This article is part of our Fantasy Elite Football series.
Rules: Live draft, add/drops allowed after draft, two- or three-team leagues, various buy-ins, players cannot be on multiple teams, $105,000 salary cap, roster of nine, broken down as two quarterbacks, two running backs, two wide receivers, three flex.
Fantasy Elite offers free games as well to get your feet wet, and with a weekend loaded with games, it's a good time to check things out if you haven't already.
Utah State at BYU, San Diego State at Fresno State, Louisville at Syracuse
QB - Nick Bawden, San Diego State - $5,000
Bawden has never thrown a collegiate pass, but will start in place of the injured Quinn Kaehler. Fresno State has allowed 323 yards passing per game excluding last week's matchup against New Mexico, an option offense, and 16 touchdowns in those four games. Who know's how Bawden will fair, and he could be without the team's top two wide receivers, but is worth rolling the dice on at this price.
RB - Marteze Waller, Fresno State - $10,769
Waller has topped 100 yards in the last two contests, and has more than twice the carries of Josh Quezada. He looks underpriced even in a matchup against an Aztec defense that ranks 35th nationally against the run.
RB - Jamaal Williams, BYU - $11,011
None of the running backs in this game are overpriced, but Williams and Waller look like tremendous values as lead backs who are right around the average $11,667 you get to spend per player. Williams is averaging just under 100 yards and a touchdown per game.
RB - Dominique Brown, Louisville - $6,603
Louisville's depth chart entering Friday's contests list Brown, Michael Dyer ($5000), Brandon Radcliff ($8,072) and L.J. Scott ($5,000) all as co-starters. Dyer is the only back on this list who does not have a 100 yard game this season, and oddly, he may be the safest choice of this bunch, as he's likely to get 8-to-10 carries. Scott was nursing an ankle injury last week, and watched Radcliff seize the opportunity presented by Brown's fumbling struggles. At these prices, you could take a chance on more than one Cardinals back, but I've got a gut feeling on Brown. Yes, he has only nine carries in the last two weeks, and three games with six or less carries. I just feel he responds to his benching last week, and shows flashes of the back we saw in Week 1 against Miami, where he rushed 33 times for 143 yards.
WR - Jarrod West, Syracuse - $11,763
West is quietly putting together a steady season. He's gone for at least 59 yards three times this year, and while that won't warrant his price tag, West is coming off of an eight catch, 103 yard performance against Notre Dame. More importantly, Orange receiver Ashton Broyld remains sidelined, and Brisly Estime is questionable to play, leaving West as the passing game's lone weapon.
WR - Larry Clark, San Diego State - $10,908
Clark is the next man up for the Aztecs. Ezell Ruffin remains sidelined by a broken collarbone, and Eric Judge is questionable to play after missing last week with a knee injury. Clark's 6-foot-4 frame should give his new quarterback a big and safe target to throw to.
WR - LeKendrick Williams, Fresno State - $5,000
There aren't many bargains at wide receiver this week, but if you find yourself needing a minimum priced player to fit in some other high priced firepower, Williams won't hurt you. He's averaging about five touches over the last three weeks, and while he's not doing a ton with those opportunities, the fact is he's getting opportunities. Louisville's Kai De La Cruz ($5,886) is another name to consider, but I'd likely advise taking two solid choices at WR, and rolling with some cheaper running backs to round out my flex positions.
Texas A&M at Mississippi State, SMU at East Carolina, Iowa State at Oklahoma State, Ohio State at Maryland
Talk about a slate of games loaded with offense. Unfortunately, with all this heat, there aren't many true bargains. Happy shopping!
QB - Caleb Rowe, Maryland - $5,000
Six starters in this slate are fairly priced at $24,000 or higher. There's not going to be a lot one can do to avoid spending heavily on two quarterbacks, and you have virtually no shot if your opponent buys two and you don't. That said, Rowe offers the best chance at some value. Maryland starter C.J. Brown left last week's game due to a wrist injury, and is a game-time decision. If you're feeling lucky, Rowe offers considerably more upside than Iowa State's Sam Richardson, or whoever plays for SMU. Drafting Rowe will require you to monitor things early Saturday morning however, and adjust accordingly should Brown play.
