They sure don't build 'em like the used to! For those of you out there waiting to read this weekly column and bash my idiocy, I apologize for my tardiness. This past weekend, I made my every-other-year trek to Blacksburg to see my 'Canes get beat and my hat tossed from the upper deck, all in the name of fun. But am I getting old.
And Hokie fans are getting soft - this was by far the best of my many experiences to western Virginia. Congrats to the fans, and Logan Thomas on his breakout performance. See y'all in 2013 while we're on probation.
Now, on to something you might actually care about - we've got a handful of new names worth adding to your roster. Wide receiver options are becoming more plentiful, as are Sun Belt players as they finally get to face each other. Bye weeks are upon us, and hopefully some of the folks can help steal you a week.
Connor Shaw, QB, South Carolina (14% owned) - Was that really the same quarterback who started the season against East Carolina? Honestly, I'm not buying it. The Ol Ball Coach has a new toy, and the Stephen Garcia era is over. We're beyond the point of reminding you how deep this position is nationally, but you normally don't have the option of a brand new starter. We also know Spurrier will pitch it around the yard as often as he can, regardless of who is running the ball. It's possible Shaw tosses four picks in the first half Saturday; but I'll contend that even if he does, Garcia is done.
De'Anthony Thomas, RB/WR, Oregon (0% owned ???) - We'll start by checking our ownership stats, because there is no way this kid isn't owned. Regardless, I'm officially all aboard this D-Train, regardless of LaMichael James' health. The Ducks need Thomas on the field, he's likely to give you multi-position flexibility, and he's a threat to score every time. Pretty sure we noted Thomas as a top addition a few weeks back, but now he's a must-add in any league he's unowned. He's the Ducks best wide receiver.
James Washington, RB, North Carolina State (30% owned) - I'm not convinced the 'Pack will run often enough weekly to keep Washington's value high. But as each week passes, I am more convinced that Mustafa Greene isn't coming back this season. Keep an eye on practice reports over the next ten days, as the 'Pack have this Saturday off from competition. If Greene doesn't come back, Washington is worth the gamble. Back-to-back 100-yard games following a minus-one yard outing speak clearly.
Nelson Rosario, WR, UCLA (0% owned) - Yes, I'm recommending adding a receiver in a pretty bad offense, who hasn't scored all year, and just lost his quarterback. I promise, I haven't been drinking since leaving my tailgate Saturday. In the world of lesser wide receiver options, there is something to be said for consistency. Rosario is averaging 80 yards, hasn't had a game with less than three receptions, and his lowest total on the year is 48 yards. Those 25+ point outings are sexy, but not when they are followed by a single straight line. Every now and then, you need four to eight points while others on your roster explode.
Rashad Greene, WR, Florida State (42% owned) - Every week, I wait for Greene to post a goose egg; and every week Greene scores touchdowns and catches more passes than he did the week before. If there are any doubters left, I'd love to hear from them. Greene has emerged as the 'Noles top receiver, is a terrific dynasty league play, and warrants consideration as a weekly starter. I'm excitingly shocked.
Hubert Anyiam, WR, Oklahoma State (0% owned) - Just 17 games or so ago, everyone had Anyiam pegged as Dez Bryant's successor. Some 14 games later, Anyiam is healthy, and making his mark in this high-octane offense. Quarterback Brandon Weeden is throwing the ball nearly 44 times per game, and completing 76% of his throws. Justin Blackmon can't do it alone, and Anyiam is carving out a niche. In his past three games Anyiam is averaging 6.3 catches, 84.7 yards and has scored three times. Not bad for a second or third option.
Other wideouts showing as less than 50% owned, that figure to be featured here in coming weeks (if you guys don't start adding them) include Iowa State's Darius Reynolds, LSU's Rueben Randle, and VaTech's Jarrett Boykin.
Trent Steelman, QB, Army (12% owned) - If Army went 12-0, would they get a BCS bid over a 7-4 Notre Dame team? Just curious, because it's completely irrelevant. What's not is how unreal the Black Knights' quarterback has been this season. With a bye week this Saturday, Steelman will extend his perfect completion rate to three weeks. He's also up to 11 rushing touchdowns on the season. A few years ago, no one wanted to believe in Navy's Ricky Dobbs. Don't let that happen again with the Midshipmen's rival.
Charles Sims, RB, Houston (23% owned) - Who's got shades of 2009 dancing in their heads? As a rookie, Sims had 1,457 total yards and ten touchdowns. He started awfully slowly this year, but in the past two weeks, Sims has exploded for 195 yards rushing on just 20 carries, and another 118 yards receiving on just four receptions. He's also scored five times. Sims is on fire, and he's the best playmaker in a high-flying attack. He's obviously trending upward.
Alfred Morris, RB, Florida Atlantic (21% owned) - Morris is going to fall in to one of two categories. 1) You were patient, and it's time to enjoy the ribbing you took for holding on to him. 2) Someone in your league didn't wait for conference play to begin, and released Morris before he got to see some Sun Belt defenses. Morris will get plenty of touches weekly, and it's time to remember why he was a top-40 running back entering the season.
Ryan Balentine, WR, Southern Mississippi (0% owned) - The Golden Eagle offense has been looking for a superstar wideout since Deandre Brown's gruesome leg injury a few seasons ago. I'm not calling Balentine a superstar, but he will be in C-USA circles if he keeps producing. 294 yards and four touchdowns over his last three tilts. That's consistent and spectacular.