- Entry Deadline (First Game Kickoff): 10-31-15, 7:00 PM EST
- Number of games in slate: 11 (22 teams)
Miami at Duke
Kickoff: 7:00 PM EST
Spread: Duke -12.5
Team Expected Points: 31.25
QB – Thomas Sirk – 6,800
Analysis: The Miami defense has now given up at least 20 points to every FBS team this season, ranked 78th overall in yards per game. While Duke’s offense is not necessarily labelled explosive, they have some upside here against the reeling Hurricanes. Thomas Sirk carried the offense last week with his 270 passing yards with 4 touchdowns and 109 rushing yards. Sirk is a true dual threat option as he leads the team in carries and rushing yards.
Recommendation: Sirk is a cheaper quarterback option with solid upside from his rushing ability. He is a great value to be considered in both cash and tournament formats.
WR – Max McCaffrey – 3,800
Analysis: Max McCaffrey is coming off his best game of the season last week against Virginia Tech. After a relatively quiet season with only 1 touchdown, McCaffrey put up 94 yards and 2 touchdowns on 6 receptions. The senior wide receiver now leads the team in touchdowns and receiving yards, and last week certainly gives us some confidence in his usage going forward. However, quite a few guys have contributed on different weeks for this offense, so McCaffrey still remains a rather risky play
Recommendation: McCaffrey comes in at a very attractive price, making him playable as a decent salary-saving option in all formats. However, only use him in cash if you really need the salary, as he has more risk than we typically like to bear.
Team Expected Points: 18.75
This Miami program is in disarray right now after suffering their worst loss in school history, firing their coach, and potentially losing their quarterback Brad Kaaya for this next game. Backup QB Malik Rosier (5,000) is in line for the start. Rosier gave us nothing to be excited about after completing only 7 of 22 passes with 2 interceptions in his relief appearance against Clemson. Duke has an impressive defensive unit, so we will have to avoid this matchup all together.
Vanderbilt at Houston
Kickoff: 7:00 PM EST
Spread: Houston -11
Team Expected Points: 19.5
The Vanderbilt offense is one to be avoided this season, as they have not moved the ball well at all. RB Ralph Webb (6,700) has been their most reliable fantasy option; however, he is priced well above where we think he should be this week, especially considering the uncharacteristically low total in this game.
Team Expected Points: 30.5
Houston faces its toughest challenge of the season this week against the 17th ranked Vanderbilt defense. This will be the first SEC team that Houston faces, and while Vanderbilt is certainly not known for their offensive prowess, they have played solid defense against some good teams this season. The Commodores have allowed the 11th fewest rushing touchdowns this season (5), which does not bode well for the upside of guys like RB Kenneth Farrow (7,200) or QB Greg Ward Jr (8,200). Of those 5 touchdowns, only 1 of them was a quarterback rush. Ward makes most of his fantasy points with his legs, so if his touchdowns are limited as we saw last week, it will be tough for him to pay off his salary.
Recommendation: Both Ward and Farrow are most certainly in play for GPP’s due to the caliber of their offense, but in this matchup, we have to avoid them for the purpose of cash games.
Texas at Iowa State
Kickoff: 7:00 PM EST
Spread: Texas -4
Team Expected Points: 28
RB – Johnathan Gray – 4,700, D’Onta Foreman – 3,900
Analysis: The Texas offense has not exactly lit up the scoreboard in recent weeks, but we have certainly seen a firm commitment to the running game. As a team, the Longhorns have rushed 111 times for 587 yards compared to only 28 pass attempts for 154 yards in their last 2 games. This matchup against Iowa State comes at a great time as we are seeing Texas build up some momentum. The Iowa State defense is ranked 114th in the nation, allowing 187 rushing yards per game. Jonathan Gray is the starter, having rushed at least 15 times in each of his past 3 games. Gray had his best game of the season last week as he finally eclipsed the century mark in yards, averaging a season high 5.7 yards per carry. D’Onte Foreman is a close second as he has put up some huge numbers in recent weeks, but his lack of usage in the last 2 games combined with his nagging toe injury give us more faith in Gray than Foreman. While both running backs’ upside is limited by quarterback Jarrod Heard rushing 15-20 times per game, they are priced at a point where we can certainly put them in consideration.
Recommendation: Johnathan Gray is at a solid price point considering his 20+ carry upside this week—consider him for both cash and tournament formats. D’Onta Foreman is a GPP play only due to his RB2 status, but explosive upside as we have seen twice this season.
QB – Jarrod Heard – 5,500
Analysis: Jarrod Heard is now averaging 4.8 yards per carry as he has rushed as many times as he has passed (102) this season. Heard goes to his legs early and often, as he leads all Power 5 quarterbacks in scramble yards with 321. Touchdowns have not come easy to Texas this year, but a matchup against Iowa State’s porous defense certainly presents some upside for everyone.
