Binge & Purge: Part IX
The normal Saturday Rewind piece has been put on hold as CFFinsider staff writer Brian McDonald is still recovering from running in his first marathon (or what I like to call mild-life-crises-athon) he ran earlier today. So we are fast-forwarding right to the Binge and Purge feature this week. Literally, here we go…
QB Michael Machen, Baylor - Unfortunately Blake Szymanski’s concussion issues forced a quarterback switch for Guy Morriss that was likely in the works anyway. Machen will face the same issues that Szymanski dealt with in that he’s only a viable starting option when Baylor is playing a mediocre to inferior opponent, and not many teams fit that category. Of the four remaining games on the Bears’ schedule only games against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State could see significant production. Still, the offense is conducive to quarterback success, and if somewhat desperate, Machen could be worth a flyer.
QB Chase Clement, Rice - Chase may have been dumped by fantasy owners after a number of sub-par performances early in the year. The schedule is getting much friendlier for the Rice Owls and Clement is starting to find his groove with back-to-back games with at least three touchdown passes, and this includes five last week against Memphis.
QB Rusty Smith, Florida Atlantic - I can’t say I know a whole lot about Rusty and the mighty Owls. But this much I do know, Rusty has two straight games with at least three touchdown passes and FAU has Louisiana Monroe up next. Louisiana Monroe is giving up 251 yards through the air and 31 points per game.
QB Josh Freeman, Kansas State - I don’t know if I would say that Freeman has officially arrived after his 404-yard passing day against Oklahoma State, but I’m once again looking at the future schedule here. Kansas State plays Baylor, Iowa State and Nebraska the next three weeks. If your quarterback spot is battered and bruised, the young Freeman could be your answer until your quarterbacks get healthy.
QB Matt Flynn, LSU - Flynn has been unspectacular so far this season. That changed last night Saturday night when he found Demetrius Byrd in the corner of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown against Auburn. But that is not why I list him here this week. First off, Flynn finally looks healthy for the first time this year. Second he went 22-of-34 for 300+ yards and three scores against a very good Auburn defense. Finally, and most importantly, Early Doucet looks to be back and his presence Saturday night was an obvious boost to the LSU passing game.
QB Todd Boeckman, Ohio State - I thought I mentioned Boekmann last week, but a quick scan of last weeks write-up and see that I missed him. Boeckman didn't have an eye-popping statistical day against the Spartans on Saturday, but he was efficient. In fact he has been just that all year long throwing for roughly two touchdowns and 200 yards in every game this year. If you need some stability or a reliable back-up, Boeckman could be your guy.
RB Luke Lippincott, Nevada - Still haven’t grabbed Luke? Well shame on you and shame on me for not picking him up last week as well. Evident by his 40 touches against Utah State, the Nevada offense runs through Lippincott and he’s been very productive. 911 yards and nine scores is very impressive, and with remaining games against Idaho, New Mexico State, Hawaii, San Jose State and Louisiana Tech, Lippincott could be in for 1400+ and 15 by the time it’s all said and done.
RB Gartrell Johnson, Colorado State - Johnson is providing evidence to all as to why he’s supplanted Kyle Bell as the Rams’ number one back. Johnson’s 6.5 ypc and 162 total yards for two scores show a breakaway ability that Bell simply can’t provide. He’s playing for a lousy team, but even lousy teams have long runs from scrimmage.
LATE ADD RB Jeremy Avery, Boise State - Jeremy Avery filled in for starter Ian Johnson (bruised kidney) last week and accounted of 189 total yards against Louisiana Tech. We were impressed with Avery after the first game of the season. But at that time it was Ian Johnson's so show we filled him away as a potential back for next year. Now the Johnson is likely out for at least the Fresno State game, he is one to consider on the waiver wire. He will also make an excellent keeper selection.
RB Josh Adams, Wake Forest - Adams is quietly grabbing a hold of the Wake Forset running back position. Two weeks ago he scampered for an 83-yard touchdown against Florida State. This week he proved that the long run wasn't just a fluke rushing 27 times for 131 yards and a score.
RB Ryan Mathews, Fresno State - Ryan Matthews is a true freshman, and he’s playing like a seasoned veteran. Matthews ran for 144 yards and two scores, thus giving him nine on the season. Even more impressive is the fact that Matthews has run for seven scores over the past three games. Provided Matthews doesn’t hit the freshman wall, he’s certainly worth a shot, and if you’re in a keeper league grab him now!
RB Jimmy Jackson, Missouri - Pending Tony Temple’s status, Jackson could be a solid acquisition. Jackson put up three scores in the Tigers’ impressive win over Texas Tech, and while this shouldn’t be expected at any point again this season, the Mizzou junior could give steady production if Temple remains out for a peroid of time.
