Luckily, none of my college fantasy football teams are winless like UConn (0-4). At least in today’s world, I can watch other games on my cell phone while the Huskies (I am a season-ticket holder) get whacked on the field at the Rent.
By halftime, I began to seek waiver wire gemstones for our weekly column. Joe Goodwin and Volume Pigs do not have to suffer through UConn football, and are kind enough to aid CFF managers—and me—to uncover players to grab on the waiver wire…Let’s Go!
Week 4 College Fantasy Football Waiver Wire
Zeon Chriss, UL-Laf (Laub)
Fantrax Rostership: 4%
Total Fantasy Points: 63.5
I manage a CFF team with three starting quarterbacks each week and picked up Louisiana signal caller Ben Wooldridge for a spot start two weeks ago. Unfortunately, he suffered a foot injury early in the game and attempted only one pass before exiting.
Zeon Chriss came off the bench and scored 33.2 fantasy points in relief. He scrambled for 103 yards and two touchdowns while adding 174 in the air with another score. Despite his excellent performance, I did not think about acquiring him on a team heading into last week.
Well, after posting another outing with nearly 29 fantasy points, it was imperative that I look deeper into the Ragin’ Cajuns new starter. In the past two weeks, Chriss has been the No. 6 most productive CFF signal caller with 61.2 fantasy points: He has totaled six touchdowns (2 passing and 4 rushing) and added 423 yards passing and 173 yards rushing.
At 6’2” and 209 pounds, Chriss was a three-star recruit and the No. 2 quarterback prospect in Louisiana by 247Sports in 2021. Last year, the redshirt freshman played in only four games, and during the spring and summer of this year took many reps with the first team. He kicked off the season as the third-string quarterback but remained ready for any opportunity. He has embarrassed the chance to lead the team, and CFF players need to take a look at the dual-threat signal caller.
Notebook: “(Chriss) is a humble warrior. He works his tail off. He’s a throwback, hard-working kid. During his senior year in 2019, I remember (Zeon) telling me he was going to throw the javelin and that he was going to win state. He had never thrown the javelin before. He came out and won state by the end of the year,” remembered Landry Williams, who coached Chriss in high school (theadvertiser.com).
Davis Brin, Georgia Southern (Goodwin)
Fantrax Rostership: 44%
Total Fantasy Points: 79.6
At 6’2″ and 210 pounds, Davis Brin is in his sixth year at college. As a three-star recruit by Tulsa, Brin was the starter for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. In the offseason, he transferred to Georgia Southern to replace another six-year player, Kyle Vantrease. And so far, Davis Brin has exceeded expectations. In four games, the former Golden Hurricane has thrown for 1,289 yards and nine touchdowns, and he doesn’t look like he is slowing down.
At 3-1, Georgia Southern has Brin to thank for the great start. Next week against Coastal Carolina, the defense may be the strongest defense Brin has faced, and will face, all season. If the Eagles’ gunslinger is available, CFF managers won’t have the luxury of waiting another week to acquire him. Brin is performing as a Top-20 fantasy quarterback and shows no signs of playing below that.
JT Daniels, Rice (Laub)
Fantrax Rostership: 14%
Total Fantasy Points: 83.8
JT Daniels has traveled down an interesting road to college fantasy football relevance to say the least. In 2017, he was considered a so-called “can’t miss prospect” after being named Gatorade National Player of the Year and USA Today All-USA First Team. Enrolling at USC after graduating early from high school, Daniels became the second true freshman to start the season opener for the Trojans, setting personal highs in passing yards (2,672) and touchdowns (14).
The next season, Daniels suffered a season-ending knee injury, and Kedon Slovis ascended to the top of the depth chart in Los Angeles. Afterward, he transferred to Georgia for two campaigns but saw limited action. Finally, he landed at West Virginia for the 2022 crusade. Once again, he wears a new uniform.
At 6’2” and 237 pounds, the Rice graduate student took over the reins of the Owls’ offense this offseason—he might be the only signal caller to start games at five different programs in the long history of college football. He was named Team Captain and has lived up to the expectations in the first month of the season.
Daniels has eclipsed 25 fantasy points in three consecutive games. He twice totalled over 400 passing yards (career-high 432 versus USF) and tossed at least three touchdowns in each of the past three outings. For the season, he has logged 1,237 passing yards and 11 aerial strikes. The schedule favors Rice in the next two weeks against East Carolina and UConn at home, which makes Daniels an enticing starter in CFF leagues if dressed and ready to go. (Daniels left the game early and his status must be monitored closely this week.)
Notebook: “You look back at what (Daniels) has done every time he’s gone there: The moment was never too big for him. I look at the guy he is today, the player he is today—I just can’t imagine he’s played better than he’s playing now at any of those prior spots,” Rice coach Mike Bloomgren said of his sixth-year leader before kickoff to the 2023 campaign (abc13.com).
Honorable Mention Quarterbacks
- Thomas Castellanos, Boston College
Fantrax Rostership: 20%
Total Fantasy Points: 110.3
- Mikey Keene, Fresno State
Fantrax Rostership: 28%
Total Fantasy Points: 83.9
CFF Twitterverse on Fire!
Who is the top target at quarterback on the CFF waiver wire this week?
- Zeon Chriss, UL-Laf: 16%
- Jordan McCloud, James Madison: 11%
- Thomas Castellanos, Boston College: 51%
- JT Daniels, Rice: 22%
“I will zag a bit and go JT Daniels. The Rice quarterback is finally making good on his talent. Is this his ninth or tenth school now?” @aceholesrule
“I’m partial, but Thomas Castellanos’ run game is a cheat code in CFF. Weekly, he is getting better with his passing ability. Castellanos has developed a connection with WRs Lewis Bond and Joseph Griffin. With Virginia up next, scoop and play Castellanos! @_NinoBrown_
“Thomas Castellanos has a lot of things going for him; his rushing ability, his passing is improving every week, and they’ll be playing from behind almost every game so the yards will be there. He is also an insane athlete and will make 3-or-4 plays that’ll have you out of your seat!” @RebelWayOrNoWay
Peny Boone, Toledo (Volume Pigs)
Fantrax Rostership: 16%
Total Fantasy Points: 81
Every year in CFF, there are multiple names at each position where the CFF community was one year too early on a player. This year, we can look to examples like Washington State’s Cameron Ward, or Texas’ Quinn Ewers, to name a few. After this weekend, it appears we can add another name to the list in Toledo’s Penny Boone.
When there is a monster CFF asset like Bryant Koback in 2021, naturally there is much speculation in the proceeding years as to who might pick up the torch in their absence. Indeed, as a former shareholder of Koback, I can say that the Toledo offense was extremely lucrative in both 2020 and 2021. The 2022 season did not provide the answer CFF managers were hoping for; however, many were left burnt on seemingly useless Boone shares.
This season things are different. The first game versus Illinois was rough, and Boone only saw nine carries. But we know better—we don’t put much stock into these types of games. Game two was the opposite, a complete blowout of Texas State, where Boone only needed six carries to accumulate three scores and 39 yards. This was a notable outing, but not enough to warrant roster considerations.
After all, we already knew Boone, 6’1″ and 240 pounds, was going to be used as a short-yardage guy who would have the occasional stat line reading of multiple rushing scores on less than 50 yards on the ground. Games three and four are what caught my eye. Back-to-back performances of 15 and 24 total touches is notable, and we caught a glimpse of what he might be doing for the remainder of the campaign in MACtion on Saturday. He toted the pig 24 times for 211 yards and two scores (33.1 points). Granted both of his scores were fairly late into the game, the rushing usage is extremely attractive.
I hope at this point that the reader already knows where my next thought is going—the following leading runner on the team only saw five carries for zero yards on Saturday. In this case, I’d assert that Boone’s primary competition will actually be QB De’Quan Finn, who’s a TD hound and also has a propensity for explosive runs. Even still, Boone will be a hot asset this week at a position that many are struggling with currently.
