Discover more from VolumePigs
The Pig Market - Week Four Waiver Adds
Week Four is officially in the books! Here are some names that caught my eye this weekend...
The art of trading lies in timing and opportunity…
- Leonardo Fibonacci, mathematician
Welcome, my friends, to the Pig Market. Here, CFF manager frantically scour the streets—inspecting each and every merchant carefully in hopes of unearthing a hidden volume pig, or engaging in hellacious bidding for the fattest pigs at auction. A place where savvy buyers prove their mettle with extreme cunning, and first-timers unload their entire wallets on the latest cochon-du-jour.
I promised in my offseason content that I’d have you covered for waiver wire information each week and I plan to make good on that promise with yet another series (how many is it now? I’ve lost count…). Here, I will highlight players that I think are notable and that are also not highly rostered in standard leagues; or are not known commodities already. I’ll try to provide at least a few names at each position group per week.
This edition is initially being released as a paid product, but the full post will be made free and fully available to all on Tuesday morning (Sept. 26) 9am EST. For those who want early access, you can do so by being a paid subscriber.
(Arkansas State) Jaylen Raynor — The true freshman gunslinger torched the Southern Miss defence on Saturday, finishing his first start going 11/21 passing (52.4% completion) for 233 yards and three scores, plus 17 rushing attempts which materialized into 97 yards and another two scores (43.35 points in 4-point passing TD formats). He actually got his first action last weekend vs. Stony Brook, after backup QB J. Dailey struggled filling in for injured QB JT Strout. Raynor threw a TD on only six passing attempts in that game, which was notable. I won’t pretend to be an expert on the health and status of the Arkansas State QB room, but with the way Raynor played this past weekend, it’s hard to see them going with someone else if he keeps this up. Raynor and the Red Wolves have a great matchup this weekend vs. UMass.
(CMU) Jase Bauer — The CMU QB situation has — at times — felt like a guessing game as to who will be starting for the Chippewas each weekend. Emmanuel was the CFF darling in the offseason due to his rushing upside. But as it turns out, Bauer knows a thing or two about this type of activity also—our man rushed for a sinister four rushing TDs this weekend vs. a solid Southern Alabama defence, accumulating 55 rushing yards in the process. He also passed for a score and 224 yards (44.7 points). I don’t know whether he will still be the starter this upcoming weekend (does anybody know?), but he’s a guy that’s worth monitoring with a matchup vs. MAC opponent EMU incoming. For context, Emmanuel was suffering from an illness on the weekend, but could have played if needed, Bauer was playing well enough that the coaches kept him in.
(MTSU) Nicholas Vattatio — Vattatio has now strung together two solid performances with a 24.85 point output vs. Murray State and a 30.65 point output vs. Colorado State. He offers rushing upside, rushing 13, 8, and 15 times in his last three outings. They’re also attempting a lot of passes down there in Middle Tennessee, with 32, 36, 34, and 41 attempts in their first four games. Vattatio’s got an intriguing matchup incoming this weekend vs. WKU, which figures to be a high flying affair.
(JMU) Jordan McCloud — McCloud was included in my rankings this offseason as a ‘late round dart throw’, and he showed some of the promise that warranted that consideration on Saturday. Against Utah State, McCloud threw for 364 yards and four scores, and also accounted for two rushing scores along with 26 yards. All told, his point output was 42.8—not bad. This was the first sign of this type of performance from him this season, however, so I would tread cautiously. Their matchup this weekend vs. Southern Alabama is tantalizing, though, as we just saw Jase Bauer eviscerate that defence for four rushing scores.
This was a strangely productive week for freshly made volume pigs at the RB position. It’s been a struggle so far, with many popular RBs failing to live up to their pre-draft expectations. But the CFF gods are nothing if not merciful, and it appears they have offered us a few lines of rope (hope?) to climb out of the dungeons of CFF committee hell.
