Start or Sit: Week Six
ESPN’s College Gameday will be at Vanderbilt University for this week’s contest between the Commodores (LADY!)
and Tony Franklin’s offensive juggernaut, the Auburn Tigers. Admittedly, I’m still trying to put the awkward scene from last week’s Gameday behind me, when Desmond Howard donned an outfit that was part Sean Combs and part the late Payne Stewart for some putting practice with golfer/Heisman candidate Sam Bradford (why were they putting with the pin in the whole time?) Still I am excited about the geek factor involved. After all, Gameday showing up to the SEC’s “smart school” is rather interesting. In fact with Northwestern and Vandy a combined 9-0 I’m wondering if we’re back in the mid 1980’s. Is this Revenge of the Nerds Part 8
Is it really hip to be square?
With geeks on my brain, my mind started to wander, and I began to dream of a day when we fantasy guys weren’t laughed at when we took our stat sheets to the bar. I started to think about what would happen if we grabbed our camcorders, some warm cases of Busch Light and 80 SPF and took to the road with College Fantasy Football Gameday, presented by Dungeons and Dragons
No doubt we’d be in Tulsa, Oklahoma for this week’s epic offensive showdown between the Rice Owls and Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. For fantasy guys, this week’s showdown between these defensively challenged squads in this year’s version of the fantasy game of the century.
We’d be set up outside H.A Chapman Stadium where the occasional fan would walk by to ask us if he should play Rice’s kicker, Clark Fangmeier, or Toledo’s Alex Steigerwald. I’d hoist my brew, scream out “FANGMEIER BABY!” and a bunch of pretty girls would go “Hoo-Hoo!” and give each other awkward female high fives while the guys laughed, snorted and looked at the aforementioned females.
Towards the end of our broadcast Alex and I would put up our lineups for the week. The crowd would boo and unload obscenities as I put Rice’s Chase Clement in as my quarterback, only to see the Tulsa faithful go bonkers when Alex took out his special pen and wrote David Johnson on his lineup. Jim, the straight man, would look into the camera and tell the kid cameraman we paid $20 to film this scene that he was wasting our battery, and to shut the damn thing off.
One day boys. One day.
Don’t Look Back in Anger
Last week’s recommendations were once again impacted by injuries, as two quarterbacks I liked (Tony Pike and Jake Locker) were knocked out of games with injuries. As Locker only played a little bit, I won’t toss him into my grade, kind of like when the teacher drops your lowest quiz score. Thus the four remaining quarterbacks, led by Chase Clement, averaged 35.41 fantasy points. Yet none of the quarterbacks I recommended as sits stunk up the joint, however their average came in two touchdowns lower, at 23.05 fantasy points.
I knew making fun of Texas A&M’s offense would come back to haunt me. Feeling the Aggies would roll over Army, I took a chance and placed Mike Goodson on the start list. He rewarded me to the tune of 3.06 points. Thankfully none of the other running backs on my start list play in west coast offense scams, I mean schemes, and they balanced out the starts to yield an overall 16.84 per player, Goodson included. The running backs mentioned specifically as sits averaged 4.1 points.
Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that my wimp-out start recommendation of LaGarrette Johnson (the freakish liger-like combo of Oregon’s LeGarrette Blount and Jeremiah Johnson) combined for nearly 200 yards and six scores, with those numbers split almost 50-50.
New Mexico State’s Chris Williams’ inability to find the end zone is beginning to become a story, and he hurt my WR start average, only accounting for 5.93 points. However my other boys stepped up and the group as a whole averaged a respectable 16.03 and the sit recommendations only produced 6.75.
Not a bad week, however if you’re not getting better you’re getting worse, and I have my sights set much higher as I point out a few of my start/sit specials to accompany this week’s version of the College Fantasy Football Insider Week 6 Player Rankings
Willie Tuitama, Arizona
How much can the Washington Huskies have left? Not only are they winless, but one loss was the direct result of a celebration penalty on their team’s heart and soul. Now that heart and soul is out with a broken thumb, and they have to travel to Arizona for a night game against a Wildcats team that still has designs on a successful season.
Willie Tuitama is completing better than 63% of his throws, and he has ten touchdowns against only two picks. Receiver Delashaun Dean is emerging as a nice compliment to Michael Thomas, and running back Nicolas Grigsby is providing the balance this offense demands.
Only instate rival Washington State has allowed more points than Washington among Pac-10 teams, and it’s only going to get worse for Tyrone Willingham on Saturday night.
Tyler Sheehan, Bowling Green
Sheehan took his Falcons out to Wyoming last week, and he put up some very nice numbers: 22-35-287-3. Now he welcomes an EMU squad that is allowing about 33 points per game. Sheehan is a pretty streaky quarterback, and we think he’s on his way to a nice little run.