Notebook: “He looks like high school Peny again. I’m happy to have him with me in the backfield. He’s going to run that ball, and he’s going to run downhill. He doesn’t care who’s in front of him…having that type of running back behind me relieves a lot of stress,” quarterback Dequan Finn stated after the victory over Texas Southern earlier in the year (toledoblade.com).
Henry Parrish, Jr., Miami (Goodwin)
Fantrax Rostership: 24%
Total Fantasy Points: 55.2
Henry Parrish received 16 rushing attempts in the Hurricanes matchup against Temple, and he made the most of those opportunities, logging 139 yards rushing and two touchdowns. This usage was the most Parrish has seen all year. Parrish, originally a four-star recruit of Mississippi, transferred to Miami in 2022.
Last year, Parrish tallied 616 yards on the ground, 122 yards receiving, and six total touchdowns. He already has three touchdowns on the campaign. If a CFF diehard needs running back depth, Parrish (and the Miami Hurricanes) have a favorable schedule moving forward as they face the 98th, 117th, 112th, 119th, and 123rd-ranked defenses. Last week’s game against Temple was not the apex of Parrish’s season.
Notebook: “Last season, Parrish displayed the ability to make defenders miss, break tackles, and also outrun players. In short, he’s a tremendous athlete. Even at 190 pounds, he was asked to run the football between the tackles quite often. Parrish did well considering the state of the offensive line and how the overall injury situation hindered the offense,” wrote Brian Smith in July (si.com).
DJ Giddens, Kansas State (Laub)
Fantrax Rostership: 23%
Total Fantasy Points: 89
When looking at the DFS night slate for lineups on Saturday, I noticed that DJ Giddens’ salary was a great value without Treshaun Ward in the lineup. I hoped for a four-time return (over 20 points), but never foresaw over 60 fantasy points…the performance propelled my cash teams to finish in the black. Too bad I did not have the foresight to place Giddens in my CFF redraft lineups.
In the first three games of the year, Giddens only garnered 36 carries and four targets in a split backfield. Against the Knights, the coaching staff leaned into their 6’1” and 212-pounder and called his number 30 times on the ground. He rambled for a personal-best 207 yards, averaging 6.9 ypc., and scored four times. Impressively, he also led the team in receptions with eight for 86 yards.
In 2021, the sophomore did not gain national attention as a high school recruit. Yet, since arriving on campus, he has earned the respect of the staff and shined when given the opportunity. Last year, Giddens earned Honorable Mention Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors after rushing for 518 yards (third-best in school history for a freshman) and six touchdowns. The Wildcats have an upcoming bye week. Nonetheless, astute CFF managers will pick up the one-man wrecking ball for the future.
Notebook: “We challenged DJ. We said, ‘We’re going to give you the football. You need to step up. You have all the ability in the world. We’ve got to get you believing it, and we’re going to keep giving it to you and keep giving it to you,’” coach Chris Klieman said after the game against UCF (kansas.com).
Emmanuel Michel, Air Force (Volume Pigs)
Fantrax Rostership: 6%
Total Fantasy Points: 69.2
Many CFF managers speculated this offseason as to who would be taking over from Air Force’s productive tailback Brad Roberts. Signs pointed to John Eldridge early on, but we now have back-to-back weeks of Michel (5’10” and 210 pounds) dominating the rushing volume from the same position in the offense that Roberts played (this is a triple-option style scheme with multiple backs on the field at the same time).
Michel has now carried the rock 28 and 33 times in his last two appearances, accounting for 30.6 and 32.8 fantasy points, respectively. The Falcons got a matchup against San Diego State coming up, which feels like a good one for Michel. This could be a league winner, or it could just be the case that Air Force continues to rotate who gets the touches…Only time will tell.
