College Fantasy Football – Week 3: Intriguing Matchups

After looking at week three’s relatively unexciting schedule, I wanted to take a look at which games have great potential for fantasy owners. Listed below are a few of the matchups I really like in this weekends slate. Also included are some players I feel could have big weekends, as well as a few high-risk/high-reward options. This was my first time doing this so I’m sure I missed some good match-ups. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @PutBoobieIn and let me know which games you think I missed. Here are the matchup’s I chose:

PASSING GAME:

Penn State (at Rutgers) 

The Nittany Lions are averaging 387 passing yards per game through the first two games of the season. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are giving up an average of 350 yards through the air per game. Christian Hackenberg could be in for another really good game. Geno Lewis and DaeSean Hamilton have both emerged as early 1A and 1B options, which is a very positive sign for the Nittany Lions, who recently had their post-season ban lifted. Many were concerned in finding viable receiving options with the departure of Allen Robinson to the NFL. Lewis leads the team in yards with 271. Hamilton’s 18 catches through two weeks rank him 6th in the country. Jesse James, one of college footballs top tight end prospects, is leading Penn State in touchdown receptions. James also should be a very good play this weekend. 

Missouri (vs. Central Florida) 

Quarterback Maty Mauk is coming off of a performance in which he threw for 325 yards and 5 touchdowns. As well as 36 yards and 1 touchdown on the ground. Although its a small sample size, as UCF has only played one game, their defense gave up 454 yards passing to Christian Hackenberg and the Penn State Nittany Lions in its only game. That could be in large part due to Hacnkenberg’s talents, but it is still something that gives me confidence in starting Mauk and Missouri’s receiving corps. Through two games, Jimmie Hunt leads the Tigers in receptions with 9. Bud Sasser leads the receiving corps in yards with 152, and Darius White leads the team in touchdowns with 3. Another sneaky option in the passing game could be all-purpose running back Marcus Murphy who has been lining up some as a receiver. Murphy could be a sneaky play in PPR leagues.

Illinois (at Washington) 

Washington gave up 475 yards passing last weekend to FCS opponent, Eastern Washington. Add in the fact that Illinois aerial attack is averaging 371 yards per game (8th in the country), starting quarterback Wes Lunt and the Fighting Illini could be in for a big day through the air. Lunt has done a tremendous job of spreading the ball around and utilizing multiple receivers. Through two weeks Geronimo Allison is leading the team in receiving yards, and is tied for the lead in receptions with freshman Malik Turner. True freshman, Mike Dudek and senior Martize Barr are tied for the team lead in touchdown receptions. Josh Feguson should also factor into the passing game and like most weeks is a good option in PPR leagues. Senior Jon Davis could be an option at tight end this weekend for those looking for a sneaky play.

GROUND GAME:

Alabama (vs. Southern Miss)

This game is a defensive nightmare for Southern Miss who has given up 248 yards rushing per game. Alabama as we all know is a force on the ground. Derrick Henry and T.J. Yeldon should have very good games on the ground. Another viable option could be Kenyan Drake, as this game should get out of hand quickly. Which in return will lead to an increased workload for Drake. He only has 10 carries through two games, but the Crimson Tide are averaging 246 yards per game on the ground. If Drake does get a chance to carry the ball, he could have a really nice game.

Texas El Paso (vs. New Mexico State)

Aaron Jones is leading the country in rushing yards with 384 yards through the first two weeks of the season. He also has 5 touchdowns to go along with his impressive yardage total. This week he has a very favorable matchup and could be in for another huge day. New Mexico State’s defense has given up an average 211 yards per game in the first two weeks. Their first two opponents were Cal Poly and Georgia State.  The NMS Aggies also have given up 4 touchdowns in both games. Jones should have a field day on Saturday. Start him with confidence.

Northern Illinois (at UNLV)

The Northern Illinois Huskies are averaging 323 yards rushing per game this season. UNI has a number of players contributing on the ground. Akeem Daniels has 31 carries for 199 yards but hasn’t recorded a touchdown. Joel Bouagnon seems to be a touchdown vulture as he has 4 touchdowns in addition to 119 yards rushing on 25 carries. Quarterback Drew Hare also has accounted for 82 yards rushing and 1 touchdown through two games while in a time-share. Hare was recently named the starter, and supposedly will be the only QB under center this weekend. Hare would be a high risk/high reward option for fantasy owners. Saturday’s game will be a great matchup for the Huskies as UNLV has given up 246 yards per game on the ground. Please note that this average is skewed a bit as Arizona ran for 353 yards against the Rebels in week one. As we all know, their pretty good on the ground. So don’t expect video game type numbers. The three players mentioned could have good games, as UNLV showed its vulnerability against the run. They are however a bit of a gamble but could be sneaky plays if your willing to pull the trigger.

