NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL
Rutgers vs. Notre Dame – Saturday, Dec. 28 – 12N ET
The long, strange trip for the 2013 Rutgers Scarlet Knights ends at Yankee Stadium against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The season kicked off with a 4-1 start, but they went 1-5 to put a postseason spot in jeopardy. A big reason for the mid-season lull was RB Paul James (146-833-9) being out due to suspension. Even though he missed four games, he still ended up leading the team in rushing by a wide margin. The Irish struggled against the rush, allowing 175.3 yards per game this season, so James could find plenty of open space. Rutgers, on the other hand, struggles defensively against the pass. They ranked an abysmal 122nd in the country, allowing 311.4 passing yards per game. As such, QB Tommy Rees could have a solid performance, along with WR T.J. Jones (65-1,042-9).
Cincinnati vs. North Carolina – Saturday, Dec. 28 – 3:20pm ET
North Carolina started the season 1-5, but stormed back against lesser competition to win five in a row. Now, they’ll play two hours down the road from campus in Charlotte, where the stands are likely to be very blue. WR Quinshad Davis led the Tar Heels with 10 touchdowns, and he could come rather cheaply. QB Marquise Williams, a dual-threat option, has done a nice job since QB Bryn Renner (shoulder) went down with a season-ending injury. While Williams is a little wild with his throws, he still managed 14 passing touchdowns while running for six others. Unfortunately for UNC, Cincinnati ranks fifth in the country against the rush, allowing just 98.7 yards per game, and they allowed a total of 313.2 yards per game which was ninth-best in the land. Don’t let that dissuade you from using TE Eric Ebron (55-895-3) in daily Fantasy, though. He led the team in yardage, and posted 16.3 yards per grab. He’ll make his presence felt in this game for sure.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL
Miami (Fla.) vs. Louisville – Saturday, Dec. 28 – 6:45pm ET
The Miami Hurricanes and their fans expected to be playing much later in the bowl schedule, but a mid-season three-game losing streak has them grateful to be in this game. Stephen Morris is a talented quarterback, throwing for 2,868 yards and 21 touchdowns, but he is an enigma. He also has 12 interceptions on the season, and the turnovers seem to come when it matters most. RB Duke Johnson (knee) led this team in rushing, but he is done for the season. RB Dallas Crawford (126-523-12) led the team in touchdowns, and is a Fantasy option that could come on the cheap. WRs Allen Hurns (60-1,138-6) and Stacy Coley (30-559-7) are viable threats downfield. Louisville had just one blemish on its record, a three-point loss to UCF back on Oct. 18, and that lands them here. QB Teddy Bridgewater threw for 3,523 yards, 28 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He is a solid Fantasy option in his final collegiate game. WR DeVante Parker (46-743-11) is his partner in crime, and a Fantasy force.
BUFFALO WILD WINGS BOWL
Michigan vs. Kansas State – Saturday, Dec. 28 – 10:15pm ET
Michigan started the season 5-0, but stumbled to a 2-5 finish down the stretch. The Wolverines struggled to run the ball this season, but they pass well. QB Devin Gardner (toe) is a fine Fantasy option, going for 2,960 yards and 21 touchdowns, including 451 yards with five touchdowns (one rushing) in the season finale against Ohio State. His main target downfield is WR Jeremy Gallon (80-1,284-9), while his best option in the short game is TE Devin Funchess (47-727-6). Both are legitimate daily Fantasy options that could well exceed their salary expectations. Michigan was pretty solid across the board defensively, so that won’t help QB Jake Waters. He managed to complete just 59.2 percent of his passes, tossing 15 TDs with nine INTs. If you absolutely want a K-State player on your squad, WR Tyler Lockett (71-1,146-8) is the best of the lot.
BELL HELICOPTER ARMED FORCES BOWL
Middle Tennessee vs. Navy – Monday, Dec. 30 – 11:45am ET
The biggest thing to watch about this game will be Navy’s triple-option attack against Middle Tennessee’s struggling rushing defense. The Blue Raiders allowed 185.8 yards per game. That’s bad news against Navy, who ranked second in the nation with 323.8 yards per game on the ground. QB Keenan Reynolds led this team with 1,260 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns, and he threw for eight more when needed. Don’t bother with the wideouts or tight ends, as the Middies do not pass enough. Navy shut down the pass pretty well, which is not good news for QB Logan Kilgore, who tossed 16 TDs and 11 INTs. Avoid all Blue Raiders, as they do not match up very well.
FRANKLIN AMERICAN MORTGAGE MUSIC CITY BOWL
Mississippi vs Georgia Tech – Monday, Dec. 30 – 3:15pm ET
If you like teams that run the football, Georgia Tech is another squad, which does it with aplomb. The Ramblin’ Wreck rolled up 312.1 rushing yards per game, ranking fifth in the country. Ole Miss was so-so on rushing defense, allowing 155.2 yards, so that is the matchup to watch. QB Vad Lee isn’t much of a passing option, throwing 10 TDs with nine INTs, but he posted 489 yards with eight rushing scores. RB David Sims (151-846-11) led the team in rushing, and RB Robert Godhigh (69-694-6) could be a sleeper Fantasy option. Godhigh also led the team in receiving with 420 yards and two scores. Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace threw for 3,090 yards with 17 touchdowns, and WR Donte Moncrief (53-825-5) could be a solid Fantasy option against a Yellow Jackets pass D, which allows 243.5 yards per game.
