We are coming down the home stretch in most CFF leagues as our season isn't a marathon like the NFL, it's more like a 10K. I will be putting out a column next week breaking down all 16 playoff teams in the one-of-a-kind Rotoworld 50-Team Super League so the public can get a look at how each playoff-worthy team approached composing their rosters. Onto the Week 8 waiver wire!
12 Team Leagues
QB - Carter Stanley - Kansas - Senior - 1%
Few things in my CFF life bring me the unadulterated joy that Big-12 offenses do. So when the opportunity presents itself to pick up a Big-12 QB who has thrown at least three passing touchdowns in four-of-his-last-five games while tossing for 310 yards and four touchdowns passes against Texas last week, you should jump on it. Kansas has lost their last four games after their 48-24 upset over BC. Over this last five game stretch the Jayhawks have averaged 30.8 PPG and have a nice upcoming slate against Texas Tech/Kansas St./@Oklahoma State where Stanley should be able to produce CFF relevant QB numbers for the price of a waiver claim.
RB - Gerrid Doaks - Cincinnati - Junior - 1%
Doaks led Cinci in rushing in 2017 with 513 yards and a 5.9 YPC but missed almost all of 2018 with a groin injury that afforded Michael Warren the opportunity to turn in a 1st-Team All-ACC performance. Heading into 2019 Doaks found himself in a three-way backfield race and splitting backup duties with Tavion Thomas. However as is often the case in football, Tavion Thomas got hurt three weeks ago and Warren went down with a leg injury this Saturday leaving the starting RB duties to Doaks. He was up to the task, rushing 17 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns as G5 powerhouse Cincinnati racked up a 24-13 victory over Tulsa. Cinci is on bye this week before facing @ECU/UCONN/@USF the next 3 weeks. If Warren misses any time, Doaks will be an immediate starting option against this slate of hapless defenses.
RB - DeMontre Tuggle - Ohio - Junior - 1%
The Bobcat running back room has been as fluid as any backfield situation in CFF. Entering camp the battle to replace AJ Oulette boiled down to Julian Ross vs. O'Shaan Allison, with Ross having the edge due to experience. Week 1 against Rhode Island, Ross led with 14 carries for 68 yards. Week 2 against Pitt, Allison dominated with 14 carries for 42 yards while Ross rushed only twice. In Week 3, Allison received 12 carries to Tuggle's 10. Each of the three running back missed time with injuries, but Allison seemed to be in the lead until this past week when Tuggle carried 19 times for 80 yards and two touchdowns to go with 3 catches for 24 yards in Ohio's victory over Kent State. Tuggle is a talented receiving back that has carved himself out a niche as a play-maker in Ohio's intimidating offense that faces @Ball State/Miami OH/Western Mich/BGSU/Akron down the stretch. That schedule is a dream and if Tuggle is the feature back going forward, then he's going to carve out considerable CFF value.
WR - T.J. Simmons - West Virginia - Junior - 12%
I was shocked to see T.J. Simmons on the waiver wire of 2 different 20-Team Dynasty leagues that I play in. Similar to Carter Stanley, Simmons has been discounted because he plays for a bottom-dwelling West Virginia team that got boat-raced the past 3 weeks against upper echelon Big-12 teams in Oklahoma/Iowa State/Texas. For CFF purposes West Virginia's tendency to get down early only enhances Simmons' value as the Mountaineers are forced to abandon the run and throw downfield to catch up. As such, Simmons has caught 18 passes for 284 yards and four touchdowns in the last 3 games as the primary option in the WVU passing game. West Virginia plays @Baylor/Texas Tech/@K St./Oklahoma State over the next month and T.J. Simmons will produce CFF starting worthy numbers for the playoff stretch.
WR - R.J. Turner - Texas Tech - Senior - 1%
I'm especially sensitive to depth-chart movement around this time of year for schools with new HC's. Texas Tech hired HC Matt Wells to take over the Red Raiders offense. Wells has moved several wide receivers through the lineup during the first half of the season in an attempt to evaluate which players best fit OC David Yost's system. Over the past two games against the respectable defenses of Iowa State and Baylor, Turner snagged 18 passes for 212 yards as the starting outside receiver opposite T.J. Vasher. New starting QB Jett Duffey has established a comfort level with Turner that has really elevated R.J.'s role in the offense. Texas Tech has a Big-12 CFF dream schedule down the stretch playing @Kansas/@WVU/TCU/Kansas State/@Texas. Turner should continue to be a valuable target-hog for CFF owners in PPR leagues in need of a dependable low-floor wide receiver.
