CFB Week 5 Recap: SEC Conference

A detailed breakdown of Week 5 for the SEC Conference. 

Several teams made some big statements on the field this week in the SEC. Alabama put to rest any talk that they would go away quietly by manhandling Georgia on the road. Florida could be a solid contender for the SEC East crown after surprising Ole Miss. Let’s start our recap with a big victory at home for Texas A&M.

Mississippi State @ Texas A&M

Game Recap: A&M rode their offense to a 24-10 lead at the half and held on with defense in the second to defeat Mississippi State 30-17. 

Key Players: Mississippi State – Dak Prescott found the end zone while rushing for 96 yards on 18 carries, but his 210 yards through the air failed to yield any touchdowns. He heavily targeted Fred Ross, who finished the game with 11 catches for 103 yards. De’Runnya Wilson was the most productive of the five other pass catchers, hauling in three balls for 65 yards. The running game was again unspectacular, but Malik Dear did break a 52-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Overall, the Aggies defense held the offense pretty well in check.      

Texas A&M: Kyle Allen had another impressive performance at the helm for the Aggies. He completed passes to eight different receivers while throwing for 322 yards and two touchdowns and also chipped in 65 yards on the ground. Tra Carson had another strong game, rushing for 110 yards and a touchdown. He now has four touchdowns and 530 combined yards through five games. Josh Reynolds and Christian Kirk again were the biggest recipients of Allen’s passes, posting lines of 7/144/0 and 8/77/0 respectively. Despite those two receiving the bulk of the work, two other receivers found the end zone for the Aggies. Ricky Seals-Jones caught one of his five receptions for a touchdown en route to 34 yards while sophomore Damian Ratley hauled in two passes for 45 yards and a score.  

Key Injuries: A&M WR Speedy Noil did not play for the second week in a row with an undisclosed injury.  

Players to Watch: Mississippi State – Looking ahead to next week, the Bulldogs have a date on the road with Troy. Prescott should be able to do plenty of damage, but the risk of a blowout is high and he could find himself on the sidelines late in the game. If he’s reasonably priced, a stack with either Ross or Wilson could be a fine play on 2 QB sites. The backfield has been irrelevant for DFS purposes so far. Prescott leads the team in rushing. Behind him, Ashton Shumpert and Brandon Holloway lead the team in carries with 36 and 23 respectively. Keep them in mind as a GPP flier against the right opponent at a rock-bottom price. Outside of that, they should remain off the short list unless one begins to have a clear edge in workload.  

Texas A&M: The Aggies have a bye week on tap before facing Alabama on Oct. 17, so it’s a good time to reflect on where the players stand for DFS. Allen has shined in his time as starter while throwing for 1,274 yards and 11 TDs. He deserves consideration every week, but with five conference games in a row after the bye week monitor the matchups closely. Carson gets overshadowed due to the pass-heavy nature of the offense, but through five weeks has offered up four solid DFS performances and one so-so performance. Christian Kirk and Josh Reynolds are the top two receiving options and that’s likely to continue, but there are rumblings that Speedy Noil could be ready to contribute more after the bye week. 

Alabama @ Georgia

Game Recap: Alabama dominated Georgia from the opening whistle on Saturday and rolled to a 38-10 victory.

Key Players: Alabama – Jake Coker was firmly in control of the Tide offense and put together possibly his finest game to date. He completed 11 of 16 for 190 yards and a touchdown and also contributed 28 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Derrick Henry played at another level on Saturday while rushing for 148 yards, including an electric 30-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Calvin Ridley broke the game open in the second quarter with a 45-yard touchdown. He finished the day with five catches for 120 yards.

Georgia: The Bulldogs were dominated in this one and as a result not too impressive for DFS purposes. Greyson Lambert was clearly rattled by defensive pressure from the Tide. He came into the game on fire but left it with a ton of question marks, completing 10 of 24 for 86 yards and no scores. Nick Chubb was mainly held in check, but did break an 83-yard touchdown in the third quarter to help preserve his 100-yard game streak. He finished the day with 146 yards. Malcolm Mitchell led receivers with three catches for 65 yards.

Key Injuries: None.  

Players to Watch: Alabama – The Tide will roll into Arkansas next Saturday. Coker could be an interesting target as his confidence has to be sky-high after Saturday’s exemplary effort. Henry deserves consideration every week. He is sometimes overshadowed by the other top backs in the conference but can be just as productive in the right matchup. Freshman receiver Ridley may have had his coming out party on Saturday and should definitely be on the radar for DFS.

