What a weekend my friends. Sure we had to sit though a couple of craporamas on Thursday night, but once things started rolling they didn't stop. And only after Miami kept Florida State out of the endzone on Labor Day evening were we finally able to catch our breath. Of course, it wasn't all puppy dogs and rainbows, as the injury bug sent some stars to the infirmary, and a Clubber Lang impression sent our top BCS tailback to the bench for good. We hope the losses of Jermaine Gresham, LeGarrette Blount and Andre Debose aren't signs of things to come.
Week two certainly presents some tasty fantasy matchups, highlighted by the Houston Cougars' visit to Stillwater to tackle the Cowboys. Most football fans may have their eyes glued to Columbus, but games like Clemson at Georgia Tech, SMU at UAB, Air Force at Minnesota, Rice at Texas Tech, Kansas at UTEP and Purdue at Oregon all present considerable fantasy intrigue; in fact each brings more fantasy potential than the colossal battle between the Buckeyes and Trojans. What am I trying to tell you? That for the 156 consecutive football weekend you have no excuse but to watch nothing but college football all day and night on Saturday.
And all week one has done is fire me up even more for this weekend's action. In fact I'm so jacked that I just want to dance around the office...
Again for those that just walked in: the purpose of the Start and Sit is to choose players of comparable standing and name those that I feel will exceed expectations and those that may struggle this week. (Also keep in mind that the views expressed by Brian McDonald in no way reflect the views of his colleagues...this despite his stellar week one effort).
Pretty pleased with last week's performance. Starting quarterbacks, even with Andy Schmitt's miserable night, averaged 31.3 points while the QB sits could only muster 15 points. Tailbacks, led by the brilliant choice of Montel Harris, led the starts to a 19.25 to 10 win over the sits. Not even C.J. Spiller's goose egg (we don't count kick returns) could hold me back. Wide receivers, with Freddie Barnes leading the way, nearly doubled up the sits with an average output of 14 to 7. Only my tight end starts, who posted a paltry 1.5 points, lost to the tight end sits, who check in with a robust 2.5.
A nice beginning...but I can do better.
Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
Only took one game for me to jump on the bandwagon. Gabbert was flat out impressive in the opener against Illinois and he'll only gain more confidence against Bowling Green, a team that held Troy in check, but did allow 263 yards passing.
Gabbert goes for 300-3.
Greg Alexander, Hawaii
It's always a risky prop to place too much stock in a Hawaii player once he leaves the island, but I have complete and unwavering faith in the Washington State defense. Coming off a whupping at the hands of Stanford they'll be expecting a little break with the Warriors in town...and they'll be wrong.
Greg McElroy, Alabama
Last week wasn't always pretty, but playing against the Virginia Tech defense can rarely be described as a nice little treat. McElroy did what Bama quarterbacks do, he managed the game. Now with Julio Jones back to health and an overmatched opponent on tap, I look for the Tide signal caller to post un-Tide-like signal caller numbers.
Austin Davis, Southern Miss
We have Austin Davis rated as the 8th best fantasy quarterback this weekend, and I'm just not seeing it. Nothing against Davis, a very nice talent, but Central Florida is not Alcorn State. DeAndre Brown is not to full strength, and George O'Leary will have his defense ready to put up a fight. No way Davis comes close to a 36-point week.
Jeremiah Masoli, Oregon
My colleague Alex likes Masoli this week while I'm just not seeing this one either. I just can't move past last week's outing at Boise and pretend that all is good. While not a top conference team, Purdue is from the Big Ten, a league that knows a thing or two about slopping a game up a little bit. Look for a game with much less scoring than people anticipate, and look for Masoli to again let down his fantasy owners.
Kellen Moore, Boise State
Going with the letdown play here. It'll be tough for Boise to get up following their huge win over Oregon, and Miami (OH) will do enough to frustrate Moore a little bit. Will it stop him from posting decent numbers? No. But I don't see Moore producing a top-twelve fantasy performance against the Redhawks.
Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh
139 yards from scrimmage and three scores can be deemed a good freshman start. Now Lewis leads the Panthers to Buffalo, where the Bulls will look to make Pitt beat them with the pass. Bill Stull does enough to keep them honest, freeing this phenom up for some big runs.
