These college fantasy football picks will help you crush the competition in Week 9!
College Fantasy Football Quarterbacks
Connor Halliday, Washington State, $18,950
Halliday is playing at home in a projected shootout. I shouldn’t even have to continue after that first sentence, but I will. At home this year, Halliday’s worst fantasy performance was a 41 point performance against Oregon. That was his WORST outing. He also put up 48, 53, and 67 fantasy points in his other home outings. Halliday’s opponent, Arizona, boasts a pretty awful pass defense as well. They rank 106th in the nation in yards allowed. Halliday basically lines up in the gun and throws on every snap, so he’s a sure bet to meet his steep price.
JT Barrett, Ohio State, $18,750
Barrett has filled in for Braxton Miller admirably. I’d go as far as saying he’s passing the ball better than Miller has in the past. With that said, Ohio State has the ability to beat a defense in any way possible. Urban Meyer and his staff have done a great job taking what the defense is giving them. For that reason, Barrett has succeeded in both the running game and the passing game to this point in the season. Barrett has been in this column for the last few weeks and I’m not taking him off until he burns me. Over the last four weeks he hasn’t dipped below 45 fantasy points while accounting for five touchdowns per game. Despite not being as formidable of a defense as previous seasons, a road game against Penn State should pose somewhat of a challenge for Barrett. I presume he’ll respond favorably.
Nick Marshall, Auburn, $15,600
Marshall constitutes a large part of the Auburn offense. He has accounted for three touchdowns on average in his last three games while averaging about 34 fantasy points per contest. Marshall’s ability to scramble, as well as the designed runs called for him throughout the course of a game keep his ceiling incredibly high. South Carolina isn’t special on defense against either the run or the pass. Marshall should be in for a productive day at a reasonable salary.
Additional Top QBs: Brett Hundley, UCLA
Paxton Lynch, Memphis, $13,250
Lynch has turned in one awful performance this year. That game came against Ole Miss, arguably the most talented defense in the country. In the other five games, he’s averaging 29 fantasy points per game. This week he gets an SMU pass defense that ranks 120th. Lynch is another signal caller that also gets his number called in the ground game. Lynch has scored six touchdowns on the ground already this year. He’s a pretty safe bet to score 20 fantasy points this week with the potential for 40.
Matt Johns, Virginia, $9,000
I’ll preface this with something that should be understood for ALL minimum salary plays. This is strictly a large-tournament play. I wouldn’t advise Johns in a cash game. Johns will be low owned because no one knows who the heck he is. He’s Virginia’s second-string quarterback that has played fairly well this year. He also gets to face a horrid pass defense in North Carolina this week. There’s all kinds of controversy and turmoil surrounding UNC Athletics this week, which may be even more of a reason to he’ll be able to kick’em while they’re down. Either way, he should be a decent play. Virginia plays to their opponents weaknesses, so I assume they’ll try to exploit UNC’s terrible secondary.
College Fantasy Football Running Backs
Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska, $17,100
Abdullah is flat out dominating at this point in the season. He’s averaging almost three touchdowns a game and has scored the bulk of those in his last four games. Nebraska uses Abdullah on a large percentage of their rushing plays, and he isn’t subbed out very often for the reserve backs. That allows him to rack up tons of yards and touchdowns. This week he gets Rutgers who can definitely be beaten, especially on the road. Abdullah is averaging 7.5 yards per carry at home. I expect him to get a boatload of carries again this week and put up some more gaudy numbers. I prefer him to Melvin Gordon because he’s cheaper and in my opinion has the same potential for fantasy points this week.
Devon Johnson, Marshall, $14,150
Johnson has three straight games with at least 30 fantasy points. Marshall isn’t hasn’t heavily committed to the passing game as expected this year, meaning more carries for Johnson. It looks as though they are even trying to involve Devon in the passing game when they do throw, as he caught two touchdown passes last week. Florida Atlantic has been gashed on the ground by good runners, namely the aforementioned Ameer Abdullah. This week the game should get out of hand rather quickly and Johnson should be able to tote the rock often while racking up some big fantasy numbers.
