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Devy Primer: Week 7 (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Jeff Bell | @4WhomJBellTolls | Featured Writer
Oct 16, 2021
Caleb Williams

Caleb Williams gets his chance to lead Oklahoma

Texas A&M shocked the college football world last week and added an extra dose of intrigue to the college football playoff race. Iowa topped Penn St to ascend to #2 in the AP Poll, their highest placement since 1985. This week is light on top 25 matchups with just two, but the SEC East race will likely swing on the outcome of Georgia hosting surprising Kentucky.  Kevin Coleman, Christian Williams, Jeff Bell, & C.J. Lang guides you through the Week seven action.

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Favorite Storylines

Down Goes Bama (Jeff)

Late Saturday night Seth Smalls landed the shot heard around college football. As the stadium erupted following Smalls’ game-winning field goal, the repercussions reverberated around the sport, and the questions only started. Since week 1, Alabama and Georgia have seemed to be on a collision course for an SEC championship game and a follow-up National Championship appearance. Now, the sport is different. Those games could still occur, given how the season has progressed, but Alabama is currently operating without a safety net. A side effect of a deep and experienced national title-winning team is the aftermath; At the same time, Alabama does not rebuild; they are still easing in a defense that ranks 40th in points allowed and a QB midway through his first starting season. The silver lining is a schedule that only features one more ranked team (#17 Arkansas), but if the team loses to Georgia, the assurance of a rematch is likely gone.

Rattled From the Start (CJ)

In 2019, Spencer Rattler was the 5-star, #1 overall QB, and the 11th ranked recruit in the nation. He set the record for most passing yards in Arizona state history and was the 2018 National QB Club’s Co-Player of the Year in high school. He declared to Oklahoma, sat behind Jalen Hurts for a year, and was supposed to be the next big thing. (Car crash noise). Things have not gone so well for the one-time Heisman Trophy favorite. In 2020, he started his Big 12 career with 6 TDs and 4 INTs in his first two conference games. Subsequently, he got benched and then finished the season respectably with over 3,000 passing yards, 28 TDs, and 7 INTs. For the freshman, it was a growing and adjustment season, but 2021 would be his year! Right? Not so fast, my friend. Even though he has an impressive 74% completion percentage in six games this season, Rattler ranks 46th in the NCAA in passing yards/game, 36th in TDs, and 10th in INTs. Last week, in the Red River Rivalry vs. Texas, True Freshman Caleb Williams brought OU back from a 28-7 deficit to win after Rattler started 8 for 15 with 111 yards and an INT. Coach Lincoln Riley has not named his starter for the TCU game this Saturday, and that speaks volumes. Williams, the 5-star, #2 overall QB and the 7th ranked recruit in the 2021 class looks to have the inside track. Barring an injury, it seems like Rattler will assume a backup role or may cut bait and enter the transfer portal following the season. Maybe the expectations were too high, or perhaps OU just wasn’t the right fit for him, but it was for Baker, Kyler, and Jalen. 

The Letdown Game (Christian)

The psychology behind letdown games probably hasn’t been studied enough in recent years. One could say that it’s something that fans try to manifest; an imaginary fall from grace the week after a significant win. Another argument can be made that letdown games are genuine, and if that is the case, we could be in for quite a few this weekend. Can Texas A&M go to Missouri and beat a scrappy SEC team following their shocking upset of Alabama? Can Oklahoma get over their comeback hangover after their performance against Texas in the Red River Rivalry? Can Iowa continue their push to be the Big Ten’s top team? Perhaps. But if “The Letdown Game” isn’t a construct of society’s imagination, betting on one of these teams to lose may be a lucrative decision.

NIL Case Study (Kevin)

Spencer Rattler looks like he has lost his job as Oklahoma’s starting quarterback. He has gone from a Heisman candidate to a transfer candidate in just six weeks. That type of fall is unprecedented and, in the past, would have cost him millions of dollars. Luckily for Rattler, he has secured sponsorship deals this off-season due to the new NCAA NIL rule. Rattler remains one of the highest-paid athletes of the short-lived NIL era. Rattler is earning around $800,000 for his social media, and he also has a deal with Raisin’ Canes for an undisclosed amount on top of two cars that were given to him this season a $70,325 (2021 Dodge Ram 1500 TRX) and $43,450 (Dodge Charger Scat Pack). Rattler is one of the highest earners, and his recent downfall only adds to his publicity. Rattler will more than likely earn over a million dollars this season, something that he can use for his future. So in a way, the NIL is helping athletes like Rattler make an income he may not get in the NFL. It will be an interesting case to watch because it could affect other athletes in the future. Will companies be more selective with who they sponsor moving forward? If so, this could hurt athletes. Time will tell what the effects of the NIL rule turn out to be. 

Player Spotlights

Quarterbacks

Payton Thorne (SO – Michigan State) 6’2″, 210 lbs

Payton Thorne is a quarterback that causes conflicted feelings. His overall athleticism isn’t outstanding, his play hasn’t jumped off the tape, yet he’s sitting inside the top 10 in Total QBR through 6 weeks of the season. Thorne has been one of the most accurate passers in the nation, and it’s put people on watch. Can he continue the upward trajectory and become a dark horse to be a 2023 1st-rounder?

