Author Archives: Dalton Blackman

Best College Football Bets for Week 2

Well, week one was a bit of a stinker. We went 1-2 on opening weekend, but we learned a lot about the current college football landscape. We can apply that knowledge to this week’s slate of games and hopefully come up with three winners. All lines come via Draft Kings as of Thursday evening. Also, be sure to catch me and my fellow ATB bettors’ locks and underdogs of the week on Around The Book. Let’s get started and dive into the best bets in college football for week 2!

Photo Credit: University of Utah Athletics

#12 Utah at Baylor: Utah -7.5 (-112)

This line seems awfully generous. Baylor, coming off a loss to lowly Texas State, should be getting a lot more than a touchdown against a top 15 team, especially one that is coming off a convincing win over an SEC blue-blood. It begs the question, what does Vegas know that we don’t.

The fact that the Bears are at home could help their cause. Also, Utah could have a hangover after a big week one victory. However, those factors are both mitigated by the fact that the Utes are getting a few extra days to rest and travel due to playing on a Thursday last week.

It just seems like a stretch to think that Utah will let this Baylor team hang around. Dave Aranda’s squad is way down. They haven’t won a game in over 10 months. The Bears likely won’t even keep this one in single digits. Hammer Utah to cover.

#20 Ole Miss at #24 Tulane: Ole Miss -7 (-115)

Regardless of the result this is a fun game. We have two top-25 programs that are very close geographically playing in a tiny 30,000 seat stadium. It will be standing room only, and it will be chaos.

Unfortunately, this matchup might be a bit overhyped. The Rebels look like a threat to win the SEC East. They stomped Mercer by 66 points. Meanwhile, the Green Wave look like a contender in the AAC. They beat a slightly tougher opponent in South Alabama by 20. That is a big difference.

This is the type of game in which Lane Kiffin’s side will use as a statement team. They will crush a ranked team with inferior talent, and build a bunch of hype. Then they will stumble against LSU and Alabama. Take Rebels to cover a touchdown.

Stanford at #6 USC: Stanford +29.5 (-112)

The disrespect that Stanford is getting this year is astounding. They were only favored by three against Hawaii last week, which they easily covered. Nevertheless, the Cardinal are once again being treated like a Group of Five program, essentially getting 30 points in a rivalry game.

In defense of USC, they look very good. Also, they might have the best player in the country in Caleb Williams. The only problem is that Williams can’t play defense. The Trojans are horrible on that side of the ball. They might need close to 60 to cover.

This game will likely be at least somewhat close. Stanford has actually won three out of the last five matchups. Also, there has not been a victory of thirty points or more on either side of this rivalry since USC did it back in 2006 during their heyday. This should be an easy cover for Stanford

Week 2 College Football Best Bets Recap

  • Utah -7.5 (-112)
  • Ole Miss -7 (-115)
  • Stanford +29.5 (-112)
  • Parlay odds: +569

Best College Football Bets For Week 1

We are back with more Best Bets! The college football season gets going in earnest this weekend with a great slate of games. We will be doing things a little different with just three picks this year, as you can catch the rest of my picks on the Around The Book pod each Wednesday evening. The picks below all offer great value, especially when parlayed together. All lines come via Draft Kings as of Friday morning. This week’s picks have a combined +649 odds when parlayed. Let’s get started and dive into the best bets in college football for the opening week!

#21 North Carolina at South Carolina: South Carolina Money Line (+114)

Beamer ball baby! The Gamecocks have flown under the radar all summer despite playing some great football to close out the 2022 season. On the flip side, the Tar Heels have gotten a ton of hype, including a top-25 ranking, despite a terrible finish to last season.

The matchup between quarterbacks Spencer Rattler and Drake Maye is a microcosm of what I mentioned above. Maye has been touted a Heisman hopeful and possible top-five NFL draft pick. It has been nothing but crickets around Rattler. The latter will certainly arrive in Chapel Hill with something to prove.

