Sit or Start: Week 5
Week Five in the college fantasy football world is running back heaven as it appears nearly every big back around is staring at a potentially big game. Even those not in our top twenty seemingly have a much greater potential for an eruption, and while departing our top twenty may be a bit too risky for some owners, there is big game potential out there for many, and if you’ve been wavering on whether to put one of your late round selections or sleepers in your lineup, right now, week five, may just be the time.
Maybe we’re just hungover from the score fest that was week four; however there are plenty of quarterbacks and running backs that we see exceeding even our unusually high benchmarks. Of course the crazy wide receiver spot brings us back a little bit, however if we see the type of backfield production we’re anticipating your receivers’ production will simply be gravy.
Colt Brennan returns to his rightful place at the top of the quarterback rankings. Following a week of intrigue surrounding whether or not the fantasy Hercules would take snaps, it’s clear that Mr. Brennan is ready to seize back control of the reigns from Tyler Graunke (although check back on Friday to make sure). It also provides Brennan the chance to pick up some ground on Graham Harrell in the race to earn the trophy (we’re working on a cool name) for best fantasy quarterback in 2007. While guys like Harrell, Holbrook, Tebow and Woodson also reside in the week five top ten, there are a few surprises as well.
Curtis Painter was one of those wait-and-see type quarterbacks. Sure he was a senior joining a bunch of fellow returnees to the Boiler offense, but he was also a dude that couldn’t help but wing it to opposing defenses. Thus far it appears that Painter has kicked the habit as he has an incredible ratio of 16 touchdowns to just one pick. Now an easy schedule to open the season continues, as the Boilers will look to take out a Notre Dame squad to whom the phrase offensive trainwreck doesn’t begin to explain.
We’ve been accused of leaning too favorably towards the BCS schools, however we’re hoping that a glance at our quarterback top 10 provides some semblance of proof that we certainly respect the football played by those schools not always on the tube. Nate Davis of Ball State and BGSU’s Tyler Sheehan (not sure how much more we can talk about this guy) are joined by Chase Holbrook in our top ten, and they’re ranked ahead of some time national big boys.
Matt Ryan should light up UMASS.
Although he’s exhibited inconsistent tendencies we’re liking Sam Keller against Iowa State.
Paul Smith put up 24 fantasy points against Oklahoma, so is a bunch more too much to ask against UAB?
Others to Watch
In a perfect world Dennis Dixon would be in our top twenty. Alas, as evident by the continued airing of Dancing with the Stars, the world is far from a perfect place. Still, there were some who were afraid that the Michigan defense would contain Dennis Dixon. Thankfully for Cal they’re not Michigan, but Dennis Dixon is playing some incredible football. Start him with a semi-confident blessing from us.
There also simply wasn't enough room in our Top 20 for Omar Hougabook of Troy, John David Booty of USC, and Houston's Case Keenum. But all are good options this week. Keenum c ould really solidify his spot as the permanent starter this week.
Stephen McGee could be start-worthy this week with a Saturday game against the Baylor Bears. Blake Szymanski has us up in the air. Texas A&M is certainly a better opponent than the others that Baylor have been feasting on, but they’re also not the best team against the pass.
Deciding to sit regular starting quarterbacks is a decision not easily made, in fact the number of times I’ve been torn over a QB decision represent the 37 most important decisions I’ve ever made in my life. Thankfully I’ve chosen wisely in each and every instance.
A couple of Big Ten surprises dot our quarterback sit list in week five as concern over opponents leads us to doubt both Minnesota’s Adam Weber (against Ohio State) and Indiana’s Kellen Lewis (Iowa). The fact that each quarterback is likely not your number one starter makes this a much easier sit to handle than say the case of Pat White. If Pat White is your clear-cut #1 signal caller, then you certainly plug him in and forget about it. However if’ you’re the proud owner of Chris Nickson, you may want to consider the Vanderbilt QB at Eastern Michigan as opposed to the jacked up environment that White will encounter. White gets the distinction of being the first player to not only be ranked in our top 20, but also gets mentioned in our sit list.
We love what Jake Locker brings, however we really love what the USC defensive unit brings. If you grabbed Locker you’ll want to get him in the locker for one more week. He has a few 2007 explosions left, but this week will not be one of them.
If you’ve been rolling the dice with T.J. Yates now is the time to stop, leave the crap table and grab some breakfast. The Virginia Tech defense is the pit boss who thinks you’ve been cheating.
Caleb Hanie plays for Colorado State. This week Colorado State plays TCU. TCU has an excellent defense. If my memory of high school algebra is correct, this is a perfect example of the reflexive property, which means that you shouldn’t start Caleb Hanie.
