Before kickoff to the buffet of games this weekend, the narrative centered around the lack of Top 25 matchups on the docket. As a college fantasy football diehard, I did not care and looked forward to all of the action across the nation.
There were many tremendous games and player performances to enjoy that impacted CFF contests. I am joined by Joe Goodwin and Volume Pigs each week to assist in pinpointing the finest players on the waiver wire…Let’s Go!
Week 3 College Fantasy Football Waiver Wire
Kaidon Salter, Liberty (Goodwin)
Fantrax Rostership: 34%
Total Fantasy Points: 103.6
Mr. Salter had himself a day this weekend! Kaidon threw for 344 yards and five touchdowns against Buffalo. That effort alone is Herculean. Impressively, Salter added 66 yards rushing and another touchdown to his overall performance.
At 6’1″ and 200 pounds, Salter has made good use of his body, which is perfectly built to be a running back more than a quarterback. He combines those skill sets and is quickly becoming a CFF dual-threat quarterback. Salter has 763 yards passing, nine aerial strikes and ZERO interceptions for the season. On the ground, he has 191 yards rushing with three touchdowns. Salter has been highly efficient in his first three games and has yet to throw an interception.
Entering Tennessee as a 4-star prospect, Salter only stayed one year before entering the transfer portal, where he ended up signing with Liberty. The sophomore has NFL potential if he continues to produce as a passer and runner. In each of his first three games, he has gotten better and better, capped off by a 46.4-point fantasy performance against Buffalo. CFF managers should take note and roster him immediately.
Notebook: “It all starts up front with the O-line, giving me time to make throws to the right people. The receivers we got go out there and make plays on the ball. They understand that if I get out of the pocket the play is not dead. They have to keep moving,” Salter said after the victory over Buffalo (libertyflames.com)
Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi, Colorado State (Laub)
Fantrax Rostership: 1%
Total Fantasy Points: 34.8
After UConn lost to FIU in West Hartford, I wanted to get home in time to watch the Colorado State-Colorado game that kicked off at 10:00 PM—I might have driven a little over the speed limit to make it back. I took my dogs for a quick walk outside and sat down in my chair to watch the Rams and Buffaloes for the remainder of the evening…The game did not disappoint.
The Rams scored 35 points and generated 499 yards of total offense in the double-overtime loss. QB Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi impressed me with his mastery of coach Mike Norvell’s and Matt Mumme’s offensive scheme.
He completed 34-of-47 passes for 367 yards and three touchdowns against Colorado. Unfortunately, he needs to be more careful with the football after being picked off three times. From a CFF perspective, the redshirt freshman does not appear to offer rushing upside.
The 6’1” 205-pounder replaced Clay Millen, the former starter, behind center in the first game of the campaign. In about six quarters of action, Fowler-Nicolosi has connected on 70% of his throws for 577 yards and five aerial strikes against four interceptions.
Take a look at the remaining schedule for the Rams: To be kind, it is very soft. In the next two weeks, Colorado State plays Middle Tennessee and Utah Tech, and Fowler-Nicolosi will likely attempt 80 passes in the two games combined…I will bet on volume for CFF quarterbacks.
Notebook: “I think we did a great job on offense tonight. There were a couple of mistakes I made that I simply can’t…turnovers can’t happen. Credit to my receivers. I think every loss hurts, but this one does hurt a little bit more, just the way we lost it. This game means so much to so many people, specifically in Colorado…It’s brutal,” Fowler-Nicolosi stated after the loss to in-state rival Colorado (csurams.com).
Haynes King, Georgia Tech (Volume Pigs)
Fantrax Rostership: 20%
Total Fantasy Points: 85.9
Surely not, right? The guy who transferred out of Texas A&M because he couldn’t hack it? That’s right, Haynes King (6’3″ and 204 pounds) is producing like a stud right now, and—our previous biases aside—we must acknowledge his performance. King has failed to score less than 28 points in his three games so far, which includes contests versus Louisville, South Carolina State (FCS), and Mississippi.
The last performance in particular stands out to me, where King threw over 300 yards, two aerial strikes, and accumulated 43 rushing yards and another score on the ground against the Rebels, an SEC foe. The stats netted him a cool 33.55 fantasy points (his best output of the season so far). King plays at Wake Forest this weekend, which offers another intriguing matchup for him to possibly devour.
Notebook: “(Haynes) King has played like one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC through three games and he has been a great story. He has had to perform at his best with the defense playing poorly and he has answered the call,” wrote Jackson Caudell after the game versus Mississippi (si.com).
