First of all, let me acknowledge that this could be very well be my “swan song.” At around 9 AM EST this Saturday, I’m trekking from my cozy Jersey City apartment to Brownsville – a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. For those of you not in the know, this or this is really all you need to read about Brownsville to get a feel for what I’m walking into. Normally on Saturday morning, I’m setting lineups, talking DFS on LuTV, and furiously checking Twitter for last minute under the radar beat writer reports. However, for my Community Development class that I’m taking as an elective for Grad School (really thought this one through…) I have to actually spend ninety minutes in the neighborhood in New York City that I determined was in need of “community development.” When I made the choice of this neighborhood I thought “slam dunk! This will be so easy to write about! Who could argue that this place needs development?” And the first project was very easy, just a five page paper about how census data supported the idea that this place is hell on Earth (yours truly earned a solid A minus, since you asked.) But if I bothered to read the syllabus, I would have noticed that later in the semester I actually had to step foot in the place I chose – for ninety minutes! 5,400 seconds! So, if this is going to be my final contribution to LuDawgs, I want to go down with a bang. The three guys I highlight below, I really have a lot of faith in to hit value, but that being said, as their price indicates, they really come with a god deal of risk. I’m personally going to use them mainly in cash games as a means to allow me to fit in some higher priced studs.
#1 Kyle Allen
(Just kidding, you have the internet.)
#1 Jordan Villamin, WR, Oregon State, $3,500 on Draftkings
I’ve been a fan since I woke up in the middle of the night a couple weeks back and saw that Oregon State/Utah somehow went to double-OT (that must have been excruciating to watch) and that some rando’ from Oregon State scored two TDs. The dude’s stats weren’t overwhelming (3 catches, 83 yards if memory serves correctly) but just that I’d never heard anything at all about him made me want to do more research. And I’ve been following him closely since. Here’s what you need to know:
• Dude is a 6’4” 240 pound Redshirt Freshman (my favorite!!) monster.
• He’s locked into a starting gig, with Richard Mullaney going down for the season
• Last week against the nation’s top pass defense (Stanford) Villamin went for 5 catches and 45 yards. More importantly, he’s clearly being targeted in the red zone. Even though he didn’t score in the game, on one drive while the game was still close, Sean Mannion targeted Villamin on fade patterns on 3rd and 4th down (with no success, sadly.)
• This week, with Mannion on pace to smash the PAC-12 all-time passing yardage probably late in the 2nd quarter, the Beavers face the worst pass defense in relevant NCAAF – the friendly and welcoming California Golden Bears defense. Obviously Mannion and crew haven’t been killing it through the air this season, but this represents as great a matchup as you can ask for.
Villamin Prediction: 7 grabs, 105 yards, 1 TD
#2 Akeel Lynch, RB, Penn State, $3,400 on Draftkings
Lynch has shown us over the past two seasons flashes of ability – averaging 6.0 yards per carry last year, and 5.2 yards per carry this season. Last week Zack Zwinak went down, hopefully opening up a larger role for Lynch this week. I would have expected Lynch to get more hype this week, but I think people are, not incorrectly, sour on Penn State’s offense, and particularly their Offensive Line. That being said, I think the matchup this week, combined with opportunity, sets up nicely for Lynch. Against a tough Ohio State front last week, Lynch got 13 carries, to Bill Belton’s 9 (yes, I know Belton got a wildcat goal line carry, which isn’t exactly ideal). Belton couldn’t even get a yard per carry, finishing with 8 pathetic yards, while Lynch churned out a PRISTINE 38 yards (okay, not the best output – but Ohio State’s run D is very tough.) Now, let’s consider this week, and this week only, because to us, only this week matters. Penn State gets a miserable Maryland run defense that just got cut some eighty different ways by the Badgers (and pretty much has by everyone they’ve faced this season.) It’s tough to really say that you can expect Maryland to stack the box with Hackenberg, DeSean Hamilton, Geno Lewis, and the Tight Ends that Penn State seems to invent whenever they need them. The offensive line, as previously referenced, is quite porous, but in this case, I’m expecting it to be less bad than the Maryland D. There’s clearly risk here (Lynch doesn’t see the majority of carries, doesn’t do anything with those carries, etc.) but I think for the price, it’ll be tough to find any RB that is ultra-reliable (sorry DFSers, Nick Chubb / Mario Pender at 3k aren’t walking through the door this Saturday…)
Lynch Prediction: 18 carries, 85 yards, 1 TD
#3 Johnny McCrary, QB, Vanderbilt, $4,700 on Draftkings
This one almost makes me want to throw up just thinking about it. Because things could REALLY south here. But if it hits, you’re pretty much set, I would think. The Old Dominion defense is the stuff legends are made of. They make Kliff’s Texas Tech squad look like the Seahawks at home. No team so reliably gives up world-class offensive performances to mediocre opponents – it really is amazing, and commendable that they never really let us down. Consider these point totals and opponents:
Hampton – 28 points (HAMPTON!!!)
NC State – 46 points (at this point, I was convinced that Jacoby was winning the Heisman)
Rice – 45 points
Middle Tennessee – 41 points (I do love Austin Grammer)
UTEP – 42 points
Granted, you could argue that Ralph Webb could be the Commodore that’s in for a big day, and I’d have a tough time countering, but Old Dominion really is an equal opportunity Fantasy Point giver – everyone can get in on the fun. It was impressive last week that McCrary did not completely fall on his face last week against a good, and even more notably, aggressive, Missouri defense. 17/31 196 yards (A SEASON HIGH FOR VANDERBILT QUARTERBACKS – THIS IS NOT A TEST) 2 TD’s, 1 pick, were his stats against Mizzou – overall, not terrible for your first NCAAF start on the road in the SEC. Vanderbilt’s coach Derek Mason has confirmed that McCrary will start this week, but has also said that Patton Robinette will be available to play (returning from injury.) While this could, and may, sink Mcrary’s day, I’m inclined to think that the threat of McCrary playing is similar to Taylor Kelly/Mike Bercovicci two weeks ago against Stanford (where Bercovicci ended up playing the whole game. Essentially, this may just be coach speak trying to keep that feisty Monarch D from being able to prepare for just one QB. I don’t think McCrary is going to light up the sky with fireworks but I think we’ll be in store for something like this:
McCrary Prediction: 21/36 260 yards, 3 TDs
Good luck this week everyone – we’ll probably need it if all three of these snoozing sleepers are going to turn out to be treat, rather than trick!