(Toledo) Penny Boone — Every year in CFF, there are always multiple names at each position where the CFF community was one year too early on a player. This year, we can look to examples like WSU’s Cameron Ward, or Texas’ Quinn Ewers, to name a few. After this weekend, it appears we can add another name to the list in Toledo’s Penny Boone. Whenever there is a monster CFF asset like Bryant Koback in 2021, naturally there is much speculation in the proceeding years as to who might pick up the torch in their absence. Indeed, as a former shareholder of Koback, I can say that the Toledo offence was extremely lucrative in both 2020 and 2021. The 2022 season did not provide the answer CFF managers were hoping for, however, and many were left burnt on seemingly useless Penny Boone shares. This season things are different. The first game vs. Illinois was rough, and Boone only saw nine carries. But we know better—we don’t put much stock into these types of games. Game two was the opposite, a complete blowout of Texas State, where Boone only needed six carries to accumulate three scores and 39 yards. This was a notable game, but not enough to warrant roster considerations yet. After all, we already knew Boone was going to be used as a short-yardage guy who would have the occasional stat line reading of *multiple rushing scores on less than 50 yards rushing*. Games three and four are what caught my eye. Back to back performances of 15 and 24 total touches is notable, and we caught a glimpse of what he might be doing for the remainder of the season in MACtion on Saturday. He toted the pig 24 times for 211 yards and two scores (33.1 points). Granted both of his scores were fairly late into the game, the rushing usage is extremely attractive. I hope at this point that the reader already knows where my next thought is going—the next leading RB on the team only saw five carries for zero yards on Saturday. In this case, I’d assert that Boone’s primary competition will actually be QB De’Quan Finn, who’s a TD hound and also has a propensity for explosive runs. Even still, Boone will be a hot asset this week at a position that many are struggling with currently.
(Texas Tech) Tahj Brooks — One of the VP subscribers tipped me off to Brooks the previous week and I’m glad he did. I decided to keep tabs on his usage this weekend to see what his interest was all about, and I have to say—Brooks fulfilled his side of the bargain. While the point output won’t blow you away (16.5), he did see 25 carries for 149 yards plus four targets in the pass game. He only caught one of those targets but with Tyler Shough now potentially out for awhile, Tech might be leaning on the run game a lot more, and Brooks dominated the backfield carry distribution on Saturday (only one other RB saw a carry). With Brooks, I’m not expecting him to be a 20+ carry type of player, though he does have the size for it (5’10”, 230 pounds), his skillset is such that he could be a 15 carry/5 target type, which is still valuable. They have a game vs. Houston this weekend which feels like a good matchup for Brooks.
(Air Force) Emmanuel Michel — Many a CFF manager speculated this offseason as to who would be taking over from Air Force’s productive tailback Brad Roberts this season. Signs pointed to John Eldridge early on, but we now have back-to-back weeks of Michel dominating the rushing volume from the same position in the offence that Roberts played (this is a triple-option style offence with multiple backs on the field at the same time). Michel has now carried the rock 28 and 33 times in his last two appearances, accounting for 30.6 and 32.8 points, respectively. They’ve got a matchup vs. SDSU coming up, which feels like a good one for Michel. This could be a league winner, or it could just be the case that Air Force continues to rotate who gets the touches. Only time will tell.
(Utah) Jaylon Glover — There is nobody left in the Utah RB room besides our man Glover. The true sophomore out of Lakeland, FL, carried the rock 25 times for 86 yards and caught one pass for 17 yards on Saturday vs. UCLA (11.3 points) in Ja’Quinden Jackson and Micah Bernard’s absence. Bernard’s out for the season, we knew that already, but the extent of JJ’s injury is still yet to be determined. In the meantime, Glover looks to be the lead tailback of a historically very productive system over there in Salt Lake City. He’ll have to contend with QB Nate Johnson scoring all of the rushing TDs still, but the fact that he’s now the lead dog in that backfield makes him an intriguing — albeit, perhaps temporary — play. They have a solid matchup incoming vs. Oregon State.
