Tomorrow’s Ultimate NCAAF Fantasy Picks from QB to Flex.

QB – Dustin Crum – Kent State (vs Akron)

QB – Kyle Vantrease – Buffalo (vs Bowling Green)

RB – Jarret Patterson – Buffalo (vs Bowling Green)

RB – Marquez Cooper – Kent State (vs Akron)

WR – Isaiah McKoy – Kent State vs (vs Akron)

WR – Antonio Nunn – Buffalo (vs Bowling Green)

WR – Ja’Shaun Poke – Kent State (vs Akron)

TE – Zac Lefebvre – Buffalo (vs Bowling Green)

UT – Teon Dollard – Akron (vs Kent State)

Honorable mention:

WR – Isaiah Wooden – Kent State (vs Akron)

Happy drafting!

Posted in CFB, Top Fantasy Picks

The Golden Flashes and Bulls meet on Tuesday night in Buffalo

Midweek MACtion is back on Tuesday night, as Buffalo looks to extend its lead in the MAC East with a victory over Kent State. The Bulls are in the thick of the conference title race and could crack the top 25 at the end of the season if this program reaches double-digit victories. On the other sideline, Kent State is looking to use the month of November as a way to build momentum under first-year coach Sean Lewis.

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Buffalo picked up an important win in conference play last week, as coach Lance Leipold’s team defeated Miami (Ohio) 51-42 on Tuesday night. The victory over the RedHawks improved Buffalo’s MAC record to 5-0 (8-1 overall) with three games left. The Bulls have the Tuesday matchup against Kent State, followed by road trips to Ohio and Bowling Green. The Nov. 14 game versus Ohio is likely to decide the MAC East title, but Leipold’s team can’t afford to overlook Kent State on Tuesday. Buffalo knocked off Temple and Rutgers in non-conference play, with its only loss coming to Army (42-13) in late September.

As mentioned above, Kent State is hoping to finish out the year on a high note. First-year coach Sean Lewis has the program moving in the right direction and can play spoiler over the next three contests. Following Tuesday’s matchup against Buffalo, the Golden Flashes take on Toledo and Eastern Michigan – two teams sitting on the bubble for a bowl game. Kent State is a tough job and is a rebuilding project for Lewis, but there have been signs of progress. This program gave Illinois a battle in the opener and knocked off Bowling Green (35-28) last Tuesday.

Buffalo holds a 12-11 series edge over Kent State. The Bulls have won three out of the last four against the Golden Flashes.

Kent State at Buffalo

Kickoff: Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPNU

Spread: Buffalo -22.5

Three Things to Watch

1. Can Kent State’s Defense Slow Down Buffalo’s Offense?

This is a matchup of strength versus weakness on Tuesday night. Buffalo’s offense enters this game averaging 34.9 points a game and 5.8 yards per play. The Bulls have a balanced attack, ranking third in the MAC in pass offense and fifth in rushing. This unit has scored at least 34 points in three out of the last four games and posted 51 in their last game (Miami, Ohio). Kent State has experienced its share of issues on defense this fall and ranks 11th in the MAC in points allowed (34.2 ppg) and is giving up 6.2 yards per play.

Quarterback Tyree Jackson is the catalyst for Leipold’s offense, throwing for 2,227 yards and 23 touchdowns to just eight interceptions. He’s also added five rushing scores this fall. Receiver Anthony Johnson ranks among the best in college football at his position, catching 32 passes for 673 yards and eight touchdowns in 2018. K.J. Osborn (44 catches), George Rushing (20), Charlie Jones (12) and tight end Tyler Mabry join Johnson as the top pass catchers, giving Jackson a standout and deep group of receiving options. The freshman tandem of Kevin Marks (579 yards) and Jaret Patterson (576) leads the way for a ground game averaging 4.2 yards per carry. This duo will be a handful for a Kent State front ranked seventh in the MAC versus the run.

Kent State’s defense has allowed at least 20 points in every game against FBS opponents this season. This unit surrendered 52 to Ball State, 63 to Penn State, 31 to Miami (Ohio) and 31 to Illinois. As if those numbers weren’t concerning enough for Lewis, the Golden Flashes rank 11th in the MAC in pass efficiency defense – not ideal with a matchup against Buffalo’s passing attack up next. Kent State has generated 21 sacks, but the Bulls have allowed only eight all season.

Will Kent State find an answer to stop Jackson and Buffalo’s passing game? The Golden Flashes need to trade yards for stops in the red zone and have to force a few turnovers to pull off the upset.

2. Kent State QB Woody Barrett

If Kent State is going to pull off the upset, coach Sean Lewis’ team will need a huge effort from quarterback Woody Barrett. The former Auburn signee and junior college product ranks second in the MAC in total offense, averaging 262.2 total yards a game. For the season, Barrett has passed for 1,905 yards and 10 touchdowns to just three picks and added 455 yards and three scores on the ground. Barrett led the way for the win over Bowling Green last week, throwing for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 14 completions and rushing for 77 yards and a score.

