A scan of the individual statistics from Week 10 will quickly describe the state of play at this point in the season. Conference play is a different animal and, while the video game metrics from facing subpar competition is significantly decreased, an increase in top-end production can be seen across the board. While it is very important to maintain a watchful eye on the players seeing increased opportunities throughout the year, this is the peak time of the season to monitor the consistency and workload of the obvious chalk plays.
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Aggressive gunslingers targeting receivers on 20-plus yard (deep) attempts
Mason Rudolph ($6,900) – Oklahoma State at Iowa State
It might be a little surprising that it took the nations leader in accuracy percentage on deep targets 11 weeks to grace this list, but his inclusion was reserved for a statement win. Far too many followers of college football are completely unaware of the truly extraordinary play of Rudolph. His play goes far beyond, dare I say, fantasy football and DFS. The metrics behind the scenes of his success paint a bright picture for his football future. He still has some work to do on his footwork outside of the pocket, but that is an issue of technique that experience will correct.
As for his Week 10 performance, despite connecting on 4-of-8 targets at a depth of 20-plus yards – it was actually a slight decrease to his season-long accuracy. Let’s be careful to maintain our focus on the forest through the trees, as the four completions averaged 63.5 yards per occurrence, and each was taken for a TD. The absence of a ground game and a tough end-of-the-year schedule may prevent 2015 from being the season that the Cowboys celebrate a berth into the College Playoff, but the arrival of Rudolph is officially underway … take notice.
Marquise Williams ($8,400) – North Carolina vs. Miami
It is truly remarkable, considering his tremendous play, that Williams was under consideration for the bench and being replaced by Mitch Trubinsky after struggling in Week 1. That’s not to say that Trubinsky does not offer plenty of potential but, outside of Virginia holding him out of the endzone, Williams has been a steady force. In the Week 10 Tobacco Road showdown with Duke, Williams was purely magical while registering 47.76 DraftKings points. Not only did he connect on 6-of-7 vertical targets, his receivers averaged 49.3 yards per completion, and three crossed the goal line.
Brandon Allen ($5,400) – Arkansas at Louisiana State
While Allen was able to pass for 20 TDs to only 5 interceptions last season, the combination of a poor completion percentage (55.7 percent) and yards per attempt average (6.7) removed him from fantasy consideration. You’d be totally justified in disregarding the fact that Allen has tossed for similar totals 21 TDs and 5 INTs this season, but, a valuable fantasy lesson to learn, always keep an open mind. Allen has actually been able to show on-the-field growth by increasing his completion percentage to 64.9 percent and his yards per attempt has followed with an increase of 2.5 yards. While a 22.8 yards per vertical attempt from Week 10 may not sound significant, he worked with efficiency (6-of-7), and those throws led to a tie with Rudolph for the most vertical TDs for the week (4).
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Quarterbacks who simply dominated opponents with pinpoint accuracy. These signal callers will be chosen based on the PFF College metric termed Accuracy Percentage: (Completions + Drops) / (Attempts – Throw Aways – Spikes – Batted Passes – Hit As Thrown)
Jarrett Stidham ($7,800) – Baylor vs. Oklahoma
We could focus on the fact that Baylor’s defense allowed a team with the third-worst total offense in the entire FBS to generate 430 total yards, and to control the clock for two-thirds of the game, but that just wouldn’t do justice to fantasy and DFS-purposes. Stidham performed beyond expectations and fed WRs Corey Coleman and K.D. Cannon with the volume to maintain their DraftKings roster placement. A 23-for-33 day is further strengthened by an 80.6 accuracy percentage featuring two drops and a pair of batted passes. Stidham will likely be unable to offer the rushing yards provided by Seth Russell, but the passing offense remains within the elite category.
Brad Kaaya ($6,200) – Miami at North Carolina
It’s been a disappointing season for the Miami program and even more so considering the strong play of Kaaya. The defense has underperformed, to “The U’s” standards, and much of that is unsurprising considering the turnover to the NFL Draft. Week 10 saw Kaaya continue to post positive results, completing 20-of-26 passing attempts for an 80.0 accuracy percentage. The emergence of WR Stacy Coley from injury provides a significant threat that could push Kaaya into the GPP conversation facing North Carolina in Week 11.
Matt Johnson ($9,500) – Bowling Green at Western Michigan [Game Played 11/11]
The fact that Johnson possesses a high-end salary and that he already played in Week 11 offers little in the way of value to recommend at this point. Despite that, what Johnson was able to do in Week 10 to the Ohio Bobcats overrides those considerations. At this point, 365 passing yards and 4 TDs can almost be considered his floor for production, but his performance goes beyond the eye-candy stats. Consider that his accuracy percentage of 96.6 percent from Week 10 rivals any we’ve seen in college football over the last two seasons. That statement includes Greyson Lambert’s record-breaking 24-of-25 day in Week 3 against South Carolina that led to a 96.0 accuracy percentage. Johnson completed 26-of-35 passes with two drops, a batted pass, and five thrown away.
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The homerun ability of a running back is, in its nature, a game altering addition to an offense, and DraftKings gold in your pocket. These are the backs who emerged with the most production on 15-plus yard (long) runs
Jordan Howard ($7,000) – Indiana vs. Michigan
A 46.6 breakaway percentage does little to highlight Howard’s explosive day against a tough Iowa defense. Yes, less than half of his yardage came from 15-plus yard runs, but that is insignificant when that percentage yields 81 rushing yards. Rushing for a total of 174 yards, Howard broke free on three runs, and should continue to provide top-15 running back potential the rest of the season.
