is a top 35 run and pass defense, which doesn’t bode well for Conner. They average 6.3 yards/attempt and 3.54ypc. Those are stellar numbers and Houston will be able to put guys in the box to stop him. I suspect Conner will get his normal 30 carries or so, meaning I’m not worried about his random games of 10, 11, and 16 carries. Pitt slowed down his carries because of such a high workload early in the season. Conner can get his 30 carries, but if Boyd is slowed down by the Houston defense then so will Conner.
Nick Wilson, Arizona – Wilson has been a big time running back in recent games, but was slowed down big time by Oregon. There were a couple of issues in that game that slowed him down. Anu Solomon was extremely ineffective, and Arizona was getting blown out. While I don’t believe this game gets out of hand, I do believe that Solomon could still be ineffective. Jones-Grigsby could be back in more action seeing that he did run the ball twice against Oregon. With extra time carries could be stolen from Wilson. Boise State was wildly ineffective this season against triple option offenses giving up 792 yards on 109 carries in two games. In those other ten games, Boise State gave up 1,047 yards on 351 carries. Boise State’s ypc was 4 in 2014, but if you take out those two games they gave up 2.98ypc.
Pray (Risky plays that could hit big)
Jay Ajayi, Boise State – Ajayi is on this list because of one reason: big game potential. Ajayi has games of 53.5, 42.1, 39.2, and 39.2 in 2014. His TD and PPR potential in every game allows him to have such a high ceiling. The problem with him though is the fact that Arizona’s defense is better than ones he has faced in 2014. Ole Miss is probably the best defense he has faced, but he did manage 86 rushing yards, and a stat line of 12/93/1 through the air. Arizona allows 4.05ypc on the ground and only 16 TDs in 2014. He’ll be low owned, but the potential is always there for a huge game.
Zach Laskey, Georgia Tech – Yellow Jackets’ running backs always have potential for high point games, but there is always risk of bust especially in Laskey’s case. He got 26 carries against UGA and exploded for 140 yards and three TDs. Against Florida State he only carried it 11 times for 40 yards and one TD. Laskey has seven TDs in his last five games, but the carries fluctuate. I think the matchup is difficult, but you never know with this offense and his price is low enough to warrant a risk if you have multiple lineups.
Kenneth Farrow, Houston – Pitt has an average at best run defense (4.42ypc with 24 TDs on the ground), but there’s something funky about Farrow’s recent dominance. I realize Houston has put a ton of focus on running the football, but many of his matchups were excellent. He has seven TDs in his last three games and 18+ carries in five of his last six games. This is more of a hunch play to put him here instead of putting him in the “love” section, but I just don’t feel comfortable, with his 7k price tag, to feel great about him.
Somewhere in between
Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin – Gordon is a stud, there’s no way around it. He was a Heisman finalist, rushing for over 2,300 yards and 26 TDs. He is priced as the highest running back on the board, but I don’t think a huge game is coming from him to warrant that price. Auburn’s defense allowed 4.09ypc in 2014, but struggled against a few teams like Alabama, Georgia, and Ole Miss. They also did great against LSU though. Gordon has quarterback issues, which could present a problem for him and not being able to find some room with many guys in the box. Ohio State stopped him cold in his tracks in the Big Ten Championship, so maybe they showed everyone how to stop him? Because of all of this, I can’t go all in on him, but do understand why people would want to pay up for him.
Dalvin Cook, Florida State – Cook is a really solid play here, but the ceiling seems limited for what this matchup has become. I really like the Winston to Greene connection and that should limit Cook’s potential even in a high-scoring affair. He’s had touch matchups and high carries in three straight games and his point totals were 30.5, 18.2, and 10. Oregon only allowed 4.12ypc on the season and had great games against Arizona, Utah, and Washington.
Samaje Perine, Oklahoma – What happens when elite defenses go against elite running backs? We’ll find out when Perine faces Clemson and I’m thinking better than most think. While I’m scared of how great Clemson’s defense has been in recent games (1.91, 1.21, 0.21, and 2.58ypc in four of last five games), they’ve faced some weak competition. Syracuse, Wake Forest, South Carolina, and Georgia State haven’t exactly tore the ground up running the football this season. I have to respect them though because of how consistently great they’ve been no matter how good the other teams are. Perine is going to be able to go in this one and has an unbelievable last three games. He has rushed for ten TDs and 791 yards. I think 100 yards and two TDs is possibly, but that won’t cut it on FanDuel at his price.
