To be honest, you have probably thought that between 4 different conferences postponing to the spring plus the schedules all getting changed, that college fantasy football might just be too difficult to navigate this season.
I think there are several different ways to make things work if you are open to a little flexibility and perhaps changing things up a bit from past seasons.
What Teams to Use?
You may have been in leagues in the past that only used power 5 conference players, but with the Power 5 now really the Power 3, my recommendation would be to do a league on Fantrax and use all FBS teams that are still planning to play this fall – ACC, Big 12, SEC, ACC, CUSA, Sun Belt and a few independents. This gives you 70+ teams and also helps overcome the different conference schedules (more on this in a bit).
Or you could just choose to use the Power 3 conferences, but you may need to push your schedule back a week or so. And if you run a league with deep rosters you might scale back your starting roster spots depending on the number of teams in your league, or perhaps scale back your bench spots creating more waiver wire/free agent possibilities.
How to Schedule? Based on how schedules stand now:
Right now there are a smattering of games the weekend of September 5th, but not enough to support a fantasy schedule, especially with most power conference teams still off. Big 12 & ACC teams (along with the rest) mostly begin either Sept 12th or Sept 19th, while the SEC kicks-off Sept 26th. You could choose to wait to start your league Sept 26th, but with deep enough rosters, could easily start Sept 12th/19th just having to do a little additional roster work those first two weeks to adjust for a lighter schedule.
While some teams don’t finish until Dec. 5th, many teams are done Nov 28th. If you run a four-team playoff I’d likely suggest running playoffs the weeks of Nov 21 and Nov 28, although you could push to Dec 5th but teams in the finals may have to do some roster juggling.
What Rosters to Use? Some recommendations:
- Power 3 only leagues – since the player pool is smaller than the Power 5 I’d recommend either using smaller starting rosters, or allow deeper benches to account for unique scheduling. or you could use smaller starting rosters and smaller benches to create a larger available player pool for those weeks you are in a pinch
- All 6 conferences leagues – I think you can use a normal starting roster as in past seasons; if you normally use all 130 FBS teams you might make the benches a little smaller to allow for a larger available player pool to help with unique scheduling. Or the flip side of the coin, make benches bigger to allow stashing of players when scheduling gets tough.
I like to run an all FBS league with a fairly deep starting roster as well as bench, normally around 23-25 total spots per team. Barring any changes I plan to keep roster sizes the same, start the weekend of Sept 12th, and run four-team playoffs Nov. 21 and 28. It will make for a shorter season than usual, possibly with fewer options on the waiver wire than some years, but ultimately should run fairly similar to a normal season.
If your league has a unique setup for this season send me an email or tweet at me and let me know!
The primary roster movement of the week was the NCAA granted a LOT of waivers for immediate eligibility, with a few transfers (Junior Ballard & Vante Hendrix likely the biggest) and injury updates mixed in.
Also of note was Isaiah Joe of Arkansas deciding to re-enter the NBA Draft on Monday’s deadline to declare.
List of Updates Aug 17-23:
- Cedrick Alley, UTSA – eligible after transfer from Houston
- Junior Ballard – announces transfer from Cal Poly to Fresno State
- BJ Boston, Kentucky – spotted with cast on hand due to finger injury, not thought to be major
- Jalen Carey, Rhode Island – eligible after transfer from Syracuse
- Noel Coleman, Hawaii – eligible after transfer from San Diego
- Kevin Cross, Tulane – eligible after transfer from Nebraska
- Malachi de Sousa – transfer from Albany to Rider
- Jalen Forbes, Tulane – eligible after transfer from Alabama
- Jeremiah Francis, New Mexico – eligible after transfer from North Carolina
- Alan Griffin, Syracuse – eligible after transfer from Illinois
- Vante Hendrix, transfer from New Mexico to Cal State Northridge
- Curtis Holland, Towson – eligible after transfer from High Point
- Isaiah Joe, Arkansas – re-entered the NBA draft after previously withdrawing his name to return to school
- Quade Green, Washington – academically eligible after missing the spring semester last season
- Braun Hartfield, San Diego (13.9 pts) – reports he has entered the transfer portal
- James Jean-Marie, Hawaii – eligible after transfer from San Diego
- BJ Maxwell, Detroit – plans to graduate & transfer
- Makhi & Makhel Mitchell, Rhode Island – eligible after transfers from Maryland
- Amanzie Nugumezi, Jacksonville State – eligible after transfer from Georgia
- Charles O’Bannon, TCU – eligible after transfer from USC
- Femi Odukale, Pitt – surgery for broken arm after moped accident, out indefinitely
- Bryan Penn-Johnson, LSU – eligible after transfer from Washington
- Russell Tchewa, South Florida – eligible after transfer from Texas Tech
- Khalid Thomas, Portland State – eligible after transfer from Arizona State
- Jacob Tryon, New Mexico St – transferred from Portland but announced was now transferring to Samford
- Holland Woods, Arizona St – eligible after transfer from Portland State
- Alexis Yetna, South Florida – on track to be fully recovered from knee injury by late September
The biggest news from the weekend was transfer related. On Saturday Washington State WR Davontavean “Tay” Martin announced he would transfer to Oklahoma State. Over the past 3 seasons Martin has totaled 143 receptions for 1615 yards and 18 TDs. Martin will likely apply for a waiver to be immediately eligible in attempts to join a WR corps led by Tylan Wallace.