We know the temptation to start Thaddeus Lewis exists. You’re thrilled to finally have the opportunity to start a Blue Devil gridiron star. Don’t do it.
We’re also leery of Chris Smelley as the relatively new starter takes his squad on the road to Mississippi State.
Week Rank Pos Name School
1 QB Colt Brennan Haw
2 QB Graham Harrell TexTech
3 QB Nate Davis BallSt
4 QB Curtis Painter Pur
5 QB Tyler Sheehan BGSU
6 QB Paul Smith Tulsa
7 QB Chase Holbrook NMSU
8 QB Tim Tebow Fl
9 QB Andre Woodson Ky
10 QB Brian Brohm Louis
11 QB Sam Bradford Ok
12 QB Matt Ryan BC
13 QB Willie Tuitama Ariz
14 QB Alex Brink WashSt
15 QB Chris Nickson Vandy
16 QB Patrick White WVU
17 QB Zac Robinson OkSt
18 QB Case Keenum Hou
19 QB Colt McCoy Tex
20 QB Rudy Carpenter ArizSt
Steve Slaton provided was the topic of debate around our proverbial water cooler this week as some of us can see the Mountaineers having difficulty against a jacked-up USF defensive unit and others can see WVU slapping the Bulls back into reality. Certainly there was no way that Steve Slaton would ever depart our weekly top twenty, but he has seen a slide from his normal perch.
Look for Arkansas to make an attempt to resuscitate Darren McFadden’s Heisman campaign. Often numbers can cover up an inferior opponent and 200 and three scores against North Texas will definitely go a long way towards keeping McFadden mentioned prominently in the Heisman talk. Likewise, when McFadden needs a breather we may look at Felix Jones making a couple of appearances in the endzone.
We think Mike Hart will really like Evanston.
Kory Sheets sees his value skyrocket with Jaycen Taylor’s injury and a trip to South Bend on the horizon. It should be the Kory Sheets and Curtis Painter show before Touchdown Jesus’ watchful eye.
Look for big Jorvorskie Lane to rebound against a Baylor defense that will show little resemblance to those flying Hurricanes seen last Thursday in Miami.
Some may say that we’ve dropped P.J. Hill too far down the rankings. Yes, the Michigan State defense has shown marked improvement in the early stages of the Dantonio/Narduzzi era, however UAB, Bowling Green, Pitt and Notre Dame didn’t present the run stopping challenges as the Spartan defense will see this week in Madison.
It’s a welcome back party in Blacksburg and North Carolina is the perfect guest. Branden Ore should more like the Ore of 2006 this week.
We’re expecting Justin Forsett and Jonathan Stewart to engage in a little game of anything you can do I can do better in what should be an old-fashioned Pac-10 shootout. This one will be fun to watch.
Others to Watch
There are plenty of other options that while they come with a little bit of risk, the payoff potential is huge: Randy Kinlaw, Penn State (vs. Illinois), Cassen Jackson-Garrison, Vandy (vs. Eastern Michigan), Knowshon Moreno, Georgia (at Ole Miss), Graig Cooper, Miami (vs. Duke) and N.C State’s Andre Brown against a rather porous Louisville defensive unit.
The Florida State defensive unit has been hit hard by the injury bug, and this could make getting outside a much easier chore for Terry Grant of Alabama. A big game from the Bama back could be deemed our upset special of the week. On the otherside, Alabama's front seven starts four underclassmen which could open the door for Antone Smith to have a big day.
J.J. Bass must be licking his chops at a Nebraska run defense that is giving up 203.5 yards per game.
Rashard Mendenhall has been a fantasy stalwart this year; in fact while we expected a big year, he’s even blowing our expectations out of the water. With that said we see Mr. Mendenhall struggling as he travels to Happy Valley. Lost amidst the Mike Hart love-fest of a week ago is the number of carries it took Hart to have his big week: 44. Mendenhall will not be afforded that many ball carry opportunities. This is the time to give him a little rest.
Tulane’s Matt Forte' takes on the LSU defense, a defense which has made mincemeat out of many better backs and offensive lines. Don’t even think about starting Mr. Forte.
Keon Lattimore will struggle at Rutgers. Don’t fall into thinking that he’ll keep up with Ray Rice.
Kansas State’s James Johnson will find roaming room hard to find against the Longhorns.
Look for Ohio State to shut down any and all Minnesota backs.