Shane Vereen, Cal
This writer thinks that Shane Vereen is simply going to be too hard to keep off the field in 2009. Backing up Jahvid Best against Maryland last week, Vereen was a threat on the ground and through the air. Best will wow Eastern Washington with his speed, and then Tedford will give them a dose of his talented backup.
Chris Brown, Oklahoma
I absolutely love Chris Brown this week. Angry team looking to take out some aggression being led by an inexperienced quarterback = a whole bunch of running yards. Idaho State doesn't deserve what they're going to get on Saturday, but as William Munny once said, "Deserve has got nothing to do with it."
Frank Goodin, Louisiana-Monroe
Mr. Goodin will find it much easier to run against Texas Southern than he did The University of Texas at Austin. Running behind an overmatched offensive line, Goodin was still able to post 60 yards rushing on 15 carries, including a touchdown against the Longhorns. Look for much better numbers in week two.
Cam Montgomery, North Texas
When I think North Texas I don't think of running backs. Instead I think of passing yards posted when they're way behind. Montgomery, coming off a 156-1 performance last week, welcomes Ohio to town, and yes, Ohio allowed 259 rushing yards in the loss to UConn. But North Texas is not UConn. The Bobcats will not see a better ground game this season, and they will keep Cam Montgomery under control.
Ralph Bolden, Purdue
We missed our chance. And by we, I mean myself included. Thinking he'd blow up against Western Michigan, I decided to start Carlos Brown instead of Bolden in my Big Ten league. My team is so stacked I still took care of business, but there's still a scar. Bolden will be a good back, and he'll have a very nice season. However he'll face an Oregon defense that will make Joey Elliott beat them.
Joe McKnight, USC
It finally appears that Joe McKnight is starting to break out... and I advise you sit him. Ohio State is going to make like Oregon, and force the quarterback to beat them. Look for the Buckeyes to stack the line and dare Matt Barkley.
Juan Nunez, Western Michigan
Western Michigan is a better offense than what we saw last week; it just so happens that Michigan is a much better defense than Indiana. Nunez may still be out there in some leagues; nab him and start him.
Brandon Banks, Kansas State
Banks was frustrated with his inability to make plays last week, as he blamed it on the extra attention teams are now paying to him. With the emergence of Daniel Thomas it's going to be more difficult to keep the ball from Banks. Look for him to touch the ball in a variety of ways against Louisiana-Lafayette, and look for a couple of trips to the house.
Carlton Mitchell, South Florida
Last week Tennessee put a nice hurting on Western Kentucky, and this week it'll be South Florida's turn. Carlton Mitchell is a super talent, and it's time for a big breakout performance. Matt Grothe will look deep on a few occasions, and he'll find his 6-4 speedy target a couple of times.
Stephen Williams, Toledo
Dan Hawkins will have the Buffaloes ready for the trip to Toledo...he better have. Following an ugly home loss to Colorado State the Buffs find their backs firmly up against the wall, and Hawkins finds his seat getting warmer. The key to stopping Toledo is pressuring Aaron Opelt and keeping the ball from Williams. I think Colorado does enough to leave owners of Williams disappointed.
Terrance Toliver, LSU
Sure Toliver had a very nice week out in Seattle, however he'll return home to find a Vandy defense that is much more aggressive and talented than the Huskies. Don't get caught up in Toliver's 4-117-2 from week one. While he's still a very good receiver likely in the midst of a breakout season, this is still LSU, a run-first program, we're talking about.
Jeremy Williams, Tulane
BYU is just different. For every other team in the country the week following a huge win over Oklahoma would spell L-E-T-D-O-W-N. Not for these veteran Cougars. Knowing full well that a win over Oklahoma would put them in the race for a big prize at the end this is a team that realizes the importance of coming up big weekly. The defense will not be looking ahead to Florida State; they'll be ready to stop Tulane. Williams and his teammates struggle.
Start Em (A four-pack)
Shamar Graves, Rutgers
Jeron Mastrud, Kansas State
George Bryan, North Carolina State
Michael Hoomanawanui, Illinois
Sit Em (a four-pack)
Charlie Gantt, Michigan State
Luke Stocker, Tennessee
Josh LeDuc, Eastern Michigan
Jimmy Scheidler, Bowling Green
Don't get caught up in the hype of the so-called "big games" this weekend. Fantastic football is plentiful in week two; you just need to be an astute fantasy owner to find it.