Then on Sunday Colorado State TE Trey McBride announced he would remove his name from the transfer portal and remain with the team.
College Football Injuries and Updates List for August 22-23:
- Max Duggan, TCU – had a procedure for pre-existing heart condition and has begun recovery, no timeline was mentioned
- TJ Goodwin, UTEP – opts out of season
- Gavin Hardison, UTEP – named starter
- Gunnar Watson, Troy – named starting QB
- Jacob Kibodi – back in the transfer portal, was at Texas A&M last season and had transferred to Incarnate Word
- DJ Williams, Auburn – was seen wearing a non-contact jersey in practice last week, then held out of Saturday’s scrimmage, expected back next week
WRs & TEs:
- TE Baylor Cupp, Texas A&M – healthy after season-long injury last year
- Tay Martin – transfers from Washington State to Oklahoma State
- TE Trey McBride, Colorado State – withdraws from transfer portal
- Ricky Walker, grad transfer from Cal to Oregon State
The first news early on Wednesday was the biggest, as Wake Forest WR Sage Surratt chose to opt out of the season to prepare for the NFL Draft. In only 9 games last season Surratt had 66/1001-11 receiving.
Two big pieces of injury news from Thursday. First was South Carolina high-rated recruit RB MarShawn Lloyd tearing his ACL. Lloyd was set to be one of the top freshman running backs in the nation, but is now out for the season. Next was TCU QB Matt Duggan has been sitting out with an undisclosed condition that makes it sound like his season may be in doubt. Matthew Downing has been taking first team TCU QB reps in Duggan’s absence.
Friday didn’t have any groundbreaking news, with the possible highlights being Florida WR Trevon Grimes tweeting that he planned to play this season after missing several practices, and Texas Tech WR TJ Vasher returning to practice after some academic issues had caused him to miss earlier fall practices.
College Football Injuries & Updates List for August 19-21:
- Harrison Bailey, Tennessee – quarantined, not yet practiced
- Mikele Colasurdo, Georgia State – out for season with Covid-related heart issues
- Max Duggan, TCU – undisclosed condition discovered, return uncertain this season
- RJ Harvey, transfer from Virginia to UCF, will move to RB
- McKenzie Milton, UCF, doing non-contact work, no timetable for return
- AJ Davis, Pitt – dinged up in practice, should be fine for gameday
- Kendrell Flowers, Wake Forest – opts out
- Mike Hollins, Virginia – opts out
- MarShawn Lloyd, South Carolina – torn ACL, out season
- FB Drew Schlegel, Kentucky – transfer to Cal
- Gilberto Torres, UMass – transfer portal
- Ronnie Walker, Virginia – waiver denied after transfer from Indiana, team appealing
WRs & TEs:
- Jaylond Adams, Southern Miss – opts out (first reported earlier this week)
- Trevon Grimes, Florida – says will play after missing several practices
- Jadon Haselwood, Oklahoma – “isn’t likely to be ready until at least late in the season”
- Hunter Hayek, Rutgers – will graduate this fall and transfer to Stony Brook
- Tyquan Johnson, South Carolina – no longer with team
- TE Dalton Kincaid, transfer from San Diego to Utah
- Oliver Martin, Nebraska – transfer from Iowa, will walk-on at Nebraska
- TE Austin Pope, Tennessee – recovering from back surgery, expected to be ready for gameday as improves
- Brenden Schooler, Arizona – recently transferred from Oregon, entering the transfer portal toward goal of playing in fall
- La’Vontae Shenault, Colorado – was arrested in July with a DUI, will be suspended for an undetermined number of games when their season starts
- Sage Surratt, Wake Forest – opts out to prepare for NFL Draft
- DJ Turner, Maryland – plans to grad transfer
- TJ Vasher, Texas Tech – back at practice after academic issues
