College Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 12 Gemstones
On Sundays, I really enjoy my morning routine during the fall. At 6 AM, I wake to feed the dogs, and of course, I brew my coffee to open my eyes and jolt the brain awake. Within the hour, I begin my college fantasy football waiver wire research. Later, I make breakfast for the family around 9 AM.
All of my readers are the beneficiaries of my predictable Sunday. Every week, CFF Diehards must work the waiver wire and upgrade the depth on their teams. Eric Froton and I locate the top players to acquire in college fantasy football leagues this week in time for the playoffs.
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Week 12 College Fantasy Football Waiver Wire
Bailey Hockman, North Carolina State (Laub)
Fantrax Ownership: 1%
It is easy to overlook how well Bailey Hockman has played over the past two weeks. First, he plays in the same state as Sam Howell. Second, Hockman was not expected to be the full-time starter for the Wolfpack this year.
Yet, the redshirt junior has piloted the North Carolina State aerial attack to fantasy relevance in back-to-back games. At 6’2” and 200-pounds, the lefty ranks among the top twelve CFF signal-callers with over 58 fantasy points. He has passed for 513 yards and totaled six touchdowns, scoring over 28 points in consecutive games.
After the decisive victory over Florida State on Saturday, Hockman earned the game ball by coach Dave Doeren. “Bailey operated well. He was on fire early, he was very accurate. He had a great week of practice. He was very well prepared, he knew what he was looking at, he knew where to go with the football,” Doeren detailed after Hockman’s performance against Florida State (newsobserver.com).
With COVID-19 canceling games on a regular basis, CFF owners may need an emergency starter in the playoffs. I played Hockman on two teams versus the Seminoles and likely will again if needed. In the next two weeks, North Carolina State faces Liberty and Syracuse, and both matchups should provide opportunities for Hockman and the receivers to make plays down the field.
Kaleb Eleby, Western Michigan (Froton)
Fantrax Ownership: 3%
Though they don’t get the kind of hype reserved for the MAC’s more prolific offensive programs, Western Michigan has averaged at least 32 points per game over their last six seasons. For the past three years, Jon Wassink helmed the offense admirably; however, in 2018 he went down with a season-ending injury. With coach Tim Lester in a tough spot, he turned to the highly touted three-star recruit who was rated as the 27th best pro-style quarterback in the 2018 class to lead the Broncos for the remainder of the year.
Eleby had his ups and downs, completing 92-of-147 passes for a 63% completion rate, 1,092 yards, and a 4-3 TD:INT ratio while also punching in three rushing touchdowns in route to a 1-3 record as a starter. All-in-all, it was a valuable learning experience for the talented true freshman in his first taste of collegiate action. Last year, with Wassink back healthy for his senior season, Eleby was able to redshirt and Western Michigan went 7-6 to make their fifth bowl game appearance in the last six seasons.
Now a redshirt sophomore with starting experience and a full year to acclimate to coach Lester’s system, this is Eleby’s team. Week 1 against Akron he only needed to throw 16 passes of which he completed 12 for 262 yards, a gaudy 16.4 yards per attempt, and three touchdowns in a 58-13 laugher against perennial MAC doormat Akron.
Last Wednesday against Toledo, Eleby emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the MAC, completing 20-of-29 passes for 284 yards, three passing touchdowns, and another two touchdowns on the ground in a thrilling 41-38 victory over the MAC West favorite Rockets. He faces another stiff test from the MAC West champs Central Michigan this Wednesday in which he will need to perform well if the Broncos have a chance of winning. He’s well worth a pickup for short-handed teams whose quarterbacks are either on bye or facing the tidal wave of cancellations.
Twitter on Fire!
With Trevor Lawrence sidelined in back-to-back games, who is your Heisman favorite as the college football season hits the homestretch?
- Kyle Trask, Florida: 58%
- Najee Harris, Alabama: 20.5%
- Ian Book, Notre Dame: 5.7%
- Other, post below: 15.9%
“Zach Wilson, BYU!” @TayyibAbu1
“Zach Wilson: Plays quarterback with style and grace and will have more wins than any other quarterback this season.” @aceholesrule
Lew Nichols, Central Michigan (Froton)
Fantrax Ownership: 3%
During his brief, ill-fated coaching tenure at Central Michigan, former Detroit Lions special teams coach John Bonamego took a Central Michigan program that had gone to four consecutive bowl games and promptly ran it into the ground, scoring a paltry 15 ppg. while limping to a 1-11 record. One could certainly argue the merits of hiring ANY coach associated with the moribund Lions franchise, but Bonamego brought a once proud MAC West contender low within one season. He deserved getting the full Cersei Lannister treatment in the streets of Mount Pleasant, MI for his catastrophic coaching performance, rotten tomatoes and all.