There is also solid value with this pick. Anytime you can get plus odds on what is essentially a toss-up game, it is hard to pass up. I love the Gamecocks to pull off what could be one of the first ranked upsets of the year. Speaking of possible ranked upsets…

#18 Oregon State at San Jose State: San Jose State +16.5 (-110)

This is one of my favorite picks all weekend. There is even some temptation to take the Spartans money line at a juicy +550. For the sake of the parlay, let’s play it safe with this generous spread.

We saw San Jose State give USC a solid fight last weekend with a strong first half. Unfortunately, the talent deficit — especially at quarterback — won out and the Trojans pulled away in the second half. Oregon State does not have the same overwhelming talent on their roster as USC, especially at quarterback. Clemson transfer D.J. Uiagalelei is far cry from Caleb Williams.

The Beavers garnered a lot of hype this summer after posting a 10-win season in 2022. A lot of that is based on the assumption that they have upgraded at quarterback. That is not a guarantee. Don’t expect this offense to run it up on San Jose State the way that USC did. The Spartans should have no problem keeping within two scores. This should be a fun game to watch on Sunday, just like our next pick.

#5 LSU vs #8 Florida State: LSU -2.5 (-110)

We have to bet the biggest game of the weekend. This one has all the makings of a fun matchup. Two top-10 ranked blue-blood programs playing at a neutral site at night in the season opener. What’s not to like? The best part is there is a great betting opportunity here as well.

Full disclosure, I love the Tigers this year. They are my pick to win the SEC. Also, I think Florida State is, once again, overrated. This is not to say that the Seminoles are a bad team. It is more that they are a good team in an average conference. Meanwhile, LSU is a great team in a great conference.

Expect the Tigers to come out and make a statement. Head coach Brian Kelly will be looking to avenge last year’s 24-23 loss to Florida State, which was his LSU debut. The Tigers are much better this year, thanks in large part to the growth of Jayden Daniels. He should have a great game, and LSU should win this one by at least a touchdown.

Week 1 College Football Best Bets Recap

  • South Carolina ML (+114)
  • San Jose State +16.5 (-110)
  • LSU -2.5 (-110)

Best/Worst Fantasy Football Draft Value at Each Position

One of the trickiest parts of any fantasy football draft is trying to figure out when to pick certain players. You don’t want to pounce on a sleeper too early, and you don’t want to reach on a guy that is not going to live up to his draft position. Here we will show you how to get the most out of your draft picks, and which mistakes to avoid. To help this advice be more universal, we will assume a half-point-PPR format with ESPN standard scoring applied everywhere else. Value will be determined by comparing our Big Board with average draft position (ADP) calculated by Fantasypros.

Side note: We will not cover defense/special teams and kickers in this piece. To get good value, grab the best ones you can in the last two rounds.


Best Fantasy Draft Value: Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

Big Board Rank: 82 ADP: 116

Jared Goff may be one of the most disrespected players in fantasy football. Last year, he finished tenth in scoring. There is no reason to expect regression, as this offense seemed to be trending in the right direction as the year went on. Goff is projected to outscore the likes of Dak Prescott, Tua Tagovailoa, and Aaron Rodgers. All of those guys are currently being picked ahead of him.

Goff is a low-end QB1 with mid-range upside who you could probably get in the tenth round.

Worst Fantasy Draft Value: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Big Board Rank: 60 ADP: 33

Lamar Jackson is one of the most tempting reach picks in fantasy due to his elite upside. Do not be fooled by this. Yes, could end up being the top quarterback in all of fantasy. He also could miss a month at some point. Even if he does play every game, he;s still probably going to be a mid-range QB1, at best.

Baltimore’s offense is a far cry from what it was in 2019. There just isn’t enough meat on the table, regardless of how large Jackson’s role may be. Rather than reaching for him in the third round, go and grab Justin Herbert in the fourth.

Running Backs

Best Fantasy Draft Value: Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings

Big Board Rank: 33 ADP: 56

Alexander Mattison is due for a big year in 2023. He showed a lot of promise last year when spelling Dalvin Cook. Now, the top job is all his. The Vikings running back is being significantly under-drafted at the moment. Currently, he is being drafted as the 21st running back overall. He is listed as RB-13 on our board.