Honorable Mention Quarterbacks
- Thomas Castellanos, Boston College
Fantrax Rostership: 7%
Total Fantasy Points: 76.8
- T.J. Finley, Texas State
Fantrax Rostership: 22%
Total Fantasy Points: 73.4
Notebook: “Every drive we had an explosive play…we scored. We’re just trying to do our job. We’re in an explosive offense. We’re going to go fast, and we’re going to push the ball downfield,” Finley said after the Week 1 victory over Baylor (fox8live.com).
CFF Twitterverse on Fire!
Who is the top quarterback on the CFF waiver wire?
- Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi, Colorado State: 11%
- Haynes King, Georgia Tech: 10%
- Kaidon Salter, Liberty: 65%
- Darren Grainger, Georgia State: 14%
“It’s Kaidon Salter Time. He is everything Liberty hoped with Malik Willis but better. He has 12 total touchdowns, 750-plus yards through the air and almost 200 on the ground.” @NinoBrown_T2T
“Kaidon Salter is Salty!” @CffNation
“I will be in the minority, but I will take Darren Grainger. While Salter is younger and has more upside, I will take Grainger’s steady hand.” @aceholesrule
“Kaidon Salter, if he is still on your waiver wire, just look at his schedule.” @JustinNottingh6
“Kaiden Salter is a perfect fit for coach Jamey Chadwell’s offense, and we saw what that unit is capable of yesterday.” @CFBWinningEdge
Darius Taylor, Minnesota (Laub)
Fantrax Rostership: 26%
Total Fantasy Points: 52.2
In April 2022, Darius Taylor committed to Minnesota over a home state school, Michigan State, and other programs. Last November, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh extended a scholarship offer to Taylor. Coach PJ Fleck was anxious; yet, Taylor remained committed to the Golden Gophers.
With former Minnesota RB Mohamed Ibrahim leaving school, Taylor would have an opportunity to compete for the starting assignment. After earning only one carry in the opener, the true freshman has taken hold of the backfield duties in the past two weeks, rushing for 331 yards on 55 carries, averaging over six ypc., and scoring twice.
At 5’11” and 195 pounds, Taylor was a four-star recruit and No. 12 RB prospect in the nation by Rivals. As a senior in high school, he scampered for 2,450 yards with 36 scores and established a single-game school record with 438 yards on the ground. CFF managers seek runners in coach Fleck’s ground game, and Taylor might become one of the best waiver wire acquisitions in 2023.
Notebook: “(Taylor) put on weight right away, and that just showed me this guy is willing to do whatever it takes to play. Not only to play, but to win. I’m just super happy for him. You can see the way he runs, I mean, he wants it. I’m just super proud of him, and he’s a good guy,” Minnesota quarterback and teammate Athan Kaliakmanis said (Twincities.com).
Blake Watson, Memphis (Goodwin)
Fantrax Rostership: 55%
Total Fantasy Points: 81.5
In Memphis’ victory over Navy, Blake Watson was a rock star! He ran the ball ten times for 169 yards and a touchdown. He also grabbed six passes for 68 yards.
On the season, Watson has 295 yards rushing, 130 yards receiving, and four touchdowns. He has been the star Memphis was hoping for since he transferred from Old Dominion this past offseason after being a three-star recruit for the Monarchs in 2018.
Although the schedule gets more challenging, Watson has shown that he is a valuable commodity in CFF between running and catching the ball, and managers should look to add him in all formats.
Notebook: “I tried to stay patient, and my O-line worked for me. We are always trying to make plays no matter the situation in the game,” Blake Watson said in the post-game interview after the Navy game (youtube.com).
Kyle Monangai, Rutgers (Volume Pigs)
Fantrax Rostership: 11%
Total Fantasy Points: 70.0
At 5’9” and 210 pounds, Kyle Monangai will undoubtedly be one of the hottest names on the wire this week. After breaking out two weeks ago (28 carries, 165 yards, and a score versus Temple), many CFF managers were in ‘wait and see’ mode. After all, it was his teammate—freshman Jashon Benjamin, who paced the Scarlet Knights in carries in Week One with 20.
However, now we have back-to-back data points from Monangai where he’s been the lead back and produced at an elite level. This past Saturday, he carried the ball 16 times for 143 yards and three scores (33.6 fantasy points). That was music to my ears as a shareholder in a 24-team league in which I coach a team.
