College Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 2 Gemstones
Driving home from the Purdue-UConn game on Saturday, my best friend asked how do you find the time to write your weekly College Fantasy Football waiver wire column? Easy answer: My wife is a wonderful woman and so patient. She supports my love of college football and my hobby.
Excited to start my column this week, I got out of bed at 5 AM despite my wife’s hope that I would sleep in a little more. In order to show my love and appreciation, I fed the dogs and made her pancakes in bed later. Afterward, I began putting together my thoughts for this week’s column.
Even if you began the season winless, as I have on two teams, continue to improve your roster. My college fantasy football diehard and friend, JD Yonke, @YonkersCFB, has joined me to identify the top players to target off the college fantasy football waiver wire this week.
College Fantasy Football provides alternative-reality zealots, NFL Draftniks, and Dynasty and Devy owners a competitive advantage against their opponents. What are you waiting for this summer? Get off the sideline and into the game on Fantrax. We guarantee that you will not regret playing in a CFF league this fall.
Week 2 College Fantasy Football Waiver Wire
Jayden de Laura, Washington State (Laub)
Fantrax Ownership: 20%
From the East Coast, it seemed bizarre that Jayden de Laura could not beat out former Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano for the starting job in Spokane, Washington during training camp. The former Volunteers’ signal-caller opened the season behind center but got hurt in the second quarter against Utah State.
De Laura came off the bench and played well. Yet. He could not lead the Cougars to a victory. According to coach Nick Rolovich, one of the challenges was that de Laura checked out of running plays too often. Against Portland State, the coach rectified the issue and limited the quarterback’s ability to change the play pre-snap.
The new constraints and play designs worked much better. De Laura completed 21 of 29 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns while leading Washington State to a 44-24 victory. Rolovich also implemented a hurry-up offense, which led to four consecutive scores in the second quarter. ”This was in our plans. Jayden plays well at that pace, and (he) was very effective today,” coach Rolovich stated after the game (wsucougars.com).
Many college fantasy footballers have been patient waiting for Rolovich’s run-and-shoot scheme to take flight, and de Laura looks like the captain who can keep the aerial assault skyward. With some top quarterbacks playing poorly and others suffering injuries after two weeks, de Laura is a nice replacement on the college fantasy football waiver wire.
Jaren Hall, BYU (Yonke)
Fantrax Ownership: 8%
A surprise to many who anticipated a drop-off for this Cougars’ offense after losing so much from a season ago when they scored 43.5 points per game, BYU has started their season 2-0 with two wins over PAC-12 opponents. Jaren Hall is the man tasked with replacing the 2nd overall Draft pick Zach Wilson, as so far he has filled in admirably.
The passing stats won’t blow you away, but Hall has proven to be a dangerous dual-threat after running for 128 yards on only 13 carries over his first two contests. Hall has ridden that rushing production to the tune of 25.4 fantasy points against Arizona and 33.1 points against a very solid Utah defense.
Hall is producing despite most of the top options and offense line being gone from a year ago and facing two Power 5 opponents to start the year. Although the BYU schedule is a relatively difficult one in regards to scoring points, he gets two nice matchups in his next three games with South Florida and Utah State on the schedule. Hall is a nice bench QB option whose rushing stats will provide him with a solid floor while also throwing for five touchdowns in his first two games as a starter.
Seth Henigan, Memphis (Laub)
Fantrax Ownership: 1%
I am surprised that the Big 12 did not extend an invitation to Memphis to join the Conference. The Tigers have consistently orchestrated one of the more explosive attacks in the nation and won many games. In the future, Memphis should earn an invite to a Power 5 conference.
For now, CFF diehards can enjoy watching the offense produce prodigious points each week. In their first two games, the Tigers have scored 42 and 55 points against Nicholls and Arkansas State respectively behind their new quarterback Seth Henigan.
Against the Red Wolves, Henigan finished with 417 passing yards; the most since Brady White threw for 437 yards in a 34-33 win over South Florida in 2020. He also added five touchdowns. In the first two games of the campaign, the redshirt freshman has thrown for 682 yards and six touchdowns, ranking 28th among CFF signal-callers while producing over 48.5 fantasy points.
In high school, Henigan earned a three-star grade after starting for three seasons and compiling a 39-2 record. He also passed for 7,234 yards and 79 touchdowns against only 14 interceptions.
At 6’3” and 200-pounds, the Denton, Texas native has surpassed transfer Grant Gunnell on the depth chart. I always pluck quarterbacks in electric schemes, and Henigan’s matchups are enticing with Mississippi State, UTSA and Temple on the upcoming docket.
