I have always thought that the waiver wire in fantasy sports is like trick-or-treating on Halloween as a child. You get all excited to dress in a costume, collect candy door-to-door and examine the loot when home. Yet. You are never sure what is in the bag. In 2022, the college fantasy football waiver wire has provided far more treats than tricks throughout the season.
As a Huskies fanatic, the season has offered the best treats in over five years under new coach Jim Mora. On Saturday, my wife and daughter joined me at the UConn game, and the Huskies beat a Power 5 program for the first time since 2016. It was the largest crowd at the Rent in years, and UConn’s first ever victory over Boston College in fifteen matchups.
When I returned, there were more treats available, and it was time to catch up on all the day’s action, preparing for this week’s column. As the regular season comes to a close, the number of available difference makers shortens, and CFF managers must be intelligent and savvy when making waiver wire decisions. Ryan Cobbett and I have picked out six treats to target in the free agent pool.
Week 9 College Fantasy Football Waiver Wire
Grayson James, Florida International (Laub)
Fantrax Ownership: 1%
Yards Per Attempt: 6.1
Total Fantasy Points: 161.6
I have watched three Florida International games over the past month: UConn, UTSA and Louisiana Tech. Grayson James has played well and impressed me. In the last two weeks, Grayson has scored over 30 fantasy points in each game and is the CFF QB11 with 66.8 points. He has passed for 627 yards, rushed for 56 yards and totalled six touchdowns in victories over Charlotte and Louisiana Tech.
In two games this season, the sophomore has thrown touchdowns to three separate wideouts and has thrown three or more aerial strikes three times. “This is the Grayson (James) I always expected. He’s a big man (at 6’3” and 235-pounds). We had some play-action throws and he ran the ball well. He trusted the (offensive) line, had great poise. He has been patient in the pocket. He will keep improving,” FIU coach Mike MacIntyre stated two weeks ago (miamiherald.com).
James has commanded the Panthers to a 4-4 record. With upcoming games against North Texas and Florida Atlantic, FIU will be in high-scoring, competitive games. He is a compelling CFF quarterback down the stretch run of the ‘22 campaign. If you have not watched James and Florida International, I recommend getting your eyeballs on the team for advance scouting.
Will Howard, Kansas State (Cobbett)
Fantrax Ownership: 4%
Yards Per Attempt: 9.1
Total Fantasy Points: 66.2
In his only two starts this season, Howard has thrown for 521 yards, a 6:1 TD:INT ratio, and added a touchdown on the ground. He did this against two top ten opponents and has done more than enough in Martinez’s absence.
Howard is averaging 35.2 FPPG across those two appearances and has tallied at least three touchdowns in each game. Though Adrian Martinez is the guy, if Howard remains out, he is more than capable of putting the Wildcats into the Big 12 Championship as well as getting your team closer to playoff contention.
Honorable Mention Quarterbacks
Sean Clifford, Penn State
Fantrax Ownership: 29%
Yards Per Attempt: 7.8
Total Fantasy Points: 211.1
Marquise Crosby, Louisiana Tech (Cobbett)
Fantrax Ownership: 8%
Scrimmage Yards: 578
Total Fantasy Points: 91.7
The freshman has faced some inconsistencies throughout the season. As we near the end of the campaign, his production is on an increasing trend. His worst four games have come on the road as he tallied just 94 yards and one touchdown.
In his four best games, Crosby has averaged 118.5 YPG and a touchdown on 16.3 carries per game. In his last two outings, he has combined for 202 yards and two scores, and he also posted a near 200-yard stat line earlier this season. The remaining defenses that will oppose Louisiana Tech are not very good and with back-to-back consistent performances, I believe he will make a fine addition to your CFF squad.
RJ Harvey, Central Florida (Laub)
Fantrax Ownership: 1%
Scrimmage Yards: 512
Total Fantasy Points: 77.2
Under the leadership of coach Gus Malzahn, there is no question that the Knights are one of the best running teams in the nation. UCF has the eighth-ranked ground game, averaging 244.4 RYPG with 23 touchdowns. The Knights have totaled 1,955 yards on the ground, and in six of its eight games, eclipsed 200 or more.
In the come-from-behind victory against Cincinnati, RJ Harvey led the team in carries with 18 after starting quarterback, and leading rusher, John Rhys Plumlee was sidelined. At 5’8” and 195-pounds, the redshirt junior rambled for the winning score and scampered for 84 yards. He also scored another touchdown and snatched a pass for 25 yards. Harvey’s two rushing touchdowns and 84 rushing yards were both career-bests.
Two weeks ago versus East Carolina, Harvey caught seven of eight passes for 77 yards. CFF diehards must watch updates on Plumlee’s health closely this week. In the next two games, the Knights will travel to Memphis and Tulsa, which could provide many scoring opportunities for the offense and Harvey.
Honorable Mention Running Backs
Mar’Keise Irving, Oregon
Fantrax Ownership: 26%
Scrimmage Yards: 774
Total Fantasy Points: 124.1
CFF Twitterverse on Fire!
Who is the top target on the CFF waiver wire this week?
