Complete Player Rankings & Projections l More Sit & Starts
Nice to pick a guy who turned out to be the top-scoring quarterback in most formats for a change. So, my thanks to Baylor’s Robert Griffin III and his monster game against Oklahoma.
In truth, I love the way Griffin plays and like to think that with a little more consistency, he’d be getting some lip-service in all the Heisman talk. I have to admit to feeling good about last week’s picks. I figure I was 5-of-7 on the “start” side and I’ll give myself the home field advantage with the “sits” and take a 4-of-6 tally on that one. Tyler Bray was back for Tennessee, which pushed Justin Worley to the sidelines and, miracle of miracles, SMU’s J.J. McDermott wasn’t much of a factor.
Not perfection, but I’ll take it as we head toward the end of the season. Here are the Week 12 composite scores for your perusal.
Last Week's Starts:
Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech (26), Robert Griffin, Baylor (50), Kirk Cousins, Michigan State (28), Austin Davis, Southern Mississippi (29), Cody Fajardo, Nevada (21), Corey Robinson, Troy (31), Derek Thompson, North Texas (19)
Last Week's Sits:
Zach Maynard, California (25), Seth Doege, Texas Tech (22), Justin Worley, Tennessee (Tyler Bray was back), Sean Mannion, Oregon State (23), Ryan Lindley, San Diego State (32), J. J. McDermott, SMU (11).
Let’s move on to Week 13. Note, there is a big slate of Friday games this week, so be prepared.
Geno Smith, West Virginia
Coming off a 372-yard outing against Cincinnati last week, I like the fact that Pittsburgh will be visiting. Smith is one of those guys who kind of flashes brilliant every couple of weeks, then you don’t hear about him much until his next sighting – I don’t know, kind of a meteor-like feel to him. The Panthers don’t have a bad pass defense (67th overall), but they don’t intercept the ball much (6) and are sort of playing out the string. This will be a tough one for them on the road, and I’d expect Smith to be involved in three scores (via rush or pass) in this one.
Denard Robinson, Michigan
As the Sopranos would say, “fuhgetaboudit.” Robinson scored four times last week and appeared, for the first time in a month, to have that old acceleration that used to frighten defensive coordinators. It’s been a long season for Ohio State, and a visit to Michigan certainly promises to be a tough row to hoe. I like Robinson to accumulate 300-plus total yards and three to four scores – and it could be more if he gets a rhythm going. Robinson has been a spotty play of late, but based on what we saw last week, it’s time to bring the thoroughbred out of the paddock and let him run, baby.
Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
Speaking of quarterbacks who have been quiet for a few weeks, Russell fits that description perfectly. After a huge start to the season, Wilson has taken a back seat to the Badger running game the last half of the year, but that’s not going to be enough with Penn State visiting. I look for the Nittany Lions to attack the Badger running game head-on, and that will leave the outcome in Russell’s hands. I think we’ve all forgotten the talent and athleticism of Wilson, but he’s going to remind us all again with a virtuoso performance at home against PSU. Bank on it.
Kawaun Jakes, Western Kentucky
Jakes hasn’t been consistent, but when he’s been on, he’s been very good. He’s coming off a 231-yard, three touchdown effort last week and with the promise of plenty of offense from visiting Troy, I like him as a dark horse candidate to have a huge game. The Hilltoppers are 6-1 over the last seven games, with the only loss being to LSU. This team has a top-flight running back and a quarterback who can make things happen with his arm and his legs. I think he puts two good performances together back-to-back. If you really want to walk the high wire this week, try Jakes.
Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois
If you haven’t been on this guy this season – and he’s shockingly sitting on the waiver wire right now – run, don’t walk, to pick him up immediately. All you’ll get is a quarterback capable of throwing for 338 yards and rushing for another 181, while scoring three times. Seems too good to be true? That was his line from last week’s game against Ball State. All he’s done this season is throw for 2,600 yards and 22 scores and rush for another 1,203 yards and 10 scores. I’ll just be blunt, with middle-of-the-road Eastern Michigan coming to Illinois on Friday, I expect Harnish to slap down a huge performance. I’m serious, if this guy is on the waiver wire, you should A) get into a league with guys who have a clue and; B) snag him now and start him.
Dominique Davis, East Carolina
All right, this is probably my last plug for DD, but I keep seeing these games where he unleashes that considerable talent and I’m taken away on wings of fantasy passion. I don’t see the season finale at Marshall as a huge barrier to another big day for Davis. He’s coming off a four-touchdown game and added 60-plus yards rushing. If he brings his dual-threat bad self to this week’s game, he’ll drop some big numbers on the lucky fantasy owner who holds my words as gospel. That’s you, right?
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
Yeah, you’re No. 3 in the BCS standings – that doesn’t mean you’re going to be an offensive match for LSU in Baton Rouge. That’s all I’m basing this prediction on – the games I’ve watched over the last 12 weeks. I think Wilson will be harried, hurried and beaten to a fine pulp by the Tigers defense. I wouldn’t touch Wilson with a golden 30-foot cattle prod. Mr. Wilson, LSU ain’t no Mississippi State. Word up, big guy.
Sean Renfree, Duke
Renfree matched his career high in touchdown passes with four last week against Georgia Tech, so he’s reached his ceiling as far as I’m concerned. There will be no such repetition of that aerial display this week against a North Carolina defense that is going to brook no nonsense from the Dukies. I fear that Renfree will experience only the bitter taste of missed opportunities and sacks a week after imbibing the sweet nectar of passing success. North Carolina will put the wood to Renfree and the Duke offense.
Tommy Rees, Notre Dame
Ah, another chance to denigrate the wide open and potent offense of coach Brian Kelly. I suppose it’s the offensive juggernaut that was able to outlast Boston College last week by a 16-14 margin that gets me excited about Rees’ potential in this one. The Irish will be visiting Palo Alto, and the Cardinal have already had their post-Oregon hangover game, just getting by California last week. They’ll be ready for another game of national interest and should be more than a match for Rees, who has proven to be everything you like in an inconsistent quarterback. Unless you’ve just “got to,” look elsewhere.
Brett Smith, Wyoming
Yes, the freshman has done everything asked of him this season. He’s thrown successfully in tough situation and isn’t afraid to keep the ball and make plays with his feet. I just don’t like the matchup at Boise State. If this were in Wyoming, I may not have stopped at his name, but with the Broncos at home and a defense that is still quality (particularly the front seven) I like Boise to get pressure on Smith. He’ll have moments of success, but I think statistical success for fantasy purposes will be harder to come by.
Carson Meger, UTEP
UTEP is a strange team, alternately competitive and abysmal. Meger has been the starter the last two weeks, and while he’s been decently solid as the Miners went 1-1, he’s not a guy you should be looking at if you’re feeling like doing something daring. Too young, too inconsistent and too likely to waste your time.
Alex Gillett, Eastern Michigan
I feel a bit sad for Gillett as he tries to match production with Chandler Harnish of Northern Illinois this week. Gillett is a dual-threat quarterback who has struggled to take his game up a notch this season. I like this guy, but I don’t think he’s got the game to stay with Harnish, particularly if the points start flowing. He won’t be able to keep up and then the mistakes will come. Look somewhere else.