(Nebraska) Anthony Grant — Don’t look now, but Nebraska’s Anthony Grant has just been anointed as a freshly made volume pig. On Saturday, Grant was handed a noticeable 22 carries, of which he took for 135 yards and a score. He also caught a pass on one target for two yards. His total output came to a respectable 20.7 points vs. Louisiana Tech. The problem I see here is that this type of performance might be difficult to replicate in B1G play. Nebraska plays Michigan and Illinois in the next two weeks before its BYE week. There is a nice stretch of games after, though, with opponents NW, Purdue, MSU, and Maryland up next. The playoff weeks are rough—Wisconsin and Iowa. Like Glover, Grant is sort of the last man standing here, with injuries to the other Cornhusker tailbacks plaguing the room. As we just saw with Rutgers’ Monangai, Michigan is not a great matchup for a RB playing on an overmatched team, so if you do pick Grant up, I’d advise sitting him for at least one week.
(Oklahoma State) Ollie Gordon — Uh oh, has Mike Gundy found his guy in the backfield? It’s too soon to say. But I will say that the backfield distribution on Saturday was extremely interesting—Gordon carried the rock 18 times for 121 yards, and also saw eight(!) targets, of which he caught four for 14 yards. Remarkably, he failed to reach the end zone vs. Iowa State, but that feels more like an anomaly with 26 total opportunities than the rule. Only one other RB saw carries on Saturday—Jaden Nixon carried the pig twice for five yards. Maybe they were just riding the hot hand? But maybe they weren’t… the upside here is quite high if it hits. If you can afford to do so, Gordon is worth a stash on your roster. They have a BYE this week, but return to face tough KState and Kansas defences before playing a more favourable schedule with WVU in Week Eight.
(Pitt) Rodney Hammond Jr. — I almost left junior off the list entirely because I completely forgot that — in most leagues that I’m not in — Hammond is still available this week. I wrote about Hammond on this week’s DFS article, where I mentioned this:
Another sneaky play here. And I know what you’re probably saying right now “VP, Hammond’s been hot garbage this season! He hasn’t cleared that threshold in any of his three games thus far!”. I get it, I get it. But head coach Pat Narduzzi swears to get Hammond even more involved this week than he was the previous week (a week where he vowed to get Hammond more carries and he did—14 vs. 6 and 5 from the previous two weeks). If my math is correct and my timeline is accurate, Narduzzi is saying he wants Hammond to see even more volume than 14 carries this week. Now consider also that UNC just got shredded by Minnesota’s Darius Taylor last weekend for 138 yards and a score. Granted, Minnesota’s probably a better run team than Pitt is at this point, but Hammond is what they call in the industry a ‘rhythm runner’. He gets better with more touches, and in fact, you could probably say he just isn’t the same player unless he gets into his rhythm. That’s probably why the head coach is vowing to get him more carries despite his poor 3.8 ypc so far. Hammond is a good player, we saw this last season. When Hammond saw 16 carries or more last season, his rush yard totals were 124, 89, and 74.
Hammond did end up crossing his rushing yard prop, with 14 carries for 83 yards and a score, he also saw five targets, catching three for 11 yards (18.4 points). He would have seen even more volume had it not been for a late injury in the fourth quarter. The extent of this injury is unknown currently, but is something to monitor going forward. CJ Donaldson last week had a similar predicament, leaving the game with 18 carries in the third quarter due to an undisclosed injury, but played this week. So we’ll just have to wait and see with Hammond. But the staff here appear to be bought in on getting him the ball more going forward, and Saturday’s performance vs. UNC could be just a glimpse of what’s to come. I know many CFF managers are feeling the burn here on Hammond as he was a high draft pick, but if he’s available on your wire, he’s worth a shot — a little double dip action never hurt nobody.
(WMU) Jalen Buckley — I’m coming in hot with the call back here because — in many of your leagues — I may be pulling off some Nostradamus ish with this take from my article on September 5th: “For many of you, a less savvy owner may end up acquiring Buckley this week in your leagues and subsequently end up dropping him two weeks later after back-to-back duds vs. Syracuse and Iowa, so you might be able to play the rebound here”. Is Buckley available in your leagues? You might be able to re-acquire him this week.