TE - Kylen Granson - SMU - Junior - 8%
HC Sonny Dykes has built the SMU offense into a juggernaut that is averaging 521 yards and 44.3 points per game for the undefeated Mustangs. With highly-talented QB Shane Buechele orchestrating the Air-Raid offense, wide receivers James Proche and Reggie Roberson have produced elite CFF WR numbers. As the saying goes, "A rising tide lifts all boats" and that proverb is true with the SMU offense, as TE Kylen Granson has quietly produced quality CFF starting tight end numbers at only a 8% ownership rate. Granson has gone for at least 50 yards receiving in four-of-his-six games this year and has posted at least 12 PPR fantasy points in three-of-his-last-four. Granson is a steady TE option in an elite CFF offense.
20 Team Leagues
QB - Dustin Crum - Kent State - Junior - 1%
Heading into the 2019 season former highly-touted Auburn recruit Woody Barrett was heralded as a potential top-20 quarterback in many CFF expert circles. However Barrett's lack of accuracy and ineffectiveness gave Dustin Crum an opportunity to play and he has run with it. HC Sean Lewis' "Flash Fast" offense is capable of scoring points in bunches, but a brutal off-conference schedule against Arizona State/Auburn/Wisconsin obscured the signs of offensive progress that foreshadowed Kent State's numbers against their first three MAC opponents. Kent State is 2-1 in MAC play, scoring 62, 26 and 38 points respectively versus their conference rivals. Crum posted over 30 fantasy points in two of those three MAC games, with a 8/0 ratio and 243 rushing yards total. He is quietly posting 20-team starting QB-worthy numbers and faces a closing stretch of Miami Oh/@Toledo/Buffalo/Ball St./EMU. Dustin Crum could end up being a quality #2 QB down the stretch for teams in need of a bye-week or matchup based QB option.
RB - Kenan Christon - USC - Freshman - 0%
When USC RB's Markese Stepp and Stephen Carr went down with injuries against Arizona, Kenan Christon was called upon to carry the rock for USC as they tried to salt-away their 41-14 victory. Instead of merely protecting the lead, Christon provided an immediate spark for the USC as he ran for a 55-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter for his first career touchdown. Not satisfied with only one touchdown in his debut, he promptly followed that up with another 30-yard touchdown to seal the game late in the fourth. Christon was USC's top RB signing of their 2019 recruiting class who also won both the 100-yard and 200-yard California state track championships while being timed at 10.3 seconds in the 100-meter dash. USC plays the soft Colorado Buffaloes defense this week and Christon would be an easy starting option should Stepp and Carr miss additional time. Regardless, he's an excellent Dynasty add.
RB - Cyrus Habib-Likio - Oregon - Sophomore - 1%
In the three games since missing Oregon's September 21st win over Stanford, Habib-Likio has rushed 36 times for 165 yards and five touchdowns as Oregon's preferred short-yardage and goal-line back. In Oregon's 35-31 win over Washington this past weekend, starting RB C.J. Verdell got banged up for the second time in their last three games and it was Habib-Likio who got the call to handle primary RB duties over Travis Dye. He responded with 14 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown and solidified himself as the preferred option behind Verdell. Dye has experienced fumbling issues and is too small for consistent between-the-tackles work, so if Verdell misses any more time CHL is the back to own. In fact, he might end up cutting into Verdell's load even if he is healthy.
WR - Mike Carrigan - Kent State - Senior - 1%
Carrigan led the Golden Flashes in receiving last season, catching 46 passes for 597 yards and five touchdowns. In year two of HC Sean Lewis' system, many prognosticators singled-out Carrigan for pre-season All-Mac honors. However Carrigan missed the first games of the season with an undisclosed disciplinary issue and only caught two passes against Auburn before catching 14 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns in his first three games of Kent State's MAC schedule. I think you could see Carrigan continue to produce deep-league CFF value as Kent State plays more CFF-friendly MAC defenses.
WR - Stephon Robinson - Kansas - Junior - 0%
That's right, more Big-12 bottom-feeding teams with 30+ point per game offenses to highlight. Over the past two games Stephon Robinson has eclipsed Andrew Parchment as the number one WR for the Jayhawks by catching 12 passes for 198 yards and four touchdowns as KU's top red-zone threat. As discussed in the Carter Stanley write-up, Kansas is a terrible defensive team with a respectable offense that plays a favorable CFF schedule the next three weeks against Texas Tech/Kansas St./Oklahoma State. You really can't ask for more in a 20-team league than that and Robinson is only owned in 0% of leagues. He is well worth a speculative stab.
TE - Noah Bean - UNLV - Sophomore - 0%
The mid-season tight end waiver-wire in deep leagues can be a lonely pond to fish in. Which is why we CFF'ers need to pay attention when young TE's start to emerge in unlikely places. Case in point is Noah Bean, who has caught six passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns over his last two games and still carries a 0% ownership rate. UNLV plays SDSU this week, but then faces @Col. St/Hawaii/SJSU/@Nevada to end the season. That is a murderer's row of cream-puff defenses, so even a moribund offense like UNLV should be able to muster respectable numbers for tight end needy owners looking for an oasis in a desert of tight end futility.