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College Football Betting Picks for Week Eight (10/24/2020)

At long last, Big Ten (and Mountain West) football is BACK. This weekend, opportunities to see sensational NFL prospects like Justin Fields, Pat Freiermuth, and Rashod Bateman will be littered across the television guide. If there was ever a Saturday to schedule a date with your couch and television, this might be the one.

Week Seven brought a disappointing 1-2 record. Temple overcame a slow start to hold off South Florida, but not by the margin that we needed, and Boston College faltered badly in primetime against Virginia Tech. Luckily, Western Kentucky and UAB nearly crossed the over in the first-half to notch our only win of last week. The season-long record is now 10-8, as we hope to end the two-week slide this week.

Week Eight's slate includes a few exciting games for teams making their season debuts. Here are some betting picks to follow along with as you enjoy another college football Saturday.

 

Rutgers at Michigan State (-13.5)

O/U: 44.5

Piscataway, New Jersey , has become the laughingstock of the Big Ten. Rutgers, losers of 21 straight conference games, made a big move this offseason by bringing back the program's most successful coach of all-time in Greg Schiano to lead the program once more. Schiano immediately hit the transfer portal to pick up players that could contribute right away such as 2nd team all-Big Ten returner and receiver Aron Cruickshank (Wisconsin), tight end Jovani Haskins (West Virginia) and five defensive linemen from Power 5 schools. Nearly 40% of the players on the 2020 roster are newcomers, and Schiano is beginning to generate a buzz. This infusion of talent will not turn Rutgers into a contender overnight, but it will give 2018 starting quarterback Artur Sitkowski, who took a redshirt year in 2019 to focus on his development, more weapons than any Rutgers quarterback has had since the program's days as a member of the Big East Conference.

The 2020 offseason was tumultuous in East Lansing. After Coach Mark Dantonio resigned, while the program was allegedly under investigation, the team's desperate coaching search for his successor had little success. With top options like Luke Fickell and Pat Narduzzi opting to stay with Cincinnati and Pitt, respectively, the Spartans took an unconventional and unusually late route hiring Mel Tucker away from Colorado in mid-February. The 48-year old Tucker had just wrapped up a 5-7 year in his first and only campaign in Boulder, but brings a strong defensive pedigree with NFL experience and collegiate experience as an understudy to Nick Saban and as Kirby Smart's defensive coordinator at Georgia. 2020 marks the start of a rebuild, replacing 14 starters from a year ago - a 7-6 team that had one of the least productive offenses in college football. Without the benefit of spring practice, and with position battles still ongoing through game week (Michigan State's quarterback race was still unsettled with four contenders), expectations may be at an all-time low for this program.

The Scarlet Knights have been beaten by the Spartans in their last six matchups, but this year's matchup between a pair of new coaches feels different. Sitkowski was a highly sought after quarterback recruit who has never had many weapons at his disposal, but has shown glimpses including a strong performance against Boston College last season. The speedy Cruickshank was underutilized at Wisconsin and should become the go-to option early on. Looking down the road, this game may be each team's most winnable game on the schedule, an opportunity that Coach Schiano will seek to maximize.

Pick: Rutgers +13.5

#3 Notre Dame at Pittsburgh (-13.5)

O/U: 44.5

The Fighting Irish overcame a mini-scare to hold off Louisville last week and preserve their spotless 4-0 record. The passing game still has some flaws, but the rushing attack has powered Notre Dame thus far. Sophomore Kyren Williams and freshman Chris Tyree lead the way as a fearsome duo of running backs that led an Irish rushing attack bulldozing Florida State to the tune of 353 rushing yards. The youngsters' success is made possible by the best offensive line in football, featuring at least five legitimate NFL draft prospects with multiple years of starting experience. Before last week's lackluster 12-7 win, the offense had seemingly been able to do as it pleased with comfortable wins over Duke, South Florida and Florida State. Senior quarterback Ian Book should be expected to bounce back from his poor performance last week to help the Irish passing attack compliment the elite rushing offense.

Pitt found out the hard way last week how difficult life could be without their star quarterback Kenny Pickett. Pickett, who was on his way to a campaign worthy of discussions in the Heisman race, was replaced by redshirt freshman Joey Yellen, a talented four-star transfer from Arizona State. Yellen looked nervous and floated a few throws in the first half, but settled in and seemingly became comfortable behind solid pass protection versus a staunch Miami defense. The Panthers' leading receiver is freshman sensation Jordan Addison, who is a threat to take any play to the house with his speed. The problem for Pitt, offensively, has been running the ball. Pickett had been arguably the team's biggest rushing threat up until his ankle injury, which is expected to keep him out of this week's contest. At one point, Pitt had five running backs designated as co-starters on its depth chart, to no success. In order to have a chance of upsetting the Irish, Pitt will need to develop some sort of threat on the ground to open up the passing game for Yellen.

The defenses for both teams, while rightly praised, have been torched for big plays quite a bit more than one would expect so far. Pitt, for instance, has the nation's leader in sacks (Patrick Jones II) and one of the most talented defensive lines in college football, but continually plays man-to-man press coverage on the outside with the undersized, but talented, 5-foot-8 cornerback Marquis Williams. If Coach Pat Narduzzi sticks to his stubborn defensive philosophy, Notre Dame will follow the blueprint set in their last three losses to North Carolina State, Boston College, and Miami, by attacking Williams and his fellow cornerback Jason Pinnock over and over again until they break a big play.

Pick: Over 44.5

Texas State at Brigham Young (BYU) (-28.5)

O/U: 61.5

Coach Jake Spavital, in his 2nd year commanding the Texas State Bobcats, is one of the youngest coaches in football at age 35. Spavital brought the air raid concept to San Marcos, which he embraced as Dana Holgorsen's offensive coordinator for two seasons at West Virginia. So far, the Bobcats' offense has had its fair share of success through the air, but the defense is ultimately holding the team back from winning more games. At quarterback, Brady McBride gives Coach Spavital the prototypical gunslinger that he's looking for his system, and McBride has done a good job of spreading the targets to senior receiver Jeremiah Haydel and five other pass-catchers with double digits receptions this year. On defense, the Bobcats allow nearly 450 yards of offense per game, and might need a miracle to keep BYU under their season average of 43 points per game. 

Junior quarterback Zach Wilson and the BYU Cougars are playing inspired football and are off to the first 5-0 start for the program since 2008. Head coach Kelani Sitake's team is firing on all cylinders, with a strong offense averaging over 43 points per game, and a solid defense pulling its weight in recent weeks with a convincing 43-26 win on the road at Houston. The offense, which is averaging a staggering 541 yards per game, should score at will in yet another favorable matchup against a lousy defense.

Another week, another large BYU spread. The Cougars are starting to garner College Football Playoff conversation, and for good reason. The team has convincingly dispatched of its opponents thus far in impressive fashion, and has shaped up the narrative for a second half push. The second half of the Cougars schedule, which features marquee games versus Boise State and San Diego State, will put their playoff resume to the test. Winning games like this in convincing fashion will be necessary if BYU wants to earn a spot in the prestigious playoff.

Pick: Over 61.5



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College Football Betting Expert Picks Week Seven (10/17/2020)

Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban contracted COVID-19, and it might not even be the biggest story in college football. This 2020 football season has brought so many unexpected turns of events that hall of fame coaches instructing their players over Zoom barely even registers.

Week Six brought a minor bump in the road, with a 1-2 record. Alabama got an unexpected scare before pulling away late in the second half from Ole Miss. Similarly, Notre Dame could not break loose of Florida State as the Seminoles covered the big spread behind a strong performance from quarterback Jordan Travis. Luckily in Provo, Utah, the UTSA Roadrunners gave the Cougars a scare before falling by a touchdown. The season-long record is now 9-6.

Week Seven gives us our last week of football before the Big Ten Conference starts play. Here are some betting picks to follow along with as you enjoy another college football Saturday.

 

South Florida at Temple (-10)

O/U: 54.5

Head Coach Jeff Scott spent the past five seasons as the co-offensive coordinator at Clemson before taking his first head coaching job with the South Florida Bulls. The 2020 season is off to an ugly start, with three losses by at least 20 points that followed a season-opening win over FCS-level The Citadel. Coach Scott is hoping to rejuvenate a once-proud program as he overhauled the staff and has hopes of developing a Clemson-like winning culture in Tampa. While the bumps and bruises of a young team will be felt throughout a low expectations year, Coach Scott hopes that his youth movement and young coaching staff, which is the youngest staff in the American Athletic Conference at an average age of 36.4, will pay dividends in the form of wins in the years to come.

The Temple Owls experienced significant turnover of their own this season when star defensive end Quincy Roche decided to transfer to Miami (FL). Roche is one of 8 starters from the Owls' 2019 defense who do not return this year. Despite this turnover, Coach Rod Carey feels confident that his defense can make enough stops and that his explosive offense will pace the team to a strong season. The offense is led by redshirt senior and third-year starting quarterback Anthony Russo. Russo threw for 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions a season ago, and has high hopes for a strong senior campaign, when he lines up behind a sterling offensive line with 4 seniors. Temple will hope to make the Russo-to-Branden Mack connection early and often, as Mack had 7 catches and a touchdown in the opening loss to Navy. 

When in doubt, experience wins out. With the continuity of eight offensive starters back for a senior quarterback, the Temple Owls should expect to put up a flurry of points on a team that has allowed 52, 28 and 44 points in their three losses. Coach Jeff Scott is making inroads on the recruiting trail, but the talent is not yet on campus and the process will take a few years to rebuild the South Florida Bulls into an AAC contender.

Pick: Temple -10

Western Kentucky at Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) (-13.5)

O/U: 44.5

This Conference-USA matchup is a homecoming of sorts for Western Kentucky Head Coach Tyson Helton, who spent six seasons as the quarterbacks and running backs coach at UAB. Helton's Hilltoppers are off to a slow 1-3 start this season, with former Maryland quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome at the helm. Pigrome is an above-average runner and underrated passer who gets to play behind four multi-season starting offensive linemen. The difficulty that Western Kentucky has had this season surrounds a failure to capitalize in big moments. In the team's three losses, they've converted less than one-third of their 3rd down opportunities, while allowing their opponents to convert at a clip closer to 50%. Pigrome's efficiency (6 touchdowns and 0 interceptions so far in 2020) and the ability to turn long drives into touchdowns rather than field goals will be crucial for the Hilltoppers if they hope to pull off the upset.

The UAB Blazers go as far as their star running back Spencer Brown will carry them. Brown has gained over 100-yards rushing in three of the team's four games so far in 2020, and is the 2nd highest active rusher in the NCAA with over 3,500 yards. Longtime starting quarterback Tyler Johnston III is still expected to miss the game due to a non-throwing shoulder injury, opening the door once more for redshirt freshman Bryson Lucero. Head Coach Bill Clark has opened up the playbook each game a bit more for the young freshman, before he threw for three touchdowns (and three interceptions) against UTSA. Coach Clark showed faith in his young quarterback and the playbook should once again be wide open for Lucero to operate. 

This matchup presents a must-win for Western Kentucky if the Hilltoppers hope to stay alive in the conference championship game hunt. With so much on the line, expect Western Kentucky to take more risks which will hopefully show up on the scoreboard. With each passing week, UAB has given the passing game more responsibilities, while leaning on the running game and Spencer Brown. If Lucero can eliminate the turnovers from the last game against UTSA, this offense should easily top its 30.5 average points per game this season.

Pick: Over 44.5

Boston College at Virginia Tech (-12)

O/U: 62

Boston College is off to an impressive 3-1 start under first-year Head Coach Jeff Hafley. Hafley has relied heavily on his Notre Dame transfer quarterback Phil Jurkovec, who has thrown for 8 touchdowns and 2 interceptions this year. Jurkovec's top two targets - wide receiver Zay Flowers and tight tend Hunter Long - came up big in last week's 1-point overtime win over Pitt and will have to be a priority for the Hokies to hone in on. Boston College's defense has been a "bend, don't break" defense all season that has notched at least one interception in each game this season. The strong defensive backfield will hope to take advantage of the uneven Hokie quarterback play in 2020.

The Virginia Tech Hokies got pummeled last week in Chapel Hill by North Carolina. The defense had no solution for the Tar Heels' running game in the 56-45 loss. While the defense is in shambles, the offense has been churning at a prolific pace behind running back Khalil Herbert, a Kansas transfer, and his 10.4 yards per carry. At quarterback, junior Hendon Hooker missed the first two games after recovering from COVID-19, but returned in the loss to North Carolina. Hooker's performance was a mixed bag, with two touchdowns, but a meager 53.8% completion percentage.

Year in, year out, the Virginia Tech Hokies garner nationwide media attention and hype. For many years under Coach Frank Beamer, this hype was justified and warranted. Now, under Coach Justin Fuente, the hype is far less warranted, with only one ten-win season to his name. Boston College, meanwhile, has found a rhythm under arguably its best quarterback since Matt Ryan, and should cause problems for the Hokie defense all afternoon.

Pick: Boston College +12




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CFB Expert Betting Picks for Week Six (10/10/2020)

A thrilling Week Five in college football brought down seven ranked opponents and served as a running board for potential Heisman campaigns for quarterbacks like Kyle Trask of Florida and Zach Wilson of BYU. Even with the familiar faces of Clemson, Alabama and Georgia occupying the top 3 slots of the rankings, college football has proven unpredictable in 2020 with a host of upsets and new teams ready to make their mark.

Week Five was successful for anyone who tailed the expert picks last week. SMU took a big halftime lead, and was luckily able to hold off a Memphis rally in the second half, Boston College gave the North Carolina Tar Heels a scare, Clemson and Virginia combined for a boatload of points, and Central Arkansas nearly handed North Dakota State its first loss since 2017 to give us a 4-0 day. The 4-0 record was much needed, and brings the season-long tally to 8-4.

Week six is here as we are nearing the mid-way point of this circuitous and unpredictable fall college football season. Here are some betting picks to follow along with as you enjoy another college football Saturday.

 

#2 Alabama at Ole Miss (+24)

O/U: 70.5

Alabama head coach Nick Saban's Crimson Tide have cruised in the early going with easy wins over Missouri and Texas A&M, both buoyed by quick starts out of the gate. Quarterback Mac Jones graduated last December with a perfect 4.0 GPA midway through only his 3rd year on campus, and is pursuing a master's degree in sports hospitality, with eyes towards a secondary master's degree in marketing down the road. On the field he has been similarly prolific, throwing for 684 yards, 6 touchdowns and only 1 interception in the two wins, and his trio of star receivers Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith and John Metchie have been similarly spectacular. The explosive offense was on display last week with a 78-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Metchie on the opening drive, and later an 87-yard score from Jones to Waddle, which was Waddle's third 75+ yard touchdown reception as a member of the Alabama football team.

Under new head coach Lane Kiffin, the Ole Miss Rebels have jumped out to a 1-1 start, losing to Florida in the opener, but knocking off Kentucky in overtime last week. Expectations entering the year were low, and young sophomore quarterback Matt Corral has done his part to exceed expectations with 715 yards, 7 touchdowns and only 1 interception through two games. Corral has been targeting his go-to receiver Elijah Moore quite a bit (20 receptions on 24 targets), and has a talented young running back in Jerrion Ealy in tow. With the young exciting offense, things are on the upwards trajectory in Oxford. The defense, meanwhile, has holes that they will need to patch up fast if they hope to keep up with the Crimson Tide. Over their first two games, the Rebels have allowed 92 points and 1,201 total yards of offense. A repeat of that poor defensive performance could spell disaster against the high-flying Alabama offense this weekend.

Since his year first year at Alabama in 2007, Nick Saban has coached in 20 games against his former assistants, including Jimbo Fisher and Kirby Smart. Saban gets to face off against his former offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin for the first time as a head coach, and you should expect the game to go about as smoothly as the last 20 games that Saban has played against former assistants - all wins, only two of which were by single digits (2017 National Championship and 2018 SEC Championship, both over Georgia). In 2018, Alabama started the season 10-0 against the first half spread, and in 2019, the Crimson Tide were again positive going 8-4 in the regular season against the first half spread. With Saban's infamous fast starts and Ole Miss' middling young defense, expect this game to get ugly in a hurry.

Pick: Alabama 1st half -13.5

Florida State at #5 Notre Dame (-20.5)

O/U: 52

The unmitigated train wreck that is Florida State football under first-year coach Mike Norvell should have been at least partially expected. Norvell, who came to Tallahassee after a successful four year run with the Memphis Tigers, had a tumultuous offseason which included claims from players about miscommunication about social justice protests and the program's COVID-19 safety protocols. After having been called out by several players, including star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, things started to settle down until the team dropped its season opener to Georgia Tech, who had gone 3-9 in 2019 and are in the years-long process of recruiting new players to adjust from an option-running offense to a pro style offense. That was followed up by an lifeless 42-point embarrassment against their "in-state rival" Miami. Even last week, the Seminoles were trailing Jacksonville State - an FCS foe - at halftime before pulling away to garner their first win of the year. Sensing the season spinning out of control, Norvell has moved on from longtime quarterback James Blackman to an expected combination of true freshman Tate Rodemaker and redshirt sophomore Jordan Travis. Across the depth chart, the team is littered with first and second year players, as the rebuilding process has taken front stage in yet another lost cause of a season in Florida's capital.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish had their first COVID-19 postponement when their September 26 game against Wake Forest was pushed back to December 12. With a two week lay-off, Coach Brian Kelly has had ample time to prepare for the 'Noles, and the team should be hungry to see the field again. The Irish are led by their senior signal caller Ian Book, an undersized "gamer" who has played a key part of their 2-0 start. One key advantage in this game for Notre Dame is experience - particularly up front. Notre Dame may have the nation's top offensive line, with four seniors and five legitimate NFL draft prospects starting up front and paving lanes for sophomore running back Kyren Williams, who is the only underclassman starting on offense. The talented defense, which pitched a 52-0 shutout of South Florida, is built similarly with talented safety Kyle Hamilton the only starting underclassman.

Only a few times each year does Notre Dame get to experience a home game under the lights, made possible by an NBC initiative in 2017 to improve Notre Dame Stadium's lighting. Defensive coordinator Clark Lea and his vaunted defense have held Notre Dame's opponents to under 30 points in 27-of-28 games in charge. Expect Lea's and Notre Dame's success to continue in an easy home win against a team still searching for its identity.

Pick: Notre Dame -20.5

Texas San-Antonio (UTSA) at #15 Brigham Young (BYU) (-35)

O/U: 63

The UTSA Roadrunners have charged to a 3-1 start to the Coach Jeff Traylor's first season, on the heels of talented sophomore running back Sincere McCormick, who leads the FBS with 527 yards on the ground. Close wins over Texas State and Middle Tennessee State were made possible by the team's underrated special teams play. Kicker Hunter Duplessis has converted his last 18 field goal attempts, marking the top current active streak in the country, and punter Lucas Dean ranks second in Conference-USA in average yards per punt. Since joining the FBS in 2011, UTSA has faced off against five ranked opponents and have covered the spread in four of those games. Unfortunately, quarterback Josh Adkins broke his collarbone on the first play from scrimmage against UAB, forcing UTSA to turn to its 3rd and 4th string quarterbacks. Luckily, however, junior quarterback Frank Harris, who started the team's first 3 games, is expected back after he missed the team's loss to UAB with a knee injury. Harris has taken the majority of first-team reps in practice this week, and will hope to re-spark the Roadrunnners offense. If Harris, a talented dual-threat quarterback who accounted for 8 touchdowns in two and a half games played, is playing at 100%, then UTSA should be able to find creative ways to keep the ball moving against a strong BYU defense.

BYU has been the most dominant team in 2020, with Coach Kelani Sitake's team beating Navy, Troy and Louisiana Tech by a combined 124 points. On offense, junior quarterback Zach Wilson has completed 85% (949 yards, 6 touchdowns, 1 interception), and has added 5 scores on the ground in an effort that is sure to garner early Heisman voters' attention. Wilson's favorite target has been junior receiver Gunner Romney, a distant relative of Utah senator Mitt Romney, who has opened the 2020 campaign with three consecutive 100-yard games. As strong as the offense has been, the defense has matched it punch-for-punch. The Cougars' defense ranks first in the country allowing a mere 214 yards of offense per game, narrowly ahead of the Pitt Panthers, and fourth in the country allowing only 8 points per game. This defensive performance is unlikely to continue against more formidable offenses like the Roadrunners' but provides BYU with a high floor in their hopes of sneaking into the College Football Playoff.

Do not expect a close game - BYU clearly has UTSA overmatched and will coast to victory. However, passing up a spread this high would be inadvisable. UTSA has an exciting offense and should be able to get a few scores on the board to keep this game within the large spread. On the backs of Harris and McCormick, expect the Roadrunners to keep this game in check, before falling away late.

Pick: UTSA +35



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CFB Expert Betting Picks for Week Five (10/3/2020)

Week Four of the fall college football season was a thriller. Texas managed to overcome a double-digit deficit in the final minutes to stave off Texas Tech's upset bid, whereas fellow Big 12 titan Oklahoma was shocked at home against Kansas State.

Week Four was an unfortunate bump in the road for the record, with a 1-2 performance. Kansas State's monumental second half comeback to knock off Oklahoma easily surpassed the over. However, Auburn came to play as they easily dispatched of Kentucky, and Liberty narrowly knocked down Florida International, but failed to cover the 7-point spread. On the season, the picks have been 4-4, with Week Five presenting an opportunity to get back in the green.

In week five, a wide array of competitive conference games awaits us. Here are some betting picks to follow along with as you enjoy another Saturday of college football.

 

#25 Memphis at Southern Methodist (+2)

O/U: 74

The Memphis Tigers enter this week at 1-0, having beaten Arkansas State in their season opener, only to not play for 28 days. New coach Ryan Silverfield inherited a strong returning cast of players from Mike Norvell's 2019 squad, and the offense is the key. Quarterback Brady White and his top receiver Damonte Coxie are among the most feared pass-catching duo in the nation and will be trying to take the top off of the SMU defense all day. While the Memphis defense leaves plenty to be desired, this offense is one of the best in the country and will challenge American Athletic Conference (AAC) defenses all season long.

Senior quarterback Shane Buechele has had a strong start to the season, with 852 passing yards and 7 touchdowns. The Mustangs are 3-0 entering conference play, with this game having been circled months ago as their top target. While SMU's offense is the strength of the team, their special teams have created some spark plays including a blocked punt last week for a safety. On the ground, Ulysses Bentley is averaging 126.7 yards per game, and 10.6 yards per carry. Wide receiver Reggie Roberson on the outside has stepped in nicely to fill the absence of top receiver James Proche, a current Baltimore Raven, from a year ago.

In the 2019 edition of this top tier AAC showdown, Memphis held off SMU at home in front of a College GameDay crowd in a 54-48 game. In that game, all-around playmaker Antonio Gibson had an astounding 386 all-purpose yards. Gibson is now with the Washington Football Team, and Memphis after a long lay-off also will be without his backup last season in running back Kenneth Gainwell. The offensive play in this game should be prolific and this should be a must-watch for anyone who likes a flurry of points and big plays.

Pick: SMU +3

 

#11 North Carolina at Boston College (+14)

O/U: 54

When Coach Mack Brown decided to return to UNC as a 67-year old first-year head coach in 2019, skeptics were aplenty. A season later with a bowl win under his belt and a superstar sophomore quarterback in Sam Howell leading the team, expectations are sky-high for the Tar Heels. After their September 12 win over Syracuse, the team's second game was cancelled due to a COVID-19 outbreak decimating a full position group for their anticipated opponent - the Charlotte 49ers. After a 3-week layoff, Coach Brown's team heads north for its first road game of the year. Brown will hope that the aerial attack of Howell, and his talented trio of receivers Dyami Brown, Dazz Newsome and Beau Corrales can score in bunches to offset an uneven defense which has 6 underclassmen starting.

Boston College survived a strong upset bid from Texas State to win on a last-second 36-yard field goal by Aaron Boumerhi, a former Temple graduate transfer, last week. The Eagles have jumped to a quick 2-0 start behind very strong defensive play, a solid rushing attack, and a steady hand at quarterback in Notre Dame transfer Phil Jurkovec. In the team's season-opening beatdown of Duke, the balanced offensive attack gave Coach Jeff Hafley an easy first win at the helm. While game two was much more difficult, the fourth quarter comeback led by Jurkovec and tight end Hunter Long showed the offensive potential this team can have when running on all cylinders.

Reviving Tar Heels football will not happen overnight, and Coach Brown's job of taking them to a 7-6 record in 2019 was impressive in its own right. The high expectations that national and local media are putting on this team seem a bit unfair, aggressive and undeserved. The Tar Heels very well could contend for the ACC next season when Clemson has to replace Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne, but for the time being they appear to be a second or third tier team not yet worthy of ACC Championship discussion.

Pick: Boston College +14

 

Virginia at #1 Clemson (-28)

O/U: 55

When Virginia won the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Coastal Division, it marked the seventh time in seven seasons that a different team won the division. After watching Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina Pitt, Miami and hated rival Virginia Tech get their coastal trophies, the "Hoos" and Coach Bronco Mendenhall finally joined the group. The 2019 offense was paced by Bryce Perkins, a do-it-all quarterback who is irreplaceable. This year, lefty Brennan Armstrong is trying to replicate Perkins' success with a similar dual-threat style, which he put to good use in a convincing 38-20 win to kick off the season over Duke. The defense took advantage of the Blue Devils to the tune of 5 interceptions, with hopes of putting a little bit of fear into Trevor Lawrence this weekend.