Notebook: “There’s no doubt that Emmanuel Michel is the No. 1 fullback on Air Force’s roster. He followed a Mountain West Player of the Week performance from last week (Utah State) with a second consecutive game with three touchdowns. Owen Burk, who had been splitting carries, did not play, though he was in uniform,” Brent Briggerman noted after the victory over San Jose State (gazette.com).
Parker Jenkins, Houston (Goodwin)
Fantrax Ownership: 5%
Total Fantasy Points: 33.3
After the season’s first three games, many fantasy managers may have moved on from the hometown freshman. As Lee Corso would say, “Hold on, my friend!” In Parker Jenkins’ first start for the Cougars, he ran the ball twenty times for 105 yards and three touchdowns in the Cougars’ win over Sam Houston State.
247Sports graded Jenkins as a three-star recruit and No. 36 overall running back in the nation last year. A high school sprinter, Jenkins ran a 10.80 in the 110-meter dash as a junior and logged a 21.88 in the 200 meters. His speed is evident on the gridiron for the Cougars. Although some tough matchups still loom against Texas, Kansas State, and Cincinnati, Jenkins has proven to the coaching staff that he is ready for the challenge.
Notebook: “(Jenkins) is a good player. He’s shown flashes of that and through the natural progression of being a true freshman, you have to see how he does in games a couple of times. It took us a couple of games to figure out that he was ready, and he looks pretty ready to me. He’s got a chance to be a special player,” Holgorsen proclaimed after the freshman’s 100-yard effort (ugcougars.com).
Honorable Mention Running Backs
- Ismail Mahdi, Texas State
Fantrax Rostership: 5%
Total Fantasy Points: 81.6
- Cameron Skattebo, Arizona State
Fantrax Rostership: 31%
Total Fantasy Points: 74.5
Week 4 CFF All-Portal Team* (Goodwin)
RB Marquez Cooper, Ball State
Fantrax Ownership: 99%
Two weeks ago, Cooper broke out of his slump against Indiana State and rushed for 177 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown. Then, he returned to his slump with nine carries for 16 yards. I am now ready to cut the Cardinals’ runner. He has only 32 fantasy points this season, with 26 coming from the Indiana State game. In Best Ball formats, he may be worth keeping in the hopes conference play will be more welcoming to Cooper. Otherwise, I’m ready to move on.
WR Marquarius “Squirrel” White, Tennessee
Fantrax Ownership: 98%
The targets have been there for Squirrel White in this Tennessee offense; White has 26 targets in four games. White has 17 grabs for 172 yards and ZERO touchdowns to start the season. The Volunteers offense seems to be different from last year, and Bru McCoy appears to be a favorite target of Joe Milton. At this point, other receivers provide more consistent production that could help your team win every week. Some favorable matchups still appear on the Volunteers’ schedule, but it may be hard to wait for the breakout game for White.
RB Devin Mockobee, Purdue
Fantrax Ownership: 89%
I was higher on Devin Mockobee entering the season after notching 968 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in 2022. However, the past is not repeating itself. Mockobee only had four carries for 26 yards in the Boilermakers’ loss to Wisconsin.
I believe Mockobee can be a fantasy contributor due to his usage in the passing game: the Purdue ball carrier has ten targets this season. However, I am more worried about the emergence of Tyrone Tracy, who has a touchdown in every game. Mockobee appears to be in a timeshare backfield that will yield fantasy relevance to only one back.
*Players who CFF managers should consider sending to their league’s free agent pool in order to upgrade rosters.
CFF Twitterverse on Fire!
Who is the must-acquire running back on the CFF waiver wire this week?
