The Scholar's Surreptitious CFF Starters Week 7

By John Laub
John Laub




   The Scholar’s Surreptitious Starters

            College Fantasy Football: Week 7







Brandon McIlwain, California vs. UCLA: O/U 52 & California -7
Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 7%
Last week a Twitter follower asked me to select from among a few options to start in a 2-QB league. I told him to insert Brandon McIlwain into his lineup. Bingo! He scored over 34 fantasy points on 315 yards passing, 107 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the ground. Unfortunately, McIlwain committed four turnovers in the game, which is a concern for the coaching staff and CFF owners. “Brandon is an explosive athlete, maybe the most explosive athlete on our offense right now with the things he can do running and throwing…We’ve got to take care of the ball better. We can’t turn it over. It’s obvious,” Coach Justin Wilcox proclaimed. Over the past two weeks, McIlwain exceeded 100 yards rushing in both contests, generating 60 alternative-reality points. A highly-regarded prospect in high school, he totaled 10,157 yards and 123 touchdowns and committed to South Carolina in 2016. After transferring, McIlwain redshirted last season and came off the bench in the first four games of the campaign before getting the start versus Arizona last week. Coach Justin Wilcox has not named a starter against UCLA, but my money is on McIlwain to get the nod behind center again. 

David Blough, Purdue at Illinois: O/U 63 & Purdue -10.5
Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 11%
CFF diehards have waited patiently for the Purdue Boilermakers offense to explode under Coach Jeff Brohm. In 2018, the Purdue offense has produced mixed results, scoring 31 points per game and ranking 46th in Total Offense. Over the last three games, David Blough has been incredibly productive, producing 30.2, 23.1 and 47.4 fantasy points. For the season, he has 1,318 yards passing and seven aerial strikes along with two rushing touchdowns. Last November, Illinois knocked Blough out the game and ended his season. The Academic All-American looks forward to the rematch this Saturday against Illinois. “When football gets taken away from you, it puts everything in perspective,” Blough stated after practice on Tuesday. “It’s just another game but that (Illinois) being the opponent and all those emotions flooded back.” Narrative Street is not the best analysis, but when combined with a tasty matchup, CFF owners need to take advantage of the opportunity. Illinois trots out the twelfth worst pass defense in the nation, surrendering 289 yards per game while allowing 10 touchdowns. Blough easily exceeds 300 passing yards and two touchdowns against the Illini. 


Running Backs



LeVante Bellamy, Western Michigan at Bowling Green: O/U 71 & Western Michigan -15
Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 38%
Matchups are the name of the game in all fantasy football formats. In 2018, no team has been kinder to opposing runners than Bowling Green. The Falcons have been steamrolled for over 330 rushing yards per game while yielding 27 rushing touchdowns. LeVante Bellamy is this week’s matchup lottery ticket. The Broncos’ ball carrier is available in over 60% of leagues and is a must start this weekend. Over the last three games, the redshirt junior has 50 carries for 263 yards and one touchdown while averaging 5.2 ypc. Western Michigan leads the MAC in rushing with 472 yards per game, and Bellamy sits atop the Conference leaderboard with 531 yards. He is in for a season-high in attempts, yards and touchdowns versus Bowling Green. Grab Bellamy if you need assistance in the backfield.

Rakeem Boyd, Arkansas vs. Mississippi: O/U 70.1 & Mississippi -6.5
Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 2%
Not since Darren McFadden over a decade ago has a Razorback runner rushed for over 100 yards against the Crimson Tide. In the 65-31 loss to Alabama, Rakeem Boyd ended the streak with 102 yards on only 15 carries. "This is three weeks in a row that this young man just continues to get better. He rushed for over 100 yards today, and he does a really good job in pass protection,” Coach Chad Morris said. He has produced double-digit points in three consecutive games and appears to be the best option in the Arkansas backfield for the remainder of the season. Many college football fans likely remember Boyd from Last Chance U Season 3 on Netflix. Originally enrolled at Texas A&M, he transferred to Independence Community College in order to improve his academic standing. The Razorbacks host Mississippi and Las Vegas expects a high-scoring affair. Astute CFF diehards are pumped to pickup a starting ball carrier and insert him into lineups this late in the season. 


