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College Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Sleepers for Week 12

Is there anything more exciting than 12 consecutive hours of college fantasy football action in the playoffs? It is such an exhilarating feeling watching scores change on Saturdays with so much on the line.

Congrats on great CFF roster management if you are reading this column with two weeks remaining. For a playoff matchup, injuries may dictate picking up a replacement starter. Joe Goodwin, Volume Pigs, and I have options for CFF playoff teams this week…Let’s get those trophies over the final two weeks of the campaign.

There’s no such thing as too much football! 2022 is the perfect time to add the college game to your fantasy football repertoire. Whether you want to create your own league or join an existing league, the Fantrax College Football Commissioner is the place to go!

Week 12 College Fantasy Football Sleepers


Nicholas Vattiato, Middle Tennessee vs. UTEP (Laub)

FPPG: 20.8

O/U 48.5, Middle Tennessee -7.5

Fantrax Rostership: 15%

Opponent Passing Defense: 194.6 YPG. & 12 P-TDs

PFF Grade: 79.4

In the FSGA CFF league, I had an incredible playoff game against Eric Froton, former CFF Podcast partner and current NBC Sports Edge expert. Sad to say, Eric started Nicholas Vattiato, who scored 38.9 fantasy points against me. To make matters worse, I lost the game, ending my season in the highly competitive 18-team league.

In his past four games, Vattiato has logged 123.9 fantasy points (averaging 30.9) in six-point passing touchdown formats. The redshirt sophomore has tossed 11 aerial strikes and added one on the ground. The 6’1” and 196-pounder has also scampered for 166 rushing yards.

For the year, Vattiato has eight 200-yard passing performances (12 during his tenure), which is sixth all-time in school history. He is currently tied for seventh all-time for single-season touchdowns with 20 and moved into the top 10 in single-season passing yards. It is not the most enticing matchup, but Vattiato is so hot that he is worth starting against UTEP at home.

Brady Cook, Missouri vs. Florida (Goodwin)

FPPG: 22.5

O/U 59, Missouri -11.5

Fantrax Rostership: 51%

Opponent Passing Defense: 225.5 YPG. & 17 P-TDs

PFF Grade: 84.8

With a 33.1 fantasy points per game average (in six-point TD formats), Brady Cook has exceeded most analysts’ predictions for 2023 with an 8-point increase. One of the main reasons for the rise in Cook’s fantasy output is that the completion percentage increased by over three points. In addition, Cook has exceeded last year’s passing yards and touchdown totals.

Cook’s rushing is the one area where he has taken a small step back. Although the Tigers’ signal-caller has matched the previous year’s rushing touchdown total, he is averaging two fewer rushes per game. Over the previous five contests, Cook has averaged 29.2 fantasy points per game, with games against Tennessee and LSU over the 30-point mark.

This week, Cook and the Missouri offense go against the 126th-ranked defense of the Florida Gators. Last week, the Florida defense gave up 52 points to LSU and Jayden Daniels, who ripped off over 200 yards rushing against Florida. The quarterback running the ball is an area that Cook may be able to exploit similarly. Although I wouldn’t project Cook to rush for that many yards, it is conceivable that he posts a 100-yard rushing game with a touchdown on the ground in addition to his passing numbers. The Gators versus the Tigers is going to be a shootout.


CFF Twitterverse on Fire!

With the season winding down, identify your best Heisman wager based on current odds:

  • Carson Beck, Georgia (+4,000): 8%
  • Michael Penix, Washington (+280): 27%
  • Jayden Daniels, LSU (+650): 46%
  • Bo Nix, Oregon (-125): 19%

“Jayden Daniels should win it. I know they have three losses and the Heisman is basically a QB on the team with the best-record trophy. But his production has been out of this world. The kid is averaging 316 passing yards and 91 rushing yards per game. Best player in the country.” @CffDfs

“I will go with Michael Penix only because LSU is a three-loss team.” @aceholesrule

“Jayden Daniels has been nails but LSU has three losses. Bo Nix has been nothing less than sensational this season! Over 75% completion rate with a 29:2 TD:INT ratio. EVERY single defense gets cooked by Bo. It’s TIME!“ @_NinoBrown_

“Of these options, it has to be Jayden Daniels currently. However, where is the option for Marvin Harrison Jr? Also, if this award actually lived up to its description and awarded the best player in College Football and didn’t consider games played, Brock Bowers would be at the top, no question!” @CFF_Jared

Running Backs

Quinton Cooley, Liberty vs. UMass (Goodwin)

FPPG: 16.8

O/U 62, Liberty -27.5

Fantrax Rostership: 50%

Opponent Rushing Defense: 209.8 YPG. & 23 R-TDs

PFF Grade: 87.3

The junior running back from Liberty is having a breakout year and is looking to bounce back from a less-than-stellar performance against Old Dominion last week. Cooley has notched 1,066 yards rushing in ten games with nine rushing touchdowns for the Flames.