I’ve given up on Chris Markey. While he appears to be a fine young man who has the occasional big game, I cannot, in good conscience, recommend you do anything but give Mr. Markey a spot on the bench.
Week Rank Pos Name School
1 RB Darren McFadden Ark
2 RB Michael Hart Mich
3 RB Ray Rice Rut
4 RB Kory Sheets Pur
5 RB Kevin Smith UCF
6 RB Eugene Jarvis KentSt
7 RB Ryan Torain ArizSt
8 RB Jorvorskie Lane TexAM
9 RB Steve Slaton WVU
10 RB Anthony Allen Louis
11 RB Marlon Lucky Neb
12 RB Justin Forsett Cal
13 RB Branden Ore VaTech
14 RB Justin Anderson NoIll
15 RB P.J. Hill Wisc
16 RB Jamaal Charles Tex
17 RB Jonathan Stewart Ore
18 RB Ian Johnson Boise
19 RB Tarrion Adams Tulsa
20 RB Kalvin McRae Ohio
There may be concern this week in Crabtree land. Will he last past the first quarter against Northwestern State, or will Mike Leach attempt to maintain Crabtree’s statistical lead at the top of all receiving categories? I don’t make many guarantees, however if Crabtree stays healthy I flat out guarantee he’ll get two scores, and while he may be pulled before the half, there is no doubt he’ll have 100 yards to go with the scores.
New Mexico State’s Chris Williams has assumed the position that we expected Jarett Dillard to occupy and he’s our clear number two WR to start this week. He’s joined in the top five by Dante Love, Dorien Bryant and Davone Bess.
While Malcolm Kelly still is a mainstay in our top ten, Mr. Iglesias is making a definite move up the board.
Two stalwarts, Percy Harvin and Harry Douglas are banged up, and while we can’t advise you to sit each just yet, please stay tuned.
We’re expecting a big Limas Sweed week that will make those owners that spent a high pick on the Texas stud to have a more optimistic view about the remainder of the season.
This may really be last-chance time for both DeSean Jackson and Mario Manningham. Each talented receiver has struggled to approach anywhere near last season’s production, and teams are growing tired of watching a top starter fail to find the endzone. While Manningham has the more favorable matchup, it wouldn’t surprise us to see Jackson break free from Oregon’s secondary on a few occasions.
Others to Watch
It's hard to pick between Blumpus and Gibson for Wazzu. We think each has big game potential against the Arizona defense.
If only Oregon State would stop throwing the ball to the other team Sammie Stroughter would be in our top ten. As it stands now we still like him this week and beyond, but oh, what could be...
Consider Cameron Colvin this week. Cal can't focus on everyone.
Trindon Holliday (is he a running back or wide receiver?) may become a regular part of the offense. He'll likely be a feast or famine fantasy player his entire career, but if you're looking to catch lightning in a bottle, he can...must have one more annoying cliche...get er done. Whew.
Many owners will likely sit Louisville’s Mario Urrutia this week, and if better options are present the roster, we can’t blame those who do. However Mario Urrutia is extremely talented and often talented wide receivers grow frustrated and bored and coaches attempt to light a fire anyway possible. Steve Kragthorpe is facing his first mini-crisis as new coach of a Louisville team that can’t stop anyone of late, and he’s decided to call out Super Mario. Certainly there is a very good chance that Urrutia will continue to struggle, but there’s also a 180 and three touchdown performance waiting to come out. Sit Urrutia if you’re loaded at the position; however don’t do so just because you feel he’s in the doghouse. Many players are regulars in a coach’s doghouse, but it’s the talented ones that still end up sleeping on the couch.
James Hardy and Darius Reynaud are both facing sound defensive units that will be hell-bent on shutting them down. I’d have an easier time sitting Hardy than I would Reynaud, but each brings his own inherent risks. We’ve got a peeved Iowa defensive unit that will look to force Indiana to run the ball, and we’ve got a South Florida team that has a sound defense. Still the USF focus has to be on the speed in the backfield, and this may make them susceptible to big plays by Reynaud.
Erik Decker and Ernie Wheelwright have been bright spots this season despite the Gophers’ struggle. Meanwhile Ohio State has gotten better and better in the first month. The Gophers are going to get beat up this week.
We’d love to hear from anyone who started Duke’s Eron Riley last week. While many may start and pick him up this week, trust us, it won’t be the same.