Remound Wright, Stanford – Is it ever safe to roll out a Stanford running back? No, not really, but with a matchup like they have against Maryland you have to at least consider Wright. Maryland has a weak run defense averaging 4.49ypc on the season with 20 TDs. In the last three games they have given up 4.11, 6.49, and 5.15ypc to some Big Ten teams. Wright dominated against Cal in a good matchup scoring four TDs and rushing 92 yards. He then ran for two TDs against UCLA, but only ran for 64 yards. I don’t feel very confident in him, but against a team like Maryland there is reason to think he has a shot at a real good game.
Rashad Greene, Florida State – I normally stay away from guys with game logs like Greene, but his pure talent plus matchup here is too hard to avoid. Not only is he coming off his best game, but he gets to face the second best corner on Oregon instead of their stud corner who just got hurt and won’t play. He has had up and down games, but his price is very affordable and if he can put up another 100+ yard game with two TDs you’ll be loving the fact you used him. Oregon ranks towards the bottom in yards/game, but has a strong yards/attempt average (6.6). Without their top corner and more relevant numbers, I think FSU and Greene could really have big days through the air. Sorry, but I’m not really putting much stock into Oregon’s dominance over Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon State’s passing attacks. Before those three games, Oregon allowed 9.0 and 9.7 yards/attempt to Stanford and Utah.
DeVante Parker, Louisville – With this kind of matchup, I really think you have to throw out the stats. Georgia has the second ranked pass defense in terms of yards/game with an average of just 158 yards. Let’s take a look at who UGA has played though. They legitimately have faced two or three competent passing games in 2014: South Carolina, Clemson, and Auburn. South Carolina tore them up, Clemson still had Stout at quarterback, and Auburn hit a buzzsaw named Todd Gurley and the excitement of a Saturday night game. Let’s take a look at Parker’s last seven games (including two from last season). Parker has caught 53 passes with six games of 100+ yards and eight TDs. He has tore up opponents in 2014 even with sketchy quarterback play. He has five TDs in his lat three games.
De’Runnya Wilson, Mississippi State – This play right here is the only reason why I hate giving ya’ll my plays. Wilson is a minimum price receiver with a prime matchup and the potential for 20+ fantasy points and now you all know about him. Unless something drastic changes, he’ll be in my King of the Campus tourney lineup. He went through an odd stretch due to injury, but he has come back very strong with two games of eight catches and over 90 yards. He caught a TD in his last game against Ole Miss and has stepped up against the best teams. There was even a stretch of five games where he caught a TD. Georgia Tech ranks 68th in yards/game and has a 7.5 yards/attempt average in 2014.
Kevin White, West Virginia – I love Kevin White for many reasons, but the biggest reason is likely low usage in big game tournaments. With his recent production, I can’t see a lot of people using him especially at his price. His high over his last five games is 21.1, but he has two single digit games. Don’t forget about his early season start with seven TDs in six games, five of which he had over 100 receiving yards. He benefits greatly from his quarterback being healthy, which will happen, and another month to gel with the starter. I want to say that Trickett helps White’s stock more, so keep an eye on this situation.
Devin Smith, Ohio State – After his last game, I feel that Smith will be the obvious cheap play, but just because it’s obvious doesn’t make it a bad play. He went for a huge stat line putting up 4/137/3 in the win against Wisconsin. I don’t think those numbers are possible, but I can definitely see over 100 yards and a TD. Alabama has been weak against the deep ball (see SEC CG) and Smith/Jones will be a legit threat to their secondary. In his last ten games, Smith has six double-digit fantasy totals.
William Fuller, Notre Dame – What’s worse than one sketchy quarterback under center? How about two? That’s just the case for Notre Dame and as much as I think Everett Golson has some talent, he won’t be able to show it against LSU. Golson has 14 INTs on the season with at least one in nine straight games. He’s also been sacked 27 times this season. This isn’t a good sign as LSU has allowed the fourth least amount of yards/game and the second best yards/attempt. LSU has eight sacks in their last five games. Fuller’s numbers in his last two games are pretty meager with just ten catches for 184 yards and one TD. Against a better defense than both of those, I can’t imagine over 100 yards receiving.
Tony Lippett, Michigan State – I’ve really stressed Cook’s ability and likelihood of a great game in this article, but I’m not seeing it for Lippett. Sure, I think he’s a decent cash game play, but for GPPs I’m not seeing the big potential. He was very hot early in the season with a few games of 20+ fantasy points, but in his last four games he has averaged just 11.1 fantasy points. Against Ohio State, a game that Cook went off, Lippett only had five catches for 64 yards. With him putting in time at cornerback, I imagine his ceiling is at a 2014 low.
