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College Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 9

John Laub presents the Scholar’s Surreptitious Starters, a look at the top college fantasy football sleepers for Week 9 of the NCAA Football season.

College Fantasy Football Sleepers: Quarterback

Jack Plummer, Purdue vs. Illinois: O/U 60.5 & Purdue -9.0
Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 8%
Opponent Defense vs. Pass: #82 (237.1)
Opponent Points Allowed: 29.6 ppg.

Over the past two weeks, Jack Plummer stands among the elite CFF passers with more than 55 fantasy points. He has thrown for 747 yards and five touchdowns while completing nearly 70% of passes.

Despite Rondale Moore missing the past three games, the redshirt freshman quarterback has taken advantage of explosive playmakers—WR David Bell and TE Brycen Hopkins—in the huddle. Will Moore return this weekend? Reports are still up in the air. Some indicate that Moore returns this week while other reports envision Moore likely plays again in two games. Of course, CFF owners would enjoy watching Moore and Bell on the field together against Illinois, which would boost Plummer’s value.

Fortunately, Plummer has succeeded without Moore, and Coach Jeff Brohm believes that his young quarterback can improve by using his legs more. “I think any good quarterback, even the ones that are not great athletes, have to realize what’s going on with the defense and be able to step up and get some positive yards. I just think in pass situations, if the check-down is not there, the next check down is you running the football and that just has to always happen,” Brohm proclaimed on by Mike Carmin. It is great news for college fantasy footballers.

I like Plummer to have another productive outing against an Illinois squad (a classic trap game for the Illini this weekend) that just upset Wisconsin. If you need a quarterback, insert the Boilermakers’ field general.

Jett Duffey, Texas Tech at Kansas: O/U 62.5 & Texas Tech -3.5
Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 17%
Opponent Defense vs. Pass: #89 (248.7)
Opponent Points Allowed: 32.6 ppg.

I did not begin my research this week thinking that Jett Duffey would decorate my list of sleeper selections. Nonetheless, he made the cut and astute CFF diehards must consider placing the Red Raiders’ signal-caller into their lineups.
Since October 5, Duffey is the eighth-most productive passer in college fantasy football, scoring 81.2 points. Granted, the majority of those points came in the 45-35 victory against Oklahoma State. “When he pulls it down, he can run. He’s a dual-threat. He is able to escape. He throws the ball well when he throws it on time. As he learns this week’s game plan (Oklahoma State) and what we’re doing and he gains confidence in it—the more you know, the more confident—then your talent comes out, and I think it’s a lot more efficient,” a prophetic statement two weeks ago by Coach Matt Wells on by Don Williams.
In the past three games, Duffey has attempted an astonishing 138 passes and completed 97 (70%). He has tossed six touchdowns and passed for over 1,000 yards. I cannot ignore the number of times Texas Tech throws the football, and the game plan should be similar against Kansas on the road. Start Duffey with confidence this weekend.

Additional QB Sleepers:

  • Carter Stanley, Kansas vs. Texas Tech: O/U 62.5 & Texas Tech -3.5
    Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 7%
    Opponent Defense vs. Pass: #108 (266.3 ypg.)
    Opponent Points Allowed: 28.3 ppg.
  • Jayden Daniels, Arizona State at UCLA: O/U 55 & Arizona State -3.5
    Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 23%
    Opponent Defense vs. Pass: #128 (312.4 ypg.)
    Opponent Points Allowed: 34.6 ppg.
  • Tanner Morgan, Minnesota vs. Maryland: O/U 56.5 & Minnesota -17.0
    Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 15%
    Opponent Defense vs. Pass: #118 (287.4 ypg.)
    Opponent Points Allowed: 25.7 ppg.

Twitterverse on Fire!

Who Ya Got? Identify the most enticing under-the-radar QB to place into starting lineups in Week 9.

  • James Blackman, Florida St vs. Syracuse: 21%
  • Drew Plitt, Ball State vs. Ohio: 21%
  • Stephen Calvert, Liberty at Rutgers: 28%
  • Tanner Morgan, Minnesota vs. Maryland: 30%
    John’s Vote: Drew Plitt

College Fantasy Football Sleepers: Running Back

Marcel Murray, Arkansas vs. Texas State: O/U 58 & Arkansas State -11.5
Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 26%
Opponent Defense vs. Run: #120 (218.2 ypg.)
Opponent Points Allowed: 28.7 ppg.