In his place, the CMU athletic department hired former Colorado State and Florida offensive guru Jim McElwain, who had just been unceremoniously run out of Gainesville in favor of Mississippi State HC Dan Mullen. After licking his wounds for a year, Jimmy Mac decided to accept the CMU job in an attempt to rebuild his coaching profile and put himself back on the map. Mission accomplished, as he led the Chippewas to the MAC title game in his first season. A Lombardi-esque seven-win improvement over the previous year.
His 1,000-yard RB tandem of Jonathan Ward and Kobe Lewis had a great deal to do with it. Lewis returns and was ranked by all of the reputable CFF prognosticators as a top-10 RB option heading into the 2020 campaign. However, it was projected RB No. 2 Lew Nichols, 5’10” and 220-pounds that really captured my attention as a back with prime sleeper potential. The stocky back ranked as one of the top-70 running backs from the 2019 prep class and spent last year in an apprentice role learning the ropes and being groomed to handle split duties with Lewis this year.
He got his feet wet in their first game against Ohio, rushing nine times for 31 yards while catching four passes for 29 yards in the passing game. However last week against NIU he finally lived up to his lofty prep billing, carrying 12 times for 91 yards and a touchdown on the ground in addition to reeling in two passes for 58 yards and another touchdown in his breakout, 29-point fantasy performance. He even outplayed Lewis in the game despite receiving two fewer touches. With the 1-2 punch now firmly in place, expect some serious fireworks this Wednesday when CMU takes on division rival Western Michigan Wednesday. He’s an excellent pickup in all 12-plus team formats.
Travis Dye, Oregon (Laub)
Fantrax Ownership: 17%
Offensive coordinators yearn to exploit matchups, and speed often presents the best opportunity to design big plays. The Ducks employ high-octane athletes all over the formation, and Travis Dye exemplifies coordinator Joe Moorhead’s creativity and acumen.
In the fourth quarter, Oregon led Washington State by six points with nearly ten minutes remaining. Morehead and Dye abused the Cougars’ man coverage; the speedster took advantage of being matched up with a defensive end. Dye’s route took him to the sideline and up the field. A perfect pass and catch left the overmatched defender in the dust.
“We’ve been working on those plays all week. I knew that I was going to be matched up with the D-end and I told Tyler before the play, ‘If I’m even, I’m leaving.’ I was even with the dude at the line of scrimmage and I left him,” Dye said after scoring from 71 yards on an exquisitely designed pass route (oregonlive.com).
Dye scored twice against Washington State and totaled 141 yards from scrimmage. In the first two games of the campaign, he is one of the most explosive and efficient runners in the nation. On only 13 touches, the Dynamic Duck has totaled 219 yards and scored three total touchdowns. He has averaged 12 yards per carry and over 43 yards per catch.
Clearly, Dye is not for CFF diehards who covet runners with volume and large opportunity share of the backfield touches. The 5’10” and 200-pound junior is an outlier based on touches in terms of production and efficiency and is a risky flex option. Nonetheless, the reward is so high for those managers who embrace the risk.
In the next two weeks, Oregon hosts UCLA and travels to Oregon State. Both opposing defenses present favorable matchups for the Ducks. Morehead will surely scheme opportunities to get the ball into Dye’s hands in one-on-one situations in space over the next two games, which foretells fantasy production.
CFF All-Americans: Week 11
QB Sam Howell, North Carolina: 52.1 points
RB Kevin Harris, South Carolina: 54.3 points
RB Caleb Huntley, Ball State: 40.7 points
WR Elijah Moore, Mississippi: 52 points
WR Jalen Cropper, Fresno State: 48.2 points
WR Ty Fryfogle, Indiana: 43 points
TE Rivaldo Fairweather, Florida International: 24.6 points
Flex Malik Willis, Liberty: 45.9 points
Twitter on Fire!
Do you need a running back on the CFF waiver wire this week: Who Ya Got for the first round of the post-season?
- Deon McIntosh, Washington State: 21.2%
- Tyler Goodson, Iowa: 66.7%
- Chris Rodriguez, Kentucky: 12.1%
“I voted for Deon McIntosh but I am going to be watching Wisconsin because Jalen Berger looked so much more effective than Nakia Watson.” @copieps
“Tyler Goodson! Iowa RBs are BACK, BABY!” @aceholesrule
WR Bo Melton, Rutgers (Froton)
Fantrax Ownership: 5%
Average targets per game: 7.0
Team market share: 19.9%
The prodigal son coach Greg Schiano came back to rescue a flailing Rutgers program that has spent their entire Big Ten existence as the league’s premier punching bag. It was as if every Big Ten team was prime Mike Tyson, and Rutgers was Leon Spinks on a weekly basis. In Week 1 all that changed, as the Scarlet Knights pulled off an improbable 38-27 victory over new coach Mel Tucker’s Michigan State Spartans who coughed up an unbelievable seven turnovers.