A word of caution is that Rutgers may struggle more in conference play. It will be tough to replicate this performance next week against Michigan, but after that Rutgers gets FCS program Wagner. Wisconsin in Week Five doesn’t appear to be as daunting as previously thought, and then they have a nice stretch with Michigan State and Indiana before their bye week. There is definitely some value here, but I wouldn’t expect Monangai to be a plug-and-play guy right away against the Wolverines.
Notebook: “Yeah, he’s (Monangai) running very, very hard, running smart, running determined. Thank goodness, right, because he’s helped us win games,” Rutgers coach Greg Schiano divulged after the game against Virginia Tech (nypost.com).
Honorable Mention Running Backs
- Jordan Waters, Duke
Fantrax Rostership: 26%
Total Fantasy Points: 63.6
- Emani Bailey, TCU
Fantrax Rostership: 25%
Total Fantasy Points: 49.6
Week 3 CFF All-Portal Team* (Goodwin)
QBs Tyler Buchner and Ty Simpson, Alabama
Fantrax Rostership: 28% & 22%
This season has not gone as planned for the Crimson Tide, and for the first time in 128 weeks, Alabama has fallen outside the AP College Football Poll. Tyler Buchner has 19 passing attempts but only completed eight for 61 yards and was pulled in the game last week in favor of Ty Simpson. In relief against South Florida, Simpson completed five of nine passes for 73 yards.
RB Josh McCray, Illinois
Fantrax Rostership: 83%
With only 19 carries in three games that amassed 48 yards, it is time to cut ties with Josh McCray. His lone value was his ability in short-yardage and goal-line opportunities. Since the Fighting Illini have made junior Reggie Love the “go-to” running back in the offense, McCray has struggled to be effective in his limited carries. Too many other running backs offer more upside to continue holding a spot for McCray on your roster.
RB Nakia Watson, Washington State
Fantrax Rostership: 61%
After three weeks, the Cougars need to establish a running game that will produce fantasy relevance. Watson has 27 total carries in three games that Washington State has played and has 82 yards; that’s a three-yard average per attempt. He is not worth rostering on CFF teams.
TE Erick All, Iowa
Fantrax Rostership: 72%
Erick All will remain on many NFL radars, but as for CFF, he is worth dropping. Through three games, he has nine targets, seven receptions for 81 yards, and one touchdown. Things only get more difficult for Iowa as the meat of the Big 10 schedule begins. Tight end is challenging to find a CFF contributor, but All has yet to prove he can provide enough upside to continue to roster him.
*Players who CFF managers should consider sending to their league’s free agent pool in order to upgrade rosters.
CFF Twitterverse on Fire!
On the waiver wire, who is the top CFF ball carrier?
- Jordan Waters, Duke: 19%
- Jaylin Lucas, Indiana: 8%
- Darius Taylor, Minnesota: 58%
- Roydell Williams, Alabama: 15%
“I think the takeover by Darius Taylor in the backfield is legit in Minnesota.” @CffNation
“I’m going with Jordan Waters here. In 3 games, he averages 7.5 ypc. Add in the five touchdowns and the option of pass-catching with four receptions for 56 yards, and I love Waters going forward. Especially with dual-threat QB Riley Leonard…Defenses can’t just dial him up.” @NinoBrown_T2T
“Darius Taylor: CFF coaches found their workhorse in the Fleck offense. The schedule is rough at times, but you’re going to get volume no matter what.” @JustinNottingh6
“Roydell Williams for me. Even while drafting McClellan in two leagues, I was tweeting about Roydell spoiling the fun. Sadly, I was right.” @aceholesrule
“If Darius Taylor is still available, he is the one. I didn’t prioritize him enough last week, and I’ll admit that I was wrong regarding his ascension and Sean Tyler’s role. It looks like Tyler is history there…Taylor is in line for big-boy workloads going forward it appears.” @VolumePigs
Javon Harvey, Old Dominion (Volume Pigs)
Fantrax Rostership: 37%
Total Fantasy Points: 25.6
Javon Harvey has seemingly emerged from whatever off-field issue/mystery injury/college hijinks induced slumber that was ailing him. After being touted as a potential league-winning late-round playmaker in the offseason (cough cough, looking at you, VP), Harvey, 6’0″ and 178 pounds, appeared to be making good on that promise on Saturday.
After playing only one snap the week before (on special teams), Harvey torched the Wake Forest secondary with 166 yards and a score. While the output is great, I would have liked to see more involvement in the offense—Harvey was only targeted five times, catching three. I imagine in most leagues whoever drafted him likely discarded him by now, so he’s a guy that if you can afford to stash with a wait-and-see note pending, might be worthwhile.