- Kobay White, Boston College – knee, missed several practices, not considered long-term
- Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia – season-ending injury last week
- Latrell Williams, South Florida – sprained ankle, optimistic to return next week
Not a huge news day after a very active Monday. QB Terry Wilson (Kentucky) was confirmed healthy & WR Amari Rodgers (Clemson) and TE Brevin Jordan (Miami) returned to practice after missing their teams scrimmages this past weekend. Biggest transfer of the day was TE Trey McBride (Colorado State) who went for 45/560-4 last season, after Colorado St WR Warren Jackson announced yesterday he would skip the season to prepare for the draft, CSU has some huge receiving holes to fill.
- James Foster, Texas A&M – opts out
- Terry Wilson, Kentucky – “full-go” after knee injury last season
- Steven Anderson, Southern Miss – opts out, transfer portal
- Jahmyl Jeter, Texas State – eligibility waiver still pending
WRs & TEs:
- Reginald Johnson, La-Lafayette – left team for junior college
- Waydale Jones, Texas State – eligibility waiver still pending
- TE Brevin Jordan, Miami – missed Sunday scrimmage, back at practice
- Dionte Marks, transfer from Florida to UCF
- TE Trey McBride, Colorado State – transfer portal
- Amari Rodgers, Clemson – back at practice after missing scrimmage
- Bryce Singleton, FIU – back after missing 2019 season
- John “Pop” Williams, Memphis – not with team right now, personal leave of absence
- Latrell Williams, USF – wearing protective boot
The biggest injury news of the day was that Florida State TE (UCLA grad transfer) Jordan Wilson will miss the season due to an undisclosed injury. The team plans to appeal for a medical waiver for next season.
On the transfer front WR Tay Martin of Washington State entered the transfer portal. Over the past 3 years Martin combined for 143/1615-18 receiving.
And 3 Florida WRs missed practice for unclear reasons – Kadarius Toney, Trevon Grimes & Jacob Copeland, something to monitor. And Texas Tech WR T.J. Vasher remains out taking care of academic issues, no clarity on how soon he might return.
- Henry Colombi, Texas Tech – team applying for waiver for eligibility
- Steven Migut, Army – transfer portal
- Chubba Purdy, Florida St – broken collarbone, out several weeks
- Jeremy Banks, Tennessee – reinstated to team after dismissal last season, expected to play LB in 2020
- Devyn Ford, Penn State – misdemeanor drug possession charges
- Robert Mahone, Boise St – arrested, suspended from all team activities
WRs & TEs:
- Kevin Austin, Notre Dame – 8-12 weeks until full recovery from foot surgery
- TE Jaheim Bell, South Carolina – medical procedure – out likely until early November
- Jalen Brooks, South Carolina – no waiver update
- Jacob Copeland, Florida – misses practice
- Trevon Grimes, Florida – misses practice
- Tay Martin, Washington State – transfer portal
- Jordan Pouncey, Florida – no waiver update
- Gunner Romney, BYU – full-go after hamstring tweak
- Jashawn Sheffield, transfer from Auburn to MTSU
- Justin Shorter, Florida – no waiver update
- Kadarius Toney, Florida – misses practice
- T.J. Vasher, Texas Tech – remains out taking care of academics
- Noah West, Army – transfer portal
- TE Jordan Wilson, Florida St – undisclosed injury, out for season
The weekend had some big news break, foremost with the opt outs of RB Kennedy Brooks (Oklahoma) & WR Warren Jackson (Colorado State). The Brooks news in combination with Trey Sermon’s transfer to Ohio State and Rhamondre Stevenson still serving a multi-game suspension from last season means that Oklahoma will be breaking in some new RBs this year. TE Grant Calcaterra (Oklahoma) also announced he was returning to football but would transfer.
