Binge and Purge: Week Two Waivers
Another week in the books and another week to look at players that are starting to emerge and those that are struggling to put points on the board. The waiver wire will probably be burning up on Monday as owners try to stay in the hunt, so we wanted to make sure we kicked this one out early.
If you’re looking for quarterback help…it is out there. There are also some decent options developing for back-up wide receivers. However for those looking for running back help, the options are few and far between. We’ve seen very few running backs emerge from the shadows so far this year, and if you’re a squad in need of running backs, the struggles may continue. We start our newly named feature with those guys you should be "binging" on.
QB Dennis Dixon Ore– I was burned by Dixon’s melt at the end of last year, so I’ve been hesitant to even utter Dixon’s name this year. It was easy to dismiss last week’s performance against Houston. It looked like classic Dixon, as he torched the Cougars for 141 yards the ground. However, we just can’t ignore Dixon’s performance against Michigan at the Big House. Dixon had 293 yards of total offense...in the first half. Most notable are his passing numbers, finishing the day with 292 yards and 3 scores through the air. Most of those were long balls against a suspect Michigan secondary, so I once again have some reservations. We all know he can run, it was his tendency to throw the ball to guys wearing the other color jersey that caused him trouble last year. If Dixon has put these demons behind him, Dixon will put up impressive numbers in 2007.
QB Tyler Sheehan BGSU – After throwing for 5 touchdowns each, I suppose we could easily put Sam Bradford or Cullen Harper on this list. Instead we are going to bypass these two probable one hit wonders for a guy that only scored 2 touchdowns last week. BGSU has twice gone on the road to Big Ten country and they’ve come away with one W and hung tough in a loss, and this mainly because of the BGSU offense and Tyler Sheehan. MSU got after the young quarterback in the 2nd half, but up until that point he has looked very good through 6+ quarters of play. He is a good-sized kid that looks extremely poised for a sophomore. He also has some speedy threats at wide receiver to throw to. On the year Sheehan has thrown for 683 yards on 101 attempts. He only has 4 total scores, but they will come as the schedule moves away from Big Ten country.
QB T.J. Yates North Carolina – Yates threw for 344 yards and 3 scores against ECU. Add that to the 3 he tossed against James Madison and he now has 6 on the year.
What is more important than the TDs against inferior opponents is the emphasis on the passing game. Yates had 32 pass attempts last week.
QB Ryan Mallett, Michigan – It’s obviously too early to consider the young gunslinger from Texas a threat, but there is no questioning this kid’s arm. It’s a cannon. With Henne out against ND and his overall ineptitude, Mallet will see more time than coach Carr wanted in 2007. Early word out of Ann Arbor is this could be longterm. Mallet vs. Clausen…almost makes a game between the 0-2’s worth watching…almost. The one angle though, is Mallet should be eager to show that he was the best quarterback in the 2007 recruiting class.
QB Willie Tuitama, Arizona – There is the Big Willie we expected…44 pass attempts, 283 yards, and 5 scores. We don’t expect 5 TDs every week and give credit to BYU’s defense the week before. We do expect something in the middle.
QB Blake Szymanski, Baylor – Playing Rice is not the same as playing TCU. Luckily for Syzmanksi, the next two games look more like Rice (Texas St and Buffalo) than the latter.
QB Tyler Donovan, Wisconsin – He was once again the leader of the Badger offense. And he looked pretty impressive when he had to tuck it and run. We like Donovan.
RB Terry Grant, Alabama – Another huge day for Grant. It is unlikely he is still on the board, but if he is, what are you waiting for? Grant is one of the few backs to emerge from obscurity this year.
RB Kestahn Moore, Florida – We are still worried about Tim Tebow taking away carries from Moore, however Kestahn does have the job all to himself and 4 scores on the year.
RB Eugene Jarvis, Kent State – If you like little running backs from the MAC, Jarvis is your guy. In all seriousness, Kent State is a legit contender in the MAC. They took down Iowa State (we know, not a App. State accomplishment) opening day and gave Kentucky a tussle through 2 quarters last week till the Kentucky running game started to motor. The lil’ fella from the Golden Flashes has been the main offensive weapon going for 244 and two scores in two games.
RB Keon Lattimore, Maryland – I’m not sold on Lattimore long-term. But I would be remiss if I did not include him and his 5 TDs on our list. Besides I’ve been wrong in the past.
RB Brandon Roberson, NW – Based on both his talent and his schedule, we expected a rebound year for Tyrell Sutton. Sutton went down in the 2nd quarter last week against Nevada and did not return. Brandon Robinson went for 128 and 1 in his place. We are not saying Roberson is going to put up Sutton-like numbers, but with Duke up next and Sutton’s status TBD, he could be an option.
RB Louis Rankin and QB Jake Locker, Washington – Rankin, joined by Jake Locker, makes the list again. While it was not a statistically impressive day for either, the key is Rankin and Locker seem to breathing new life into the Husky offense. Rankin did his best Darren McFadden impersonation last week, throwing for his only score. Locker once again showed off ability to create with both his arm and his legs. Up next are Ohio State, UCLA, and USC however. So there are not many opportunities to start either Rankin Locker coming up, but when the schedule eases up a bit, many may have forgotten about their potential against mediocre to good squads.
RB Jahvid Best, Cal – Keeper league owners…pick him up.