RB - Dontre Wilson, Ohio State - $7,031
Wilson is coming off of his best game of the year, one where he saw seven touches and finished with 92 total yards and a touchdown. He remains dependent on big plays, but it appears as if coach Urban Meyer is finally ready to take the reins off and get the ball to Wilson with more consistency.
RB - Trey Williams, Texas A&M - $5,000
Williams is the team's leading rusher, with 234 yards on 38 carries. I think last week's game against Arkansas (9-26) is more indicative of how he's used in conference games, but at this price, you almost have to take gamble on him to load up elsewhere.
WR - Marcell Ateman, Oklahoma State - $5,000
Ateman's price hasn't caught up to his production of late. He's the Cowboys' leading receiver with 11 catches and 204 yards, but all but one catch and four yards have come over the past two weeks. I may even entertain taking Ateman with one of my first selections in order to insure I got solid production on the cheap. Teammate James Washington ($5,000) also warrants consideration; a few rounds later.
Admittedly, it will be near impossible to buy an entire unit here, and still afford two of the top tier quarterbacks. That's what makes this challenging. But there is certainly something to be said by stacking your team with either Pirate or Aggie receivers. Simply put ECU will name their score Saturday, and it's really just a matter of how many points they want to score. I don't see it being that easy for Texas A&M, but there should still be plenty of points put on the board. One reminder, ECU's Cam Worthy remains suspended.
SATURDAY PRIME TIME -- ONE
Baylor at Texas, Alabama at Mississippi, Oklahoma at TCU, Stanford at Notre Dame
QB - Trevone Boykin, TCU - $18,668
All eight starting quarterbacks look fairly priced, and enter the weekend with few question marks, making them all worth consideration. I'd pass on Baylor's Bryce Petty ($30,060) just because of price, and make sure I have two solid choices. Notre Dame's Everett Golson ($20,196) remains virtually the entire Irish offense, and sees a lower price tag due to a tough match up. Boykin is coming in to his own as a quarterback, and offers a threat with his arm and legs, and I like pairing him and Golson here at just $5,804 more than it would cost for Petty alone.
RB - T.J. Yeldon, Alabama - $9,737
I never expected to see a day where Yeldon was priced under both Derrick Henry ($12,315) and Kenyan Drake ($11,312). Yes, Yeldon has been a major disappointment, but the gut feel here is he gets back on track Saturday. Quarterback Blake Sims shoulder is hurting, and while he expects to play, I see Bama getting back to their pounding run game roots. To that point, taking two or all three of the Tides' backs makes some sense.
RB - Johnny Jefferson, Baylor, $8,406
Jefferson has just eight fewer carries than Shock Linwood ($13,976) and has scored in three straight contests.
WR - Corey Robinson, Notre Dame - $9,432
Honestly, I'm not in love with any of the middle tiered wide receivers in this group. Outside of Amari Cooper's pricey $20,995 tag, I'd recommend a few top options like Oklahomas' Sterling Shepard ($14,414), Stanford's Ty Montgomery ($11,680) or Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell ($10,764), but if you're a gambling man, Robinson makes some sense. He's scored in consecutive games and is coming off a career-high eight catch, 91 yard game at Syracuse. At 6-foot-5, he should see a few jump balls on Saturday.
WR - Josh Doctson, TCU - $7,458
Doctson has 13 catches in three games, but leads the team with three scores. At 6-foot-4, he's another tall option that could find the end zone again this week.
SATURDAY PRIME TIME -- TWO
LSU at Auburn, Nebraska at Michigan State, Arizona State at USC, Texas Tech at Kansas State
QB - Davis Webb, Texas Tech - $21,425
Webb dislocated his non-throwing shoulder last Thursday and his price seems to be down as a result. He's expected to play, and while it would be beyond wise to confirm that prior to kickoff, he's a major bargain if active.
