If only all my college fantasy football teams performed as well as Cincinnati this weekend. The Bearcats traveled to Notre Dame and upset the Fighting Irish 24-13 behind a stout defense and All-American quarterback. Unlike coach Brian Kelly, I can improve my teams by combing the college fantasy football waiver wire this week for a roster upgrade.
Cincinnati (No. 5) is not the only undefeated and ranked team among the Group of 5 conferences: BYU (No. 10), Coastal Carolina (No. 15), and SMU (No. 24) are all unbeaten and provide stupendous college fantasy football starters this year. I have only one undefeated CFF team and am already looking ahead to Week 7 when a plethora of programs enjoy a bye.
Hopefully, you are in the playoff hunt and enjoying all of the great performers from among the Group of 5 teams. If you need an emergency starter or injury replacement, JD Yonke, @YonkersCFB, and I have identified the elite players to target on the college fantasy football waiver wire.
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 5 College Fantasy Football Waiver Wire
N’Kosi Perry, Florida Atlantic (Laub)
Fantrax Ownership: 13%
Yards Per Attempt: 8.1
Two weeks ago, a friend sent me a message asking if he should pick up N’Kosi Perry of the Owls. I emphatically said “Yes!” Unfortunately, my CFF rosters did not need a quarterback at the time, and I bypassed Perry in the college fantasy football free-agent pool. I will not make the same mistake this week.
A member of the Miami Hurricanes from 2017-20, Perry was called upon to start nine times. On the Hurricanes, he passed for just under 2,500 yards, completed 52.4% of passes with 24 touchdowns, and added 217 rushing yards and three scores. He did not partake in the spring practices at Miami and announced his transfer to Florida Atlantic in April.
On September 11, he guided the Owls to their first victory, throwing for 332 yards. He became the first quarterback on campus to do so since December of 2019. Perry connected on 19-of-27 passes for four aerial strikes, carried the ball eight times, and earned C-USA Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors.
In the Shula Bowl on Saturday, the graduate student completed 18-of-21 passes for 329 yards, rushed for 16 yards, and totaled four touchdowns, scoring 34.8 fantasy points. Amazingly, a cut on his throwing hand sidelined him late in the third quarter, and he still posted those numbers.
In the previous three games, Perry put up 28.1, 28.0 and 11.4 fantasy points. Since September 11, he ranks eleventh among CFF quarterbacks with 102 points. The 6’4” and 198-pounder has passed for nine touchdowns and scrambled for three during the past month. It is time Perry surpasses the 50% roster threshold in CFF leagues.
Garrett Shrader, Syracuse (Yonke)
Fantrax Ownership: 6%
Yards Per Attempt: 7.8
Rushing TDs: 7
I agree wholeheartedly with @FabFalco on Twitter, who responded to John’s Twitter poll by calling Garrett Shrader a CFF cheat code due to his rushing ability. Dual-threat quarterbacks are an essential part of playing CFF, and identifying the right one can make or break your season.
Shrader has come in on fire since taking over as starting quarterback for the Orange a few weeks ago, rushing for 2-plus touchdowns in each of his three games. Most recently, he amassed 137 yards and three scores on the ground en route to over 40 points against Florida State on Saturday.
This Orange offense has nowhere else to turn to offensively, as Shrader and running back Sean Tucker are being relied on almost exclusively. To make matters worse, leading receiver Taj Harris announced on Sunday that he will be entering the transfer portal. Expect Shrader to see tons of usage in the rushing game while being a very cheap CFF target.
Twitterverse on Fire!
Who Ya Got at quarterback this week on the waiver wire?