Coach Dabo Swinney's run of excellence with the Clemson Tigers is downright marvelous. Clemson has appeared in each of the last five national championship games and is a favorite to make an appearance once again in 2020. Through two games, the Tigers offense has started fast and eased up after having significant leads over Wake Forest and The Citadel. Lawrence and star running back Travis Etienne have largely taken a back seat, playing in the first halves and sitting the majority of the second halves this season. Virginia brings a unique opponent that will challenge the Tigers from the start. If Virginia can keep the Clemson starters on the field, Clemson might be able to reach the total for this game on their own - as they did in the teams' last matchup.

The last time these teams met, the 2019 ACC Championship game, the outcome of the game was decided well before the 62-17 final score flashed on the scoreboard. Virginia was just happy to be there, while Clemson was chasing yet another national title game appearance.

Pick: Over 55

 

Bonus Game: Central Arkansas at North Dakota State (-23)

The Football Championship Subdivision pushed its season to the spring, while many conferences allowed its teams to pursue additional nonconference games in the fall. Central Arkansas took this as an opportunity to fill up a full fall and spring season, and to pocket some additional funds from FBS teams to help its athletic department. In this game, the Bears, who are 2-1 face off against the defending champion Bison. For the Bears, keep an eye on quarterback Breylin Smith and his talented receivers Tyler Hudson and Lujuan Winningham. For the Bison, much of the fanfare around potential NFL first-round quarterback Trey Lance is justified, having gone for 28 passing touchdowns and zero interceptions in his first season as a starter in 2019. While the Bison will be rightly favored in this game, many teams have experienced bumps in the road when facing off against teams with games under their belt. Having the advantage of already suiting up for a few games this year, expect the Bears to come out firing and hungry at the FargoDome.

Pick: Central Arkansas +23



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CFB Expert Betting Picks for Week Four (9/26/2020)

Week Four of the 2020 fall college football season is upon us. In recent days, both the Mountain West and Mid-American Conferences have publicly pondered a return to collegiate sports this fall, following the lead of the Big Ten who announced its return about a week ago. The prospect of a Tuesday night MAC-tion game in Ypsilanti between Ball State and Eastern Michigan should excite even the most casual college football fan.

In week two, our record was 1-1, due to the unfortunate cancellation of the Baylor-Houston game, a game we almost certainly would have won. Baylor has now had three games cancelled, and Houston has had a stunning five games cancelled because of COVID-19 related reasons. On a positive note, the Pitt offense played just as tepidly as we hoped to allow the Syracuse Orange to cover a large spread, whereas Wake Forest's defense was unable to slow down the North Carolina State Wolfpack on our way to our only narrow defeat last week.

In week four, we will take a look at some high-flying offenses and our first peek at the SEC, who returns to play this week. Here are a few betting picks to follow along with as you enjoy another Saturday of college football.

 

Kansas State at #3 Oklahoma (-28)

O/U: 61

One of the most thrilling college football games of 2019 was Kansas State's stunning 48-41 upset over Oklahoma. The Wildcats return quarterback Skylar Thompson, who has made 28 career starts. Coach Chris Klieman, who came to Kansas State in 2019 after a dominant run in charge of FCS-powerhouse North Dakota State, had a promising 8-5 2019 campaign. The Wildcats must replace their top rusher and receiver from a year ago, but proved in the season-opening loss to Arkansas State that the offense should continue to thrive. The defense, which gave up 35 to Arkansas State, is another story. Replacing three of four starting defensive linemen created a gash along the line that the team is still trying to adjust to on the fly. An interesting fact - Kansas State allowed its opponents to score on 97.06% of their trips to the red zone, ranking dead last in the nation.

Lincoln Riley is one of the finest offensive minds in college football, and he seemingly has another star quarterback on his hands in redshirt freshman Spencer Rattler. Rattler and the Sooners' offense was dominant against Missouri State in the opener, displaying a proficient ground and air attack. Under Coach Riley's command, Oklahoma only scored under 30 points in one game last season, and star receivers Charleston Rambo and Theo Howard provide Rattler targets that will allow him to strive for that once more. As is the case with many Big 12 teams, the defense has some holes. Star linebacker Kenneth Murray became an NFL first round pick, and while the team did allow Missouri State to a mere 135 yards, you have to consider that the Missouri State Bears are a rebuilding team with Bobby Petrino in his first season as coach.

With two middle-of-the-road defenses, and two prolific quarterbacks, a repeat of last season's shootout is certainly possible. Oklahoma eased up, holding the ball for over 10 minutes in the final 3 quarters, and still managed a 48-0 win. If both offenses are sharp, expect points to fill up the board in a classic Big 12 matchup.

Pick: Over 61

 

#23 Kentucky at #8 Auburn (-7.5)

O/U: 49.5

Kentucky is certainly a blue-blood basketball school, but head coach Mark Stoops is doing a great job of dispelling that one-sport perception. Stoops has taken the Wildcats to four straight bowls and is 18-8 in his last two seasons, while playing in the gauntlet that is the SEC. In recent year's, Kentucky has built its strength on a strong pass rush on defense, with a solid rushing attack on offense. This season is no different, with stud edge rushers Josh Paschal and Jamar Watson hoping to make the same leap that linebacker Josh Allen made a few seasons ago before becoming a top 10 draft pick in the NFL draft. In 2019, the defense ranked 14th in the country in scoring defense, and returns 7 starters. On offense, the Lynn Bowden experience came to an end when he graduated and became a third round pick in the NFL draft. Bowden was arguably the team's best quarterback, running back, and wide receiver at stretches of last season and will be impossible to replace. 2018 starting quarterback Terry Wilson returns from a devastating knee injury last season, and has a strong stable of running backs at his disposal - Asim Rose, Kavosiey Smoke, and Christopher Rodriguez - that will find plenty of holes behind a top-flight offensive line with four experienced starters back. 

Auburn broke in a true freshman quarterback last season and managed a 9-4 record which included stunning wins over Oregon and Alabama, and losses to four ranked opponents. Sophomore Bo Nix should be more consistent than he was last season, but the engines that led this team were the defense and running back JarTarvious Whitlow. Whitlow is now at Western Illinois, while the defense lost 7 starters, including dominant defensive linemen Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson. Sophomore running back DJ Williams will hope to replace Whitlow's output, but the defense will be much more difficult to patch together without having had the benefit of a spring practice. There is still plenty of firepower for Coach Guz Malzahn's defense - such as junior cornerback Roger McCreary and senior edge rusher Big Kat Bryant - but retooling the defense and replacing all five offensive line starters is a tall task.

A season ago, the Auburn Tigers had mild expectations with a true freshman quarterback, and rode their defense to a strong campaign. This year, if the pieces on defense meld together and Malzahn can find five linemen to keep Nix standing up, they have a chance to repeat that. This feels like too many things need to fall into place for success, and Kentucky should have plenty of success on the ground on Saturday.

Pick: Kentucky +7.5

 

Florida International at Liberty (-7)

O/U: 59

Coach Butch Davis, who is the last head coach to take the Cleveland Browns to the playoffs, enters his fourth season at FIU having had plenty of success and sporting a 23-16 record. The 2019 Panthers had two players taken in the NFL draft, including quarterback James Morgan, arguably the best quarterback in program history. On the first depth chart of the season, FIU has 3 co-starters listed at quarterback. As the saying goes, "if you have a ton of quarterbacks, you really have none." The offense returns only 3 starters, while the defense must replace 5. FIU has not won a season opener under Davis, and failed to win a road game last season (the Panthers' upset of Miami last season was technically a home game, despite the schools being a mere 10 miles apart). Outside linebacker Rocky Jacques-Louis is a player to keep an eye on for his pass rushing ability, and his A-grade name.

Liberty had an impressive 8-5 record in Hugh Freeze's first season as coach, and led the 2020 season off with a road upset of Western Kentucky as 14-point underdogs. Replacing 2019's star quarterback-wide receiver duo of Steven Calvert and Antonio Gandy-Golden was not expected to be easy, but Auburn transfer quarterback Malik Wills is making a smooth transition. Wills, a dual threat quarterback, notched 133 yards through the air and 168 yards on the ground, to complement running back Joshua Mack's 100 yards and lead the Flames to victory. Senior wide receiver DJ Stubbs always played second fiddle to Gandy-Golden but has two years of starting experience and will be a weapon throughout for Wills to utilize. On defense, the Flames do have some worries as they replace 7 starters, but does have star-power with defensive end TreShaun Clark, and the defense held Western Kentucky to under 300 yards.

This will will be the first-ever matchup between these two teams. Malik Wills, running behind an experienced offensive line with four seniors, is going to be a difficult matchup for FIU. Coach Hugh Freeze has never lost at Liberty when allowing less than 20 points in a game, and FIU's uncertainty at quarterback creates a massive question mark as to the direction of their offense.

Pick: Liberty -7



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CFB Expert Betting Picks for Week Three (9/19/2020)

Entering week three of the fall college football season, there have been a fair share of upsets, and pandemonium. The Sun Belt went 3-0 against the Big 12, the Big Ten announced that they will be re-starting their fall season in late October, and the Mountain West Conference is also considering following them back with an abbreviated 8-game fall season as well. With news moving so fast around college football, if you blink you might miss something big.

Last week, we got out to a 2-1 start for the year. The humming offenses of Arkansas State and Kansas State easily surpassed the total with ease, and Charlotte stuck with Appalachian State until the upset bid fell apart in the fourth quarter losing by 15 to still cover that spread. Unfortunately, Notre Dame stumbled out of the gate and was in close game with Duke until late in the second half, a result that could be attributed to the team's nervousness playing in their first conference game ever last week (Coach Brian Kelly said in the postgame interview that the Fighting Irish would return to their Independent status in 2021, likely due to fear of losing to teams like Duke in the future conference play).

This week's slate features several exciting match-ups, with Heisman hopefuls and the start of conference championship chases. Here are a few betting picks to follow along with as you enjoy another Saturday of college football.

 

Syracuse at Pittsburgh (-21.5)

O/U: 50.5

For those who have not had the opportunity, a drive up Interstate-81 through Syracuse and Upstate New York is a sight to behold with the changing of the leaves in autumn. However, Coach Dino Babers' Syracuse Orange football team has been quite the opposite over the past two seasons with poor recruiting and dismal offensive line play cratering the team last year. As recently as 2018, Syracuse sported a 10-3 record, and was one season removed from taking down the ACC's crown jewel Clemson. In the opener, the Orange took the North Carolina Tar Heels to the fourth quarter in a close game only to give up a trio of fourth-quarter touchdowns. Syracuse managed to force two interceptions, and ball hawk safety Andre Cisco will be hoping to notch another pick versus the Panthers.

Under Coach Pat Narduzzi, the Pitt Panthers have a 37-29 record, and have won 24 conference games in that span - a total that only trails Miami and Clemson. Quarterback Kenny Pickett and the offense were able to do anything they wanted to in an easy 55-0 season-opening win over FCS-level Austin Peay. Even after talented defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman opted out of the fall season to prepare for the draft, the Panthers return a very deep defense that only allowed Austin Peay one net rushing yard in their opener last week. While Coach Narduzzi has stated that he expects all of his starters back this week, the ACC COVID-19 protocols may not allow that. The ACC requires players who test positive for COVID to quarantine for 10 days, and the Panthers missed seven players for undisclosed reasons relating to potential positive COVID-19 tests or contact tracing against the Governors last week including starting defensive linemen Rashad Weaver and Keyshon Camp. Even with the Panthers' depth along the defensive line, this will be an item to keep a close eye on this week.

Despite Pitt's recent success in this rivalry between two northeastern ACC teams, the games are always played close. Pitt has won 15 of the past 18 games against the Orange and clearly come in with the superior talent in this game, but the Orange and Panthers have played six of the last eight match-ups to single digit margins of victory.

Pick: Syracuse +21.5

 

Houston at Baylor (-4.5)

O/U: 62

2019 was a lost cause for Houston under Coach Dana Holgorsen's first year at the helm. After a 1-3 start to the season, a few of the team's key players including quarterback D'Eriq King decided to sit the remainder of the season to redshirt and preserve a season of eligibility. With King having transferred to Miami in the off-season, junior Clayton Tune will retain the starting gig from a year ago. Tune struggled at times, and ended the season with a 59.1% completion percentage and a mere 11 touchdowns to 9 interceptions. Tune does have star receiver Marquez Stevenson, who led the FBS with nine receptions of 50 yards or more and is always a threat to take to break an explosive play. Unfortunately for Coach Holgorsen, a defense that could not seemingly stop anyone last year does not look very improved and may be a sore spot for the Cougars all season long.

The Baylor Bears were one of the best stories in college football last season, making their first appearance in a Big 12 Conference Championship game, an 11-3 record and a Sugar Bowl appearance. After such a successful campaign and overseeing a 1-11 to 11-3 transition in just two seasons, former Coach Matt Rhule took a leap to take the head coaching position for the NFL's Carolina Panthers. Rhule was replaced by former LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, who has the benefit of getting back fourth-year starting quarterback Charlie Brewer - a talented dual-threat signal caller. Top receiver Denzel Mims is now with the New York Jets, but the Bears do return plenty of play-makers on the outside like junior Tyquan Thornton - a potential All-Big 12 breakout receiver.

With Aranda's focus on defense, and the patchwork offensive line of the Cougars, this game could get ugly in a hurry. One key player to keep an eye on is edge rusher William Bradley-King, an Arkansas State graduate transfer, who had 13.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks a season ago and will be used as a disruptive situational pass rusher for Baylor. Expect Baylor's defense to pressure Tune to the tune of a few costly turnovers and the experienced quarterback Brewer to guide the offense in the Bears' season opener.

Pick: Baylor -4.5

 

Wake Forest at North Carolina State (-2.5)

O/U: 52.5

In 2019, Wake Forest had enviable quarterback depth with the talented dual-threat quarterback Jamie Newman, backed up by 2018 starter Sam Hartman. After Newman decided to transfer to Georgia (and subsequently opted out of the 2020 season to prepare for the draft), the Demon Deacons were still in good hands with the steady Hartman at the helm. Wake Forest was dealt a difficult hand in their opening game suffering a 37-13 defeat at the hands of Clemson at home. Coach Dave Clawson has lead his team with a steady hand - guiding Wake Forest to four consecutive bowl game appearances for the first time in program history.

The North Carolina State Wolfpack endured a miserable 2019 season due to injury, inconsistency, and one of the worst defenses in college football. The Wolfpack only win over a Power 5 school was a 16-10 home win over Syracuse. Coach Dave Doeren is entering his 8th year in charge in Raleigh, and the temperature on his seat has been getting hotter as the 2020 season approaches. For a school that has five current quarterbacks in the NFL (Phillip Rivers, Russel Wilson, Jacoby Brissett, Ryan Finley and Mike Glennon), the results at the position last year had to be disheartening. Devin Leary is a redshirt sophomore this season, with hopes of showing significant improvement over last year's 8 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. Leary's top target will be tight end Cary Angeline, who is a legitimate NFL prospect on a team with a dearth of potential pro talent.

Losing to Clemson by 24 points is a respectable result for Wake Forest, who have experienced a resurgence under Coach Clawson. The offense, led by Hartman and the running back tandem of Christian Beal-Smith and Kenneth Walker, will be difficult for most average ACC teams to contain. Luckily for the Demon Deacon and their star edge rusher Carlos "Boogie" Basham, the Wolfpack are in the midst of a total rebuilding project and present a good opportunity to notch their first win of the abbreviated 2020 fall season.

Pick: Wake Forest +2.5



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CFB Betting Expert Picks for Week One (9/12/2020)

Congratulations, our long national nightmare is over. After an 8-month hiatus, college football is finally back. This week, and every week, we will take a look at some of college football's best available bets on the board.

Each week will bring its bumps, bruises, and unexpected turns in the age of COVID. In the first college football game of the year, for example, Austin Peay played without their top long snapper forcing the quarterback to have to pooch punt for the remainder of the game. Small adjustments like these can make or break a week, and we'll do our part to stay on top of the nuances to bring some of the best picks to you each week.

This week brings the first games for the ACC and Big 12 conferences in this 2020 fall college football season. Without further ado, here are some of my favorite picks for Week 1 of the 2020 college football season.

 

Charlotte at Appalachian State (-17)

O/U: 59

The 2-hour trip up Interstate-77 is a commute that both Charlotte and Appalachian State have had long interest in making an annual trip, but logistically have been unable to squeeze into a long-term annual contract. In each of the past two seasons, Appalachian State has shown its potent offensive firepower outscoring the 49ers 101 to 50, and now breaks in its third different head coach in as many years when Shawn Clark patrols the sideline for the first time. Third-year starting quarterback Zac Thomas has had a prolific career in Boone, North Carolina, but was dealt a big blow when star receiver Corey Sutton decided to opt out of the fall season in the fall. While the offense should still operate at a high level, with 7 returning starters, the concerns start on defense. Star linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither, a fourth round draft pick by the Cincinnati Bengals, is irreplaceable and is one of 6 defensive starters gone from last year's team.

The Charlotte 49ers had a highly successful 2019 campaign under first-year head coach Will Healy as they made their first-ever bowl game appearance. Healy, who oversaw a monumental transformation of a middling Austin Peay program prior to joining Charlotte last year, will have to replace a few key contributors from 2019, including All-Conference USA defensive end Alex Highsmith, and two-time 1,000-yard rusher Benny LeMay. Luckily, help on the way on offense as Northern Illinois graduate transfer Tre Harbison (2 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for the Wolfpack) joined the team in the spring to shore up the running game, while quarterback Chris Reynolds returns his top two receivers in Victor Tucker and Cam Dollar. On defense, Charlotte returns 7 starters, and gets a huge boost with two sixth-year senior stars in defensive end Tyriq Harris and safety Ben DeLuca who both missed 2019 with injury.

Appalachian State is overwhelmingly favored to conquer the Sun Belt, with a legitimate chance of posting a perfect 11-0 record. Having to replace three of four linebackers, and two three-year starters in the defensive backfield will be a difficult task for the Mountaineers in their quest for a perfect season.

Pick: Charlotte +17

 

Duke at Notre Dame (-20)

O/U: 53.5

Coach David Cutcliffe is one of the longest-tenured coaches in college football, having been at the helm of Duke since December 2017. Duke's 72-79 record in those 12 seasons perfectly encapsulates the consistency that Cutcliffe has brought to an otherwise middling program that had a combined 19 wins in the 12 years prior to his arrival. The Blue Devils enter 2020 with a new quarterback in Clemson transfer Chase Brice, for whom the team has high expectations this year. Unfortunately, Duke received a bad piece of news when All-ACC center Jack Wohlabaugh suffered a serious right knee injury. Coincidentally, Wohlabaugh's injury replacement is redshirt junior Will Taylor, who was the new quarterback's center at Grayson High School in Loganville, Georgia.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are led by their fifth-year senior quarterback and marketing major Ian Book. Book took over as the starting quarterback midway through the 2018 season, en route to a prolific 2019 season in which the captain was threw for 34 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions as the team's offensive player of the year. Entering 2020 as an early Heisman contender, Book will have plenty of help up front with all five primary starting offensive linemen - Liam Eichenberg, Aaron Banks, Jarrett Patterson, Tommy Kraemer and Robert Hainsey - returning for another season in South Bend. The road-grading group up front paved the way for lead back Tony Jones Jr. to average over 6 yards per carry last year and will open holes for whichever young back takes over for Jones this season.

With the South Bend weather forecasting rain and overcast skies, the running game will be crucial to deciding this game's fate. Behind the stout offensive line, the weather and overall talent level vastly favors the Fighting Irish.

Pick: Notre Dame -10 first half

 

Arkansas State at Kansas State (-11)

O/U: 54.5

The Arkansas State Red Wolves stumbled in their opener last week at Memphis, but showed some flashes that should keep bettors excited about this team's prospects. Starting quarterback Logan Bonner, a junior who started four games in 2019 before injury, had two costly interceptions and looked lost against the Memphis defense. Coach Blake Andersen turned to his backup, Alabama transfer Layne Hatcher, who led the Red Wolves down the field catching an immediate connection with former Oklahoma transfer Dahu Green on the outside. Last season under the Bonner-Hatcher duo, Arkansas State ranked 10th in the nation in passing yards per game (312) and 26th in points per game (33.7). The defense, which ranked 114th in points allowed per game (34.2) remains suspect. 

Coach Chris Klieman worked wonders with Kansas State last year in his first season at the FBS level, after leading North Dakota State to four consecutive FCS championship appearances. The Wildcats are led by dual-threat quarterback Skylar Thompson, who threw for 12 touchdowns and ran for 11 more in 2019. An interesting tidbit to keep an eye on - the Wildcats have scored the most non-offensive touchdowns in the nation since 1999 with 118. 

Kansas State will be caught up in its fair share of high-scoring affairs playing in the Big 12 this season, and it makes sense that this game should be another one of those types of games.

Pick: Over 54.5

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CFB Expert Heisman Futures Betting Picks

Despite a smaller field of teams playing college football this fall, decision-makers have confirmed that the College Football Playoff will be played, and the Heisman trophy will be awarded. With many top players opting out of the season to prepare for the draft, this year's field of Heisman hopefuls will bring some new faces to the familiar group of favorites.

A season ago, Joe Burrow shattered many of the Heisman trophy voting records and came close to a unanimous win. Burrow's unexpected rise to stardom could be the path followed by any number of players in this year's field, as we seek to find the next Heisman winner.

As the 2020 fall college football season approaches, also take a look at some of our expert CFB conference futures picks. Also, every week this season, we will bring you expert betting picks and content to help guide you through the college football season.

 

A History of the Heisman Trophy

The Heisman trophy, which is annually awarded to the "most outstanding player in college football," was first awarded in 1935. In a normal year, all living Heisman trophy winners and the current year's finalists are invited to New York City to welcome the newest member of their elite group.

The Heisman trophy has been dominated in recent years by quarterbacks, but that has not always been the case. Up until the turn of the 21st Century, running backs were the typical winners. With the way that the game has changed and the introduction of the air raid offenses, expect the recent dominance of quarterbacks to continue. Below is the list of historical Heisman winners by position.

Position Winners Most Recent Winner
RB 43 Derrick Henry (2015)
QB 35 Joe Burrow (2019)
WR 3 Desmond Howard (1991)
TE 2 Leon Hart (1949)
DB 1 Charles Woodson (1997)

 

In recent years, the foregone conclusion in most years is that a quarterback on a contending team should enter the year as a favorite to win it. This year's odds reflect that, as the last ten Heisman award winners are seen below.

Year Winner Position School
2019 Joe Burrow QB LSU
2018 Kyler Murray QB Oklahoma
2017 Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma
2016 Lamar Jackson QB Louisville
2015 Derrick Henry RB Alabama
2014 Marcus Mariota QB Oregon
2013 Jameis Winston QB Florida State
2012 Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M
2011 Robert Griffin III QB Baylor
2010 Cam Newton QB Auburn

 

The Favorites

Unsurprisingly, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence enters 2020 as the odds-on favorite to win the Heisman, coming off an impressive season with 3,665 passing yards, 36 touchdowns and 8 interceptions for the national runners-up. Lawrence will be without top pass-catcher Tee Higgins from a year ago, but the plethora of talented 5-star recruits surrounding him justify his position as the favorite.

In 2017 and 2018, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray became the first duo of quarterbacks to win the Heisman trophy in back-to-back years from the same school. In 2019, Jalen Hurts nearly continued the trend with an extremely strong campaign for coach Lincoln Riley. This year's new starter, redshirt freshman Spencer Rattler, is receiving more hype than some might expect for a player with 11 career passing attempts. Rattler, a dual-threat quarterback, has talented play-makers around him like receiver Charleston Rambo, and has the pedigree (consensus 5-star recruit out of high school) to put up some gaudy statistics in 2020.

Sam Ehlinger enters his fourth year as the Texas Longhorns' starting quarterback to much fanfare. In 2019, Ehlinger improved statistically across the board with 32 touchdowns, and only 10 interceptions. The marketing major from Austin, Texas, also poses a threat with his legs - as proven by his 16 rushing touchdowns in 2018. Ehlinger has talented receivers in Tarik Black, a Michigan transfer, and Brennan Eagles that will need to have big seasons if he hopes to hoist the Heisman this fall.

D'Eriq King enters 2020 as one of the most highly anticipated transfer quarterbacks this season. After a prolific 2018 campaign in which King accounted for 50 touchdowns, he played only four games in 2019 in order to preserve a redshirt for 2020. A graduate transfer from Houston, King hopes to take the Miami Hurricanes back to their early 2000's greatness. Miami's offense as a whole struggled mightily in 2019, and the young offensive line and inconsistent quarterback play. King's mobility and experience gives Hurricanes fans hope that 2020 will be a good one for "The U" and that it might come with some shiny hardware like the Heisman trophy.

 

Sleepers

When Mack Brown decided to reenter coaching last year at the age of 67, expectations were fairly low for his North Carolina Tar Heels team. After an impressive freshman campaign by his quarterback Sam Howell, expectations now are sky high. Howell threw for 38 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions a true freshman, and brought the Tar Heels out of the basement of the ACC and to their first bowl win since 2013. With his top 3 receivers - Dyami Brown, Dazz Newsome and Beau Corrales - all returning for 2020, Howell should be a strong contender if he can avoid a sophomore slump in his second year in Chapel Hill.

