College Fantasy Football Sleepers: Week 1

By John Laub
John Laub



      College Fantasy Football


            The Scholar's Surreptitious Starters

                  Week 1 








Zach Abey, Navy vs. Florida Atlantic: O/U 69

The Owls ranked among the bottom-dwellers against the run in the FBS last season, surrendering over 250 yards per game and 37 rushing touchdowns. Abey easily scores twice on the ground Saturday. 

Nick Stevens, Colorado State vs. Colorado: O/U 65

The Rams visit the Buffaloes in an inter-state rivalry. Stevens torched Oregon State for 334 yards and three touchdowns to kickoff the 2017 season. The senior continues his impressive start with another 300-yard performance on Saturday. 

Tyler Rogers, New Mexico State vs. Arizona State: O/U 70.5

One of the highest point totals on the board this week. Last season, Arizona State allowed well over 350 passing yards per game. The Senior Aggie chucks the pigskin more than 35 times and surpasses 300 yards passing for the tenth time during his career.


Running Backs




Benny Snell, Jr., Kentucky vs. Southern Mississippi: O/U 61.5

The Wildcats are a 10-point favorite on the road and projected to score 36 points. The 5’11”, 223-pound sophomore rushed for over 100 yards five times last year and exceeds the century mark once again.

L.J. Scott, Michigan State vs. Bowling Green: O/U 56.5

The Spartans are 17-point favorites at home against a C-USA opponent: the Falcons finished 113th in Total Defense last year. Spartans’ coach Mike Dantonio seeks to establish a powerful run game, and feeds the punishing ball carrier at least 25 touches on Saturday.

Jordan Brown & Michael Carter, North Carolina vs. California: O/U 65

Both are listed as co-starters on the Tar Heels’ depth chart and likely to share carries in the season opener. On the ground last year, opponents bludgeoned the Bears for over 270 rushing yards per game and 32 touchdowns. Look for each tailback to total over 75 yards from scrimmage and cross the finish line. 


 Wide Receivers



John Ursua, Hawaii vs. Western Carolina

Against Massachusetts during Week Zero, the sophomore exploded for 272 yards receiving and a touchdown on 12 receptions. An FCS program, the Catamounts posted a 2-9 mark last season and travel to Hawaii to open the campaign. Play the hot hand on Saturday and insert Ursua into lineups.

Jalen McCleskey, Oklahoma State vs. Tulsa: O/U 72

Named to the Biletnikoff watch list, McCleskey led the Cowboys in receptions (73) last season. James Washington demands the attention of defensive coaches, and McCleskey sees many one-on-one matchups, which he can exploit with his elusiveness and speed.

Sergio Bailey, Eastern Michigan vs. Charlotte

The senior wide out led the Eagles in receptions (60), yards (868) and touchdowns (7) last year. The 49ers pass defense failed to contain opponents who totaled over 300 yards per game and 29 aerial strikes. Bailey accumulates over 10 targets versus Charlotte.


Defensive Rankings to Exploit: 2017 Final Ratings

  Total Defense   Passing Defense     Rushing Defense    
  Team PPG/G Team P-YDS/G P-TDs Team R-YDS/G R-TDs
1 Texas Tech 43.5 Arizona State 357.4 33 Nevada 297.6 32
2 California 42.6 Pittsburgh 343.1 27 California 272.9 32
3 Oregon 41.4 Ball State 319.7 27 Rutgers 264.2 33
4 Texas State 41.1 Texas Tech 315.8 28 Louisiana Monroe 263.4 31
5 Arizona State 39.8 Charlotte 309.8 29 Buffalo 253.3 29
6 Florida Atlantic 39.8 Louisiana Tech 283.6 32 San Jose State 246.7 33
7 Louisiana Monroe 39.1 WKU 268.7 21 Fresno State 246.6 25
8 New Mexico State 38.8 Rice 287.7 25 Oregon 246.5 38
9 Syracuse 38.6 Washington St. 283.6 19 Ole Miss. 246.3 31
10 Arizona  38.3 Mississippi St. 283.1 31 Florida Atlantic 245.4 37


Highest Over/Under Totals 

  Visitor Home O/U Total Favorite
1 Tulsa Oaklahoma St. 72 OK St. -17
2 New Mexico St. Arizona State 70.5 ASU. -23
3 Navy Florida Atlantic 70 Navy -11
4 Louisville Purdue 68 LOU -26
5 Louisiana Monroe Memphis 67 MEM -23
6 Vanderbilt Middle Tennessee 59.5 VAN -5