In what is being described by some as “the biggest game in ACC history,” both Clemson and Florida State have a key player that is still available on a host of waiver wires entering Saturday night’s monumental tilt.
Make no mistake: quarterback play will decide this game, and only a blithering fool would consider sitting either Clemson’s Tajh Boyd or Florida State’s Jameis Winston. That means both Tigers wideout Martavius Bryant and his waiver wire counterpart, Kelvin Benjamin of the Seminoles, are certified must-grabs.
Bryant’s worst enemy is himself. At 6-5, 200 and regarded as one of the fastest players on the Clemson roster, Bryant began the season in the doghouse and appeared to have been on the verge of breaking out when he put up 19.8 Fantasy points (6-73-2) in a win over Wake Forest. Alas, Bryant capped off his second TD celebration with the always guaranteed coach pisser-offer, a throat slash. Since then, he has seen little time, amassing just 21.6 Fantasy points in his last three games.
Why take the risk on Bryant? Because with the ‘Noles focusing on Sammie Watkins, someone has a golden chance to thrive on single coverage, which means frequent targets from Boyd. YouTube some of Bryant’s handiwork, and you’ll see a kid blessed with all the tools every budding receiver dreams of having. If he’s targeted early and makes the most of Boyd’s faith in him, the reward will be worth it.
At 6-5, 242, Benjamin is a freak of nature who has quietly flown under Fantasy radars, yet comes into the game with a bit of momentum, having accounted for 29.1 Fantasy points in his last two games. His red zone value needs no explanation; you know Winston will look for him. What has kept him available on the market is that he had only two games in which he caught more than three passes, as Winston has been an effective distributor of the ball. Like Bryant, he could downright deadly if he’s involved early.
Both are flex players with significant risk, yet are also such special talents that — in a high-stakes game like Saturday — are worth rolling the dice on.
Since the dice are hot, here’s five others worth shaking ‘em up for:
*Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama: T.J. Yeldon’s caddie has quietly become a stealth-like source of steady Fantasy numbers, having racked up at least 11.2 points in four of his five games, including 27 in last week’s romp over Kentucky. Arkansas ranks ninth in the SEC in rushing yards allowed, which means there should be plenty left over for Drake once Yeldon has partaken.
*L’Damian Washington, WR, Missouri: It’s Washington — not Dorial Green-Beckham — that has emerged as the big-play wideout for the surprising Tigers. The senior has averaged 17.62 Fantasy points over the last four games, including last week’s season-best 23.5 effort during the upset at Georgia. However, Washington’s stretch will be challenged this week as Missouri hosts a rugged Florida defense without starting QB James Franklin (shoulder).
*Vince Mayle, WR, Washington State: Yes, the Cougars are cannon fodder heading into this week’s trip to Oregon, yet Mayle is worthy of a flyer on the heels of his 34.8 Fantasy points over the last two games. He’s a 6-3, 240-pound target that has pulled in three of his five touchdowns in that span and while the Ducks allow just 201 yards per game in the air, someone has to be the man for WSU, right?
*Kenneth Harper, RB, Temple: Any back who gets to run against Army’s leaky run defense is someone worth taking. Enter Harper, who averages 5.0 yards per carry and is due to come out of his two-game skid of not reaching the end zone. The Black Knights allow 5.0 yards per carry and allow an average of 232.3 yards per game. Oh yeah: they’ll allowed a whopping 35 touchdowns (no typo, kids). Temple may gain its first win of the season, but Harper having a field day is a lock.