CFF All-Americans: Week 2
QB Sam Howell, UNC: 47.5 points
QB Jake Haener, Fresno State: 44.3 points
RB Chris Rodriguez, Jr., Kentucky: 45.1
RB Calvin Turner, Hawaii: 44.1 points
WR Calvin Austin III, Memphis: 47.9 points
WR Jayden Reed, Michigan State: 43.3 points
WR David Bell, Purdue: 38.7 points
TE Sean Dykes, Memphis: 35.3 points
Flex Blake Corum, Michigan: 44.1 points
Twitterverse on Fire!
After two weeks, Who Ya Got at quarterback?
- Jayden de Laura, Washington State: 11%
- Seth Henigan, Memphis: 25%
- Adrian Martinez, Nebraska: 11%
- Anthony Richardson, Florida: 53%
“It’s probably going to be Richardson just based on his hype, but the unfortunate answer here might be Martinez.” @FF_Guitarist
“If Richardson can get the start, this is a no-brainer! Henigan, as the solidified starter of the Memphis offense, makes him a great value as well!” @CFF_Jared
“Richardson in any league that I don’t have the Gators’ QB, yet.” @CFF_Legend
“The explosiveness of Richardson is incredible. If he is still on the wire, grab him and stash for a week, after Bama, the schedule is tasty.” @JustinNottingh6
“If Richardson is named the starter, this one is easy. Give me the guy that averages 24 pts…FROM THE BENCH!” @aceholesrule
Treyson Potts, Minnesota (Yonke)
Fantrax Ownership: 18%
If you weren’t quick to the chase in picking up Potts off the waiver wire as soon as starting running back (and first-round CFF draft selection in most leagues) Mohamed Ibrahim went down for the season to injury, you may have been given a second chance. Potts is mysteriously only 18% owned in leagues when he should be owned pretty much everywhere. Stop what you are doing and go pick up Potts now if he’s available in your league! What are you waiting for?
While calling for Potts to be a direct replacement for Ibrahim may be setting the bar too high, it’s clear after his first game as starting running back that the Golden Gophers intend to feed him as many carries as he can handle.
That’s exactly what you want to see in fantasy, where volume is king. Potts handled an eye-popping 34 carries against Miami, Ohio, in his first go-around as the lead back last week and produced 178 rushing yards and two scores. He looks great running the football too and is a threat in the receiving game, so he passes the eye test as well.
Last year, we saw Ibrahim get 201 carries in only seven games en route to fantasy gold. You don’t just see that kind of workload very often.
The schedule sets up favorably going forward, with games against Colorado, Bowling Green, Purdue, Nebraska, Maryland, Michigan State, and Illinois all awaiting. If you draft Ibrahim and didn’t handcuff him with Potts, now is your last chance to do so. Expect Potts to be an elite fantasy producer as long as he continues to see such an encouraging workload.
Brandon Thomas, Memphis (Laub)
Fantrax Ownership: 17%
In last week’s column, I identified Brandon Thomas as a waiver wire gemstone. Not many readers decided to heed the advice: Thomas increased from 10% to 17% rostership on CFF teams. After Saturday’s performance, there is no question that college fantasy footballers will seek to add the Memphis game-breaker.
After two games, Thomas leads the nation in rushing yards with 338 yards, averaging 9.9 ypc. on 34 attempts. He has also scored three times. The only blemish on the resume appears to be his lack of pass-catching duties: The freshman runner has not recorded a reception yet. He ranks as the 16th highest-scoring tailback, producing 51.8 fantasy points in 2021.
The Tigers have produced some of the top CFF ball carriers—Darrell Henderson, Tony Pollard, Antonio Gibson, and Kenneth Gainwell—over the past five campaigns. Do not allow Thomas to remain available any longer. He is a must pickup this week.
Evan Hull, Northwestern (Yonke)
Fantrax Ownership: 5%
Similar to the logic used with Potts above, we will be targeting a replacement running back who takes over the lead role for an offense that likes to feed the top dog as much volume as they can handle. When it was announced in mid-August that lead runner Cam Porter would miss the season with an injury, many were left guessing who would take over as the starter for the Northwestern Wildcats.
Well, after two games it would appear that we have our answer: it looks like Evan Hull’s job to lose. The water was still murky after a Week 1 loss to Michigan State when Hull took only nine carries for 87 yards while also having three catches for 23 yards. Solid efficiency, but underwhelming volume.
Although here’s the thing—if you listen to the press conferences after the game, you would have noticed the coaching staff saying that the only reason Hull didn’t receive lead-back volume was that he was playing through a nagging injury. It also didn’t help that his team went down by multiple scores early and resorted to a more pass-heavy attack than usual.
Hull proved last week that he has the starting gig locked down for the time being, taking 22 carries for 126 yards and two scores against Indiana State. If Hull can solidify his role as go-to guy for an offense that handed the ball off to Cam Porter a whopping 73 times over the final three games of 2020, he will be a nice addition to your CFF roster.
Twitterverse on Fire!
Who Ya Got in the backfield after two weeks?
