CFB Fantasy: Week 7 Start or Sit
Should you start Denard Robinson? What about John Clay?
By: Braden Gall | 10/15/10, 5:02 PM EDT
Each week, Athlon will take a deeper look at the fantasy match-ups that affect your lineup. Some players will deserve a second look from managers while others could create some concern. Check out Athlon's College Fantasy Start or Sit for Week 7:
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QB — Deserves A Second Look
Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech (Wake Forest)
The first four weeks of the year, Taylor was solid yet uninspiring. But the last two weeks have been exceptional. He topped the 30-TFP mark in both games and got his legs working again. He has rushed for 248 yards and 2 TDs in his last two games, and Wake Forest shouldn't be able to slow him at all. The Deacs ranks 106th in scoring defense (35 ppg) and 102nd in total defense (429 ypg).
Aaron Murray, Georgia (Vanderbilt)
The Drew Brees look-alike has been an intriguing fantasy option since his first career college game against UL-Lafayette (27.6 TFP). Against rival Tennessee last week, Murray posted his most productive outing of his career with 4 total TDs and 34.74 TFP. Vandy ranks 9th in the SEC in pass defense, total defense and scoring defense and 11th in rushing defense. Murray should be needed throughout and will make a few big plays again this week.
Ricky Dobbs, Navy (SMU)
After a record-breaking season a year ago, the Navy signal caller has been a disappointment. Fantasy weeks of 13.22, 13.76 and 6.42 finally gave way to his big game a week ago — 32.76 TFP against Wake Forest. This could be a high-scoring contrast of offensive styles in which both QBs are successful. This was a 73-pt overtime affair last season in which Dobbs rushed for 89 yards and 2 TDs.
Nathan Enderle, Idaho (@ Louisiana Tech)
A slow start against teams like Nebraska might have pushed the massive passer out of fantasy owners mind, but strong back-to-back weeks have him back on the scene. He has 727 passing yards and 6 TDs in his last two games. Louisiana Tech has struggled to stop opponents, giving up 434 ypg (107th nationally) — most of which is passing at 260 ypg (106th).
Jordan Wynn, Utah (@ Wyoming)
Wynn came back from injury last week (against my fantasy advice) to perform very well against ISU. He completed 23 of 31 passes for 325 yards and a pair of scoring tosses. The Wyoming game last season was his first action of his career and he hasn't looked back since. Expect a nice outing against the nation's 116th ranked total defense and 97th ranked scoring defense.
QB — Better Think Twice
Denard Robinson, Michigan (Iowa)
This is the question of the week. Do you play the nation's No. 1 fantasy player against what could be the nation's No. 1 defense? Robinson hit his first speed bump last week against the Spartans (under 100 yards rushing and 3 INTs) but still managed a quality 24.2 TFP. I have him in both of my leagues (I have to play him in one) and have yet to decide between him and Tyrod Taylor in my 120-league. All he has to do is break one run, throw for 200-yards and he likely tops the 20-pt mark. This call will largely depend on who else you have on your roster. How do you pull the No. 1 player out of the lineup? Only you can make that call — and it will be entirely a gut feeling.
Dwight Dasher, Middle Tennessee (@ Georgia Tech)
Dasher struggled against Middle's archrival Troy last week. Yet, he still scored two rushing TDs and nearly got to 200 yards passing in his first action of the season. After this week, he is all systems go into the Sun Belt schedule, but Georgia Tech is a different story. The Jackets have improved their play defensively slightly over the last two. They allowed 107 and 239 yards passing respectively in their last two without allowing a TD pass. Dasher might score late, but you might want to look elsewhere this week.
Blaine Gabbert vs. Jerrod Johnson (Missouri @ Texas A&M)
These are two of biggest fantasy disappointments thus far in the season. Gabbert has topped the 20-TFP mark only once this season and clearly misses his running game. Johnson has thrown 9 INTs in his last three games. He did put up 409 yards and 5 TDs against Oklahoma State but struggled mightly against Florida International and Arkansas. Mizzou is ranked 3rd nationally in scoring defense and 7th in pass efficiency D while TAMU is 3rd in the Big 12 in total defense and will eliminate the Tigers rushing attack. This game could go low scoring or shootout, but the inconsistency of both QBs makes me nervous.
Christian Ponder, Florida State (Boston College)
Again, Ponder has largely been a fantasy disappoinment. He has not topped the 23 TFP mark yet and has two poor outings in a row (even in wins) with 12.58 and 15.42 TFP in his last two. The Eagles did give up huge stats to Russell Wilson but stymied Dayne Crist and Tyrod Taylor as well. The Noles have turned to the ground game of late, and I expect that storyline to play itself out again this week.
RB — Deserves A Second Look
Damien Berry, Miami (@ Duke)
Berry has emerged as the go-to back for the Canes recently. He toted the rock 20 times for 108 yards and a TD last week (no other back got more than 4 carries). In fact, Berry has topped the 20-carry mark in each of his last three games, scoring twice and topping 100 yards twice. Duke has been terrible against the run — 107th nationally. They also rank 115th in scoring defense.
