How is it remotely possible that with this column we are already discussing the 8th week of the college football season? Didn’t we just kick off Labor Day, that weekend I ignored my wife, inlaws and company to watch Oregon and LSU and the beginning of an incredible run by Robert Griffin III? And now, looking ahead two weeks so you can plan for a key week 8, we are only a few weeks out from starting to develop playoff strategy. Wow.
While leagues are won based on a strong draft, manipulating your lineups weekly makes up for post-draft injuries (here is looking at you Knile Davis).
With that in mind, here we go, as we boldly go where no writers have gone before. Week 8, 2011 season.
Who wins? Electric passing game or shut down defense?
We will surely find out when LSU travels to Tennessee to face the Vols. While there is no way I would start Tyler Bray or Tauren Poole in this one, one player I would start is Da'Rick Rogers. Yes he will be covered tightly by the LSU defense but the Vols will be forced to throw, and he is a threat to score every week. Bray however may be picked off four times and thus kill his value.
Who is Blaine Gautier and why should I care?
Thanks for asking. Gautier is the starting quarterback of Louisiana Lafayette and he gets mentioned here not because of his 6:1 TD to interception ratio or his 162 rushing yards entering this week, but the matchup he has against North Texas in two weeks. North Texas continues to not play defense, so when looking for a replacement for Bray or another player on a bye week, expect a 30+ point performance from Senor Gautier.
The New Mexico State Fantasy Factory
OK ok, just for one week, a week where they take on Idaho. The Vandals have already allowed 12 touchdowns through the air in 2011 and Andrew Manley or Matt Christian (whoever plays QB) and Taveon Rogers, should all be in fantasy lineups. Idaho cannot stop the pass and NMSU should roll. A sneaky play, but one that will pay off.
J.J. McDermott, fantasy stud?
This is the week we once and for all determine whether Kyle Padron is a lost cause and whether McDermott is a savior. Following a solid four-touchdown effort against TCU (who cannot stop the pass), the SMU quarterback takes on UCF, which leads the nation against the pass. My take? McDermott throws for three scores in a close win. The key is getting stud receivers Cole Beasley and Keenan Holman back off injury after a bye week.
Need Points? Exploit these matchups
Hawaii takes on San Jose State. If you own a Hawaii football player with a pulse, play him. Moniz, all the receivers, maybe even their third string fullback, play them against the Spartans.
Baylor vs. Texas A&M and Kansas State vs. Texas Tech . Four teams, no defense that can stop anyone of substance, four quarterbacks that will put up big statistics and owners that are excited to play all the skill players they can.
Two More Juicy Matchups
Navy vs. Rutgers . Navy’s rushing attack against Rutgers rush defense which is ranked 10th nationally. Who will budge?
Nevada pistol offense against New Mexico. Imagine what Mike Ball can do next week against New Mexico which is ranked 2nd worst nationally. Now they just need to determine which quarterback will assume control.