Todd Reesing, Kansas
Kansas is likely having a hard time not looking at October 18, when they travel to Norman, Oklahoma for the showdown with the #1 Sooners. In the meantime Kansas is laying low, as they fell in the rankings a little bit following their hard-fought loss at South Florida. Following a Saturday off where he was able to hear about Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford nonstop, methinks that Todd Reesing will be ready to roll in Ames, Iowa.
Lost amidst the justified hoopla that is surrounding the Big XII’s other star quarterbacks, Reesing is a great bet to post something comparable to 300-4.
Nate Davis, Ball State
Toledo allowed 35 points to Florida International. This week they welcome Ball State to The Glass Bowl, and Nate Davis is coming off back-to-back performances where he only posted one touchdown in each. Nate Davis is hungry, and Toledo’s Tony Packo’s won’t get it done. He’s looking for more touchdowns.
Davis and his Cardinals run all over the Toledo defense; the only question is can the Toledo offense keep up, as they did against Fresno State?
Daryll Clark, Penn State
Daryll Clark has not completed more than 14 passes in any of his starts, and this is primarily because he hasn’t had to yet. He was in total control last week, and when the Penn State vs. Illinois game finally concluded, he had put up another three-score performance.
After thinking things may be different I’ve come to the conclusion that Purdue is simply a mediocre team, and their absolute best-case scenario involves another trip to San Antonio in December. Purdue has allowed 32, 25 and 38 points in their last three outings, and they’re not going to suddenly learn how to cover and tackle. The balanced PSU offense will get theirs and then some.
Curtis Painter, Purdue
Saturday's game in West Lafayette is a case of two teams going in opposite directions, and Painter's team is the one going the wrong way. While it's hard to write any Big Ten team off because there is so much parity/mediocrity in the conference, things just don't appear to be clicking for the Boilers.
Now Painter faces a stingy defense, and the thought here is he'll find passing yards and scores hard to come by.
Stephen Garcia, South Carolina
I know this is a cop out. The odds that any of you are starting Stephen Garcia this week are not good. Still, I have a theory, and I’m using Mr. Garcia as a chance to test it out. An SEC quarterback, making his first road start in the conference, will struggle. No ifs, ands or buts.
Robert Griffin, Baylor
The freshman signal caller has wowed us, and we’ve been impressed with what Art Briles is doing in Waco. There will be a sense of cautious optimism amongst the Baylor faithful prior to kick. Maybe we’ll win the turnover battle. Maybe Griffin will take them by surprise. Maybe we’ll give ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter. No, no and no.
This is all a part of the learning process, and Griffin is in for a very long afternoon.
Ryan Mathews, Fresno State
The rest of the country is beginning to see what Ryan Mathews is all about. He and his Bulldogs will host Hawaii with designs on adding a bunch of yards and scores to his 470 and four. We’re thinking 150-2 is an expected output for the talented sophomore from Bakersfield, California who is on his way to becoming one of the nation’s top fantasy backs.
Harvey Unga, Brigham Young
Only Max Hall, not the opposing Utah State defense, is capable of slowing down Harvey Unga. Whether you believe that BYU runs to set up the pass, or runs when they get tired of passing, it’s clear that Harvey Unga is one of the two straws that stirs the Cougars’ drink. Four of Unga’s seven scores have come through the air, and BYU will likely be able to name the score against the Aggies. And yes, I am a little wary of the potential for an abbreviated workday for Harvey Wallbanger.
Shane Vereen, California
Vereen takes over for the injured Jahvid Best, and while a trip from the Sun Devils is not a picnic, or a walk in the park, or day at the beach, the Cal running game has been solid thus far. When Vereen sees regular carries he’s been productive, going for 9-101-1 against Michigan State and 9-80-1 against Washington State. He should see more looks with Best’s absence, and we don’t think 100 and a touch or two is too much to expect from the speedster.
Chris Wells, Ohio State
Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin is a difficult place for an opposing player. When Badger fans have had all day to study (drink) and get their workouts (12 oz. curls) in, then an 8:00 start becomes an even tougher task. Add to this equation an 18-year old starting quarterback, and we have a situation where Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel will ride his talented back, and with a healthy toe and a willingness to make a serious impact, we like Chris Wells’ chances for a big game Saturday night.
Wells’ may have to do it four and five yards at a time, as the Badger defense will be a little perturbed following their fourth quarter struggles in Ann Arbor. However we feel certain that Chris Wells will get the ball at least 25 times on Saturday night, and this is reason enough.
Ian Johnson, Boise State,
Sometimes guys are just due. We’ve been looking for a breakout game for Ian Johnson, and while we didn’t expect it to come against Oregon, we do expect him to run for more than 97 yards, which is his game high to date. Boise welcomes Louisiana Tech to the smurf turf on Wednesday, and he should be ready to roll. Editors note: Written before Wednesday's game. Tough way to kick off the week.