Georgia: This loss has to sting, but Georgia better move on quickly as they are headed to a hostile environment in Tennessee on Saturday. That being said, Chubb should bounce back about as well as you can bounce back from a 146-yard performance. The quarterback position could be up in the air after Saturday’s dreadful performance from Lambert. He went from sneaky play to afterthought pretty quickly, but in all fairness the Bulldogs were simply outplayed and didn’t look prepared for the Alabama defense. Mitchell is having a solid season and should still be on the radar, but some more clarity at quarterback would be helpful before committing salary to him. 

Ole Miss @ Florida

Game Recap: Florida shut down the vaunted Rebel offense in the first half en route to a convincing 38-10 victory.

Key Players: Ole Miss – The Rebels offense was rolling coming into this game but could not get anything going on Saturday. Chad Kelly threw for 259 yards to eleven different receivers, one touchdown and a pick and also ran for 40 yards. The offense was slowed by pressure from the Gator defense and out of sync all night. Four turnovers didn’t help matters. The running game was basically non-existent in compiling 69 yards in the blowout loss.   

Florida: Will Grier played his finest game of the season while completing 24 of 29 for 271 yards and four touchdowns. Four different receivers caught touchdowns as Grier spread the ball to eight different players. Demarcus Robinson was the top target, catching eight passes for 98 yards and a score. Kelvin Taylor was a workhorse in the backfield, carrying the ball 27 times for 83 yards. He also caught two passes for 15 yards. 

Key Injuries: None.

Players to Watch: Ole Miss – Slight hiccup or did Florida provide the blueprint for slowing down the Rebels? We’ll have to wait on the answer to that as the Rebels host New Mexico State on Saturday. Kelly should have plenty of frustration to work out on the scoreboard and remains a target for DFS. Laquon Treadwell leads the team in receptions with 27, but the rest of the talented receivers can break out in any game. Treadwell is probably the safest stack option, but keep Quincy Adeboyejo in mind as he leads receivers in touchdowns with five. Jaylen Walton continues to lead the backfield and deserves consideration as the matchups permit.

Florida: Grier, Taylor and Robinson are the big three for the Gators. Freshman Grier is clearly on the rise with two consecutive 250+ yard games and six touchdowns over the last two weeks. Taylor and Robinson are secondary choices for DFS, although Robinson will make for a more intriguing play if Harris continues his current trajectory. Tread carefully next week. A trip to Missouri is not conducive to a huge day for DFS.

Arkansas @ Tennessee

Game Recap: Arkansas used a balanced attack to outlast Tennessee for a 24-20 victory on Saturday.

Key Players: Arkansas – Brandon Allen was serviceable in throwing for 219 yards and a score, but completed only 11 of 24 for the game. He added on 23 yards on six carries. The running game came to life and saw two 100-yard rushers – Alex Collins with 27/154/2 and Rawleigh Williams with 14/100/0. Drew Morgan has really stepped it up over the past two weeks with consecutive 100-yard games. He finished the game with five catches for 110 yards. Dominique Reed was on the receiving end of Allen’s touchdown toss.

Tennessee: Joshua Dobbs compiled some yardage by throwing for 232 yards and running for 90 but failed to find the end zone. Passes were completed to eight different receivers, none of whom were standout players on the evening. Jalen Hurd remains a constant source of production. He ran for 90 yards on 19 carries and added on three catches for 51 yards.

Key Injuries: Tennessee WRs Marquez North and Pig Howard are questionable on Saturday.

Players to Watch: Arkansas – Collins has had three strong performances in a row but will be tested by the Alabama defense on Saturday. Allen has cooled off from his hot start but the team was also atypically pass-heavy in the first two weeks of the season. He can probably be left on the sideline for DFS this week. Morgan could be an intriguing GPP flier after his second-consecutive 100-yard game.

Tennessee: The DFS options for Tennessee start with Dobbs and end with Hurd. The lack of production at receiver inhibits the upside for Dobbs, but he can make up for it on the ground in the right matchup. A big test comes to town next week in the form of Georgia, who should be properly motivated after being resoundingly defeated by Alabama.

South Carolina @ Missouri

Game Recap: Freshman QB Drew Lock and a strong Tigers defense led them to a 24-10 victory over South Carolina.