In the previous five outings, Cooley has exceeded 30 fantasy points in three of those games: 32 against Louisiana Tech, 31 against Middle Tennessee, and 31 against Jacksonville State. Although Cooley is seldom used in the passing game, he more than makes up for that with his 5.9 ypc and hopes to continue that against the porous defense of UMass.

Quinton Cooley is aligned for a big game this weekend with a run defense struggling to keep running teams in check. See below how poor the UMass defense has been against the run:

  • vs. New Mexico State: 222 yards rushing
  • vs. Auburn: 289 yards rushing
  • vs. Miami (OHP): 144 yards rushing
  • vs. Eastern Michigan: 214 yards rushing
  • vs. New Mexico: 136 yards rushing
  • vs. Arkansas State: 173 yards rushing
  • vs. Toledo: 375 yards rushing
  • vs. Penn State: 246 yards rushing
  • vs. Army: 204 yards rushing
  • vs. Merrimack: 95 yards rushing

The Minutemen have struggled to stop the run this year, as six opponents have totaled for over 200 yards, with Toledo amassing 375 yards on the ground. The Flames and Quinton Cooley look to take advantage and post similar numbers as Cooley should dominate.

Marion Lukes, Central Michigan at Ohio (Laub)

FPPG: 13.2

O/U 46.5, Central Michigan -10

Fantrax Rostership: 11%

Opponent Rushing Defense: 95.3 YPG. & 6 R-TDs

PFF Grade: 76.9

Believe it or not, but Marion Lukes is the 19th most productive running back over the past two weeks. The Chippewas’ runner registered his second straight, and third in his tenure, 100-yard rushing performance as he finished with 147 yards and a touchdown, averaging 7.0 ypc. It marks the first time that he scampered for 100 yards in consecutive games.

Two weeks ago, Lukes rushed for 202 yards and a touchdown. He concluded the contest with a game-high 243 all-purpose yards—147 rushing, 11 receiving, 85 on kickoff returns—marking the second straight game over 200-plus all-purpose yards. It is not a marvelous matchup against Ohio. Nonetheless, the volume is enticing, and Lukes is worth starting in a Flex position if necessary.

Notebook: “Funny enough, I was watching LeSean McCoy highlights before the game and his snow games are just insane. When I saw the snow, I was just thinking about letting loose and doing all the things I know I can do,” Lukes stated after the team’s victory two weeks ago in a snowstorm (

Rashad Amos, Miami (OH) vs. Buffalo (Volume Pigs)

FPPG: 11.4

O/U 41.5, Miami (OH) -9.5

Fantrax Rostership: 5%

Opponent Rushing Defense: 175.3 YPG. & 15 R-TDs

PFF Grade: 74.4

Rashad Amos now has back-to-back 100-plus yard games and is coming off a three-game stretch of 11.5, 22.3, and 23.8 points. The Redhawks play a Buffalo defense that is 108th in rush yards against this week.

Cedric Baxter, Texas at Iowa State

FPPG: 8.3

O/U 48.5, Texas -9.0

Fantrax Rostership: 49%

Opponent Rushing Defense: 124.7 YPG. & 8 R-TDs

PFF Grade: 69.0

As unfortunate as it is that Jonathan Brooks got banged (out for the rest of the season) up against TCU, it does clear the way for a super-premium former five-star RB to get a more sizable workload in what has historically been a very productive system for running backs.

Baxter saw 18 carries on Saturday, he accumulated 61 yards with those touches (7.2 fantasy points). The output is not good enough, but if he’s going to be the primary bell-cow going forward, he’s worth a shot on the wire this week. They play a stingy defense in Iowa State this Saturday, but I still think Baxter is worth a spot on your roster.

Twitterverse on Fire!

If you were the athletic director at Texas A&M, who would you want to consider among G5 programs to coach the Aggies in 2024 and beyond?

  • Willie Fritz, Tulane: 14%
  • Curt Cignetti, James Madison: 41%
  • Jamey Chadwell, Liberty: 39%
  • Barry Odom, UNLV: 6%

“The correct answer is still Mike Elko (Duke).” @CFF_Jared

“I’d throw all the money at Jamey Chadwell.” @ShanePHallman

“Someone at JMU is a QB Whisper: Take a look at what they have done the last two years with discarded quarterbacks. Curt Cignetti just needs to bring that guy with him….” @JustinNottingh6

“Rhett Lashlee (SMU) ? I also feel that Jeff Traylor (UTSA) would win quickly with the Aggies.” @aceholesrule

Wide Receivers

Donaven McCulley, Indiana vs. Michigan State (Volume Pigs)

FPPG: 13.1

O/U 47.5, Indiana -4.5

Fantrax Rostership: 2%

Opponent Passing Defense: 235.4 YPG. & 19 P-TDs

PFF Grade: 75.2

The 6’5” and third-year player out of Indianapolis has caught fire for the Indiana Hoosiers in the last three weeks, with outputs of 19.6, 17.7 and 36.7 fantasy points. In that span, he averaged 8.67 targets per contest. That’s pretty good, any reason why it can’t continue this week versus Michigan State? Well, nothing is a lock in CFF, but McCulley’s probably worth a shot.