Kellen Mond, the highly touted quarterback of Texas A&M, enters his fourth season as the Aggies starting quarterback. Mond entered 2019 with much fanfare, but stumbled as he could not replicate his strong sophomore campaign. With a wealth of experience, having started 36 career games, and a difficult 10-game gauntlet of a schedule, Mond has both the requisite experience and challenging opponents needed to impress Heisman voters. Mond will need to improve on his 20 passing touchdowns and 9 interceptions from a year ago if he hopes to compete for the most prestigious award in college football and follow in the footsteps of Texas A&M's most recent Heisman winner, Johnny Manziel.

Another ACC school that had a great bounce-back season under a first year head coach was Louisville last season. Head coach Scott Satterfield brought a high-tempo offense with him from Appalachian State, and the Louisville Cardinals offense flourished under his guidance with quarterback Micale Cunningham leading the way. Cunningham was incredibly efficient throwing only 5 interceptions against 22 touchdowns, and added 482 yards rushing. With top receiver Tutu Atwell, and top running backs Javian Hawkins and Hassan Hall, back for 2020, Cunningham has the weapons around him for a monster season.

John Rhys Plumlee split time last season as the starting quarterback for Ole Miss. In 9 games as a true freshman, he displayed an impressive rushing ability with 1,023 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. The lackluster part of his game was his passing as he completed only 52.7% of his throws and had a dismal 4 touchdowns against 3 interceptions. For bettors looking for a value pick, Plumlee has a high floor with his impressive rushing ability, and will have plenty of marquee match-ups in the SEC. If Plumlee can show significant improvement in the passing game, and replicate his rookie rushing numbers, he could be a Heisman long-shot to keep an eye on.

The Picks:

Sam Howell +2000 to win the Heisman

Micale Cunningham +12500 to win the Heisman

John Rhys Plumlee +15000 to win the Heisman

 

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2020 College Football Preseason Expert Futures Betting Picks

College football's long-awaited return came on August 29th when Central Arkansas took down Austin Peay in the annual Football Championship Subdivision (FCS, formerly I-AA) kickoff game. Labor Day weekend brought the return of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), which is commonly referred to as "D-1."

This coming weekend brings the return of three of the "Power 5" conferences, a full slate of exciting games, and the sense of a return to normalcy to one of America's fall traditions. Tailgating might be disallowed in some states, but fans will be able to follow along with their favorite teams (or pick new teams) as the pursuit of the College Football Playoff (CFP) commences.

As the 2020 fall college football season approaches, keeping our fingers crossed each week that it will continue, we will look through some of the available futures bets available. Every week this season, we will bring you expert betting picks and content to help guide you through the college football season.

 

Who's Playing and What Will Be Different This Fall

Before digging into some of our best futures bets, let's reset the diminished 2020 college football field. The Big Ten, Pac-12, Mountain West, and Mid-American Conferences all postponed their fall football seasons, with eyes on rescheduling for the spring. The American Athletic Conference (AAC), Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big 12 Conference, Conference-USA, Southeastern Conference (SEC), and Sun Belt Conference have all made plans to play this fall 2020 season. Despite recent conversations that the Big Ten has reportedly had with state and federal elected officials about a mid-October start to the season, as things presently stand the National Championship contender field will be devoid of the opportunity of seeing Ohio State in the (CFP) once again.

While the rules of the game have not changed, you will see many new changes coming this fall. Referees will no longer be using the traditional whistles, replaced by an electronic whistle attached to their hips, and activated with the click of a button. Coaches and players on the sidelines will be wearing masks and practicing social distancing when they can. Stadiums will be largely empty, with capacity ranging from zero fans allowed to 20,000 fans. Players, coaches, and officials are privy to their conference's COVID-19 testing policies, with multiple tests required throughout a week in order to play on Saturdays. Despite all these changes, the return of college football will bring a sense of normalcy to many.

 

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

The ACC will be playing a 10-game conference schedule, with each team permitted to seek out an additional non-conference matchup. The Clemson Tigers are the overwhelming favorite to repeat as ACC champions for the sixth consecutive season at -455. The Tigers must replace four multi-year starters from their stout offensive line, star receiver Tee Higgins, and six defensive starters from a team that placed second in the nation behind LSU. With quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne returning for another year, the Tigers will and should be favored in every game this season even with a largely new supporting cast surrounding them.

2020 marks the first year that Notre Dame will be playing in a college football conference when they suit up as a member of the ACC. The Fighting Irish, who joined the ACC in all sports but football and hockey in 2012, return 8 offensive starters including their star quarterback Ian Book, who passed for 34 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions a year ago. Notre Dame also has a fairly manageable schedule and should be favored in all of their matchups aside from the November 7 showdown with Clemson in South Bend. If Notre Dame can steer clear of potential road upsets at Pitt or North Carolina, they should get another chance at Clemson in the December ACC championship game.

When looking for a sleeper, an experienced team with a stout defense and history of upsets is not a bad place to start. Coach Pat Narduzzi's Pitt Panthers return 16 starters from a year ago, as well as adding two potential star defensive linemen in Rashad Weaver and Keyshon Camp who were injured a year ago. The Panthers have knocked off #2 Clemson in Death Valley in 2016 (no team has won at Clemson since), #2 Miami in the final game of 2017, and handed Central Florida (UCF) its first loss in 27 regular-season games in memorable fashion.

Picks:

The Value Pick: Notre Dame +650 to win the ACC

The Sleeper: Pittsburgh +3300 to win the ACC

 

The Big 12 Conference

The Big 12 adopted a similar plan to the ACC's plan, with their usual nine-game conference schedule, and an additional optional non-conference game. This year's favorite, the Oklahoma Sooners, will be starting a non-transfer quarterback for the first time in five years when highly touted redshirt freshman Spencer Rattler takes the field on Saturday in an unusual "Pay Per View" matchup costing $54.99. Coach Lincoln Riley has the unenviable task of having to replace the heart-and-soul of both his offense and defense - NFL first-round picks CeeDee Lamb and linebacker Kenneth Murray. Junior wide receiver Charleston Rambo, who caught 43 passes playing across the field from Lamb, is the player to watch on offense. If Rambo has a breakout season, the Sooners should be the odds-on favorite in most of their matchups in 2020 and is favored to win the conference at -125 odds.

Entering the 2020 season ranked as the #23 team in the country, Iowa State is a team on the rise. The Hawkeyes return 14 players who received All-Big 12 recognition last year, including junior quarterback Brock Purdy, and his dual tight end threats Charlie Kolar and Chase Allen. The Cyclones have 10 players on both offense and defense who have started at least five games in their careers and set school records in total offense and passing yards last year. The Cyclones are the only team in the Big 12 other than Oklahoma to have appeared in the CFP rankings in each of the last 3 seasons and have the returning team to finally reach that new height.

In Coach Neal Brown's first season at the helm, the West Virginia Mountaineers stumbled to a 5-7 record in 2019. The team did, however, win two of their final three games after Bowling Green transfer Jarret Doege was installed as the new starting quarterback. Doege, who played only four games last season to preserve a redshirt and an extra season of eligibility under NCAA rules, sat by design in an effort to learn the offense and prepare for a comeback season in 2020. With Doege under center and a talented young set of skill position players surrounding him, the West Virginia offense should produce at its usual Big 12-proficiency. In an unpredictable season, the Mountaineer defense will have to overcome losses such as cornerbacks Hakeem Bailey and Keith Washington and linebacker Shane Campbell, to compete in the Big 12.

The Value Pick: Iowa State +1000 to win the Big 12

The Sleeper: West Virginia +2500 to win the Big 12

 

Southeastern Conference (SEC)

The SEC decided in early August to scrap the original schedule and replace it with a ten-game schedule featuring conference opponents only to insulate the schools from lax COVID-19 testing procedures. Alabama enters the season as the favorite to win the conference with -143 odds. The Tagovailoa era came to an end last year with Tua and brother Taulia's respective departures to the NFL's Miami Dolphins and the Maryland Terrapins. Mac Jones, who threw 14 touchdowns against 3 interceptions in four starts last season, takes over at quarterback, with returning star receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle forming a dangerous duo. As usual, the Crimson Tide will be a tough team to beat this fall.

The Florida Gators, led by quarterback Kyle Trask and tight end Kyle Pitts, are emerging as a legitimate contender under head coach Dan Mullen. The Gators benefit from avoiding Alabama and Auburn in conference play and getting a rebuilding LSU at home this year. When Georgia quarterback Jamie Newman decided to opt-out of the season to prepare for the 2021 NFL draft, the Gators became the best team in the East and should advance to the SEC Championship in December for a battle with 'Bama if all goes according to plan this season.

Coach Mark Stoops has managed to build the Kentucky Wildcats into a formidable SEC opponent, something that many would have thought an impossible feat at the outset of the 21st century. Stoops has taken the Wildcats to four straight bowls, including victories over Penn State in 2018 and Virginia Tech in 2019. Now, the Wildcats are seeking to take the next step towards an appearance in the SEC Championship game. The Wildcats' 2019 season was defined by wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr, a 3rd round draft pick in the 2020 NFL draft, as he led the team in rushing and receiving while starting much of the second half of the season as the team's quarterback. The return of quarterback Terry Wilson, who suffered a season-ending knee injury, and the team's stable of talented young running backs behind four returning starters on the offensive line, eases the pain of losing Bowden. The strong rushing attack should allow the Wildcats to continue to control the pace of play as they hope to take the next step as an SEC contender.

The Value Pick: Florida +400 to win the SEC

The Sleeper: Kentucky to win the SEC East +1400

 

Odds shown are courtesy of Draftkings. Thanks for reading, and remember to gamble responsibly.

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NCAA Prospects To Watch For Dynasty Leagues: Bowl Week Three

I hope everybody enjoyed the holidays. We're a day away from ending this decade and bringing in a new year. The NFL playoffs are set, the majority of the teams have turned their attention to the NFL Draft, and the bowl games are heating up. It's quite an exciting time of year.

After two previous editions breaking down the early bowl games, this edition will be the final one of the year, looking at all of the remaining bowl games with potentially fantasy-relevant players.

I'm not including the National Championship game, but I broke down those players in the second Bowl Week edition of this piece, so I encourage you to check it out.

 
Bowl Week 3 - Matchups to Watch

I hope to give you a few guys to key in on during each game to give you a leg up in fantasy football dynasty leagues or on some early research for redraft leagues. Also, as fantasy has shown us, having specific rooting interests or players to follow just makes every game more interesting.

 

Monday, December 30th

Western Kentucky - Western Michigan, 12:30 PM ET

LeVante Bellamy, RB Western Michigan

Projection: Fifth - Sixth Round Pick

Bellamy is a small-school running back in a deep class, so not many people are talking about him, but he has an intriguing skill set for the next level. He's a small back at 5'9" but he has the frame (190 pounds) to take a beating and a low center of gravity to fight through contact and cut through the line, which is why he has 23 touchdowns on the year. However, his value is in his speed. He has legit 4.3 speed and can vanish in the open field. His size limits his NFL future to a change-of-pace back, and he needs to show more in the passing game to have consistent value as a committee back; this year he has half the amount of receptions he had last year, so that's worrying.

 

Dontavian "Lucky" Jackson, WR Western Kentucky

Projection: Sixth Round Pick

Jackson isn't on here just because he goes by "Lucky." Jackson is the Hilltoppers leading receiver with 77 catches. He has good NFL size at 6'1" 185 pounds and solid hands. He's more of a possession receiver with high 4.4 or low 4.5 speed, but guys like that - Mohamed Sanu and Jordan Matthews for a start - have carved out fantasy value in the right offense.

 

Mississippi State - Louisville, 4:00 PM ET

Kylin Hill, RB Mississippi State

Projection: Third to Fourth Round Pick

In any other year, Kylin Hill would be a draft darling. In this loaded running back class, he's likely going to be an afterthought that could emerge as a starting NFL running back. He has great footwork in out of out cuts, and when he sees a hole he hits it hard. He shows good instincts as a runner and uses his low center of gravity to withstand contact. He has the patience to let things develop and then packs a wallop in his 215-pound frame. He's not used a lot in the passing game, but if he uses the post-season testing to show soft hands to pair with his good open-field ability, Hill could emerge as a true three-down back and a sneaky fantasy option.

 

Florida - Virginia 8:00 PM ET

Van Jefferson, WR Florida

Projection: Fifth - Sixth Round Pick 

Van Jefferson is going to be drafted on his intelligence and route-running and not his stats. The senior has never put up more than 543 yards in a season, but he's the son of a former NFL player and knows the mental part of the game. He runs precise routes and competes on every possession. He's not going to be a game-changer for anybody, but he has value as a solid possession receiver in the NFL with the size - 6'2" 200 pounds - to emerge as a red-zone option.

 

Lamical Perine, RB Florida

Projection: Sixth Round Pick 

At 5'11" 220 pounds, Perine is more of a power back. He has good vision and hits the hole with aggression and a strong balance. He's not going to make defenders miss with any regularity, but he sets up solid angles and is tough to bring down on first contact. Most crucially for his value, Perine caught 35 passes this year, showing that he has more versatility than just as an inside runner. He's likely a committee back, but he could have value if given an opportunity.

 

Joe Reed, WR Virginia

Projection: Fifth - Sixth Round Pick

Joe Reed is a well-built wide receiver at 6'1" 215 pounds and he has legit 4.4 speed. He never quite produced in a Virginia system with a running quarterback, but Reed's raw ability makes him intriguing at the next level. His route tree is a little limited, which will likely cause some teams to pass on him, but Reed is also a dynamic return man, taking back five kicks for touchdowns over the last three seasons. He'll be drafted for his special teams value but could grow into a more well-rounded playmaker.

Tuesday, December 31st 

Virginia Tech - Kentucky 12:00 PM ET

Lynn Bowden, RB/WR Kentucky

Projection: Third - Fourth Round Pick

Bowden has become a do-it-all player for the Wildcats, even having to play quarterback for them during the season. However, Bowden's future is likely as a running back or gadget player. At 6'1" 200 pounds, he has more of the size of a wide receiver, but he's been dynamic as Kentucky's leading rusher, totaling 1,235 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground to go along with 348 yards and a touchdown through the air. Kentucky chose to transition Bowden to running back full-time because he's dynamic with the ball in his hands and elusive in the open field. It might be the best decision for his future. There are a few people that have compared Bowden to Tony Pollard, which means the Kentucky product could become a sexy fantasy option over the summer.

 

Ahmad Wagner, TE Kentucky

Projection: Sixth - Seventh Round Pick

Wagner is a pick simply based on upside. He's 6'6" 235 pounds with a 6'10" wingspan and spent three years playing basketball at Iowa. Then he switched sports and transferred, despite playing only one year of high school football. He battled a leg injury for a few games during the season but will be an intriguing project to watch for players who play in dynasty leagues.

 

Florida State - Arizona State 2:00 PM ET

Brandon Aiyuk, WR Arizona State

Projection: Second - Third Round Pick

Eno Benjamin, RB Arizona State

Projection: Fourth Round Pick

Cam Akers, RB Florida State

Projection: Third Round Pick

There's not going to be anything to watch with these guys since they will all be skipping in the game to prepare for the NFL Draft, but they are all potential fantasy assets next year. Aiyuk is a speed threat with impressive change-of-direction skills and solid hands. Benjamin is a runner with good vision and solid receiving chops, and Akers is a dynamic rusher with top-level elusiveness. All could see legitimate playing time next season; although I'd bank on Aiyuk to have the most fantasy value.

 

Tamorrion Terry, WR Florida State

Projection: 2021 Second Round Pick

Terry is a red-shirt sophomore, and I don't think he'll declare in such a deep draft, but stranger things have happened. At 6'4" Terry is an athletic marvel with good speed and impressive natural ability. He's also raw, has issues with drops, and can get pushed off his routes. He has real fantasy upside if he can continue to improve his foundation and consistency.

 

Navy - Kansas State 3:45 PM ET

Malcolm Perry, WR/RB Navy

Projection: Seventh Round Pick

Perry is currently the quarterback for Navy, but at 5'9" 185 pounds, he will not stick there in the pros. Perry was a slotback for two years at Navy, so he's run routes before and will likely try to transition there once the season ends. There are some people talking about him as if he will be the next Julian Edelman and while I don't envision that level of success for him, he has clear athletic ability and a diverse skill set that could make him an intriguing fantasy option if he's given the reps.

 

Utah - Texas 7:00 PM ET

Collin Johnson, WR Texas

Projection: Third - Fourth Round Pick

Johnson is a huge wide receiver at 6'6" 220 pounds. When you pair that with his strong hands you get an impressive catch radius and the ability to make some incredible catches. However, Johnson is not overly quick and doesn't run routes with the type of precision to get regular separation. His lack of consistency when dealing with physicality will prevent him from being a team's lead receiver, but his size and hands will make him a natural red zone threat, and the touchdowns could make him fantasy viable.

 

Devin Duvernay, WR Texas

Projection: Fourth - Fifth Round Pick

Duvernay is a well-built slot receiver who is also the nation's leading receiver with 103 catches. He has good deep speed but also quickness in and out of his breaks. It's the reason why he can beat safeties deep and also make guys miss while racking up yards after the catch. He has great hands, which helps because his routes are inconsistent, so he has to make a fair few contested catches. He has enough game-breaking ability to be fantasy friendly if drafted to an offense that makes good use of the slot.

 

Zack Moss, RB Utah

Projection: Third Round Pick

Moss is another on a long list of running backs who might get lost in the shuffle in a deep class. He has good vision and patience to allow his blockers to engage. He runs with elite balance and the quick feet to make defenders miss in space. What's more, at 220 pounds, he can withstand contact well and finish runs with power if he can't make the defender miss in space. With solid receiving chops as well, Moss is a well-rounded back who would likely be in discussion to be the top running back off the board in another year.

https://twitter.com/FTBeard11/status/1203132214529052672

 

Wednesday, January 1st

Michigan - Alabama, 1:00 PM ET

Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama

Projection: Top 10 Pick

We've talked about Tua a lot this year. He's an intellectually advanced quarterback, who makes good reads and throws with anticipation and accuracy. He's not going to blow people away with his athleticism, but he's mobile enough in the pocket to extend plays and find the right option. Obviously, the biggest question will be how he recovers from his hip injury.

 

Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama

Projection: Lottery Pick

Jeudy is another player we've discussed at length on here. He has incredibly good feet, which he uses to set up exceptional routes. He has strong hands and good speed to beat defenders once he gains separation. He's not going to test off the charts, but he's an elite playmaker, which is why many have compared his style of play to Odell Beckham Jr.

 

Henry Ruggs III, WR Alabama

Projection: First Round Pick

Ruggs is the opposite of Jeudy in many ways. He has insane natural athleticism and exceptional speed that has many people thinking he'll run a 4.2 at the combine. His whole game is built on explosive plays, but he lacks the precision in routes that Jeudy has or the technical skill. If he can continue to tweak the fundamentals of his route running and disengaging with defenders, he could become a special player in the hold of a Tyreek Hill.

 

DeVonta Smith, WR Alabama

Projection: Second Round Pick

Smith gives Alabama the chance to have three wide receivers taken in the first round. He saw the least usage of the three during the season, but he likely possesses the best hands of the trio. Much like Jeudy, he runs good routes, and he has elite change of direction skills, which allows him to get consistent separation. He has a lean frame at 6'1" 175, so he can lose some battles to physical corners, but his agility and speed make him tough to cover.

https://twitter.com/Obee1ne/status/1198986365242884097

 

Najee Harris, RB Alabama

Projection: Third Round Pick

Harris gets lost in the shuffle a bit with all the talent at Alabama, but he quietly emerged as a real fantasy asset this year. At 6'2" 230 pounds, many have viewed Harris as a bruiser, and he is. He rarely goes down on first contact, and he runs with clear power and aggression. However, he has good feet and changes directions with ease for a man his size. Most importantly, he caught 27 passes and had seven receiving touchdowns this year, which showed that he can be an asset as a pass-catcher when asked. Much like Derrick Henry before him, Harris is a physical back who has more athleticism and receiving chops than he was asked to show at Alabama.

 

Shea Patterson, QB Michigan

Projection: Fifth - Sixth Round Pick

For much of the year, Patterson failed to capitalize on his athletic gifts and seemed headed to an undrafted future despite entering his time at Michigan as a potential first-round pick. But as Michigan began to open up the offense in the final weeks, Patterson began throwing with confidence and showed the play-making ability people once raved about. What stands out most about Patterson is his mobility in the pocket and play-making ability outside of it. He can tuck and run or make impressive throws on the move. He seems better when the play breaks down. He's often antsy in the pocket, which can cause him to lose his mechanics or force passes. His natural athleticism makes him intriguing as a fantasy prospect, but he's likely an NFL back-up with a chance to make an impact with his legs.

 

Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR Michigan

Projection: Second - Third Round Pick

Peoples-Jones will be drafted more on his elite physical upside than on his stats. He's never had more than 612 yards receiving at Michigan, but he's 6'2" 210 pounds, with good speed and impressive agility and body control. He has the speed to get behind defenders and has the focus to go up and make tough catches in contested situations. He's not overly shifty, but he will be a solid NFL wide receiver despite his lack of NFL-worthy stats.

 

Nico Collins, WR Michigan

Projection: Fourth Round Pick

Nico Collins is another receiver whose perceived value is limited by Michigan's system. At 6'4" 220 pounds, he's a physical receiver who uses his frame to box out defenders or out-muscle them on jump balls. However, he also has good enough speed to find a lane and scoot passed defenders. He doesn't have the suddenness of Peoples-Jones or the Alabama receivers, but there is fantasy value in strength and physicality, as Allen Robinson has proven during his time in the league.

 

Minnesota - Auburn 1:00 PM ET

Tyler Johnson, WR Minnesota 

Projection: Second - Third Round Pick

Johnson emerged this year with some acrobatic catches. At 6'2" 205 pounds, he has the physicality to make contested catches but he also possesses the intelligence to run precise and often crafty routes that create separation for himself. He's not a true deep threat and doesn't possess the speed to run past defenders or the strength to consistently run over them, so he's not going to make hay after the catch. His aggressive nature when the ball is in the air leads to some drops, which he'll need to clean up to reach his true potential, but the natural ability and intelligence suggest that he has some real upside in an offense that will push the ball down the field.

 

Oregon - Wisconsin 5:00 PM ET

Jonathan Taylor, RB Wisconsin

Projection: First - Second Round Pick

Taylor is in the discussion to be the first running back off the board. Because of his 218-pound frame, many people think of Taylor as a power back, which isn't entirely far off given his ability to run through contact; however, he also has true 4.4 speed and can hit and hole and take it to the house. Taylor also caught 24 passes this year, which was his most involvement in the passing game so far, suggesting that he may have true three-down value at the next level. He should be a fantasy target in any size league.

 

Justin Herbert, QB Oregon

Projection: First Round Pick

Herbert is a polarizing prospect. He has great arm strength and the mobility to be a fantasy threat. When you watch Herbert, he makes some plays that few quarterbacks can make. He also makes some mistakes that are equally as head-scratching. His pocket awareness is iffy, and he's had some issues holding onto the ball. When he improvises, he also loses some accuracy and can misread the defense. He can be an elite fantasy asset, but he needs to be coached up with some pre-read issues like the Bills have done with Josh Allen, and he also needs to be behind an offensive line that will give him time and not force him to improvise so often.

 

Georgia - Baylor 8:45 PM ET

D'Andre Swift, RB Georgia

Projection: First Round Pick

As the likely first running back off the board, Swift has been a frequent part of this column. He has game-breaking ability out in space, with the footwork and vision to take any handoff for a touchdown. On the field, he looks and runs similar to Christian McCaffrey; he runs hard, takes contact well, and catches with ease. He's a little on the small side, so the same concerns McCaffrey had coming out of college will be there. Swift needs to prove he can block enough and withstand contact to play a large complement of snaps at the next level.

 

Jake Fromm, QB Georgia

Projection: Third Round Pick

Fromm doesn't have the upside of Joe Burrow, Jordan Love or Tua, but he's a smart and experienced leader who has the poise that teams want from their quarterback. None of his traits jump off the page - size, arm strength, mobility - but he knows how to get the most out of them. He reads the defense well, throws with anticipation, handles even the biggest of moments with seeming calm. He'll be more game-manager than fantasy star, but I don't see him making a ton of mistakes, which should make him a high-floor fantasy option.

 

Denzel Mims, WR Baylor

Projection: Third - Fourth Round Pick

Denzel Mims has become an internet darling with some exceptional catches. He has the length and body control to toe-tap the sideline or sky over defenders and the speed to take the top off a defense. In terms of natural ability, Mims is an exciting prospect. He does struggle with some of the more precise fundamental components of the game. He has more drops than you'd like to see, and his routes are particularly sharp; however, if he's able to clean up those aspects of his game, he'll get even more out of his natural gifts at the next level, so being drafted to a team with an eye on coaching up the details of the position would be the best for his fantasy outlook.

 

Thursday, January 2nd

Cincinnati - Boston College 3:00 PM ET

AJ Dillon, RB Boston College

Projection: Fourth Round Pick

Dillon will skip this game to prepare for the draft. Expect his role next year to be more of an early-down and short-yardage grinder where he can put his 250 pounds to good use, much like LeGarrette Blount. If he's on a good offense, there will be some fantasy value based on his likely goalline role.

 

Michael Warren, RB Cincinnati

Projection: Sixth Round Pick

Warren is another player who gets the most out of his abilities. He doesn't have elite speed or agility, but he runs hard and is tough to tackle. At 5'11" 220 pounds, he has the frame to withstand contact and runs with good balance through the line of scrimmage. His game tape shows that he has more receiving chops than he showed in Cincinnati's system. He has good hands and solid concentration but could use some more work on his routes. If he can grow more as a pass-catcher, Warren could find himself with real three-down value.