In Buffalo’s win over Miami (Ohio) last week, quarterback Gus Ragland threw for 313 yards and a touchdown and added 53 yards and three scores on the ground. Barrett has to have that type of night in order for Kent State to keep this one close in the second half. Protecting Barrett is crucial for any shot at a victory. The Golden Flashes have allowed 34 sacks (most in the MAC), while the Bulls have generated 25 sacks through nine contests.

While Barrett has to have a huge game in order for Kent State to win, the sophomore won’t have to carry this offense on his own. Lewis has two talented running backs Jo-El Shaw (332 yards and five scores this year) and Justin Rankin (560). Rankin missed last week’s game due to injury and his status is likely to be undecided until kickoff. The Golden Flashes have three players  – freshman Isaiah McKoy (39), Antwan Dixon (38) and Myles Carrigan (33) – with at least 30 receptions in 2018.

With Buffalo’s high-powered offense likely to post 30-40 points on Tuesday night, Kent State is going to need its best (and a flawless) effort of the season from Barrett in order to pull off the upset.

3. Buffalo’s Defense

As mentioned above, any shot at an upset for Kent State hinges on a huge night by the offense. But there’s a slight problem with that theory: Buffalo’s defense is one of the best in the MAC. The Bulls rank second in the conference in fewest points allowed a game (23.4 ppg), yards allowed per play (5.0) and lead the MAC in pass efficiency defense. Additionally, Buffalo’s defense has allowed only nine plays of 40 yards or more this fall.

On paper, the Bulls have showed very little in the way of major issues on this side of the ball. Leipold’s defense is solid against versus the pass and the run, have forced 19 turnovers and generated 25 sacks through nine contests. Buffalo’s standout linebacker Khalil Hodge will miss the first half of Tuesday night’s game due to a targeting suspension, but this unit should be able to navigate the first two quarters without its best player.

Even though Kent State has capable firepower on its offense, Leipold’s defense isn’t likely to surrender 40 points for the second week in a row.

Final Analysis

Kent State is certainly showing signs of life in Lewis’ first year, but Buffalo simply has a better team in 2018. With a showdown looming against Ohio next week, the Bulls can’t afford to look ahead and not take care of business on Tuesday night. With the Jackson-to-Johnson connection back on track, it’s tough see the Golden Flashes getting enough stops to win this contest. Look for Barrett to deliver a few big plays, but Buffalo has too much firepower and pulls away in the second half.

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Posted in CFB, Top Fantasy Picks

Bulls host the RedHawks on Tuesday night in key MAC East division matchup

Weeknight college football is back with the MAC kicking things off on Tuesday night. In one of the two games taking place on the first Tuesday night of the MAC schedule, a battle for first place in the MAC East will be in focus with Buffalo hosting Miami (Ohio).

Buffalo continues to make strides under head coach Lance Leipold. At 7-1, Buffalo is already on pace to post the most wins in a season in program history. Buffalo has had two seasons with eight wins, including the only MAC championship season for the Bulls in 2008. A win against Miami would tie Buffalo’s record for most wins in a season and put the Bulls one step closer to winning another MAC title.

Miami (Ohio) at Buffalo

Kickoff: Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN2

Spread: N/A

Three Things to Watch

1. Coming off a bye week to prepare for Tuesday night football

Now that weeknight football is here for the remainder of the college football season in the MAC, the conference had to throw a scheduling favor to Miami and Buffalo for the first Tuesday night game of the year. That came in the form of a scheduled bye week for each to allow for maximum time to prepare for the odd Tuesday night kickoff. Both teams will have had 10 days since their last game on Oct. 20, when Miami lost a nail-biter in double overtime at Army and Buffalo scored a massive win at Toledo.

2. First place on the line

Buffalo is the last undefeated team in MAC play residing in the MAC East Division, and Miami looks to drag the Bulls into the loss column. Doing so would create a tie for first place in the division between the two, and Miami would then own the head-to-head tiebreaker. It should be pointed out that the RedHawks enter this game with three wins on the season, all against conference opponents.

3. Buffalo’s 1-2 combo at receiver

Buffalo’s passing numbers may not impress in terms of the total yardage, but the combo at wide receiver of K.J. Osborn and Anthony Johnson has been quite productive. Osborn is among the top receivers in the MAC with 696 yards and six touchdowns and is a solid, reliable option to throw to. Johnson has been more of a home-run threat with five touchdowns on 24 receptions. Miami will have its hands full trying to shut both down.

Final Analysis

Both teams appear to have some similar strengths on the line of scrimmage with good offensive line protection and pressure from the defensive line. That could even itself out in this matchup. Quarterback play could even out, too, as Miami’s Gus Ragland and Buffalo’s Tyree Jackson are each capable of being effective. The matchup that could decide this one comes down to Buffalo running back Kevin Marks and his ability to gain traction against Miami’s third-ranked rushing defense among MAC programs. Marks is due for a touchdown after going scoreless in the last two games. If he gets in the end zone, Buffalo will be in good shape at home.