Caleb Williams (FR – Oklahoma) 6’1″, 218 lbs

The Spencer Rattler era seems to be heading towards a conclusion, and Caleb Williams stands primed to take over as the Sooners’ starting quarterback. Williams injected life into an Oklahoma offense that struggled in the first half against Texas, throwing off-platform gems (albeit some more underthrown than others) and leading the Sooners to a vital win. This week, he gets a pesky TCU team that is susceptible to explosive passing performances. Caleb Williams’ devy stock is, without a doubt, on watch.

Running Backs

Tyler Allgeier (SO – BYU) 5’11”, 220 lbs

The clock struck midnight last week on BYU’s magical start with a loss to Boise St., But with a visit to 5-1 Baylor on the schedule, it is time to take a moment and reflect on the engine powering their offense. Allgeier’s 642 rushing yards rank tenth nationally, and he has tacked on eight TDs. Allgeier is an intriguing prospect as he has an NFL frame and runs with power while showing enough wiggle to make guys miss. Competition is a fair question; he has traditionally feasted on lower-level matchups and struggled when playing up. Speed may be a concern in the NFL, though there are rumors of low 4.4 times, which would erase consternation. The biggest question again has been competition, and Baylor brings in P5 level players but a defense ranking 67th in the nation. If BYU can get back on track against a strong opponent, Allgeier will be the key.

Tyler Badie (SR – Missouri) 5’8″, 194 lbs

Badie has emerged as an all-purpose weapon for the Tigers offense, totaling 667 yards rushing (8th nationally) along with 212 receiving yards. He faces his stiffest test of the season against Texas A&M’s 18th ranked defense. The Aggies are coming off the upset against Alabama and present the perfect opportunity for Mizzou to recover a potentially lost season that’s seen close losses to Kentucky and Boston College on the way to 3-3. The offense is explosive in ranking 22nd nationally in total yards, but his future lies in the passing game at Badie’s size. Testing will be necessary, but his ability to make plays down the field in the passing game fit him into a mold similar to Nyheim Hines or Kenneth Gainwell. This weekend, he has a chance to show his well-rounded skill set against the most potent defense he will face outside of a November matchup with Georgia.

Wide Receivers

Xavier Worthy (FR – Texas) 6’1″, 160lbs 

This season, Xavier Worthy has been the best true freshman wide receiver in the country. On Saturday, he exploded for 261 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He has 24 receptions for 514 yards and six touchdowns this year and has proven to be a big-play threat every time he touches the ball. Worthy leads the team in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. There’s no reason not to have him as the current WR1 in the 2024 class. He’s been that good. As a receiver, Worthy’s speed is his best attribute. He’s a dynamic playmaker, and he has above-average separation. Topping off that speed is his ability as a natural pass-catcher with excellent body control. Wherever the ball gets thrown, he will catch it. He’s the type of player that Texas needs to open their offense up, and if they want a chance to have a rematch against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Title game, they’ll need Worthy to continue his fantastic season. 

Tyquan Thornton (SR – Baylor) 6’3″, 182 lbs

Tyquan Thornton has quietly had an excellent start to the season. Most had written Thornton off as a prospect after a disappointing 2020 season where he only had 16 receptions for 158 yards and a touchdown. Yet he has bounced back this year with 27 receptions for 463 yards and five touchdowns. He’s been Baylor’s best weapon this year and has shown to be yards after catch threat all season, averaging just over seventeen yards per reception. If Thornton can continue this season, we could see him get drafted in next year’s draft, which was a long shot before 2021. 

Tight Ends

Sam Laporta (JR- Iowa) 6’4, 249 lbs

In six games played this season, LaPorta has led the #2 Iowa Hawkeyes in receiving in almost half their games. He has a big frame but has excellent hands. He can always find an opening in the secondary for Spencer Petras. He was a great athlete in high school, playing both wide receiver and defensive back. He also earned letters in basketball and track. So far in 2021, he has already equaled his receiving totals from last season and currently has the 9th most snaps played of any TE in the nation. Before last week’s big win vs. #4 Penn State, LaPorta averaged seven targets and over 50 yards/game, but surprisingly he had only one catch for eight yards on three targets vs. the Nittany Lions. It will be interesting to see how Iowa uses LaPorta over the rest of the season. They have a very favorable schedule, and even with them winning out, I don’t think they will maintain their current ranking. Playing in the Big Ten West helps get them to the conference championship game, but Iowa’s passing game is not their strong suit. Defense wins them games, but luckily for LaPorta, they don’t push the ball down the field often, so he eats up a lot of targets in short to mid-range. Keep him on your radar as the Hawkeyes make their run towards the CFP.