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NCAA Prospects To Watch For Dynasty Leagues: Bowl Week Two

Hope everybody has had a great holiday season so far.

Last week we began going through the bowl games and looking at players who could be fantasy factors in the 2020 NFL season. This edition will breakdown all games post-Christmas but before New Year's Eve, and then we'll finish up with a Post-New Years edition next week.

My hope is to give you a few guys to key in on during each game to give you a leg up in dynasty leagues or on some early research for redraft leagues. Also, as fantasy has shown us, having specific rooting interests or players to follow just makes every game more interesting.

 
Bowl Week 2 Matchups to Watch

In order to give dynasty owners and owners in larger leagues a leg up, we’re not solely focusing on the likely first-round picks but also players who could be drafted later in the NFL Draft but emerge as impactful fantasy stars.

 

Thursday, December 26th

Louisiana Tech - Miami, 4:00 PM ET

K.J. Osborn, WR Miami

Projection: Sixth Round Pick

The Buffalo transfer didn't have quite the season many were expecting when he decided to suit up for the Hurricanes. In 12 games, Osborn was able to muster only 491 yards and five touchdowns. He suffered from poor quarterback play and an overall down year for Miami, but Osborn still has unique traits that will make him useful to NFL teams. He has shown flashes of solid enough deep speed, good hands, precise routes, and good lateral agility. He's a bit of an unfinished and inconsistent product, but he has the tools that some NFL teams will take a chance on polishing.

 

Jeff Thomas, WR Miami

Projection: Fifth Round Pick

Thomas has already declared for the draft and said that he will sit out the bowl game, but I wanted to keep his name on the radar. He's a quick and elusive receiver with enough character concerns to get him kicked off the team last year. He's likely going to test well and possibly move up somebody's draft board, but the off-field concerns could be ample enough to cause him to plummet.

 

Friday, December 27th

North Carolina - Temple, 12:00 PM ET

Isaiah Wright, WR Temple

Projection: Sixth to Seventh Round Pick

Wright will likely be a late-round pick who will only contribute as a return man early on. However, he's also 6'2" 220 pounds and has proven to be a reliable receiver despite being the main focal point of opposing defenses. He will start out as a 4th or 5th wide receiver, but he's somebody to keep an eye on or possibly roster in deep dynasty leagues depending on where he ends up since he could emerge as a chain-mover.

 

Dazz Newsome, WR UNC

Projection: 2021 NFL Draft

As of now, Newsome has not yet declared for the draft, so the junior could be coming back to Chapel Hill for another year. Graduations forced him into a lead role in the offense this year, and he responded with 947 yards and eight touchdowns. I'm still not sure why he's no longer returning kicks for the Tar Heels since he was so effective in that role before, but he remains elusive in the open field and has the deep speed to take any pass to the house. He has thrived in North Carolina's new spread offense and could be equally effective in that role in the NFL since he can play both on the outside and in the slot.

 

Michigan State - Wake Forest, 3:20 PM ET

Jamie Newman, QB Wake Forest

Projection: 2021 First Round (2020 Third Round Pick if he declares)

Newman is one of the least-heralded QBs in the draft, but one of my favorite to watch. He’s got great size (6’4” 230), tremendous accuracy, elite pocket awareness, and enough athleticism to make plays on the move. What’s more impressive is that much of his statistical output this year was without top wide receiver Sage Surratt, who was injured in early November. Newman doesn’t have a cannon for an arm, but he has the strength to make all the throws and pushes the ball down the field with ease. If he was in last year’s draft, he would have been a first-round pick. I think he has higher NFL upside than Daniel Jones or Dwayne Haskins.

 

Scotty Washington, WR Wake Forest

Projection: Sixth Round Pick

The first thing you notice about Washington is that he’s a big boy; 6’5” 225 pounds big. He does use that size to his advantage, routinely blocking out defenders to move the chains; however, he has some burst in the open field too. He’s never going to be a burner or routinely make many NFL defenders miss, but he doesn’t have to just be a jump ball receiver. He’s not going to get tons of yards after the catch, so he’ll need high-value targets or lots of targets to be fantasy relevant, but in the right offense, he could be a solid floor option with the upside to be early career Kelvin Benjamin.

 

Brian Lewerke, QB Michigan State

Projection: Seventh Round Pick or Undrafted

I don't think Lewerke has an NFL future, but I wanted to mention him here because he's name has been in draft discussions for a few years; unfortunately, he just never developed in the way people hoped. He's a sneaky athlete with good mobility and solid arm strength, but he has shown limited ability to go through his progressions, throw with consistent accuracy or display much pocket awareness. When he's flustered, which appears often, he makes too many questionable decisions. It's possible some team takes a flier on him late or gives him a camp invite, but he's far off fantasy radars.

 

Texas A&M - Oklahoma State, 6:45 PM ET

Chuba Hubbard, RB Oklahoma State

Projection: Third Round Pick

Hubbard is only a red-shirt Sophomore, but he’s producing at such a high level this year that it seems like he’d be a lock to declare. Even so, he’s liable to get lost amidst a dynamic RB class, but Hubbard can do a bit of everything. He has elite elusiveness and lateral agility in the open field, which makes for numerous highlight-reel runs as he seems to possess innate instincts for avoiding tacklers. He has good burst and acceleration to his game, but not the track speed to consistently threaten to take plays to the house against NFL defenses. I’d love to see him be more involved in the passing game to have full confidence in his true fantasy upside, but he has the look of an NFL starter who could produce in a way that Devin Singletary has for Buffalo.

 

Tylan Wallace, WR Oklahoma State

Projection: Third -Fourth Round Pick (depends on injury rehab)

Tylan Wallace won’t play in this game because he tore his ACL in November and might even return to school. I just wanted to put his name out here because he’s a super exciting prospect who was emerging as a game-breaking talent before the injury. Let’s hope it doesn’t sap his deep speed and agility on underneath routes.

 

Kellen Mond, QB Texas A&M

Projection: 2021 Second Round Pick (or 2020 Third- Fourth Round Pick)

With a deep QB class, I don’t expect Mond to declare, but he is a name to watch for next year. He’s raw as a prospect and makes too many bad decisions or forced throws, but he can sling a football and makes one or two incredible plays a game where his innate ability is readily apparent. He’s not ready to be an NFL starter, but few people have this natural ability, so he could be a fantasy factor if he can iron out the inconsistencies.

 

USC - Iowa, 8:00 PM ET

Michael Pittman, WR USC

Projection: Second - Third Round Pick

Pittman is another receiver who stands out for his size (6’4”), but he’s more explosive than Scotty Washington. USC uses him a bit in the screen game, and he’s shown the ability to get upfield quickly. He’s never going to be mistaken for an elusive open-field receiver or shifty route runner, but he possesses enough athleticism to make the most of his size and the good hands to make contested catches in traffic. He’s a good NFL WR2 who can be a tremendous red zone option.

 

Nathan Stanley, QB Iowa

Projection: Fifth Round Pick

Stanley would have been a prototypical quarterback a decade or so ago. He had good size, strong pocket awareness, the intelligence to recognize defenses and make the right pre-snap adjustments. However, he also has marginal athleticism, limited experience with run-pass-options (RPOs), and struggles with his deep ball. He’s likely an NFL back-up, but he could be a solid fantasy asset if he gets drafted into a more traditional pro-style offense and finds himself starting games. I'm not sure there is a ton that separates him from Kirk Cousins.

 

Washington State - Air Force, 10:30 PM ET

Anthony Gordon, QB Washington State

Projection: Fourth - Fifth Round Pick

Unlike Stanley, Gordon seems to be a solid fit in the new NFL. As Gardner Minshew has proven, Mike Leach’s system lends itself to success in a more uptempo NFL offense that prioritizes getting the ball into space quickly. Gordon has a strong arm and good mobility within the pocket to extend plays. He sometimes takes chances in tight coverage, but he throws a good deep ball and demonstrates solid field awareness. He’s a better college player than Minshew was, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him produce similar results, minus the rushing, at the next level.

 

Saturday, December 28th

Memphis - Penn State, 12:00 PM ET

KJ Hamler, WR Penn State

Projection: Second Round Pick

Hamler’s game is designed for fantasy success. He has elite deep speed to take the top off a defense; however, he also has impressive lateral agility and elusiveness in space. He runs good routes to free himself up consistently and is a threat to make a big play every time he touches the ball. He has many of the same traits as Tyreek Hill, which is obviously the ceiling people dream of for him.

 

Damonte Coxie, WR Memphis 

Projection: Fourth Round Pick

Coxie doesn’t have the big name of some of the players in this class, but his ability isn’t that far behind. He lacks the elite deep speed of many of the top players in this receiver class, but he has enough speed to get behind defenders and pairs that with an ability to shake off tacklers. He seems to get extra yards with ease, but also has the body control to make strong catches on the sidelines or in contested situations. Coxie has to improve the suddenness of his routes a bit, but he could become a fantasy darling in the right offense.

 

Notre Dame - Iowa State, 12:00 PM ET

Chase Claypool, WR Notre Dame

Projection: Third Round Pick

Notre Dame’s offense has seemed to limit Claypool’s upside over the years, but the big-bodied receiver possesses an intriguing blend of size and awareness. He runs solid routes, has strong hands, and can use his long arms to make good catches in traffic. He might not be fast enough for some NFL teams, but he’s not simply a jump-ball specialist. He could have a Devin Funchess type of role in the middle of the field too.

 

Ian Book, QB Notre Dame

Projection: Sixth - Seventh Round Pick

Book strikes me as a guy who will have a better college career than an NFL one. He makes plays with his legs and on improvisational throws that simply won’t work against bigger, stronger NFL players. He is under-sized and makes too many poor decisions, but he’ll latch on as an NFL back-up who can make some big-plays to attract fantasy attention. I just don’t see it being consistent enough production to make him a true fantasy asset.

 

Oklahoma - LSU, 4:00 PM ET

Joe Burrow, QB LSU

Projection: First Overall Pick

There’s not much more to say. Burrow is the odds on favorite to be the first overall pick. He’ll immediately be a viable fantasy starter for the Bengals because of his rushing floor, but if the Bengals can bring back AJ Green or sign/draft a true WR1, Burrow’s ceiling will be even higher.

 

Justin Jefferson, WR LSU

Projection: Second Round Pick

In any other year, Jefferson would be a lock to be selected in the first round. He has ideal size at 6’3” 195 pounds, which he uses to his advantage with his impressive catch radius and ability to go up in traffic and make plays. However, he also has good elusiveness in the open field and surprising speed for his size. He may not have the upside of Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb, but Jefferson can do everything and should be a WR1 in the NFL. Sliding into the back of the first round and onto a solid team like Buffalo, Green Bay or Baltimore would likely be bad for his immediate fantasy relevance because he'd be a complimentary piece, but it would give him a chance for high-end long-term fantasy upside.

 

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB LSU

Projection: Third- Fourth Round Pick

Edwards-Helaire might not play because of a hamstring injury, but he’s helped his NFL stock more than most this year. He is quick in and out of his cuts and is able to make defenders miss in the open field with quick feet. He also has the strength and balance to fight off first contact and shows a solid foundation in the passing game. He may never be the dynamic playmaker that D’Andre Swift is, but he’s a well-rounded player who will be a solid fantasy asset given his ability to contribute in a number of different ways.

 

CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma

Projection: First Round Pick

Lamb has been getting compared to DeAndre Hopkins, which is obviously a ceiling comparison but an accurate one. Lamb is a physical and aggressive playmaker, who is a problem for defenders in the open field because he can run over a defender or make him miss. He’s elite at contested catches and has next-level hands. Lamb could easily become the best fantasy receiver from this class.

 

Jalen Hurts, QB Oklahoma

Projection: Third Round Pick

Hurts is still more improvisational playmaker than polished quarterback, but he’s improved consistently enough over the years to suggest that his best seasons are still to come. He’ll never be the most accurate passer, and he makes too many questionable decisions, but he has incredible composure, impressive arm strength, and elite ability to make plays with his legs. He’ll have growing pains as an NFL player, but his fantasy upside is tremendous if he goes to a team that allows him time to develop and then use his mobility and improvisational ability to its advantage.

 

Clemson - Ohio State 8:00 PM ET

Tee Higgins, WR Clemson

Projection: First Round Pick

Higgins is another in the long list of intriguing receivers talent in this draft. He’s 6’4” 220 but runs precise routes and has good quickness for a player his size. His size is what makes him dynamic though since he has the reach and hands to give him an incredible catch radius and the ability to high point catches over defenders. He may not be the game-breaker that Jeudy or Lamb are, but he will be a fantasy factor next year with an immediate red-zone role.

 

Travis Etienne, RB Clemson

Projection: Second Round Pick

Etienne is an explosive runner with elite balance and the suddenness to take every run to the house. He also tries to do that a lot; lacking patience in some of his reads and bouncing too many runs outside. The biggest concern for Etienne at the next level is that he’s not a great pass catcher or blocker and could be taken off the field on passing downs, which would obviously limit his fantasy value. If he gets 12-15 touches a game, that’s ample opportunity to break a big play and win a fantasy week, but he may be an inconsistent fantasy player if he's not in a situation where he's been fed consistent touches.

 

JK Dobbins, RB Ohio State

Projection: Second - Third Round Pick

Dobbins has an incredibly fantasy-friendly skillset. He has good vision and can hit the holes quickly and decisively. In the open field, he has great lateral agility and a strong center of balance, which makes him difficult to tackle. What’s more, he is a difference-maker as a receiver, which means he can flip the field in a number of different ways - an attractive quality in a fantasy football target.

 

KJ Hill, WR Ohio State - Projection: Fourth - Fifth Round Pick

What immediately stands out about Hill is his speed. He’s able to catch a screen or underneath route and blow past defenders. He has good hands and profiles as a reliable underneath receiver in the way Julian Edelman works for the Patriots. He’s steady and can break a big play, but his size and lack of diverse route tree will limit his fantasy ceiling, unless he somehow finds himself, like Edelman, in an offense that just peppers him with underneath targets. However, he will have a reliable floor if he gets drafted into a starting job.

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NCAA Prospects To Watch For Dynasty Leagues: Bowl Week One

A few weeks ago we began looking at different fantasy positions each edition and highlighting some of the key future fantasy stars to watch on that specific Saturday.

With the bowl games now all that's left, we're not going to take it week by week, but I'll separate this into three sections: Before Christmas, Before New Years, and Post New Years.

My hope is to give you as many potential fantasy assets to watch as possible, so I don't want to overload you with each article.

 

Bowl Week 1 - Matchups to Watch

In order to give dynasty owners and owners in larger leagues a leg up, we’re not solely focusing on the likely first-round picks but also players who could be drafted later in the NFL Draft but emerge as impactful fantasy stars.

 

Friday, December 20th

Buffalo - Charlotte, 2:00 PM ET

Benny LeMay, RB Charlotte

Projection: Sixth Round Pick

LeMay is a squat, stoutly-built running back at 5'8" 215 pounds. He runs with a low center of gravity and understands how to create good angles and find holes in the defense. He doesn't have the long speed to consistently take it to the house, but he can rip off chunks of yards and isn't likely to be taken down for a loss. Although he's only caught 19 passes out of the backfield this year, he shows good receiving skills and solid ability as a pass protector. He's likely just going to be a rotation back at the next level, but he possesses the skills to remain in on all three downs if he were given the chance.

Utah State - Kent State, 7:30 PM ET

Jordan Love, QB Utah State

Projection: Second to Third Round Pick

Listen, we've been through this so many times this year in this space with Jordan Love. His raw tools are tantalizing. He has a smooth delivery, a strong arm, and intriguing athleticism. After last year, he seemed like a lock to be a lottery pick. But in a new system, under a new head coach, Love has looked lost at times this year. He seems to lock on defenders and not go through his progressions, often forcing throws. It's led to a clear backslide in his performance and has (likely) dropped him out of the first-round conversation. However, tools seem to always win out when it comes to quarterbacks in the NFL Draft, so it would be shocking if Love was not drafted on the second day by a team that thinks it can mold his raw talent. If he winds up in the right situation, he could be fantasy gold, but it likely won't happen for two or three years.

Gerold Bright, RB Utah State

Projection: Seventh Round Pick

At 5'9" 195 pounds, Bright's future is as a change of pace back. However, change of pace backs have proven to be incredibly effective in fantasy leagues if put into the right system. Just think about the ways in which Tarik Cohen, Chris Thompson or Giovani Bernard have helped fantasy teams over the years. Now, Bright may never reach those heights, but he uses his lower center of gravity to good effect in short-yardage situations, often serving as the goalline back for the Aggies, which enables him to stay on the field more often. He shows solid hands in the passing game and is expected to run in the low 4.4s in the 40, all of which makes him an intriguing talent in deep fantasy leagues in case he latches on with a team that likes to use multiple backs.

Saturday, December 21st

Central Michigan - San Diego State, 2:00 PM ET

Jonathan Ward, RB Central Michigan

Projection: Sixth Round Pick

After an explosive sophomore year, Ward was injured last year and unable to build on his success. However, he seems to have come back with a vengeance this year, rushing for 1,082 yards and 15 touchdowns. What's more intriguing as far as his NFL projection is how valuable he's been as a receiver, catching 33 passes for 322 yards after hauling in 48 passes as a sophomore. He's not the biggest back, at 6'0" 200 pounds, but he takes contact well and is a surprisingly explosive player in the open field. Ward jumps off the screen when you watch the Chippewas, and he could have a coming-out party on national television. In a less talented class, a good performance might help him rise in the draft ranks, but I see him likely being a late-round pick who could emerge as an asset if injuries strike ahead of him on the depth chart, much like we're currently seeing from Mike Boone.

Tony Poljan, TE Central Michigan

Projection: 2021 Draft

Poljan likely won't declare this year, but he's a guy to watch in this game. He's a 6'7" 255-pound former quarterback who was impressive in his first year at tight end. He has (obviously) great size, but he's also a relatively fluid athlete who possesses solid hands and seems like a natural receiver. He needs to learn the nuances of the position and get stronger as a blocker, but he could be an intriguing prospect come next year (plus, he looks like Dolph Lundgren, which can't be bad).

 

Liberty - Georgia Southern, 2:30 PM ET

Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR Liberty

Projection: Fourth - Fifth Round Pick

Gandy-Golden was featured in the last regular-season edition of this column and has emerged as one of the top small-school prospects in this draft. The senior is a big wide receiver at 6'4" 220 pounds and shows the desire to play with the physicality you'd expect of his size, boxing out defenders and fighting through contact. He has natural hands and has put together a number of highlight-reel catches that show good technique and impressive catch radius. He does struggle a bit in the lack of suddenness in his route-running and doesn't do well in press-man coverage; however, he has a baseline of physical traits that suggest a good NFL WR2 if he can be coached up on his routes. At worse, he will be a dynamic red-zone threat.

 

SMU - Florida Atlantic, 3:30 PM ET

James Proche, SMU

Projection: Fourth - Fifth Round Pick

Proche is a favorite of mine. He's 6'0" but plays bigger than his size, consistently going up to win jump balls and hold off defenders for contested catches. He has some of the best hands in the draft and is a threat whether in the red zone or on a deep route. He's hauled in 14 touchdowns this year after 12 last year, and they've all come on a variety of different routes and situations. His lack of size and deep speed will likely turn some teams off, as they prioritize the "explosive" athletes, but that will be a mistake. Proche is quick and creative in his routes and when he has the ball in his hands, and he catches pretty much anything that's thrown at him. He could have a Stevie Johnson-type of impact in the NFL.

 

Xavier Jones, SMU

Projection: Sixth Round Pick

Proche's teammate burst onto the scene this year, rushing for 1,249 yards and 21 touchdowns. His 19 receptions for 85 yards are not impressive, but he does have a baseline of ability in the passing game that can be tapped into at the next level. Jones has good straight-line speed and can plant his foot in the ground and take-off. He is, however, a little limited in his ability to play through contact. He has the size - 5'11" 210 pounds -  to take hits, but he doesn't have the low power in his running stance to withstand hits right now. It makes him less likely to become an every-down option at the next level, but he could certainly be a guy that can break a game open with one play.

 

Harrison Bryant, Florida Atlantic

Projection: Fifth - Sixth Round Pick

Harrison Bryant is not you're average move tight end or a wide receiver moonlighting as a tight end. At 6'5" 245 pounds, Bryant is a big boy and an imposing figure when he lines up in the slot, as he often does. His long arms create an impressive catch radius, and he has the juice to outrun linebackers in coverage once he has the ball in his hands, which is part of the reason he averages 15.4 yards per catch on 65 receptions this year. Bryant has the size to be an effective blocker against blitzing linebackers, but he struggles against bigger lineman. He's willing, but you rarely see him lineup on the line of scrimmage because it's simply not his strength. It may limit his snaps if his NFL team is looking to give the illusion of a run, but there is a place in this league for a long-armed receiver like Bryant. There may even wind up being a place on your fantasy roster.

 

Arkansas State - Florida International, 5:30 PM ET

Omar Bayless, Arkansas State

Projection: Fifth - Sixth Round Pick

Bayless is another exciting small-school prospect in this early slate of games. After never topping 566 yards in any of his previous three seasons, the senior has exploded for 1,473 yards and 16 touchdowns in 12 games this year. It's not a fluke. Bayless showcases impressive footwork and head fakes in his route running, which often leaves him wide open. Those gaps can close frequently because Bayless doesn't have great speed, but he has true strength in his 6'3" 210-pound frame and wins contested catches with seeming regularity. He looks like a chain-mover and goalline threat at the next level, not unlike what Anquan Boldin and Donald Driver used to do.

James Morgan, QB Florida International

Projection: Sixth to Seventh Round Pick

James Morgan took a statistical step back this year in his second season since transferring from Bowling Green, and many people stopped talking about him. That may be short-sighted. While Morgan hasn't played against the best competition, he has the makings of an intelligent player with a strong arm and NFL size at 6'4" 225 pounds; he's thrown only three interceptions on the year because he doesn't take bad chances. He's not going to make many plays with his legs, but he can keep plays alive in the pocket and could really improve his stock with a good game against Arkansas State and maybe some postseason bowl game work. He'll likely latch-on as a back-up, but as we've seen this year, every back-up could get a chance to be a league-winner with some injuries.

 

Boise State - Washington, 7:30 PM ET

Jacob Eason, QB Washington

Projection: Third Round Pick

Eason cooled off a little bit since his hot start had people re-living his days as a hyped prep-school quarterback, but the tools are still there for him to be successful in the NFL. At 6'6" 230 pounds, he has great size and solid athleticism to pair with it. He's not the athlete and runner Josh Allen is, but he's no slouch for a man that big. He also possesses one of the strongest arms in the draft class and shows flashes of solid footwork in the pocket to buy time for his receivers to get open. However, he also sometimes moves off of his reads too early and clears the pocket, which causes him to miss on big plays. He's raw, but the upside is certainly there if he declares; I just wouldn't expect him to win an NFL job right away.

 

John Hightower, Boise State

Projection: Fourth Round Pick

John Hightower is a burner. His name gets lost in the shuffle because this draft class is so deep and he often plays his games after 10 pm on the East Coast, but the lanky receiver can make some big plays, as evidenced by his 19.2 yards per catch this year. He has the straight-line speed to simply run right by cornerbacks but also possesses solid lateral agility, which is why Boise State has also had him carry the ball 14 times this season. He is certainly a little thin - 6'2" 172 pounds - so he will need to add weight in order to be more effective catching balls in traffic, but his height and deep speed will make him an intriguing prospect if he goes to a team that likes to push the ball down the field.

Appalachian State - UAB, 9:00 PM ET

Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State

Projection: 2021 NFL Draft (or 6th Round this year)

Evans is rumored to be declaring for the draft, but wouldn't be a surprise if he doesn't come out this year due to the depth of this class. Evans has legit speed, like 4.3 speed, which has made him a game-breaking return man for Appalachian State. However, he has also continued to evolve as a runner. He has 1,516 total yards from scrimmage this year and 22 touchdowns, showcasing some hard-nosed running and shiftiness in the open field as a receiver. He may lack the size to be a true three-down threat in the NFL, but he could be a fantasy-viable member of a committee if he's put in a position to get the ball in space and make a play.

 

Monday, December 23rd

Central Florida - Marshall, 2:30 PM ET

Gabriel Davis, Central Florida

Projection: Third Round Pick

Davis was another player featured in this column during the year and will likely declare early after his draft stock has begun to soar. He has great height for the position at 6'3" 212 pounds; although, he could use his size to better use by playing more physical. As a counter to physicality, Davis has tremendous deep speed, rare for his size, and moves fluidly on his routes to create some separation. He's not as natural of an athlete as some of the top-tier talents at the wide receiver position this year, but he has the intelligence and raw ability to suggest continued improvement and potential blossoming into a truly dynamic player, much like we saw Courtland Sutton do this year. (I'm saying that he could blossom in the way Sutton has, not that he will become the level of talent Sutton is; although, it's not out of the realm of possibility).

 

Tuesday, December 24th

Hawaii - BYU, 8:00 PM ET

Matt Bushman, BYU

Projection: Fourth Round Pick

Matt Bushman is not a player that excites me. I know many people think that he will be an early Day Three pick and have a chance to stick as a starting tight end at the next level, but I see a stiff athlete who won't be able to separate from NFL linebackers and safeties. He has great size, long arms, and can reach up for balls in traffic, but he has little nuance or change of pace in his route running and is a poor blocker for his size. I kind of see him as the current version of Kyle Rudolph, but without the blocking chops.