VALERO ALAMO BOWL
Oregon vs. Texas – Monday, Dec. 30 – 6:45pm ET
The good news for the Texas Longhorns is that they’re basically at home in San Antonio, and they’ll be playing hard for head coach Mack Brown in his last game at the helm. The bad news is that they’re ranked 80th in the land, allowing 180.5 yards per game. With Oregon ranking second in the nation in total yards per game, and ninth in the country in rushing yards, it could be a long night for those in burnt orange. Not only did Oregon QB Marcus Mariota throw for 3,412 yards, 30 TDs and just four INTs, but he ran for 582 yards and nine scores. The team’s leading rusher, Byron Marshall (155-995-14) (foot) is questionable to play, but RBs Thomas Tyner (109-689-9) and De’Anthony Thomas (93-581-8) are more than capable if needed. The Texas offense is a bit in disarray, but RB Malcolm Brown (188-774-9) is the best of the lot.
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY HOLIDAY BOWL
Arizona State vs. Texas Tech – Monday, Dec. 30 – 10:15pm ET
Texas Tech struggled defensively, allowing 419.2 total yards per game this season. That’s bad news against a high-octane Arizona State offense. QB Taylor Kelly threw for 3,510 yards, 28 TDs and 11 INTs, and he ran for 473 yards and eight scores, which was second-best on the team in both areas. Kelly is going to be a popular Fantasy option with the favorable matchup. RB Marion Grice (191-996-14) also should have a strong day, and WR Jaelen Strong (71-1,094-7) is a solid WR2/3 or a flex play in most Fantasy pools. TE Christopher Coyle (28-413-4) is a Top 15 Fantasy option at his position, too. For Texas Tech, QBs Michael Brewer and Davis Webb are battling to see who will start after QB Baker Mayfield announced his plans to transfer. Webb should be the guy, but it’s best to avoid both. TE Jace Amaro (98-1,240-7) is the top Fantasy option at tight end, and he’ll flourish regardless of the QB situation. WR Eric Ward posted 82 or more receiving yards in each of his final five games, totaling five touchdowns during the stretch.
ADVOCARE V100 BOWL
Arizona vs. Boston College – Tuesday, Dec. 31 – 12:30pm ET
If you enjoy teams running the ball, you’ll like Arizona and Boston College. Arizona ranked 11th in the nation with 265.8 yards per game, while Boston College ranked 20th with 218.5 yards per contest. Neither is particularly strong at stopping the run, and BC was atrocious against the pass. The key to who wins this game might be how effective QBs B.J. Denker and Chase Rettig can be. For Fantasy purposes at running back, the Advocare V100 Bowl could be one-stop shopping, as both RBs Ka’Deem Carey (323-1,720-17) and Andre Williams (329-2,102-17). Eagles WR Alex Amidon (67-900-5) might be a nice mid-level Fantasy option.
HYUNDAI SUN BOWL
Virginia Tech vs. UCLA – Tuesday, Dec. 31 – 2pm ET
The storyline in this game will be Virginia Tech’s defense against UCLA’s offense. The Hokies rank fourth in total yardage allowed, third in passing yards allowed and eighth in both rushing yards and points allowed. UCLA QB Brett Hundley threw for 2,845 yards, 22 TDs and nine INTs, and he led the team in rushing with 587 yards and nine scores. Converted linebacker, RB Myles Jack, was impressive down the stretch, rolling up seven rushing scores to rank second on the team despite just 37 carries. He might be a good play if the price is right. WR Shaquelle Evans (43-617-8) is by far the best Fantasy receiving option on the team. For the Hokies, QB Logan Thomas just makes too many mistakes, but if the price is dirt cheap, he could outplay his salary. He threw for 2,861 yards and 15 scores, but also had 13 picks. He also ran for 294 yards and four scores. The best Fantasy option for Va. Tech is RB Trey Edmunds, who slashed his way to 675 rushing yards and 12 total touchdowns (10 rushing).
AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL
Rice vs. Mississippi State – Tuesday, Dec. 31 – 4pm ET
Rice won a total of 10 games, including four in a row and nine of their past 10. That’s mainly because of their solid defense, holding the opposition to just 195.7 yards per game. QB Taylor McHargue threw for 2,261 yards, 17 TDs and eight INTs, and he ran for 466 yards and five more scores. Normally, he might be a solid Fantasy option, but the Mississippi State defense is pretty stout, allowing just 366.3 total yards per game, and they were 35th in the nation against the pass. On the offensive side of the ball, QB Dak Prescott is a dual-threat option, who led the team with 751 rushing yards and 11 scores on the ground, while also throwing seven TDs.
CHICK FIL-A BOWL
Duke vs. Texas A&M – Tuesday, Dec. 31 – 8pm ET
In one of the most unlikely matchups, we find Duke matching up against QB Johnny Manziel and the high-flying Texas A&M offense. Duke allowed 20 or more points in nine of their final 11 games, and the Blue Devils were just middle of the road defensively. Johnny Football should post a big-time stat line as a result. Duke has a two-pronged attack under center with QBs Anthony Boone and Brandon Connette. Boone is the better passing option, throwing for 1,833 yards and 10 scores while running for four more. Connette led the team with 13 rushing touchdowns, and he passed for 10 others. If you want a stud Fantasy receiver, this game might give you a couple of strong options. Duke WR Jamison Crowder (96-1,197-7), TE Braxton Deaver (40-484-4) and Texas A&M WR Mike Evans (65-1,322-12) are all viable plays. Aggies RB Ben Malena (107-517-10) is also a nice play if the price is right.