Recommendation: Heard is a bottom-priced quarterback with plenty of rushing upside. From a value perspective, we love Heard this week as he tops our list. He is an excellent QB2 in all formats.
Team Expected Points: 24
RB – Mike Warren – 6,100
Analysis: Iowa State’s Mike Warren has the workload we look for in any fantasy running back. Warren has carried the ball over 20 times in 4 of his last 5 games, amassing an impressive 769 yards during that stretch. The only issue we have with Warren is his very scarce touchdown numbers, with only 3 all season. Having rushed for that many yards, we would have expected much bigger touchdown numbers from him.
Recommendation: Mike Warren is priced up considering how infrequent he gets in the end zone. He is in play for GPP’s only, because if he scored a few times he will certainly be well worth it.
QB – Joel Lanning – 6,100
Analysis: Lanning will start his first game for Iowa State this week as Sam B Richardson has just made too many mistakes this season. While Joel Lanning has attempted just 13% as many passes as Richardson, he now has half as many touchdowns (4) with absolutely no interceptions compared to Richardson’s 8 picks. Richardson is mostly unproven as we have not seen much of him, and while the Texas defense is not great on paper, they have looked much better in recent weeks.
Recommendation: Lanning can be considered as a QB2 in tournaments, but he is a bit risky for us in cash games considering Iowa State’s focus on the running game.
WR – Allen Lazard – 4,800, D’vario Montgomery – 3,600
Analysis: Lazard is the WR1 for Iowa State’s offense, and he is coming off his best performance of the season with an impressive 147 yards and 1 touchdown from 5 receptions. Montgomery is lower on the totem pole in this offense, but has shown some touchdown upside with a couple thus far this season.
Recommendation: Both Lazard and Montgomery are risky options this week, playable only in tournament formats due to their lack of overall usage.
Michigan at Minnesota
Kickoff: 7:00 PM EST
Spread: Michigan -13
Team Expected Points: 25.5
RB – De’Veon Smith – 5,000
Analysis: Smith is the workhorse back of the Wolverine offense. Take out a tough matchup against Northwestern, and Smith would be averaging over 17 carries per game. While we have seen huge variance in his yardage totals and touchdowns, the workload is there as Harbaugh is not afraid to let Smith pound the rock. He had a couple of touchdown runs called back in their last game, so look for the end zone opportunities to come soon enough. While Minnesota is ranked in the top half against the rush, they did allow the feature backs of both Nebraska and Northwestern to rush for over 100 yards each this season.
Recommendation: We are projecting Smith as an excellent play this week, one of the top values at his position considering the depressed price due to this low O/U. All it will take is 75 yards and a touchdown for Smith to pay off.
Team Expected Points: 12.5
Minnesota has one of the lowest Team Expected Points of the week as they face one of the country’s best defensive units. Avoid the Golden Gophers.
Oregon State at Utah
Kickoff: 7:00 PM EST
Spread: Utah -27
Team Expected Points: 13
Oregon State faces a Utah team ready to blow off some steam after suffering their first loss of the season to USC last week. With a blowout on the horizon and Oregon State sporting one of the lowest team totals on the slate, we are fading their offense entirely.
Team Expected Points: 40
RB – Devontae Booker – 8,900
Analysis: Utah is expected to score early and often in what shapes up to be blowout over Oregon State this week. Devontae Booker is poised to take full advantage of this situation as we expect Utah to run the ball often as they have done all year when protecting a lead. Booker has rushed 30+ times twice already while contributing heavily in the passing game with at least 4 receptions in 5 of their 7 games this season. Oregon State’s rushing defense is in the bottom half allowing nearly 200 yards per game, so we look for Booker to roll in this solid matchup and situation. The only concern would be a late game benching before he can truly pay off his top dollar salary.
Recommendation: While the blowout risk is there, Booker is an extremely safe play for a solid score. He is the safest running back play of the week, excellent in all formats.
Tulane at Memphis
Kickoff: 7:00 PM EST
Spread: Memphis -30.5
Team Expected Points: 16.5
WR – Teddy Veal – 4,300
Analysis: The Memphis passing defense has been up and down this season, but mostly down as they now rank dead last in the FBS. While Tulane’s passing offense is far from prolific, Teddy Veal has 13 more receptions than any other option in their receiving core. Tulane will be forced to pass often as they expect to be losing all day, so Veal should be in for plenty of targets to help pay off his inexpensive salary.
Recommendation: I like Veal as a nice fill-in at the receiver position this week. He is not a shoe-in for cash game lineups, but definitely a solid punt option to consider in both cash and tournament due to his low price and premium matchup.
