Games to Target
LSU @ Arkansas
This game has a juicy game total set at 63.5 points. It is lined within a field goal (LSU -2.5), so there is a chance that we see a back-and-forth affair featuring plenty of touchdowns, which is usually fantasy gold. LSU’s defense is allowing 33.6 PPG and 478.6 YPG, so nearly every Arkansas player should be in consideration. QB Feleipe Franks ($6200) and WRs Treylon Burks ($6100) and Mike Woods ($5000) are all too cheap. The passing game is my preferred way to attack this game, as LSU is allowing a depressing 335 passing YPG. Burks (34-508-5 on the year) is the go-to guy in this offense and has a good combination of floor and ceiling. He’s averaging 21.4 DraftKings PPG and has already gone over 33+ points twice this year. Woods is more of a boom-or-bust deep threat who has gone under 100 yards in all of his games except one (last week’s 2-129-2 performance). It’s worth noting that Franks is dealing with an injury to his left hand, but he should be good to go after practicing all week. It’s a minor concern that may drop my ownership just a tad. RBs Trelon Smith ($5200) and Rakeem Boyd ($5000) are both squarely in play. Boyd does receive more of the rushing workload and had out-carried Smith 38-22 in the last three games, while Smith has been more efficient with his carries,
Anyone on the LSU side of things is also decent if running back a game stack. QB TJ Finley ($6400) has had one great start and one terrible one — it’s possible he concedes playing time if he struggles again in this one. He could also pay-off big-time in a game stack, so, plus your nose if playing him? WR Terrace Marshall Jr. ($7000) will get plenty of work (over 10 targets in each of his last four games) and is averaging an absurd 29.0 DraftKings PPG. Phenom TE Arik Gilbert ($4300) is probably the second most intriguing WR threat in this offense.
Florida @ Vanderbilt
Anyone on Florida is in play going against a Vanderbilt defense surrendering 35.8 PPG. Kyle Trask ($9700) has surpassed Joe Burrow’s 2019 production through the first six games of the year, so it’s hard to ignore him at this point. I’ve felt pretty dumb a few times this year for being under-owned on the Trank cash cow. The possibility of a blowout looms, so buyer beware. TE Kyle Pitts ($6000) would be pretty much a must-play if he does actually play in the ball game, which at this point is uncertain due to injury. WRs Kadarius Toney ($7400) and Trevon Grimes ($5100) would be the next two candidates. Grimes saw a big up-tick in production with Pitts out last week (first game over 100 yards all season; had 130 total in the four games prior), so he gets a bump in value if Pitts has to sit this one out. Three different backs see carries, but all should be considered potential lineup-fillers going against a Vandy rush defense surrendering 6.0 yards per pop. Dameon Pierce ($5300) leads the team in carries and would foreseeably see some work if this one gets out of hand.
Cincinnati @ UCF
This one has a game total at 63.5 points and I bet the over, so of course I will have some ownership interest in this one. The quarterbacks are fine on either side if you can afford paying up for them (Desmond Ridder $9200 and Dillon Gabriel $8700). There’s still a chance that Ridder falls back down to earth eventually after averaging a devine 41.81 DraftKings points over his last four contests, but I’m not sure that this porous UCF defense will be the one to stop this train. RB Gerrid Doaks ($6700) keeps burning me personally, but he sees a decent amount of carries and is facing a defense allowing a hair under 190 rushing YPG. As a rule, I never play Cincinnati WRs, but if Alec Pierce ($4500) is healthy — big if — he’s a bargain as the Bearcats’ fourth-highest priced receiving option.
For UCF, WR Marlon Williams ($8300) is an absolute monster week-in and week-out. Cincinnati’s defense is good, sure, but it’d be surprising if Williams doesn’t get his regardless. A lot seems to be relying on the health of WR Tre Nixon ($5400) — he’s been out for quite a few weeks, but was assumed to be one of their top options going into the year. For reference, there was debate going into the year whether or not he or Williams would be their top wideout, so he’s plenty talented. He put up 830-7 last year when healthy. A decision is supposed to come later this week, but we might not know his status until right before kick — he’s a risky play for sure if he does suit up but has a lot of potential. WR Jaylon Robinson ($6500) has amassed 822-4 already on the year and would benefit if Nixon sits.
Others: An Alabama stack is always in play, VT/Pitt is a sneaky game with a highish game total, and, oh yeah, Clemson is playing.
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Note: Any players mentioned above in the “Games to Target” section will not be re-mentioned again in the Positional Overview, but I still like them.
