Week 3 wasn’t exactly filled with high profile matchups between ranked teams. For viewing purposes, that’s somewhat disappointing, but for fantasy evaluations, it provides opportunities for high-level production.
To mix it up a little bit, my highlight players are all going to come from one team this week. Not only did Central Florida secure the victory for my lock pick from the RotoViz College Football podcast, but they dominated a traditional powerhouse team.
And here are the players that caught my eye.
Dillon Gabriel, QB, UCF
There was some question about who would be starting at QB. Brandon Wimbush started off the season under center, but Gabriel has been impressive in relief. Gabriel had his number called in this game. One week after only completing 36.8% of his passes, the true freshman completed 73.3% for 347 yards and four TDs. This performance was good enough to get him named to Pro Football Focus’s team of the week.
Gabriel is currently averaging 14.5 adjusted yards per attempt and has yet to throw a TD. If you’re in a deep devy league or CFB dynasty league, Gabriel should be seen as a strong buy candidate.
Greg McCrae, RB, UCF
McCrae continues to split the rushing workload with Adrian Killins, but he made the most of a showcase matchup with 109 yards and a TD on 11 carries. He’s averaging 7.4 yards per carry for the season. On the negative side, he’s only accounted for one reception, this season. Hopefully, his usage rate in the passing game increases. This limitation, paired with his shared workload at a smaller program, likely limits his draft capital upside.
Tre Nixon, WR, UCF
The Ole Miss transfer has thrived in his second season with the UCF Knights. Nixon has 149 yards and two TDs in two games this season, including an 88 yard, one TD performance against Stanford. Nixon is a former four-star, top-200 prospect who never had the opportunity to make an impact at Mississippi.1 With his pedigree and improving production, Nixon should play his way into being a Day 3 NFL Draft selection and is worth a stash in devy leagues despite his advanced age.
Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF
Davis is currently leading the team with 229 receiving yards and three TDs. Against Stanford, he had 63 yards and a TD on four receptions. Davis currently has a 23.7% share of the team’s receiving yards and he’s coming off of a season in which he had 25%. Davis was a three-star prospect and is one year younger than his teammate. Should he break out this season with a 0.30 dominator rating, he would be an intriguing dynasty asset.
Other Notable Players
The defense was the highlight for Temple as they slowed a Maryland offense that had averaged over 70 points per game in the first two weeks. But QB Anthony Russo’s 277 yards and 3 TDs gave the offense enough firepower to pull off the upset. His main target, sophomore Jadan Blue has over 100 yards in each of the team’s first two games and looks to be on his way to a breakout season. These two could help Temple be an under-the-radar American Athletic Conference contender.
Hank Bachmeier has continued to impress during his freshman year. He 238 yards and two TDs en route to a big win over Portland State.
Michael Warren‘s final stat line was impressive with 113 yards and three TDs on just 12 carries, but that included a 73-yard run. Without that run, Warren averaged less than four yards per carry. However, it’s a positive sign to see him break off an explosive play.
Antonio Gandy-Golden is going to be mentioned frequently this season. In Liberty’s first win of the year, he compiled eight receptions for 174 yards and two TDs.
Week 4 Group of 5 Matchups of the Week
Houston vs. Tulane (Thursday)
D’Eriq King is an electric athlete. It’s unfortunate that he lacks traditional size for an NFL QB which limits his devy upside, but at the college level, he’s a must-watch. But he’s not the only player worth watching. I’ve been a fan of Darnell Mooney since the end of last season. He led the FBS in dominator rating during the regular season and accounted for 41.7% of Tulane’s receiving yards. Through three games he’s accounted for 34% of Tulane’s passing yards. He’s a player to watch as a devy stash.
Utah State vs. San Diego State
San Diego State is 3-0 including a win over UCLA, but they haven’t played a team of Utah State’s caliber yet. Jordan Love is the most devy relevant player in this game as he’s now looking like a potential first round pick. Through two games, he’s completing over 70% of his passes and has 710 yards. One player to watch for SDSU is sophomore WR, Kobe Smith. He’s leading the team in receiving yards and receptions.
Image Credit: Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Darnell Mooney.
- Nixon was in the same class as A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf so his lack of impact is probably more justifiable than most situations. (back)