Fantasy College Football Start/Sit – Week 1

For those who might not know, one of the main reasons I started ResearchFantasy was because of college football. While there were more and more sources emerging with fantasy information related to college football, I was thoroughly excited to be able to offer my own take on it. Shortly after launching, the hammer came down and news came out that college DFS as we knew it was dead. It was really frustrating for me – I wondered if I was even going to be able to focus as much on college football this year with no DFS to make it more exciting [thank goodness this won’t be the case]. I didn’t know what the next step was going to be.

Fortunately, I decided I was going to hop on to Fantrax and play season long leagues. I had never been very interested in it before, but something really is better than nothing. Initially, I wasn’t going to put out any content out regarding college football, but then I decided I wasn’t going to let the circumstances define what this site was going to be: I was going to define it. I am going to look for creative ways to continue to promote fantasy college football, whether it be in DFS form or season long. I’ll start with the most obvious of the articles: the start/sit. This was and is a staple of season-long fantasy football, so why not do it at the collegiate level as well.

Let’s get moving on to the article


J.T. Barrett – Ohio State vs. Bowling Green

This year, there was no quarterback controversy. This is J.T. Barrett’s show, no questions asked. Unfortunately, he is going to see a disproportionate amount of his offense leave for the NFL, but Ohio State recruits so well it just doesn’t matter – it will really be just another case of next man up. The Bowling Green State defense did better than expected last year, but it was still not a good defense. Barrett should be able to carve this defense up at will, and I’m expecting him to have a nice week.

Kenny Potter – San Jose State @ Tulsa

Potter is on many peoples list of players that could very well end up having a breakout year. San Jose State will be without dynamic running back Tyler Ervin, who is already making waves in the NFL. Tulsa is one team that you can target week in and week out and have a great deal of success. I expect this game to stay relatively close and high scoring, all which should have a positive impact on Potter’s fantasy score.

Patrick Mahomes – Texas Tech vs. Stephen F. Austin

Mahomes gets to step down a division of football and play Stephen F. Austin. This should truly be a bloodbath. The Red Raiders defense is bad, but this offense is very, very good. It won’t surprise me to see them being one of the top scoring offenses on the slate. Mahomes is a long-shot Heisman candidate this year, and I am expecting him to start the year off with a bang.


Mitch Trubisky – North Carolina vs. Georgia 

Trubisky has really grown on me during the offseason. I was very concerned about this Tar Heels team with Marquise Williams departing for the NFL, but Trubisky has been in this program long enough and has the talent to lead this team to another success season. He’s got some strong options in the receiving unit and good running backs. The problem here is that Georgia is a very, very good defense, and I do believe that North Carolina will be out matched. He’ll have his weeks, but this isn’t one of them for me.

Skyler Howard – West Virginia vs. Missouri

Howard is another guy who people are expecting nice things out of. I don’t think he’s in play in one quarterback leagues most weeks, but he definitely isn’t on the radar in even the deepest of leagues this week. Missouri does not have much, if anything, going for it on offense, but this defense is legit. I’m staying far away from all the West Virginia options opening weekend.

Justin Thomas – Georgia Tech @ Boston College

Justin Thomas is back for what feels like his final decade at Georgia Tech. He’s a middling quarterback, but he does have upside in a triple option system. He has not really been very good since his freshman campaign, and Boston College has far too good of a defense to consider him this week. He’s not a guy I’m drafting or playing anyway, but it’s definitely not happening this weekend.


Nick Chubb – Georgia @ North Carolina

North Carolina was one of our favorite targets in DFS in 2014. It was just an awful defense. Last year, the pass defense turned around completely, but this is still one of the worst teams in the country against the run. Nick Chubb might be coming off a serious injury, but he should be able to absolutely demolish North Carolina. He needs to be in your lineups this week. 

Aaron Jones – UTEP vs. New Mexico State

New Mexico State has one of the worst rush defenses in all of college football. Jones is another guy coming off a big injury in 2015, but he is one of the better running backs in all of college football when healthy. This team really can’t do much in the passing game, so Jones should see all the work he can get here. Love the matchup and he’s an easy go for me. 

De’Veon Smith – Michigan vs. Hawaii

I hate Jim Harbaugh and his inability to just use one running back, but we will definitely want to have Smith in our lineups this week. Hawaii is unquestionably one of the worst defenses in all of college football, and I expect Michigan to run all over them this week. He’s capable of monster games and I like that to happen this weekend.