In these first four games of 2020, Rutgers has scored at least 20 points in each game against formidable Big Ten competition. It doesn’t sound that impressive until you remember that this program is barely averaging 15 ppg. over the last four seasons where they played an off-conference schedule against teams like Howard, Montana State, Kansas, EMU, New Mexico, UMass, and Liberty.
Their breakout star of the early going has been senior wideout, Bo Melton. The 5’11”, 191-pound dynamo has racked up 16 receptions for 284 yards and four touchdowns over his last three games. His signature performance came last week in a heartbreaking 23-20 last-second loss to Illinois in which he caught five passes for 150 yards, a stupefying 30 ypc. and two touchdowns, burning everything in his path like “Melton” lava.
This week Rutgers plays an inept Michigan team with a head coach that may very well be going “Full Petrino” in honor of the former Louisville coach who put forth what I consider to be the gold standard of “fire me, pay me” coaching performances of this millennium. He cared so little about his team’s fortunes that he would show up to work, close his door until practice started and leave immediately thereafter…likely with a perky grad student on the back of his motorcycle.
As if that weren’t appealing enough, the Knights take on Purdue, the Penn State Nittany Kittens, and a defensively challenged Maryland team. You really can’t ask for a better remaining slate from a Big Ten East team. Melton is well worth a flyer in leagues that are running through December, and at a 4% ownership rate, he’s available almost everywhere.
Trevon Grimes, Florida (Laub)
Fantrax Ownership: 36%
Average targets per game: 4.8
Team market share: 13.2%
The Florida Gators’ offense continually reaches overdrive, and QB Kyle Trask has ascended into the Heisman conversation with a campaign that harkens back to Danny Wuerffel’s historic 1996 season. With TE Kyle Pitts sidelined, WR Trevon Grimes has benefited from the additional targets in the passing game.
Over the last three games, Grimes has logged 11 receptions for 169 yards and three touchdowns on 17 targets. In the blowout versus Arkansas, the Senior recorded the finest game of his career with six catches for 109 yards and two scores.
In high school, Grimes was a track and field sprinter. In Florida, he was the state champion in the 300-meter hurdles as a freshman and sophomore and finished second on the 110-meter hurdles as a freshman.
As a recruit, Rivals, ESPN, and 247Sports all graded Grimes as a five-star prospect, and PrepStar ranked him as the No. 11 overall player and No. 1 WR prospect. After high school, he attended Ohio State for a short time. He left the Buckeyes’ program early in the season before transferring to Florida and being ruled eligible to play in 2018.
In his first two seasons on campus, Grimes registered 59 catches for 855 yards and five touchdowns. In 2020, he has increased his career numbers with 19 receptions for 303 yards, averaging 15.9 ypc., and five touchdowns.
Any player tethered to Trask must be placed on CFF diehards’ radar. Florida has Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Tennessee on the upcoming schedule which are favorable matchups for the passing game. As the CFF playoffs begin, the 6’4” and 218-pounder is a valuable receiver option.
Twitter on Fire!
Seeking a wide receiver on the CFF waiver wire this week: Who Ya Got?
- Renard Bell, Washington State: 33.3%
- Jaquarii Roberson, Wake Forest: 37.5%
- Justin Hall, Ball State: 25%
- Other, post below: 4.2%
“Justin Hall gets the ball in so many ways and has such a great schedule.” @aceholesrule
QB Grant Wells, Marshall
Fantrax Ownership: 30%
QB Luke McCaffrey, Nebraska
Fantrax Ownership: 24%
RB Rhamondre Stevenson, Oklahoma
Fantrax Ownership: 42%
RB Zander Horvath, Purdue
Fantrax Ownership: 10%
RB Calvin Turner, Hawaii
Fantrax Ownership: 48%
RB Rahjai Harris, East Carolina
Fantrax Ownership: 16%
WR Jaquarii Roberson, Wake Forest
Fantrax Ownership: 14%
Average targets per game: 8.3
Team market share: 27.4%
TE Greg Dulcich, UCLA
Fantrax Ownership: 14%
Average targets per game: 6.5
Team market share: 20.6
Make sure to also check out John’s College Fantasy Football Waiver Wire from last week to see if any of those players are available.
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