Akrum Wadley ($4,800) – Iowa vs. Minnesota
Speaking of the Iowa at Indiana game, the Hawkeyes brought a homerun threat of their own in Wadley. A week after splitting carries among a committee, Wadley only separated for two long runs, but averaged 41 yards per incident. A 68.3 breakaway percentage is actually an improvement on the 57.8 mark he submitted in Week 7 during his 204-yard performance against Northwestern. Keep an eye on the injury report this week as Wadley is in danger of being inactive.
Ramadi Warren ($4,100) – Tulsa at Cincinnati
Along the lines of injuries, the bug forced Zack Langer to sit out of Tulsa’s Week 10 contest with UCF, and gave an opportunity to Warren to showcase his skills. He did not disappoint, generating 104 yards on long runs, and entering a 61.9 breakaway percentage. We will need more information before making any speculations on the future, possibly producing against a higher-level run defense, but impressive none-the-less.
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Depending on long runs can be a fruitless endeavor, but the ability to elude defenders is a talent these running backs have mastered, and in reliable fashion. These backs generated dominant Elusive Ratings (a runner’s success beyond the point of being helped by his blockers)
Sony Michel ($6,600) – Georgia at Auburn
While a performance against Kentucky’s reeling defense proves nothing, Michel’s true purpose was to prove his health after recently breaking his hand. He did just that against the Wildcats, breaking eight tackles (tied for the most in Week 10), and producing a 131.9 elusive rating. A date with Auburn in Week 11 will provide another opportunity for Michel to live up to his lofty high school evaluations.
Marlon Mack ($5,100) – South Florida vs. Temple
Despite an outburst of offense from Mack as a true freshman last season, Mack had plenty of areas requiring improvement. The focus of his entry in this portion of the weekly breakouts is to highlight an ability to elude tackle attempts and that is one area Mack has been able to advance. Last season, Mack shed 25 tackles on 201 rushing attempts over 12 games. After eight games of the 2015 season, Mack has already exceeded that total with 27 in only 142 total attempts. Seven of those came in Week 10 against East Carolina and provides a glimpse into the sophomore’s growth.
Josh Ferguson ($4,600) – Illinois vs. Ohio State
Another player with loads of potential that is attempting to return from injury, Ferguson was finally able to get back on the field in Week 10 to face Purdue. He was allotted 12 carries during his return and the results were extraordinary. Ferguson evaded six tackle attempts during the 12 attempts and produced 5.50 yards after contact per attempt. His 213.9 elusive rating finished toward the top of the country and describes a full return to health.
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A list of the receivers who furnished the weekends best performances on tracking down (deep) targets traveling greater than 20 yards
Chris Moore ($5,400) – Cincinnati vs. Tulsa
The only way to begin a list of vertical aptitude is to highlight the player at the forefront of QB Gunner Kiel’s 523 passing yard explosion against the Houston Cougars. Moore tracked down 4-of-5 deep targets during the day and furnished 116 yards and 2 TDs with those receptions. Moore has always been a dangerous threat downfield and any sort of consistency would make him a top-DFS target.
Mack Hollins ($4,600) – North Carolina vs. Miami
Speaking of top-vertical threats in college football, Hollins could very well be the most significant version out of the ACC. Despite evenly splitting targets with no-less-than three other receivers, Hollins has once again stepped up his play in the second half of the season. Last week against Duke, Hollins was able to run under both catchable bombs and took them for TD receptions totaling 99 yards.
Dominique Reed ($3,300) – Arkansas at Louisiana State
WR Drew Morgan has been the name to know from the Razorback receiving unit since the loss Keon Hatcher, but Reed could add his name to that list. We saw Reed step up to the challenge in facing Alabama in Week 6 with a 54-yard TD reception, and Reed provided a follow-up in Week 10. Going up against the Ole Miss secondary, Reed found a way to reel in all three of his catchable 20-plus yard looks and taking two to the house.
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While many of the nations receivers are capable of producing high yardage output with a large number of targets, this list will highlight the players who generated the most efficient use of each snap in route
Darren Carrington ($5,800) – Oregon at Stanford
Very little should need to be said of Carrington to prove his elite playmaking for the Ducks. Carrington finished last season as one of PFF College’s top WRs, but the stigma of receiving passes from QB Marcus Mariota gave some a reason for pause. He began 2015 still serving the suspension he received that kept him out of the College Football Playoff Championship against Ohio State. Finally, being reinstated to play against Washington in Week 7, Carrington has since done nothing less than continue the dominance he displayed under Mariota. On 26 snaps in route, Carrington produced 4.31 yards per route run (YPPR), and finished with 112 receiving yards on five receptions.
Thomas Duarte ($5,600) – UCLA vs. Washington State
While Duarte may need to miss a big Week 11 game against Washington State due to illness, the WR/TE, who has done 97.1 percent of his work out of the slot, has registered seven TDs over the last six games. Duarte was able to accumulate his third 30-plus DraftKings point game over his last five against Oregon State last week and will likely finish the season as the top-option out of the TE pool. During that outburst against the Beavers, Duarte ran 31-of-32 routes out of the slot, where he saw all six targets, and produced 3.63 YPRR.
Devon Blackmon ($4,600) – Brigham Young at Missouri
Another QB whose play has mostly gone unnoticed has been Tanner Mangum. His efficiency and maturity has grown right before our eyes – on the field – after replacing the oft-injured Taysom Hill. During Mangum’s maturation process, Blackmon has followed suit, and has provided three 100-yard games in the process. His Week 2 100-yard output was, unfortunately, skewed by a 70-yard reception accounting for its majority. He was able to reemerge in Week 6 with nine catches for 142 yards against East Carolina. Four weeks later, Blackmon saw 24 snaps in route, and nine targets. If Blackmon is able to maintain the 4.25 YPRR value he registered in Week 10, he will certainly be in play going forward.
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