Elijah McGuire – Louisiana Lafayette vs. Boise State

I love me some Elijah McGuire, and I am really looking forward to this game, but I don’t like how this sets up for him. Yes, he is very talented, but I don’t think it’s a situation where we need to force using him in our lineups. This isn’t the NFL where you have to play your studs every week. There are 4 times the amount of teams, and therefore, options to play. I’d advise having him on the bench this week. 

Samaje Perine – Oklahoma @ Houston

One of the most frustrating things from a fantasy perspective last year was the Perine/Mixon split in Oklahoma. Perine is undoubtedly a great runner, but I do think this Houston front is legit. I think this is going to be a true air it out game, and that could affect Perine’s production significantly. He plays in the Big 12, so there is going to be plenty of opportunity to roll him out in better matchups.

Khaliff Phillips – Charlotte @ Louisville

Phillips is a really good runner, but the problem is that he is seeing the best defense he will likely see all year, and on the road. There is little doubt in my mind that the 49ers will have to move to the passing game pretty quickly, as Louisville will be able to score on that at will. Again, the SunBelt has some very weak defenses that will allow Phillips to have big games, but this is a situation I would much rather avoid this week.


Trent Turner – Louisiana Tech @ Arkansas

Louisiana Tech is going to be going through a pretty rough transition, losing both Jeff Driskel and Kenneth Dixon. Fortunately, they have a capable playmaker in Trent Turner. He’s going to be the center of this offense this year. Arkansas really got abused through the air in 2015, and I think LaTech is going to be playing from behind. You are not running the ball if you are playing from behind, so I expect Turner to have a monster game.

Dede Westbrook – Oklahoma @ Houston

I said above that I think this game is going to be won through the air. Houston wasn’t great in the passing game last year, and loses their top cornerback to the NFL this year. With Sterling Shepard gone, I think Dede Westbrook is likely to take over as the premier option in Oklahoma. This is a nice spot for him, and I expect him to put up a really nice game. 

Corey Jones – Toledo @ Arkansas State

Jones is one of those guys who probably isn’t getting drafted, except for in deeper leagues, but this is a good matchup for him. Arkansas State really stunk in pass protection last year, and Jones is a pretty dynamic athlete. He’s an excellent play in deep leagues this week, and I think you could do a lot worse in medium sized leagues as well.


Shelton Gibson – West Virginia vs. Missouri

Kevin White and Mario Alford were monsters in 2014 for West Virgina, but things definitely took a step back in 2015. I expect Gibson to be the top receiver in this offense, but this is a bad matchup for him. Missouri is one of the best defenses in all of college football, and there is no need to test that out.

Jordan Villamin – Oregon State @ Minnesota

I think Villamin should be in good shape this year, but I don’t love this matchup here. Minnesota was one of the better defenses in 2015 against wide receivers, and I think that will carryover into 2016. The Pac 12 is going to offer a lot of opportunity for Villamin to put up some big games, so we will continue to pick and choose are spots with him.

Damorea Stringfellow – Ole Miss @ Florida State

With Laquon Treadwell gone, it’s going to be interesting to see who steps up for Ole Miss. I think Stringfellow is most likely to do that. His first test of 2016 is Florida State, who certainly has one of the top defenses in all of college football. I think Ole Miss is going to do their best, but I don’t expect for it to be good enough to dent Florida State much. There will be opportunities for him to have big games, so we’ll wait on them.


Jonnu Smith – Florida International vs. Indiana

Smith is one of the top receiving tight ends in all of college football, and he gets a very good matchup against a very bad Indiana defense. Yes, this is a big jump up in talent for FIU, but ultimately this defense is bad enough that Smith should be able to put together a very strong outing. 

Billy Freeman – San Jose State @ Tulsa

Freeman is probably the top option for San Jose State with Tyler Ervin gone. He’s an easy lock for me in this matchup, as I expect San Jose State to get into the 40’s this weekend, and Freeman should have his hands in all of that. There’s no doubting his upside in a contest like this, and we should all be looking his way.


Evan Engram – Ole Miss @ Florida State

I really tried to find two options here, but ultimately, Engram was the only one who stood out to me as a player to avoid. I went into detail above about how good I think the Florida State defense is, so I’ll save you that speech. Engram should be able to have a good year, and if he does, it probably won’t start in this game.