Super Sleeper Special: Dennis Kennedy, Akron
The Zips like to run the ball. Their two best running backs, Alex Allen and Andrew Johnson, are out with injuries. Next in line is Akron’s Dennis Kennedy. Kent State is not only one of the worst defenses in the MAC, they’re near the bottom of every defensive category nationally.
Javon Ringer, Michigan State
Yep, the nation’s 2nd leading grounder gainer is on the sit list. The Hawkeyes come to East Lansing on Saturday, and while certainly not a defensive juggernaut, the Hawkeyes do have a very sound defense. In fact they’re fourth in national defensive scoring (1st in the Big Ten) as they’re allowing an impressive 10.2 points per game.
Ringer had to work more than usual for his yards in Indiana, and we may be reaching a point where teams are simply going to force quarterback Brian Hoyer to beat them. We think the Norm Parker/Kirk Ferentz defense will do just that.
Now, we’re not telling you to sit Ringer regardless of who you have as a replacement (he's still 13th in our rankings). Use common sense. However if you’ve had three very good running backs all season, this is the time to give the Spartan senior a rest.
P.J. Hill, Wisconsin
We’ve already got one Big Ten star on the list, so why not include another? Wisconsin quarterback Allan Evridge was less than impressive last weekend. In order to prepare for upcoming opponents, Ohio State tapes and watches games. They saw how bad Wisconsin was when forced to throw the ball, and they’ll do all they can to make Wisconsin one-dimensional.
Hill may get around 70 yards, but it’ll take a lot of work. In a game where I don’t see much scoring, Hill will fail to meet expectations.
Antone Smith, Florida State
Just days after I write a cheesy bit on how happy I am to see Antone Smith do well in his senior season, I turn around and toss him into this week's scrap heap.
College fantasy football is cut-throat baby. Smith has yet to prove he can produce with any consistency, and this week's tilt with the Canes should be a slugfest.
Julio Jones, Alabama
Ok, I’ve seen enough. After an impressive start in Athens, Julio Jones is no longer a football freshman, if he ever was one in the first place. One of every four balls he’s caught has been for a score, and he’s caught a touchdown in three consecutive ballgames. Now Jones and the #2 ranked Crimson Tide welcome a Kentucky squad that may put up a tougher fight than the Bulldogs, and Jones will get his red zone looks.
Percy Harvin, Florida
Harvin returns to this list for the second consecutive week as we get the feeling things have finally come together for the Florida dynamo. He’s finally healthy, and last week, even in the loss to Ole Miss, he showed what he can do. It continues against Arkansas this week.
Jordan Shipley, Texas
Keep riding the hot hand. Shipley has outperformed teammate Quan Cosby of late, and with Colt showing no signs of slowing down, we like him to continue his hot play from the WR spot.
Mark Dell, Michigan State
While Iowa focuses on stopping Javon Ringer, Mark Dell will make some noise on the outside. We don’t think Dell will duplicate his numbers from the opening week, but 130-1 is great production from a WR3.
Austin Collie, BYU
Collie is getting the looks, the catches, the yards and the touchdowns. Now he and his BYU teammates get to steamroll Utah State.
Greg Orton, Purdue
He’s found the end zone once, and it was back in week two. Orton isn’t grabbing goal line scores, and it appears his ceiling is five catches for 90 yards.
Derrick Williams, Penn State
While we’re fans of Williams, and we were pleased with his huge performance a week ago, consistency has not been Williams’ trademark. I do think Daryll Clark will play very well, but I don’t see Williams being the beneficiary.
Brandon Tate, North Carolina
This one between UConn and UNC has hard-fought, knockdown, drag out game written all over it. It just screams 17-13, and this doesn’t bode well for Mr. Tate.
James Casey, Rice: A given.
Rob Gronkowski, Arizona: He’ll be Willie T’s red zone man.
Bear Pascoe, Fresno State: I’d like to have beers with a guy named Bear Pascoe.
Kory Sperry, Colorado State: He’s due, he’s due, he’s due.
Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame: Call this one a Hunchy McHunch.
Kickers & Defenses
With kickers you want consistency. If you want a breakdown on consistency read my colleague’s piece.
Looking for a few defenses?
Auburn, Maryland, Alabama, Kansas and Oklahoma
And here we go. Week six is upon us, and as alluded to earlier, the networks can have their Auburn vs. Vanderbilt and Ohio State vs. Wisconsin. We'll fully content to focus on fantasy clashes like those between Rice and Tulsa and Toledo and Ball State.
College fantasy football...another reason to watch more games!
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