Yes, Week 8 of the college football season is on the horizon. It's almost Halloween; raise your hand if this year is flying by and depression is setting in. I, for one, am depressed that most of my teams are hovering around .500. I'm depressed my alma mater just lost Marcus Lattimore for the season. And I'm depressed that the season only has five or so weeks remaining. Where has the time gone!
As a result of the rapidly-passing season, we're going to give the Waiver Wire piece a bit of a facelift. While we'll still highlight some folks who can make a difference over the remainder of 2011, it's also time to start prepping for 2012. I'm a huge fan of dynasty leagues, and now is the time to take a few chances and stash some players whose value will change dramatically in a year or so.
This week's additions:
C.J. Brown, QB, Maryland - The only real question here is how much longer does Danny O'Brien call College Park home?
Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech - Nine scores in two weeks. There still will be growing pains, but Thomas is, in fact, growing into a decent option
Tony Jones, RB, Colorado - He's not going to replace Rodney Stewart by himself, but he's an added threat in the passing game as well. 15-20 touches from a RB this late in the year is nice value
Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan State - I'll defer to the Spartans on our staff as to whether last week's game was a sign of things to come, but I feel that Baker is still the best back in East Lansing, and as the competition remains tough, he'll regain his workhorse ways.
Kenny Turner, RB, New Mexico State - Three straight 100+ yard outings, three straight games crossing the goal line.
LaVon Brazill, WR, Ohio - He's scored in six straight (eight total TDs) and is essentially the only target for a surprisingly-potent Bobcat attack. There may not be a hotter receiver nationally.
Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami - Five touchdowns in the last four games, officially a starter now, and seeing plenty of red zone looks. Running back Lamar Miller also means a stacked box, and lots of one-on-one coverage for the 6-6 Streeter.
Rueben Randle, WR, LSU - Randle is steady, and you can't ask for much more out of a WR3/WR4. He'll pass his 2010 numbers this week, and is on pace for a 912-yard, 8 or 9-score season.
Eye on 2012: Quarterbacks
Plenty of the best "systems" nationally will all be looking for new quarterbacks in 2012. Overall, the quarterback position is pretty young this year, but it's not about how many teams will be replacing signal callers, it's about who. Plenty of the best "systems" nationally will all be looking for new quarterbacks in 2012. Mix in a few big-named programs, and let the speculating begin! Emphasis on speculating, as we certainly aren't guaranteeing anyone below will start next fall.
David Piland, Houston - Piland showed his capabilities last season while filling in for Case Keenum, and he appears destined to redshirt this season before chucking it all over Texas in 2012. Good news for dynasty owners, as we love extra seasons of eligibility. The bad news is Houston will lose their four top wide receivers. Pilland closed 2010 with consecutive 400+ yard outings, so we know he's capable.
Cody Green, Tulsa - Green falls into two categories that make me excited. First, he's sitting out 2011 while transferring. Transfers not named Bryce Brown are a terrific source of dynasty gold, as they are often forgotten about while sitting out. Secondly, leaving Nebraska for Tulsa, Green fits perfectly into the big fish, small pond theory. He'll have to fend off Kalen Henderson, who hasn't set the world on fire in limited duty backing up G.J. Kinne.
David Graves, Hawaii - Graves is risky here, thanks to the transfer of former New Mexico signal caller Stump Godfrey. Both have nice dual-threat capabilities, but Graves has more time in this system. A battle is ahead, but Graves is the clubhouse leader.
Rio Johnson, East Carolina - A season ago, heck, two weeks ago, Brad Wornick looked likely to take over upon Dominique Davis' departure. Johnson has seen action in the past two games however, while Wornick wears a headset. It probably translates into Johnson getting some experience as the two dual things out all off-season. That's why this is speculating; and if you guess right, the reward greatly exceeds the risk.
Joe Southwick, Boise State - Southwick appears likely to follow in the footsteps of Ryan Dinwiddie, Jared Zabransky and Kellen Moore. Need any further explanation?
Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois - We got a decent look at Lynch this past week during the Huskies blowout of Western Michigan (10 carries, 113 yards.) Lynch also saw some garbage action in 2010, and averaged 11.7 yards per carry on 31 attempts. We'll have to see how he performs against starters, but NIU loves to run, and they love to let their quarterback lead the way.
Munchie Legaux, Cincinnati - Oodles of athletic potential from the 6-5,190-pounder. I'm not ready to write off freshman Stephen Weatherford, who appears to be redshirting in 2011, but Weatherford isn't the runner Legaux can be.
Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State - This seems pretty obvious. Brandon Weeden throws it 50-70 times a game, Johnny Deaton was scared off by Chelf, clearing his rise to "quarterback of the future" in Stillwater. My only real concern is Chelf's affinity for moped riding. At least we know he isn't likely to have eligibility issues.
Stephen Morris, Miami - There is little doubt Morris has the least upside of anyone on this list, but I was determined to find one quarterback from each BCS conference, and the ACC presently has very few senior signal callers. Jacory Harris' rebirth is somewhat disappointing, in that it has limited Morris' development. I'm also a big fan of Memphis transfer Ryan Williams, who makes up for his lack of arm strength with solid decision making. Remind you of any former Hurricane QB? Miami also has two quarterbacks verbally committed, so Morris will be in a dogfight to start in 2012. But for now, he's the best bet in this conference.
Cody Kessler, Southern Cal - No Trojan quarterback not named Barkley has taken a snap this season, so assuming he departs early, it's going to be an awfully green competition. Kessler beat out Jesse Scroggins and Max Wittek this season to be QB2 in Los Angeles, and figures to enter the spring as USC's top quarterback. I think Scroggins has fallen out of favor in Troy, and Wittek and Kessler battle throughout the summer, and possibly into next fall, before a clear starter emerges. That said, the surrounding talent here makes Kessler someone to target, just in case things break right.
Zach Mettenberger, LSU - Another conference where there isn't much to pick from, Mettenberger was thought to be in the mix this season. Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson are gone, and Mettenberger has a clear path to the starting gig in 2012. A deep, deep look can be given to Georgia's Christian LeMay. Aaron Murray hasn't lit the SEC up, but is a draft-eligible redshirt sophomore. Just food for thought.
Andrew Maxwell, Michigan State - Maxwell is here by default, as the Big Ten isn't losing much under center, and the biggest option isn't exactly a surprise name. Northwestern's Kain Colter has been impressive, and will have the job all to himself in 2012, assuming he is still just a quarterback! Wisconsin appears to have Joseph Brennan and Jon Budmayr ready to battle, and the winner will not be running a Russell Wilson-esque offense. Maxwell has to fend off Connor Cook, but the winner here clearly has more upside than the winner in Madison.