 

Cedric Byrd, Hawaii

Projection: Sixth Round Pick

Cedric Byrd is an intriguing slot wide receiver with 4.4 speed and good hands. He has good shiftiness in his routes, which allows him to get solid separation and make plays underneath. That athleticism and change-of-pace ability are crucial because he doesn't quite have the size at 5'9" 175 pounds to take a beating in the NFL. Byrd may never be a game-changer, but he could become a Taylor Gabriel or Danny Amendola type that has value on the right team in the right matchup.

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The Fantasy Football Guide to College Bowl Season

It's time for the best -- or, if you think 300-something games is too many, the worst -- part of the football season: Bowl games.

This year, we've got 40 bowl games in total. That's a lot of games to sit through, especially if you're not a big college football fan, so let's give y'all, the fantasy sports addict who is reading this column, a reason to watch some bowl games.

Below, I'll be highlighting one player -- with a few exceptions -- from each game that fantasy owners should pay attention to. These will mostly be juniors and seniors who should be on fantasy radars now or in the near future, with some players being big re-draft targets and others being sleepers who you should keep your eyes on in dynasty leagues. And always remember: Prospects are skipping bowl games more and more often lately, so I can't guarantee these guys all show up to play.

 

December 20th

Bahamas Bowl: Charlotte 49ers (7-5) vs. Buffalo Bulls (7-5)

Player to watch: While the most interesting player might be Buffalo running back Jaret Patterson, he's only a Sophomore right now, so the more immediate player to watch is Charlotte running back Benny LeMay. An Achilles injury slowed him down this year, but the 5'9'' back should get looks at either the end of the draft or as an UDFA. Averaged over five yards per carry this year and caught four touchdown passes. Could be a situational rusher if he lands in the right spot.

Frisco Bowl: Kent State Golden Flashes (6-6) vs. Utah State Aggies (7-5)

Player to watch: Jordan Love is in the quarterback conversation, and he fits this "big arm, accuracy concerns, and wants to get out of the pocket" mode that helped guys like Josh Allen and Daniel Jones climb draft boards as we approached the draft itself. Don't be surprised to see Love put up big numbers in this one and start the climb up draft boards. He's going to be this year's divisive quarterback, so this is good prep work for the next few months of arguing.

 

December 21st

New Mexico Bowl: Central Michigan Chippewas (8-5) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (9-3)

Player to watch: This is one of those games where it's hard to really find a guy. Both team's best prospects are on the defensive side of the ball, but maybe SDSU running back Juwan Washington might catch your eye? Though he's struggled lately, and nothing about him really screams NFL prospect. Maybe just watch this game for fun.

Cure Bowl: Liberty Flames (7-5) vs. Georgia Southern (7-5)

Player to watch: Liberty wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden is the guy to watch here, and he's also one of the more interesting wide receiver prospects in this class. It feels like all the hype about him has calmed down, but there was a time when I saw a lot of Twitter discussing him. Right now, he's a tall guy who isn't fast enough to be a consistent downfield threat. I'm honestly not sure what to think of him in terms of his NFL chances, as I could see most NFL defenses finding easy ways to limit his involvement. But hey, he's going to be in training camp somewhere next year, and this is a chance to see him against a middle of the road NCAA defense.

Boca Raton Bowl: Florida Atlantic Owls (10-3) vs. SMU Mustangs (10-2)

Player to watch: SMU has some interesting players, but this column is light on tight ends, so let's talk briefly about Florida Atlantic tight end Harrison Bryant, the winner of this year's John Mackey Award for best tight end. Bryant caught 65 passes for 1004 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior, and he had 16 touchdown receptions during his collegiate career. He's a top five tight end prospect in this class and has a lot of receiving skills, though we all know tight end is a tough position to project.

Camellia Bowl: Florida International Panthers (6-6) vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves (7-5)

Player to watch: FIU junior wide receiver Jeremiah Holloman is the only real prospect on these teams, but he won't be playing in this game because he was ineligible this year after transferring from Georgia. He was kicked off the Bulldogs team after an alleged assault, and should suit up for the Panthers next year.

Las Vegas Bowl: Washington Huskies (7-5) vs. Boise State Broncos (12-1)

Player to watch: Quarterback Jacob Eason has risen up draft boards and finds himself in the conversation to be the third QB off the board. If he declares for the draft, he's a guy with all the physical tools to be successful, but who'll need to work on his consistency if he wants to wind up as an NFL starter. Boise isn't an elite defensive team, so Eason should be able to put together a solid performance in this one.

New Orleans Bowl: UAB Blazers (9-4) vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers (12-1)

Player to watch: Appalachian State running back Darrynton Evans finished his junior campaign with 22 total touchdowns. He gets involved on the ground and through the air, where he had 18 catches for 193 yards and five scores. Highly, highly doubt he declares early, but a good chance to watch a guy who'll be an intriguing 2021 prospect.

 

December 23rd

Gasparilla Bowl: Marshall Thundering Herd (8-4) vs. UCF Knights (9-3)

Player to watch: This is not the UCF of old that was always a threat to go undefeated, but it's still a good team. Junior wide receiver Gabriel Davis is the highest ranked prospect in this game. Strong hands and good deep speed that helped him catch 12 touchdowns and finish with 1241 yards on the year. He declared for the draft and reportedly intends to play in this game, though there's obviously the risk that he doesn't.

December 24th

Hawaii Bowl: BYU Cougars (7-5) vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (9-5)

Player to watch: Couple of interesting juniors here. Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald leads a high-powered offense, but the better NFL prospect here is BYU tight end Matt Bushman. He'll probably wait until 2021 to head to the NFL, but he's still worth keeping an eye on here. Bushman led the Cougars in receiving yards, catching 41 passes for 597 yards and four touchdowns.

 

December 26th

Independence Bowl: Louisiana Tech (9-3) vs. Miami Hurricanes (6-6)

Player to watch: Miami's got a good number of non-elite prospects. I'll highlight the one who's a senior, which is wide receiver K.J. Osborn. He took a step back production-wise after being productive for Buffalo, with his grad-transfer season with Miami saw him catch 45 passes for 491 yards and five touchdowns. It'll be interesting to see how he tests and where he winds up in training camp.

Quick Lane Bowl: Eastern Michigan Eagles (6-6) vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (7-5)

Player to watch: Pittsburgh has some good defensive players -- Jaylen Twyman, Kylan Johnson, Deslin Alexandre -- who might be on your IDP radar at some point, but this is a game where I really tried to find an NFL offensive prospect and just failed miserably. Sorry.

 

December 27th

Military Bowl: Temple Owls (8-4) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (6-6)

Player to watch: Another one of these "hmm, is there an offensive guy here?" games, but if I had to pick someone it would be Temple wide receiver Isaiah Wright. His raw numbers aren't super impressive, but he's an explosive athlete with good size. I'd bet he at least gets looked at as an UDFA.

Pinstripe Bowl: Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-4) vs. Michigan State Spartans (6-6)

Player to watch: It's not too often that you hear "Wake Forest" and "fantasy prospect" in the same sentence, but wide receiver Sage Surratt can change that. The 6'3'' receiver should be able to succeed in the NFL as a super physical receiver who can go up and make plays over smaller defenders. He'll be hard to tackle. He's also not playing in this game because of injury, so pivot your eyes over to his quarterback, Jamie Newman.

Texas Bowl: Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-4) vs. Texas A&M Aggies (7-5)

Player to watch: Chuba Hubbard! The Oklahoma State running back is incredibly fast and has good size, though concerns about blocking and his lack of passing game involvement are both concerning issues. But the speed! And the college production! I'm super interested in him in rookie drafts next year depending on where he ends up, though I don't know if he ends up being an every-down back at the next level.

Holiday Bowl: Iowa Hawkeyes (9-3) vs. USC Trojans (8-4)

Player to watch: Alert: there is not an Iowa tight end for you to pay attention to this year. But there is a good USC player to watch in wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. Pittman's a good route runner who caught 95 passes this year, the third-most in the FBS. In 2018, he led the Pac-12 in yards per catch. He's served as a punt returner in the past as well.

Cheez-It Bowl: Air Force Falcons (10-2) vs. Washington State Cougars (6-6)

Player to watch: Washington State quarterback Anthony Gordon is someone who's gotten some hype from some people. He's got a good arm, but he's also only really got one year of tape for us to go off of, as he was stuck behind Gardner Minshew last year. Those two could actually have a fairly similar path to the NFL -- Gordon gets picked late, and can be a solid but sometimes-struggling passer.

 

December 28th

Camping World Bowl: Iowa State Cyclones (7-5) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-2)

Player to watch: Breaking the established rules of this article straight out of the gate to mention Iowa State sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy. I think Purdy has a real shot to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft and be one of the top quarterbacks picked. It's a little early to say too much about Purdy's chances in the NFL, but he's a fun one to watch and someone to circle moving into the 2020 college season.

Cotton Bowl Classic: Memphis Tigers (12-1) vs. Penn State (10-2)

Player to watch: Penn State wide receiver K.J. Hamler isn't in the top tier of wide receivers, but he's a fast player who could be a deep threat, field-stretching option on a pass-happy NFL team. Think about what healthy Will Fuller does for the Texans. Of all the players in this class, Hamler has to best chance to be that type of guy, which is obviously a good thing, though he might not be as complete of a receiver as some other players in his class.

Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State Buckeyes (13-0) vs. Clemson Tigers (13-0)

Players to watch: This game is big enough for me to highlight more than one player.

Let's start with the Buckeyes. Keep an eye on running back J.K. Dobbins, who's likely a second-round pick. Dobbins is a strong runner, and while I don't know if he's got the versatility to be effective as a receiving option at the next level, he should be able to provide powerful rushing between the tackles wherever he lands.

And for Clemson, while the obvious name is quarterback Trevor Lawrence, he's still a year away from NFL Draft eligibility, so in terms of who to watch for this year, keep an eye on wide receiver Tee Higgins. Higgins is a big play receiver who should be useful on the outside. Jump ball, red zone guy in the NFL. Running back Travis Etienne will also get drafted, who is incredibly fast and should be a useful receiving back in the NFL, though he'll need to work on pass protection. Both Clemson players could be gone by the end of Round 2.

Peach Bowl: LSU Tigers (13-0) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (12-1)

Players to watch: For LSU, I could talk about a handful of guys, but let's just focus on Joe Burrow. He's the best quarterback prospect in this draft and will probably be starting for the Cincinnati Bengals by this time next year. Burrow is a smart passer with a good arm and the ability to get away from pressure, which will be necessary if he plays behind that Bengals line. He's not a running quarterback, but he's good enough with his feet to make things work. There's a slight worry that he's a one-year wonder, but everything I've seen from Burrow this year screams I'm an NFL quarterback.

Oklahoma's quarterback, Jalen Hurts, might be an NFL-quality quarterback too, but he'll likely be a late-round pick. If you want to see a guy who's going to be playing meaningful NFL snaps faster, you're looking at wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. Lamb's either the best or second-best receiver in this draft depending on your thoughts on Jerry Jeudy, and Lamb's just so, so good at making big plays. Good hands. Finds the ball. Physical. Fast. Lamb's got all the things you want in a number-one receiver.

 

December 30th

First Responder Bowl: Western Michigan Broncos (7-5) vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (8-4)

Player to watch: A knee injury could keep Broncos running back LeVante Bellamy from playing, but if he suits up you'll get to watch a guy who ran for 23 touchdowns this season. He's a smaller back with an injury history, so he's likely going to slide during the draft or end up going undrafted, but he intrigues me.

Music City Bowl: Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-6) vs. Louisville Cardinals (7-5)

Player to watch: Bulldogs running back Kylin Hill, should he declare, has a chance to be a productive player as a mid-to-late round draft pick. Didn't find the end zone as much as some other backs, but averaged over five yards per carry for the third year in a row. That he did so in a year where his carries basically doubled from his previous season is pretty impressive.

Redbox Bowl: Illinois Fighting Illini (6-6) vs. Cal Golden Bears (7-5)

Player to watch: Illinois running back Reggie Corbin. (You know...this is an incredibly deep running back class, isn't it?) Corbin's a smaller speedster who can take off like a rocket. Won't be able to be a three-down guy in the NFL but could find a situational role.

Orange Bowl: Florida Gators (10-2) vs. Virginia Cavaliers (9-4)

Player to watch: Running back Lamical Perine isn't going to be one of the top backs when the NFL Draft gets here, but he has the makeup of a guy who can stick around the league for a while. Good runner. Good blocker. Good receiver. I don't know if there's necessarily something he's going to excel at, but he's solid in all the ways a depth running back needs to be solid. I can see him being a guy who you add on waivers in Week 12 and then end up starting a couple of times and having no complaints about.

 

December 31st

Belk Bowl: Kentucky Wildcats (7-5) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (8-4)

Player to watch: Not really a banner year for either of these teams when it comes to offensive prospects, but I said I'd pick someone from each game so let's go with Hokies tight end Dalton Keene. He had four touchdown receptions and will more than likely be a 2021 prospect, so not someone to concern yourself with for 2020.

Sun Bowl: Arizona State Sun Devils (7-5) vs. Florida State Seminoles (6-6)

Players to watch: Two Arizona State players to mention here. Sun Devils wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk went from a relative nobody to a solid NFL prospect in one year. And although guys who make that quick of a leap sometimes come with sustainability concerns, Aiyuk can play inside and outside and has a ton of both speed and size. He can also force missed tackles and break away from defenders.

Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin and Florida State running back Cam Akers are both going in the first round of rookie mocks. Both are strong as runners and receivers and both are going to be talked about a lot in the near future, and probably by me on this website, so I'll leave them alone for now. Just watch the run game.

Liberty Bowl: Navy Midshipmen (9-2) vs. Kansas State Wildcats (8-4)

Player to watch: Kansas State running back James Gilbert didn't have the greatest year after transferring from Kent State, but he's a tough runner who was getting some underground hype back in his MAC days. The fact that his best season came in 2016 is worrisome.

Arizona Bowl: Georgia State Panthers (7-5) vs. Wyoming Cowboys (7-5)

Player to watch: Let's talk about a kicker. Wyoming's Cooper Rothe came into the season looking like one of the best kickers in the country after connecting on all 28 of his extra points and 16 of his 17 field goals in 2018. This year's been rougher, as he's hitting just 91.4 percent of his extra points and 70 percent of his field goals. But maybe this year was just an unfortunate blip on his resume?

Alamo Bowl: Texas Longhorns (7-5) vs. Utah Utes (11-2)

Player to watch: This is a weird matchup because you'd think Utah would have ended up playing a better opponent. Regardless, running back Zach Moss is the main focal point here. I've seen him described online as a "tank," which seems appropriate. Powerful runner. Good receiver. A steal in the second round of rookie drafts. (Texas also has a couple of wide receivers you should be watching in this one in Devin Duvernay and Collin Johnson.)

 

January 1st

Citrus Bowl: Michigan Wolverines (9-3) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (10-2)

Player to watch: With Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa out for this one, it's all about Crimson Tide wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. Arguably the best receiver in the upcoming draft class, Jeudy's an expert route runner who can play inside and outside at the next level. He has the speed to break things open and the hands to catch anything that gets near him. He's the complete package as a wide receiver, and though the position has been tough to predict lately in terms of top-end prospects, Jeudy really should be a can't-miss player.

Outback Bowl: Minnesota Golden Gophers (10-2) vs. Auburn Tigers (9-3)

Player to watch: The Big 10's got some good wide receivers this year, and Minnesota's Tyler Johnson is probably the best of them. Johnson does everything in the receiving game for the Golden Gophers, with his physical build making him someone who can thrive inside and outside. Johnson looks like a solid NFL player, the kind who continually racks up difficult catches and somehow puts up 15 fantasy points every game without you realizing he's gotten to that number.

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin Badgers (10-3) vs. Oregon Ducks (11-2)

Players to watch: Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor is arguably the best running back in college football. But questions about his abilities in the receiving game -- this was the first season of his college career where he really did that -- have him looking like the second-ranked running back in this draft class. Taylor's a big, powerful runner with speed and I think the worst-case scenario for him is that he's basically Derrick Henry.

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is probably going to be drafted earlier than he should be. He's the third-best quarterback prospect in a draft where I personally don't love the quarterback prospects. He's got a good arm, but there are questions about his accuracy, and he's likely going to wind up picked sometime in the middle of the first round. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for him to see the field in the NFL.

Sugar Bowl: Georgia Bulldogs (11-2) vs. Baylor Bears (11-2)

Player to watch: This game is probably where the 1.01 rookie pick in non-Superflex leagues is coming from, and that's Georgia running back D'Andre Swift. He's got an inside running game, an outside running game, and a receiving game. Swift can stay on the field on any down and will be able to make big things happen as a rusher and as a pass-catcher. I'm all in on Swift, and I'm excited to see what he does against Baylor.

 

January 2nd

Birmingham Bowl: Boston College Eagles (6-6) vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (10-3)

Player to watch: Bearcats tight end Josiah Deguara is a good receiver and a solid blocker. He can be used at tight end but can also slide out into the slot if needed. He will need to work on his blocking, but Deguara seems like a solid tight end who should stick in the NFL. Maybe he won't be in that elite tier of guys at the position, but a future as a streamable fantasy tight end is a fine future.

Gator Bowl: Tennessee Volunteers (7-5) vs. Indiana Hoosiers (8-4)

Player to watch: Vols wide receiver Jauan Jennings will actually miss the first half of the Gator Bowl due to a flagrant foul and there's no telling if he plays the second half, but if he does you'll get to see a solid receiver with good size who... ehh, who am I kidding. There's no way Jennings is playing in the second half of this one. Just wait and watch him at the Senior Bowl.

 

January 3rd

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Ohio Bobcats (6-6) vs. Nevada Wolf Pack (7-5)

Player to watch: Bobcats quarterback Nathan Rourke threw 20 touchdowns, rushed for 12, and also caught one. He's also from Canada. I think his chances of making the NFL aren't great, but maybe he'll be a great fantasy quarterback in the XFL? Or maybe I'm wrong and his skill set will land him a unique role in the NFL. Maybe he's a Taysom Hill kind of guy. (Ed. note: This game goes best with a heaping helping of Idaho potatoes.)

 

January 4th

Armed Forces Bowl: Tulane Green Wave (6-6) vs. Southern Miss Golden Eagles (7-5)

Player to watch: This is... a game. Tulane quarterback Justin McMillan is a former LSU player who transferred to Tulane and is fun to watch. This game doesn't really have any NFL implications, but enjoy McMillan's last collegiate game.

 

January 6th

LendingTree Bowl: Miami RedHawks (8-5) vs. Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns (10-3)

Player to watch: The last regular bowl game of the season arrives on January 6th, and it's another without much bearing on the NFL draft. Lousiana senior wide receiver Ja'Marcus Bradley probably isn't heading to the NFL, but he's had 18 touchdowns over the last two years and started off his career as a defensive back, so enjoy his final college game in this bowl season finale.

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Top College Football Betting Expert Picks For Championship Week (12/6/19)

With the busy schedule surrounding Thanksgiving week, I took a break from college football betting for the final week of the season. However, we're back for conference championship weekend and this should really be an exciting week of football.

I'm here to breakdown each team's spot, as well as dive into my favorite spreads, totals, team totals, and even money lines for this week in the NCAA. My goal is to find the right value for you to be able to make money. Vegas makes you really work to find the right picks, but I hope I can make things a little more clear for you each and every week.

Follow me on Twitter @sgjanik_6 to chat about football and my picks. I’m also on the Action App @sgjanik6 where I’ll post all the picks below and more this season.

 

Oregon at Utah (-6.5)

O/U: 46 **This game is on Friday, Dec. 6 at 8pm EST**

The Ducks got back to their winning ways last week, taking down Oregon State. However, it wasn’t a great tuneup heading into the Pac-12 Championship against Utah. Oregon will surely have their hands full, but don’t give up on them holding their own. Justin Herbert is a stud, make no mistake, but the Ducks run game has been as steady as it comes, rushing for at least 135 yards and one touchdown in each of their last eight games.

Utah houses one of the top defenses in the country in both scoring (12.3 points per game) and total defense (253.2 yards per game). However, their offense is no slouch, averaging over 475 ypg and 43 ppg in their last three games. Quarterback Tyler Huntley has proven to be one of the most efficient passers in the Pac-12, and his backfield counterpart, Zack Moss, is the league’s leading rusher. This Utes program is budding and a spot in the conference championship is a huge opportunity.

This total opened up at 50 and has already dropped down a few points, mainly because the public sees Utah’s defensive prowess. Both offenses have plenty of firepower, but Utah’s consistency gives them a bit of an edge. The Utes have been insanely hot of late, and while Oregon has averaged just 29 ppg over their last three, look for them to be able to find pay dirt enough times to make this total the play.

Pick: Over 46

 

UAB at FAU (-7.5)

O/U: 49.5

UAB defied some odds in their road to the Conference USA championship game, having to win all three of their remaining games and get some help. Well, it happened and here they are for their second consecutive championship game appearance. Tyler Johnston isn’t exactly a program defining player, but he is able to make plays when called upon. Behind him, there are three backs who have rushed for over 400 yards apiece, so the pressure isn’t all on Johnston. On the other side of the field, the Blazer defense has had some struggles of late, but they worked them out in last week’s season-defining win, registering four sacks in the final quarter of their win over North Texas.

The fighting Lane Kiffin’s have won seven of their last eight, including last week’s drubbing over FIU, 37-7. Quarterback Chris Robison has passed for over 3,300 yards with 22 touchdowns this year, while as a team, they’ve rushed for over 2,200 yards along with 27 touchdowns; talk about balance. Defensively, the Owls give up just 23 ppg, and their consistency is impressive. The run defense allows just 3.9 yards per carry, while the unit also leads the country with 19 interceptions.

FAU is 6-2 against the spread in C-USA games, while UAB is 5-3 ATS in league games. Although, with the news that Kiffin is likely on his way out of Boca Raton, I think FAU stumbles a bit, giving UAB a shot to come in and make a statement.

Pick: UAB +7.5

 

Virginia at Clemson (-28.5)

O/U: 55.5

The Hoos are winners of five of their last six, but, rightfully so, no one is giving them a shot in this ACC Championship game. They’ll definitely need Bryce Perkins to be on the top of his game. Yes, his 8/3 TD/Int in their last six is decent, but it’s the 496 yards and nine rushing touchdowns in that span that make him an impressive playmaker. They’ll need halfback Wayne Taulapapa along with Hasise Dubois and Joe Reed to carry their weight on offense. As a defense, they’ve recorded 43 sacks, which puts them in the nation's top 10, so they’ll need to get to Trevor Lawrence early and very often.

I'm one to agree with Dabo Swinney in that Clemson has been underrated from the beginning of the season. However, he also admitted they haven't played anyone for them to deserve top team respect. Lawrence has been spot on after his rough first half, and he hasn't thrown an interception in the last five games. Travis Etienne has been an electric runner and his 16 touchdowns are tied for 9th in the country. Defensively, the Tigers have allowed just 5.3 ppg over their last three, but that's against South Carolina, Wake Forest, and NC State.

Clemson's schedule isn't great, and truthfully neither is UVA's, but 28.5 is a lot of points to give in any conference championship game, let alone a Power 5 one. Both sides are playing their best football right now, and while Clemson is clearly a better brand, my faith lies in Virginia to cover the points.

Pick: Virginia +28.5

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FanDuel, DraftKings CFB DFS Picks: Daily Fantasy College Football Advice for 11/30/19

Welcome to week 14 of the college football season! I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving filled with family, food, and football. The college football gods have given us a beautiful rivalry week to feast our eyes on, so let's dive in!

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy college football lineup picks for the main slate of games on FanDuel and DraftKings on 11/30/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

You can follow me on Twitter @VarneyDFS. I will be around all day to answer questions.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Quarterbacks

Justin Herbert - Oregon - FanDuel $9,200 / DraftKings $7,700

Justin Herbert is my top quarterback on this slate. The Oregon State Beavers sport a bottom-50 pass defense and Herbert has been over 300 yards in two straight games. The Ducks are favored by 19.5 here and expected to score around 40 points. You get a discount on Herbert on both sites and he’s my favorite option in all formats.

Jamie Newman - Wake Forest - FanDuel $10,500 / DraftKings $7,900

The highest total on this slate is set at 68.5 between the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and Syracuse Orange. Jamie Newman is expensive, but he has the highest upside on the slate and there’s enough value elsewhere. Syracuse ranks 96th in the nation against the pass and allow nearly 260 yards per game to much worse QB’s. Newman also ran the ball nearly 30 times last week, and his upside is insane if he’s going to do that against one of the worst rush defense in the nation.

Consider - Justin Fields, Tommy DeVito, Lynn Bowden

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Running Backs

D'Andre Swift - Georgia - FanDuel $9,100 / DraftKings $7,600

If you can play Jonathan Taylor on DraftKings, do it. He’s an animal and has been over 200 yards for three straight games. Everywhere else, D’Andre Swift is your best bet. Swift is facing a Georgia Tech defense that ranks 119th of all FBS teams against the run with 195 yards allowed per game and five yards per carry. Swift should run wild in this game and I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds the end zone more than once.

Cade Carney - Wake Forest - FanDuel $7,200 / DraftKings $5,300

I mentioned how bad the Syracuse rush defense is. I don’t even mind playing Carney and Newman together. Carney is too cheap and this offense is going to put up enough points to account for both of them. Over 200 yards rushing as a team seems like a lock for Wake Forest and Carney should score at least once. I love his price.

