Have any Notre Dame football players on your college fantasy football team? Find out who can lead you to glorious victory in week three and who might under-perform.
Notre Dame football is 2-0 after an unimpressive victory over the Ball State Cardinals in week two. The Irish will play another game in the friendly confines of Notre Dame Stadium this Saturday before they hit the road for the first time this season.
This week they welcome the Vanderbilt Commodores to town. Although Vanderbilt is 15-22 over the last three seasons, they are still an SEC opponent that should not be underestimated. Their head coach, Derek Mason, was confident about his team’s trip to South Bend when making some comments during the offseason.
With Notre Dame coming off of an eight-point win over a MAC opponent, I do not think they will take Vanderbilt lightly.
I think Notre Dame’s offensive game plan against Vanderbilt this week will more closely resemble that which they used in week one against Michigan. Wimbush had 17 rushing attempts in that game as opposed to just seven rushing attempts this past week. I expect Wimbush to have at least ten rushing attempts this Saturday, and I think he will score his first rushing touchdown of the season.
Wimbush proved he could put up some big passing numbers when he threw for 297 yards last Saturday. However, he also threw three interceptions. I think Wimbush will take better care of the ball this week and finish the game with a completion percentage over 60 percent.
Last week, Boykin showed Irish fans that he is more than capable of being the team’s number one receiver. In a relatively pass-heavy offensive attack, he was Brandon Wimbush’s favorite target – finishing the game with six catches for 116 yards. I expect Boykin to build on this as the season progresses. He will lead the team in targets more often than not, and at 6′ 4” he will always be a threat in the red zone. Look for Boykin to score his first touchdown of the season this Saturday.
My reason for starting Justin Yoon this week is pretty much identical to the reason I gave last week. Yes, he didn’t have his best performance last week, but neither did most of the Irish offense. Yoon missed his first field goal attempt of the season. That miss influenced Brian Kelly’s decision to go for it on fourth down on the following possession when they were within Yoon’s range. I fully expect the Notre Dame offense to get back on track this week. As a result, Yoon should kick at least four extra points with a few field goal attempts sprinkled in.
Notre Dame Defense (DST)
Vanderbilt is arguably the best offense Notre Dame has faced so far in 2018. I don’t think the Commodores will light up what has proven to be a stout Irish defense, but they should score some points. My philosophy with defenses in fantasy football has been consistent over the years. Draft a defense in the second-to-last round, and then stream available defenses based on matchups each week. This week, there are plenty of teams that have a better matchup than Notre Dame’s defense has.
Armstrong has a solid game last week, but offensive coordinator Chip Long elected to go with Tony Jones Jr. a few times in short-yardage situations and in the red zone. Jones took advantage of his opportunity and scored twice. Time will tell if Jones’ performance was impressive enough to earn him a greater share of the carries. It is certainly cause for concern if you have Armstrong on your fantasy team. While Armstrong should receive the lion’s share of the carries in most games, Jones’ usage in short-yardage situation may take away valuable scoring opportunities.
Mack only has three receptions through the first two games of the season. While he hasn’t played poorly, he certainly hasn’t had the impact that most fans hoped he would. Last week, tight end Cole Kmet went down with an injury that could sideline him for the remainder of the month. It’s reasonable to assume that Mack should have a slight increase in snaps per game during Kmet’s absence. There will be plenty of opportunities for Mack to turn things around as the season progresses, but until he instills confidence in fantasy owners he should remain on the bench.
Notre Dame will have an interesting matchup with Vanderbilt this week, with the Irish defense seeing its biggest test and the Irish offense having some major question marks.