- JT Daniels, Georgia – not yet medically cleared, contradicting report from earlier in the week
- Jamie Newman, Georgia – back from foot sprain
- Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma – opts out of season
- Travis Etienne, Clemson – didn’t participate in scrimmage due to being “banged up” earlier in the week
WRs & TEs:
- Will Brown, Clemson – injured shoulder (?) in scrimmage, not thought to be serious
- TE Grant Calcaterra – “retired” from Oklahoma last season, but has decided to return to football and plans to enter the transfer portal
- Cason Grant, Oklahoma – lower-body injury, will miss part of season (walk-on)
- Warren Jackson, Colorado State – opts out to prepare for NFL draft
- Troy Omeire, Texas – torn ACL, out for season
- Warren Thompson, Florida State – apologizes after social media post criticizing team for handling of COVID
- Al’Vonte Woodard, Texas – checked for head injury after practice
The news this week has been dominated by teams and conferences trying to decide whether they were playing this fall or postponing to the spring, which postponed or limited practices for many teams.
Not many high-profile updates this week, perhaps the biggest being Marshall QB Isaiah Green withdrawing from the transfer portal, Georgia QB JT Daniels being cleared (later update: he is actually not yet medically cleared) while teammate QB Jamie Newman may be rehabbing a foot issue; at FSU WR DJ Matthews tweeting then deleting that he had a positive COVID test, which led to a brief player social media controversy at Florida State.
- JT Daniels, Georgia – cleared for fall after ACL tear at USC last year
- Joey Gatewood, Kentucky – no update on waiver for eligibility
- Isaiah Green, Marshall – withdraws from transfer portal
- Kasim Hill, Tennessee – transfer portal
- KJ Jefferson, Arkansas – healthy for fall
- Sheldon Layman, Memphis – withdraws from transfer portal
- Trey Lowe, grad transfer from West Virginia to Southern Miss
- Re-al Mitchell, Temple – immediately eligible after transfer from Iowa St
- Jamie Newman, Georgia – reports he is rehabbing a foot issue
- Justin Rogers, UNLV – immediately eligible after transfer from TCU
- Joey Yellen, Pitt – immediately eligible after transfer from Arizona St
- Josh Berry, South Florida – opts out
- Raheem Blackshear, Virginia Tech – waiver denied after transfer from Rutgers, team will appeal
- Trivenskey Mosley, Southern Miss – transfer portal
- TQ Newsome, Southern Miss – moves to LB
- Trevor Speights, Notre Dame – medically disqualified
- Christian Turner, Michigan – opts out (prior to Big Ten postponement)
- Terius Wheatley, Virginia Tech – limited by hamstring issue
WRs & TEs
- Antwan Dixon, Kent State – transfer portal
- Zack Dobson, grad transfer from MTSU to West Virginia
- TE Sage Ennis, Clemson – “battling back from mono”
- Malik Heath, Mississippi State – arrested for DUI, speeding
- Reginald Johnson, Louisiana-Lafayette – hamstring, out
- Frank Ladson, Clemson – quarantine protocol
- DJ Matthews, Florida State – COVID positive
- Eddie McDoom, USF – opts out
- Justin McKithen, Florida Atlantic – moved to CB
- TE Thomas Nance – USF – opts out
- Joseph Ngata, Clemson – back at practice (Wed)
- Isaiah Robertson, Notre Dame – medically disqualified
- Gunner Romney, BYU – limited practice, hamstring tweak (Mon)
- TE Christian Sabatini, Louisiana-Lafayette – undisclosed, out
- Arian Smith, Georgia – knee and wrist surgeries
- CJ Yarbrough, Liberty – healthy after foot surgery, probable for first game
As compared to other positions such as QB, the transfer WRs feel lesser in quantity that could have a significant impact this year, but here are some recent transfers to keep an eye on, listed in loosely descending order of potential impact this season:
- Rico Bussey, Hawaii (from North Texas) – only played in 2 games due to injury last year, but in 2018 had a huge 68/1017-12 line. Could put up similar numbers in the Hawaii offense.
