College Fantasy Football: Week 11 viewers' guide
Week 11 of the college football season is underway. Here is a look at what we will be watching from a fantasy football perspective.
MICHIGAN ODDS INCREDIBLE
If you’re a fantasy owner and you have Michigan’s offensive players or its defense, rush to put them all in your starting lineup. The Wolverines are nearly 40-point favorites at Rutgers this weekend and the over/under line is sitting at 48, which means the oddsmakers think the Scarlet Knights are good for about a field goal this weekend, a touchdown if they’re incredibly lucky.
And Las Vegas thinks Michigan will score at least 40 points. That’s good news for owners of quarterback Shea Patterson, running back Karan Higdon, receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones and even some talented backups, since the starters should not be in the game long. Rutgers showed signs of life at Wisconsin last weekend, but quarterback Artur Sitkowski’s numbers are still horribly bad, and Michigan’s defense is arguably the best in the country. It’s going to be ugly in New Jersey this weekend.
The Oklahoma-Oklahoma State rivalry is always fun to watch, and this year’s version could be even more exciting, especially if you love watching offense - and bad defenses. The over/under is inching toward 80, and that should be music to the ears of fantasy owners who want to see their players go up and down the field and score points.
As for opportunities, there are still some out there. Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, the top scorer in the fantasy game by a wide margin, along with receivers CeeDee Lamb and Marquise Brown are basically owned in all fantasy leagues.
On the Sooners’ side, though, receiver Lee Morris is only owned at a three-percent clip and running back Trey Sermon is owned at 60 percent. Morris had 101 receiving yards and two scores, and Sermon had 206 rushing yards and three TDs last weekend at Texas Tech.
At Oklahoma State, quarterback Taylor Cornelius is the fifth-highest scorer in fantasy points, but is owned at only 39 percent. He would be a steal against an Oklahoma defense that allowed 366 passing yards and four TDs to Texas Tech last weekend. If you want to take a shot, Cowboys receiver Tyron Johnson is only owned in eight percent of leagues.
The Kentucky-Tennessee game is lining up to be a low-scoring, tight game dominated by the defenses. Basically, a nightmare for fantasy owners. The over/under line is set at 42.5, with the Wildcats as 5-point favorites, so a 24-17, 24-20 kind of game is expected. That might be even a little much.
Tennessee scored 14 points last weekend against Charlotte and one of those touchdowns came on a punt return. Both TDs were scored in the first quarter, so the Volunteers were held scoreless in the final three stanzas. Against Charlotte.
Kentucky’s offense is largely one-dimensional behind the running of Benny Snell, Jr. The Wildcats only average about 157 passing yards per game. This should be a snoozer - and a hard pass - for fantasy owners.
There was so much hype and build-up around the Alabama-LSU game last week, and it ended up with the Crimson Tide obliterating the Tigers, 29-0. Maybe the game Alabama really needed to focus on was this Mississippi State matchup, because the Bulldogs’ defense - especially the front four - might be the best in the country.
I’m not calling for an outright upset, but this game could get interesting for a few reasons: Alabama’s quarterbacks (Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts) are banged up. Running back Najee Harris has an ankle injury and is questionable. Top receivers Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs popped up on the injury report this week.
And then there is Mississippi State’s defense. The Bulldogs allow just 12.3 points per game and have given up just nine touchdowns all season. Defensive linemen Jeffery Simmons and Montez Sweat could start on Alabama’s front - and that’s saying something.
Alabama is too good and too deep - especially against a Mississippi State offense that is not filled with explosive players - to lose this game, but it could be closer than people think.
BE CAREFUL ON NOTRE DAME
Florida State is a bad football team right now, a team that has been embarrassed by Clemson and NC State in back-to-back losses, but the Seminoles still have talented players on both sides of the ball and might make Saturday’s game at Notre Dame at least a little bit interesting.
That previous sentence might not have been written if Irish quarterback Ian Book was playing this weekend, but he is not because of a rib injury. That means Brandon Wimbush is back in the starting lineup after being benched earlier this season. He’s played in four games and is completing 55.3 percent of his passes, with one touchdown and four picks.
It might be time to sideline your Notre Dame skill players in fantasy lineups. Even Dexter Williams might need to be put on the bench, since Florida State is only allowing 2.8 yards per rush and the Seminoles will surely load up the box to force Wimbush to throw the ball.