- WR Dorian Singer, Arizona: 30%
- RB Lawrance Toafili, Florida State: 9%
- RB Daijun Edwards, Georgia: 24%
- WR Antoine Green, North Carolina: 37%
“Give me Daijun Edwards with seven scores over the last four weeks and stepping into lead role versus the Gators for 12 attempts for 106 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Milton & McIntosh banged up…Edwards is primed for bigger games.” @NinoBrown_T2T
“Dorian Singer for me. Only one subpar game in his last five. Stupendous offense. Great producer.” @aceholesrule
After nine weeks, who is your Heisman favorite heading down the stretch of the season?
- Blake Corum, Michigan: 11%
- Hendon Hooker, Tennessee: 60%
- C.J. Stroud, Ohio State: 21%
- Caleb Williams, USC: 8%
“You forgot QB Drake Maye: More touchdowns and less interceptions than Hendon Hooker and C.J. Stroud and now a 7-1 ranked UNC team leading the Coastal Division of the ACC. If he throws on Clemson like he has everyone else, it’s hard to turn him away even as a redshirt Freshman. Kid could be a first-round lock as soon as 2024.” @CFFUniversity
“Sure we can let Drake Maye join the party if UNC finishes 12-1. It’s Hendon Hooker and C.J. Stroud’s trophy to lose though. I’d put Blake Corum over Maye as well.” @RealestChrisKay
“Thought that Kentucky was a look ahead game but Hendon Hooker dominated. He made all the big plays and right decisions…I mean 18 touchdowns and an interception not many bad decisions. Hooker and the Volunteers are locked in this year.” @NinoBrown_T2T
“Max Duggan, TCU” @RGallagher
“Tough not to vote for Hooker. Tennessee hasn’t been this good since Manning and he is doing commercials!” @aceholesrule
Best coaching job in college football after nine weeks of the campaign?
- Hugh Freeze, Liberty: 12%
- Willie Fritz, Tulane: 26%
- Jim Mora, UConn: 40%
- Dan Lanning, Oregon: 22%
“Jim Mora is the favorite among this quartet. Tulane is having a fantastic year, but Willie Fritz has had them bowl eligible three of the last four years. Meanwhile, UCONN went to one bowl in the last decade, and had four combined wins the last 4 seasons combined before this year.” @copieps
“Have to go Willie Fritz, getting the GreenWave ranked for the first time since 1998 and seeing the development of QB Michael Pratt on the fly. I’m going Fritz! 7-1. Roll Wave!” @NinoBrown_T2T
“Hugh Freeze: Lost a stud QB and kept rolling!” @aceholesrule
“It has to be coach Mora.” @cusumano_sal
“No coach Josh Heupel?? He turned around the Tennessee program in one season into a top three team.” @vols_fan_matt
Antoine Green, North Carolina (Laub)
Fantrax Ownership: 43%
Team Target Share: 12%
Total Fantasy Points: 115.4
Coach Mack Brown does not garner enough media attention for the program he rebuilt at North Carolina over the past four years. From an offensive standpoint, he has provided so many stupendous CFF playmakers–Sam Howell, Javonte Williams, Michael Carter, Dyami Brown, Dazz Newsome and Josh Downs–since returning to campus.
In 2022, Drake Maye and Antoine Green have reached the pinnacle of fantasy stardom along with Downs. Against Pittsburgh, Green had a career-high in receptions (10) and receiving yards (180). The senior’s yards are a season-high for the Tar Heels, and the most since Josh Downs had 203 receiving yards against Virginia last year.
Downs and Green might be the top receiver tandem in college football this season and present a unique challenge for opposing defensive coordinators: “Antoine (Greene), you got to make sure you don’t cover him with one guy. That’s a load right now because he’s played as well as anybody in the country,” coach Mack Brown asserted (newsobserver.com).
After missing the first three games of the campaign, Green exploded against Notre Dame with three catches for 150 yards and two scores in his return. A home run hitter, the speedster has averaged 24.5 YPC on 23 receptions with six touchdowns in 2022. With Maye throwing passes and a relatively easy ACC schedule remaining, Green is a much-desirable acquisition for the playoff push in CFF leagues.
Dominic Lovett, Missouri (Cobbett)
Fantrax Ownership: 13%
Team Target Share: 24%
Total Fantasy Points: 123.4
Dominic Lovett leads the Tigers in receptions (45), receiving yards (659), and is tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns (2), all by a significant amount, solidifying him as Brady Cook’s favorite target this season. He is averaging 5.6 catches per game, 82.3 YPG, and has two touchdowns. No other Tigers’ player has over 200 receiving yards on the season. Lovett has three outings of 100-plus yards and has five or more receptions in five of eight games this season.
Honorable Mention Wide Receivers
Corey Gammage, Marshall
Fantrax Ownership: 12%
Team Target Share: 21%
Total Fantasy Points: 114.8
CFF All-Americans: Week 9
- QB Bo Nix, Oregon: 48.4 points
- QB Drake Maye, North Carolina: 41.6 points
- RB Zach Charbonnet, UCLA: 48.9 points
- RB Richard Reese, Baylor: 37 points
- WR Antoine Green, North Carolina: 40 points
- WR Dorian Dinger, Arizona: 39.1 points
- WR Rashee Rice, SMU: 39 points
- TE Jalin Conyers, Arizona State: 34.8 points
- Flex La’Damian Webb, South Alabama: 35.8 points
CFF Player of the Week: Zach Charbonnet, UCLA