RB Carlos Brown, UofM - Obviously this pick-up depends largely on the health of Mike Hart and fellow back-up tailback Brandon Minor. I was shocked that Hart didn’t play at least a dozen snaps last week. Obviously Michigan felt they needed to rest Hart for the stretch run and with Minnesota coming to Ann Arbor this week, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hart sat for another week. Which would give Brown and/or Minor another start this week. You should also consider both Brown and Minor in keeper leagues as well. Although I will warn that there is an incoming running back recruit heading to Ann Arbor that we’ll be taking about in the coming months.
RB Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech – We mentioned Dwyer the last time Choice went down and we’ll do it again. Until we know for sure what the status of Choice is, we suggest grabbing one of his back-ups as insurance. Unlike last time however, Dwyer is not alone as Rashaun Grant and Jamaal Evans could be in the mix. Still we think Dwyer has the most upside.
RB Mikell Simpson, Virginia - Yet another back getting an opportunity because of injury. In Cedric Peerman's absence last week Simpson rushed for 119 yards and two scores. He also caught 13 passes for 152 yards. Obviously Simpson's value this week hinges on Peerman's status, who could be out again this week versus North Carolina State.
WR/RB Chad Hall, Air Force – We mentioned him last week, and he is worth mentioning again. Hall once again rushed for over 160 yards last Saturday. If your league still lists him as a wide receiver you need to take advantage of this quirk.
WR Aaron Kelly, Clemson – Kelly is quietly turning into one of the top wide receiver threats in the ACC. Kelly has scored at least once in 5/7 games this year. So while others are worried about what running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller are (or aren’t doing), pick-up Kelly and shore up your receiving corps.
WR Jeremy Trimble, Army – I’ve ignored Trimble for several weeks now, but I can’t do it any longer. Trimble has four straight games with at least one touchdown. This is including four catches for 83 yards and a score against Georgia Tech last week. Yes, you are reading this correctly, he plays for Army.
WR Travis Brown, New Mexico – The Lobos' offense runs through tailback Rodney Ferguson. But we need to point out that Brown has back-to-back games with over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown. Brown has also scored at least one touchdown in 4 of 7 games this year.
QB Willie Tuitama, Arizona – Is it time to cut bait on Willie and the Wildcats? We were banking on the Arizona offense rebounding last Saturday against the Stanford Cardinal, but that didn't happen. At least not for Tuitama who has posted three straight sub-par fantasy weeks in a row. It’s time to move Tuitama to the emergency start column of your roster.
QB C.J. Bacher, Northwestern – Last week reminded us that Bacher and his collection of wide receivers are not ready for every-week starts. I don’t know if Bacher & Company were sleepwalking through their game at Ford Field last Friday night against Eastern Michigan, but take away the late 4th quarter touchdown to Kim Thompson and Bacher would have left fantasy owners hanging in the wind. Bacher is a good back-up quarterback to plug in when your main starter has a bye or has a tough defensive match-up. But don’t pin your hopes on the Wildcat quarterback every week.
QB Chris Nickson, Vanderbilt and Blake Szymanski, Baylor – If you were holding onto one of these quarterbacks in hopes of getting a spot start out of either of them down the road, don’t hold your breath. Whether it is due to injury or by design, both teams appear to be going in another direction at quarterback. While both will likely see time under center this year, at best your probably looking at split quarterback situations at both schools.
RB Kyle Bell, Colorado State - Gartrell Johnson makes our binge list so it is only natural that Bell makes our purge list.
RB Ian Johnson, Boise State – I wouldn’t suggest dropping him, but a bruised kidney certainly doesn’t sound good. Johnson is expected to miss the Fresno State this Friday, and I would start putting together a contingency plan just in case he is out longer than people are expecting.
RB Jamaal Charles, Texas – Charles was well on his way to very good year until he was bitten by the fumble bug that has plagued a number of backs this year. For the second straight week Charles saw limited carries and other backs were worked into the Texas offense. Charles is still the Longhorns number one rushing option, but his ceiling is not as high as it was just three weeks ago.
RB Anthony Allen, Louisville – Even though there have no confirmed reports that Allen is being nagged by some sort of injury, I still believe something's not right. Either way he is not getting the touches that he was early in the year and Louisville seems content on running their offense through Brian Brohm’s arm. I wouldn’t start Allen until we see his carries increase.
WR Earl Bennett, Vanderbilt – Earl is the biggest loser in the quarterback shuffle at Vanderbilt. Mackenzi Adams appears to have taken over the quarterback job and he is more of a runner than Nickson. Nickson is more of a passer but has been struggling of late. All this adds up and it's bad news for Bennett owners.
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