In Week One, it’s easy to cast away the results with a simple “we didn’t know what we didn’t know” line. That is to say, forecasting should seemingly get more accurate the deeper into the season we go. We’ve seen how teams contend in certain situations and now we look to profit off of this knowledge with our weekly PrizePicks. There are plenty of offerings to choose from so let’s dive in and see what early lines we like heading into Week Two.
John Rhys Plumlee (Central Florida) Over 59.5 Rushing Yards
Last week Plumlee put up a great stat line going 20-of-31 for 308 yards through the air and an additional 86 yards on the ground while scoring five total touchdowns. Granted, this was against lesser competition in South Carolina State, though the matchup against Louisville doesn’t show enough reason from their Week One performance to scare me off this line. The Cardinals allowed Syracuse QB Garrett Shrader to rack up 95 yards on the ground last week so this matchup should allow the Golden Knights to exploit the same weakness.
Additionally, Central Florida is favored in this matchup by 6.5 so this should be a close enough game to not only allow for Plumlee to drop back and scramble but also for him to factor into the game plan for the entire game (something that is so important in early weeks of the season). Malzahn’s a polarizing coach to trust in fantasy, but rushing QBs really lean into his wheelhouse.
Sieh Bangura (Ohio) Over 60.5 Rushing Yards
The Bobcats have a tough matchup this week going into Happy Valley to play Penn State. However, a few factors suggest that the team’s leading rusher, Bangura, could be able to run free for some big yards. First thing first: Penn State’s defense is most vulnerable up the middle. The Penn State secondary is able to play with any passing attack in the nation but their defense, at this point in the season, has yet to see major difference makers up front and at linebacker. We could see this from Purdue (a team that is known for their proclivity passing the ball) continuously handing the ball off to King Dorue 15 times last week. On those 15 carries, he was able to accumulate 57 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Again, Purdue is a pass-first offense with a neutral game script passing rate of 62% over the last three years. In contrast, last season was Tim Albin’s first year as the Bobcats’ head coach. In that year, they had a neutral game script passing rate of 28.3%. Needless to say, Ohio is a run-first offense that is now relying solely on Bangura to pound the rock since O’Shaan Allison has been ruled out for the season with an injury. He ran for 116 yards on 23 attempts against Florida Atlantic last week and though it is a decent step up in competition, I believe he should be able to find decent success against the Nittany Lions. Even if he’s only half as efficient, the line of 60.5 still pushes him over on the same amount of carries.
Anthony Richardson (Florida) Over 273.5 Passing + Rushing Yards
This line really comes down to one thing: do you believe Utah is a tougher defense than Kentucky? In Week One, Anthony Richardson carried this Gators team on his back against a staunch Utah defense. Against this defense, he still put up 274 yards in offense – the line that PrizePicks has set is no coincidence. With the line that’s set, it becomes now can Kentucky’s defense better contain Richardson? My take is no – Richardson should have an easier time moving the ball through the air against the Wildcats. Last week, Kentucky allowed 179 passing yards to Miami of Ohio. Let’s say that just for the sake of the argument, this defense does the same against a huge step up in competition. That still means they need to hold Richardson under 94 yards rushing which Richardson surpassed against the Utes. The devil’s advocate suggests that Florida could lean more heavily on their ground game, limiting the upside of passing yardage and big scrambles for Richardson. That’s true and that’s the risk that’s associated with this line, but in a game where Florida is only favored by six, I don’t believe Billy Napier can afford to be conservative or try to take the ball out of his best playmaker’s hands. Give me the over and expect Richardson to carry the Gators as far as they can make it this season.
Grayson McCall (Coastal Carolina) Over 251.5 Passing + Rushing Yards
Coastal Carolina locked up the win against the spread option attack of Army last week. In this victory, Grayson McCall totaled 201 total yards. Once again, this is a practice of comparing Week One’s matchup with the opponent on the docket for Week Two and in this case, Gardner-Webb is a massive step down from the Black Knights. The differences between teams here are two-fold as well. Army also plays a slow, methodical offense that looks to limit possessions for the opposing team. Gardner-Webb may try to limit possessions against the Chanticleers, but to expect them to be as successful as Army was is questionable. Last year, the Bulldogs of Garnder-Webb went 4-7 including losses to Georgia Southern and Charlotte. While there is a chance that Coastal decides they want to limit any risk of injury for McCall and they rely heavily on the legs of their RBs, I believe the injury of Braydon Bennett insulates us from that risk. Even if Bennett is back in this one, there’s a decent chance they ease him back in. Regardless, McCall’s opportunity in this game should be huge as we expect them to move the ball with relative ease. Last season, he surpassed this number of total yards in 63% of games. I’m locking in McCall with an over for 251.5 passing and rushing yards this week.
A.T. Perry (Wake Forest) Over 19.0 Fantasy Points
Once again, attacking these lines early comes with a nice advantage. Sam Hartman was recently reported to be medically cleared to start this week and against a Vanderbilt team that may have found an offense for the first time in a while, there seems to be a good chance he’ll be slinging it come Saturday. This means wheels up for A.T. Perry and the Demon Deacons’ offense. Last week he only had three receptions for 47 yards, though that was with Mitch Griffis in at QB. However, looking at his season last year with Hartman at the helm, Perry averaged 5.07 receptions for 92.36 yards and 1.07 touchdowns per game. With a stat line of merely his 2021 average, Perry would surpass 20 fantasy points with PrizePicks scoring. That being said, there’s always a bit of risk in playing a player that is (or is tied to someone who is) returning from injury. Not a lot is known about Hartman’s reason for missing time, however, his return to the field is quicker than many had predicted. It is possible that it takes him a game or two to get in a rhythm and perform at the level he did last year. Given the option, though, I would bet on the talent rising to the occasion. In this particular matchup, Vandy’s offense is primed after a 63-point performance in Week Zero against Hawaii and a 42-point performance against Elon so I expect them to be able to at least put up a few scores that will keep the Demon Deacons airing it out through most of the game.
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