(Houston) Parker Jenkins — Perhaps a temporary play here but a play nonetheless. Freshman RB Parker Jenkins torched his debut as a starter on Saturday, with 20 rushes for 105 yards and three scores (31.1 points). He was also targeted three times, catching two for six yards. They have a nice matchup incoming this weekend vs. Texas Tech, and with Houston’s QB Donovan Smith still struggling, look potentially for a guy like Jenkins to become the engine of the offence. HC Dana Holgorsen on Jenkins: “He has a chance to be a special player. First start, first 100-yard game. I think we are going to be seeing a lot of that around here”.
(Wazzou) Josh Kelly — It’s no secret that Wazzou’s Lincoln Victor went down with injury on Saturday. As unfortunate as that is, it does present an opportunity now for someone else to fill that role—a role that’s been extremely lucrative across various different programs and players. Fresno State transfer Josh Kelly looks to potentially be a guy who could fill that void. The 6’0” speedster has the build to be a successful slot player, and he performed well in Victor’s absence on Saturday—seeing 12 targets, catching eight of those for 159 yards and three scores (41.9 points). His target volume saw a marked increase from his previous three outings (his season high was eight), which is promising. Without further details on Victor’s injury (he was seen in crutches), I am comfortable prescribing Kelly as a big-time target this week if you don’t need a plug-and-play guy right away (Wazzou’s on BYE).
(UVA) Malik Washington — Washington is entering into the elusive volume pig WR zone with his back-to-back outings of 13 targets. He’s now averaging an exceptional 23 FPG through four games, and with the renewed efficiency in the pass game behind the arm of freshman QB Colandrea, this is a name that’s very intriguing for me going forward. Since Colandrea’s been the starter, he is targeting Washington at a staggering rate, suggesting that his 13 targets in back-to-back weeks could be closer to the norm going forward rather than the exception. UVA also figures to be playing from behind often. They’ve got some very tasty matchups coming up.
(Mississippi State) Lideatrick Griffin — The coach of the Bulldogs must be a subscriber to VolumePigs by the way he’s using his players. First it was RB Jo Marks, now it’s the WR Griffin. Combining carries and targets, Griffen has now seen 9 and 11 opportunities in his last two games, and he is averaging a very strong 21.4 FPG on the season currently. The matchup this weekend vs. Alabama is not ideal, however, and if the Bulldogs show up looking like they did vs. LSU a few weeks ago, it could be rough all around. That being said, Griffen still managed to net 14 points in a game where they got blown out 41-14. He has a combined four TDs in four games thus far.
(ISU) Jaylin Noel — Noel looked like the man we all thought he could be on Saturday. My guy saw a total of 12 targets, of which he caught eight for 146 yards and a score vs. Oklahoma State (28.6 points). That target volume is not an anomaly, he already saw 11 targets two weeks ago vs. Iowa before missing last week’s contest with an illness. This is a program that absolutely #Pigged WR Xavier Hutchinson last season, so keep an eye out here on Noel, he might just be getting started…
(NC State) Kevin Concepcion — The true freshman WR is now firmly in the conversation of roster-able in a regular CFF league. He was teetering on the edge for a few weeks, but Friday’s breakout performance now has me on notice. KC was targeted ten times, catching six for 116 yards and two scores (29.6 points). This offence under offensive guru Robert Anae has not quite hit its top gear this season, and QB Brennan Armstrong — puzzlingly — looks to be a shell of his former 2021 self. That being said, Concepcion continues to prove himself as a reliable WR for Armstrong, and that should see his role continue to increase going forward.
(WKU) Easton Messer — This is a potential temporary play, but we have yet another freshman WR making waves this week. Messer originally broke out two weeks ago vs. Houston Baptiste (the real OGs know the connection between these two schools) netting 28.4 points via nine catches, 116 yards and a score (plus a one carry for 18 yards). He failed to replicate this performance last week vs. Ohio State, which was not surprising, but he did surprise me this week with six catches on eight targets for 96 yards and a score (21.6 points). With the injuries currently ravaging WKU’s pass catching room, Messer might be a guy who consistently sees steady target volume. There are already whispers that he is cementing himself as WR2…
(USF) Naiem Simmons — Last year, current USF Bulls head coach Alex Golash torched CFB while serving as OC at Tennessee with his speedy slot receiver Jaylin Hyatt. It’s part of the reason why everyone wanted to know who the slot player was this year for the Vols, despite Golesh leaving for USF. Interestingly, a name is emerging from the slot for the Bulls—Simmons caught eight of his eight targets on Saturday for 272(!) yards and a score (41.2 points). That’s definitely some Jaylin Hyatt type-ish (remember that game Alabama fans?). While the production is well above any of his previous performances, the target volume vs. Rice on Saturday is actually not far off the norm—he was targeted four, five and seven times coming into this game. He is definitely worth a shot in deeper leagues, I’m more in wait and see mode in regular set-ups. The problem being, of course, that if he follows up this performance with another banger next week, acquiring him will be significantly harder.