Team Expected Points: 47
QB – Paxton Lynch – 10,100
Analysis: Paxton Lynch has been getting it done week in and week out with his prolific passing ability that has kept Memphis undefeated on the season. Lynch has eclipsed over 300 yards and 2 touchdowns in 6 straight games, averaging 328 yards per game and a 72% completion rate. HE almost broke 400 yards with 3 touchdowns against an SEC defense a couple weeks ago, so we can only imagine what Lynch will do to Tulane’s mediocre squad this week. As 30+ point favorites, Lynch is on blowout watch for sure, however with as bad as his defense has played, Lynch typically sees plenty of minutes late into games.
Recommendation: Don’t let the 5-figure salary scare you off here. Lynch is the safest quarterback play on the board this week, good for all formats.
WR – Sam Craft – 4,300
Analysis: Sam Craft now has 7 touchdowns on the year, tied for the most on the team. He contributes mainly as a running back, however Craft is used in a variety of manners throughout the game. He would be a very sneaky play as production is spread between a ton of contributors in this offense, but we like him for his salary and value proposition in what should be a high scoring game for the Tigers.
Recommendation: Craft will be a GPP only play with the touchdown upside needed to handily exceed his value threshold.
Tennessee at Kentucky
Kickoff: 7:30 PM EST
Spread: Tennessee -9
Team Expected Points: 32.75
QB - Joshua Dobbs – 8,300
Analysis: Joshua Dobbs has to be licking his chops coming into this week against a Kentucky team that was thrashed by dual-threat quarterback Dak Prescott last week. Prescott accounted for 6 of their 7 touchdowns on the day, with 3 on the ground behind 117 rushing yards and 3 through the air behind 348 passing yards. We know Josh Dobbs has the talent to put up these kind of numbers because he has done it once already 3 weeks ago against Georgia. While Dobbs has rushed for at least 89 yards in 3 games this season, he has failed to eclipse a net of 20 rushing yards in the other 4 contests. This inconsistency is definitely concerning; however, we still think he is in a great spot this week.
Recommendation: Dobbs is priced near the top at his position on this slate. His inconsistency rushing the ball combined with the inability to pass effectively takes Dobbs off our radar for cash game consideration. With that said, he has as high of a ceiling as any quarterback on the slate, making him a great play in tournament formats.
RB – Jalen Hurd – 6,400
Analysis: Jalen Hurd has seen a massive workload all season long as he is averaging over 20 carries and nearly 100 yards per game with 9 touchdowns this season. The Vols offense revolves around the running game, so expect Hurd to be used very often this week as Tennessee may be tightly holding on to a close lead this week.
Recommendation: Hurd’s price is very reasonable considering his workload. Feel free to pay for him in all formats.
Team Expected Points: 23.75
RB – Stanley Boom Williams – 5,900
Analysis: Williams plays a huge part in the Kentucky offense as their key contributor in the rushing game. Williams has rushed for 208 yards over his past 2 games while contributing steadily in the passing game all season with 11 total receptions. While touchdowns are scarce (3 on the year), he does have over 100 yards for scrimmage in 4 of their 6 games this season. The Tennessee defense played great against Alabama last week, but we have seen them get gashed in multiple ways this season.
Recommendation: Williams represents a decent value this week, but is honestly someone we would not gain too much exposure to since he isn’t scoring as many touchdowns as we’d like this year.
Notre Dame at Temple
Kickoff: 8:00 PM EST
Spread: Notre Dame -10
Team Expected Points: 30.5
The Notre Dame offense has been rolling in their last couple of games, but they face a very tough test this week against Temple’s outstanding defense ranked 9th in the FBS in defensive efficiency. They are extremely tough to run on, so we expect RB CJ Prosise (8,300) to be far too limited to pay off his steep salary. WR Will Fuller (6,700) has an interesting price this week as he has scored at least 1 touchdown in 6 of his 7 games this season, but with Deshone Kizer at quarterback, Fuller’s upside is far too limited to consider—especially in this matchup.
Team Expected Points: 20.5
This matchup is one of the biggest in school history as it is the first ranked game ever played by the Temple Owls. Temple’s offense is led by a power running game that we are certain Notre Dame will expect coming on. RB Jahad Thomas (8,100) has rushed for 822 yards and 12 touchdowns this season with at least 1 touchdown in every game and 2 games within 10 yards of the 200-yard mark. He is averaging over 23 carries per game, so the workload upside is certainly there. What worries us however is the way we expect this game to flow, as it will be one of the first times Temple plays a competent offense in a game where they are expected to struggle keeping up. We are projecting Thomas to fall victim to this unfavorable game flow as he struggles to pay off his top tier salary.
