Let’s see who I can flip the script on this week. Last week, I talked up McCae Hillstead and Kyle Whittingham while voicing some concerns about Quinshon Judkins. Things went differently than I pictured in my head. On to week 6.
QB Sneak Peeks
CFF is all about the “next man up.” While this has evolved some with the transfer portal, it still remains a primary focus in dynasty format. We want successors in strong CFF systems. In-season injuries can allow us to get a preview of what the future holds, as we have seen with Timmy McClain at UCF, Nate Johnson at Utah, Eddie Lee Marburger at UTSA, and Behren Morton at Texas Tech. Sometimes, it can give us a good indicator of which programs will be hitting the portal for a QB. As Logan Roy once said to his children in Succession, “You are not serious people.”
The news of a high ankle sprain for Duke QB Riley Leonard means we likely get a look at his potential successor, Henry Belin. The 6’3″, 210 lb. redshirt freshman is a QB who impressed me with his high school tape. It was fascinating to watch, given that he is from inner-city NYC; the backdrop of his games was soooooo different from what you normally see with players from Texas and the South. He also had a strong spring scrimmage performance. Duke has a bye and then tough matchups vs. NC State and FSU. This will serve as a great litmus test to determine Belin’s potential should Riley go pro.
TD Regression Candidates?
Here are the running backs with the lowest carries per touchdown rate (minimum 40 carries) in the country. For reference, Blake Corum was fifth in the country last year with 18 TDs, but his carry/TD ratio was 13.8. It was taking him 5.6 more carries for each TD last year, and 13.8 is still a lofty rate. However, Corum is a proven commodity. The rest of the guys on this list seem like prime regression candidates. Miyan Williams led the country last year with a 9.14 carry/TD ratio (min 100 carries).
Old Dominion is Psychotic
If you are a fan of the Monarchs, be sure to take your Zoloft before the game because it is almost guaranteed to be a wild ride of emotions. ODU led Wake Forest 24-7 late in the third quarter of week three, only to lose 24-27. They barely beat Texas A&M Commerce 10-9 in week four. Then they led Marshall 21-3, only to lose 35-41.
Their OL is an epic disaster with the most sacks allowed in the country (27!), but they rank 6th in the country in explosive plays and pace of play. In the last two weeks, they have changed starting QBs, RBs, and WRs. It is one of the most unpredictable teams to wager your money or fantasy success on, and yet they seem like they aren’t that far off from sustained success if they could just get some damn pass blocking.
The Drum Beat For Tyrone Tracy Jr.
It is clear we were a year too early on Peny Boone. Are we about to see a similar resurgence from Tracy? A draft darling in 2022, he ended up as a total flop last year. The former WR is now playing almost exclusively at RB and has seen a steady uptick in carries as the season goes on, with a weekly volume of 3, 4, 10, 8, then….21!
Part of this is due to the fumbling issue…let me rephrase that…fumbling catastrophe that is Devin Mockobee. He leads the country in fumbles with six! The next closest has two. But Tracy has shown he’s got the goods with 27 missed tackles forced in just 46 carries. That missed tackles forced rate ranks second in the country (min. 40 carries), only to Terion Stewart of Bowling Green.
I promise not to do this often, but allow me to homer out for a minute. The Horns currently sit as a 6.5-point favorite as I write this, and if you put a gun to my head, I’d probably say that isn’t enough points.
I’m really interested in the matchup of the Texas run game led by Jonathon Brooks against the Oklahoma run D that hasn’t given up a single rushing TD all year. I love that the OU staff has realized Nic Anderson provides far more value than their TEs and has been playing more four-wide sets. Anderson’s 27 pass snaps last week vs. ISU matched Andrel Anthony.
Both programs always seem to hold back a little surprise, specifically for this game. I can’t wait to see what unfolds. It will either be a celebratory barleywine and cigar or drowning my sorrows in cheap loser beer. But either way, I’ll be drunk by the end of the night.