The black-and-blue games aren't always flashy, but the Valley is widely considered the top conference in the subdivision. A recent home to NFL players like David Johnson, Zach Zenner and Carson Wentz, the MVFC is stacked with elite talent.
This season is no different, with youngsters having breakout seasons and veterans polishing off their careers. So if a fantasy draft were to take place right now, which players would make the ultimate Valley team?
Fantasy Points (Total/Average): 230/29 Best Game: 38 (at Southern Illinois) Worst Game: 16 (vs Youngstown State)
South Dakota State sophomore Taryn Christion has been tremendous this season. A deep-ball passer with two big-time receiving threats in Dallas Goedert and Jake Wieneke, and the ability to run, Christion is the ideal quarterback to rack up fantasy points.
In eight games, Christion has already thrown 26 touchdowns. He has thrown at least two in every game, and the Jackrabbit offense passes the ball 56.33% of the time – the highest rate in the MVFC. Plus, when they do run the ball, Christion is often the one to do it. He has racked up 256 yards and a team-high three touchdowns on the ground. [divider]
Fantasy Points (Total/Average): 137/17.1 Best Game: 37 (at Eastern Illinois) Worst Game: 1 (vs North Dakota State)
The Western Illinois offense under a new coaching staff has become more friendly for running backs. Steve McShane has taken full advantage. The sophomore is leading the conference with 780 yards and eight touchdowns.
McShane has almost 100 more carries than the second running back for the Leathernecks. He is the workhorse for a team that wants to run the football. [divider]
Fantasy Points (Total/Average): 102/12.7 Best Game: 24 (at Missouri State) Worst Game: 4 (vs South Dakota State)
If North Dakota State could run the football on 90 percent of its plays, it would. King Frazier is the leading rusher for the Bison attack and their go-to guy in the red zone. He has accounted for 579 yards and eight scores on the ground.
The risk involved in this one is the Bison go 3-4 deep in sharing carries. Frazier has only had 20 or more carries in two games this season. But he is a safe bet to get you a touchdown every week.
Note: Frazier injured his ribs last week against Northern Iowa and is questionable for Saturday. If a waiver wire was included, consider Youngstown State's Martin Ruiz. [divider]
Fantasy Points (Total/Average): 175/21.9 Best Game: 31 (at TCU)
Worst Game: 9 (vs Youngstown State)
South Dakota State's Jake Wieneke has been making defenders look foolish since his freshman year. Now a junior, the 6-foot-4 receiver with speed has racked up 54 catches for 909 yards and 14 touchdowns.
He has only gone one game this season without a touchdown and has five games with two scores or more. Wieneke's lowest amount of receptions in a game came against Drake with three, but those three catches went for touchdowns. [divider]
Fantasy Points (Total/Average): 122/15.3 Best Game: 32 (vs Indiana State)
Worst Game: 1 (at Eastern Illionois)
Lance Lenoir has been doing damage in a Western Illinois uniform for a long time. He broke the MVFC career receptions record last weekend and has a catch in 38 straight games.
His five touchdown receptions this year won't blow you away, but Lenoir has totaled 931 yards receiving and leads all Valley receivers with receptions per game (7.2) and yards per game (116.4).[divider]
Fantasy Points (Total/Average): 153/19.1 Best Game: 48 (vs Western Illinois) Worst Game: 10 (at Illinois State)
Starting three players from one offense can be a bold strategy. But South Dakota State's attack has been that good this season. Dallas Goedert's stats can attest to that: 62 catches, 937 yards and nine touchdowns. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound junior has had touchdown receptions of 70 and 61 yards.
He'll get a chance to be inserted into an actual fantasy lineup on Sundays. [divider]
Fantasy Points (Total/Average): 128/14.2 Best Game: 27 (at Minnesota) Worst Game: 5 (vs Missouri State)
Indiana State's Robert Tonyan has had an interesting career. He converted from quarterback to wide receiver in 2014 and had 747 yards and four touchdowns. In 2015, Tonyan led the Sycamores with 601 yards receiving and six touchdowns.
So far this season, he has 678 yards and 10 touchdowns. And who knows, maybe Indiana State has a trick play in its back pocket to add to Tonyan's three career touchdown passes. [divider]
Fantasy Points (Total/Average): 77/9.6 Best Game: 21 (at Indiana State)
Worst Game: 0 (at New Mexico)
South Dakota's Miles Bergner is having a fantastic senior season. He is hitting 87.5 percent of his field goals, with a long of 50 and 14 total made. Bergner hasn't missed a PAT yet this season and is second in the Valley with 31 makes. [divider]
Fantasy Points (Total/Average): 94/11.75 Best Game: 19 (vs Robert Morris)
Worst Game: -8 (at West Virginia)
Youngstown State Athletics
Bo Pelini has the Youngstown State defense playing as a top unit in the FCS. The Penguins have only allowed one rushing touchdown all season. They have six interceptions and a ridiculous 33 sacks. Avery Moss and Derek Rivers are second and third in the conference in sacks and Savon Smith is sixth.
YSU has three dangerous returners, but only have one returned for a touchdown from Darien Townsend on a punt.
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