College Football: Week 0 is here
Finally, college football is back! I’m not sure if I’ll be blogging every main slate for every Saturday this season but I’ll try my best. With that, let’s get to the games!
Florida (-7) @ Miami O/U 47
Arizona (-11) @ Hawaii O/U 73.5
Florida (27 Implied Team Total)
Florida QB Feliepe Franks ($8.8k FD/$7.2k DK) returns as a junior to direct the Florida offense in 2019. In 2018, the duel threat QB ranked 27th in the country in “points responsible for per game” with 14.3 points per game. He had seasonal averages of 189 yards passing per game and 29.6 yards per rushing per game. Last season, the Gators’ offense favored the run as evidenced by its’ 59.2/40.8 run-pass split. This appears to be a tough spot for Franks as Miami ranked 1st in the country against the pass last season (135.6 ypg and less than 1 TD pass per game). The Gators are breaking in 4 new starting offensive linemen. However, if the front seven doesn’t get pressure, the U’s young secondary could be tested (only return one defensive back).
RB Lamical Perine ($6.2k DK/$8.3k FD) ran for 826 yards and 7 TDs while splitting carries with Jordan Scarlett in 2018. He also caught 13 passes for 170 yards (1 TD reception). With Scarlett in the NFL, Perine figures to be the centerpiece of the Gators’ offense.
WR Van Jefferson ($5.1k DK/$8.1k FD) leads an experienced group of pass catchers. In 2018, Jefferson led the Gators in all relevant receiving statistics (35 receptions for 503 yards and 6 TDs on 63 targets).
Starting at the second receiver spot will be Tyree Cleveland ($4.3k DK/$6.9k FD) (2018 – 18 receptions for 202 yards and 3 TDs on 29 targets) OR Trevon Grimes ($4.8k DK/$7k FD) (2018 – 26 receptions for 364 yards and 2 TDs on 37 targets).
Starting in the slot will be Josh Hammond ($3.8k DK/$7.4k FD)(2018 – 28 receptions for 369 yards and 4 TDs) OR Freddie Swain ($3.9k DK/$6.3k FD) (2018 – 14 receptions for 265 yards and 5 TDs) OR Kadarius Toney ($3.3k DK/$6.2k FD) (2018 – 25 receptions for 260 yards and 1 TD, also ran for 240 yards on 21 carries but no rush TDs). Toney is probably my favorite of the group as he’s being compared to Percy Harvin though each of the guys are a threat to score a long TD on any given play. The Gators also like to line Toney up all over the field.
*Target counts don’t include the Gators Bowl Game.
In 2018, Florida was 13th in passing yards allowed with 180.8 yards/game. They were 65th in rushing yards allowed with 162.5 yards/game. The Gators allowed 9 rush TDs and 9 passing TDs in 32 opponent red zone trips (13 games/slate best). In total, the defense gave up 13 TDs on the ground (1 TD/game which was a slate best) and 16 TDs through the air (1.23 TD/game) this season.
Miami (20 Implied Team Total)
Duel threat QB Jarren Williams ($7.5k FD/$6.1k DK) will get the start for the Hurricanes. He was a 4-star recruit in 2018 from Georgia. Playing behind an inexperienced line, Williams will be forced to make plays with his legs. The good news is that if Miami’s offense coordinator, Dan Enos, get his way he won’t replace Williams should he struggle (courtesy of David Wunderlich at gatorcountry.com)
RB DeeJay Dallas ($7.9 FDk/$5.8k DK) leads the Hurricanes’ rushing attack. I’d suspect that the U will try to lean on Dallas (and Cam’ron Harris) as they break in a new QB. Dallas ran for 617 yards and 6 TDs and caught 10 passes for 85 yards in 2018.
Buffalo transfor K.J. Osborn ($7.2k FD/$5k DK) will start at the X-receiver while Jeff Thomas ($7.5k FD/$5.3k DK) returns to the team and will start at the Y-receiver. Mike Harley ($5.6k FD/$4.2k DK) will start in the slot with Brevin Jordan ($6k FD/$3.7k DK) starting at tight end. At Buffalo, Osborn caught 53 passes for 892 yards and 7 TDs (103 targets/13 games). He was the Bulls’ deep threat. In 2018, Jeff Thomas caught 35 passes for 563 yards and 3 TDs in 11 games. Thomas started 2018 on fire as he caught 11 passes for 404 yards and 2 TDs in the team’s first 3 games. He’s supremely talented if he can put it together. Mike Harley had 21 receptions for 240 yards in 2018. Jordan caught 32 passes for 287 yards and 4 TDs in 2018. Jordan figures to be a security blanket for Williams.
In 2018, Miami was 1st in passing yards allowed with 135.6 yards/game. They were 42nd in rushing yards allowed with 143.3 yards/game. The Hurricanes allowed 12 rush TDs and 7 passing TDs in 39 opponent red zone trips (13 games). In total, the defense gave up 15 TDs on the ground (1.15 TD/game) and 11 TDs through the air (.85 TD/game which is a slate best) this season.