Mattison is a high-end RB2 with RB1 upside and can be had in the fifth round.

Worst Fantasy Draft Value: J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens

Big Board Rank: Not ranked ADP: 52

The idea of J.K. Dobbins is great. In practice, it is a very different story. After a great rookie campaign in 2020, he missed all of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 due to injury. Even when he was healthy, he was unspectacular and didn’t have great volume. As far as this year goes, he is already missing practice due to a contract dispute.

Whenever he does return, he will go back to competing for carries with Gus Edwards and Lamar Jackson. Dobbins would be worth a late-round flier, but he is going in the fifth round in a lot of drafts.

Wide Receivers

Best Fantasy Draft Value: Brandin Cooks, Dallas Cowboys

Big Board Rank: 49 ADP: 97

Brandin Cooks is one of the most consistently overlooked players in fantasy football. He has never put up huge numbers, but he has been incredibly consistent throughout his career. Despite bouncing around the league, Cooks has been productive at every stop. Joining the Cowboys this year, he is in an ideal situation. He does his best work as the complementary piece to elite wide receivers like CeeDee Lamb.

Cooks is a reliable flex play with WR2 upside, but is somehow falling deep into the middle rounds.

Worst Fantasy Draft Value: Calvin Ridley, Jacksonville Jaguars

Big Board Rank: Not ranked ADP: 43

The hype on Calvin Ridley is insane. Despite not playing a down in almost two years, he is being treated like a mid-range WR2. Do not buy into the hype. It is being assumed that he will just immediately step in as the Jaguars’ top receiver. That is far from a guarantee. Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and Evan Engram are all coming off great years. That is a lot of competition for targets in a low-volume Jacksonville passing offense.

Tight Ends

Best Fantasy Draft Value: Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints

Big Board Rank: 77 ADP: 188

Juwan Johnson may have the most value of any player this year. Last season, he managed to finish 11th among tight ends in scoring, despite playing with Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton at quarterback. Now, he has a quarterback in Derek Carr who has had success in the past with similar types of tight ends, such as Darren Waller.

We have Johnson at TE-8. Somehow, he is falling to the last few rounds in a lot of drafts.

Worst Fantasy Draft Value: Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

Big Board Rank: 71 ADP: 27

Anyone else starting to notice a trend here? The Ravens are not what they once were offensively. Ditching offensive coordinator Greg Roman may help, but we have no clue what this offense will look like yet. Still, Andrews should be a top five tight end in fantasy once again this year. However, he should be going in the sixth round, not the third.

2023 Fantasy Football Top 100 Big Board

It is that time once again to start prepping for fantasy football draft season! Previously, we went position-by-position ranking the top players in terms of their fantasy football production for this upcoming season. Now that we are finished with that, it is time to unveil our 2023 fantasy football big board! Here, we will rank the top 100 players overall, regardless of position.


The way this fantasy football big board will work is we will rank players based on where they should be drafted. To determine these rankings, we use several factors: Positional ranking, projected points, positional value, and marginal value relative to the position.

To calculate points, we will be using ESPN’s Standard Scoring, with two exceptions: we will use decimal scoring, and we will use a half-point per reception format to split the difference between standard and PPR formats.

2023 Fantasy Football Big Board: Numbers 100-81

100. David Njoku, Tight End, Cleveland Browns

Position Ranking: TE-13, Projected Points: 125

99. Zach Charbonnet, Running Back, Seattle Seahawks

Position Rank: RB-36, Projected Points: 125

98. Hunter Renfrow, Wide Receiver, Las Vegas Raiders

Position Rank: WR-39, Projected Points: 144

97. George Pickens, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers

Position Rank: WR-38, Projected Points: 145

96. Deebo Samuel, Wide Receiver, San Fransisco 49ers

Position Rank: WR-37, Projected Points: 146

95. Raheem Mostert, Running Back, Miami Dolphins

Position Rank: RB-35, Projected Points: 130

94. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Wide Receiver, Seattle Seahawks