Other notable names: Lewis Bond (BC), Jordan Moore (Duke), Andrel Anthony (OU) and Eric Singleton (GTech).
(PSU) Tyler Warren — Warren is proving to be somewhat of a TD merchant for a pesky PSU squad, with four TDs in his last three games. The target volume doesn’t blow me away, so there is an element of Fool’s Gold here, but at TE, what other choices do we really have?
(UAB) Bryce Damous — Damous has now seen eight targets in two of his last three games. He 17.7 points vs GaSo in Week Two, and then a solid 12.4 point performance vs. the #1 team in CFB and in our hearts, the glorious UGA Bulldogs. I can just feel the collective eye-rolling from the readers right now. I’m not rolling my eyes on Damous though, if you need a TE, their QB Jacob Zeno continues to sling the pig like no-one’s business.
(SJSU) Dominick Mazotti — Mazotti now has back-to-back performances of 13.9 and 11 points. He’s seen six and seven targets in those two games. He does compete with another TE for targets, but SJSU is dealing with injuries at WR right now, allowing the TEs to get some love. A play if you’re desperate at the position, but they do have a BYE this week.
For all the streamers out there, I’m going to provide some matchups that I like each week here.
Rutgers vs. FCS Wagner — This one is straight forward, P5 program vs. FCS program.
Colorado State vs. Utah Tech — I know we don’t typically think of CSU as a defensive team, but they’ve been productive this season—even in the game where they got shredded late vs. Colorado. By the default scoring on Fantrax, CSU is averaging 11.7 FPG, never scoring less than 10 so far. They’ve got a cupcake vs. FCS program Utah Tech this weekend.
Jax State vs. Sam Houston — Jax State is a good defence but more importantly, the team they’re playing against is horrendous on offence (averaging less than 5 points per game).
(KSU) DJ Giddens — This is more of a ‘proceed with caution’ note then a full blown ‘pass’. Giddens saw a huge increase in volume on Saturday with fellow RB Treshaun Ward out with injury. Presumably, Ward will be returning soon (injury is undisclosed), so I wouldn’t necessarily expect 38 total touches each week, but we’ll see if Giddens takes on more of the RB1A role to Ward’s RB1B when he returns. In the meantime, Giddens is an excellent play after his BYE week vs. Oklahoma State if Ward is still missing.
(NW) WR Bryce Kirtz and QB Ben Bryant — While the target volume is not that anomalous for Kirtz (he saw nine the week before), the production seems like it might be. I’ve tied in QB Ben Bryant here too. This game vs. Minnesota notwithstanding, NW will likely be struggling throughout B1G play. They do have a juicy matchup coming up in Week Six vs. Howard, though.
(Texas State) RB Ismail Mahdi — Mahdi is another RB who saw a massive uptick in his usage this past weekend. His previous high was three carries coming into this game. I’m thinking this usage was more due to game script in the second half, but I admittedly haven’t watched the tape.
(Oregon State) RB Deshaun Fenwick — Fenwick’s definitely making himself prominent in that backfield, but he’s still likely RB1B behind Martinez. Even worse, both RBs are competing with QB DJU for rushing TDs. I’m not expecting three TDs on 11 carries to happen often.
If you enjoyed this content, I encourage you to join the Pig Pen (subscribing), and follow me on twitter.
Have questions? Find out what people are saying about VolumePigs here.
VolumePigs is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.