College football is in full swing, and we have a big slate of afternoon games for Saturday. Here are some players you should consider drafting. Good luck!
Anu Solomon vs Nevada – ($9,300) – Anu Solomon played very well in Arizona’s season-opening win over UTSA. Solomon completed 22-of-36 passes for 229 yards and 4 TDs for the fifth time in his young career. He also added 38 yards on the ground off five carries. Expect similar numbers as the Wildcats go on the road to take on a Nevada pass defense that surrendered 238 yards to UC-David QB Ben Scott last week.
Baker Mayfield vs Tennessee – ($8,600) – Oklahoma starting QB Baker Mayfield had a field day last week in the Sooners 41-3 win over Akron. Mayfield completed 23-of-33 passes for 388 yards, three touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown. He set the school record for passing yards in a season opener, a record previously held by Sam Bradford in 2007. Oklahoma goes on to play a Tennessee team that gave up 433 passing yards to Bowling Green last week.
Michael Birdsong vs Ohio – ($6,800) – After taking over for one of Marshall’s all-time greats in Rakeem Coto, Michael Birdsong opened eyes with a 41-31 victory over Purdue last week. Birdsong threw for 234 yards with 2 touchdowns and ran for 43 yards. The “Battle for the Bell” with Ohio will surely be a barnburner with a lot of scoring. Birdsong should put up respectable numbers against an Ohio team that allowed nearly 300 passing yards against Idaho last week.
Tyler Stewart vs Arizona – ($5,400) – If you’re looking for a lesser-owned value quarterback, look no further than Nevada’s Tyler Stewart. Stewart may fly under the radar but he’s intelligent and calm in the pocket. Last week, in his debut as Nevada’s full-time starter, Stewart completed 65 percent of his passes for 162 yards and rushed for 43 yards. He passed for a TD and also rushed for another. The Wolf Pack will face a mediocre Arizona defense that allowed Texas-San Antonio to pile up 525 total yards last week. The Wildcat defense will also be without its best player in linebacker Scooby Wright. More reason to draft Tyler Stewart.
Devon Johnson vs Ohio – ($8,900) – Marshall senior RB Devon Johnson is a consistently productive runner who gets a lot of touches. A former tight end, Johnson shifted over to running back last season and rushed for 1,767 yards with 17 TDs. Last week against Purdue, Johnson ran for 88 yards on just 11 carries and added a touchdown. He also caught a couple balls for 27 yards and a touchdown. Johnson’s offensive prowess as a pass-catching running back makes him worth the price.
Jalen Hurd vs Oklahoma – ($7,400) – I’m not huge on any running backs in this slate of games, but Tennessee’s Jalen Hurd put on a clinic last week. Priced reasonably, Hurd rushed 23 times for 123 yards and 3 TDs last week against Bowling Green. Now, the Vols are obviously facing a much better Oklahoma team, but Hurd should be heavily utilized.
Qadree Ollison vs Akron – ($6,600) – Circle this guy. As it currently stands, Qadree Ollison and freshman Darin Hall are Pitt’s only two healthy options after James Conner and backup Chris James both went down last week. Ollison filled in beautifully, rushing for 207 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown against Youngstown State. For his discounted price, Ollison is a very nice daily league option this week against Akron.
Stanley Boom Williams vs South Carolina – ($5,400) – Not sure how Kentucky’s Stanley “Boom” Williams is still priced this low after a dominant performance last week, but hey, I’ll take it. Williams rushed 10 times for 135 yards and a touchdown against Louisiana-Lafayette. Williams is facing an improved South Carolina defense this week, but he should receive even more carries in a more competitive game. Keep in mind, the Gamecocks allowed UNC’s Elijah Hood to run for well over 100 yards last Thursday. Expect similar numbers for Boom.
Other recommendations: A.J. Ouellette ($6,100)
Tyler Boyd vs Akron – ($8,000) – Tyler Boyd won’t post the same numbers as former Pitt legend, Larry Fitzgerald, but his talent is in the same area code. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound star can go up and compete for 50/50 balls better than anyone out there. Boyd is considered the most complete receiver in the country due to his ability to make explosive plays happen after the catch. With touchdown vulture James Conner down for the count, Boyd will get plenty of touches this week against the Zips.
Pharoh Cooper vs Kentucky – ($7,900) – Pharoh Cooper is a jack-of-all-trades for the Gamecocks and one of the most versatile players in college football. He had a respectable game to his standards last week against UNC, catching three passes for 45 yards and touchdown, while also rushing four times for 20 yards. The top returning wideout in the SEC, Cooper may endure some inconsistency due to inexperienced QB Connor Mitch. He still remains an elite option and should find continued success against Kentucky on Saturday.
Sterling Shepard vs Tennessee – ($7,600) – Sterling Shepard’s performance was underwhelming at best last week in Oklahoma’s 41-3 win over Akron. Fantasy owners do not fret; Shepard only touched the ball three times due to the Sooners thrashing of the Zips. He still turned those three catches into 68 yards and looked dangerous on a 38 yard catch-and-run. Shepard will be a much bigger factor in a pivotal game at Tennessee this week.
Christian Kirk vs Ball State – ($6,000) – Christian Kirk’s ascension last week came as a surprise considering how deep the Aggies are at receiver. Regardless, Kirk caught six passes for 106 yards and a touchdown against Arizona State. He should be a fast riser among the fantasy ranks this week, but could be in line for another huge game against Ball State.
Kenny Lawler vs SDSU – ($5,300) – Consider California WR Kenny Lawler a must-start option in all fantasy formats this week. Lawler grabbed six balls for 69 yards and 3 TDs last Saturday against Grambling State. The junior has now caught a pass in every single game (25) he’s played in at Cal. Lawler has also accounted for 6 receiving TDs over the span of his last two starts, dating back to last season. With Jared Goff at the helm, Lawler should continue to break out against San Diego State this week.
Other recommendations: Samajie Grant ($5,100) and Courtland Sutton ($5,100)
Mose Frazier vs Kansas – ($4,500) – Mose Frazier is the Tigers leading returning receiver from a year ago and remains the no. 1 target on this powerful offense. Frazier caught six passes for 89 yards and 2 TDs last week against Missouri State. Frazier should see a fair share of targets come his way in a favorable matchup against Kansas.
Don Jackson vs Arizona – ($4,800) – Nevada running back, Don Jackson, had 13 carries for 124 yards and 2 TDs last week against UC Davis. Jackson will have a tougher test this week against Arizona, but should remain the focal point of Nevada’s offense. Keep in mind, Arizona gave up 522 total yards to UTSA last week and are without their best defender.