Deante’ Gray, TCU – Is Gray the worst play here? No, but I think there’s a high likelihood of my readers using him so I’m her to tell you to not. He had a stat line of 4/65/1 in their last game, but that TD catch was a 40-yarder. Against a team like Ole Miss, I can’t imagine the passing stats be that heavy and we already know I don’t like Boykin. Before that game against iowa State, he had some weak games due to injury and even missed a few games. The last time Gray went over 15 fantasy points was two months ago.
John Harris, Texas – I’m not that anti-Harris, but at a price like $6,700 on FanDuel there’s just no way I’m using him. He has a rough quarterback in Tyrone Swoopes, that even though I have a stupid love for him, can’t recommend using. He has one 20+ outing in his last six and has two single-digit games in his last four. Arkansas’ defense is on the rise and the total for this game is in the 40s. Arkansas has played six ranked teams their last seven games, but only allowed seven TD passes. Fade away my friends.
Pray (Risky plays that could hit big)
Josh Doctson, TCU – Doctson is kind of similar to Gray in that the obviously play on the same team, but they’ve been banged up in the last month or so. With Doctson though, you get a tall receiver that is perfect for Boykin. In his last two games, Doctson has 16 catches for 266 yards and two TDs. Against Ole Miss, he’ll always have potential because of the fact he’s big, tall, and can out jump corners.
Antwan Goodley, Baylor – I’m a firm believer that one Baylor receiver will have a big game. There’s a reason that Lippett has been working as a cornerback for Michigan State. For one, he’s talented, but they’re also thin at the position. Goodley had a great game against a solid Kansas State defense going for 149 total yards, nine catches, and one TD. He also has a few duds with two bad games before that. He has more value in PPR formats due to the fact that he is typically good for 8-9 catches and he can still put up a good number without scoring a TD.
Corey Coleman, Baylor – Coleman is the other Baylor option and with a higher price tag he also comes with higher potential. He has three games of 30+ fantasy points in his last seven games. He has two games of 12+ catches in his last ten. And honestly, I realize Michigan State has a very good pass defense, but they gave up big passing yards/points to Oregon and Ohio State. Is Baylor more like those two teams or Maryland, Michigan, Rutgers, Indiana, or Eastern Michigan?
Mario Alford, West Virginia – Alford has been really good in his last two games and it’s worth noting that Skyler Howard has been under center for those two games. In those two games he has nine catches, 178 yards, and three TDs. He’s been good with Trickett at quarterback as well scoring a TD in five of his last six games. I think he’s better with Howard, but I understand if you don’t care. Against Texas A&M he’s going to have a great matchup allowing for Alford to have big potential. The biggest risk with him is relying on big plays for his price. He ha 100+ yards just three times in his last ten games and an average of four catches per game in his last four.
Clemson Receivers – Any time you use Clemson receivers with Cole Stoudt as the quarterback prayers are needed. Stoudt has proved himself to be an average at best quarterback this season, but the matchup allows you to take a chance on him if you have multiple lineups. If Scott or Williams are priced cheap then they aren’t as risky as Stoudt, but that won’t be the case. The prime spot for these two would be 5,500 or lower on FanDuel and 5,000 or lower on DraftKings.
Charles Nelson, Oregon – You could really put any Oregon receiver here, but let’s talk Nelson due to his recent performances. He had seven catches for 148 total yards in the Pac 12 Championship Game and two games of two TDs before that. In his last five games, he has just 14 catches. He’s super risky and comes with an uncomfortable price tag. There’s some reason to think those seven catches are able to be repeated with the style of passes he caught. He made big plays on jet sweep type passes and many shorter routes. He’s an agile guy that makes guys move for his yardage. He isn’t the downfield threat.
Darren Waller, Georgia Tech – DeAndre Smelter is out, so Waller steps in as the tall receiver for Thomas to look towards. His last game stats are semi-skewed with many of his yards and his TD coming in the final drive, but Georgia Tech didn’t need to pass until then. If you think Georgia Tech will be passing (I do) then Waller will get plenty of looks. The Bulldogs’ defense is strong against the run, but they haven’t faced the triple option in 2014. They have a weak pass defense, so if they can stop the option then Thomas and Waller could see real success through the air. Waller caught a seven-yard TD against Clemson the week before the ACC CG.
Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M – This is an average matchup going against West Virginia with a solid total, so Reynolds has some potential and a lot of risk. He struggled against LSU (duh!), but had four TDs before that game for over 200 yards. He’s a TD machine for TAMU scoring 11 times in his last ten games. With time to work with Allen, I wouldn’t hate a Reynolds lineup at all if you can afford multiple lineups. He has had some very solid games against good defenses like Missouri and Ole Miss.