- B.J. Taylor, Oregon State: 6%
- Blake Corum, Michigan: 34%
- Brandon Thomas, Memphis: 27%
- Treyson Potts, Minnesota: 33%
“Brandon Thomas leads a Memphis backfield that is dynamite year in and year out. I will take him.” @aceholesrule
“It reminds me of Kenneth Gainwell a few years ago, took a couple of weeks, I guess no one watches the American conference!” @NichGrays44
“It’s hard not to pick Brandon Thomas. Blake Corum may continue to split time with Haskins. Love the workload of Treyson Potts, but it scares me a bit with that coming against Miami Ohio. If B.J. Taylor can sow up a 60-70 % share of that backfield, he’ll be very intriguing given Smith’s usage of his RB No. 1.” @CffNation
“Thomas and Potts are the two I’ll be aiming for this week!” @CFF_Jared
“Potts, just the volume of carries he got is crazy for CFB in general, let alone CFF. Cash Money!!!!!” @JustinNottingh6
“I’ll take Potts who is the clear No. #1 on his team over Corum in a timeshare.” @sportsdatastuff
Blake Corum, Michigan (Laub)
Fantrax Ownership: 22%
Long before I purchased season tickets to UConn, my fandom centered on Michigan football. My grandparents lived in Detroit, and I rooted for the Wolverines. I have so many memories of the great ball carriers to wear the Maize and Blue in my life: Tyrone Wheatley (4,178 yards and 47 TDs), Anthony Thomas (4,098 yards and 49 TDs), and Mike Hart (5,040 yards and 41 TDs).
Since I have played college fantasy football, there has not been a productive runner at Ann Arbor who CFF managers could rely on every week. To make matters worse, the Michigan offense harkens back to the 1970s with an unimaginable ground game. Therefore, I was reluctant to buy into Blake Corum’s impressive performance (111 rushing yards and a TD) against Western Michigan two weeks ago.
On Saturday evening, Corum surpassed all my expectations while watching the game against Washington. Recording a second 100-yard outing, he rambled for 171 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries. The sophomore has also snatched five passes for 33 yards and a score this year.
At 5’8” and 200-pounds, Corum runs with purpose, passion, and power. In high school, he was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Maryland and rated as a four-star prospect and 12th overall running back in 2019. CFF players may have trepidation acquiring a Michigan runner—I know that I do. Nevertheless, I cannot ignore Corum’s talent and production and will seek to acquire him on as many teams as possible.
Harrison Waylee, Northern Illinois
Fantrax Ownership: 22%
Call me all in on Harrison Waylee, I suppose, after I added him to most of my rosters after an encouraging Week 1 performance with 27 carries for 144 yards and a score against a Power 5 opponent in Georgia Tech. He impressed even more in Week 2 against a typically stout Wyoming defense, again handling a huge workload with 26 carries for 179 yards and two scores. For reference: that’s a Wyoming team that has held teams to 22 points per game or fewer in three straight seasons … and Waylee ran all over them!
It appears as though Waylee will be the go-to guy for this Northern Illinois offense that has looked greatly improved thus far after two games, and you know what that means: volume! I’ll say it again, volume is king in fantasy and you need to chase it. Waylee gives you another bite at the apple of volume, as he is on pace to finish top-10 in the country in carries per game, with possible upside for more.
Waylee impressed as a freshman for an 0-6 Huskies team, finishing with 456 yards in only six games. Keep in mind that this is an offense that has increased their scoring average in three straight seasons (20.1 in 2018, 22.8 in 2019, 24.8 in 2020) and has gradually changed their identity into more of an offense-first oriented approach in the third year under coach Thomas Hammock.
The schedule sets up nicely for Waylee, who will face Maine, Bowling Green, Kent State, Ball State, and Western Michigan in six different plus matchups. The MAC was a high-scoring league in 2020 and appears to be headed in the same direction in 2021. Go grab Waylee now if you play in one of the 78% of leagues where he’s inexplicably still available.
Honorable Mention Gemstones
- QB Anthony Richardson, Florida
Fantrax Ownership: 15%
- QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
Fantrax Ownership: 23%
- RB B.J. Taylor, Oregon
Fantrax Ownership: 1%
- RB Rashaan Ali, Marshall
Fantrax Ownership: 21%
- RB CJ Verdell, Oregon
Fantrax Ownership: 53%
- WR Roderic Burns, North Texas
Fantrax Ownership: 2%
Team Target Share: 34.2%
- WR Samori Toure, Nebraska
Fantrax Ownership: 38%
Team Target Share: 26.8%
- WR Nick Mardner, Hawaii
Fantrax Ownership: 3%
Team Target Share: 16.1%
- TE Brock Bowers, Georgia
Fantrax Ownership: 13%
Team Target Share: 28.6%
- TE Jelani Woods, Virginia
Fantrax Ownership: 13%
Team Target Share: 11.3%
Deven Thompkins, Utah State (Laub)
Fantrax Ownership: 12%
Team Target Share: 29.3%
In the offseason, the hiring of coach Blake Anderson by Utah State went under the radar by many CFF owners. Anderson orchestrated the dynamic passing game at Arkansas State and has implemented his scheme with the Aggies in 2021.
