It’s Championship weekend, folks! We’ve got a great slate of games all day on Saturday, and here are some players you should consider drafting. Good luck!
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Deshaun Watson vs North Carolina – ($8,600) – Clemson’s Deshaun Watson has racked up 3,979 total yards this season, averaging 331.6 yards per game en route to ACC Player of the Year. Watson has become an even bigger part of the Clemson ground game over the last month, averaging just over 15 carries and 92 rushing yards per game. To go along with his successful rushing, Deshaun Watson has averaged 41.85 DK fantasy points over his last five games. North Carolina’s run defense has given up 208.3 rushing yards per game this year, which ranks 107th nationally. The Heels have their work cut out for them on Saturday night.
Nick Mullens vs Western Kentucky – ($7,300) – Southern Miss QB Nick Mullens’ junior season has been everything Golden Eagles’ fans could have hoped for and more. Mullens has passed for 3,964 yards with 35 touchdowns and nine interceptions as he finished second in Conference USA in passing. Last week against LA Tech, Mullens went 24-of-37 for 386 yards with three touchdowns and a solo interception. He should be considered an exciting fantasy option in the C-USA title game against an average Western Kentucky pass defense that’s allowing nearly 240 passing yards per game.
Sklyer Howard vs Kansas State – ($6,300) – West Virginia QB Skyler Howard has been undervalued for the majority of the season. The last three games, Howard is averaging a little over 25 fantasy points per contest. He’s rushed for a touchdown in four straight games and will look to finish the regular season on a strong note. The Mountaineers are facing an abysmal Kansas State pass defense that allows 283 passing yards per game, which ranks 119th in the nation.
Derrick Henry vs Florida – ($8,500) – I don’t care who this guy is facing, Alabama RB Derrick Henry is an absolute monster. Last week against rival Auburn, Henry rushed for a school record 46 times for 271 times and a touchdown. Henry has now notched four 200-yard games this season, tying an SEC record set by Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker. Not bad company to be in. The junior back has scored in every games this season, totaling 22 rushing touchdowns. He’ll face a stiffer test in the SEC Championship game against Florida, but the Gators just got torched by FSU RB Dalvin Cook for 183 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Wayne Gallman vs North Carolina – ($6,200) – To be honest, the rest of the normally stud running backs in this slate of games have very touch matchups this weekend. I really like a lot of value backs like Clemson RB Wayne Gallman. Before injuring his ankle, Gallman had scored in four straight games and is averaging 104 rushing yards per game. There’s no reason to think he’ll be anything less than impressive against a UNC defense that allows well over 200 rushing yards per game.
Wendell Smallwood vs Kansas State – ($5,900) – Another undervalued West Virginia player, running back Wendell Smallwood has been a consistent bell cow for the Mountaineers all season. The bruising back has 1,306 yards and eight touchdowns on the year and provides some nice catching value out of the backfield as well. Look for Smallwood and company to capitalize against a porous Kansas State defense.
Aaron Burbridge vs Iowa – ($6,500) – Michigan State WR Aaron Burbridge has been the Spartans best threat on the outside all season long. Burbridge is averaging 96.5 receiving yards per game and has totaled 9 touchdowns in 2015. Considering Iowa’s strength on defense is against the run, look for QB Connor Cook to expose the Hawkeyes through the air. Burbridge will receive the lion’s share of targets in this offense, and I personally think MSU will throttle Iowa.
Demarcus Ayers vs Temple – ($5,900) – Houston WR Demarcus Ayers is a very impressive player for the Cougars. Ayers does a little bit of everything for his team. Take last week against Navy for example; Ayers caught eight passes for 161 yards and one touchdown and also threw a 29-yard touchdown pass. I really like the upside in this offense due to his versatility, even against a solid Temple defense.
Mike Thomas vs Western Kentucky – ($5,700) – If you start QB Nick Mullens, it would be wise to pair him up with fellow Golden Eagle WR Mike Thomas. Thomas has flown under the college football radar this season, finishing the regular season with 1,111 yards and 11 touchdowns. Southern Miss faces a decent Western Kentucky pass defense that’s allowing 238 passing yards per game.
Deon Cain vs North Carolina – ($4,900) – After starting the season off on a quiet note, Clemson freshman WR Deon Cain has exploded onto the college football scene in the last month. Cain has scored in five straight contests and has at least four catches in three straight. He’s become the Tigers top receiver late in his freshman year, largely playing the role as a deep threat. Look for the diaper dandy to make a few big plays against a UNC defense that is missing its top safety due to injury.
Tyler Higbee vs Southern Miss – ($4,700) – Western Kentucky’s Tyler Higbee is one of the most productive tight ends in all of college football. After missing a month due to an injury, Higbee returned in style with six catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns. In each of his seven full games played, Higbee has either scored a touchdown or pulled in seven catches for 88 yards. Those numbers bode well entering this week’s matchup against Southern Miss.
If you decided to splurge on one of the top-tier quarterbacks or running backs, it’s important to find lower-valued players that will still produce. Here are a couple that may fit that mold:
Nicholas Norris vs Southern Miss – ($3,300) – In the last five games of the regular season, Western Kentucky WR Nicholas Norris is averaging 5.6 catches, 68 yards and 17.54 fantasy points per game. Not bad for a guy valued at $3,300. He’s the diamond in the rough that most fantasy players are looking for.
Jordan Leggett vs North Carolina – ($3,200) – I could be going out on a limb here, but Clemson tight end Jordan Leggett is a Mackey award finalist. Last week at South Carolina, Leggett had four catches for 73 yards so the production is there. He could be a boom or bust against UNC, but something tells me the junior will find the end zone for the first time in six games.