Obviously, the Arkansas State passing game delivers an abundance of fantasy points with QB Layne Hatcher, WR Omar Bayless, and WR Kirk Merritt. However, Marcel Murray reaped 35 carries for a career-best 164 yards last week versus UL-Lafayette. Any runner with over 30 attempts must be rostered and inserted into CFF lineups when the matchup forecasts a positive game script.

Last year, Murray rushed for 860 yards and eight touchdowns. Unfortunately, he started the campaign slowly and missed two games this season. Murray, 5-foot-11 and 197 pounds, now appears on track and ready to embrace a heavy workload for the Red Wolves. I anticipate back-to-back 100-yard performances for the sophomore ball carrier against the Bobcats on Saturday.

Kevin Mensah, UConn at UMass: O/U 62.5 & UConn -10
Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 14%
Opponent Defense vs. Run: #130 (267.1 ypg.)
Opponent Points Allowed: 49.9 ppg.

Before anyone calls me out on Twitter for my homer selection, allow me to explain my logic and analysis. Among running backs, the UMass matchup is without a doubt the tastiest one this weekend. The Minutemen cannot stop opposing runners, and Coach Randy Edsall prefers to pound the pigskin as long as the Huskies remain competitive in the contest. Therefore, Kevin Mensah is in a smash spot for college fantasy footballers.

In 2018, the Huskies ball carrier surpassed 1,000 yards rushing, and he is likely to exceed the mark once again. “We need more guys like him, to go out and give that kind of effort and put in the amount of time that he puts in to make himself the kind of player that he is. Kevin is going to give you everything he has. You don’t have to worry about that. He’s going to play hard and football is important to him,” UConn coach Randy Edsall said after the USF game on by Jennifer Tolland.

Want to take a walk on Narrative Street? Mensah is from Worchester, Massachusetts and returns to his home state versus the Minutemen. Whoop, Whoop!

On a mud-soaked field at the Rent last year, Mensah totaled 82 yards on 21 carries and scored once. The field at McGuirk Alumni Stadium should be in much better condition on Saturday and Mensah will lead the Huskies to victory, spoiling the Minutemen’s Homecoming celebration. I have already inserted Mensah into a couple of lineups this weekend.

Additional RB Sleeper:

  • Ronnie Rivers, Fresno State vs. Colorado State: O/U 58 & Fresno -14.0
    Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 40%
    Opponent Defense vs. Run: #121 (220 ypg.)
    Opponent Points Allowed: 34.3 ppg.

Twitterverse on Fire!

Who Ya Got? Identify the overlooked running back to place into starting lineups in Week 8.

  • Anthony Jones, Florida International at Middle Tennessee: 23%
  • Tre Harbison, Northern Illinois vs. Akron: 31%
  • Kenan Christon, USC at Colorado: 27%
  • Jordan Cronkrite, South Florida at East Carolina: 19%
    John’s Vote: Jordan Cronkrite

“I have both Tre Harbison and Jordan Cronkrite going this week!” @aceholesrule

“With the news that Rico Dowdle is out, Tavien Feaster, South Carolina looks like a possible start this week as well.” @FBSFantasyFoot

“SaRodorick Thompson is who I’m rolling with this week. Over 200 yards and four touchdowns in the last two weeks. Playing a weak Kansas run defense, he should feast!” @AddisonButler17

“Start A. Jones with confidence and you’re welcome.” @brentonbender7

College Fantasy Football Sleepers: Wide Receiver

Jared Smart, Hawaii at New Mexico: O/U 69.5 & Hawaii -10.0
Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 6%
Opponent Defense vs. Pass: #130 (348 ypg.)
Opponent Points Allowed: 36.6 ppg.

I have been a fan of the run-and-shoot offense since the mid-Eighties. Watching the Houston Gamblers of the USFL and the Houston Oilers memorized me. I’ll never forget Jim Kelly and Warren Moon slinging the football down the field to a plethora of speedy playmakers…It was magical.

