The College Football season is almost here, and that means you need to start preparing for the daily fantasy season that comes with it. This season of college football is unique, as it’s the 1st season with the playoff format at the end of the year. That, along with the consolidation of conferences, means teams play less cupcake games. While that in general is not great for daily fantasy lineups – with stronger competition – means players will play 4 quarters more often, which might be as good as 2 quarters vs a cupcake team. Today we bring you a quick run-down of some of the more recognizable players/teams in the NCAA. As we get closer to the season starting, Daily Fantasy Grind will provide picks just like last season.
– Page Updated: August 8, 2014
RB T.J. Yeldon returns, but will be pressed for carries from RB Derrick Henry among others. Unless it’s a cupcake matchup, Yeldon will likely be a #3/FLEX option while putting up steady numbers.
QB Taylor Kelly is a solid #2 most weeks, and is a reliable #1 against weaker teams. AZ State has a fairly tough schedule this season, so it might make starting Kelly on a regular basis difficult.
This team has the #1 pre-season strength of schedule … but they do have some cupcake matchups that can be taken advantage of. Week 1 might me interesting with starting QB Nick Marshall
possibly being suspended is not starting, but will play in the opener. QB Jeremy Johnson could be a potential sleeper play against a somewhat weak Arkansas team – but you’ll likely have much better options. Marshall, if he gets his act together, could be a #2 QB against weaker teams.
QB Bryce Petty was a top daily college football QB most of last season, in part because Baylor played some cupcake games that were glorified throwing exhibitions for Bryce. This season isn’t much different, Baylor has another soft schedule which should pad Petty’s stats most weeks. Senior WR Antwan Goodley returns, and should be a favorite target of Petty again this season. Both Petty & Goodley are must starts against weaker teams.
QB Cole Stoudt is taking over at QB this season as Clemson lost it’s most talented playmakers to the NFL draft. WR Charone Peake had some minor knee surgery, but is expected to be a starter.
Senior WR Jamison Crowder was a top play last season in daily leagues when he racked up 108 catches for over 1,300 yards. This season he should be a must start #1 against weaker teams and a #2/Flex against solid competition.
QB Jameis Winston has done his best to stay off the police blotter, and if he can stay upright on the field this season, he could repeat as Heisman Trophy winner.
RB Todd Gurley was a top ranked daily fantasy college football player last season, and some sites have him as the front runner for the Heisman Trophy this season. RB Keith Marshall returns from an ACL injury last season … and if healthy … will get some touches.
RB Tevin Coleman is an explosive player who had some nice games last season. He’s a solid #2 back against weaker teams.
This is possibly the worst team in the Big-12 so the only reason they make the list is you could target them in conference games against better teams because the defense is fairly weak.
Dual threat QB Montell Cozart is getting some attention since he’ll be given the reigns. You probably will want to avoid Cozart most weeks against in-conference rivals, but they do have some cupcake games where Cozart could be a potential sleeper pick.
WR Tyler Lockett was a valuable player in daily fantasy last season and he should be a big part of the teams offensive plans this season.
Lost several key members of the defense, and should be a target in daily fantasy football because teams should score against them. The good news for Cardinals fans is they have an offense that should be able to score points, QB Will Gardner is expected to start at QB and the team is expected to run a pro-style offense with lots of big play opportunities.
#1 overall recruit RB Leonard Fournette has been compared to Adrian Peterson & Michael Jordan this off-season. He should be considered a #1 guy against weaker teams – and likely a strong #2 play against tougher competition.
QB Rakeem Cato has been getting some attention in the pre-season, and it’s probably warranted considering how weak the teams schedule is this season. Cato will be a solid #1 or #2 option nearly every week against weak competition.
The Hurricanes doesn’t have a tremendously difficult schedule so you could target some of the players during the cupcake weeks. RB Duke Johnson is likely to be a decent #2 or FLEX play against weaker teams. Freshman QB Kevin Olsen is expected to be the starter but will likely only be a #2 or cheaper/sleeper option at best. It also appears that Olsen will be suspended for at least the 1st game & possibly more.
Senior RB Jeremy Langford is expected to be the #1 guy most of the time for the Spartans, but the O-coordinator has already said “he’d like to lighten Langford’s load” … so that might make him a solid #2 candidate in daily leagues. QB Connor Cook is expected to have a good season, but could only be considered a value #2 against weaker teams.
QB Keenan Reynolds returns after setting a school record & NCAA record with 31 rushing TD’s for a quarterback. This run-first QB should be in line for another huge year – as the Navy Midshipmen schedule is very weak. I’d probably avoid Reynolds against the few tough teams they face, but he’s nearly a must-start #1 against weaker opponents.
