College football is back! We have a nice slate of games for Thursday night and here are some players you should consider drafting. Good luck!
Marquise Williams vs. South Carolina – ($9,700) – If there’s one position you need to splurge, it’s the quarterback. UNC QB Marquise Williams fits the bill. Williams scored 13 rushing TDs in 2014 and averaged 28 fantasy points per game. The 6’2” dual-threat QB is going up against a South Carolina team that ranked 92nd in total defense a year ago. Expect Williams to have a big day in his hometown of Charlotte.
Brandon Doughty vs. Vanderbilt – ($9,000) – Brandon Doughty led the nation with 4,830 passing yards and 49 passing touchdowns last season. This dude puts up video game numbers. Doughty averaged 371 passing yards per game and was the nation’s third most efficient passer. Vanderbilt struggled mightily in pass defense a year ago, allowing an SEC-high 7.6 yards per attempt and intercepting only 6 passes all year. Doughty should pick up where he left off.
Connor Mitch vs. North Carolina – ($6,900) – A lot of uncertainty surrounds the quarterback position in Columbia. One thing’s for certain; Connor Mitch is South Carolina’s starting QB and UNC’s defense is atrocious. The Tar Heels ranked 117th out of 125 teams in total defense in 2014. Even Gene Chizik can’t clean up that mess. Connor Mitch should reap the benefits.
Other recommendations: Travis Wilson ($6,600) and Justin Holman ($6,500)
Leon Allen vs. Vanderbilt – ($9,200) – For an offense that features QB Brandon Doughty, Leon Allen puts up ridiculous numbers. Allen led Conference USA and ranked seventh nationally with 2,018 yards from scrimmage last season. During the campaign, he set the C-USA single-game rushing record when he ran for 345 yards against Army. Let that number sink in for a second. Allen also catches a fair amount of balls (nearly 4 Rec/G) relative to his position. I don’t see Vanderbilt slowing this monster down.
Nick Wilson vs. UTSA – ($9,000) – As a freshman in 2014, Nick Wilson broke out for 26 fantasy points off 174 rushing yards in week 2 against UTSA. Breaking all sorts of Arizona freshman rushing records, he ran for 1,375 yards and 16 TDs on the season. The sky is the limit for Wilson in a high-tempo Rich Rodriguez offense. Look for the sophomore to run wild in week 1.
Aaron Green vs. Minnesota – ($6,900) – Aaron Green has the potential to be one of the best backs in the country this season. Green rushed for 922 yards, 9 touchdowns, and averaged an impressive 7.1 yards per carry a year ago. He also caught 19 passes for 166 yards and 2 TDs. Look for TCU to unleash Aaron Green as their featured running back against a Minnesota run defense that ranked 71st nationally in 2014.
A.J. Ouellette vs. Idaho – ($6,400) – Ohio RB A.J. Ouellette could be a sneaky pop if you’re looking for a lesser-owned running back. Ouellete tagged Idaho for 34 fantasy points last season on 132 rushing yards with 2 TDs and a couple catches for 40 yards.
Other recommendations: Derrick Green ($4,600) and David Williams ($4,300)
Pharoh Cooper vs. North Carolina– ($8,100) – Pharoh Cooper is the SEC’s leading returning wide receiver after hauling in 69 passes for 1,136 yards and 9 touchdowns last year. He can also run, pass and return kicks for the Gamecocks. Cooper is the ultimate safety net and luxury for first-year starting QB Connor Mitch. Look for Pharoh Cooper to run some wildcat formations and become an even bigger part of South Carolina’s offense in 2015.
Josh Doctson vs. Minnesota – ($7,200) – When TCU opens the season in a prime-time game against Minnesota on Thursday, Josh Doctson will line up as the no. 1 receiver for the nation’s no. 2-ranked team. Doctson caught 65 balls for 1,018 yards and 11 touchdowns a year ago. He also lit up Minnesota’s defense in week 3 for 24 fantasy points. Combine Doctson’s excellent ball skills and route-running ability with TCU’s up-tempo spread attack and the sky is the limit.
Cayleb Jones vs. UTSA – ($6,100) – Cayleb Jones is vying for a monster season in 2015. Listed at 6’3″, 225 lbs, Jones is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. He piled on 143 yards off just 4 catches in a breakout game against UTSA a year ago. Add an offseason of hard work and continuity with QB Anu Solomon, and Cayleb Jones has enormous potential this season.
Jared Dangerfield vs. Vanderbilt – ($5,900) – Jared Dangerfield wasted little time making his mark at Western Kentucky last season. Dangerfield broke the program’s single-season reception record with 69 catches and tied the school record for touchdown receptions in a season with 11. The 6’3″ receiver is priced relatively low for his production. As the late, great Rodney Dangerfield would say, “I get no respect. The way my luck is running, if I was a politician I would be honest.”
Note: Dangerfield is listed as questionable (undisclosed) for Thursday’s game against Vanderbilt. Nacarius Fant would be expected to start in his place, the Bowling Green Daily News reports.
Deebo Samuel vs. North Carolina – ($4,600) – Beyond Pharoh Cooper, there is a big void at wide receiver for South Carolina. Redshirt freshman Deebo Samuel is considered the no. 2 option at receiver for the Gamecocks. After winning the offensive “big plays” award this spring, Samuel enters the fall atop the depth chart at the X receiver spot. Deebo is literally named after Tiny Lister’s character in the movie, “Friday.” What’s not to love?
Other recommendations: Samajie Grant ($5,100), Ryan Switzer ($4,900) and Taywan Taylor ($4,800)
You may not have much salary left when looking at your FLEX position, so it’s important to find those players that are low-priced yet in a good position to put up decent fantasy numbers. Here are a few sleepers that may fit this mold:
Jonnu Smith vs. UCF – ($4,200) – In 2014, Jonnu Smith led FIU with 718 yards on 61 catches and 8 touchdowns. Smith also led all tight ends nationally in touchdowns, receiving yards and receptions. He’s going up against a UCF team that graduated its entire secondary. For the amount of targets he receives, Smith could be a steal at this price.
Elijah Hood vs. South Carolina – ($3,600) – There’s been a lot of talk around Chapel Hill about Elijah Hood impressing the coaching staff in spring and summer camps. Hood is a big, physical runner who could emerge for the Heels this season. Hood will split carries with T.J. Logan, but each player should get at least 10+ touches per game. In fact, Hood is listed as the no. 1 back on UNC’s depth chart. Not bad productivity for his price range.
Other recommendations: RB Elijhaa Penny ($3,800)