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Another week is in the books and the SEC Conference continues to take shape. Conference play is starting to heat up and the standings may change quite a bit from here on out as the teams enter the heart of their schedules. One thing that is certain is that we have some elite talent in the SEC, both on the field and for DFS purposes. Let’s take a look back at the week that was, starting with the thrilling overtime game played at the neutral site of AT&T Stadium.
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas
Game Recap: A&M needed overtime to solve Arkansas, winning 28-21 in a thriller in Texas.
Key Players: A&M – The combination of Kyle Allen and Christian Kirk was the story of the night for the Aggies. The duo has displayed impressive chemistry so far this year but took it to another level on Saturday. Allen threw for 358 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to Kirk as he racked up 173 yards on eight catches. Josh Reynolds paced the rest of the receivers with three catches for 106 yards. Tra Carson contributed on the ground and as one of Allen’s targets, totaling 89 combined yards, one touchdown and eight catches.
Arkansas: Brandon Allen was solid overall by completing 20 of 25 for 225 yards, one touchdown and a pick. He also ran the ball eight times for 35 yards. Pretty even split between the ground and passing games as the Razorbacks rushed for a combined 232 yards and two touchdowns. Alex Collins led all backs with 151 yards and a touchdown. Drew Morgan was the preferred target on Saturday, catching eight passes for 155 yards and a touchdown.
Key Injuries: None.
Players to Watch: A&M – Allen and Kirk should be firmly on your radar even as the Aggies enter the heart of conference play. Tougher teams may slow them down a bit but the offense is built to pass. Reynolds and Carson are solid secondary options if Allen and Kirk’s prices get out of hand. The rest of the talented receivers can go off in any game but remain too unpredictable for DFS.
Arkansas: As conference play heats up, Collins should be the most reliable option but don’t overpay for him. He’s capable of huge games but at the same time can be shut down by tougher defenses. Allen is a serviceable quarterback for 2 QB sites, but the team is still sorting through its overall offensive identity. Morgan is a name to keep in mind after his performance on Saturday, could be a nice cheap option at wide receiver.
Mississippi State @ Auburn
Game Recap: Mississippi State did enough on offense and stepped up defensively to take down a struggling Auburn team 17-9.
Key Players: Mississippi State – Prescott did his job in leading his team to victory but that did not come with any eye-popping stats. He threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns while chipping in 14 yards rushing. The running game as a whole was unspectacular with only 56 total rushing yards. De’Runnya Wilson and Gabe Myles were the recipients of Prescott’s touchdown throws. Fred Ross led all receivers with seven catches for 66 yards.
Auburn: New starter Sean White completed a solid 20 of 28 on the night but unfortunately that only resulted in 188 yards and a pick. White picked up 29 yards on the ground as well. D’Haquille Williams led receivers with 49 yards on four catches. Peyton Barber seized control of the backfield, carrying the ball 27 times for 137 yards. He also had two catches for 19 yards.
Key Injuries: None.
Players to Watch: Mississippi State – Prescott and Wilson continue to be the preferred combo, albeit a pricey one. They should be a given for any projected high-scoring games, but don’t overpay for them against tougher opponents. Ross is another way to gain exposure to the Bulldogs offense and typically at a lower cost. There have been no standouts in the backfield thus far, probably best to stay away unless they run into a really poor run defense.
Auburn: The Tigers are not who they were expected to be in 2015 and are shaping up to be a team to avoid for DFS purposes as tougher games come up on the schedule. We’ll see if White holds onto the starting gig and what he does with it. Williams is severely held back at the moment but he is an elite level talent. His price should really be down for awhile and if so he makes for an interesting GPP flier. Barber seems to be the most reliable choice for DFS purposes.
Vanderbilt @ Ole Miss
Game Recap: Vanderbilt put up a fight and the Ole Miss offense did not look as sharp as in previous weeks, but they were still able to prevail with a 27-16 victory.
