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The Pumpkin Market - Waiver Adds from Week Nine
Some decent options at QB, several strong choices for DSTs, and a few surprise volume pigs at RB headline this week's waiver article.
REVEREND STEENWYCK: “Their heads weren't found severed… Their heads were not found at all.”
ICHABOD CRANE: “The heads are... gone?”
NOTARY JAMES HARDENBROOK: “Taken. Taken by the Headless Horseman. Taken back to hell.”
- Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Welcome, my friends, to the Pumpkin Market. I hope everyone is having a fun Halloween weekend, and that you are diligently preparing for the arrival of The Great Pumpkin on the 31st. This year, I will be attempting to carve a pig outline in a pumpkin, which hopefully goes well (it probably won’t). I’ve also made a resolution to not eat too much candy (we’ll see how that goes…).
This week, on this special edition of the waiver series, called ‘The Pumpkin Market’, we’re going back to the format of releasing this article as a paid product first (there’s nothing spookier than a paywall), but it will be made free on Tuesday morning at 8am EST.
(ULM) Blake Murphy — As someone who picked up Murphy last week in one of my leagues, I was pleased with his performance on Saturday. Officially getting the start for the first time this season, the true freshman out of Plantation, FL, passed for a cool 300 yards, and 2 TDs to go along with it. He also rushed seven times for 27 yards. In total, he finished the day with around 26 points, which is a good output at QB, especially if you’re in a 24-team/45-man roster league. Now, even in regular leagues, I’d say Murphy is relevant. When he filled in for Jiya Wright last weekend, he also performed admirably, with 320 yards and a score (16 points). ULM’s got a marquee matchup coming this Saturday vs. a porous Southern Miss defence, and I like Murphy’s chances of replicating his performance from this past weekend, assuming he maintains the starting reigns (I don’t see any reason why he wouldn't…).
(UGA) Carson Beck — I had to do a double check to confirm that I haven’t yet prescribed Carson Beck on these Pig Market articles before, and as it turns out, I have not. Beck has been solid — albeit, inconsistent — all season. He averages 24 FPG in standard scoring formats, and will likely be asked to keep the peddle to the meddle this weekend in what figures to be one of the best games on the slate vs. a very strong Missouri team. His season highs of 34 and 35 points vs. KY and UAB, respectively, are pretty nice, his lows of 13 and 18 points are not so nice. He’s got the upside, but he’s not a safe floor player.
(Stanford) Ashton Daniels — Stanford’s true sophomore lit UW’s defence on fire on Saturday, passing for 367 yards on 50(!) attempts, scoring a TD in the process, and also rushed 18 times for 86 yards and another two scores. Overall, Daniels has been very up and down this year, but does have some other notable performances vs. Colorado and Hawaii. They play Washington State this weekend, I wouldn’t be too upset about starting him if I needed to.
(UConn) Cam Edwards — Last week I was hoping that if I had just included Edwards in the ‘other’ section of The Pig Market, that he’d go under the radar and I could scoop him in the one league I was hoping to. In the end, it was for naught, as someone else picked him up, and kudos to them, because Edwards — the true freshman — has now officially taken over the backfield duties for the Huskies. The health and status of Victor Rosa is probably playing a role in Edwards’ increase in usage (he didn’t play on Saturday), in fact, only one other RB saw a carry in Jalen Mitchell. But still, Edwards has really come on lately, and at the very least, until Rosa is full go, he makes an intriguing option. The unfortunate news is that the Huskies play Tennessee and JMU back-to-back in the next two weeks, so it’ll be tough sledding. But they play Sacred Heart and UMass in the CFF playoff weeks (12 and 13), so Edwards could be a good stash for those weeks for those in need of RBs.
(Minnesota) Jordan Nubin — A borderline Fool’s Gold entry this week, Minnesota’s Jordan Nubin saw an All-VP award-winning 40 carries on Saturday. You have to hand it to head coach PJ Fleck, he very much believes in facilitating uncontested volume pigs in his backfield, which is great. Obviously, this volume was conditional on other players being out, specifially—Darius Taylor. Those interested in Nubin will have to monitor the health status of Taylor headed into next week. They’ve got a good matchup vs. a surprisingly weak run defence in Illinois. Bonus points for the fact that his appearance on the field strikes a resemblence to former Gopher RB Mo Ibrahim.
(SJSU) Quali Conley — I really didn’t think I’d be including SJSU’s RB2 on these lists before the season, but alas, here we are. Kairee Robinson and Quali Conley continue to split reps, but remarkably, they continue to produce at a strong level. Robinson, in particular, has been very efficient and productive. But now Conley is starting to come on also. Three straight games of 20+ points is nice, but more importantly, he averaged 17 touches per game during those games, suggesting his role in the offence is fairly substantial. This is a scarce week at the position, so that helped Conley’s case for being here, but you could do a lot worse than a 14.7 FPG average on the season at RB. SJSU have a BYE this week.
(Clemson) Phil Mafah — Mafah’s always been an intriguing player at RB for Clemson. He’s big, physical, and extremely athletic, so naturally he tends to do well when he gets touches. Unfortunately, he plays the RB1B role behind Will Shipley, and has been serving as more of a red zone TD guy throughout the season. That changed on Saturday, when Will Shipley went down with a concussion. In Shipley’s absence, Mafah carried the rock 16 times for 84 yards and two scores, and added three receptions for 8 yards as well (24.2 points). While it’s still early, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Shipley misses this upcoming weekend’s game vs. Notre Dame, in which case Mafah would be the presumed bellcow of the team. ND’s defence is a little stingier than NC State’s, though, so 24 points might not be the end outcome even if Shipley misses the game. On the other hand, we did see Lousiville’s Jawhar Jordan run all over the Fighting Irish defence just a few weeks ago, who’s to say Mafah can’t do the same given the opportunity?