- Hendon Hooker, Tennessee: 28%
- Garrett Shrader, Syracuse: 19%
- N’Kosi Perry, Florida Atlantic: 12%
- Will Rogers, Mississippi State: 41%
“Rushing stats are the cheat code at quarterback. Garrett Shrader has at least two touchdowns rushing in each of his last three games and just had over 100 yards rushing. He and running back Sean Tucker are the entire Syracuse offense.” @FabFalco
“I’d like to point out that I picked Garrett Shrader as my super sleeper on the Campus2Canton Podcast several months ago! Feeling mighty fine about that one!” @CFF_Jared
CFF All-Americans: Week 5
QB Malik Willis, Liberty: 41.8 points
QB Garrett Shrader, Syracuse: 39.7 points
RB Tyler Allgeier, BYU: 45 points
RB Brian Robinson, Alabama: 41.1 points
WR Jerreth Sterns, Western Kentucky: 41.6 points
WR Skyy Moore, Western Michigan: 39.3 points
WR Makai Polk, Mississippi State: 37.6 points
TE Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina: 26.5 points
Flex Chase Brown, Illinois: 40.4 points
CFF Player of the Week: Tyler Allgeier, BYU: 45 points
Tiyon Evans, Tennessee (Yonke)
Fantrax Ownership: 9%
Scrimmage Yards: 441
Total Fantasy Points: 83.7
The No. 2 overall ranked JUCO recruit in the 2021 class according to 247Sports, Tiyon Evans has been tearing it up during his first season in Knoxville. If you didn’t know his name before Saturday, you certainly do now—he took 15 carries for 156 yards and three scores, with much of that damage coming in the first half in a blowout of Missouri.
The Volunteers amassed 458 rushing yards on the day in a demolition of their SEC foe. Quarterback Hendon Hooker summed it up best by saying this about his running back: “Tiyon is a bad man…Him breaking it and getting to his top speed in no time, he is just amazing to watch,” (KnoxNews.com).
A laughing stock in the college football community the last few years, Tennessee has been given new CFF life under new head coach Josh Heupel. He brought in the high-paced offense that he ran previously at UCF, and the Volunteers are now running more plays per minute than any other team in the country (as of Week 4).
This is an offense that will be relevant in the CFF community now that they are playing at a high tempo and looking to put points on the board. Evans would appear to be the best bet for fantasy points in this offense, as he’s gone for double-digit points in every game this year and scored at least 18 in three of four games.
As icing on the cake, the teammate that he was sharing the backfield with previously—Jabari Small—left the Missouri game with an injury in the first quarter and did not return.
Alton McCaskill, Houston (Laub)
Fantrax Ownership: 18%
Scrimmage Yards: 388
Total Fantasy Points: 97.8
Ever since Alton McCaskill chose Houston over programs like Alabama and Florida State, Cougars fans have looked forward to Houston’s future game-breaker to make an impact on the gridiron. The true freshman got off to a slow start in the opener but has been very impressive over the past four games, scoring 29.5, 12.3, 23.4, and 31.1 fantasy points.
Against Tulsa on Friday night, the 18-year old ball carrier scored three times, gained 77 yards on the ground on 17 carries, and snagged three passes for eight yards. “He’s a complete back. I’ve been saying that for a while. Unfortunately, he got hurt for the last couple weeks of camp. The knee brace came off (against Rice). And you could tell he was back to himself. We definitely wanted to get him involved in some of the pass game stuff. But he can be in the backfield and get hard yards too. I think that’s just the start of what he’s going to become,” coach Dana Holgorsen stated earlier in the week (papercitymag.com).
In high school. 247Sports graded McCaskill as a three-star recruit and ranked him as the nation’s No. 21 running back. After five games into his college career, he looks like a much better ball carrier than advertised. For the season, the 6’1” and 210-pounder has 68 carries for 310 yards and seven scores. He also has 11 catches for 71 yards and a touchdown.
With conference games ahead, the 4-1 Cougars have a fantasy-friendly schedule in the next month with Tulane, ECU, SMU and USF. Many CFF coaches cut McCaskill last week, and he is now widely available on the waiver wire.
Twitterverse on Fire!
Running backs are always in demand: Who Ya Got as a free agent?
