College Fantasy Football: Who to Start and Who to Sit against Ball State

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01: Linebacker Te'von Coney
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01: Linebacker Te'von Coney /

Do you have Notre Dame Football players on your fantasy college football team? See which ones you should start this week.

The first (significant) week of college football is in the books, and the Irish are 1-0. And what a glorious victory that was. I, on the other hand, am 0-1 in the Slap the Sign college fantasy football league. My heartbreaking loss was in large part due to the mediocre statistical performances of two USC Trojans. For that, I have no one to blame but myself.

The Ball State Cardinals will be making the trip to South Bend this coming Saturday. While they may not be the most intimidating opponent, this game is still important. Each game is an opportunity for the players on both sides of the ball to improve. Games against lesser opponents also allow younger players and other backups a chance to play increased snaps – fostering their development.

For college fantasy football (CFF) purposes, this game will be a tricky one to predict – mainly because we can’t be sure how long the starters will be in the game. However, there are a few players (and units) that I have supreme confidence in.

Start ‘Em

Notre Dame Defense (DST)

The Cardinals put up 42 points in their season-opener, but it was against Central Connecticut. Last season, Ball State averaged just under 18 points per game while only playing one opponent from the Power Five. That is more in line with the final score I am expecting from them on Saturday. The only reason I think they could score more than 10 points is that they will likely face Notre Dame’s second and third string players for an extended period of time. The Irish had three sacks and two turnovers in their first game. I think they can achieve those same number this week. I also think they add a defensive or special teams touchdown.

Justin Yoon

The Irish are going to score beaucoup points on Saturday. At the very least, Justin Yoon should have five extra point attempts, making his floor quite high. The Notre Dame offense should spend a large portion of their time in Ball State territory. This should result in a couple field goal attempts throughout the game. Yoon showed his range in the season-opener when he drilled a 48-yard field goal with distance to spare. I think he will prove to be one of the top kickers in the country this year.

Jafar Armstrong

In the absence of Dexter Williams, we weren’t sure who was going to receive the bulk of the carries for the Irish. Last week, it was Jafar Armstrong, and he made the most of that opportunity. Armstrong finished the game with just 35 yards, but he managed to find the endzone twice against one of the top defenses in the country. The Ball State defense will not present the same challenges as Michigan. Armstrong has a chance to rush for over 100 yards in a game where Brandon Wimbush’s rushing attempts should be reduced.

Sit ‘Em

Notre Dame Receivers

The receiving core looked great in the season-opener against Michigan. They should look just as good if not better this week. The problem, which is only a problem in fantasy football, is that the catches were distributed evenly among the group. No one player had more than three catches last week. Chris Finke had the most receiving yards, but the majority of those came on one play. The Irish don’t have a clear number one receiver that they will feed the ball to each week. Until one emerges, you would be rolling the dice by starting a Notre Dame receiver in CFF.

Brandon Wimbush

This might seem like a confusing call. To be candid, it’s the one I’m the least confident in on this list. I just think Notre Dame is going to have success running the ball against Ball State – especially in the red zone. That will take scoring opportunities away from Wimbush. Overall, I think he’s going to be asked to do less. It’s likely that Wimbush only play in three quarters of the game. The rushing attack and defense should put this one away early and allow the starters to rest.

Next. Ball State's Five Most Problematic Players. dark

The Irish should have a great deal of success against a lesser Ball State team, but early success could indicate that starters aren’t playing long into the second half. Against a lesser opponent, it is trick to decide who to start and who to sit. Hopefully these explanation help.