Duke Williams and Sammie Coates, Auburn – There are no indications that Williams will or will not play, so these plays are risky. Dare I remind you what happened to Wisconsin against the deep ball in their last game though? There are certainly reasons to play these two, but it’s a coin toss unless Williams doesn’t play. Coates is a very strong play if he’s the lone star receiver as we saw against Alabama where he caught five passes for 206 yards and two TDs. Williams did go for 7/121/0 while being banged up in the Iron Bowl. I don’t think Auburn tears up the Badgers’ through the pass, so it’s down to one for me.
Somewhere in between
Tyler Lockett, Kansas State – Lockett has been so good to end the season, I just get this feeling he won’t produce in the bowl game. Now, if I was to spend on receiver, I would upgrade from a guy like Cooper and get Lockett. It’s just too hard to pass up on a receiver with 44 catches, four TDs, and over 650 receiving yards in his last four games. UCLA has good pass defense numbers, but did struggle mightily against Stanford allowing 16-19 passing for 234 yards and two TDs. They’ve also allowed over 7.0 yards/attempt five times in 2014, so a big game through the air for Waters and Lockett is certainly possible.
Amari Cooper, Alabama – Cooper is a super safe play and that’s why he’s here. I do think it’s possible he goes HAM like he did against Auburn or Tennessee, but it’s not as great of a matchup here for me to love him at his price. He has just one game of single digits in his last ten and that was a game against Arkansas in which he didn’t finish. In his last six games, he has 8+ catches and over 100 yards three times (and 200 yards twice). Ohio State has a highly ranked pass defense, but they struggled against the best pass offenses they faced like Michigan State (358 yards, 8.0 yards/attempt) and Cincinnati (352 yards, 10.7).
Deontay Greenberry, Houston – What would a rankings article be without Deontay Greenberry? I couldn’t leave him out of this one even though it makes me cringe to use him. I don’t play with this kind of fire, but hey, maybe you do. He has had outsanding games in 2014 (6/74/2, 11/130/1, and 9/103/0) and brutal games (4/21/0, 3/1/0, and 1/17/0). With a matchup against Pitt, I really don’t hate this play, but know the risk. He probably fits the “pray” section better, but there are enough of those guys. To me, I think he’ll be on his game playing what could be his last one due to his size, potential, and likely desire to get out of college.
Bud Sasser, Missouri – I’ve been a big fan of Sasser in 2014 and with good reason. He’s been underpriced for the longest time now and has had double digit points in six straight games with six TDs during that time. His points come from solid catch numbers (average of seven per game in last six) instead of yardage (one 100+ yard game in last six). Against Minnesota, he should have a solid matchup even though their defensive numbers look pretty good. They’ve struggled in their last two games allowed over 11.0 yards/attempt in two straight to Nebraska and Wisconsin. This just in, they aren’t passing teams.
Nick O’Leary, Florida State – O’Leary was a little hot and cold early on in the season, but he has produced three straight great performances in as many games. He has a TD in of his last three games and ten catches over that time. Florida State should be able to throw the ball against a weakened Oregon secondary and O’Leary is Jameis Winston’s second favorite target. The risky part is the fact that you’re paying up for a tight end where points are typically limited to begin with.
Evan Engram, Ole Miss – Engram has been a big time producer for Ole Miss in recent weeks, but does have the occasional dud. You’ll be spending up for a player with a few zeros in recent weeks, but also games of 5/176/0, 5/65/0 and 8/118/1. While he could have a huge game, you have to rely on Big Game Bo Wallace against a stout TCU defense.
Ben Koyack, Notre Dame –At a minimum price, he’s not the worst play. He’ll be low owned and has a few nice games this season. With a quarterback situation like Notre Dame has and the pressure LSU is going to put on the Fighting Irish, you should see a bunch of dump off passes to guys like Koyack.
Josiah Price, Michigan State – Price is my favorite cheap tight end for this slate. He’s produced in many games this season scoring a TD in five of his last eight games. When Cook has to throw it around a ton, Price has produced. He has games of 5/51/1 against Oregon, 2/16/1 against Purdue, and 5/72/1 against Ohio State, all games where Cook has had to help Michigan State put up a lot of points.
Joshua Perkins, Washington – Perkins has been one of Miles favorite targets in their last four games with two TDs over that stretch. He has 16 catches and 187 yards as well. I think he’s safe for 6-9 points at worst against Oklahoam State and even though that’s not a whole lot, it gives you points at a very cheap cost at a tough position.
Maxx Williams, Minnesota – Everyone knows Williams is good for a few TDs in this game, but there’s obviously a chance he goes for just six points or so. He has gone for six points in three straight games, but went for 5/46/3 against Iowa the game before that. With a tough defense ahead of them, Minnesota will get close to the goal line a few times, but will need a passing option to get in the end zone if you ask me.