A week away from the tailgate, bands and gridiron action allows for a different perspective, one that allows a junkie to enjoy action across the nation instead of just one contest. And it was a welcome respite as I'm not getting any younger you know. Like Mellencamp said it would, 17 has turned (nearly) 35.
After attending seven consecutive football games dating back to last year, in places such as Happy Valley, Orlando, East Lansing, South Bend and Madison, I was ready for a break. As any true college football junkie will tell you, a college football game involves just more than the 3.5 hours in the stadium. It's shutting down the Rathskeller in State College and waking up to tailgate four hours later. It's spending four hours outside the lovely Citrus Bowl while convincing yourself that it was a beautiful looking stadium 40 years ago. And it's taking in all that a weekend in Madison has to offer, even if part of it involves men in red overalls screaming obscenities at you and your party.
But now I'm refreshed and ready for yet another 5:00 wakeup. And I'm ready for another huge week of college fantasy football action.
As we look towards the second half of the season, it's time to hunker down and try to win a championship. And this year, more than ever, it feels like we're dealing with an overwhelming amount of injuries. And this isn't even counting Tim Tebow, who based on coverage, is equal to the injuries of 100 men.
Whether they're nagging issues that will keep owners on pins and needles, or the ones that have sunk fantasy seasons, college fantasy franchises are scrambling to keep up with what happens when large, fast young men collide with other large, fast young men. Duffy Daugherty once said that "football is not a contact sport. It's a collision sport. Dancing is a contact sport." And with that in mind we'll try to help you through the lambada that is another week of college fantasy football.
Check out our injury page, and make the necessary adjustments. The air is turning a little crisper, and the games are becoming more and more important. Ice those knees, rub a little dirt on it and tell the trainer you've got to play.
And if this doesn't get you going then take a look at this.
It's Start and Sit time...Blacksburg style!
Behind Steven Sheffield's 60 fantasy points the quarerback starts outscored the sits by a score of 103-64; though I will remind you that I advised a sit for Case Keenum, who posted 38 points.
Running backs, led by Curtis Steele and Noel Devine, outpaced the sits, 82-29. Not too bad, but the wide receivers killed me.
My recommended starts, Armand Robinson, Naaman Roosevelt and Chad Bumphis stayed within 6 points of the sits. So the fact that my sits only posted 16 points is offset by 10 putrid points from the starts.
So, like my own fantasy week, there were some highs and lows, but I'm ready to put it all together this week.
Nick Foles, Arizona vs. Stanford
Nick Foles, whom we feel should change his name to Strong-Armed Nick Foles, welcomes a Cardinal defense that is ranked 71st nationally against the pass. In two games since being named the Arizona starter we've seen Foles post 34 and then 23 fantasy points. Coming off a tough loss to Washington look for the Wildcats to be a little ornery; and expect Foles to post some very nice numbers.
Zac Lee, Nebraska vs. Texas Tech
The Red Raiders travel to lovely Lincoln, and they bring with them the 92nd pass defense in the nation. To be fair Texas Tech has played at Texas and Houston, however the Husker offense is progressing very nicely, especially when they don't have to play in a monsoon. Lee has had one monster game this season, against Arkansas State in week two. He won't repeat that 38 point performance, but three touchdowns sounds about right.
B.J. Daniels, South Florida vs. Cincinnati
Prepare to watch Daniels spoil The Tony Pike Show on Thursday night. Since taking over the starting role following Matt Grothe's season ending injury, we've seen nothing but plays from this youngster. And now he gets to welcome a top-ten team before the home faithful and a national television audience. The Bearcats will have their hands full.
Sleeper specials: Kawuan Jakes of Western Kentucky and Michigan's Denard Robinson.
Jake Locker, Washington at Arizona State
Locker is our 16th rated quarterback this week, but I'm just not seeing it. I've been as impressed as anyone with the UW offense and Locker, in particular. But Arizona State is a top-25 defense against the pass, and they're #3 (behind only Texas and Alabama) in total defense. It's going to be a scorcher in Tempe, and the Sun Devils will put constant heat on Locker.
Mike Kafka, Northwestern vs. Michigan State
Michigan State has shown a tendency to make good quarterbacks look like Heisman candidates, especially when those quarterbacks have some wheels. And Northwestern has been very impressive in East Lansing over the last few years. Yet this week I'm looking for MSU to contain Kafka.
The Spartan defense has been a prime beneficiary of an offense that refuses to give up the ball. MSU is back to eating a whole bunch of clock, and Pat Narduzzi has a defense that is beginning to get after the quarterback. They've seen Tate Forcier, Eddie McGee and Juice Williams in the last two weeks, and each has been held in check. Look for this to continue on Saturday.
Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame vs. USC
I was giving thought to playing Clausen and benching Colt McCoy this week. And then my colleagues talked some sense into me. They told me that USC will stuff the Irish running game. They said that USC has the athletes to easily neutralize Golden Tate and Kyle Rudolph. They envision Clausen running out of time before he can get to his third option.
And now I agree with the boys.
Joe McKnight, USC at Notre Dame
Again, I'm channeling the expertise of my colleagues on this one. This game will not be played in Hollywood; instead it will be played off the Ohio Turnpike, in the heart of the college football universe. This means beer, brauts, and running the football. The Trojans will ride their McKnight in Trojan armor.
Noel Devine, West Virginia vs. Marshall
Devine has gone from one of the nation's most maddeningly inconsistent backs to one as dependable as Taco Bell after midnight. Devine hosts Marshall this week, a squad that has struggled mightily against the run.
The First Noel explodes again, though touchdown vulture Ryan Clarke could annoy.
Jacquise Terry, Kent State vs. Eastern Michigan
Terry has been impressive in his last three outings, gaining a total of 293 yards and three scores during this period. And now he'll travel to Ypsilanti to take on an Eastern Michigan defense that is ranked 119th against the run. A reminder that there are 120 teams in the FBS.
Brynn Harvey, Central Florida vs. Miami
Don't let Harvey's spot on this list deter you from grabbing and using him for the remainder of the year. He'll just face a different kind of defense this weekend.
Toby Gerhart, Stanford at Arizona
Gerhart has gained 746 yards and scored ten touchdowns on the ground. And he's, without question, one of the best running backs in the nation. But he and the rest of his teammates are in for a long night in Tucson.
Evan Royster, Penn State vs. Minnesota
Royster has not seen more than 19 carries in any game this season. And this is not what owners had in mind when they drafted this PSU "workhorse." Stephfon Green has taken his fair share of Royster's yards. And this, along with an emerging wide receiver corps, is enough to recommend a sit for the PSU back.
Jonathan Baldwin, Pitt at Rutgers
Baldwin is coming into his own, and Rutgers is 86th against the pass. The big, talented wide receiver will make a couple of big plays.
James Cleveland, Houston at Tulane
Cleveland is yet another young wide receiver that is emerging and improving on a weekly basis. He's caught 33 balls and five scores in his last three games. This continues against Tulane.
Tandon Doss, Indiana vs. Illinois
The sophomore Doss, like Baldwin and Cleveland, is a very talented wide receiver that improves with each passing week. He's touched the ball 48 times from scrimmage for over 600 yards on the season. But he only has two scores. He's due.
Vincent Brown, San Diego State vs. BYU
I know that Mr. Brown has emerged as one of the nation's top fantasy wide receivers. I know he's scored in every single game this season. But I saw what BYU did to Oklahoma. Even if it was way back in week one this performance has stuck with me.
Eric Decker, Minnesota vs. Penn State
They're expecting a high in the mid-30's this Saturday in State College. It's supposed to rain. Hell, it may snow. He's the Big Ten's top receiver, but he was shut down last week. And he'll be shut down this week as well.
Golden Tate, Notre Dame vs. USC
USC is going to double Golden Tate. When he lines up in the backfield they'll put a spy on him. The Trojans will dare anyone to beat them deep, and the Irish have no one that can get the job done.
Tight Ends and Defenses
Tony Moeaki, Iowa vs. Wisconsin
Tony Moeaki is like free HBO. Take advantage while you got it, because it may not be there much longer. He's a terrific tight end whose ability is surpassed only by his inability to stay healthy. At last check he was healthy.
Riar Geer, Colorado
I'm feeling Riar Geer. Quarterback change, unimpressive defense coming to Boulder. Give him a whirl.
Collin Franklin, Iowa State
Out of waiver moves and in desperate need of a tight end that will play, I picked up Collin Franklin. And all it cost me was a 20th round pick next year and a 40 oz. of beer. Go Collin!
Michigan Wolverines vs. Delaware State.
Delaware State is not good at all.
TCU vs. Colorado State
Horned Frogs roll.
Michigan State vs. Northwestern
Spartans contain the Wildcats.
Florida Gators vs. Arkansas
If you have a better defense use it. The Hog offense is scary.
Cincinnati at South Florida
For similar reasons to those from the B.J. Daniels write up.
Big week for me as I face off against Alex in our head-to-head Big Ten league. I'm trying to clinch a playoff birth while Alex is looking to stave (one of my favorite words) off elimination.
My colleague is about to fall victim to the Death Blow: