With the CFB season reaching the midway point of November, we look at three of the best devy matchups to watch in Week 12 of the college football season. At 3:30 PM, Auburn hosts SEC-rival Georgia in front of what should be an electric Jordan Hare Stadium.
Other devy matchups to watch include Jonathan Taylor and Wisconsin visiting the Nebraska Cornhuskers, while Big 12 rivals Oklahoma and Baylor wrap up the night with a primetime nationally-televised matchup with college football playoff implications on the line.
With Week 11 of the college football season in the books, here’s a look at the best devy fantasy football matchups to watch in Week 12. You can also take a look at my weekly stock report from the previous week.
Devy Matchups to watch in Week 12
Georgia @ Auburn
Georgia: RB D’Andre Swift (2020), WR George Pickens (2022), WR Dominick Blaylock (2022), RB Zamir White (2021), QB Jake Fromm (2020), WR Lawrence Cager (2020)
The 2019 edition of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry is the main event of my Week 12 devy matchups to watch. Georgia’s passing attack is led by likely 2020 first-round quarterback Jake Fromm and a couple of 2022 NFL Draft prospects with endless ceilings.
While Miami transfer Lawrence Cager leads the Bulldogs in receiving, devy watchers will have their eyes on 2022 NFL Draft prospects, George Pickens and Dominick Blaylock. Pickens is a former five-star recruit that has been on the majority of devy lists since his high school days. Blaylock is a talented former four-star wide receiver that often gets unfairly overlooked due to Pickens’ presence on the same sideline.
Georgia’s running game is led by 2020 NFL Draft prospect D’Andre Swift, currently the #2 overall player in my mid-season 2020 rookie rankings. Swift, whose elusive style of play perfectly fits his name, is just as deadly catching the ball as he is toting the rock like a traditional running back. Even with Swift slightly trailing Clemson’s Travis Etienne in my mid-season 2020 rookie rankings, the Georgia running back is a fantasy game-changer that will be the #1 running back on the majority of dynasty rookie rankings.
When Swift takes a breather on the sideline, Georgia has a stable of backup running backs more than capable of carrying the load as lead runners. Running backs Zamir White and James Cook are two of the most likely breakout candidates in the 2021 NFL Draft once Swift leaves for the National Football League.
Auburn: WR Seth Williams (2021), RB JaTarvious Whitlow (2020), RB D.J. Williams (2022), QB Bo Nix (2022)
Auburn’s passing attack is led by true freshman Bo Nix and sophomore wide receiver Seth Williams. Even with Nix having an inconsistent freshman season throwing the ball, Williams has found a way to stay involved all season. Williams only has one game with over 100 receiving yards, but the wide receiver has eight touchdowns and has now caught at least four passes in six straight contests.
JaTarvious Whitlow surprisingly returned for Auburn’s 23-20 defeat to LSU in Week 9, but the Tigers’ top rusher only saw three carries in limited action. After not playing in Auburn’s victory over Ole Miss, Whitlow’s status for Saturday afternoon is very much in question. With Whitlow limited at the very minimum, look for freshman running back D.J. Williams to carry the load in the running game.
Wisconsin @ Nebraska
Wisconsin: RB Jonathan Taylor (2020), TE Jake Ferguson (2020), WR Quintez Cephus (2020)
Jonathan Taylor is the focal point of Wisconsin’s offensive gameplan every week, and the 2020 NFL Draft prospect has responded with over 1,500 total yards and 19 total touchdowns. After having 16 total catches during his first two seasons, Taylor has already eclipsed that number in 2019 with 18 catches, which he’s turned into 151 yards and four touchdowns.
Adding a receiving element to his game has allowed the top-five 2020 prospect to show his potential as a three-down running back on the next level. The Wisconsin Badgers star is averaging 22.2 rushes per game after averaging 23.6 a season ago, but Taylor’s added receiving prowess more than makes up for the lost rushes.
Through nine games, Taylor is only averaging 139 rushing yards in 2019 after averaging 168 a season ago. However, Wisconsin using Taylor in the passing game means the running back is averaging 156.6 total yards on a career-high 25.1 touches per game.
