Sep 28, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes fullback Mark Weisman (45) runs with the ball in the second half against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium. The Hawkeyes won 23-7. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN College Football Challenge picks for week 1

For those of you that don’t know, ESPN College Football Challenge is the closest you can get to college fantasy football on ESPN.  You get to comprise a roster of two quarterbacks, two runnings backs, two wide receivers, a team kicker, and a team defense.  The scoring is very similar to NFL scoring.

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You can pick any players from any conference, and there is no salary cap.  You just need to pick the guys that you think will score the most points from week to week.  Simple, right?

Not quite.  It is very easy to out think yourself in this game.  I try to aim for guys that are maybe a little under the radar with a great matchup.  Because multiple people can have the same player, the only way to gain ground is to think outside the box.

Here are my picks for this week:


Tyler Heinicke, Old Dominion: If you pay attention to small college football at all, you have likely heard of Heinicke.  Even with ODU’s move to 1-A last year, Heinicke was still able to post top-ten numbers at quarterback.  The matchup against Hampton screams blowout.  While all of your counterparts are picking Marcus Mariota (70%) and Bryce Petty (38%), Heinicke could get you some early separation.

Dak Prescott, Mississippi State: I know, a lot of you want to go after the guy playing a 1-AA school, but the caveat there is that your studs might only play 60% of the game or less.  I will take 100% of Prescott against a Southern Miss team that is near the bottom in team defense any day.


Running Backs:

Mark Weisman, Iowa: While the sexy picks are any Oregon backs, Todd Gurley, or Ameer Abudullah, guys like Wiesman go unnoticed.  Weisman is a workhorse back, and a true battering ram that doesn’t really wear down. Iowa has a good OL, and is playing an overmatched Northern Iowa team.  Look for a big day from Weisman.

Shock Linwood, Baylor: Linwood didn’t get the notoriety with Glasco Martin and Lache Seastrunk ahead of him on the depth chart, but he is an electric runner as well.  He should have a huge game against a porous SMU defense.


Wide Receivers:

Nelson Agholor, USC: Agholor is the number one on this team by default now.  Kessler has to have someone to throw to, especially with Fresno trying to keep pace with them.  He could be a sneaky play.

Justin Hardy, East Carolina: Hardy was the go-to guy last year, and will be again this year.  He is one of the safer options, but is still not widely owned.



This position is always a crapshoot, even more so in the first week.  A good strategy is to pick a team that is going to score a lot.  Baylor and Oregon are good plays there.  Or you can go for a team that could settle for a lot of field goals like Wisconsin or Clemson.


Kansas State: The Wildcats have a stout unit and are playing a middle of the road 1-AA team.  At home.  Hopefully they don’t give up anything in garbage time…..




Tags: College Football Espn College Football Challenge NCAA Football

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