QB - Brandon Harris, LSU - $17,137
He'll make his first career start, on the road, Saturday night, but the freshman has earned that opportunity. He put up five touchdowns in limited time last Saturday, and has completed 73.3% of his passes to date. Certainly there will be some mistakes, but he's a high upside play in a game that doesn't figure to be low scoring.
RB - Jeremy Langford, Michigan State - $11,899
Langford looks severely underpriced this week. His early season stats aren't impressive, but in the one real contest of the year, September 6 at Oregon, Langford carried 24 times. That's more indicative of what I'd expect to see Saturday with the Spartans looking to keep Ameer Abdullah ($25,666) off the field.
RB - Cameron Artis-Payne, Auburn - $11,144
Don't be scared off by the LSU defense; they allowed 302 yards rushing to Mississippi State and 268 yards to Wisconsin. Artis-Payne has topped 100 yards in three of four contests, and is another terrific bargain.
RB - Leonard Fournette, LSU - $9,244
There are running back bargains galore in this series, making it almost difficult to trust Fournette, who had his breakout performance last week, against lowly New Mexico State. He's the Tigers' leading rusher as a result, and could see a few extra carries to take the heat off of Harris in his first start.
WR - Malachi Dupre, LSU - $6,912
I'm apparently all in on LSU freshmen. There's little doubt that all three featured here are special talents and Saturday could be their coming out party for the nation to see. Dupre has only nine catches this year, but four touchdowns. He's shown tremendous chemistry with Harris, could be his safety valve on the road this weekend.
WR - D'haquille Williams, Auburn - $6,055
Williams is another in a long list here that's simply underpriced. He's averaging 89.25 yards per game, and has two 100 yard games under his belt, scoring three times.
WR - Reginald Davis, Texas Tech - $7,061
Davis is overshadowed by Jakeem Grant ($16,596) and Bradley Marquez ($9,559) but has quietly become a consistent producer. He's gone for at least 53 yards in all four games, and has four touchdowns.
Cal at Washington State, Utah at UCLA, Boise State at Nevada
QB - Ryan Finley, Boise State - $5,000
Grant Hendrick ($18,914) remains the Broncos starter, but has a 5:9 TD:INT ration thus far, and has no touchdown passes and four interceptions in his last two games before being benched last Saturday. Who knows if Finley plays at Nevada, but if I'm not spending half of my budget on two quarterbacks, Finley is a reasonable gamble. I'm avoiding Utah's Travis Wilson ($12,193) at all costs, leaving Nevada's Cody Fajardo ($17,883) as the only other option under $26,000.
RB - Khalfani Muhammad, Cal - $6,117
Muhammad has three touchdowns in the last two weeks, and four on the season. He catches an occasional pass as well.
RB - James Butler, Nevada - $5,000
Butler is a favorite of mine as a dynasty league hold, and he's also a favorite of mine in this format. His price has gone down each week to it's now bottom basement level, and while he hasn't scored in consecutive weeks, he's still averaging almost 12 carries weekly.
In fairness, Darius Powe ($5,000) is also an option from the Bears. California is gunning under second-year coach Sonny Dykes, averaging 366 yards passing and 47.5 points. Quarterback Jared Goff ($26,855) has 17 touchdown passes, 12 of which have gone to these four receivers. It will be an entertaining late night in Pullman, Washington, and stacking Bear receivers looks like a cheap way to fill out a lineup productively.
WR Isiah Myers, Washington State - $8,333
Myers is below the average cost for your roster, and leads one of the nation's top passing offenses in receiving yards and is second in touchdowns. Simply put, he's underpriced.
It's unlikely to play out this way, but if you drafted the running backs and receivers listed above, you've have spent $49,803. It won't give you enough cap room to fit in Goff and and Wazzu QB Conner Halliday ($30,880), but it will allow you to squeeze in Goff and UCLA's Brett Hundley ($27,756)