Week Rank Pos Name School
1 WR Michael Crabtree TexTech
2 WR Chris Williams NMSU
3 WR Dante Love BallSt
4 WR Dorien Bryant Pur
5 WR Davone Bess Haw
6 WR Ryan Grice-Mullen Haw
7 WR Keenan Burton Ky
8 WR Malcolm Kelly Ok
9 WR Michael Thomas Ariz
10 WR Earl Bennett Vandy
11 WR Limas Sweed Tex
12 WR Brian Robiskie OhioSt
13 WR Harry Douglas Louis
14 WR Percy Harvin Fl
15 WR Maurice Purify Neb
16 WR Danny Amendola TexTech
17 WR Jaison Williams Ore
18 WR Brandon Gibson WashSt
19 WR Michael Bumpus WashSt
20 WR Tiquan Underwood Rut
Big names from the Big Ten, Keller and Beckum, are joined by stalwarts Darius Hill and Gary Barnidge at the top of our list. We even have Bear Pascoe up there.
Others to Watch
You may notice that two of last week’s top tight ends, Fred Davis and Kellen Davis both miss out on the top ten. This doesn’t mean they’re not viable starting options. Rather, we see them struggling a little bit to match their output of a week ago. I’ve got a feeling that Brent Miller will score once against Stanford.
Not too many tight ends are ever listed on our sit list however keep in mind that starting lineup regulars such as Chase Coffman, Martin Rucker, Chris Brown and Derek Fine are all on the bye this week.
Week Rank Pos Name School
1 TE Darius Hill BallSt
2 TE Gary Barnidge Louis
3 TE Dustin Keller Pur
4 TE Bear Pascoe Fresno
5 TE Brandon Pettigrew OkSt
6 TE Martellus Bennett TexAM
7 TE Travis Beckum Wisc
8 TE Andrew Quarless PennSt
9 TE Jermaine Gresham Ok
10 TE Jacob Tamme Ky
As if ranking kickers weren’t difficult enough, now we’ve got some kickers taking over-the-head flips, turning the corner, and sprinting to the endzone. Eventually my colleague Alex will likely develop a program to measure which kickers are likely to take a flip, hand out or botched snap to the house. Until then you’re stuck with my inferior attempts to determine who’s going to kick a bunch of field goals this week:
Texas’ Ryan Bailey could be looking a plenty of opportunities in Manhattan and Colt David of LSU may see carries against Tulane, and this would certainly assist his potential for points. And yes, I’m kidding that Colt David will line up at RB…it’s all a part of my pitiful sense of humor.
Others to Watch
The rest of our start list contains the usual suspects, such as Rutgers’ Jeremy Ito, Garrett Hartley of Oklahoma and Alex Tricla of Texas Tech.
Remember the formula for starting kickers: Guys on bad teams who are playing good defensive teams shouldn’t be in your starting lineup. At this point there are really no apparent weather conditions to concern ourselves with, so keep riding your kicker who’s been the most productive.
Week Rank Pos Name School
1 K Ryan Bailey Tex
2 K Colt David LSU
3 K Jeremy Ito Rut
4 K Garrett Hartley Ok
5 K Dan Kelly Haw
6 K Sinisa Vrvilo BGSU
7 K Alex Trlica TexTech
8 K Chris Summers Pur
9 K Alex Tejada Ark
10 K Ryan Pretorius OhioSt
The one stunning member of week five top ten is the Pitt Panther defensive unit. This inclusion has a great deal to do with their underrated performance, but it also has a great deal to do with the fact that we’re non-believers in the Al Groh way. In fact, this game is a grudge match between former AFC East coaching legends. Maybe Rich Kotite will be in the stands to watch the epic battle.
Others to Watch
While it would have been at the season’s beginning to predict Cincinnati would be at the number two defensive spot in week five, this is a clear case of a team gelling quickly and exceeding expectations.
The rest of the top ten are the usual suspects of speedy, bone-crushing defensive units that will likely make life hell for opposing quarterbacks. LSU, TCU, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech will be mainstays for the great remainder of the season.
A few units stand out as ones to avoid this week, and they’re led by the Louisville Cardinals. If you’re still considering the Louisville defense then it may be time to consider another weekend pastime, because college fantasy football may not be your thing. The other defenses to avoid aren’t necessarily horrible, however there is potential that each unit could, I repeat could, be torched at various points this weekend. Among this list we have Ohio State taking on a dangerous Minnesota defense, Miami taking on a confident (I know…) Duke squad, Iowa preparing to do battle with Kellen Lewis and USF welcoming West Virginia.
Week Rank Pos School
1 D LSU
2 D TCU
3 D Boston College
4 D Cincinnati
5 D Oklahoma
6 D Virginia Tech
7 D Texas
8 D Georgia
9 D Florida
10 D Pittsburgh
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