WR Jamarko Simmons, Western Michigan – 28 catches in 2 games…I had to double-check our stats to make sure they were right… and they are.
WR Nate Jones, Texas – With Limas Sweed drawing double coverage, Nate Jones is emerging as another outlet for quarterback Colt McCoy. Jones has a good combination of size and speed. He had 9 catches and 72 yards in the opener and 8 catches for 91 yards and a score. Despite the numbers, we still consider Sweed to be Texas’ #1 wide receiver. Both should benefit from Nate's emergence. The Longhorn offense started to click in 2nd half against TCU, and with the Frogs out of the way look for the Longhorns’ passing game to pick up.
WR Kenneth Moore, Wake Forest – We weren’t quite sure what to do with Moore in our rankings this spring. Officially listed as a WR, he saw considerable time in the backfield last year. Moore has incredible wheels and with the graduation of most of the Wake receiving corps from last year, he is the main option. Moore will also continue to see a few carries in the backfield along with misdirection hand-offs in the slot, almost making Moore a wingback. Moore has 19 catches and 12 rushes on the year for 272 total yards and 2 scores.
WR Devin Thomas, Michigan State – Devin who? Yes we are aware that Mark Dantonio likes to run the football and no we don’t see Devin posting huge numbers. It is apparent, however, that Thomas is the go-to (and long ball) receiver for Brian Hoyer. Thomas has 9 catches 262 yards and has scored a touchdown in each game. If you’re looking for a steady plug-in receiver, Thomas could provide what you’re looking for. Already MSU has shown a solid play-action scheme, and when you see Hoyer running play-action, you can bet that he’s looking for Thomas deep.
WR Brandon LaFell, LSU – LaFell snared 7 balls for 125 yards against Virginia Tech. He is still going to have to fight Doucet for catches and like the receivers above he is an option only if you have holes in the schedule.
WR Austin Rogers and Lucas Taylor, Tennessee – Fundamentally Rogers and Taylor were sound in week 1 against Cal. This week they put it together statistically, with each going over 100 yards receiving. Even with an inexperienced receiving corps it looks like offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe is going emphasize Ainge and the passing game this season. If I had to choice between the two, I would lean toward Rogers, but each will provide solid depth when the schedule dictates and match-ups are right.
WRs Brandon Tate from North Carolina, Ernie Wheelwright from Minny and Dante Love, Ball St. – 3 TDs in two games gets them on our watch list. This would be week 2 for Wheelwright. He’s the #1 guy in Minny, we are just not sold on the quarterback situation yet.
TE Bear Pascoe, Fresno State – Bear has 4 more TDs on the season than wide receiver Mario Manningham. Did we mention he is a tight end?
A number of big name players headline our list of players that are struggling. While we are not going to recommend dropping some of these players, be wary as the warning signs go deeper than just the box score. Proceed with caution.
RB Branden Ore, Virginia Tech and Yvenson Bernard Oregon State – They are basically one and the same. We talked about it last Friday and nothing has changed. They both have bad quarterbacks in front of them which spells limited scoring opportunities for these talented backs. If they can't get it going this week, we will really become concerned.
WR Mario Manningham, Michigan – Our #1 rated BCS wide receiver is off to a very slow start. Normally I would take the news that a true freshman quarterback will be throwing him the football next week as a bad sign. But can it really get any worse? The Ducks ripping through the Michigan defense didn’t come as much of a surprise. The mighty Blue offense only being able to muster up 7pts, regardless of who is at quarterback, is down right shocking. Actually a better word might be absurd. Remember when Michigan last started a true freshman quarterback? Well it resulted in Braylon Edwards serving as options A, B and C. When in doubt the talented Mr. Mallett will look to his star who wears #86. So we have not given up on him yet.
RB Rafael Little, Kentucky - Rafael Little is the 4th running back in SEC history to log over 2000 yards rushing and 1000 yards receiving. So why is he on our list? There is a 3-back rotation developing in Kentucky. Couple that with Andre Woodson and this leaves little opportunities for Little to produce consistently. We love Little; he’ll be playing on Sundays, right now though he doesn’t look like a good start.
QB Matt Stafford, Georgia – We heard so much hype about Matt in the pre-season that we started to wonder if we were missing the boat with this kid. All we had to do was pop in the game tapes from last year and we were reminded that, while talented, Stafford has a long way to go with his passing accuracy. This was exemplified again last night as the sophomore connected on only 43% of his passes in the loss to South Carolina. He has an arm and makes good decisions…he just needs to hit his targets.
QB Chad Henne, Michigan – I think we’ve picked on Henne enough…just drop him.
WR Dominick Goodman Cincinnati – He is one we had on our sleeper list. With the new Cincy offense, they needed someone to throw the ball to consistently, or so we thought. Using the first 2 games as a gauge, it appears the Bearcats are going to spread it around with no clear cut #1 receiver. Unload Goodman now; you can always reload if things change.
RB P.J. Hill, Wisconsin and Chris Wells, Ohio State – With only 3 TDs between them, owners of both of these Big Ten backs are sure to be disappointed with their starts. Take a deeper look at the numbers before you hit the panic button though. Hill had 30 carries for 147 yards; Wells had 20 carries for 143 yards (7.2 ypc). Neither scored last week. However, with those numbers the touchdowns will come.
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