- Emmanuel Michel, Air Force: 21%
- DJ Giddens, Kansas State: 49%
- Ismail Mahdi, Texas State: 13%
- Peny Boone, Toledo: 17%
“People need to pay attention to Texas State and the G.J. Kinne offense. Ismail Mahdi has scored in 3-of-4 games and had long touchdown runs in B-2-B ones. The offense averages 38-plus points per game and fresh off 216 yards two scores and 10.3 YPA against Nevada…Mahdi has hit his stride.” @_NinoBrown_
“Penny Boooooooone! Post-hype sleeper getting all the carries right now.” @aceholesrule
Josh Kelly, Fresno State (Volume Pigs)
Fantrax Rostership: 11%
Fantasy Points: 84.9
It’s no secret that Wazzou’s Lincoln Victor went down with an injury on Saturday. As unfortunate as that is, it does present an opportunity now for someone else to fill that role—a role that’s been extremely lucrative across various different programs and players. Fresno State transfer Josh Kelly looks to potentially be a guy who could fill that void.
The 6’0” 190-pound speedster has the build to be a successful slot player if required, and he performed well in Victor’s absence on Saturday—seeing 12 targets, catching eight of those for 159 yards and three scores (41.9 points).
His target volume saw a marked increase from his previous three outings (his season high was eight), which is promising. Without further details on Victor’s injury (he was seen in crutches), I am comfortable prescribing Kelly as a big-time target this week if you don’t need a plug-and-play guy right away (Washington State is on BYE).
Notebook: “The 6’1” and 185-pounder became the Bulldogs’ No. 2 pass-catcher in 2021 and brought home an All-Mountain West honorable mention nod after recording 778 yards and three scores on 52 catches. Kelly dealt with injury issues this season (2022) and was limited to six games, during which he logged 207 yards,” Colton Clark penned in January after Kelly announced his transfer to Washington State (seattletimes.com).
Malik Washington, Virginia (Laub)
Fantrax Rostership: 11%
Fantasy Points: 91.9
After a long week in the classroom, I love my college football on Friday nights. During the past two weeks, Virginia played Maryland and North Carolina State, and I watched to get an eyeball on freshman quarterback Anthony Colandrea. Of course, I could not ignore the performance of WR Malik Washington in both games.
Over the past three weeks, the Cavaliers’ gamebreaker is ranked as the No. 4 CFF wideout with 85 fantasy points. He has surpassed 100 yards receiving in each game and garnered 31 targets with 24 catches. Against North Carolina State last week, he corralled 10 passes for 170 yards and two scores. For the entire season, the graduate student is the No. 17 overall receiver in PPR scoring formats.
Formerly at Northwestern, Washington is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten and 2021-22 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. As a member of the Wildcats, he logged 109 catches for 1,272 yards and three scores during the last two campaigns. At 5’8” and 194 pounds, Washington is a physical receiver and packs a punch once the ball is in his hands.
Virginia has not won a game this season and the schedule does not have many easy victories ahead. Game script foreshadows lots of passing for the Cavaliers, and Washington appears poised to establish career bests across the board. If a CFF owner needs a receiver—or flex—as the bye weeks approach, Washington could be a difference maker over the next two weeks against Boston College and William & Mary.
Notebook: “Obviously, (Washington) is built like a running back, so he’s hard to tackle. He’s very confident catching the ball with his hands. He’s reaping the benefits of his work and his commitment to what we’re doing. He’s a playmaker. He’s a guy that believes in what we’re doing,” Virginia’s offensive coordinator Des Kitchings proclaimed after the loss against North Carolina State (247Sports.com).
Naiem Simmons, USF (Goodwin)
Fantrax Rostership: 1%
Fantasy Points: 62.7
Naiem Simmons had a lackluster start to the 2023 season with 85 yards receiving on 16 receptions in his first three games. South Florida put Simmons in space last week, which paid off HUGE for the Bulls. Against Rice, Simmons had eight receptions for 272 yards and a touchdown.
If last week’s contest is any indication, Byrum Brown may have found his “go-to” target. Brown is a dynamic quarterback who uses his legs as much as his arm to torment defenses. The South Florida offense is finding its groove, and Simmons is positioned to be a big part of it.
Notebook: “The defense (Rice) plays, if it’s not man, the Owls play quarters and roll their safety down a lot. When we’re playing the offense we play, which is really fast, opponents tend to make mistakes, and we tend to capitalize on those errors,” Simmons stated after his record-breaking outing (tampabay.com).