- Keaton Mitchell, ECU: 29%
- Alton McCaskill, Houston: 43%
- Chase Brown, Illinois: 16%
- Tiyon Evans, Tennessee: 12%
“Chase Brown has the monster rushing game just in time for him to face Wisconsin and their top-ranked rushing defense.” @copieps
“Keaton Mitchell reminds me of Chris Johnson in that East Carolina jersey breaking long runs. Absolute home run hitter with over 100 and a touchdown in each of his last three games.” @FabFalco
“I like the ease of Alton McCaskill’s schedule.” @aceholesrule
“All of these are worth picking up! Keaton Mitchell has had only one game less than 20 points this year. Get that consistency.” @CFF_Jared
Cam’Ron Harris, Miami (Laub)
Fantrax Ownership: 25%
Fantasy Points: 97.3
During the summer of 2020, I implored listeners and readers to select Cam’Ron Harris as a late-round value in CFF drafts. He justified my hyperbole in September, producing over 20 fantasy points in three consecutive games. Woefully, Harris only surpassed the 20-point barrier once more (early December), long after CFF managers dropped him.
Obviously, I did not rank Harris high in 2021 player rankings or acquire him in drafts. Also, after the loss to Michigan State, offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee claimed that Harris was on the field too much in the game and would see fewer touches moving forward. I did not foresee his increased efficiency and production after the loss to the Spartans.
Harris has proven me, and the coaching staff, wrong: The Hurricanes’ runner has logged over 60 total fantasy points since Lashlee’s comments. In the two games, he has rambled for 211 yards on 24 carries and four touchdowns. He also scored on an 83-yard reception. Over the last four games, he produced more than 13 fantasy points in each. For the season, he is the twenty-fifth ranked CFF running back, averaging 19.4 points per game.
It is clear that hard work has propelled Harris’ performance this season: “I feel physically great. I’m sprinting well. The offseason work in the weight room: phenomenal. All the hard work we put in is going to pay off on the field… In the weight room, I’ve been working on squatting more…just try to be more explosive out of the backfield, catch out of the backfield and do everything right. I’m bigger but I feel lighter, more explosive,” Harris announced in August (miamiherald.com).
After the upcoming bye week, Miami plays North Carolina, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, and Georgia Tech. None of the upcoming opponents present a daunting run defense, and Harris will continue to produce for CFF managers.
Brad Roberts, Air Force (Yonke)
Fantrax Ownership: 17%
Total Fantasy Points: 84
Don’t look now, but Brad Roberts is quietly putting up workhorse-like usage for Air Force this season. The fullback is receiving an incredible amount of volume, with 20-plus carries in four of five games and 25 or more attempts in three. Saturday against New Mexico, he received 29 carries for the second time this season, and responded with 142 yards and two scores on the ground.
Roberts will continue to be a fantasy asset as long as he’s seeing this type of usage. The Falcons’ method of operation on offense is to keep grinding away yards in the trenches before beating a tired defense into submission.
Roberts summed it up best after Saturday’s 38-10 victory: “You can look at the defense and they’re huffing and puffing and you know you’ve got them exactly where you want them … It’s my favorite thing to look at them and they’re tired and we just keep pounding the rock,” (Gazette.com). Falcons’ runner should be a viable CFF asset for the remainder of the season.
CFF Waiver Wire Honorable Mention
- QB Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
Fantrax Ownership: 10%
Yards Per Attempt: 9.4
Rushing TDs: 2
- RB Israel Abanikanda, Pittsburgh
Fantrax Ownership: 12%
Scrimmage Yards: 295
Total Fantasy Points: 63.5
- WR Mitchell Tinsley, Western Kentucky
Fantrax Ownership: 5%
Team Target Share: 13.1%
Total Fantasy Points: 67.6
- WR Alec Pierce, Cincinnati
Fantrax Ownership: 5%
Team Target Share: 20.2%
Total Fantasy Points: 50.4
Makai Polk, Mississippi State (Laub)
Fantrax Ownership: 17%
Team Target Share: 20.9%
Total Fantasy Points: 113
I enthusiastically drafted Jaden Walley all summer in hopes of acquiring the alpha dog in coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense. If I only knew that Makai Polk would hog all of the targets this year. In five games, the redshirt sophomore ranks fourth in the country with 59 targets, averaging nearly 12 a game.
