I was fortunate enough to be in Ann Arbor to watch the Gophers beat Michigan at the “Big House” this weekend. Bringing home the “Little Brown Jug” was the best college football moment I’ve experienced in my lifetime. I’m nothing more than a devoted season ticket holder but it literally made me fight back tears. The direction this program is heading has me optimistic that one day we will be brought up in discussions about Big Ten contenders. If Wisconsin did it so can we. Maybe Coach Kill is our Barry Alvarez? After a few decades of struggle, Alvarez gave Wisconsin: a Heisman trophy winner in Ron Dayne, three conference titles, and most importantly sustained national relevancy. The weekend I had in Ann Arbor was unforgettable. I know this is a very bad Michigan team, but this was the second time we’ve beaten Michigan in my lifetime, and the fourth since 1968.
Truman Capote once said, “failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” Sticking with the Gophers over the years has been incredibly rewarding over the past couple of seasons. I may never have national championship aspirations for my team, like some of you. But after a whole lifetime spent in “Gopher misery” I truly see a light at the end of the tunnel. Unlike the NFL, college football isn’t full of parity and success doesn’t happen overnight. After years of struggle and mediocrity, this program is finally headed in the right direction. When Jerry Kill was hired to be the head coach at Minnesota, it was the best thing thats happened to this program in decades. He truly know’s how to build a program which is evidenced by his “Brick By Brick” mentality.
Something I want to mention while being at the “Big House” is that I have never been around more respectable sports fans in my entire life. Michigan fans were literally congratulating me for the win, thanking me for making the trip, and wishing us nothing but the best for the rest of the season. If your a Wolverine fan, keep your heads up and be patient. There are much brighter day’s ahead. You have resources not many in the country have.
On a side note, dynasty guys don’t sleep on Jeff Jones for the Gophers. He has yet to be cleared by the NCAA, but he was admitted into the school and is going to classes. He should be playing next year, and has a very bright future. He’s the highest rated recruit we’ve pulled since Laurence Maroney.
Alright well if you’ve read this far, listed below are this weeks top underclassmen to target on the waiver wire:
QB – Sefo Liufau (Sophomore) Colorado
Colorado QB, Sefo Liufau ranks 2nd in the country in passing attempts (239), 2nd in the country in competions (156), T-2nd in the country in touchdowns (17), 5th in the country in yards (1,573), and 31st in the country in completion percentage (65.3%). You can thank California’s defense for a lot of these stats. He went 46-67 for 455 yards and 7 touchdowns in Saturday’s 56-59 losing effort in double overtime. It was a breakout performance, but there’s reason to believe he has continued success. In five games this season, his worst performance was a 241 yard, 2 touchdown performance. He also has one of the country’s best receivers in Nelson Spruce. Liufau is only owned in 8% of leagues in Fantrax. The PAC12 is a high scoring league, and Colorado will be forced to play catchup and be in shootouts in quite a few games this season. Liufau should be added in all fantasy formats. If he’s available in dynasty leagues, he could be a game changing addition for your team. Add him with confidence.
QB – Deshaun Watson (Freshman) Clemson
The freshman was officially named the starter this week officially ending the quarterback controversy at Clemson. Watson was a 5-star recruit on Rivals and has an amazingly high ceiling. He is probably rostered in just about every dynasty league out there, but he now has put himself on the map in every format. Remember what Tajh Boyd accomplished at Clemson over the past couple of years? Well Watson might very well be more talented than Boyd. I mentioned the Clemson matchup in my “Intriguing Matchups” piece earlier this week. The freshman surely didn’t disappoint. In his first career start, Watson went 27-36 for 435 yards and 6 scores as well as an interception. His opponent, North Carolina has been pathetic so far, but it still got many excited about his future. Add Watson in all formats, his ceiling is as high as it gets.
QB – James Knapke (Sophomore) Bowling Green
Knapke has been on my radar for awhile here, but I’m officially going to tab him as a decent option in all formats. Depending on his matchup, Knapke could provide fantasy owners pretty good statistics. Bowling Green’s defense has proved incapable of stopping anything. So they’ve often been shootouts. Knapke is going to throw the ball over 50 times a game fairly often this season. He could even be viewed as a “poor man’s” Connor Halliday. This past weekend Knapke went 38-59 for 443 yards and 3 touchdowns. The only problem was he threw 3 INTs. If your in a league that doesn’t penalize interceptions too much. Knapke could be a decent option. He holds pretty decent value in dynasty formats.