Jaylin Noel, Iowa State (Volume Pigs)
Fantrax Rostership: 21%
Fantasy Points: 53.3
Jaylin Noel looked like the man we all thought he could be on Saturday against Oklahoma State. The 5’10” and 200-pound playmaker saw a total of 12 targets, of which he caught eight for 146 yards and a score, producing 28.6 fantasy points.
The target volume is not an anomaly, he already saw 11 targets two weeks ago versus Iowa before missing last week’s contest with an illness. This is a program that absolutely fed WR Xavier Hutchinson lots of volume last season, so keep an eye out here on Noel, he might just be getting started.
Notebook: “Well, Oklahoma State had ten guys in the box the entire game. Opponents are going to stack the box…to get people out of the box, you have to prove that you can throw the football and especially prove that you can throw the ball vertically. Obviously, it was huge to get Jaylin back for us,” coach Matt Campbell expressed after the game (cyclones.com).
Honorable Mention Wide Receivers
- Kobe Hudson, UCF
Fantrax Rostership: 18%
Fantasy Points: 78.3
- Brenden Rice, USC
Fantrax Rostership: 29%
Fantasy Points: 67.7
CFF Twitterverse on Fire!
Who is the preferred playmaker on the CFF waiver wire this week?
- Malik Washington, Virginia: 48%
- Naiem Simmons, USF: 10%
- Brenden Rice, USC: 25%
- Jaylin Noel, Iowa State: 17%
“Absolutely love Brenden Rice…Pedigree is there for sure. I was pounding the table for Jalin Noel before the season, and he had a super slow start. Versus the Cowboys, Jalin Noel broke out with 8 receptions for 146 yards and a TD on 11 targets. Almost tripling the season total…Let’s go Noel!” @_NinoBrown_
“I’m not sure if his rostership is too high to qualify for the list, but I love the consistency of Kobe Hudson at UCF.” @copieps
“Malik Washington for me! Kid is crazy hot right now.” @aceholesrule
“Malik Washington has seen a volume pig-esq 13 targets per game since Anthony Colandrea, a freshman QB, has been in the lineup, so it’s not unreasonable to think that could just be the norm going forward (maybe not exactly 13 targets, but around that level)” @VolumePigs
Who is the most impressive freshman (on less than 50% of rosters) for CFF leagues after the first month of the season?
- WR Kevin Concepcion, NCSU: 24%
- RB LJ Martin, BYU: 20%
- RB Jalen Buckley, Western Michigan: 39%
- WR Eric Singleton, Georgia Tech: 17%
“Jalen Buckley has been phenomenal, and we’re in MAC play now. Kevin Conception is riding shotgun though.” @CffNation
“Kevin Concepcion. And it isn’t close IMO.” @RunTheWaggle
“Have to go Jalen Buckley on this one. Now that we are in conference play, he doesn’t come out of your lineup for the rest of the season…” @JustinNottingh6
“The Kevin Concepcion coming out party happened versus Virginia. My guy @Leverett_Kt has been shouting from the stadium tops about him. During spring ball, he said Concepcion doesn’t miss anything. Against the Cavaliers, he had six receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns. The second score showed his natural burst.” @_NinoBrown_
“Kevin Concepcion for me. As QB play improves, this guy could be a star.” @aceholesrule
CFF All-Americans: Week 4
- QB Jase Bauer, Central Michigan: 42.4
- QB Jack Plummer, Louisville: 41.7
- RB DJ Giddens, Kansas State: 61.3
- RB Ashton Jeanty, Boise State: 41.4
- WR Bryce Kirtz, Northwestern: 43.5
- WR Josh Kelly, Washington State: 41.9
- WR Naiem Simmons, South Florida: 41.2
- TE Brock Bowers, Georgia: 33.1
- Flex Jawhar Jordan, Louisville: 39.9