Position Rank: WR-37, Projected Points: 146

93. A.J. Dillon, Running Back, Green Bay Packers

Position Rank: RB-34, Projected Points: 133

92. Dak Prescott, Quarterback, Dallas Cowboys

Position Rank: QB-12, Projected Points: 287

91. Cole Kmet, Tight End, Chicago Bears

Position Ranking: TE-12, Projected Points: 126

90. Dalton Schultz, Tight End, Houston Texans

Position Ranking: TE-11, Projected Points: 127

89. Dalvin Cook, Running Back, Free Agent

Position Rank: RB-33, Projected Points: 136

88. David Montgomery, Running Back, Detroit Lions

Position Rank: RB-32, Projected Points: 137

87. Mike Gesicki, Tight End, New England Patriots

Position Ranking: TE-10, Projected Points: 133

86. James Cook, Running Back, Buffalo Bills

Position Rank: RB-31, Projected Points: 139

85. Jeff Wilson Jr., Running Back, Miami Dolphins

Position Rank: RB-30, Projected Points: 140

84. Jerrick McKinnon, Running Back, Kansas City Chiefs

Position Rank: RB-29, Projected Points: 141

83. Michael Pittman Jr., Wide Receiver, Indianapolis Colts

Position Rank: WR-35, Projected Points: 148

82. Jared Goff, Quarterback, Detroit Lions

Position Rank: QB-11, Projected Points: 294.5

81. D.J. Chark, Wide Receiver, Carolina Panthers

Position Rank: WR-34, Projected Points: 150


This is where we start to get to the later rounds of the draft, but there is still some decent value here. If you want to wait on a quarterback, Goff (QB-11) is a great option. He is currently falling all the way to 115 on average. It gets even better when you consider that Prescott (QB-12) has an ADP (average draft position) of 81.

2023 Fantasy Football Preseason Rankings: Defense/Special Teams and Kickers

It is that time once again to start prepping for fantasy football draft season! We are going position-by-position ranking the top players in terms of their fantasy football production for this upcoming season. Previously, we looked at the tight ends. Today, we wrap things up with a fantasy football double feature, covering defense, special teams, and the kickers.

The reason why we are combining these two is that they are both low-priority positions. Their is little value to be gained by reaching for either of these positions before the last few rounds. Simply put, they don’t matter much. In fact, unless you do reach to get one of the elites, you are better off streaming (taking the best free agent option available) each week based upon matchups and weather.


The way this will work is we will rank players based on where we think they will finish out the season. We will also provide a “floor” (lowest possible ranking), a “ceiling” (highest possible ranking), and a projected point total for the season.To calculate points, we will be using ESPN’s Standard Scoring, with two exceptions: we will use decimal scoring, and we will use a half-point per reception format to split the difference between standard and PPR formats.

Also, for scoring defenses, we will use this format for points and yards allowed. For the kickers, all missed field goals and extra points are counted as minus two points. For this piece, we will rank the top 15 defense/special teams units first, and then we will do the same for the kickers.

2023 Fantasy Football Defense & Special Teams: Numbers 15-6

15. Philadelphia Eagles

Floor: 20, Ceiling: 14, Projected Points: 96

14. New York Jets

Floor: 17, Ceiling: 12, Projected Points: 97

13. Miami Dolphins

Floor: 20, Ceiling: 6, Projected Points: 98

12. Indianapolis Colts

Floor: 15, Ceiling: 10, Projected Points: 99

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Floor: 18, Ceiling: 10, Projected Points: 100

10. Green Bay Packers

Floor: 12, Ceiling: 8, Projected Points: 101

9. Carolina Panthers

Floor: 14, Ceiling: 7, Projected Points: 102

8. Cleveland Browns

Floor: 12, Ceiling: 5, Projected Points: 104

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

Floor: 8, Ceiling: 4, Projected Points: 106

6. Baltimore Ravens

Floor: 10, Ceiling: 5, Projected Points: 107