Consider - Jonathan Taylor, J.K. Dobbins, CJ Verdell

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Wide Receivers

Kendall Hinton - Wake Forest - FanDuel $8,700 / DraftKings $6,500

With Scotty Washington and Sage Surratt out, Kendall Hinton is the clear number one for Jamie Newman and he’s not expensive enough just yet. The match-up with Syracuse is incredible and Hinton should be one of the more popular plays on the slate. He caught eight balls last week and scored en route to 30 fantasy points. It’s hard to expect a repeat, but it certainly wouldn’t be surprising as this is the better match-up on paper. I love Hinton in all formats.

Trishton Jackson - Syracuse - FanDuel $8,800 / DraftKings $6,800

In the same game, we’re expecting Syracuse to throw the ball and Trishton Jackson has as much upside as anyone. This game does have the highest total on the board, so don’t worry about targeting it too much. I also think the over hits, so you can tell why I like the game so much. DeVito is a capable passer and he looks for Jackson in the red-zone over 50% of the time. Jackson won’t be heavily owned and is right up there with Hinton in my book.

Johnny Johnson III - Oregon - FanDuel $7,400 / DraftKings $5,600

My favorite receiver to pair with Justin Herbert is Johnny Johnson III. He reeled in 10 balls last week for 2017 yards and two touchdowns. Herbert has been throwing the ball to him a ton and I don’t see why that stops against Oregon State. Johnson isn’t expensive enough on either site and I’ll be locking him into every lineup of mine. With that being said, in tournaments, get some exposure to the other Oregon pass-catchers as they’ll be under-owned.

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FanDuel, DraftKings CFB DFS Picks: Daily Fantasy College Football Advice for 11/30/19 (Late Slate)

Welcome to week 14 of the college football season! I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving filled with family, food, and football. The college football gods have given us a beautiful rivalry week to feast our eyes on, so let's dive in! We're looking at the later slate as I already broke down the main slate in a separate article.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy college football lineup picks for the late slate of games on FanDuel and DraftKings on 11/30/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

You can follow me on Twitter @VarneyDFS. I will be around all day to answer questions.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Quarterbacks

Jalen Hurts - Oklahoma - FanDuel $12,000 / DraftKings $9,200

You simply can’t deny what Jalen Hurts does every week. You can pencil him in for 40 DraftKings points and he now gets one of the best match-ups yet. Oklahoma State has a terrible defense and I fully expect this game to shootout. Hurts is expensive on both sites, but I can confidently say he’s in every lineup of mine. I think he could combine for five or six touchdowns today and it wouldn’t be a surprise. I love the over in this game and both offenses.

Dru Brown - Oklahoma State - FanDuel $7,600 / DraftKings $4,900

Brown gives you exposure to the best game on the slate for way too cheap. I have these two (Hurts + Brown) paired in nearly every lineup at this point with some Herbert sprinkled in as well. Brown is a fifth-year senior with experience, so I fully expect him to go for 300 yards against Oklahoma. The defense is terrible and this Oklahoma State offense can keep up with anyone. Brown also uses Hubbard a ton through the air, and he’s our favorite running back option.

Consider - Joe Burrow, Sam Howell
 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Running Backs

Chuba Hubbard - Oklahoma State - FanDuel $10,500 / DraftKings $8,700

It’s entirely possible to fit both Jalen Hurts and Chuba Hubbard and both FanDuel and DraftKings. Dru Brown threw the ball to Hubbard eight times last week, which adds a whole other level of upside to his game. Oklahoma is a porous defense that’s allowed 400+ yards to inferior offenses. Hubbard is a great play and while he’s going to be popular, Jake Hurts on the same slate will bring his ownership down a bit.

Zack Moss - Utah - FanDuel $10,200/ DraftKings $8,000

As a pivot off of Chuba Hubbard, Zack Moss is an excellent play. If you think Oklahoma State doesn’t have much offensive success in this game, Miss is the better play. He can run for 200 yards in this match-up and three touchdowns. Colorado has a weak defensive line and Utah is built to run the ball. They’re favored by 28 points and Moss is going to run this defense over. I slightly prefer Hubbard, but have 35% exposure to Moss as I think he has a similar projection for a lower ownership.

Lamical Perine - Florida - FanDuel $8,100 / DraftKings $6,100

Perine has seen just four carries in back to back games and it should keep his ownership way down. I expect Perine to get back to double-figure carries and for him to have plenty of success against FSU. Florida is favored by 20+ points in this spot, and FSU ranks in the bottom-third in the nation against the run. Perine is a lock for production if the volume is there. I personally like him for over 100 yards and a touchdown.

Consider - Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Cam Akers, Javonte Williams

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Wide Receivers

Ceedee Lamb - Oklahoma - FanDuel $9,300 / DraftKings $7,400

You can play these LSU receivers too, but I think this is a Ceedee Lamb week. He’s always a boom or bust play, and I think he booms this week. Oklahoma State isn’t strong against the pass and they don’t have any one cornerback to shadow Lamb. I’d expect 10+ targets, 100+ yards, and at least one touchdown. The price is high, but I really don’t think the ownership will rise above 25%. Lamb has burned plenty of folks.

Dazz Newsome - UNC - FanDuel $8,300 / DraftKings $6,200

Newsome caught 11 balls last week and now sees an even better match-up with NC State. Sam Howell loves throwing to Newsome and he holds a 24% red zone target share. Dyami Brown is in play as well, but Newsome is cheaper and in a similar spot. He’s a great cash game and tournament play in both cash games and tournaments. Newsome is my second-favorite receiver on the board.

Kyle Pitts - Florida - FanDuel $7,100 / DraftKings $5,100

Pitts and Jefferson are both in play, but I like Pitts to find the end zone against the Seminoles. They struggle against the tight end and Pitts is possibly the best pass-catching TE in the nation. He’s truly special and you can expect to see him at the next level. He’s cheap on both sites for this game and could easily see 10 targets and go for 100 yards. He won’t be very popular at all and value is hard to come by on this slate.

Consider - Justin Jefferson, Dyami Brown, Vann Jefferson

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NCAA Prospects To Watch: Week 14: Second Receiver Edition

A few weeks ago we began looking at a different fantasy position and highlighting some of the key future fantasy stars to watch on Saturday. In order to give dynasty owners and owners in larger leagues a leg up, we’re not solely focusing on the likely first-round picks but also players who could be drafted later in the NFL Draft but emerge as impactful fantasy stars.

This is especially true of the wide receiver position which is among the deepest in recent memory. Since there are many prospects who might be first-round talents in other drafts that will hear their name called late on day two and tons of good prospects who won't go until day three, I decided to split up the position into two articles.

That means today we'll only be focusing on potential fantasy-relevant receivers who likely won't go until day three. Now, this doesn't mean that these guys will only be deep-league targets. In recent years day three has seen many talented wide receivers selected, like Darius Slayton (2019), Keke Coutee (2018), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (2018), Auden Tate (2018), Dede Westbrook (2017), Tyreek Hill (2016), Jamison Crowder (2015), and Stefon Diggs (2015).

For this piece, we'll look at some wide receivers playing this weekend who will likely be taken in the last three rounds this year but could grow into fantasy assets. First, let’s look at how last week’s featured players performed.

 

Week 13's Featured Players

Jerry Jeudy, Alabama – Projection: Top 15 Pick – Alabama beat Western Carolina in a 66-3 laugher, so Jeudy played very little, finishing with two catches for 66 yards. He's an elite talent, and it will be fun to watch him versus Auburn this weekend.

Henry Ruggs III, Alabama - Projection: 1st Round Pick - See above. Ruggs didn't play much at all in a game Alabama always had in hand.

Tyler Johnson, Minnesota - Projection: Late 1st Round Pick – Johnson paced Minnesota with seven catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. He gets a much sterner test this weekend against Wisconsin, but he's proving he's a consistent target who can win all over the field. Perhaps no receiver has helped their draft stock more this season.

KJ Hamler, Penn State Projection: 2nd Round Pick – Hamler was going to need to come up big for Penn State to beat Ohio State. He didn't. He finished the day with three catches for 45 yards, wasn't given a rushing attempt, and was corraled in the return game. Hamler is still an explosive talent, but there will always be games where that one big play doesn't come.

Collin Johnson, Texas - Projection: 3rd Round Pick – Johnson's hamstring prevented him from playing and sounds like it will keep him out until the bowl game, which is a shame.

Denzel Mims, Baylor - Projection: Late 2nd or early 3rd Round Pick – Mims had an identical statline to Tyler Johnson, which means nothing but is just kinda cool. He also made more toe-tapping catches that showed great body control. The kid is going to be a stud.

Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan - Projection: 3rd Round Pick – DPJ showed what he can do when the offense actually tries to get him the ball. He hauled in five passes for 73 yards and an impressive touchdown in which he went full extension backward to snare a fade. If Michigan keeps playing at this uptempo pace and using their wide receivers, he could show enough to push into the second round.

Justin Jefferson, LSU Projection: 3rd Round Pick – Jefferson wasn't involved much in LSU's blowout win over Arkansas. He caught four passes for 27 yards and a touchdown, but the game was never in doubt, so it's hard to judge his NFL future on a performance where he wasn't really used or needed.

CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma – Projection: Top 10 Pick - CeeDee Lamb was back from injury but clearly not 100%. He secured a touchdown on one of his two catches, but his burst and explosiveness didn't seem fully there after missing the last game with an injury. Hopefully, he takes time to heal up so that he doesn't aggravate the injury heading into the offseason.

Jalen Reagor, TCU – Projection: 2nd or 3rd Round Pick - On the other side of the ball, Reagor was killed by poor quarterback play. The dynamic receiver finished with one catch for nine yards and one rush for 16 yards. If poor quarterback play drops him down the draft, some team is going to get very lucky late on day two when they select Reagor.

 

This series covers players featured in nationally televised games who could likely emerge as fantasy assets after next year’s NFL draft.

Week 14 Matchup to Watch: Friday Games

Texas - Texas Tech 12:00 PM ET

Devin Duvernay, Texas – Projection: Fifth Round Pick

Since Collin Johnson has missed games with a hamstring injury, Duvernay has really stepped up and improved his own draft stock. Coming into the season, the senior's best year ended with 546 yards and four touchdowns; not exactly numbers that jump out to NFL teams. However, Duvernay has begun to live up to his lofty prospect pedigree by becoming a reliable slot receiver. Texas seems to only have the 5'11" receiver running routes across the middle or screens, and while he doesn't have the deep speed to burn past defenders, he has enough vision and power to make defenders miss and get chunks of yards. Slot receivers are never sexy come draft time, but they can be endlessly valuable during fantasy seasons. Just ask Jamison Crowder owners.

Boise State - Colorado State 3:30 PM ET

John Hightower, Boise State - Projection: Fifth Round Pick

Hightower is a lean wide receiver who loves to hit on the big play. With 40 receptions this year, his 20.3 yards per catch clip is downright ridiculous. The former JUCO star as sub-4.4 speed and good height and solid hands to pluck those deep balls over a defender's head. He's also been used more as a runner for Boise State this year, with 13 carries already after last year's eight. He needs to add more nuance to his routes that aren't go routes or screens but the athleticism can't be denied. In the right offense, Hightower as the one-play game-changing ability of a Mecole Hardman - just much taller.

 

Memphis- Cincinnati 3:30 PM ET

Damonte Coxie, Memphis - Projection: Fourth - Fifth Round Pick

Coxie is another forgotten name is in a deep class of receivers. What I love about this receiver class is just how many of these guys love being physical at the point of contact. Coxie is another one. He rarely goes down on the first contact and will take every yard he can manage. However, he also possesses a deep speed and wiggle in space that a lot of more physical wide receivers don't. He needs to add some weight to his 6'3" 195-pound frame, but the foundational skills are there for Coxie to emerge as one of the best day three wide receivers in this draft.

 

Central Florida - South Florida 8:00 PM ET

Gabriel Davis, UCF – Projection: Fifth Round Pick

Davis is another receiver who is likely to get overlooked because he is not a fast-twitch athlete or at an elite school. However, all Davis has done is produce, regardless of who's throwing him the ball. He has great size for the position at 6'3" 215 pounds and has proven he can gain consistent separation with strong route running. He's never going to take the top off of the defense of leave defenders in his dust with a quick change of direction on his routes, but he has the ability to be an Anquan Boldin type of physical wide receiver who always seems to be open and can pull down the tough catches in traffic.

 

Week 14 Matchup to Watch - Saturday Early Games

Wake Forest - Syracuse 12:00 PM ET

Sage Surratt, Wake Forest – Projection: Fourth Round Pick (OUT FOR THE YEAR BUT DESERVES A MENTION)

At 6'3" 215 pounds, Surratt plays wide receiver like the former basketball star he is. He loves to win contested catches and knows how to use his body to shield off defenders. This gives him the ability to put his strong hands to work in coming down with tough passes. He brings the same physicality once the ball is in his hands, almost never going down on first contact. He likely won't run very fast at the combine, but he's a good route runner who uses his technique, and the aforementioned strength, to create consistent separation. If he can add a little more weight to hold up against NFL hits with the style he likes to play, then Surratt will likely become a quarterback's best chain-moving friend and a fan favorite with his style of play.

 

Michigan - Ohio State 12:00 PM ET

Nico Collins, Michigan - Projection: Fourth Round Pick 

Donovan Peoples-Jones wasn't the only receiver to benefit from the Wolverines' up-tempo offensive shift. Nico Collins blew up against Indiana and showed his intriguing blend of size and (solid) speed. He's not going to consistently burn defenses deep, but he has enough speed to take it to the house, as he did on Saturday. However, his calling card is his physicality and the ability to win contested catches. He may never emerge as a true NFL WR1, but he has the physicality of trendy players like D.K. Metcalf, just without the elite straight-line speed.

 

Liberty - New Mexico State 2:00 PM ET

Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty - Projection: Fifth Round Pick

I love reading about small school players I'd never heard about. Truth be told, I've never been able to watch Gandy-Golden in a live game, but I'm intrigued by what I've seen on tape. The senior is a big wide receiver at 6'4" 220 pounds and shows the desire to play with the physicality of his size, boxing out defenders and fighting through contact. He has natural hands and has put together a number of highlight-reel catches that show good catching technique and impressive catch radius. Where he struggles is in his route-running. He seems clunky in and out of breaks and doesn't do well in press-man coverage. However, I believe he has a baseline of physical traits that suggest a good NFL WR2 if he can be coached up on his routes. At worse, he will be a dynamic red-zone threat.

 

Week 14 Matchups to Watch: Late Games

Colorado  - Utah 7:30 PM ET

Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado Projection: Second Round Pick (COLORADO DIDN'T PLAY LAST WEEK SO HE WASN'T FEATURED)

It's been a relatively disappointing year for a prospect who came into the season with potential top-15 value. Part of that has to do with defenses scheming to stop him and fellow draft prospect Steven Montez also seeming to take a step backward. Through 10 games, Shenault Jr. has 52 catches after hauing in 86 in only nine games last year. The results are disappointing, but the raw talent is there. Shenault is a physical 6'2" 220-pound receiver who possesses elite speed for a player of his size. He can secure contested catches but is also used as a runner out of the backfield almost every single game. While his inability to overcome defensive attention this year will likely drop him out of the first round, he's still a tremendous talent who can help a real and fantasy team in a number of different ways.

 

Florida State - Florida 7:30 PM ET

Tamorrion Terry, Florida State Projection: Unlikely to come out this year

As just a redshirt-sophomore, Terry seems unlikely to come out this year in such a deep wide receiver class, but he's a name to watch for the future. He's a little thin at 6'4" 200 pounds, but he can absolutely go up and get it. Despite good speed in the open field (as evidenced by the video below), he loves a jump ball and makes his hay on deep passes down the field (21.3 and 20.3 yards per catch over the last two seasons). He likely needs to add more weight and routes to his game, but he's a fun player to watch.

 

Arizona - Arizona State 1o:o0 PM ET

Brandon Aiyuk– Projection: Third or Fourth Round Pick

If you search Aiyuk's name on Twitter, you'll find some people comparing him to another late-round wide receiver: Tyreek Hill. Now, I won't go that far, but I do agree that Aiyuk has a similar ability to win in a number of different ways. He's proven to be an effective slot receiver who isn't afraid to go over the middle and has the lateral quickness to make defenders miss in short areas. He's also shown the ability to line up outside and simply beat defenders with deep speed. His growth from last year to this year suggests that there may be even more upside, which makes him perhaps the highest ceiling day three wide receiver on the board. In any other year, he would likely be a second-round pick.

 

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FanDuel, DraftKings CFB DFS Picks: Daily Fantasy College Football Advice for 11/29/19

Welcome to week 14 of the college football season! I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving filled with family, food, and football. The college football gods have given us a huge Friday day slate, so let's dive in!

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy college football lineup picks for the main slate of games on FanDuel and DraftKings on 11/29/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

You can follow me on Twitter @VarneyDFS. I will be around all day to answer questions.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Quarterbacks

Anthony Gordon - Washington State - FanDuel $10,500 / DraftKings $8,700

He has to be mentioned and is one of the most polarizing players on the slate. On one hand, there’s nobody more consistent at this level of production. On the other hand, Washington is a 7.5-point favorite and boasts one of the better defenses Washington State has seen. He’s extremely expensive and may not have the upside he does on most slates. For that reason, I don’t think you must play Gordon. There will be a quarterback or two that outscores him and they won’t be nearly as prohibitive in price. Gordon is fine and safe, but I can’t get behind the price.

Jett Duffey - Texas Tech - FanDuel $9,100 / DraftKings $7,000

We’ve been picking on the Texas Longhorns pass defense all season and there’s no reason to stop now. Jett Duffey has been pheneomel since taking over under center, throwing for 300+ yards in each of the last three weeks. He can also run the ball, rushing 26 times for 130 yards in that same span. This is the worst defenses Texas Tech has faced up to this point and Duffey will get over 300 yards once again. Point-per-dollar, Jett Duffey is my favorite quarterback on the board.

Jacob Eason - Washington - FanDuel $8,700 / DraftKings $6,600

With Washington favored by 7.5 points in a game with a 63 total, you have to have some interest in Jacob Eason. This Washington State defense is pitiful and Eason can have a big day when he’s asked to. In a rivalry against this Washington Star defense, I expect 250 at least out of Eason. He’s one of the better real-life quarterbacks on the slate and I in love with his price tag in tournaments.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Running Backs

Darrynton Evans - Appalachian State - FanDuel $9,500 / DraftKings $7,200

Darrynton Evans is a guy we’ve been all over in recent weeks and it’s paid off. Over the last two games, Evans has combined for 285 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He’s added another score through the air. Appalachian State are 10-point favorites in this game and we know Evans is going to see 20+ carries here. Troy can’t stop the run and I’d be shocked if Evans doesn’t see another 100 yards on the ground.

Larry Rountree III - Missouri - FanDuel $7,000 / DraftKings $6,200

It hasn’t been all rainbows and sunshine for Rountree of late, but I love this match-up against Arkansas. Missouri should have the lead early and I wouldn’t be surprised if Rountree ends up with 15+ carries. For him, it all comes to value. Badie has been taking a few carries, but Rountree is the most talented back and he has 100-yard, two-touchdown upside in this match-up. His price is down on both sites and I’m a fan in all formats.

Roschon Johnson - Texas - FanDuel $5,800 / DraftKings $5,100

Keontay Ingram is currently questionable for this game, so make sure he’s ruled out before you plug in Johnson. Texas has shown a willingness to give Johnson 20+ carries and the match-up with Texas Tech is a great one. Texas is a slight favorite and they should be running the ball plenty. Johnson is way too cheap on both sites and he’s dangerous through the air as well. I love targeting this game as I expect it to stay close and be extremely high-scoring.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Wide Receivers

Warren Jackson - Colorado State - FanDuel $9,200 / DraftKings $7,500

Warren Jackson is mr. consistent and Colorado State is going to be throwing from behind all game here. Boise State is an average at best defense and I expect Colorado State to put up at least two or three touchdowns. Warren Jackson is targeted 74% of the time in the red zone and rightfully so. He’s one of the best receivers in the nation and O'Brien will throw him the ball 20 times if he can. The upside is unparalleled and I don’t think Jackson will be as popular as a guy like Duvernay.

Aaron Fuller - Washington - FanDuel $8,200 / DraftKings $6,500

I love all of these Washington pass-catchers. They’re priced down and facing one of the worst defenses in the nation. They’re favored in a game with a 63 total, so Vegas is expecting Washington to put up over 30 fantasy points. Both Bryant and Fuller should see double-figure targets and I love both. If you make me choose, Fuller gets a few more targets and has a higher red-zone target share.

RJ Turner - Texas Tech - FanDuel $7,500 / DraftKings $5,000

If Jett Duffey is my favorite play at quarterback, we have to like some of these receivers. T.J. Vasher is priced like the top option, but RJ Turner has been better of late. Duffey prefers throwing to Turner as he runs more short and intermediate routes. Texas isn’t going to stop anyone through the air, as they’ve allowed nearly 300 yards per game on the season and did so against some much worse offenses. Turner is safe and still too cheap on both sites.

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FanDuel, DraftKings CFB DFS Picks: Daily Fantasy College Football Advice for 11/28/19 (Showdown)

We only have one game on Thursday night, and it’s a showdown rivalry between Ole Miss and Mississippi State. We're looking at a 58 over/under with Mississippi State favored by just two points. It'll be a fun game and there should be plenty of offense on each side.

This game is likely to be pretty close, so we want to targets both sides of the ball here.

Let's dive in!

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Captain

All Captain options are safe plays and belong in FLEX if you can't fit them as captain.

John Rhys Plumlee - Ole Miss - DK $13,000, FD $16,500

Can you really go elsewhere at captain? Plumlee has been ridiculous since taking over as the starter and this match-up is a good one. This game is basically a toss-up with a 58 total and two defenses that don’t shut anyone down. Plumlee just put up 50 fantasy points against LSU, and he did so with 212 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He’s been over 25 fantasy points in six of the last eight games and this match-up with Mississippi State isn’t scary. He’s also been better through the air recently, throwing for 100+ yards in two straight games. Plumlee is easily my favorite captain on the slate.

Tommy Stevens - Mississippi State - DK $10,400, FD $13,000

Mississippi State is absolutely terrible against the pass, ranking 122nd in the nation. However, Tommy Stevens isn’t a good passer and it creates a weird dynamic for this showdown. I don’t think Stevens is very safe for this reason. If they struggle early, Garrett Schrader could slide in and have a ton of success. If Stevens does have success, he’ll be left in the game and he has a ton of upside. If I’m going to play Stevens, it's captain. I see him as boom or bust in this game.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Safe Plays

Kylin Hill - Mississippi State - DK $10,800, FD $14,000

Kylin Hill is the best player on Mississippi State and they’re going to lean on him a ton in this game. While Ole Miss is a lot worse against the pass, they’ll be set on running a ton here. Over just the last three games, he’s combined for 419 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. He’s capable through the air as well, and has as much upside as anyone in this game. Have him somewhere.

Scottie Phillips - Ole Miss - DK $6,200, FD $6,000

Probably the easiest play on this slate. Phillips is priced like he’s not playing, but he is. Phillips and Ealy will both get carries in this game, but Phillips is going to be the lead back. John Rhys Plumlee opens up this running game a ton and Phillips should get over 80 yards with ease. Plug him into every lineup at this price.

Elijah Moore - Ole Miss - DK $7,600, FD $12,500

Moore reeled in nine balls last week against LSU for 143 yards and a touchdown. He’s getting targets from both quarterbacks and his ceiling goes through the roof when Schrader is in the game. With Ole Miss so terrible against the pass, even Tommy Stevens should have success and he only throws to Moore 60-70% of the time.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Contrarian Plays

Garrett Schrader - Mississippi State - DK $7,800, FD $8,000

With Ole Miss being one of the worst teams in the entire nation against the pass, there’s a real chance Schrader ends up on the field here. If Stevens struggles, there’s no way they keep Schrader on the bench for long. He’s not going to be popular as the backup and I love the upside he brings to the table.

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FanDuel, DraftKings CFB DFS Picks: Daily Fantasy College Football Advice for 11/26/19

Welcome to week 14 of the college football season! Let's dive in!

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy college football lineup picks for the main slate of games on FanDuel and DraftKings on 11/26/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

You can follow me on Twitter @VarneyDFS. I will be around all day to answer questions.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Quarterbacks

Nathan Rourke - Ohio - FanDuel $11,000 / DraftKings $8,900

Akron is actually really good against the pass, ranking 17th in the nation. However, there opposite against the run, ranking 117th of 130 division 1 schools. Rourke is a dual-threat weapon and he’s averaged 12 carries a game on the season. This Ohio team is favored by 20 points and Rourke is by far the safest cash game quarterback. He will cost you a pretty penny.

Marcus Childers - Northern Illinois - FanDuel $7,900 / DraftKings $5,800

Northern Illinois isn’t bad against the pass, but Western Michigan should do most of its damage on the ground and Jon Wassink is very expensive. Childers has played well with Bowers out and his rushing ability gives him a nice floor. He can throw a little bit and Northern Illinois will give him every chance in the world. If I’m not playing Rourke, I’ll take the savings with Childers.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Running Backs

LeVante Bellamy - Western Michigan - FanDuel $10,300 / DraftKings $8,700

I like Bellamy to get back over his usual 25 fantasy points in this match-up. He missed 25 fantasy points for the first time in five weeks against Ohio, but a match-up with Northern Illinois is just what the doctor ordered. WMU is an eight-point road favorite against a team that ranks 96th in the country against the run. Bellamy has seen 28+ carries in three of the last four weeks and there are few backs in the nation as tough. Bellamy is a lock for 20+.