Arizona (42 Implied Team Total)
QB Khalil Tate accounted for 28 TDs in 2018. The duel threat QB averaged 210.8 yards passing and 2.17 pass TDs along with 18.7 yards rushing per game. The talented passer battled an ankle injury for a good portion of last season which limited his running ability. Tate’s 5 rushing attempts inside the opponent’s 5-yard line was second on the team in 2018. The Wildcats offense favored the run in 2018 as evidenced by its’ 55.8/44.2 run-pass split. This is a phenomenal spot for Tate as Hawaii was torched for 35 TD passes from enemy passers in 2018 (Hawaii should be better since they return 9 starters on defense but it’s hard to say just how much better).
RB JJ Taylor returns to the Wildcats after a huge 2018. The stud RB ran for 1,434 and 6 rush TDs. He also caught 16 passes for 133 yards (0 TD). Taylor should have a huge day against a Hawaii defense that surrendered 28 rush TDs to opposing backs in 2018.
Arizona welcomes a bunch of new faces at the wide receiver position. The leading return receiver is Cedric Peterson ($8.4k FD/$5.9k DK). He’s the only receiver on the roster to start a Division I college football game. In 2018, Peterson caught 18 passes for 268 yards and 4 TDs. Known primarily as a good blocker, Peterson looks to show that he can catch too. He’s a big receiver (much like Shawn Poindexter) and will play on the outside. Starting opposite of Peterson will be Drew Dixon ($4k FD/$3.2k DK) OR Jalen Booby Curry ($5.1k FD/$4k DK). Dixon is a converted WR while Curry is a four-star recruit. Curry has been named to the 2019 Freshman All-American watch list. The starting slot receiver will be Brian Casteel ($6.1k FD/$5.5k DK) OR Jamarye Joiner ($4k FD/$3.1k) DK). Casteel returns to the team after missing the entire 2018 season with an injury. Regarding Joiner, the coaches have been raving about Joiner’s progress after converting from QB to WR this spring. Stanley Berryhill III ($7.7k FD/$4.4k DK) returns after catching 14 passes for 218 yards and 2 TDs in 2018. All of these guys figure to see a fair share of snaps in Kevin Sumlin’s wide open, up-tempo offense. Last but not least, Bryce Wolma ($4.9k FD/$3.1k DK) will be the starting tight end (5 receptions for 69 yards and 0 TDs in 2018).
In 2018, Arizona was 120th in passing yards allowed with 269.5 yards/game. They were 64th in rushing yards allowed with 162.5 yards/game. The Wildcats allowed 17 rush TDs and 13 passing TDs in 48 opponent red zone trips (12 games). In total, the defense gave up 24 TDs on the ground (2 TD/game) and 27 TDs through the air (2.25 TD/game) this season.
Hawaii (31 Implied Team Total)
QB Cole McDonald ($10.7k FD/$8.8k DK) will lead the run ‘n shoot offense for Hawaii. In 2018, the prolific passer threw 3,875 and 36 TDs despite missing some time due to an injury. This should be a solid matchup for McDonald as Arizona allowed 2.25 TD passes per game in 2018.
Hawaii has listed Dayton Furuta OR Fred Holly III OR Miles Reed as the starter at RB. McDonald throws a TON so the leading rusher will be lucky to have 10+ carries in a game. The best bet to start is Furuta as he’s been named to the Doak Walker watch list and named a team captain. Last season, the bruising RB ran for 459 yards and 2 TDs on 93 carries. He also caught 10 passes for 89 yards and 1 TD. Fred Holly III ran for 468 yards and 4 TDs on 108 carries (8 receptions for 77 yards, 0 TD). Miles Reed rushed 30 times for 130 yards and 0 TDs in 2018 (2 receptions for 8 yards, 0 TD).
Hawaii returns two big play receivers in Cedric Byrd II ($8.7k FD/$6.9k DK) and JoJo Ward ($9.3k FD/$6k DK). Ward caught 51 passes for 865 yards and 9 TDs while Byrd II caught 79 passes for 970 yards and 9 TDs in 2018. Excluding the team’s bowl game, Byrd II was targeted 110 times while Ward was targeted 102 times. Jason Matthew-Sharsh ($6k FD/$4.7k DK) is taking over the “slotback” role this season. He caught 9 passes for 152 yards and 1 TD in 2018. Melquise Stovall ($5.5k FD/$5.7k DK) figures to play a decent role (even though he’s not starting) after transferring from Cal. Freshman Jared Smart ($5k FD/$3k DK) will open the 2019 campaign as a starter at wide receiver.
In 2018, Hawaii was 76th in passing yards allowed with 235.1 yards/game. They were 103rd in rushing yards allowed with 204.6 yards/game. The Warriors allowed 24 rush TDs and 18 passing TDs in 62 opponent red zone trips (14 games). In total, the defense gave up 28 TDs on the ground (2 TD/game) and 35 TDs through the air (2.5 TD/game which is a slate worst) this season.
Good luck in all your contests this weekend!