- JD Spielman, TCU (from Nebraska) – Spielman had 800+ yards receiving in each of the past 3 seasons at Nebraska. He becomes WR1 at TCU
- Theo Howard, Oklahoma (from UCLA) – sat out in 2019 but had similar production in 2017 & 2018, going for 51/677-4 in 2018. The issue will be to see if he can stand out amongst a talented group of WRs including Charleston Rambo, Jadon Haselwood, and more. Oklahoma certainly has enough stats to go around.
- Damon Hazelton, Missouri (from Virginia Tech) – started his career at Ball State then had two productive seasons at VT with his best being 51/802-8 in 2018. Could emerge as WR1 but Missouri’s unsettled QB situation is worth watching.
- Changa Hodge, Virginia Tech (from Villanova) – can sometimes be hard to measure the transition of moving up from FCS, but had a huge 2019 with 65/1118-13
- Obi Obialo, Oklahoma (from Marshall) – began his career at Oklahoma State then spent 3 seasons at Marshall. Only played 4 games in 2019, best year was 2018 with 42/505-4. Joins a crowded group of WR talent at Oklahoma.
- Tarik Black, Texas (from Michigan) – mostly a backup at Michigan, best season was 2019 with 25/323-1. Texas is sure to throw the ball a lot this season, and their top WRs left for the NFL other than Brennan Eagles, so there is a lot of opportunity if Black rises up.
- Ben Skowronek, Notre Dame (from Northwestern) – only played 3 games in 2019 due to injury but had 45 catches in both 2017 & ’18, going for 644 & 562 yards. Notre Dame returns a lot of young but unproven WRs, so Skowronek could add veteran presence as he tries to stand out at a higher level.
- Jordan Jones, Cincy (from Arkansas) – sat out 2019, best year was 2017 with 21/401-3 for an impressive 19.1 average.
- Aaron Young, Florida Atlantic (from Duke) – Young’s best year at Duke was 2019 with 29/367-3, other than John Mitchell FAU doesn’t return much production, so Young should get his chances.
- Dee Anderson, Oklahoma St (from LSU) – sat out 2019, had 20/274-1 in 2018. Tylan Wallace is the clear WR1 at Oklahoma St, Anderson will likely come behind other returners such as Dillon Stoner to try to get playing time
- Velus Jones, Tennessee (from USC) – a very quiet body of work at USC other than going 24/266-1 in 2018, but other than Josh Palmer Tennessee doesn’t return a lot of proven performers.
- Aron Cruickshank, Rutgers (from Wisconsin) – known for his returning skills, could try to emerge in the offense as well after going for a modest 13/138-1 in 2019.
- Jaelen Gill, Boston College (from Ohio State) – Struggled for playing time in 2019 going 6/51-1. Better chance to see the field at BC.
- Justin Shorter, Florida (from Penn State) – (no update yet on waiver for immediate eligiblity) – Shorter was 12/137-0 last season
There are a handful of recent grad transfer/immediately eligible transfer TEs who should be considered for fantasy purposes this season, listed below in loosely descending order based upon potential impact:
- Tre McKitty, Georgia (from Florida St) – last season was 23/241-0, very similar to his 2018 production.
- Tony Poljan Virginia (from Central Michigan) – a former QB who full time to TE in 2019 and had 33/496-4, for a strong 15.0 yards per reception average.
- Mitchell Brinkman, South Florida (from Northern Illinois) – breakout performance in 2019 going 34/445-3. USF doesn’t return many receivers, so Brinkman could emerge as a top target.
- John Raine, Northwestern (from Florida Atlantic) – Raine was 38/343-6 last year at FAU. Northwestern will likely have Peyton Ramsey at QB, who utilized his TEs well in the Indiana offense.
- Kenny Yeboah, Ole Miss (from Temple) – briefly committed to Baylor before landing at Ole Miss, was 19/233-5 last season which was a slight uptick from his 2017 & 2018 stats.
- Jordan Wilson, Florida St (from UCLA) – best season was 2017 with 16/155-2, last season in 6 games went for 7/72-0 – *Aug 17 update – Wilson is out for the season with an undisclosed injury, team will apply for a medical waiver for next season.
- Daniel Imatorbhebhe, Illinois (from USC) – joins his brother Josh at Illinois. An interesting case as he last suited up in the 2016 & 2017 seasons for a total of 25/394-4 combined.