Jermaine Thomas, Florida State (Boston College)
Yes, BC has been solid agianst the run, but FSU has reinvented itself as a power ground team of late. They rushed the ball 40 times last week in a blowout win over Miami. They handed it off 42 times against UVa the week before that. The numbers were 39 carries for 201 yards against Wake before that. Thomas has been the lead back in all three. He has reached paydirt five times over the last two games, and I expect him to get a nice workload this weekend.
Johnny White, North Carolina (@ Virginia)
This section has a distinct ACC flavor, too, doesn't it? The Tar Heels running back is coming into his own as a fantasy option lately. He was steadily consistent for three straight games before his breakout performance last weekend. He carried the ball 22 times, scored twice and caught 6 passes for 90 yards for a 32.9 TFP week. Virginia has struggled to stop the run as they rank 109th nationally at over 210 rush yards allowed per game.
Cierre Wood, Notre Dame (Western Michigan)
Starting tailback Armando Allen is a game time decision with a banged up hip, so keep a keen eye on this one right up until kickoff. If Allen does not play, Wood (and maybe Robert Hughes) should get a good, long look this weekend. Wood has burst and explosion that the other ND backs don't have. Western Michigan should be no match for whoever carries the ball this weekend, and no matter what the new Irish unis look like.
Keola Antolin, Arizona (@ Washington State)
This is a deep sleeper reach (along with Greg Nwoko as well) for this weekend. Wazzu ranks 120th in total defense (that is last for those of you who can't count), 118th in scoring defense and 120th in rushing defense. Nic Grigsby might not be needed too much so Antolin could see plenty of work in the second half.
Eric Williams, Ball State (Eastern Michigan)
The Cardinals backfield is crowded, but all of them have a chance to excel this weekend. Williams has by far the most carries (72) of any BSUer this fall and has reached double-digit attempts in every game this fall. He also leads the team in rushing TDs as he has scored in the last two games. EMU is ranked 118th in rush defense, 117th in total defense and 119th in scoring defense.
RB — Better Think Twice
John Clay and James White, Wisconsin (Ohio State)
The Buckeyes boast arguably the best defensive line in the nation, and they have done very well against the Badgers of late. They allowed 118 yards on 44 carries (2.6 ypc) in the Shoe last year. They allowed slightly more — 179 yards on 39 carries (4.5 ypc) — in Madison two years ago. No back topped 100-yards in either game and UW scored a total of 30 points in those two games. Clay might reach paydirt and the 70-80 yard mark, but his upside is seriously limited.
Brandon Bolden, Ole Miss (@ Alabama)
The Hotty Toddy tailback has been excellent of late — 336 yards and 3 TDs in his last two. This is still Alabama, though, despite their struggles on defense last weekend. But that was a perfect storm of emotions and talent (Mr. Lattimore). Expect Bama to bounce back this week. Under Saban in three contests against Ole Miss, Bama's defense has allowed 1 total rushing TD and rush totals of 351 yards on 89 carries for 3.9 ypc. The Rebels have averaged 15 ppg against Saban in those three.
Dion Lewis and Ray Graham, Pitt (@ Syracuse)
Notre Dame is nothing too special on defense, and the Irish choked out the Pitt rushing attack for 110 yards on 31 carries last week. The carries seem to be split, and if you remove the 277-3 outburst by Graham against FIU two week ago, these two have combined for 463 rushing yards and 4 TDs in 7 total games. Add to it that the Orange are seriously improved on defense — 11th nationally in scoring defense (14 ppg) and 15th in total defense (284 ypg) — and you have the makings of a murky fantasy situation.
Montel Harris, Boston College (@ Florida State)
The Noles, after the Oklahoma debacle, have shown marked improvement on defense. They have allowed a total of 41 points in four games since with no team scoring more than 17 points (Miami last week). FSU currently ranks 12th nationally in rush defense and 16th in scoring defense. The bigger issue is Harris' own struggles. He has not scored a TD since Week 1 and has 81 rushing yards in his last two games combined — against Notre Dame and NC State.
WR — Deserves A Second Look
Josh Gordon, Baylor (@ Colorado)
Big play threat has scored in four straight and has 257 total yds in last two games.
Jeremy Kerley, TCU (BYU)
The Cougars have struggled mightily, so triple-threat has a good chance to score.
Jarvis Williams, NC State (@ East Carolina)
Has scored in 3 straight and has caught at least 4 passes in 4 straight games.
Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and Marvin McNutt, Iowa (@ Michigan)
DJK has scored in 3 in a row, and Michigan ranks 119th in pass defense.
WR — Better Think Twice
Julio Jones, Alabama (Ole Miss)
Hand injury should limit effectiveness — if he plays at all.
Robert Woods, USC (@ Cal)
Cannot expect a repeat of massive performance last weekend.
Conner Vernon and Donovan Varner, Duke (Miami, Fla.)
Canes are No. 5 nationally in pass efficiency D and 4th in total pass defense.
Top 10 DEF/ST Spot Starts:
1. Florida State (Boston College)
2. Utah (@ Wyoming)
3. Virginia Tech (Wake Forest)
4. NC State (@ East Carolina)
5. Miami, Fla. (@ Duke)
6. Ohio (Akron)
7. Southern Miss (@ Memphis)
8. Temple (Bowling Green)
9. Rutgers (Army — Meadowlands)
10. South Carolina (@ Kentucky)
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