David Cobb, Minnesota, $13,350
Cobb is the heart and soul of the Gophers’ offense. He has carried the ball at least 30 times in the last four games. The issue with Cobb is that he’ll have a game in which those 30 carries results in 90 yards and 0 touchdowns. I’m recommending him this week because I don’t think that’s going to be an issue. He faces the Illinois defense that’s only a few spots from dead last in stopping the run. Cobb is going to carry the ball 30 plus times again this week and I’m confident he’ll rack up the yards and touchdowns necessary to be worth the start in daily fantasy.
Additional Top Plays: Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin and BJ Catalon, TCU
Jared Baker, Arizona, $7,050
Before you set a lineup in stone, make sure Baker is starting. He is Arizona’s third-string running back that may get the nod this week due to injury. Wilson and Jones-Grigsby’s availability is in doubt for this week. Last week, Baker came into the game after TJG was knocked out and scored 31 fantasy points. This would be a tremendous value if he were to be the lone back playing in the game.
Additional RB Values: Kevin Parks, Virginia
College Fantasy Football Wide Receivers
River Cracraft, Washington State, $13,150
It’s very unusual for the top player listed to have such a middling salary, but Cracraft has been an animal in Mike Leach’s fast-paced pass-heavy offense. Along with JT Barrett of OSU, Cracraft has been listed in this column virtually every week and with good reason. It’s rare for Washington State to throw the ball less than 60 times in a game, which translates to numerous targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns for River. Cracraft hasn’t caught less than 7 receptions in a game this season, he also has scored in every game except one. His production is too consistent not to roster him at 13K this week. He was 10K for a long time, and it’s about time his price came up.
Kevin White, West Virginia, $16,650
You’ve probably heard about White by now. He’s the dude on West Virginia that puts up a monster game every week. He’s averaging 10 catches, 145 yards, and a touchdown per game this year. White’s splits indicate he actually steps his game up on the road. He’s averaging 13 receptions a game on the road compared to only 8.5 at home. The Mountaineers game this week against Oklahoma State has a fairly high total (66). Additionally, West Virginia is the underdog, so they should be throwing a ton in order to keep pace with the Cowboys.
Jaelen Strong, Arizona State, $14,550
Strong is the main pass-catcher for the Sun Devils. This week he gets the 112th ranked Washington pass defense. Whether or not Taylor Kelly returns from injury doesn’t really matter. Whichever quarterback is under center for Arizona State should be able to find Strong often. In his last three games, Strong has 30 receptions, 420 yards, and 4 touchdowns, which equates to 33 fantasy points per game. The good thing about the Huskies is that they’ve been decent on offense this season, so they should be able to take advantage of a mediocre ASU defense. This will keep the game fairly close, making Strong’s involvement a necessity from start to finish.
Additional Top WRs: Amari Cooper, Alabama
Tyler Lockett, Kansas State, $11,350
Lockett didn’t impress for the first few weeks of the season as K State took to the ground to defeat opponents with their combo of Waters, Jones, and Robinson. However, Waters finally looks comfortable throwing the football and he’s finding Tyler Lockett an awful lot the past couple of weeks. In his last two games, Lockett has put up 57 fantasy points. This week against Texas, Lockett should be able to replicate his previous two fantasy outings. He’s really cheap too at only 11K.
Additional WR Values: Tevin Jones, Memphis and Texas Tech’s Reginald Davis and Devin Lauderdale (If Grant and Marquez don’t play)
College Fantasy Football Tight Ends
AJ Derby, Arkansas, $8,550
Derby is my top play this week, but I’d still advise punting the position as a whole. If you get down to the TE position and you have enough for Derby, great. However, don’t go out of your way to fit him into lineups by downgrading elsewhere. He’s scored in two of the last three weeks and gets a friendly matchup in UAB. His teammate Hunter Henry isn’t a bad play either. As I mentioned previously, you’re probably better off punting and spending in the 7K range if it means you can get a more favorable player elsewhere.
Additional TE plays: Cam Serigne, Wake Forest - Evan Engram, Ole Miss - Josiah Price, MSU