Key Players: Vanderbilt – Johnny McCrary turned in a serviceable performance to keep the Commodores in the game but that did not translate into a great DFS performance. He threw for 194 yards, one touchdown and rushed for 11 yards. Ralph Webb had a decent day out of the backfield with 101 combined yards and a touchdown. Steven Scheu and Trent Sherfield paced receivers with 5/57/0 and 7/55/0 respectively.
Ole Miss: Chad Kelly came back to earth a bit but was still able to lead his team to victory. He completed 24 of 42 for 321 yards, one touchdown and two picks. Jaylen Walton shined out of the backfield en route to 134 combined yards and a touchdown. It was Laquon Treadwell’s turn to pace the receivers to the tune of 8/135/0. Damore’ea Stringfellow caught four balls for 71 yards and was on the other end of Kelly’s touchdown pass.
Key Injuries: None.
Players to Watch: Vanderbilt – McCrary and either Scheu or Sherfield could be an interesting contrarian stack in the right circumstances. Sherfield also deserves consideration as a flier for GPPs, at the right price he can be a nice under the radar source of points. Webb is the most reliable choice for DFS, but temper expectations against tougher opponents.
Ole Miss: It would’ve been pretty tough to keep up the scoring pace of the first three weeks going for the full season, but the Rebels offense should remain one of the best in the nation despite Saturday’s small hiccup. Kelly deserves consideration weekly as do several of his receivers. For DFS, I’m still firmly in Treadwell’s camp as the most predictable option. Walton flies under the radar but offers upside as evidenced by Saturday’s effort, keep him in mind for exposure to the Rebels offense if Kelly’s price gets out of hand.
Tennessee @ Florida
Game Recap: Florida came back from a 13-point deficit to win 28-27, handing Tennessee another heartbreaking loss.
Key Players: Tennessee – Joshua Dobbs was a triple threat on Saturday, amazingly leading the Volunteers in passing, rushing and receiving. He only managed 83 yards passing but ran for 136 yards and caught one pass for a 58-yard touchdown. Jalen Hurd turned in another solid performance with 109 combined yards and two touchdowns. When you’re quarterback is also your top receiver, something is amiss. Ethan Wolf paced the non-quarterbacks with four catches for 55 yards.
Florida: Will Grier may have finally put the quarterback competition to rest with his performance on Saturday. He threw for 283 yards, two touchdowns and a pick. Kelvin Taylor was a workhorse in the backfield, carrying the ball 19 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Antonio Callaway and Brandon Powell caught Grier’s touchdown passes while catching five for 112 yards and five for 64 yards respectively.
Key Injuries: None.
Players to Watch: Tennessee – Dobbs and Hurd remain the only options for DFS until we see something out of the wide receiver position. Both have nice upside on any given Saturday, but with their next five opponents also residing in the SEC, play the matchups and temper expectations as necessary.
Florida: Grier may be turning the corner and should be kept on the radar, especially for 2 QB sites. Saturday was Taylor’s best game of the season. He has reached the end zone at least once in every game so far. Florida has a tough six-game stretch upcoming against SEC opponents, play the matchups and fade as necessary.
Missouri @ Kentucky
Game Recap: The strong play of quarterback Patrick Towles led Kentucky to a 21-13 upset win over Missouri.
Key Players: Missouri – Both Maty Mauk and Drew Lock saw time behind center on Saturday. Mauk was the more productive of the two, throwing for 180 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 49 yards. Russell Hansbrough returned from injury but was ineffective in compiling 18 combined yards. Nine different receivers caught passes on Saturday with J’Mon Moore catching Mauk’s touchdown toss.
Kentucky: Patrick Towles did a little bit of everything on Saturday while leading the Wildcats to victory. He threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns, ran for 21 yards and another touchdown and even caught one pass for a yard. Stanley Williams was quiet with only 28 combined yards. Garrett Johnson paced receivers with six catches for 119 yards.
Key Injuries: None.
Players to Watch: Missouri – The quarterback position looks like one to avoid for the moment with a touch stretch of games on the horizon and the general uncertainty around the position. Receivers should also be avoided as they are just too inconsistent for DFS purposes. Hansbrough offers occasional upside but temper expectations with the tough stretch of games upcoming.
