This is something new I am going to write up and it may seem rather obvious to some but others may not take the time to look into things like this. I want to talk about which games we all should be focusing on when it comes to fantasy production. In other words, which games should be the highest scoring and most fantasy friendly. Some will be more obvious than others but I figured I would point them out for you.
Cincinnati at Memphis (O/U 68.5)- This is the ESPN Thursday night game and Memphis is coming off an impressive win at Bowling Green last week. The Tigers have a fantasy stud in quarterback Paxton Lynch so expect him to get his numbers. They also have a stable of guys that carry the ball headed up by Doroland Dorceus and Sam Craft. The latter is the player to watch as he catches passes as well. Cincinnati is coming off a high scoring affair against Miami (OH). However, the Bearcats may need to lean on the ground game with Tion Green and Hosey Williams, as starting quarterback Gunner Kiel may be unable to go. If this is the case, freshman Hayden Moore will get the start. If Moore can’t make some plays, the rushing attack will be asked to carry the offense in this one.
TCU at Texas Tech (O/U 79)- This one is a bit more obvious to most of you. Both of these offenses are known to put up a ton of points and I don’t see why they shouldn’t here. The Horned Frogs defense seems like it is losing a player every day due to either injury or suspension. Heisman hopeful quarterback Trevone Boykin shouldn’t have much difficulty racking up the points this week against a below average Red Raider defense. Look for Josh Doctson and Aaron Green to feast as well in this one. On the other side, quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be looking to keep pace with Boykin and I expect him to do so. These two spread attacks are different yet produce similar results. Jakeem Grant will be the primary weapon at Mahomes’ disposal. I expect this to be a shootout as Vegas has the over/under is at 79.
Appalachian State at Old Dominion (O/U 58.5)- This one is more of a gut feeling to me. The O/U is only at 58.5 but these two offenses can put up some points. Both of these teams have very talented running backs. App State fields junior Marcus Cox while Old Dominion fields sophomore Ray Lawry. Cox is one of the more talented backs outside of the Power 5 conferences and I expect him to display that in this one. On the other side, Lawry had rushed for 438 yards and 6 touchdowns in the team’s first two games before the team was over matched against NC State last week. He still managed to get in the end zone via reception however. The quarterback advantage leans toward App State as they are led by sophomore Taylor Lamb. He should be looking at a very nice game this week. The wildcard of the game is the Monarch’s quarterback, Shuler Bentley. This is a matchup where he can take advantage of the below average defense and this could easily go over if he does so.
Middle Tennessee at Illinois (O/U 61.5)- I like this game as a sneaky one to go over. Middle Tennessee is averaging 71.5 points in its two wins against Charlotte and Jackson State. They scored just 10 against Alabama which is pretty good considering most teams at Middle Tennessee’s level struggle to score at all against the Crimson Tide. I am mentioning this because I know Illinois’ defense is not on par with Alabama’s, in fact, it’s not even close. Quarterback Brent Stockstill can put up points in a hurry especially against a poor defense. The Blue Raiders also can run the ball as they are averaging 279 yards per game led by Jordan Parker in those two victories. The Illini also can put up some points on below average defenses. Last week, in a loss to North Carolina, the Illini totaled nearly 400 yards of offense with most of it coming from running back Josh Ferguson on the ground. Their other two games were blowouts of Kent State and Western Carolina so the UNC game is the one to gauge their offense on. I could see these two easily going over this week.
New Mexico at Wyoming (O/U 56)- A good, old-fashioned, Mountain West game in Laramie this weekend featuring two poor defenses. New Mexico comes in with an option-style attack that can explode in any given game. I would say the altitude may be a factor for the running backs but there are so many (Pressley, Gipson, Chestnut, and Owens), they all should stay fresh. Wyoming has a bit of a back and forth attack so far this season. For example, the Cowboys threw for 301 yards in the opener and rushed for only 29. In the second game, they rushed for a whopping 430 yards while only throwing for 32. To be fair, starting quarterback Cameron Coffman missed that second game against Eastern Michigan and most likely led to the lack of passing. The good news for Wyoming is that New Mexico is one of the worst defenses in the country. If not for the 66-0 win against FCS Mississippi Valley State, they would be ranked near the very bottom in total defense. In their two games against FBS opponents, the Lobos have given up 1,049 total yards. Also, look for running back Brian Hill to get a steady dose of carries in this one. This is one where the defenses may be so bad that the offenses have no choice but to each get into the 30s.