Key Players: South Carolina – The Gamecocks did not have a very productive day on Saturday either on the field or for DFS. Freshman QB Lorenzo Nunez struggled while throwing for 172 yards, one touchdown and three picks. He did add on 60 yards on the ground, which was good enough for the team lead. David Williams carried the ball nine times for 40 yards in a lackluster day for the team’s running game. Pharoh Cooper was the most popular target, catching nine balls for 102 yards.       

Missouri: Freshman QB Drew Lock enjoyed a solid day for his first career start, completing 21 of 28 for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Jason Reese and Nate Brown were his top targets, with Reese posting a line of 6/47/0 and Brown chipping in 6/33/2. The backfield was led by Ish Witter’s 17 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown.

Key Injuries: Missouri QB Maty Mauk has been suspended indefinitely by the team.

Players to Watch: South Carolina – Things do not get any easier next week with a game at LSU on tap. Use caution with Gamecocks players this week. Going forward, we’ll have to see if Nunez can hang on to the starting gig. Cooper will continue to patiently wait for some stability at quarterback.

Missouri: Next up for the Tigers is a game at home against Florida, which is a potential defensive battle. Lock can be viewed as a GPP flier and salary saver, same as he was last week. Russell Hansbrough has been banged up. A return to health would quickly return him to fantasy relevant status.   

Eastern Michigan @ LSU

Game Recap: It was close for three quarters but LSU and Leonard Fournette eventually ran away with things on the way to a 44-22 victory.

Key Players: Brandon Harris completed a frighteningly low four of 14 for 80 yards but did add on 18 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The wide receivers dropped several passes to help add to the inefficiency. Leonard Fournette had another monster outing by rushing for 233 yards and three touchdowns. 

Key Injuries: None

Players to Watch: A date with South Carolina is next on the docket for LSU. Look for Harris to bounce back a bit, but don’t expect eye-popping numbers. Fournette is always in consideration, but we can safely expect his salary to remain pretty hard to manage under the salary cap.

San Jose State @ Auburn

Game Recap: A strong running game led by Peyton Barber’s five touchdowns helped Auburn defeat San Jose State 35-21.

Key Players: Sean White threw for 108 yards and no scores as the team relied on its running game to get the job done. The team rushed for a combined 234 yards, led by Peyton Barber’s 28/147/5. Ricardo Louis paced receivers with three catches for 47 yards. 

Key Injuries: WR D’haquille Williams has been dismissed from the team.

Players to Watch: With Kentucky up next for Auburn, Barber looks to be the only player worth making a serious target for DFS. We’ll have to see if White gains any more responsibility before he can become a viable selection. The departure of Williams will open up opportunities for other receivers, but for now Louis should be considered the clear WR1. 

Eastern Kentucky @ Kentucky

Game Recap: Kentucky rallied with two late touchdowns to force overtime against Eastern Kentucky before ultimately winning 34-27.

Key Players: Patrick Towles had a strong game by completing 29 of 42 for 329 yards, three touchdowns and two picks. The team was without star running back Stanley Williams, who missed time from practice due to personal issues but was on the sidelines for the game. Jojo Kemp took the lead in the backfield, carrying the ball 14 times for 46 yards and a touchdown. Dorian Baker led receivers with eight catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns. 

Key Injuries: RB Stanley Williams missed time from practice due to personal issues but was on the sidelines for Saturday’s game.

Players to Watch: Kentucky has a date with Auburn up next on the schedule. Towles remains in play except for against the toughest of passing defenses, but cutting down on his six interceptions would be helpful. Monitor the news for Williams to insure he’s playing this week. Garrett Johnson and Dorian Baker are the top two options to pair up with Towles.  

Vanderbilt @ Middle Tennessee State

Game Recap: Vanderbilt needed 14 fourth quarter points to push past Middle Tennessee State for a 17-13 victory. 

Key Players: Johnny McCrary could not get much going in the passing game as he threw for 177 yards and two interceptions. Trent Sherfield caught six of McCrary’s tosses for 63 yards and contributed 34 yards rushing. Ralph Webb had a strong game with 176 combined yards and a touchdown.

Key Injuries: None.

Players to Watch: Vanderbilt has the week off before heading to South Carolina on Oct. 17. McCrary can be a serviceable salary saver on 2 QB sites, but needs to cut down on the turnovers. He has thrown for five touchdowns versus seven picks on the season. Webb and Sherfield are playmakers and can do some damage with the ball in their hands, but their usage for DFS will depend on the matchups at hand.