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Posted in CFB, Top Fantasy Picks

NCAA Preview 2016

NCAA Mid-American Football

The 2016 College Football season is almost upon us, so get pumped and ready to play some College Fantasy Football at FanPicks (click to play).

With the season kicking off on August 27th in Sydney, FanPicks will be covering every NCAA conferences and their teams for the 2016 season. If you’ve missed the Independants CFB preview, click here. Now let’s get to the NCAA Mid-American Football.

With UMass’ departure from the Mid American Conference, things may get very interesting this year. Will Norther Illinois win its seventh West division in a row?

Northern Illinois has won six consecutive West Division championships but will need to hold back a rising Western Michigan squad and an always-troublesome

Akron Zips

After a disappointing 0-2 start last season, QB Thomas Woodson took over in Week 3 and immediately ignited the Zips.  He tossed for 2,202 yards and rushed for 677, connecting on 19 TDs as Akron went on to record its first 8-win season.  It culminated with a 23-21 upset win over Utah State in the Idaho Potato Bowl, the Zips’ first FBS bowl victory.  Woodson returns as the team’s leading rusher and passer.  He’ll benefit from the arrival of Utah State transfer JoJo Natson, who caught 108 passes and rushed for 612 yards at USU in 2013-14.

 

Bowling Green Falcons

Head coach Mike Jinks begins his first season as Bowling Green’s head coach in 2016. Prior to joining the Red Raiders, Jinks was a National Coach of the Year finalist while at San Antonio powerhouse, Steele High School.  He inherits a team that ran the table for the third straight season against all NCAA Mid-American Football East opponents on their schedule, winning two MAC championships the past three seasons.  Victorious in 36 games the past four seasons, a new era of winning starts in 2016.

Buffalo Bulls

Head coach Lance Leipold came to Buffalo as the fastest coach to win 100 games in NCAA history. They will have to bare with the loss of their QB Joe Licata, the Bulls’ all-time leading passer who started 40 consecutive games. Former Iowa State QB Grant Rohach has transferred in to replace Licata. Their Defensive Line unit is the most experienced in the league.

Ken State Golden Flashes

The Golden Flashes at a tough time last year in many departments. It could all change this year since unlike some of their competition, they will have an abundance of returning starters back in 2016.

 

Miami (OH) RedHawks

Miami has signed 6’4″, 304 LB OL Jordan Diamond, a fifth year transfer from Auburn.  After 2 tough years in which nearly half of their 19 losses were by a touchdown or less, head coach Chuck Martin has a made a top recruiting class in the NCAA Mid-American Football the past 2 seasons, including 29 three-star recruits. He also welcomes 10 starters back on offense from a team that was the 4th youngest in the nation last year.

Ohio Bobcats

After playing through a rash of injuries in 2014, last year’s Bobcats benefited mightily from the force-feeding of young replacements when they won 8 games and a berth in the Camellia Bowl.  We do know that the Bobcats have not had a losing season since 2006 and Solich is the active coach with the most wins in the NCAA Mid-American Football conference right now.

Ball State Cardinals

After being the only team in the nation to have upped its season win totals every year from 2010 to 2013 as well as re-signing Pete Lembo, to a new 5-year deal that made him the highest paid coach in the NCAA Mid-American Football. Mike Neu, former quarterback with the Cardinals and most recently QB coach with the New Orleans Saints will take over.

 

Central Michigan Chippewas

The Chippewas somehow came within 2 points of winning the MAC West despite tons of injuries, while battling mighty Michigan State and Oklahoma State right down to the wire.  With four wide receivers back who gathered in over 500 passing years apiece in 2015, look for Rush to be in league MVP talks this campaign.

 

Eastern Michigan Eagles

The Eagles set out to become very tough under head coach Chris Creighton.  According to Creighton, the wealth of experience led by high-ceiling QB Brogan Roback and explosive RB Shaq Vann, plus an entire cast of returning linemen on both sides of the ball should help their squad get back on the proper lane.

 

Northern Illinois Huskies

With 6 MAC West titles in a row, the Huskies have learned to win games consistently.  Lurry lead the nation in interceptions last season and will be a Jim Thorpe award contender in 2016.

 

Toledo Rockets

Fueled by 28 winning seasons in the last 35 years, the Rockets have gone 6-2 or better in conference clashes 5 of the last 6 years.  However, despite winning 7 or more games in each of those years, they haven’t played in a MAC title game in 12 years.  Brutal losses to Northern Illinois and Western Michigan denied them once again.

 

Western Michigan Broncos

QB Zach Terrell and his top target, WR Corey Davis each will return to action this week. Davis is currently the active leading receiver with 33 career receiving TDs and could possibly end up being one of the best to ever play the position in the NCAA Mid-American Football.

 

 

CFB 2016 Other Previews

The American

ACC Atlantic

ACC Coastal

Big 12

Conference USA

Big Ten East

Big Ten West

Independents

 

Posted in CFB