We are onto Week 11 of the college fantasy football season and playoffs are either starting this week or are right around the corner for you so it is crucial that your lineup is set up properly heading into the weekend. Luckily, AthlonSports.com is here to help you make those tough decisions and hopefully secure a spot in the college fantasy football postseason.
Note: Obvious choices will not be given such as Lamar Jackson or Donnel Pumphrey as those players are typically starters regardless of the matchup.
Also below are the top 10 rankings for each position for the given week.
Thomas Woodson, Akron vs. Bowling Green (Wed.)
Woodson has been solid since his return from injury with two 300-yard passing performances and five touchdown passes over the last three weeks. One noticeable difference with Woodson is he is not running nearly as much as he did in 2015, which made him one of the top sleeper picks at the quarterback position entering this season. Last year, Woodson finished with 591 rushing yards and three scores. So far to this point, he has a grand total of 36 yards on the ground in seven games. He has already surpassed his season total of TD passes from last year with 18 (16 in 2015) and should add to that number on Wednesday against a Bowling Green defense that has given up an FBS-worst 28.
Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech
Rudolph is playing some of his best football of late with 18 total touchdowns in the last five games, including a season-high five TD passes this past week against Kansas State. And while the Wildcats have had their issues against the pass this season (117th in the FBS), the Red Raiders have been even more generous (122nd). Texas Tech is allowing 279.4 passing yards per game, has surrendered 21 touchdowns through the air and recorded just four interceptions. This has all the makings of a typical, high-scoring, back-and-forth, Big 12 contest, which bodes well for Rudolph and any other Cowboy or Red Raider that figures to have a large role on offense.
Gus Ragland, Miami (Ohio) vs. Buffalo
Ragland’s name has popped up recently in my waiver wire reports for his play the last four weeks, thanks to producing a combined 11 touchdowns during that span. The sophomore quarterback had his best performance of the year this past week against Central Michigan, throwing for 218 yards and four scores on just 13 completions. Ragland also is a dual-threat QB, rushing for 30 or more yards in three out of those four games. But it’s a bad matchup for him this week against a Buffalo pass defense that has been the lone bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season for the Bulls. Buffalo is currently ranked sixth in the country at defending the pass, allowing just 167 yards per game. Opposing quarterbacks have thrown for just nine touchdowns all season against the Bulls and have topped 200 passing yards just three times.
Nick Mullens, Southern Miss vs. Old Dominion
Southern Miss head coach Jay Hopson announced on Monday that Mullens and backup Parker Adamson will have their playing status determined this week as they recover from injuries suffered in the last game against Charlotte. Mullens was knocked out of the game in the third quarter due to a concussion and his status is likely to be determined on Friday. It also was mentioned that freshman Keon Howard could see action this week depending on who is available to play. Even if Mullens is cleared to play against Old Dominion, I would sit him as has just three TD passes in the last three games.
Top 10 Quarterbacks for Week 11:
Lamar Jackson, Louisville vs. Wake Forest
Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State
Luke Falk, Washington State vs. California
Ryan Higgins, Louisiana Tech vs. UTSA
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma vs. Baylor
Mike White, Western Kentucky vs. North Texas
Davis Webb, California vs. Washington State
Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech
Quinton Flowers, South Florida vs. Memphis
Deshaun Watson, Clemson vs. Pittsburgh
Justin Jackson, Northwestern vs. Purdue
Jackson is a sure-fire start ’em selection against Purdue this weekend. During this recent four-game losing streak, the Boilermakers have given up an average of 45 points per game. In that span, there has been little resistance against the run from the Purdue defense, to the tune of 16 rushing touchdowns. This past week, Minnesota racked up more than 200 yards on the ground with five scores. The week prior, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley topped 200 yards with a pair of TDs. And then there was Iowa a month ago where both Akrum Wadley and LeShun Daniels both topped 100 rushing yards. Jackson has struggled of late with three consecutive games of fewer than 100 yards and zero touchdowns, but I expect that streak to end on Saturday.
Kalif Phillips, Charlotte vs. Rice
After a slow start out of the gates, Phillips has really turned on the jets in the last month and a half. In the last six weeks, Phillips has had four games of 100-plus yards on the ground, including his season-best 183-yard performance this past week against Southern Miss. The touchdown total is not overwhelming (4), but he is seeing an average of 22 carries per game during this stretch. While Phillips would be a solid play regardless of the matchup, it really is his opponent this week that makes him such an attractive option as Rice just gave up 252 rushing yards last week to a running back that had just 295 coming into the game. The Owls currently rank 107th in the country in rush defense, allowing 223.1 yards per game and have surrendered 26 rushing touchdowns.