The QB position seems up for grabs for most Husker fans. The team used QB Tommy Armstrong last year in relief of injured Taylor Martinez, and Armstrong appears to be the front runner to land the starting job. If one of the Nebraska QB’s can step-up and play well WR Kenny Bell is a reliable candidate to start against weak defenses. RB Ameer Abdullah was a top RB play last season, especially against weaker teams. The one troubling thing about Abdullah is RB Imani Cross comes in and vulture carries the short yardage stuff – and gets the goal-line TD’s. On the defensive side of the ball, several starters have been lost to injury or suspension early on in camp, possibly making them a target when looking for matchups on the other team.
QB Everett Golson returns and could be a sleeper/cheaper #2 options some weeks. QB Malik Zaire would fill in if Golson were to get injured or play bad, and is expected to play in special packages this season. The teams strength of schedule is average.
Senior WR Jameon Lewis is notable because the teams uses him in many different ways. He threw for 3 TD’s last season, and caught 64 balls. He’s a sleeper flex option against most teams, especially weak competition. QB Dak Prescott has also gotten a lot of attention in the off-season, including some Heisman candidate buzz. Against weaker teams, Dak is a solid play.
Depending on the matchup, QB Braxton Miller proves to be a solid #2 starter in two QB leagues.
True freshman RB Joe Mixon arrives on campus as a potential #1 guy … but will compete for carries with RB Keith Ford and RB Alex Ross. The team also has WR Dorial Green-Beckham – who might be able to play this season after transferring to the team this off-season.
UPDATE: Mixon punched someone in the face – this could jeopardize his playing time making Ford & Ross more valuable.
QB Marcus Mariota decided to come back for another season, and should be one of the top daily college football QB’s each week. At the running back postion, you have RB Byron Marshall and RB Thomas Tyner who are both capable of being a solid #2 option in most daily fantasy lineups. Until a clear #1 emerges via good play or injury – it’s risky play considering they both likely will see touches this season
This team should be on your radar during the first 3 weeks of the season because they play Portland State, Hawaii, and San Diego State. QB Sean Mannion was second in the nation with over 4,600 passing yards last season – and should have big days against weak teams.
Might seem kind of odd having SMU on here, but coach June Jones enjoys a high tempo offense that generates lots of stats in daily leagues. Junior WR Darius Joseph returns and was 10th in the nation last season with 103 catches and is a solid #1/2 option in PPR leagues.
QB Dylan Thompson is the projected starter, and has plenty of weapons around him. He could be a value #2 play against weaker teams early in the season. The running back position is solid with starter RB Mike Davis getting the bulk of the carries. Backup RB Brandon Wilids is above average when healthy and fans are already waiting to see red-shirt freshman RB David Williams touch the ball. He will likely need to see injuries to Davis and Wilids with RB Shon Carson also on the depth chart.. The Gamecocks could split carries among 2 or 3 different backs this season, or they could make Davis the workhorse … I’ve seen predictions for both scenarios. For now Davis is a #1 option in daily formats.
The Cardinal offense isn’t explosive enough to warrant starting players consistently from the roster, however, WR Ty Montgomery could be used as a solid #2 – #3 option against most teams. Stanford is expected to slit carries among several running backs, including RB Barry Sanders Jr and it’s worth monitoring to see if a clear #1 option emerges. Otherwise you’ll want to avoid their RB’s if they split carries.
The head coach has been mums-the-word on the starting QB so whoever wins the job could be a small sleeper pick going into week 1. The offensive line has improved at A&M … also the defense which was picked on last season returns 7/11 starters – so they could be more solid on that side of the ball this season. The teams non-conference schedule is very weak, so you’ll want to target A&M players on those weeks. Medical red-shirt freshman WR Ricky Seals-Jones returns, and is a 6’5″ target that could be a sleeper #2/FLEX wide receiver.
QB Davis Webb should be the full-time starter this season, and against weaker defenses can be a viable 2nd QB in your daily lineups.
Against the cupcake teams, QB Brett Hundley should shine and is considered a Heisman Trophy candidate by many this season. He should be a reliable #2 QB play most of the season.
Had the top defense in the PAC-12 last season – and 7 of the 12 players from that team return. Junior WR Nelson Agholor could be a sleeper pick against weaker teams due to his return ability. The head coach is planning for a 3-headed running attack of RB Buck Allen, RB Tre Madden, and RB Justin Davis. If all three are healthy, it might be wise to avoid them in daily formats – but injuries might open up opportunities to start a USC back.
WR Dres Anderson (son of NFL WR Willie “Flipper” Anderson) is one of the more explosive players in the NCAA. He’s not going to rack up tons of catches, but he’s a big play threat, especially against weaker teams.
RB Melvin Gordon returns and should be a must start against weak teams and a solid #1/2 against everyone else. The head coach has stated that the QB position is an open competition between incumbent starting QB Joel Stave and QB Tanner McEvoy – both are juniors.
More 2014 Daily College Fantasy Football Picks & Coverage
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