Isaiah Likely (SR- Coastal Carolina) 6’4, 240 lbs

QB Grayson McCall was the main reason I watched Coastal Carolina games. Even though they have a fantastic Turquoise-colored field, they have recently given me another reason to watch, TE Isaiah Likely. PFF ranks him as the #1 ranked TE in the nation due to his outstanding metrics and performances. At the TE position, he leads the NCAA in TDs, receiving yards, and is 2nd in receiving yards/game. He also has the highest Dominator rating (Passing Yards & TDs) of any TE in the country. Last week, in a win vs. Arkansas State, he had eight receptions, 232 yards, and 4 TDs. He opened the scoring with a 99-yard TD catch. He has exploded onto the scene for a guy who was a 2-star recruit and had offers from only two FBS schools (Coastal Carolina & UMass). Let’s be honest, though, Coastal Carolina is currently ranked #15 in the AP Top 25. With their strength of schedule, they won’t be making it into the Top 10, but maybe we can get some more TV airtime of this talented senior who will “Likely” be playing on Sundays real soon!

Games Of The Week

#11 Kentucky at #1 Georgia (-21.5) – CJ

Both Kentucky and Georgia come into this game with perfect records. To most, that’s not a surprise about Georgia, but to hear that about Kentucky will probably raise some eyebrows. The last two times Kentucky opened the season 6-0 were in 1898 and 1950. In accumulating wins the past three weeks over South Carolina, Florida, and LSU, Kentucky has one last big test before running away with the SEC East. Georgia allows a ridiculous 2.2 yards/rush, yet Kentucky is 4th in the SEC with 5.5 yards/rush. Kentucky needs to get the ground game to open up the passing game for Kentucky QB Will Levis and WR Wan’dale Robinson. Levis is a talented QB who transferred from Penn State. Levis has no issues pushing the ball downfield when the opponent is weak, but he threw for a combined 334 yards over his last three games. You are not going to beat Georgia throwing for only 100 yards. Wan’Dale Robinson, another transfer (Nebraska), currently leads the SEC in receiving yards and has flashed many times during the season, with three of his six games going for over 100 yards. 

Georgia is just too strong. They should dominate Kentucky in all phases of the game. A big question mark for the Dawgs will be if QB J.T. Daniels will play. He has been dealing with some lingering injuries following their opener vs. Clemson. Head Coach Kirby Smart has him on a “pitch count” at practice and revealed that Daniels threw well this week with no soreness. Senior Stetson Bennett has filled in admirably during Daniels’ absence, but he does not have the arm talent and football knowledge that JT has. We will see who gets the start on Saturday, but Kentucky will have to play a perfect game to rob Georgia of an SEC title game opportunity.

#12 Oklahoma State at #25 Texas (-4) – Christian

How will Texas find a way to lose this football game? This facetious statement is probably unfair; the Longhorns have only found ways to lose one game this season because they didn’t even have a shot against Arkansas in Week 2. But this Texas team is amid some growing pains. Their inability to adjust to Caleb Williams entering the game in the Red River Rivalry was apparent, and they showed some weaknesses on defense that were not as present in weeks prior. Bijan Robinson, the nation’s best running back, should lead the attack against Oklahoma State this weekend. His game-changing ability is notable, and while Casey Thompson was incredibly impressive against the Sooners, the Longhorns are at their best when Bijan has the football. 

On the other side of things, RB Jaylen Warren leads Oklahoma State’s offensive attack. Warren averages over 100 yards on the ground and 24 through the air, providing stability to an offense with Spencer Sanders at the helm. Sanders has been a rollercoaster, and if Oklahoma State loses this football game, there’s a decent chance it’s because he could not take care of the football. Texas is a 4-point home favorite, but this could end up being one of the more exciting “upsets” of Week 7.

#18 Arizona St (-1) at Utah – Kevin

The Utah Utes host the Sun Devils this weekend in a vast Pac 12 matchup. The Sun Devils just beat Stanford 28-10, and Utah defeated USC 42-26. Arizona State enters this game having won three of their last four on the road. Jayden Daniels has looked great the past three weeks, and RB Rachaad White leads this team in rushing. As a team, ASU is averaging just over 2000 yards on the ground, where their strength lies against Utah. The winner of this game will be the favorite to win the Pac 12 South and head to the Pac-12 championship game. Utah at home is a tough out, but I expect ASU to go in and take care of business. 

#10 Michigan St (-4.5) at Indiana – Jeff

At first glance, Michigan St. at 2-3 Indiana would not qualify as a typical “game of the week,” but this is a sliding doors moment. Between 2010 and September 2016, the Spartans had compiled a 67-17 record and stood as one of the best programs in college football. But Indiana shocked the Spartans in overtime on October 1st, 2016, sending the program into a tailspin. The program has since accumulated a 27-27 record through 2020. But Mel Tucker has the program headed in a different direction sitting at 6-0 with a potential top 10 matchup with undefeated rival Michigan after a bye week. One hurdle remains the Hoosiers.  

Indiana came into the season with high expectations after finishing 5-2 in 2020. But with a schedule that has turned into a murders row with six games against teams currently in the top 10, the team sits at a disappointing 2-3 trying to play spoiler. If QB Michael Penix Jr. can play through a shoulder injury, the potential is there. The Spartans counter with NCAA leading rusher Kenneth Walker and a balanced team in the top 30 in offensive and defensive scoring. The Spartans should cover, but the potential for a look ahead is always possible.

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Caleb Williams

Caleb Williams gets his chance to lead Oklahoma

 

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