I’m probably paying up for the top-dogs at quarterback this week. It’s a loaded slate in general, and the QBs are plentiful on the top shelf. It’s pretty funny that Justin Fields ($9000) is the fifth-highest priced signal caller this week, even if it’s by a slim margin, so I would have plenty of ownership based on principle alone. Mac Jones ($8500) might be the Heisman front runner and he’s the seventh-highest priced QB, so there’s that, too. Most of my lineups will feature two of the elite QB options (any of them really, but especially the ones mentioned in this article) or one of them paired with Franks.
Virginia Tech is allowing 450 total YPG and 256 passing YPG, so Pitt’s Kenny Pickett ($7300) might be a sneaky option. I’d feel better about him if he wasn’t playing on a bum ankle, which limits his rushing ability. Luke McCaffrey ($6900) has rushing upside (203 rushing yards in his last three games, with two of those coming in a part-time role) and is facing a weak Illinois defense surrendering 189 rushing YPG. His passing has left a lot to be desired, so you’d probably be banking on a strong rushing performance if playing him. I’m not sure he’s quite cheap enough for me to get there. The cheap options aren’t great — Jordan Travis ($5500) has a lot of rushing upside for that price but is playing Clemson, so maybe? He does have 58-298-5 on the ground over his last four starts, which is fantastic, but he’s missed the last few games with an undisclosed injury.
With my aforementioned strategy of paying up at QB this week, I’m not sure how much of the top RBs I will be able to pay-up for. I think any of them are fine, with Breece Hall ($9900), Najee Harris ($9300), and Travis Etienne ($8600) being the clear-cut top three. It’s splitting hairs, really.
Cal’s Chris Brown Jr. ($6300) is an underrated fantasy player and is going against a Beaver defense allowing 244 rush YPG. The price isn’t quite what I’d want it to be and this Cal offense looked stuck in the mud a week ago, but that matchup warrants consideration. Trey Sermon ($4900) is probably too cheap for a guy seeing 10+ carries a game for this potent offense, but he hasn’t really done anything yet this year. I’m mostly avoiding the App State vs Coastal Carolina matchup, but RBs Camerun Peoples ($5300) and Marcus Williams Jr. ($4500) are too cheap for a team that averages 261 rushing YPG. Teammate Daetrich Harrington ($6000) is expected to miss the content and App may be on their backup QB as well, so these two will likely see an up-tick in carries. Their touches have been about even, but Peoples has appeared more effective as of late.
Overall, there’s no one RB I’m zeroing-in on this week. There are a number of workable options depending on the game stacks and/or QBs you wish to build your lineups around.
This position will mostly come down to stacks. I don’t think you need to stack Fields, but if you do, Garrett Wilson ($7900) and Chris Olave ($7600) are both monsters. I’d lean Wilson. DeVonta Smith ($8900) deserves to be the highest-priced option, but I’m not sure that I can afford him this week. That will likely leave me with some shares of John Metchie III ($5900) — he’s a dangerous deep threat and is the most likely candidate to fill the Jaylen Waddle-sized void. Plus, I just feel naked if I don’t have any Bama ownership. You’ll want some exposure to this offense somehow. Did I mess up the exposure joke? Oh well…
I like the prices of Trevon Bradford ($5700), Xavier Hutchinson ($5200), Wan’Dale Robinson ($5200), and Whop Philyor ($5000) as lineup-fillers. Robinson is probably my favorite guy in that range — he’s seeing carries in the backfield again (16 last week to be exact, after having a grand total of 0 in his first two games), which means it’s only a matter of time before he breaks a few big plays. The new quarterback leaves some uncertainty, but it’s not like Adrian Martinez was a superb thrower of the football anyway, and Robinson previously found a way to reach value with him at the helm. Jordan Addison ($4900) is one of my favorite plays on the slate if teammate Taysir Mack ($4200) misses the contest. If Mack does play, I still like them both a fair amount. The return of Pickett will be a boon to Addison owners, as he went for 11-127 last week with his QB back in the swing of things last week against Florida State.
QB – Justin Fields $9000
RB – Travis Etienne $8600
RB – Rakeem Boyd $5000
WR – Treylon Burks $6100
WR – Jordan Addison $4900
WR – John Metchie III $5900
FLEX – Cam Johnson $4300
SFLEX – Feleipe Franks $6200
QB – Justin Fields $9000
RB – Gerrid Doaks $6700
RB – Camerun Peoples $5300
WR – Treylon Burks $6100
WR – Terrace Marshall Jr. $7000
WR – Miles Marshall #3700
FLEX – Chris Pierce jr. $3500
SFLEX – Feleipe Franks $6200