O'Shaan Allison - Ohio - FanDuel $8,900 / DraftKings $5,000

This Ohio backfield is tough to figure out, but we almost have to take a shot. Ohio is favored by 20 points and hold the implied total on the slate by far. After it looked like De’Montre Tuggle has the RB1 role, he saw just one carry last week. He took it 53 yards to the house, but it’s still very strange. Allison is now looking like the guy, but it’s still hard to say for sure who will get the bulk of the carries. Most of my ownership is on Allison as he was great last week and scored three times. Tuggle could certainly get 10 carries again and be the play.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Wide Receivers

Keith Mixon Jr. - Western Michigan - FanDuel $8,000 / DraftKings $4,800

Mixon Jr, Moore, and Ricci are all pretty even for me. Mixon and Moore have the most upside, but Ricci has the biggest TD share. If I’m choosing one, it’s Keith Mixon Jr. He caught 10 balls last week, but others stole the touchdowns. He should find the end zone this week if targeted another 13 times and his price isn’t crazy on either site.

Tyrice Richie - Northern Illinois - FanDuel $6,800 / DraftKings $4,700

Marcus Childers doesn’t throw the ball much, but he may not have a choice if Northern Illinois is playing from behind. Richie has nine catches over the last two weeks and I think the most talented receiver out of the group. Children’s has targeted him more than anyone and his price doesn’t reflect that. Any of these NIU WR’s are risky, but Richie is my favorite of the bunch with Cole Tucker a close second.

Isiah Cox - Ohio - FanDuel $8,200 / DraftKings $4,800

Cox is the most expensive side receiver on the slate and rightfully so. He’s consistently targeted five-plum times and should find the end zone against a weak Akron defense. I don’t think Cox is a must by any stretch, but MAC wide receivers are always a crapshoot and this slate is no different. Shane Hooks is in play as well and a lot cheaper with a similar upside.

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NCAA Prospects To Watch: Week 13: Wide Receiver Edition

Now that we’re into the final few weeks of the college football regular season, we changed the format of this piece. We began looking at a different fantasy position and highlighting some of the key future fantasy stars to watch on Saturday. In order to give dynasty owners and owners in larger leagues a leg up, we’re not solely going to focus on the likely first-round picks but also players who could be drafted later in the NFL Draft but emerge as impactful fantasy stars.

This will be the first of two articles on the wide receiver position since it's among the deepest in recent memory. There are many prospects who might be first-round talents in other drafts that will hear their name called late on day two. Which means there are tons of good prospects who won't go until day three.

For this piece, we'll look at some wide receivers playing this Saturday who should be taken in the first three rounds this year. First, let’s look at how last week’s featured players performed.

 

Week 12's Featured Players

Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin – Projection: 2nd Round Pick – Taylor ran all over Nebraska for 204 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. He also caught two passes for eleven yards. He doesn’t have the open field ability to make him the dynamic three-down back that gets selected in the first round, but he will be a second-round pick and a starter for a while.

Chubba Hubbard, Oklahoma State - Projection: 3rd Round Pick – Hubbard ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, while also adding 42 yards on two receptions. He’s not going to be in the first round discussion and with the way that running backs are currently being values in drafts, lots of top backs will still be around in the 2nd, which is why I think he ends up in round three as a dynamic playmaker.

Najee Harris, Alabama State - Projection: Late Day Two / Early Day Three – Harris showed his all-around gamed with 88 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 17 carries while adding 51 yards and another touchdown on three catches. His versatility and overall talent level should push him into the back of the 3rd round.

D’Andre Swift, Georgia - Projection: First Round Pick – Swift was held in check, relatively speaking, by a tough Auburn defense. He finished with 106 yards on 17 carries but only negative-three yards on two catches. Games like this will keep him in the mid to first round because he’s not a guy who seems likely to take over every game, like Christian McCaffrey or Saquon Barkley, who both went much higher.

Travis Etienne, Clemson - Projection: Second Round Pick – Etienne carried the ball 16 times for 121 yards and a touchdown and, importantly, added 37 yards on three catches. Overall, it was a solid day at the office in a blowout and not one that is going to move the needle on his draft stock much.

Eno Benjamin, Arizona State – Projection: Early Day Three Pick – Benjamin disappointed with 70 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries against a mediocre defense. He added 27 yards on five catches, which was nice to see, but I just don’t see a starting NFL running back here.

Scottie Phillips, Ole Miss – Projection: Late Day Three – Phillips didn’t play due to injury. I just want to see him back on the field.

Michael Warren, Cincinnati – Projection: Day Three Pick – Warren rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries and was also the Bearcats’ leading receiver with 30 yards on two catches. He’s not going to vault up into the day two conversation, but he might wind up being a 4th or 5th round pick that can carve out consistent playing time. He’s a good football player.

 

Week 13 Matchup to Watch - Saturday Early Games

This series covers players featured in nationally televised games who could likely emerge as fantasy assets after next year’s NFL draft.

 

Western Carolina - Alabama 12:00 PM ET

Jerry Jeudy, Alabama – Projection: Top 15 Pick

Jeudy is an athletic marvel. He has top-end speed, which makes him a deadly deep threat, but he also used deft footwork on his routes to create easy separation. He’s a good hands catcher and despite being a little smaller than teams would like for their top wide receiver, he’s the clear top prospect in one of the best receivers classes in years.

Henry Ruggs III, Alabama - Projection: 1st Round Pick

If Jeudy is fast, Ruggs is faster. He might be the fastest receiver in the draft but isn’t limited to being just a deep threat. Alabama uses him a lot in the red zone, despite being only 6’0”, because of his leaping ability and his body control after the catch. He’s also dangerous with the ball in his hands in the open field, so think more Will Fuller than Robert Foster.

 

Minnesota - Northwestern 12:00 PM ET

Tyler Johnson, Minnesota - Projection: Late 1st Round Pick

One of the rising stars in this year’s draft class, Johnson has tremendous ability to high point the ball and go up and get passes in traffic. He runs solid routes and creates defensive hesitation with his footwork, but he’s not going to leave corners in the dust. However, Johnson’s strong hands, solid breaks on routes, and ability to go over defenders at 6’2” reminds me of Stephon Diggs. He may lack Digg’s top-end speed, but with a 4.46 40-yard dash, Diggs wins with acceleration and quickness more than flat out speed, something Johnson is also able to do.

 

Penn State - Ohio State 12:00 PM ET

KJ Hamler, Penn State Projection: 2nd Round Pick

At 5’9” 175 pounds, Hamler is one of the smaller receivers being talked about as an early-round pick, but he also might be the most explosive. He can win on deep routes or simple break people’s ankles the ball in his hand. He’s a lot like Tyreek Hill in that way. His smaller stature may prevent him from being a primary red-zone target, but he has good strength after the catch and can make a fantasy team's day in just one play, as evidenced by this:

 

Week 13 Matchup to Watch: Afternoon Games

Texas - Baylor 3:30 PM ET

Collin Johnson, Texas - Projection: 3rd Round Pick

At 6’6” 220 pounds, Johnson may be the polar opposite of Hamler. He uses his strength and long arms to win rather than his speed. He’s not going to make many people miss in the open field and he sometimes struggled to disengage from corners at the line of scrimmage, but he can make catches in traffic, which makes him an ideal red-zone target. I don’t think he’ll become a game-breaker at the next level, but he will always carry fantasy value with the high-quality targets he’ll get.

Denzel Mims, Baylor - Projection: Late 2nd or early 3rd Round Pick

Mims is another receiver who is flying up draft boards. After a slight step back in his junior year, Mims has exploded in his senior season, already totaling 767 yards and 10 touchdowns in 10 games. He has an incredible catch radius and impressive body control to make plays in the red zone and on the sideline. However, he was also an impressive track athlete and has the deep speed and burst to beat defenders deep. Mims is truly a well-rounded threat, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him keep climbing. This catch against Texas Tech was one of the best I’ve seen:

 

Indiana - Michigan 3:30 PM ET

Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan - Projection: 3rd Round Pick

Peoples-Jones’ draft status will be based on upside and raw talent rather than performance. He’s been in a Michigan offense that has largely depended on the run and was otherwise chaotic earlier this season as they tried to find an identity under a new offensive coordinator. However, DPJ has the quickness and footwork to beat man coverage and create separation on his routes and the hands to make tough catches in traffic. As a punt returner, he’s also shown good open-field ability which could present more yards-after-catch value in the NFL and lead to even more big plays.

Week 13 Matchups to Watch: Night Games

LSU- Arkansas 7:00 PM ET

Justin Jefferson, LSU Projection: 3rd Round Pick

With Joe Burrow taking the next step in his development, Justin Jefferson has been able to make similar leaps in his game, already catching 11 touchdowns and 1,010 yards. Listed at 6’3” 195 pounds, Jefferson has the size and strength to win over the middle of the field or in contested situations. He also is another in a long line of natural athletes in this class, which gives him good body control on sideline and red-zone catches. He’s not fast, but he’s certainly quick enough and deft enough with his footwork to create consistent separation on his routes.

https://twitter.com/Obee1ne/status/1195078852575260672

 

TCU - Oklahoma 8:o0 PM ET

CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma – Projection: Top 10 Pick

Lamb is the engine that drives Oklahoma’s impressive offense. At 6’2” 190 pounds, he has good size for the position and is simply a naturally gifted athlete. He has impressive suddenness in his movements and agility to go up and make tough catches. He runs a varied route tree and sets up those routes well enough to beat any type of coverage. He lacks the deep speed of Jeudy but has enough speed and wiggle to create big plays, which will make him a dynamic NFL receiver and a high-quality fantasy option. Think of him as an Odell Beckham Jr type of receiver: not a burner, but a high-level route runner with ridiculous hands who can beat you in many ways.

Jalen Reagor, TCU – Projection: 2nd or 3rd Round Pick

Reagor has cooled a little bit after a strong start, but that has more to do with his offense than his ability. He’s another explosive athlete in this class, who was a record-setting high school track athlete. He’s smooth in his routes, setting them up cleanly to create separation or fight through creases. He has the ability to go up and make plays on contested catches despite his 5’11” frame, but he needs to be more consistent in that regard in order to take the next step as a receiver. Still, with his elite speed and fluidity as an athlete, he could be a prospect in the mold of DeSean Jackson – a true one-play game-breaker.

https://twitter.com/alexkatson/status/1196995058731372544

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FanDuel, DraftKings CFB DFS Picks: Daily Fantasy College Football Advice for 11/23/19

Welcome to week 13 of the college football season! I'll be breaking down the slates in two different posts, so make sure to stay tuned for the late slate picks. Let's dive in!

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy college football lineup picks for the main slate of games on FanDuel and DraftKings on 11/23/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

You can follow me on Twitter @VarneyDFS. I will be around all day to answer questions.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Quarterbacks

Malcolm Perry - Navy - FanDuel $9,900 / DraftKings $7,800

Perry has his first “bad” game of the season against Notre Dame, finishing with just 117 rushing yards and no touchdowns. It was his first game without a score all season long and he is typically sitting well over 25 fantasy points. He’ll be back to his regular self in this one against SMU, and I’d be shocked if he finishes with anything less than 150 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Perry is also doing more through the air than ever before, going over 100 yards three times this season. Perry is an extremely safe bet at quarterback and he’s my favorite point-per-dollar play at the position.

Kedon Slovis - USC - FanDuel $9,300 / DraftKings $7,000

Slovis is one of the best quarterbacks in college football and he flies under the radar for some reason. Even at USC. Slovis has thrown for over 400 yards in three of the last four games and went for 406 and four scores against a tough Cal secondary just last week. He now draws UCLA, which is the worst pass defense USC has faced all season long. Slovis has three NFL-caliber weapons and you can pair him with them in all formats.

Consider - Justin Fields, Charlie Brewer, Dru Brown

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Running Backs

Jonathan Taylor - Wisconsin - FanDuel $10,600

Jonathan Taylor has been over 200 yards in two straight weeks and I bet he makes it three here. Purdue is allowing nearly 180 yards per game on the ground and 4.5 yards per carry. Taylor is the best running back in the nation and he’s going to put a beating on this defense. Where you can play Jonathan Taylor, do it. He could put up 40 fantasy points in this match-up and nobody would blink.

Kenan Christon - USC - FanDuel $7,5000 / DraftKings $6,300

I’m a fan of all facets of this USC offense. The UCLA defense is anemic and USC and expected to put up nearly 40 points. Christon has been over 15 touches in three of the last four games and he’ll certainly return there in this game. USC is going to be running the ball plenty and Christian will be the fastest player on the field. He can break one loose at any point and can also get involved in the passing game as a check-down. He’s too cheap on both sites and I like him in all formats.

Consider - Chuba Hubbard, Breece Hall, Stephen Carr

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Wide Receivers

Michael Pittman Jr. - USC - FanDuel $9,000 / DraftKings $7,600

Right back to USC. Michael Pittman Jr. has now caught 24 balls for 326 yards and a touchdown over the last TWO games. Yes, that’s what the man has done in just two games against decent secondaries. He’s going to see another 15 targets in this game and I don’t even know what his ceiling is. UCLA can’t cover anyone and USC makes it a point to get Pittman Jr. the ball in space. You won’t find a single lineup of mine without Michael Pittman Jr. in any format.

Denzel Mims - Baylor - FanDuel $8,700 / DraftKings $6,600

Texas has one of the worst pass defenses in the entire nation and we will want a piece of this Baylor passing attack. Denzel Mims is by far the number one option and he’s target heavily in the red zone. He has four touchdowns over the last two weeks and 149 yards to go with them. This is the best match-up Brewer and Mims have had all season long and I’m a fan in all formats. His price is also down, which I don’t understand.

Jalen Reagor - TCU - FanDuel $7,500 / DraftKings $5,600

Jalen Reagor has seen his price come down dramatically and it’s hard to argue with the sites. He hasn’t been consistent and he hasn’t shown much upside. Still, we know it’s there. If he can get targets 8-10 times against a weak Oklahoma defense, the upside is in the 30 fantasy point range. Max Duggan isn’t a great passer, but he’s been a lot better of late. I expect a 15+ FP game from Reagor with a ceiling much higher.

Jake Smith - Texas - FanDuel $5,400 / DraftKings $4,500

With Collin Johnson announced out for this game, Brennan Eagles and Jake Smith will slot in and get some extra targets. You can play Eagles and he’s a bit safer, but Smith is cheap and I’m expecting him to play 75% of the time on passing downs. Smith isn’t an electric roster, but he’s a great red-zone target and Ehlinger throws him the ball when he’s on the field. The departure of Johnson is going to leave the opportunity open and someone other than Duvernay will have to take advantage.

Ronnie Bell - Michigan - FanDuel $6,900 / DraftKings $5,100

Ronnie Bell caught nine balls last week for 150 yards against Michigan State. Patterson leaned on him all game long and I don’t see why that changes here. Indiana is a terrible defense and Patterson should be able to throw for 250 yards. Bell is his clear number one option at this point and he’s priced way down on both sites. I like Ronnie Bell in both cash games and tournaments.

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FanDuel, DraftKings CFB DFS Picks: Daily Fantasy College Football Advice for 11/21/19 (Showdown)

We only have one game on Thursday night, and it’s a showdown between Nc State and Georgia Tech. We're looking at a 46 over/under with Georgia Tech favored by just two points. It'll be a fun game and there should be plenty of offense on each side.

This game is likely to be pretty close, so we want to targets both sides of the ball here.

Let's dive in!

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Captain

All Captain options are safe plays and belong in FLEX if you can't fit them as captain.

Devin Leary - NC State - DK $10,400, FD $14,000

This is a tough game to get a hold of, as Georgia Tech is one of the worst teams in the entire nation against the run. The problem is NC State doesn’t have much of a running game. They also split carries between two or three backs every game. For that reason, it’s hard to trust any of these guys in your captain spot. You can take a shot, but there’s a chance they all see touches. Devin Leary ran the ball a bit more last week and he’s looked decent throwing the ball. By pure default, he’s the top captain option on the board and a must flex.

Zonovan Knight - NC State - DK $3,800, FD $10,500

If I’m going to take a shot on one of these running backs, it’s Zonovan Knight. He’s getting the most consistent carries of these backs and stays in on the goal line. If NC State gives one of these guys 10+ carries, Georgia Tech is bad enough to give up 100 yards and a score. Knight is my favorite of the bunch and he will be in a few of my captain spots. He’s a lock for flex.

Jordan Yates - Georgia Tech - DK $3,000, FD $11,500

We don’t have word yet on who will start, but I’m guessing Jordan Yates takes over for the rest of the season and maintains his redshirt eligibility. Georgia Tech knows what they have with James Graham and it’s not much, so letting Yates get some run is what I expect to happen. He’s obviously risky, but this GT offense is going to put up 21+ points and he should get himself involved in a score or two. He’s more of a runner than a passer and he should eclipse value on pure volume. NC State is a great match-up for QB’s and there’s always a chance Yates finds his groove here.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Safe Plays

Jordan Mason - Georgia Tech - DK $10,600, FD $12,500

Georgia Tech was bottled up against Virginia Tech, and nobody could get anything going. It was the first time Jordan Mason was under 10 fantasy points since September. He’ll return to his normal form tonight and he’s one of the safest plays on the board. I don’t even hate him at captain if you think the game stays low-scoring. Mason is guaranteed the volume and this Nc State defensive line isn’t very stout. Mason is a top play in all formats.

Ricky Person and Jordan Houston - NC State - DK $5,800 - $5,000, FD $9,000 - $8,000

All three of these NC State running backs are in play for me. Zonovan Knight typically gets the most work, but these guys are basically 1b and 1c. They use a true RBBC approach and there have been games where Person or Houston gets the bulk of carries. Personally, I think Jordan Houston has the most talent in this backfield and I will have a lot of exposure to him because of that. GT could give up 200 yards on the ground in this game and I have no problem playing two of these running backs in the same lineup.

 

DraftKings DFS Contrarian Plays

Emeka Emezie - NC State - DK $10,000, FD $13,500

It's contrarian to target Georgia Tech through the air. That's for sure. They're one of the worst teams in the nation against the run, so there's really no reason to try to throw against the pretty solid secondary. With that being said, NC State is an underdog here and they could be forced to throw. Emezie is the number one option and he's targeted by far the most in the red zone. If I'm playing a Wolfpack wideout, it's Emeka Emezie.

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Top College Football Betting Expert Picks For Week 13 (11/23/19)

Last week was a tough one, as Louisiana Tech announced their quarterback was suspended the day of the game. Naturally, the over pick didn't hit, but if he was there, it was a likely winner. Georgia took care of business, while Arizona didn't even break double digits. You'll have days like this and we just have to push forward.

I'm here to breakdown each team's spot, as well as dive into my favorite spreads, totals, team totals, and even money lines for this week in the NCAA. My goal is to find the right value for you to be able to make money. Vegas makes you really work to find the right picks, but I hope I can make things a little more clear for you each and every week.

Follow me on Twitter @sgjanik_6 to chat about football and my picks. I’m also on the Action App @sgjanik6 where I’ll post all the picks below and more this season.

 

Marshall at Charlotte (+7)

O/U: 55.5

As winners of their last six, Marshall is one of the hotter Group of Five schools in the country. Last week's win was against a Louisiana Tech team depleted by a key suspension, but a win is a win. Quarterback Isaiah Green is a solid dual-threat option but it's the run game that has fueled this offense to 26 points per game in their last three. Brenden Knox eclipsed 1,000 yards for the season last week, and the Thundering Herd have rushed for at least 170 yards in 7-of-10 games this season. Defensively, they've been better the last two weeks, and though that’s likely circumstantial, they've allowed just 19 ppg on the road this season, compared to 27 ppg at home.

Following a four-game losing skid, Charlotte has popped off three straight C-USA wins over North Texas, Middle Tennessee, and UTEP, respectively. The offense has been hit-or-miss at times this season, with more hits than misses. Quarterback Chris Reynolds is a dangerous playmaker who has accounted for 23 touchdowns this season. Meanwhile his backfield complement, Benny LeMay has added 11 more. This offense runs through that pair, and if they get slowed down, the entire offense will sputter. Defensively, the 49ers have shown glimpses of success this season, but too often they get gashed by opponents. They've allowed at least 145 yards rushing in 9-of-10 games, and 26 ppg over their recent winning streak.

In Marshall’s four road games, the total has gone under three times, while the 49ers have had three overs hit in their five home games that carry a Vegas number.  However, consider that Marshall’s offense favors the run, while Charlotte is fighting to become bowl eligible and I think these two will take some time to feel each other out, keeping it lower scoring.

Pick: Under 55.5

 

Boston College at Notre Dame (-19)

O/U: 64

BC has been without starting quarterback Anthony Brown, but it doesn't matter because running backs AJ Dillon and David Bailey run the show, literally. Their 2,216 combined rushing yards are the second-most in the country by a duo. Defensively, things are rough for the Eagles as they allow 348 passing yards per game on the road, which is the third-most in the country. They'll need to find any way possible to put pressure on Ian Book and the Fighting Irish if they are going to have any success defensively.

The Golden Domers have been on fire the last two weeks, albeit against Duke and Navy. Quarterback Ian Book has been efficient, if not outstanding, in their two blowout wins, and he'll get the chance to be even better against a leaky BC defense. For Notre Dame, their defense has been stout recently, allowing just 265 yards per game and 15.7 ppg in their last three. Obviously, stopping the run will be crucial for ND, but they’ve fared well this season, allowing just 3.5 yards per rush at home.

Boston College has covered in each of the last four games where they’re considered road underdogs of between 10 and 20 points. Meanwhile, they’re 3-1 against the spread on the road in 2019 and they're 6-3 ATS as visitors since 2018 started. As for Notre Dame, they’re 4-2 ATS at home this year, and 7-5 ATS since last year. That being said, I like BC to use and abuse that run game to keep this one within three scores on the road.

Pick: Boston College +19

 

Houston at Tulsa (-3)

O/U: 58.5

Houston has been a wreck since D’Eriq King decided to redshirt after four games. Most recently, they’ve faced off with a ranked SMU and Memphis, as well as a dangerous UCF team, which all resulted in losses while allowing an average of 41 ppg. However, they’ve been able to put up 29 ppg themselves over that stretch, and all this with dwindling numbers. Even head coach Dana Holgorsen has noted he worries, at times, whether they’ll have enough guys to finish the season. Quarterback Clayton Tune has done the best he can to make things happen, accounting for five scores over the past three.

Tulsa took down UCF two weeks ago, despite the Knights running up, down, and around them. Quarterback Zach Smith has done a solid job taking care of the football this season, so he and their solid, balanced offensive attack aren’t the reason that they’re 3-7 this year. They’ve allowed 36 ppg at home this season, but that includes visitors of Oklahoma State, Navy, Memphis, and UCF. Houston is is nowhere close to any of those teams.

While Tulsa is just 2-3 ATS at home this season, consider those opponents they’ve welcomed to Chapman Stadium. They’re fresh off a bye week following an upset win over a formerly ranked UCF team, so this team will be ready to go. Houston, on the other hand, is depleted of playmakers and are 1-4 straight up in their last five. Give me the Golden Hurricane and the points.

Pick: Tulsa -3

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FanDuel, DraftKings CFB DFS Picks: Daily Fantasy College Football Advice for 11/22/19 (Showdown)

We only have one game on Friday night, and it’s a showdown between Wyoming and Colorado State. We're looking at a 50 over/under with Wyoming favored by seven points. It'll be a fun game and there should be plenty of offense on each side.

This game is likely to be pretty close, so we want to targets both sides of the ball here.

Let's dive in!

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Captain

All Captain options are safe plays and belong in FLEX if you can't fit them as captain.

Warren Jackson - Colorado State - DK $11,400, FD $15,000

Warren Jackson is the best player on the field in this game and he’s one of the best wide receivers in the entire nation. The six-foot-six Jackson has been over 100 yards in five of the last six games and Patrick O’Brien makes it a point to get him the ball. Jackson makes O’Brien a competent quarterback and he’s going to be needed in a tough match-up with Wyoming. Assuming CSU is playing from behind, they’ll be throwing the ball a ton and I wouldn’t be surprised if Jackson reels in double-digit balls. He’ll be my most popular captain on this slate as I suspect CSU is going to force the ball to him in a tough match-up.

Xazavian Valladay - Wyoming - DK $10,600, FD $14,000

Valladay didn’t practice this week, but head coach Craig Bohl said he should be good to go against Colorado State. On the off chance Valladay does sit, Brett Benton would be in play. Valladay is the best player on Wyoming and the offense runs solely through him. Through the last four weeks, Valladay has seen 26+ touches in every game and he’s been over 20 fantasy points in three of those games. With Wyoming a seven-point favorite, Valladay will likely be the most popular captain and I can’t argue with it.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Safe Plays

Patrick O'Brien - Colorado State - DK $11,200, FD $13,000

O’Brien has been over 300 yards in three of the last four games and it has a lot to do with Colorado State often playing from behind. They’re seven-point underdogs in this game and facing off with an average Wyoming secondary. O’Brien also has Warren Jackson, who is one of the best safety blankets in all of college football. He can just throw the ball up to Jackson when things get tough and it’s what he does quite often. O’Brien is a safe bet, but I don’t think you need to play him at captain.

Tyler Vander Waal - Wyoming - DK $9,600, FD $12,000

Truth be told, Tyler Vander Waal is not a very good quarterback. This offense runs through Xazavian Halladay and rightfully so. Still, the Colorado State defense isn’t very good and quarterbacks are typically safe on showdowns. You don’t have to play Vander Waal, but he’s an extremely safe bet in all formats.

