Last week I got run-through by my Texas A&M pairing of Kellen Mond and C.J. Spiller who tore up Florida. However I still won my three non-A&M related wagers to keep me above .500 for the fourth straight week.
So far this column has produced a 16-4 Win/Loss record on these player prop recommendations. This week is the last slate before we get an injection of Big Ten/Mountain West teams that should offer plenty of value since the oddsmakers don't have a recent data set to base their lines off.
I will say this week is the best job DK's has done in pricing their prop lines so far this year. Only took a month of being relentlessly pounded to smarten up apparently. Don't worry though, we still have five quality options to consider.
Zamir White - Georgia - 77.5
Coming of back-to-back ACL tears, “Zeus” backed up D’Andre Swift last year, rushing 76 times for 408 yards, a 5.2 YPC and three touchdowns. Heading into the season, Zeus held off James Cook, Kenny McIntosh and highly-touted true freshman Kendall Milton for RB1 status in the potentially lucrative UGA backfield.
However in the first three games of the season, the former number-one ranked running back recruit in the nation has not run away with the job like many expected. In his defense,White has handled an average of 17 carries per game without wearing down. However the volume is weighed down by a sub-par 3.9 YPC and only three receptions for 19 yards over three games, rendering him an afterthought in the passing game.
Last game against SEC East rival Tennessee, he carried 22 times for 50 yards, a 2.3 YPC. Conversely, Kendall Milton rushed 8 times for 56 yards for a 7.0 YPC while attacking tacklers with a burst and physicality that White has simply not shown this year. On top of Milton’s impressive showing, passing-down specialist James Cook is expected to return this week. Now UGA hits the prime-time against SEC powerhouse Alabama. Keep in mind, Texas A&M was able to break big gains with RB Ainias Smith utilizing swing-passes to rip off multiple chunk plays out of the backfield. James Cook has a very similar skill set to Smith and should see plenty of action.
With three proven backs now established in his backfield stable, I see more of a division of labor this week. HC Kirby Smart’s entire legacy rides on how he performs against his former boss. I think Zamir sees less carries than he’s been accustomed to. That’s a problem since he’s not a home run hitter and needs volume to produce big counting stats. DK’s did a much better job of pricing this week, but this is a soft line. Pound the Under 77.5
Amari Rogers - Clemson - 79.5
Rogers leads Clemson with 268 receiving yards on 19 receptions with a 12.4 YPC over four games this season. So far this year, Amari has hit the 80 yard mark required to win this bet only one out of four times. The lone Over-80 performance came Week 1 when he caught five passes for 90 yards against Wake Forest. Considering his high score for the year only cleared the 80 yard mark by 10 yards, there is all kinds of value associated with an Under 80 play here.
Beyond those performance related metrics, HC Dabo Swinney indicated 2019 spring game standout WR Joseph Ngata is supposedly ready to return from an abdominal injury to occupy a starting WR slot in the Tiger offense. If Ngata returns healthy, you can rest assured he will see a good share of targets. When coupling the one-in-four 80-yard hit rate with the return of the preseason favorite to lead Clemson in receiving yards, it’s an easy under play on a possession slot receiver like Rogers.
Seth Williams - Auburn - 77.5
Year two of the Bo Nix era under new OC Chad Morris was supposed to feature a passing attack capable of breaking a big play at any moment. With the Tigers’ sophomore signal caller averaging a scant 199 yards passing per game while completing 57 percent of his passes and sporting a 6.2 YPA, it’s safe to say the prophecy of a reborn Auburn passing attack has yet to come to fruition.
For his part Seth Williams had a huge first game against Kentucky, catching six passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns in a 29-13 victory. However he got banged up against Georgia, topping out at 34 yards and looked still hobbled last week against Arkansas when he caught three passes for 70 yards in a tight game against the Razorbacks. With Williams ailing, slot receiver Anthony Schwartz received 27 targets over the last two games, catching 10 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown last game.