Samaje Perine, Oklahoma vs. Baylor
If I had Perine on my roster, I am sure it would be tempting to put him right back into my lineup, as he is expected to return on Saturday after missing the last three weeks due to injury. That said, I would hold off as head coach Bob Stoops did say that Perine will practice only in a limited capacity. With Joe Mixon also expected to return after serving a one-game suspension last week, I would fully expect him to receive the bulk of the carries with Perine still rounding back into playing form. It’s not as if Perine was lighting the world on fire prior to the injury either, with just one 100-yard rushing game this season.
Mike Weber, Ohio State vs. Maryland
On the surface, this looks like an excellent play with Weber going against a suspect Maryland defense that just allowed 273 yards and five rushing touchdowns to Michigan. That said, I think we could see a similar stat line to the one Weber had this past week against Nebraska when he got a total of 11 carries. That was due in large part to Weber leaving the game during the third quarter due to a shoulder injury, but it was reported Tuesday that he will be fine for this week. With Ohio State likely to be up big on Maryland, I think we could see a host of backs get into the mix, including freshman Demario McCall, which should limit the damage that Weber could potentially do on the ground.
Top 10 Running Backs for Week 11:
Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State vs. Nevada
Jeremy McNichols, Boise State vs. Hawaii
Christian McCaffrey, Stanford vs. Oregon
Brian Hill, Wyoming vs. UNLV
Joe Williams, Utah vs. Arizona State (Thurs.)
Joe Mixon, Oklahoma vs. Baylor
Leonard Fournette, LSU vs. Arkansas
D’Onta Foreman, Texas vs. West Virginia
l’Tavius Mathers, Middle Tennessee vs. Marshall
Saquon Barkley, Penn State vs. Indiana
Anthony Miller, Memphis vs. South Florida
Miller came through for us last week with four catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns against SMU so we are going back to the well once more. Over the last three weeks, Miller has been one of the top receivers in the country with a combined 25 receptions for 486 yards and five touchdowns. It is not by accident that Miller is playing so well either, as his quarterback (Riley Ferguson) also is performing at a high level. South Florida has only given up 10 touchdown passes on the year, but are allowing close to 250 yards per game through the air. With Memphis at home in an important matchup in terms of AAC standing, I look for Miller and the offense to have one of their best performances of the season.
Deon Cain, Clemson vs. Pittsburgh
Not that this matters much, but just an oddity when looking at Cain’s stat lines this season – his big performances come in groups of two. He had consecutive touchdowns early in the season in Weeks 2 and 3, and then had four touchdowns combined against Louisville and Boston College in consecutive games to begin October. If that trend were to continue, Cain is coming off of his best performance of the year — 125 yards and two touchdowns against Syracuse last Saturday. This could be a week, though, where everyone in the Clemson passing attack gets involved as Pittsburgh currently ranks 126th in the country against the pass. The Panthers were torched last week by Miami QB Brad Kaaya (356 yards, 4 TDs). With Deshaun Watson expected to be fully healthy for this game, we could see passing yards put up in bunches by the Tigers on Saturday.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC vs. Washington
After it looked like Smith-Schuster had finally regained his 2015 form during the month of October, the junior receiver has been awfully quiet the past two weeks with just 76 receiving yards. The entire USC offense faces a tall task this week in Husky Stadium against an undefeated Washington team that currently ranks 13th in the nation against the pass, having allowed just eight touchdowns in nine games. Despite playing in the Pac-12 where up-tempo offenses reign supreme, the Huskies have allowed just one wideout all season to top 100 yards against them. If a USC wide receiver does become the second to top that mark, there is a better chance of it being Darreus Rogers, who has been the primary target for redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Darnold over the last few games.
Fred Ross, Mississippi State vs. Alabama
Ross has had a bit of a resurgence of late after struggling mightily this season with drops. The senior receiver has four touchdowns in the last three games including two this past week in the upset win over Texas A&M. I don’t see anyone on the Mississippi State offense having much success this week against an Alabama defense that ranks second in the country in points allowed and 19th against the pass. Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald has been excellent of late with 17 total touchdowns in the last four games, but eight of those have come on the ground. I don’t believe he is a good enough passer yet to have much success against the Crimson Tide defense. That means it could be a quiet week from Ross and the other Mississippi State receivers.
Top 10 Wide Receivers for Week 11:
Zay Jones, East Carolina vs. SMU
Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky vs. North Texas
Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma vs. Baylor
Carlos Henderson, Louisiana Tech vs. UTSA
Amba Etta-Tawo, Syracuse vs. NC State
Trent Taylor, Louisiana Tech vs. UTSA
Gabe Marks, Washington State vs. California
Cody Thompson, Toledo vs. Northern Illinois (Wed.)
Jonathan Giles, Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State
Austin Carr, Northwestern vs. Purdue
— Written by Mike Bainbridge, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Bainbridge is a graduate of Northern Illinois University. For more College Fantasy Football insight, Make sure to follow him on Twitter @MikeBainbridge2.