Georgia Tech QB Tobias Oliver -- TaQuon Marshall was dethroned from starting duties in Week 9 -- he had started 18 consecutive contests prior to last week’s game against Virginia Tech -- with Oliver taking opening snaps in his stead. He proceeded to go off for 215 rushing yards and three touchdowns. While Marshall has been dealing with minor injury this season, Oliver’s ascension seems to be based more on merit than necessity. Marshall, himself, was one of our favorite in-season pickups early last year, and triple-option quarterbacks can pay off dividends thanks to their extreme rushing upside.
Duke QB Daniel Jones -- Owned in just 13-percent of Fantrax leagues, Jones is one of our favorite quarterbacks out there -- he came back in just three weeks' time from a fractured collarbone thanks, in part, to a brace 3D-printed by several teammates -- and is fresh off a four-touchdown, 396-yard demolition of Pitt. That was his second game in his last three with at least three touchdown passes, and his third such showing of his seven-game campaign. Jones has also rushed double-digit times in back-to-back games, which we read as a positive sign in regards to his health.
Oregon State QB Jake Luton -- Let’s take this show to Corvallis. Luton has been floating about in injury purgatory for most of his career at OSU, with an ankle issue keeping him out since Week 2 of the current campaign. He finally made his triumphant comeback in Saturday’s “wait, seriously” 28-point comeback against Colorado, and finished with 310 yards passing and three touchdowns in leading the Beavers to the overtime win. We’re not going to argue that Oregon State is a good team, but Luton has receivers in Trevon Bradford and Isaiah Hodgins. He has running backs in Jermar Jefferson and Artavis Pierce. There are pieces there.
Wake Forest RB Matt Colburn -- Colburn garnered low-grade fame in strutting for 243 rushing yards and three touchdowns against Louisville (mercy, what a black hole) on Saturday after the Cardinals had attempted to grayshirt him, which led to a walk-on at Wake Forest, which leads us to this moment on the waiver wire. As great as the story might be, Colburn has often misstepped this season, with this past weekend’s game just his second showing of more than 100 yards this season. That’s the bad news. The good news? He continues to receive consistent work, haven taken double-digit carries in all but one game this season.
Arkansas State RB Marcel Murray -- Warren Wand was the name about town with the Red Wolves during summer drafts, but Murray has since begun to carve out a sizeable niche of his own as the weather has chilled. Week 8 saw him rush for 115 yards and a touchdown against Georgia State, while Week 9 was worth 121 yards and three touchdowns against Louisiana. That output came on a combined 30 carries. In that small space, Wand has taken seven fewer carries while being out-rushed by 131 yards. Both backs figure to receive their fair share of touches as the season nears its end. Murray is intriguing even if this is essentially a timeshare. We like his recent success.
Fresno State RB Ronnie Rivers -- Rivers broke out for a season-best 125 yards on 11 carries against Hawaii on Saturday. While he’s mostly put forth an otherwise quiet campaign, the sophomore back offers receiving chops in addition to his traditional groundwork, having caught a combined seven passes for 60 yards and a touchdown in the two games prior to that aforementioned Saturday affair. Two of Fresno State’s final four games come against UNLV and San Jose State, both matchups that could prove palatable for Rivers.
Liberty RB Frankie Hickson -- In each of the last five games, Hickson has rushed for at least 65 yards. That’s the floor. He’s posted 100-plus yards in the two of the last three games, including a campaign-best 155 yards against Louisiana at the beginning of October. That's the ceiling. While the Flames do have likely down games against Virginia and Auburn ahead of them, they also have contests against UMass, New Mexico State and Norfolk State remaining on the schedule.
Boise State WR John Hightower -- If you would like to get a piece of the Boise State offense but did not acquire any Broncos during your draft, Hightower makes for an upside down-the-stretch roll of the dice. The JUCO transfer just posted an 8-182-3 receiving line against Air Force on Saturday, and while that’s an outlier of a performance -- just his second 100-yard game -- we’ll happily make a bid for Hightower, currently owned in just 10% of Fantrax leagues. Our only word of caution (and this goes for all BSU fantasy prospects), the schedule will not be kind down the stretch. Boise State finishes the year with BYU, Fresno State, New Mexico and Utah State. Tread carefully if you own shares in the Broncos.
Oregon State WR Isaiah Hodgins -- We already stuck our neck out for Oregon State QB Jake Luton, doing it even more so with Hodgins. He rolled with 11 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s stirring comeback versus the Buffs. That was his second supernova showing of the campaign, as he also 14 catches for 200 yards and two scores against Nevada in mid-September. Hodgins has been limited by injury around all of this fun, injury and bad quarterback play. If he’s healthy, and if Luton can bring some stability to the passing game, we’re going to be confidently starting Hodgins in the playoffs.
Kentucky WR Lynn Bowden -- Bowden is a player we’ve been keeping watch on since his high school days. He’s a true weapon with the ball in his hands. Unfortunately, it’s been difficult to play him in fantasy due to the untrustworthy nature of the offense surrounding him. Kentucky simply doesn’t have a passing game. We like to lean on our hunches, though. Bowden just caught 13 passes for 166 yards against Missouri on Saturday. His schedule will significantly loosen up after this coming weekend’s game against Georgia, with contests against Tennessee, Middle Tennessee and Louisville to close out the season. We’re betting that Bowden pops once or twice more before the end of the campaign.
TCU WR Jalen Reagor -- Well, Reagor shouldn’t seriously be on your waiver wire at all, to start, but he’s apparently still available in 70-percent of leagues. Right that wrong. It’s not just that he should be owned in all but the shallowest of formats, he could be in line for a nitro boost to finish out the season. Michael Collins looked Reagor’s way on repeat in Saturday's loss to the Jayhawks, with the wideout finishing up his afternoon having caught eight passes for 177 yards and a touchdown. Collins didn’t enter the season as starter, but it’s not out of the question that he might be able to provide some baseline stability to a passing game that was very much “here and there” with Shawn Robinson helming the ship. Even beyond his one-game connection with Collins, Reagor has brought it, making more than five catches in five of eight contests this season.