Polk is also very productive with the targets: He has 46 receptions (78% catch rate) for 430 yards and four touchdowns. In college fantasy football, the Bulldogs’ playmaker is the twelfth most productive receiver in PPR-scoring formats with 113 points, producing 22.6 ppg.
In high school, Polk earned a three-star grade by the scouting community and was identified as a Top 99 athlete by 247Sports. A two-way player, he recorded 42 tackles, eight interceptions, snatched 30 passes for 900 yards and 10 touchdowns. He enrolled at California and played two seasons for the Golden Bears. In 2020, Polk finished second on the team in receptions (17) and yards (183). In the spring, he announced his transfer to Mississippi State on Twitter.
Quarterback Will Rogers knows that he can count on Polk to make plays in the passing game: “He’s just so quick. Polk can look like he’s doing one route, and then he just does the complete opposite of what you would think,” Rogers stated (cdispatch.com).
CFF managers have not caught onto Polk’s production in 2021 and he is available in over 80% of leagues. Run to your waiver wire immediately and place the Mississippi State pass-catcher into your queue for this week. I expect him to be rostered in over 65% of leagues very shortly.
Hassan Beydoun, Eastern Michigan (Yonke)
Fantrax Ownership: 34%
Team Target Share: 28.1%
Total Fantasy Points: 69.8
Hassan Beydoun is a PPR-machine. If you play in any league that rewards points per reception, but especially a full-point for every catch, you need to consider giving a roster spot to Beydoun if he’s still floating around the waiver wire.
Beydoun displayed his PPR mastery this past Saturday against Northern Illinois when he hauled in 14 catches for 167 yards. Over his past three games, he’s accumulated 24 catches while going over 100 yards receiving in two of those contests. It’s a continuation of what we saw a year ago when Beydoun had 7-plus receptions in every single game that he played. That provides him with a very safe floor, and he’s somewhat of a safety blanket to throw in your lineups while being virtually assured that he’ll catch enough passes to be fantasy relevant.
The one room for upside with Beydoun is that he only has one touchdown in his last ten games, which is pretty perplexing considering the number of targets that he sees as the Eagles’ go-to option out wide. He’s built up a nice rapport with new quarterback Ben Bryant, and this offense should put up some nice numbers for CFF owners as they enter the MAC portion of their schedule.
Twitterverse on Fire!
Acquiring the right receiver down the stretch can lead to a playoff berth: Who Ya Got on the waiver wire?
- Jack Sorenson, Miami (OH): 10%
- Makai Polk, Mississippi State: 68%
- Stefan Cobbs, Boise State: 11%
- Hassan Beydoun Eastern Michigan: 11%
“Will Rogers has passed for at least 370 yards and three touchdowns in each of his last three games. Makai Polk has established himself as the WR No. 1 in that offense with at least eight receptions for over 70 yards and a touchdown in all three of those games. Lock him in your lineups.” @FabFalco
“Makai Polk has far surpassed Jadan Walley as the primary target in that Mississippi State offense. Sorenson and him should be started weekly by at least one team in your league.” @copieps
“Makai Polk has solidified his WR No. 1 status.” @aceholesrule
“If you aren’t fighting and clawing your way to Makai Polk, what are you doing?” @CFF_Jared
Dallas Dixon, Central Michigan (Yonke)
Fantrax Ownership: 14%
Team Target Share: 22.8%
Total Fantasy Points: 99
It’s back to the MAC with another wide receiver pick-up for me! This time I’ll be targeting the Central Michigan Chippewas, who have a receiver in Dallas Dixon (excellent name!) currently going way under the radar.
Dixon has amassed 46 targets already this season (a top-15 mark nationally) as the go-to option for this offense. He’s produced nicely in his opportunities, amassing 410 yards and five touchdowns. He’s been on a hot streak lately, too, with 15 catches for 240 yards and three scores over his past two games.
Expect some more big performances from Dixon as the Chippewas enter MAC play. He’s going criminally under-owned on Fantrax, with only 14% ownership—be sure to remedy that mistake if you’re in need of wide receiver help on your CFF squad.
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