Kentucky: Towles and Williams should definitely be on the radar for DFS but with the caveat that the matchups need to be monitored carefully. Kentucky takes a break from conference play when it matches up with Eastern Kentucky next week. Johnson is intriguing both as a stack with Towles and as a GPP flier due to his ability to break long plays.
LSU @ Syracuse
Game Recap: LSU rode another dominant performance from Leonard Fournette to a 34-24 victory over Syracuse.
Key Players: Brandon Harris turned in another solid yet unspectacular performance, completing eight of 16 for 157 yards and a touchdown. The day belonged to Leonard Fournette as he delivered another dominating performance. Fournette ran for 244 yards on 26 carries with two touchdowns, his second-consecutive week of eclipsing the 200-yard mark. Malachi Dupre led all receivers with four catches for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Key Injuries: None.
Players to Watch: Harris can be a serviceable option for DFS on 2 QB site due to his dual-threat ability. Fournette remains the go-to choice for LSU, but his salary can be very prohibitive and force you to reach to fill out a competitive roster. The receivers can be hit or miss but can be considered when rostering Harris or as a salary-saver GPP flier. Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural are the two best options when employing this strategy.
Southern @ Georgia
Game Recap: Georgia overpowered Southern on Saturday en route to a 48-6 victory.
Key Players: Greyson Lambert followed last week’s impressive performance with another solid day, completing nine of 10 for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Brice Ramsey also saw time at quarterback during the blowout and threw for 125 yards. The backfield feasted on inferior competition, racking up 261 total yards and four touchdowns. Nick Chubb paced all backs with 131 yards and two touchdowns and also caught a 24-yard touchdown pass. Malcolm Mitchell was the top receiver on the day as he caught five passes for 96 yards and a touchdown.
Key Injuries: None.
Players to Watch: Lambert continues to impress and should be on the radar. He presents a sneaky way to gain some exposure to the Georgia offense. Chubb deserves short-list consideration each week, but his salary makes it pretty tough to include him in lineups most weeks. Sony Michel is a more affordable way to buy a piece of the running game. He was productive again this week with 82 combined yards and two touchdowns. Mitchell is the preferred choice to pair with Lambert and can also be considered for GPPs on his own.
ULM @ Alabama
Game Recap: Alabama went back to basics and put forth a suffocating defensive effort as they defeated ULM 34-0.
Key Players: Jake Coker had a decent day behind center, throwing for 158 yards, three touchdowns and a pick. He’s still a work-in-progress, but the job appears to be his to lose. Derrick Henry rushed for 52 yards and a touchdown while Kenyan Drake chipped in 65 yards on the ground. Eight different receivers caught passes for the Tide on Saturday, led by ArDarius Stewart’s 3/39/1.
Key Injuries: None.
Players to Watch: Coker can be serviceable on 2 QB sites in the right matchup, but I’d take a wait and see approach before trusting him on single QB sites. A quiet day for the backfield should not discourage you from keeping Henry on the short list almost every week. Drake should also be kept in mind for any expected shootouts or blowouts. Similar to Coker, we’ll need to see more before trusting the receivers. Stewart could be an intriguing salary saver for GPPs in the right matchup.
UCF @ South Carolina
Game Recap: South Carolina picked up a 31-14 victory in freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nunez’s first career start.
Key Players: Lorenzo Nunez had a strong game in his first career start. He threw for 184 yards and two touchdowns and also picked up 123 yard rushing. Outside of Nunez, the backfield was relatively quiet with the exception of Pharoh Cooper’s three carries for 27 yards and a touchdown. Cooper also led all receivers on Saturday with four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown.
Key Injuries: Lead back Brandon Wilds missed the game with a rib injury. His status for this week is currently unclear.
Players to Watch: Nunez had a nice day on Saturday, but enthusiasm for the freshman’s performance should be held in check with a tough conference schedule ahead. The backfield was unimpressive without lead back Wilds. Monitor the news for developments on his playing status. Cooper had a solid day on Saturday and can explode at any moment. Similar to Nunez, expectations for Cooper should be held in check with a tough upcoming schedule.