Undefeated after two games, Utah State has produced 531 total yards and 37 points per game behind the former Arkansas State quarterback Logan Bonner and Anderson. Without question, senior receiver Deven Thompkins has become the biggest beneficiary of the new wide-open scheme—take a look at the number of targets and team target share above. “I believe in Coach Blake Anderson’s vision for the team and I believe things are going to get back on track,” Thompkins proclaimed after deciding to return to campus last year (deseret.com).
As for production on the field, Thompkins has logged 16 receptions for 266 yards and two scores this year. While totaling 750 yards and five touchdowns over the past two crusades, the senior corralled only 20 passes last year and 40 in 2019. At 5’7” and 160-pounds, Thompkins has become an elite playmaker for the Aggies in Anderson’s aerial assault and should be rostered on CFF teams.
Jeff Foreman, Arkansas State (Yonke)
Fantrax Ownership: 7%
Team Target Share: 26.7%
It seems that everyone is on the Corey Rucker bandwagon, as the star wide receiver and teammate of Foreman was drafted in the early stages of most CFF drafts. That’s for good reason—Rucker is a monster in his own right who has 214 yards and four touchdowns after only two games. However, people seem to be overlooking the secondary options in this dangerous Arkansas State offense that will support multiple CFF-friendly targets.
Jeff Foreman is currently overlooked in 93% of CFF leagues despite producing 656 receiving yards and four touchdowns over his last five games going back to last season. Yes, you read that correctly — Foreman is on track to produce 1,574 yards and nearly 10 touchdowns if we extrapolate that out to a 12-game season, and yet still nobody wants him on their fantasy team! Most recently, Foreman saw 12 targets against Memphis and exploded for eight catches, 198 yards, and a touchdown.
It’s a perplexing case, but don’t make it worse by leaving Foreman on your waiver wire. We know that Arkansas State will look to keep throwing the ball, as they’ve attempted 102 passes over their first two games. Yes, that’s right—they’re throwing the ball 50-plus times a game so far, and yet no one wants to roster anyone on their team other than Rucker. The volume is unsustainable and will undoubtedly take a slight decrease, but it’s clear that this is a dangerous passing attack that will continue to air-it-out after throwing the ball 42 times per game a season ago.
If Foreman and Rucker are both gone in your league, consider taking a flier on teammate Te’Vailance Hunt, a TCU transfer who has seen 22 targets in his first two games with the team and produced 15 catches, 219 yards, and two scores.
Elijah Cooks, Nevada (Laub)
Fantrax Ownership: 15%
In Nevada, NFL scouts are descending on the campus taking a look at QB Carson Strong and WR Romeo Doubs. In college fantasy football, CFF diehards targeted Doubs and TE Calvin Turner in the receiving corps. With so many options, it was difficult to identify a third playmaker in drafts…Elijah Cooks was clearly overlooked in the Nevada offense.
The Wolf Pack are carving up opponents over the first two weeks of the season. The offense has logged 376.5 passing yards and scored 35.5 points per game. Offensive Coordinator Matt Mumme will continue to throw the football over 40 times a game, and there are plenty of targets available for all the Nevada wideouts.
As a junior in 2019, Cooks paced Nevada in nearly every receiving category, setting single-season career highs in catches (76), receiving yards (926), and touchdown receptions (8). Last year, he suffered a shoulder injury and only played in a couple of series. In two games this year, he recorded nine receptions for 112 yards and three touchdowns.
At 6’4” and 215-pounds, Cooks has a frame that entices scouts, and he is a good route runner who wins in 50-50 matchups with the ball in the air. Wide receivers tethered to elite passers are always worth rostering in CFF leagues, and the senior home run hitter should not be available in so many leagues.
Twitterverse on Fire!
Who Ya Got at Wide Receiver after two weeks?
- Jeff Foreman, Arkansas State: 9%
- Deven Thompkins, Utah State: 52%
- Jonathan Mingo, Mississippi: 23%
- Samori Toure, Nebraska: 16%
“I would love to answer this Jeff Foreman but between the two QB’s and the three WR’s, there is so much uncertainty with Arkansas State.” @copieps
“I will go with little Deven Thompkins. Great list of WRs here but Thompkins is SO EXPLOSIVE!” @aceholesrule
“I vote for Nykeim Johnson, Kent St.” @CFF_Legend
“Thompkins needs to be on someone’s roster in every single league! This is non-negotiable!” @CFF_Jared
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