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS:

Texas A&M (vs. Rice)

Rice has given up a terrible 576 yards of total offense per game so far. 295 yards/game through the air as well as 281 yards rushing/game. Kevin Sumlins squad will have another huge night. The Aggies as we all know showcase one of the most potent aerial attacks in the country, which ranks 2nd in passing yards. Kenny Hill is an obvious must start. Wide receivers, Ricky Seals-Jones, Speedy Noil, Malcome Kennedy, and Josh Reynolds should all have solid performances in the passing game which has averaged 458 yards/game. At RB, the Aggies have a three headed monster which consists of, Trey Williams, Brandon Williams, and Tra Carson. The RBBC could make all three players sneaky plays in daily formats as they should be valued fairly low. Carson was hurt last week so if you decide to insert him into your lineup track his progress.

Indiana (at Bowling Green) 

Through two games, Bowling Green is giving up 445 yards per game through the air. Indiana is coming off of a bye week, the Hoosiers only threw the ball 18 times in their week one victory over Indiana State. But for a team who threw the ball nearly 40 times per game last season, its hard to imagine they won’t throw often against a Bowling Green defense that gave up 569 yards and 6 touchdowns in week one to Western Kentucky. Nick Sudfeld is a must start as is Shane Wynn. Cody Latimer’s departure to the NFL has left big shoes to fill. Outside of Wynn, another answer from wide-receiver could very well be Simmie Cobbs. Cobbs leads the team in catches and receiving yards. Although it is a very small sample size, as Indiana has only played one game and hardly showcased the pass. Cobbs could be a high risk/high reward option in daily formats. On the ground, Bowling Green has given up a respectable 115 yards per game. But Indiana had 455 rushing yards in week one’s game against Indiana State. Tevin Coleman could be in for another big performance.

Nebraska (at Fresno State)

Fresno State has given up 268 yards rushing per game through the first two weeks of the season. Meanwhile the Cornhuskers are averaging 347 yards per game on the ground. Ameer Abdullah remains an obvious must-start. A solid starting option at quarterback this week is Tommy Armstrong. Armstrong has 193 yards rushing to go along with 2 rushing touchdowns through the first two weeks of the season. Through the air Fresno State is giving up 346 yards per game. Armstrong, a dual threat quarterback has 513 yards and 4 touchdowns passing this season. Wide receiver, Jordan Westerkamp has been Armstrong’s go to guy. He leads the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Another viable receiver option could be Kenny Bell. Fresno State should be a much tougher opponent than last weeks McNeese State. Nebraska was on the verge of going to overtime with the FCS opponent, but won in regulation, thanks to the late heroics of Ameer Abdullah. Both Armstrong and Abdullah should be great plays, as Westerkamp and Bell could also have solid performances.

GOOD MATCHUPS FOR BOTH OFFENSES:

Tulsa & Florida Atlantic

Tulsa has given up 548 yards of total offense per game. While Florida Atlantic has given up an absolutely terrible 702 yards of total offense per game. These stats are deceiving as Tulsa has played Oklahoma; and Florida Atlantic has played both Alabama and Nebraska in the first two weeks of the season. I still like a couple players in this game as I believe both defenses are vulnerable. Tulsa’s Keevan Lucas should be a great play as he has 23 receptions for 317 yards and 4 touchdowns through two games. Lucas continued to show signs of dominance against Oklahoma, as he caught 10 passes for 84 yards and 1 touchdown. That will be the best defense he plays all year. Lucas is a must start. Florida Atlantic running back Jay Warren could also be in for a good game as he is averaging 5.8 YPC in 23 rushing attempts against two strong opponents: Alabama and Nebraska. Tulsa gave up 254 yards rushing to Tulane in week one, which bodes well for Jay Warren. Jay Warren hasn’t done much, due to Florida Atlantic’s SOS, but this could be his breakout game. This game could be a shootout but could very well be a dud.

Arkansas & Texas Tech

Both teams offensive strengths are also each others defensive weaknesses. Texas Tech is poor against the run, as evidenced by the 277 yards they gave up to Nick Jones and the UTEP ground game last weekend. Arkansas running backs, Alex Collins, Trey Williams, and Korliss Marshall could all be in for nice performances. Marshall was hurt last week, but is expected to play. If you do decide to play him monitor his progress.  On the ground, the Razorbacks are averaging 324 yards per game. Taking a look at the other offense vs defense battle, Arkansas allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 65% of their passes attempted last season. They have shown little to no ability in stopping the pass this season. As they are giving up an average of 251 yards passing through two games. The Kliff Kingsbury led Texas Tech Red Raiders could pose major problems for this defense. Through two games Davis Webb has thrown for 730 yards and 7 touchdowns. Arkansas will try to slow the game down by pounding the ball on the ground but Davis should be in for a nice game. As should Bradley Marquez and Jakeem Grant. This could end up being the most entertaining game of the week from a spectators standpoint, and could yield big fantasy numbers.

Which games do you think will be fantasy gold? Follow me on Twitter and give me a shout @PutBoobieIn

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