RB – Jowan Davis (Sophomore) Rice
In four games, Davis has ran for at least 86 yards in three of them. His season started by facing Notre Dame and Texas A&M. Its safe to say he and his line won’t see many defenses with the talent of those programs. In his past two games the sophomore has ran for 281 yards. He reached the end zone this past weekend for the first time all season, as he scored two touchdowns against Southern Miss. Davis ranks 10th in the country in carries with 90. He is a workhorse and that gives me a reason to believe he will remain consistent. Barring injury of course. Davis deserves roster consideration in all formats.
RB – Brandon Radcliff (Sophomore) Louisville
In Saturday’s win over Wake Forest, Radcliff received the most carries in the backfield. Radcliff had 17 carries while Michael Dyer and Dominique Brown had 14 and 3. Radcliff’s performance on Saturday indicates he could become the feature back for the Cardinals. In his 17 carries he ran for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns. In 40 carries Radcliff is averaging a very impressive 6.3 YPC. There is a chance this backfield continues to be by “committee.” But this weekend almost seemed like a tryout between Radcliff and Dyer. Radcliff is a great option on the waiver wire for those looking to add backfield depth.
RB – A.J. Ouellette (Freshman) Ohio
Ouellette technically burst onto the scene last week with a 27 carry, 132 yards, 2 touchdown performance. This week he backed that up with 87 yards and 2 touchdowns on 11 carries. In 49 attempts he is averaging 5.9 YPC. Ouellette is a great option for those in dynasty formats. In 2012 Beau Blankenship ran for 1,604 yards and 15 touchdowns under the same coach, Frank Solich. Ouellete was a huge part of his high school winning 4 straight state championships in Ohio. He holds several records at Covington High School, including yards in a single season (2,535). Oullette appears to have ran away with the lead back role. He could be very productive this year, and has a very bright future. If your in a dynasty league, go add him now.
WR – Artavis Scott (Freshman) & Mike Williams (Sophomore) Clemson
With the emergence of Deshaun Watson, who better to target then these two? Who could forget Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins? Clemson has produced some amazing receivers over the years. These two could be next. Scott was Watson’s favorite target on Saturday as he had a team high 8 receptions to go along with a touchdown. As his career progresses he could develop into a big time receiver. On the season he has 3 touchdowns and is averaging 16.9 yards per catch with 18 receptions. Williams on the other hand caught 6 passes for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns on Saturday. He has at least 72 yards receiving in each of Clemson’s four games this season. If either of these guys emerge as Watson’s “go to guy” they could have tremendous value. Both are worthy of roster spots in dynasty formats.
WR – Edward Pope (Sophomore) Texas A&M
This receiving corps is starting to look a lot like Washington State’s. The only downside to having a receiver in a pass happy spread offense is the ball is spread around so much. It’s hard to pin point which receiver is going to go off in any given day. Texas A&M is a very talented offense. Speedy Noil’s injury opened the door for Pope to have a bigger role (Noil returned this weekend). Noil was a 5-star, but don’t discount Pope’s talent as he was a Rivals 250 recruit himself. He showcased that talent on Saturday as he caught 4 passes for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns. Rostering Pope makes sense in deep leagues. Keep an eye on him at the very least.
WR – Corey Jones (Sophomore) Toledo
Adding Jones makes most sense in PPR leagues, but he could eventually breakout this season. Toledo is averaging 286 passing yards per game this season (35th in country) and Jones leads the team in receptions with 31 (18th in country). At 5’8 he isn’t a red-zone threat as he’s only caught 2 touchdowns. But if he continues to see a high volume of targets that could change. Toledo’s defense has been pretty awful this season, so Toledo needs to put up quite a few points to win. Think poor man’s Jakeem Grant. Worthy of roster consideration in deep formats especially of the dynasty variety.
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