Tight end Jake Ferguson and wide receiver Quintez Cephus are the top pass-catchers on the Wisconsin Badgers roster, but neither one has shown anything special so far this season. Ferguson has less than 300 receiving yards and four touchdowns in Wisconsin’s run-heavy offense.
Cephus leads the Badgers in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Still, off-field concerns will certainly make NFL decision-makers cautious of investing a high pick in the risky receiver. Cephus displays a natural ability to catch the ball, but the wide receiver is hindered by an offense completing 17 passes per contest.
Nebraska: QB Adrian Martinez (2021), RB Maurice Washington (2021), WR Wan’Dale Robinson (2022), WR JD Spielman (2020)
Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez is an intriguing devy prospect based on potential and hype more so than actual play on the field. Martinez is a dynamic athlete that leads the Cornhuskers in rushing yards, but the quarterback has struggled all season as a passer.
So far this season, Martinez is completing less than 60% of his passes with a 7-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Even with Martinez’s rushing yards boosting his fantasy floor, the quarterback has a long way to go before he’s ready for the NFL.
Nebraska wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson has quietly become one of my favorite devy players to watch in college football. Robinson is a unique, versatile player that is just as likely to line up at running back as he is outside as a wide receiver. So far this season, Robinson has amassed 453 receiving yards, 326 rushing yards, and 236 kick return yards nine games into his freshman season.
When Martinez and Robinson aren’t hogging the touches, 2020 running back Dedrick Mills take the majority of the carries while 2021 prospect Maurice Washington gets the leftovers. JD Spielman leads the Cornhuskers in receiving yards, but the junior wide receiver only has one receiving touchdown all season.
Oklahoma @ Baylor
Oklahoma: WR CeeDee Lamb (2020), RB Trey Sermon (2020 – injured), WR Charleston Rambo (2021), QB Jalen Hurts (2020), TE Grant Calcaterra (2020), RB Kennedy Brooks (2020), WR Jadon Haselwood (2022)
For what seems like the millionth year in a row, the Oklahoma Sooners have one of the best offenses in college football. Unfortunately for Oklahoma fans, the Sooners defense is just as bad as years past.
Alabama transfer quarterback Jalen Hurts is completing 73.3% of his passes so far this season with a 24-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Hurts also leads the Sooners with 869 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns on 189 attempts on the ground.
With Hurts averaging 13.8 carries per game, Oklahoma’s running backs Kennedy Brooks and Trey Sermon have seen their touches drop dramatically. Neither running back had more than 15 touches in a single game until Oklahoma’s 42-21 nail-biter victory over Iowa State last weekend.
Brooks finished last week’s contest with 138 total yards on 16 touches after Oklahoma lost Sermon to a season-ending knee injury. With only 515 yards rushing this season, Brooks will need an excellent finish to his season to reach the 1,000-yard mark he did as a freshman.
Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb is one of the best wide receiver prospects in college football and a top ten devy prospect. Lamb’s an explosive wide receiver that’s most dangerous in the open field, but he’s also capable of using his size to make contested catches. Lamb is currently in the top-five of my mid-season 2020 dynasty rookie rankings, and it wouldn’t shock me to see that rise up even further as the season progresses.
Charleston Rambo, one of the fastest players in college football, is an excellent complement to Lamb, while tight end Grant Calcaterra has suffered through an injury-plagued junior season.
Baylor: WR Denzel Mims (2020)
Baylor’s devy fantasy football prospects begin and end with sensational wide receiver Denzel Mims. The Baylor wide receiver leads the Bears with 44 receptions, 675 receiving yards, and eight touchdown receptions.
As a 6’3″ former track star, Mims possesses a rare combination of size and strength that allows him to excel in the wide-open Big 12 conference. Check out AJ Schulte’s terrific breakdown of Mims’ game for a further view on why the Baylor wide receiver is an underrated star in college football.
Jordan Woodson is a writer for the Pro Football Network covering Devy and Dynasty Fantasy Football. You can follow him @Jordan_Woodson on Twitter.