Notebook: After the loss against Wake Forest, Harvey said “I’m highly disappointed. But you don’t dwell on it. You go out to practice and learn from your mistakes.” (odusports.com)
Robert Lewis, Georgia State (Laub)
Fantrax Rostership: 12%
Total Fantasy Points: 92.7
Numbers do not always provide a detailed picture of a player. Nonetheless, there are times in which the statistics can not be ignored and provide huge insight. Georgia State is undefeated and employs one of the elite offensive triplets in the nation: QB Darren Grainger, RB Marcus Carroll, and WR Robert Lewis. During the first three games of the campaign, the three players combined for 89.9 FPPG.
Why is Lewis rostered on so few teams? He is the twelfth-most productive fantasy wide receiver and only 9% of CFF managers started the Panthers’ playmaker in Week 3. Averaging over 20 ypc., the redshirt junior has earned 21 targets, secured 17 receptions for 347 yards, and scored four times.
A member of the Sun Belt, the Panthers schedule is not intimidating, and they play Coastal Carolina and Troy in the next two weeks before a bye. Open the waiver wire, search for Lewis, and place a healthy bid on him. He will surely see an upward jump in rostership after waivers run.
Notebook: “A year ago, Lewis was emerging early as that guy. He was catching touchdowns. He was having big games for us. Then he got banged up. But you’re looking for a player who does the right things, he’s on point. He is going to step into that role and continue,” coach Shawn Elliot proclaimed last February (ajc.com).
TE Dallin Holker, Colorado State (Goodwin)
Fantrax Rostership: 29%
Total Fantasy Points: 44.6
Saturday night, the matchup between Colorado and Colorado State was electric. The Buffaloes may have been victorious in a game that went to two overtimes, but Dallin Holker shined in a contest with many stars. Making six grabs for 109 yards and two touchdowns, Holker was efficient with his targets and a favorite option of QB Fowler-Nicolosi.
After spending three years at BYU, Holker is breaking out at Colorado State. At 6’5″ and 235 pounds, he has already matched his touchdown total for his three prior seasons combined. The junior has 11 catches for 156 yards and three touchdowns in the first two games of the campaign. In a year when many elite tight-end prospects have yet to perform consistently for CFF managers, Holker may be carving out a niche as a dependable option with an upside for the 2023 season.
Notebook: “Dallin has all the qualities that we look for in a tight end and I think he fits our offense perfectly. He understands space, he’s a good wide receiver, he’s got great hands, he’s very smart,” coach Mike Norvell asserted at the Mountain West media days in August (denvergazette.com).
Honorable Mention Wide Receivers
- CJ Daniels, Liberty
Fantrax Rostership: 6%
Total Fantasy Points: 47.2
- Caullin Lacy, South Alabama
Fantrax Rostership: 23%
Total Fantasy Points: 68.3
- Lincoln Victor, Washington State
Fantrax Rostership: 44%
Total Fantasy Points: 77.7
CFF Twitterverse on Fire!
Who is your preferred playmaker in the free agent pool?
- Eric McAlister, Boise State: 6%
- Robert Lewis, Georgia State: 38%
- Xzavier Henderson, Cincinnati: 35%
- Caullin Lacy, South Alabama: 21%
“This poll is a little tougher, but I like Robert Lewis. Caullin Lacy is a close second. Georgia State just opens up the offense more than South Alabama does.” @JustinNottingh6
“Robert Lewis for me. Big plays. Nice offense. Easy schedule. What more do you want?”@aceholesrule
“As much as I dislike coach Scott Satterfield, the Bearcats are good. QB Emory Jones is alive and WR Xzavier Henderson is back. The numbers may seem odd, but week 5 was a ground-and-pound attack versus Pittsburgh. When Jones airs it out, Henderson is priority No. 1. He has averaged 15 ypc. and twice went over 140 yards receiving. Find the endzone more often, and we are good.” @NinoBrown_T2T
“It could be a great week to jump in on Caullin Lacy, as it appears his counterpart, Devin Voisin, may be out with a torn ACL.” @CFFLists
CFF All-Americans: Week 3
- QB Garrett Shrader, Syracuse: 48.8
- QB Kaidon Salter, Liberty: 46.4
- RB Blake Watson, Memphis: 35.7
- RB Devin Neal, Kansas: 33.8
- WR Malik Nabers, LSU: 48.9
- WR Tory Horton, Colorado State: 40.5
- WR Robert Lewis, Georgia State: 40.0
- TE Dallin Holker, Colorado State: 28.9
- Flex Ray Davis, Kentucky: 31.9