Our Week 7 Fan Picks college football picks found similar results to week 6… We split in the later slates, dominated the afternoon slate, but missed early. Let’s try and find winners for each of the slates here in week 8.
We did receive a few emails about the length/quality of the college football articles. They will remain the way they have been the past couple weeks. Between the two articles we posted last week, we saw a combined 500 total page views. Compare that with over 25,000+ views that any single NFL article we write for FanDuel and DraftKings gets and you will understand why we can’t afford to spend more time here.
Early Slate Picks
There isn’t a ton of fire power in this early slate, in fact these are by far the lowest scoring Vegas totals we have seen for a Fan Picks slate yet this season:
Fan Picks Price – $10,000
Louisville has the highest team total of the night, Jackson is still averaging over 5x on Fan Picks, and if Louisville is getting to 42 points, Jackson will have 5 touchdowns again here. This is a tough spot for the NC State defense, they are coming off from Clemson week, and now have to face Bobby Petrino’s high scoring Louisville offense led by their own Heisman candidate. I expect a game similar to what he did at home against FSU, 350 total yards 1 passing and 4 rushing touchdowns.
Just a side note, the Heisman committee needs to really look at Jackson’s rushing touchdowns. Twice last week he took the ball out of his back’s stomach as the RB walked into the end zone and then followed him in himself. I would guess half of his rushing touchdowns would go to the RB if he just made the right read. Take out his 6 passing touchdowns against Charlotte and 5 against Marshall and Jackson has 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in actual football games this season. Not Heisman QB numbers.
Fan Picks Price – $5,700
There is one passing offense you can truly trust in this slate (maybe 1.5 if you are in on the Northwestern turnaround). Rudolph got a slow start to what was supposed to be a Heisman-type year, but has really turned it on over the past month. He has averaged over 390 passing yards per game, and 2.5 touchdowns over his last four. The fact that the Cowboys have no interest in running the ball should only make him that much more of a safer play against the weakest defense in the Big 12.
Fan Picks Price – $5,400
It seems like Justin Jackson has gotten 30 carries in every Northwestern game for the past three seasons. With the Northwestern passing game rolling over the past two week, Jackson has converted 60 carries into 359 yards and 3 touchdowns. This week he faces an Indiana defense that is allowing over 165 rushing yards per game this season, good for 67th in the nation. I don’t think he adds another 150 yard game, but you are getting volume and in this low scoring slate, 100 yards and a touchdown should be good enough.
Fan Picks Price – $4,500
Shannon Brooks is arguably the most talented back in this slate, and looks like he’s finally getting back to full speed. Rodney Smith had a monster week 7 performance for the Gophers, but you take away his 70 yard touchdown and Brooks out touched and outproduced him. Smith and Brooks will face a Rutgers defense that is currently allowing over 280 rushing yards per game.
Fan Picks Price – $6,300
What to do at the top of this receiver slate… We all know what Etta-Tawo did at the start of the year, and we know the run Washington and Carr have been on. However, like we said in the open with Jackson, I think you can only fully trust the Oklahoma State passing game in this slate. For that reason, I’m targeting not only Washington, but…
Fan Picks Price – $4,800
Over the past five games, as Rudolph has averaged nearly 400 yards per game, McCleskey has been on a run of his own. He somehow only had three catches in a game that Rudolph went over 500 yards, but went for 110 the week before and averaged 90 yards and a touchdown in the next three. McCleskey should always be a consistent receiver in matchups like this one with Kansas… He operates out of the slot, has the highest catch rate amongst OK State receivers, and his target rate is slowly approaching Washington’s and is now at 21%.
Fan Picks Price – $5,600
I believe we have started Samuels every week this season, and he really hasn’t let us down yet. He produces as a pass catcher and runner, and Louisville looks like a much better matchup than it did a month ago. The Cardinals are now give up 28 PPG, including over 500 yards to Clemson. Samuels is a 120 yards and 2 touchdown lock most weeks, so we won’t hesitate to pull the string on him in this slate.
Fan Picks Price – $4,000
This is the first time we have ever considered starting two tight ends on Fan Picks, but I think you want the consistency of both Samuels and Hurst in your early week 8 lineups. Hurst has been rolling as of late, and is by far the most targeted Gamecock with a 25% target share and 70% catch rate. He put up 11/176 against Georgia and Texas A&M, and will clearly have a much easier go of it against UMass.
Afternoon Slate Picks
Fan Picks Price – $6,200
Trubisky has been a much better passer than we had anticipated, but his running numbers have been somewhat disappointing. Despite having to play through that insane hurricane game, Trubisky is averaging over 300 yards and 2 touchdowns per game, and while he hasn’t been great as a runner, is still giving fantasy owners an additional 5 ppg on the ground. Virginia has the nation’s 95th ranked pass defense, and 81st ranked scoring defense, giving up over 31 ppg. Look for Trubisky to have a performance similar to what he did to Florida State and Pittsburgh, both games where he went for over 35 fantasy points.
Fan Picks Price – $6,200
You have to love the fact that Hurts has averaged 22.5 PPG as a runner over the last two games for the Crimson Tide. He will have his opportunities to run again this week, as the Aggies will have to deal with a red hot set of Alabama running backs, and skilled receivers looking to pick apart their leaky secondary. We expect Kiffin to have Hurts ready to hit some big plays against early-down run blitzes, and use the aggressive nature of A&M’s great front four to run the ball early and often this week.
Fan Picks Price – $5,600
The Tulsa running game is going to have to show up against a Tulane defense that may have Conference USA’s top secondary. Tulane has a top 35 scoring and pass defense, but fall towards the middle to bottom third in the nation in run defense. After racking up 84 carries in the previous 2 games, Montgomery backed off Brewer in the Louisville game, but we expect to see a heavy dose of the junior running back again this week.
Fan Picks Price – $5,000
It seems as though Newby has officially wrestled away lead back duties from Ozigbo, and Riley stated earlier this week that he’s unsure of what Ozigbo’s (1 carry last week) role will be moving forward. This is a dream matchup against a Purdue defense that currently ranks 124th nationally against the run. We have Newby just slightly ahead of Brewer and Hicks as our top back in this slate.
Fan Picks Price – $5,700
You know a receiver is fantasy gold when they finish a game with 17 yards, and still hit 3x value. Switzer somehow caught 9 passes for 17 yards and a touchdown last week? That gave him 41 receptions for 360+ yards and 2 touchdowns over his last 4 games. The volume of targets he receives makes him a solid play nearly every week, and this week he faces a struggling Virginia secondary that is currently allowing over 13 yards per completion.
Fan Picks Price – $3,500
Lovie Smith is finding out that running his Tampa 2 with an inferior front 7, in the Big 10, may not be the best idea. This is especially true when you face a Michigan team that ranks 13th in the nation in rushing. We expect to see at least one safety move into the box, and thing only thing worse than playing two deep against a run game like Michigan’s is playing a cover 2 with one of the safeties missing, and a NFL-caliber receiver that runs a 4.3 on the outside. Illinois will be forced to adjust for the power run game, and Chesson will hit at least one long touchdown over the top.
Fan Picks Price – $3,900
This is one of those slates where it’s hard to love any of the options at tight end… You can either punt, or role out the best available player and hope for the best. Butt projects as a first or second round draft choice, but hasn’t had a big game since putting up 28 against UCF earlier this year. However, aside from last week’s slaughtering of Rutgers, he’s been steady… which is more than you can say for the majority of the names at the top of the position for this slate.