(Boise State) George Holani — Keeping in mind that Holani is rostered in 85% of leagues according to Fantrax, I’d just add that he might have been dropped in your leagues. As it happens, his return just happened to coincide with Ashton Jeanty’s injury. According to head coach Andy Avalos, Jeanty is expected to miss multiple weeks, making Holani — who was a bellcow last year — a very attractive option if available. In his first game back, Holani took 20 carries for 75 yards, and also caught three passes on three targets.
Other: Dontae Smith (GT)
(JMU) Reggie Brown — About a month ago, I included Reggie Brown’s teammate Elijah Sarratt on my weekly waiver wire article. While Sarratt’s been productive since then, I think it’s time to also recommend Reggie Brown. This JMU passing offence continues to improve week after week, and they are now firing at a level that is reminiscent of their offence last year when they had Todd Centeio, Kris Thornton and — coincidently — Reggie Brown. Brown — as the elder statesman in the room — was the presumed WR1 entering the season. While he’s not the clear cut WR1, he does have games as if we was. Season highs of 33, 24.6 and 35.2 points are pretty nice. He has now seen double digit targets in back-to-back weeks (10 and 12), and he’ll probably continue to be a fixture in this pass attack going forward. A delicious fixture vs. Georgia State awaits JMU this weekend.
(MISS) Dayton Wade — Jordan Watkins shareholders have been burned two weeks in a row now with an injured (yet still playing) Watkins. A WR with a bad hand is probably not an attractive option for his QB, so it’s no wonder that the Rebels passing attack has keyed in on another. Dayton Wade, out of Atlanta, GA, has been a fairly consistent player all season. The 5’9” slot receiver currently averages 13.6 points per game, and just had his best game of the season on Saturday, scoring 26 points. While many of the Rebels’ WRs continue to walk wounded, Wade’s not a bad option. They play Texas A&M this weekend.
(UF) Eugene Wilson — Florida’s true freshman Eugene Wilson was one of the best prospects in the 2023 class from what I could tell when watching his film last year. He was a player I had only spent more time on because UGA was recruiting him pretty hard. Ultimately, he chose the in-state Gators over the power G, and I don’t even particularly blame him. I am, however, not surprised that he’s found his way into one these articles as a true frosh. Wilson’s not the clear WR1 of this team (that distinction goes to Ricky Pearsal), but in a surprisingly effective passing attack, Wilson’s been able to score 10 points or more in his last four, including 20+ points in two of his last three. In his last three games, he’s seen 11, 9, and 12 targets. The remaining schedule does not scare me off of Wilson.
Other: Jamaal Pritchett (Southern Alabama), Monaray Baldwin (Baylor—should have been on these lists a long time ago).
(USCjr.) Nyckoles Harbor — The true freshman TE/wonder athlete is beginning to establish himself in this Gamecock offence. He had his best game of the season on Saturday, catching six passes on eight targets for 59 yards, plus took a rushing attempt for one yard (12 points). He has now scored 5.5, 7.9 and 12 points in his last three games, respectively. While the overall production numbers won’t wow you, given that he is a true freshman, these types of players (if they do) tend to ascend in the back half of the year. Harbor is an interesting player this week.
Other: Oscar Cardenas (UTSA), Blake Bosma (WMU), Boden Green (Rice), and Dan Willard (Syracuse).
As mentioned, I contemplated adding Minnesota RB Jordan Nubin here, but as long as we are aware that he is just a temporary option ahead of time, I don’t see a problem with putting in a claim for him this week. He’s probably not the defacto RB1 going forward, however.
A lot of good options this week.
SMU (vs. Rice) — Last week I included SMU in this section, and they didn’t let me down. The Mustangs scored a cool 19 points vs. Tulsa on Saturday, and are now averaging 13.12 FPG on the season. They play Rice this weekend, who are a lot more dangerous on offence than Tulsa was, so I wouldn’t expect 19 points again, but they should still have a solid game. Still only 29% rostered.
Tennessee (vs. UConn) — Unfortunately for our man Cam Edwards, the Huskies are probably going to get slapped around in Knoxville this Saturday. Tennessee’s defence as a whole is actually pretty solid also, averaging 10.5 points per game this season. They had a rough outing vs. UK this past weekend, but I don’t think they’ll have the same trouble vs. an overwhelmed UConn team this week. The last time the Vols played a G5 opponent (UTSA), they scored 14 points without a DEF/ST TD.
Air Force (vs. Army) — The battle of the service academies is coming up this weekend, and you know what that means, right? That’s right — a steady diet of ground and pound followed by refreshments and more ground and pound for dessert. This game should be one of the lowest in terms of the number plays run by the end of the weekend, with both teams deploying a similar approach on offence. Air Force is still only owned at 57%, so this DST should be available in many leagues. They currently average 10.6 FPG and have been making mince meat of the majority of their MWC schedule thus far.
Nebraska (vs. MSU) — The Huskers have now scored 14, 15, and 22 points in their last three games vs. Illinois, NW, and Purdue. Sure, the B1G is down bad this year, but those are the type of opponents Nebraska is getting to play week in-week out. Case in point, they get a struggling MSU team this Saturday who are 127th in PPG according to Fantrax.
Other: Oregon (vs. Cal).
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