Air Force at Hawaii
Kickoff: 10:30 PM EST
Spread: Air Force -7
Team Expected Points: 29.25
Air Force sports a rushing offensive attack in a great matchup this here, but there are far too many players contributing on a weekly basis for us to see a real stand-out fantasy option. RB Jacobi Owens (4,900) is the best candidate here, but at that price given the risk of lost production, we can’t recommend him.
Team Expected Points: 22.5
Hawaii has had a very inconsistent offense this season as we have seen them score as many as 47 points while also getting shut out on 3 separate occasions. WR Quinton Pedroza (4,500) is projecting out as a decent value this week as he appears healthy to play with plenty of target upside. However, the 21st ranked Air Force passing defense may very well keep him at bay, which relegates Pedroza to a GPP-only target here. If getting very ambitious, stack him with QB Max Witteck (5,200) in what will be a very low-owned stack.
Stanford at Washington State
Kickoff: 10:30 PM EST
Spread: Stanford -10.5
Team Expected Points: 36
QB- Kevin Hogan – 7,300
Analysis: Kevin Hogan has been very consistent for most of this season. He has now thrown for multiple touchdowns in each of his last 6 games with a 14-3 TD-INT ration in that stretch. Hogan is a solid game manager who we can usually count on for a solid performance on a weekly basis. Washington State’s defense is allowing 31 points per game. While they are much more relaxed against the run, Hogan should still find some room to pass for a touchdown or two as he is expected to lead the Cardinals to their 7th straight win.
Recommendation: Hogan is a great cash game quarterback this week as his price is very reasonable while his performance should be very consistent. We would tend to avoid someone like Hogan in GPP’s however, as he never seems to put up huge fantasy scores.
RB – Christian McCaffrey – 9,400
Analysis: Christian McCaffrey is showing us why he should be considered as one of the best running backs in the country with his recent performances. In his last 5 games, McCaffrey is averaging 165 yards per game with 7 total touchdowns and at least 1 reception in each game. His last 2 games have been his best of the season, and he is now facing Washington State’s 105th ranked rushing defense allowing over 200 yards per game. We expect McCaffrey to easily continue his streak of 100+ yard games and find the end zone at least once here.
Recommendation: McCaffrey’s recent success and premium matchup have really bolstered his salary, making him the highest priced running back on the slate. While he is certainly one of the safest options out there, we would rather pay up for someone like Booker if picking between the two. Definitely get some exposure, but no need to go all in on McCaffrey here with other values on the board as well.
WR- Austin Hooper- 4,100
Analysis: Austin Hooper is coming off yet another solid performance with 3 receptions for 50 yards and another touchdown. He is a go-to target for red zone looks in passing situations, but the Cougars defense is much stronger against the pass than the run, so Hooper’s opportunities may be limited.
Recommendation: Hooper is a nice punt play on this slate for cash games, but given the matchup here we don’t see him having the upside that some of the other punt plays have for GPP’s.
Team Expected Points: 25.5
Washington State’s offense finds themselves in a very tough spot this week against the Stanford defense that has limited them to only 17 points in each of their last 2 matchups. Despite this immense downgrade in matchup from last week, everyone’s price outside of QB Luke Falk (8,500) has held relatively flat. We do not like this from a value perspective, and thus will have to avoid the majority of this offense in cash games. The one guy on our radar as a punt option would be RB Keith Harrington (3,500) due to his near minimum price with multi-reception upside that has scored him double digit fantasy points in all but 1 week this season.
Arizona at Washington
Kickoff: 11:00 PM EST
Spread: Washington -4.5
Team Expected Points: 26.8
With the controversy at quarterback and injury issues at running back, we are electing to avoid the Arizona offense this week
Team Expected Points: 31.25
QB – Jake Browning – 5,700
Analysis: The Arizona defense is not playing very well at all this year, as their secondary has been gashed on multiple occasion making them the 118th worst passing defense in the country. Jake Browning has been nowhere near prolific this season, but we expect he should find some room to throw in this matchup if healthy enough to take the reins.
Recommendation: Look for Browning to have some nice upside as a solid punt play in all formats at the position.
WR – Jaydon Mickens – 3,900, Joshua Perkins – 3,500
Analysis: Mickens and Perkins both grade out as solid values this week in this solid matchup against Arizona’s soft pass defense. Neither have broken the century mark in yardage this season, but if there was ever a game to do it, this would be the one as we expect it to be back and forth. Touchdowns have also come at a premium for both of these guys as each only has 1 on the year. Even without the touchdowns, Perkins is one of the most productive tight ends in football this season.
Recommendation: A GPP stack of either of these guys with Browning could pay huge dividends, however neither of them have shown the true upside to be heavily considered for any format outside of a cash game punt.