Hawaii is one of my beloved teams to watch since Coach Nick Rolovich went back to the future and reinstalled the most exciting passing game in college football. My only disappointment is that the Rainbows kickoff many of their games so late on the East Coast: I often fall asleep before the game begins. Ugh!

On Monday, Coach Rolovich announced that Melquise Stovall was no longer on the team. With Stovall departed, additional snaps and targets are now available for other members of the team. Jared Smart is most likely to benefit from the rotation change among the wide receiver corps.

A junior, Smart is a JUCO transfer from Laney College in Oakland California and is second on the team in receptions (43) and yards (517). He averages 12 yards per catch with a long of 25. Smart has displayed his high-ceiling fantasy production twice this season: He produced 21 fantasy points versus Central Arkansas and totaled 19.5 points against Air Force last week.

I acquired Smart off the waiver wire in a CFF Dynasty and redraft league this week. He is still far too under owned across the hobby and should be gobbled up before his price increases. I anticipate another industrious outing against New Mexico.

Geraud Sanders, Air Force vs. Utah State: O/U 58 & Air Force -3.5
Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 2%
Opponent Defense vs. Pass: #110 (270 ypg.)
Opponent Points Allowed: 23 ppg.

Air Force receiver Jalen Robinette is one of my favorite college players over the past decade. I liked playing the Falcons’ home run hitter in DFS and season-long lineups. I take calculated risks when making decisions, and Robinette provided a huge return on investments in the right matchups. In his last two seasons on campus, he averaged 26.3 yards per catch and scored 11 times. Amazingly, Robinette’s production came in a triple-option attack.

In 2019, Air Force employs another boom-or-bust home run hitter. WR Geraud Sanders leads the nation in yards per catch at 23.95 while Oklahoma’s Charleston Rambo is second at 22.71. “It’s a good trade-off. It’s kind of funny to look at other team’s stats and see players with 15 catches a game. You kind of chuckle. My days of that are over. In high school, I was doing that every game. But coming here, it was different at first. It took me a while to change, but now I understand with maturity what this offense is and how much it can affect me. Three catches for a good amount of yards is pretty solid when you’re getting the ball thrown to you and they trust you. So it’s pretty fun,” Sanders said on the by Brent Briggeman.

A senior, Sanders leads the club in every receiving category with 20 catches for 479 yards and four touchdowns. He also dominates in target share at 57% (37) and has a 54% catch rate. Sanders, 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, constantly beats defenders vertically, and Utah State surrenders far too many yards down the field. Do not fear placing Sanders into lineups this weekend.

Additional WR Sleepers:

  • Justin Hall, Ball State vs. Ohio: O/U 62.5 & Ball State -2.5
    Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 19%
    Opponent Defense vs. Pass: #103 (260.3 ypg.)
    Opponent Points Allowed: 30.7 ppg.
  • Jaylon Redd, Oregon vs. Washington State: O/U 64.5 & Oregon -14.0
    Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 13%
    Opponent Defense vs. Pass: #104 (261.9 ypg.)
    Opponent Points Allowed: 28.7 ppg.

Twitterverse on Fire!

Who Ya Got? Identify the sleeper wide receiver to place into starting lineups in Week 9.

  • Jauan Jennings, Tennessee vs. South Carolina: 35%
  • Andrew Parchment, Kansas vs. Texas Tech: 28%
  • Victor Tucker, Charlotte vs. North Texas: 4%
  • Jared Smart, Hawaii at New Mexico: 33%
    John’s Vote: Jared Smart

“Hawaii WR J. Smart has had some sneaky good weeks already. With Stovall no longer around, he could be in for a big week and more targets moving forward.” @brentonbender7

“I voted for A. Parchment. He’s been solid much of the year and a clear top target, so he’s safer than Smart (shorter ceiling, but taller floor). Also, like the change Kansas made at offensive coordinator a couple of weeks ago, which paid off against Texas. Plus, Texas Tech’s defense allows 9.0 YPPA (122nd).” @CFBWinningEdge

CFF on CampusAlso, be sure to check out Justin Heisey, The Gridiron Scholar John Laub, and InThisLeague’s Scott Bogman’s podcast CFF: On Campus for weekly College Fantasy Football news and analysis on Apple Podcasts or Spreaker.

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