This week Auburn is on the road at South Carolina. With Tank Bigsby and Kevin Harris both rushing for over 150-yards last week, we could see the ground game take over with a final score of 20-17 in play. Last year Williams went under 77.5 eight-of-12 times. This year he’s gone under in 2-of-3 games for a total of five-for-15 (33%) since the beginning of last year. His injury, Schwartz’ uptick in usage and Auburn’s suspect OL mean another game of light passing numbers for Bo Nix. I’m taking the Under 77.5 with the possibility that Williams is still dinged up looming large.
Jaylen Waddle - Alabama - 100.5
My readers have likely picked up on the fact I like playing unders for these player props. It might fly in the face of conventional wisdom since our natural inclination is to root for points since everyone loves offense. However injuries are part of the game, and game-scripts can snuff out even the most attractive Over play. Despite my tendencies to cheer for poor clock management via Under wagers, I always like to toss in one Over play for my action-junkies out there who don’t enjoy watching paint-dry like myself. It’s not easy being DFS/college fantasy-scrooge, but someone has to do it.
Which is why if i’m going to bet an Over, it might as well be on the most-exciting aerial playmaker in college football, Jaylen Waddle. I’ve been hearing about Waddle from my close friend and college football fantasy/gambling savant Joe Capozzi (@CFFcoordinator on Twitter) for years. As a former collegiate defensive coordinator who has analyzed more college football than any human i’ve ever met, Capozzi loves Waddle so much i’m legitimately shocked he hasn’t named a child or a pet after him. The cruel fact is this - Waddle has blown away the 100.5 mark in every game he’s played.
He hasn’t just beaten the mark, he’s obliterated it:
Week 1 @ Mizzou - 8/134/2
Week 2 vs. Texas A&M - 5/142/1
Week 3 @ Ole Miss - 6/120
Alabama’s offense vs. Georgia’s defense is the modern day version of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object. For those of us that don’t speak Gorilla Monsoon-english - Alabama is Hulk Hogan, whilst Georgia is Andre The Giant. Hopefully nobody plays heel-ref Earl Hebner like the officials did on the backwards spike call in the Arkansas vs. Auburn game last weekend. Bottom line is I love taking elite players, on elite teams, in prime time games. Give me the Over 100.5 on my buddy Capozzi’s next bulldog, Waddle.
Stetson Bennett - Georgia - 240.5
When contemplating my write-up for the college football world’s most prolific former walk-on, for some inexplicable reason, Simon Garfunkel’s seminal classic “Sound of Silence” popped into my head. Thus, I will serenade my readers with a brief Weird Al-esque song parody.
“Hello Stetson my new friend
I’m here to bet on you again
Because your talent leaves me thinking
About your performance inevitably sinking
And the vision of your throwing motion implanted in my brain
My wager’s an act, of defiance”
The last three weeks, the SEC quarterback named after every octogenarian's favorite musky cologne has improbably led UGA to a 3-0 record and third-place ranking in the polls. He hasn’t been forced to throw much, averaging 28 passes per game and 18 completions. He has also yet to throw for 241 yards in any of his appearances, though he did hit 238 passing yards last week and 240 yards against Auburn the week before. We’re close on this one, no doubt. But I have to give DK’s some credit here, last week the line was 257.5 and they’ve at least come back to reality after getting throttled by everyone in their eight-state coverage area on their last line.
I backed the Under play last week for the same reason I am this week - the clock will strike midnight on Stetson. It happened with the foul-smelling, Pine-Sol knockoff cologne and it will happen to the quarterback of the same namesake. I realize that Alabama’s pass defense got shredded like an Enron balance-sheet by Ole Miss last week, but i’m resolute in my assertion that the wheels will fall off this train, and I will ride it until he finally hits his number or is replaced by J.T. Daniels. Under 240.5 on Stetson’s stat-line.