Additional Running Backs
Chase Jasmin, San Diego State vs. Air Force: O/U 43.5 & San Diego State -10.5
Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 44%
Marcus Outlow, Coastal Carolina vs. Louisiana Monroe: O/U 66 & Coastal Carolina -6.5
Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 37%


Wide Receivers

Ben Glines, Boston College vs. Louisville: O/U 61 & Boston College -13.5
Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 9%

Every once in a while, college fantasy football mirrors fantasy baseball when a player qualifies at multiple positions. In 2010, Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M qualified as a wide receiver while playing quarterback. In 2014, tight end Devon Johnson, Marshall rushed for 1,767 yards and qualified at two spots. While Ben Glines is not likely to replicate the production of the aforementioned CFF stars, the Boston College receiver has demonstrated his rushing ability since replacing preseason All-American AJ Dillion in the backfield. The redshirt junior was recruited as a hybrid receiver and H-back and played mostly special teams during his tenure on campus until recently. After Dillon went down, Glines earned his first start versus North Carolina State last weekend and totaled 90 yards on 16 carries and scored twice. Against Temple the previous week, he rushed for 120 yards on 23 carries and reached the end zone once. It looks like CFF diehards will not learn of Dillon’s availability for the Louisville game until Saturday morning. Currently, Coach Steve Addazio states that his workhorse back is ahead of schedule, but not certain to suit up. If Dillon does not play, Glines provides a tremendous option at the flex position. Stay tuned for the latest updates. 


Travis Fulgham, Old Dominion vs. Marshall: O/U 57 & Marshall -3.5
Fantrax Ownership Percentage: 6%
College football offers some of the best back-round stories of young men across the country. Travis Fulgham’s parents worked with the United States Agency for International Development as Foreign Service Officers, and the family travelled and lived all over the world: Jordan, Egypt, South Africa and India. He only played two seasons of high school football and had to make the Monarchs as a walk-on, who eventually earned a scholarship. In 2014, he redshirted and finally received a starting assignment in seven games last season. “He’s very bright, very experienced…he really studies his craft, and I think because he has that maturity about him outside of football, it helps him in the game,” alleged John Allen, the Monarchs’ receivers coach. Fulgham is currently enjoying the best campaign of his career. Over the last three games, the senior has snatched 22 passes for 371 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 16.8 ypc. Despite posting a 1-5 record, Old Dominion’s offense has been industrious since inserting QB Blake LaRussa into the lineup. In the dramatic upset victory over Virginia Tech, LaRussa passed for over 500 yards and has thrown for over 1,110 in the last three games. Both Jonathan Duhart and Fulgham are fantasy worthy starters this week against Marshall.

Defensive Rankings to Exploit

  Total Defense   Passing Defense   Rushing Defense  
1 UConn 53.7 Ohio 363.6 15 Bowling Green 332.3 27
2 Bowling Green 48.5 Houston 356.6 10 UConn 322.3 24
3 Oregon St. 47.0 San Jose St. 337.6 17 UMass 272.1 21
4 UMass 44.9 UL Monroe 336.2 16 Oregon St. 269.5 17
5 S. Alabama 44.7 UConn 335.8 19 Liberty 261.2 15
6 UL Monroe 41.7 Kent State 318.8 12 NM State 245.5 19
7 NM State 40.0 Ole Miss 307.8 14 S. Alabama 244.5 21
8 SMU 39.7 Michigan St. 305.2 8 Arkansas St. 244.4 10
9 San Jose St. 39.2 Texas Tech 301.2 11 Georgia St. 234.7 12
10 Nebraska 39.2 Old Dominion 298.2 17 Wake Forest 236.5 14

Highest Over/Under Totals 

  Visitor Home O/U Favorite
1 UCF Memphis 81 UCF -4.5
2 W. Michigan Bowling Green 70 W. MI -15
3 Houston East Carolina 69.5 HOU -16
4 Mississippi Arkansas 69.5 MISS -7
5 LA Lafayette New Mexico St. 68.5 ULL -8.5