Tez Johnson, Oregon at Arizona State (Goodwin)

FPPG: 17.2

O/U 54, Oregon -22.5

Fantrax Rostership: 38%

Opponent Passing Defense: 217 YPG. & 16 P-TDs

PFF Grade: 79.7

Although Troy Franklin gets a lot of notoriety as the best receiver for the Oregon Ducks, Tez Johnson has done an admirable job as a secondary weapon. However, Johnson has played second fiddle to no one for the past two contests. Last week, Tez Johnson had seven receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns against USC. Two weeks ago against California, Johnson had 12 receptions for 180 yards. On the season, Johnson has logged 53 receptions for 725 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Ducks have been an explosive offense all season long. And this week, they get to play the 111th-ranked defense against receivers in Arizona State. The Sun Devils have given up 16 touchdowns to opposing receivers this season.

With Troy Franklin receiving much attention from defenses, Tez Johnson should feast as the Oregon Ducks and Bo Nix continue to position themselves for a spot in the College Football Playoff if any of the current Top Four should falter.

Drake Stoops, Oklahoma at BYU (Laub)

FPPG: 18.6

O/U 57, Oklahoma -24

Fantrax Rostership: 11%

Opponent Passing Defense: 233.5 YPG. & 19 P-TDs

PFF Grade: 80.0

My grandmother often said that “good and bad news often come in threes.” Not sure if it has been scientifically proven with empirical evidence. Nevertheless, it appears that the Sooners’ aerial assault has a nice trio of pass-catchers. Drake Stoops has earned a spot at the buffet with Nic Anderson and Jalil Farooq. All three have logged 100-yard receiving games this season.

Over the past two weeks, Stoops has surpassed his teammates in targets and production. He has earned 27 targets with 22 catches (82%) for 298 yards and four scores, producing 75.2 fantasy points. Watching the games, Stoops constantly appears open, and QB Dillon Gabriel peppers him with passes. He is smoking hot and worth inserting into lineups during the CFF playoffs with BYU and TCU on the docket.

Notebook: “I come in here day in and day out, 10 hours every day. Six years now, I bust my tail year-round. And for me, there’s a lot left to play for. I don’t care if we’re 0-8 right now. I’m playing ball because I love to play football, I love my teammates, I love my coaches, I love Oklahoma. It’s really that simple. I got a lot of pride for this place,” Stoops stated after the loss against Oklahoma State two weeks ago (


TE Dan Villari, Syracuse at Georgia Tech (Volume Pigs)

FPPG: 7.0

O/U 53, Syracuse +6.5

Fantrax Rostership: 1% 

Opponent Passing Defense: 232.2 YPG. & 15 P-TDs

PFF Grade: 64.2

The tight end position has been an absolute crap festival this year. CFF diehards know this. But on Saturday, something very notable happened. Former Michigan quarterback and current Syracuse tight end Dan Villari carried the football 17 times for 154 yards and a score (22 fantasy points).

Who knows what the plan is this week versus Georgia Tech (does anybody—including their coaches—know?), but I mean, you don’t have that much to lose at the position anyway, so why not swing big for the upside? It should be noted too that Villari hasn’t been that bad this season outside of Saturday’s performance, with two prior games over 10 points (14.7 and 13.7). This is the first time we’ve seen him take double-digit carries though.

Notebook: “It’s been a lot of ups and downs. Like (the) coach said, I was hurt in the spring, so I really didn’t have a complete offseason. I feel like I’m reaching my stride now,” Villari said ( 

CFF Twitterverse on Fire!

The waiver wire is getting thin with two weeks remaining in the season: Who is the most interesting pickup at wide receiver?

  • Drake Stoops, Oklahoma: 34%
  • Trayvon Rudolph, NIU: 9%
  • Isaiah Williams, Illinois: 17%
  • Tez Johnson, Oregon: 40%

“Tez Johnson or Drake Stoops if they are out there. Both have a connection with their quarterbacks. Bo Nix is Johnson’s adopted brother, and Stoops and Dillon Gabriel are roommates.” @JustinNottingh6

“STOOOOOOPS!” @aceholesrule

“Tez Johnson…and it’s really not close with 19 receptions for 306 yards and 4 scores in the last 2 games. Besides Troy Franklin, Tez has established himself as a safety blanket for Bo Nix. Tez continues to dominate with both Bucky Irving and Ferguson eating as well. Tez to the moon!” @_NinoBrown_

“Drake Stoops is on fire. And Dillon Gabriel looks for him all the time.” @CffNation

CFF All-Americans: Week 11

  • QB Jayden Daniels, LSU: 62.3 points
  • QB Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma: 59.9
  • RB Ta’ron Keith, Bowling Green: 43.3
  • RB Cody Schrader, Missouri: 43.1
  • WR Drake Stoops, Oklahoma: 44.4
  • WR Marvin Harrison, Jr., Ohio State: 41.8
  • WR Isaiah Williams, Illinois: 41.3
  • TE Jax Sherrard, Sam Houston: 22.2
  • Flex Damien Martinez, Oregon State: 42.2

CFF Player of the Week: Jayden Daniels

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