Christian Hunter - Colorado State - DK $2,400, FD $7,000

With Marvin Kinsey Jr. suspended, Christian Hunter and Marcus McElroy are splitting time and Hunter got more carries last game. He’s also cheaper, and a better running back than McElroy. Wyoming is slightly worse against the run and Hunter isn’t going to be popular. You typically don’t want to target the underdog running back, but CSU will run the ball no matter what the score is.

 

DraftKings DFS Contrarian Plays

Josh Harshman - Wyoming - DK $5,000, FD $8,000

Harshman has six catches in each of the last two games, so Tyler Vander Waal is obviously quite comfortable throwing the ball to the tight end. As a not very good thrower, it makes sense to target the guy closest to you. Harshman is actually an extremely good tight end and I could see him making a lot of noise at the next level. If he scores a touchdown, you’ll need Josh Harshman in all formats.

Dante Wright - Colorado State - DK $10,800, FD $12,000

Dante Wright is clearly the number two receiver for the CSU Rams, but he’s also an insane playmaker. They get him involved on the ground and gets 5-6 catches in every game. Wyoming is an average defense and they’re not going to shut down Dante Wright. If you think CSU wins this game, grab O’Brien and his top two pass catchers and pair them with Valladay and Hunter.

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FanDuel, DraftKings CFB DFS Picks: Daily Fantasy College Football Advice for 11/20/19

Welcome to week 13 of the college football season! We kicked things off early with some Tuesday MACtion, and have another two on our hands tonight. There are only four teams on the slate, but plenty of offense to look at. We'll start building our bankroll early this week. Let's dive in!

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy college football lineup picks for the main slate of games on FanDuel and DraftKings on 11/20/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

You can follow me on Twitter @VarneyDFS. I will be around all day to answer questions.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Quarterbacks

Brett Gabbert - Miami-Ohio - FanDuel $9,100 / DraftKings $6,900

None of these quarterbacks are very good. Mitchell Guadagni is the most talented of the bunch, but he’s on the wrong side of questionable and it’s not looking great for him to play. That makes Brett Gabbert our favorite by default. Gabbert and Miami-Ohio are 31-point favorites over Akron, so we’re expecting 40 points out of an offense that’s usually rather inept. The Akron defense is terrible overall and Gabbert is the top option at QB.

Kyle Vantrease - Buffalo - FanDuel $8,200 / DraftKings $6,200

Buffalo has a better defense than Toledo, so I lean VanTrease here. If Guadagni plays, he would be my second favorite option. VanTrease is cheap and he’s put up 15+ fantasy points in three straight games. The Toledo defense is as average as it gets and VanTrese should be close to that number again. Gabbert is far safer, but VanTrease is cheap and I don’t hate it.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Running Backs

Jaylon Bester - Miami-Ohio - FanDuel $9,800 / DraftKings $6,500

I want all of the Jaylon Bester in this game. Facing off with one of the worst defenses in the nation, Miami-Ohio is a 31-point favorite. Out of 130 teams, Akron ranks 116th against the run with 207 yards allowed per game. Bester is going to smash here and he’s the first guy I’m locking into every format on this slate.

Shakif Seymour - Toledo - FanDuel $10,100 / DraftKings $6,400

Buffalo is really good against the run (7th out of 150), but Toledo is going to run the ball 30 times no matter what and Seymour will get a ton of volume. Bryant Koback is currently questionable, and it all comes down to whether or not he plays. If Koback is out, Seymour gets 25+ carries and makes for a stellar play. If Koback is in, I’ll ignore both.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Wide Receivers

Antonio Nunn - Buffalo - FanDuel $8,300 / DraftKings $5,700

None of these receivers are reliable. It’s likely that one or two of these guys are going to go off for 20 fantasy points, but it’s truly a crapshoot. Nunn was disappointing last week, but previously reeled in 12 catches for 150 yards and three scores in just two weeks prior. Buffalo should make an effort to get him the ball in this game and I doubt he will be highly owned. If VanTrease is my second favorite QB, I should be targeting Nunn everywhere.

Jalen Walker - Miami-Ohio - FanDuel $7,500 / DraftKings $4,700

Gabbert threw the ball to eight different receivers last week, so it’s hard to project who’s going to see more than three or four carries. If I had to bet on a guy, it’d be Jalen Walker. He is their speed threat and he can take a single touch to the house. Jack Sorensen is their number one when it comes to real football, and he’s a solid option as well. I just suspect he will be popular and he never sees a ton a volume. James Maye is an interesting play as well as he might have the most true-talent of any of these receivers.

Danzel McKinley-Lewis - Toledo - FanDuel $7,400 / DraftKings $5,200

Danzel McKinley-Lewis caught seven balls last week on 11 targets. It surely came out of nowhere for a guy that caught 1-3 balls in every game this season. Buffalo may force Toledo to throw the ball and McKinley-Lewis looks like the guy they’re going to force the ball to. He’s affordable and hard to stay away from in any format.

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FanDuel, DraftKings CFB DFS Picks: Daily Fantasy College Football Advice for 11/19/19

Welcome to week 13 of the college football season! We kick things off early with some Tuesday MACtion. There are two games on the slate and plenty of offense to look at. We'll start building our bankroll early this week. Let's dive in!

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy college football lineup picks for the main slate of games on FanDuel and DraftKings on 11/19/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

You can follow me on Twitter @VarneyDFS. I will be around all day to answer questions.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Quarterbacks

Nathan Rourke - Ohio - FanDuel $11,000 / DraftKings $8,700

Rourke is by far the top quarterback on this slate and we should see a repeat of last week when he was 90% owned in most contests. He’s been over 26 fantasy points in four straight weeks and has a cupcake match-up with a terrible Bowling Green defense. They’re middle of the road against the pass, but bottom 30 in the nation against the run. Rourke is a dual-threat monster and you can chalk him up for 30 or so fantasy points in this one.

Marcus Childers - NILL - FanDuel $7,700 / DraftKings $5,500

Play Rourke. If you want to play a QB at S-Flex, Marcus Childers has some upside. He relieves Ross Bowers and is the running QB. He does pass as well, though, so the upside is huge against an Eastern Michigan defense that’s terrible against the run.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Running Backs

Tre Harbison - NILL - FanDuel $9,200 / DraftKings $7,500

Like I just mentioned, Eastern Michigan is terrible against the run. Out of 130 FBS teams, they rank 101st with 193 yards allowed per game. Harbison is coming off of a 158-hard performance and now has 100+ yards in four of the last six weeks. This offense runs through him and I wouldn’t be surprised to see another 30 carries. He’s averaging 28 over his last four good match-ups. All the Harbison.

De'Montre Tuggle - Ohio - FanDuel $8,600 / DraftKings $6,000

You don’t have to worry about too much exposure to Ohio. They’re favored by 27 points and you want at least three of them in your lineup. Bowling Green is worse against the run than the pass, and Tuggle gets consistent volume. He’s been over 10 fantasy points in four straight and I project him for over 20 in this one.

Shaq Vann - EMU - FanDuel $8,400 / DraftKings $5,100

Vann won’t repeat last week. We predicted the outburst here, and he went nuts for 142 yards and four touchdowns. The match-up was incredible. It’s not as amazing this time around, but Vann should finish around 100 yards with one or two scores. I like him more than any of the receivers we’re about to touch on, so consider him at flex.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Wide Receivers

Mathew Sexton - - FanDuel $8,300 / DraftKings $5,300

Wide receiver is beyond ugly at this position. All four of these teams are better against the pass and all four have better running games. I’d bet on three running backs eclipsing 100 yards before any of these receivers get to 50. With that being said, Sexton is my favorite. He’s been over 70 yards in two straight games and Eastern Michigan throws the most of these four teams. Sexton has the most upside and he’s not hard to fit.

Ryan Luehrman - Ohio - FanDuel $6,700 / DraftKings $4,600

You can play Isiah Cox, but Luehrman is cheaper and in just as good of a spot. He sees more red-zone looks as well, and touchdowns are going to be valuable at WR tonight. Luehrman has reeled in three catches in three of the last four games and should make it another tonight. He’s cheap as well and you need value somewhere.

Quintin Morris - BGSU - FanDuel $7,300 / DraftKings $5,800

Morris is by far the most consistent receiver for Bowling Green, and the only one that gets any kind of consistent targets. Morris has four-plus catches in seven of the last eight games, so he is definitely making a presence on a weekly basis. Ohio isn’t a great match-up, but Bowling Green will be throwing the entire game and I’d be shocked if Morris doesn’t reach his four catches. He’s safe and has the upside if he scores a touchdown.

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NCAA Prospects To Watch: Week 12: Running Back Edition

Now that we’re into the final few weeks of the college football regular season, we changed the format of this piece. Last week we began looking at a different fantasy position and highlighting some of the key future fantasy stars to watch on Saturday. In order to give dynasty owners and owners in larger leagues a leg up, we’re not solely going to focus on the likely first-round picks but also players who could be drafted later in the NFL Draft but emerge as impactful fantasy stars.

After doing quarterbacks last week, we’ll move to the running back position. First, let’s look at how last week’s featured players performed:

Week 11's Featured Players

Jacob Eason, Washington – Projection: 2nd Round Pick – Eason really struggled last Friday, completing 16 of 32 passes for 175 yards and two interceptions against Oregon State. It’s not the type of performance he needed against a mediocre defense. His work during the year likely keeps him in the day two conversation, but his ultimate upside becomes more questionable if he can’t thrive in matchups like this.

Tua Tagovaila, Alabama - Projection: Top 5 Pick – Tua played well on a hobbled ankle in an epic matchup last Saturday. Throwing for 418 yards and four touchdowns against a defense like LSU’s is no joke. At points, it seemed like LSU would run away with the game, but Tua led Alabama back. He throws one of the best deep balls in the game and is going to be a top-5 pick.

Joe Burrow, LSU - Projection: Top 5-10 Pick – The only reason Tua might not be the top overall pick is because of what Burrow did in that exact same game. The senior completed 31 of 39 passes for 393 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 64 yards. It was the type of performance that wins you a Heisman and makes you lots of money. Burrow is going to be good.

Sam Ehlinger, Texas - Projection: Third or Fourth Round Pick – Ehlinger was contained on the ground, with only 40 yards on 14 carries, but he was efficient threw the air, completing 22 of 29 passes for 293 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He’s likely not going to win games in the NFL because of his arm, but he showed that he’s come a long way when forced to pass and it’s possible that his growth will move him into the day two conversation.

Anthony Gordon, Washington State - Projection: Day Three Pick – Gordon threw the ball all over Cal, completing 45 of 58 passes for 407 yards and two touchdowns. He recovered from a rough start and completed 19 straight at one point, showing off his rhythm and accuracy in the spread offense. If he goes to a team that employs quick reads and spread concepts, Gordon could be a sneaky fantasy option.

Jordan Love, Utah State - Projection: Anywhere from First to Fourth Round Pick – We got good Love on Saturday, as he completed 30 of 39 passes for 388 yards and two touchdowns. Most importantly, he threw no interceptions. He read the field well, took what was given to him, and showed off his impressive arm. All of which is why some team is liable to take him on day two and try to work the inconsistencies out of his game.

Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma - Projection: First Round Pick – Hurts played well, but Oklahoma got a bit conservative late in the game, as they almost blew a big lead against Iowa State. As a result of a less aggressive gameplan, Hurts completed only 18 passes for 273 yards and three interceptions, while also scoring two touchdowns on 68 yards rushing. Even held to 3.1 yards per carry, Hurts was able to do damage with his legs. He’s far from a perfect quarterback, but he’s going to be a QB1 in fantasy if he goes to a team that will embrace his rushing ability.

This series covers players featured in nationally televised games who could likely emerge as fantasy assets after next year’s draft. 

Week 12 Matchup to Watch - Saturday Early Games

Wisconsin - Nebraska 12:00 PM ET

Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin Projection: 2nd Round Pick

Five years ago, Taylor would have been a first-round pick. Now that the position has been devalued, he’ll slip into the second day and immediately slot in as a starter for an NFL team. He has an impressive blend of size and speed and has even become a much bigger part of the passing game this year, catching 18 passes already after only catching eight each of his first two seasons. He’s a well-rounded player who could have a Josh Jacobs-type rookie season.

 

Kansas - Oklahoma State 12:00 PM ET

Chubba Hubbard, Oklahoma State - Projection: 3rd Round Pick

In addition to having the best name in the draft class (reminds me of my favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor) Hubbard also packs punch as a runner. He is shifty in space, allows blocks to set up, and shows good balance on contact. The only downside is that his passing game role has seemed to diminish. He caught 22 passes last year while splitting time with Justice Hill but has only nine catches so far this year. He’s shown the ability in the past to be effective in that role, but he’ll need it for fantasy success. He’s also not a great blocker right now, so he might lose passing-down work for that as well, which would cap any fantasy upside.

Alabama - Mississippi State 12:00 PM ET

Najee Harris, Alabama State - Projection: Late Day Two / Early Day Three

People keep predicting Najee Harris in rounds four and five, but I watch him play and just don’t understand that. He has incredible juice in his legs and finishes runs aggressively. At 6’2” 230 pounds, I see a back that can dish out contact and withstand a lead back role, and now he’s added receiving chops to his resume. I think he’s one of the best backs in the draft and will immediately earn a fantasy role next year.

Week 12 Matchup to Watch: Afternoon Games

Georgia - Auburn 3:30 PM ET

D’Andre Swift, Georgia Projection: First Round Pick

The consensus top running back in the draft, Swift is also the most likely to be taken in the back half of the first round. He’s not the biggest back in the draft, but he handles contact well and is elusive in the open field, which has helped him become a consistent big-play threat both as a runner and a receiver. He’s not going to run NFL defenders over, but he has good vision and allows his blockers to get set, which means he doesn’t often half to. He’s two inches shorter than Christian McCaffrey but is already bigger in college than McCaffrey was, and the Panthers star made himself into a more powerful runner since being in the NFL. There’s no reason that Swift won’t be able to either while still keeping his dynamic athleticism.

 

Clemson - Wake Forest 3:30 PM ET

Travis Etienne, Clemson Projection: Second Round Pick

Etienne is likely the most explosive player in the draft. He rips off chunk plays on a consistent basis and is averaging over eight yards a carry for the second straight year. He’s also becoming more involved in the Clemson passing game, hauling in 22 passes already after catching 12 all of last year. He can make one cut and explode into the open field, but that has also caused him to look for those big runs every time he gets the ball, which is why Etienne is the biggest fantasy question mark for me. If he can curb the desire to bounce everything outside and hit the big play, he could be a dynamic fantasy running back, but if he keeps searching for big gains on every single run, he’s going to get hit in the backfield a lot versus NFL defenses and hurt his fantasy teams.

Week 12 Matchups to Watch: Night Games

South Florida - Cincinnati 7:o0 PM ET

Michael Warren, Cincinnati – Projection: Day Three Pick

Michael Warren is a grinder. He runs hard and makes people pay for trying to tackle him. At 5’11” 225, he can certainly dish out punishment. He’s not elusive in space, but he’s proven to be a reliable pass-catcher when called on and is a real threat around the goal-line. As a fantasy player, he is never going to carry the load for a team, but his running style will also make him a red-zone option which could make him fantasy relevant if he gets drafted to a team that can threaten to score often.

 

LSU - Ole Miss 7:00 PM ET

Scottie Phillips, Ole Miss Projection: Late Day Three

I just like watching Scottie Phillips play. He’s battled some injuries this year, which has caused him to miss games and some opportunities to impress the masses, but I see a player who, while small, is shifty in space and powerful on his cuts. He might only be 5’8” but he’s not a Tarik Cohen since he packs much more power in his lower body. I’d be more bullish if he had put more receiving work on tape at Ole Miss, but I think Phillips could emerge as an intriguing committee back, like Jaylen Samuels has in Pittsburgh.

Oregon State- Arizona State 7:30 PM ET

Eno Benjamin, Arizona State Projection: Early Day Three Pick

Benjamin has had a tough year dealing with some injuries and a down year for the Sun Devils. He’s a powerful runner who doesn’t have the elusive skills of some of the other backs mentioned, so he’s struggled to deal with some stacked boxes this year. He’s a good pass catcher and a competent blocker, so he’s effective in the passing game, but I just don’t see that being his NFL future. He looks like more of a downhill runner who will be part of a committee. However, he has good vision and excellent leg drive, so he might emerge as part of a committee in which he’s given the goal-line carries and able to secure fantasy value, like Jordan Howard this year in Philadelphia. I don’t expect that right away, but I believe it’s in his future.

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FanDuel, DraftKings CFB DFS Picks: Daily Fantasy College Football Advice for 11/16/19 (Main Slate)

Welcome to week 12 of the college football season! After four weekday slates, we open it up today with an awesome slate. We'll kick it off with the main slate, but make sure to pay attention as the late slate article will drop as well. I will be following the DK slates, which separate the slates evenly.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy college football lineup picks for the main slate of games on FanDuel and DraftKings on 11/16/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

You can follow me on Twitter @VarneyDFS. I will be around all day to answer questions.

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Quarterbacks

Brock Purdy - Iowa State - FanDuel $10,200 / DraftKings $8,200

There are a multitude of options at quarterback on this slate, but Brock Purdy is my favorite and I love him in all formats. He’s been up and down this season, but regularly throws for 300 yards in positive match-ups. This match-up against Texas is as good as it gets. Purdy is a lock to throw for 300 yards and he could get to 450 if Iowa State is playing from behind. Texas is one of the worst pass defenses in the nation and Purdy is a lock for me in all formats. On the main slate on FanDuel where Hurts is involved, it’s a tough decision between the two for me. I lean Hurts in cash.

Max Duggan - TCU - FanDuel $8,400 / DraftKings $6,300

Duggan has been great this year and he’s facing off with a Texas Tech defense that isn’t going to offer much resistance. Duggan is running the ball double-digit times a game and it gives him a high floor. He should find the end zone two or three times at a minimum in this game and I love his price on both sites. Trevor Lawrence would be my second favorite option if I’m paying down from Brewer.

Consider - Anthony Gordon, Trevor Lawrence, Carter Stanley

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Running Backs

Chuba Hubbard - Oklahoma State - FanDuel $10,600 / DraftKings $8,800

Hubbard is the lock of the slate. Kansas is terrible against the run and Hubbard is going to see his usually ridiculous amount of carries. If he doesn’t run for 150 yards and two touchdowns, I would be completely shocked. I recommend locking Hubbard into 100% of your lineups. This early slate doesn’t have anyone else you must pay up for and you’re playing with fire if you fade him.

Travis Etienne - Clemson - FanDuel $9,900 / DraftKings $8,100

Etienne is a little bit cheaper than Hubbard and he’s going to go crazy this week as well. Wake Forest is terrible against the run and Etienne has found his rhythm recently. He’s run for 100 yards in four straight games and has scored six touchdowns in that span. This might be his best match-up to date when you combine game script and where Clemson is in the season. Every win matters and it matters by how much. Expect another huge game out of Etienne and I’ll be paying up at RB on the early slate.

Consider - Breece Hall, Pooka Williams, Cameron Scarlett, Kadarius Toney

 

FanDuel, DraftKings DFS Wide Receivers

Kendall Hinton - Wake Forest - FanDuel $7,800 / DraftKings $5,800

With Scotty Washington and Sage Surratt both out, Kendall Hinton should be peppered with targets. The match-up isn’t tremendous with Clemson, but it won't matter if he sees the 11-14 targets I expect him to get. He’s head and shoulders above the rest of this receiving core and Newman should tell him all day long.

Charlie Kolar - Iowa State - FanDuel $7,700 / DraftKings $5,300

Kolar would be my bet if I had to pick a receiver to score a touchdown on this slate. The 6’4 tight end is a red zone monster and he was mostly ignored last weekend. Purdy should get back to looking his way heavily in this game and his price is low on both sites. We touched on Texas and how bad their pass defense is. They've allowed 300+ passing yards to far inferior passing squads, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Kolar ends up over 100 yards. Charlie Kolar is a guy I have locked into all formats.

Stephon Robinson Jr. - Kansas - FanDuel $8,400 / DraftKings $5,400

Robinson Jr. is too expensive on FanDuel, but this article is mostly useless if you’re playing over there. You must combine both articles as the presence of Jalen Hurts changes everything. Over on DraftKings, Stephon Robinson is way too cheap and in a great spot. Oklahoma State is bad against the pass and Carter Stanley has been all over Stephen Robinson this last month. On DK, he’s a lock and load value play for just $5,400.

Consider - Devin Duvernay, Deshaunte Jones, Justyn Ross, Damonte Coxie

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Top College Football Betting Expert Picks For Week 12 (11/16/19)

Perfection was what we had here in Week 11 and man what a wonderful weekend of college football it was. LSU is building something special and them outright beating Alabama made my heart happy. As we wind down near the end of the regular season, these games all have some sort of stipulation tied to them. It's essential to pay attention to certain matchups as we have more information available to us.

I'm here to breakdown each team's spot, as well as dive into my favorite spreads, totals, team totals, and even money lines for this week in the NCAA. My goal is to find the right value for you to be able to make money. Vegas makes you really work to find the right picks, but I hope I can make things a little more clear for you each and every week.

Follow me on Twitter @sgjanik_6 to chat about football and my picks. I’m also on the Action App @sgjanik6 where I’ll post all the picks below and more this season.

 

Louisiana Tech at Marshall (-4)

O/U: 56 (**NOTE This game is on Friday, 11/15 at 7:00pm EST)

La Tech has been cruising of late, racking up eight straight victories, including their last four that have been by at least 15 points or more. Since the beginning of October, they've compiled 2,197 yards of offense and outscored their opponents 208-89. Quarterback J'Mar Smith along with running back Justin Henderson combine to make the most formidable backfield in C-USA. they should have no issues moving the ball against a defense that allows 5.6 yards per play. 

The Thundering Herd have been on a nice streak themselves, winning each of their last four by combined scores of 113-78. In Week 12 they're fresh off a bye and heading into their biggest game of the season, against a team that's equally as hot. So they'll look to signal caller Isaiah Green and his backfield partner Brenden Knox to step their respective games up at home. Both have combined for 22 of the team's 27 offensive touchdowns this season, so they're clearly capable of making plays. Defensively, Marshall is serviceable against the run, allowing just 3.8 per attempt, but I don't see them stopping Henderson of La Tech.

**UPDATE: Quarterback J’Mar Smith and receiver Adrian Hardy will be not be available for Friday night’s game, due to violation of team policies. Disregard this pick!** The Bulldogs houses the 13th-ranked scoring offense with 38.1 points per game, which has been inflated over the past four games. However, that's just a testament to their ability to score often, and I don't see Marshall stopping that. Alternatively, the host Herd have proven capable of scoring at home, as the total in all five of their 2019 home games has gone over. Somehow this total has dropped from opening at 57 and it should probably be over 60, but we'll take the generosity of Vegas here. 

Pick: Over 56

 

Arizona at Oregon (-27)

O/U: 68

The Wildcats haven’t been too hot of late, losing four straight, after starting the year 4-1. Is it coincidental that that losing streak began when Arizona started using two quarterbacks to run their offense? Probably, seeing as they’ve given up at least 189 points in the streak. Khalil Tate and Grant Gunnell have been sharing signal caller duties, and for the most part it’s been effective, as they’ve averaged 27.5 points per game over the last four. Basically, Arizona has to score 50 or more every week to give them a chance to win this one, which isn’t a great recipe for success.

Oregon just moved into the Top 6 of the College Football Playoff rankings, and for good reason. This Ducks squad has won eight straight, including last week’s 56-24 takedown of USC. While quarterback Justin Herbert has been a stud all season, throwing for over 2,300 yards and 24 touchdowns, his trio of wide receivers (15 TD’s combined) really put the offense over the top. Defensively, Oregon was one of the nation’s best, with the exception of the past three weeks where they’ve surrendered at least 24 points in every game. It’s possible they’ve taken a step back as the competition got more fierce, and Arizona should be able to test them as well.

While Oregon has different motivations at this time of the season, I look for them to get ahead early and keep the foot on the gas. This Wildcat defense is one of the nations's worst so it shouldn't be an issue for Oregon to continue their high-scoring ways. On the Arizona side, they have had success mixing and matching quarterbacks which isn't always going to work, but Oregon's defense has shown signs of weakness recently. I'm targeting the total here.

Pick: Over 68

 

Georgia at Auburn (+2.5)

O/U: 41

These Bulldogs haven't done anything spectacular recently, but now find themselves in the Top 4 of the CFP rankings. Following their heartbreaking loss to South Carolina in October, Georgia is 3-0 since and has shutout two of their last three opponents. The offense leans on Jake Fromm and Deandre Swift to make magic, and while they've been very solid of late, they'll need to step their game up in Auburn.

The Tigers are no stranger to big games, and unfortunately for them, they've haven't produced the results in said games this season. After starting the season 5-0, they've gone 2-2 since, including losses to Florida and LSU by a combined 14 points. Freshman quarterback Bo Nix has been about as good as you can expect for an 19-year-old in the SEC, but the thick of their conference schedule hasn't been easy. Defensively, they haven't surrendered more than 24 points in any game this season, which is a trend they'll need to carry on in this game if they want to take down Georgia.

Since Kirby Smart became head coach at Georgia in 2016, the Bulldogs are 9-4 against the spread as road favorites and 13-6 ATS against ranked opponents. UGA needs a big win in what is their toughest remaining game on the schedule, if they want to stay in the favor of the CFP committee.

Pick: Georgia -2.5

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