CFB: Start or Sit Week 5
Against Washington State, Jonathan Franklin is a must-start this week.
By: Braden Gall | 10/1/10, 6:29 PM EDT
Each week, Athlon will take a deeper look at the fantasy match-ups that effect 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 5:
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There should be a few obvious themes developing this week. Teams with excellent matchups — like Mississippi State (Alcorn State) and UCLA (Washington State) — should find themselves well represented at nearly every position this week.
QB — Deserves A Second Look
Ryan Colburn, Fresno State (Cal Poly)
It was largely because the Bulldogs were way out of the game last week, but Colburn posted an excellent fantasy week on the road against an SEC team. He completed 32 passes for 390 yards and 4 TDs against Ole Miss last week and has a 9:2 TD:INT rate thus far in three games. Cal Poly should not be able to slow the Fresno attack this week.
Steven Threet, Arizona State (@ Oregon State)
Despite the loss, Threet posted adequate fantasy stats last week against Oregon. He threw the ball 53 times against the Ducks and is fourth in the nation in passing attempts (156). Oregon State has struggled to slow the pass — they are allowing 252 ypg through the air and even allowed a 288-yard performance to Adam Froman of Louisville. Give the former Georgia Tech, former Michigan product a chance this week.
Ryan Radcliff, Central Michigan (Ball State)
The Chips passer trails only Alex Carder in total offense in the MAC. He is averaging 285 yards per game and posted a quality 347-2 line in a Big Ten stadium last week. He is no Dan LeFevour, as his -20 rushing yards will attest, but his passing stats aren't too much worse than the former fantasy stud from CMU.
Austin Dantin, Toledo (Wyoming)
Dantin might be considered a bit underwhelming in the passing statistics category considering what his predecessor Aaron Opelt did for the Rockets last year. However, when you toss in the 137 rush yards and 4 TDs on the ground, his numbers start to look much better. He is getting nearly 14 carries per game. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are 111th in total defense (466 ypg) and 96th in scoring defense (31 ppg).
Much deeper plays at QB:
Chris Relf, Mississippi State (Alcorn State)
Adam Froman, Louisville (@ Arkansas State)
Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois (@ Akron)
Tarik Hakmi, Louisiana Tech (@ Hawaii)
Adam Weber, Minnesota (Northwestern)
QB — Better Think Twice
John Brantley, Florida (@ Alabama)
This is turning into a regular segment for Think Twice. Brantley finally topped the 200-yard mark passing last week, but the emergence of Trey Burton — and his TD vulturing skills — has clouded Brantley's value around the goal line. And playing in Tuscaloosa at night is always a breeze, right?
Taylor Potts, Texas Tech (@ Iowa State)
This may seem like a strange spot to see Potts here considering his start to the season — 633 yards and 7 TD through two games. Yet, Potts struggled mightily against Texas, and the rushing game hasn't helped him once this season (116th nationally). Iowa State has actually been pretty stingy in defending the pass; they rank 10th in the nation at 143 ypg. At home, ISU has allowed a total of 267 yards, 0 TDs and 6 INTs in two games. Also, Coach Tuberville came out this week with some mysterious comments about working Steven Sheffield into the mix as well. Maybe look for a more dependable option this week.
Dominique Davis, East Carolina (North Carolina)
Despite all of the issues Butch Davis has had on defense, the Tar Heels still rank admirably against the pass. They are allowing 128 ypg through the air, fourth-best nationally. And UNC should be able to move the ball on offense, controlling the clock and hopefully keeping the ECU offense on the sidelines.
Tricky head-to-heads that make me nervous:
Andrew Luck vs. Darron Thomas (Stanford @ Oregon)
The crowd noise and injuries for Stanford make this an interesting match-up for what should be the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft next April. Thomas has played very well under fire this year, but this Cardinal defense is much better than people think. It is very tough to bench these two but the gut feeling says the upside is limited for both.
Jacory Harris vs. Kyle Parker (Miami @ Clemson)
This was a high scoring affair last year, but it took a furious comeback from Parker and C.J. Spiller to get the win last year in Miami. Harris threw 3 INTs against what was a loaded defensive secondary last year, and that group might actually be improved this year. Parker tweaked his back two weeks ago and should be fine to go, but without Spiller, Jacoby Ford and much help on the outside, he should take a major step back from his 326-3 line from last year. It was his single best career game, and he hasn't come close to 300 yards since (he has only topped 200 four times since). The Canes defense also looked very improved last weekend against Pitt.
Garrett Gilbert vs. Landry Jones (Texas vs. Oklahoma)
Colt McCoy and Jones combined for 377 yards, 2 TDs and 3 INTs in this game last year, and Gilbert has not proven yet that he is anything close to the winningest quarterback in NCAA history. Yes, both defenses have struggled at times this season, but you can bet they will play their best this weekend. This game is probably closer to the 45-35 game from two years ago than the 16-13 2009 edition, so Jones might be okay to play. But Gilbert is nowhere near my starting lineup.
RB — Deserves A Second Look
Johnathan Franklin, UCLA (Washington State)
Few players have had a stronger last two weeks in the nation than Franklin. He rolled up 158 yards against Houston before dropping 118 on Texas last week. He scored four times in those two games, and Washington State is certainly not on the same level defensively as the Longhorns. This is a must-start.
Demetris Murray, South Florida (Florida Atlantic)
Skip Holtz has increased Murray's carries in each of the Bulls three games this year, culminating in a very effective 15-carry, 115-yard effort last week. He looks like he has separated himself from the rest of the USF runners and should have plenty of room this weekend against the nation's single worst rush defense — they are allowing over 275 ypg on the ground.
JJ Di Luigi, BYU (@ Utah State)
Against some pretty solid competition, Di Luigi has had an excellent start to the year. He has rushed for 322 yards and a pair of TDs while getting plenty of looks in the passing game. He has caught 18 passes for 200 yards and another score. Utah State is ranked 101st in scoring defense (32.5 ppg) and 88th in total defense (395 ypg).
Look to the SEC this week for RB help:
Vick Ballard, Mississippi State (Alcorn State)
He has scored in every game this year, and Alcorn should be no match.
Micheal Dyer, Auburn (UL Monroe)
Beginning to separate himself as the feature back following first career 100-yd effort.
Stevan Ridley, LSU (Tennessee)
The one thing LSU has done right on offense this year is hand him the ball.
Brandon Bolden, Ole Miss (Kentucky)
Posted huge 228-yard, 3 total TD game last week against Fresno State.
Other strong match-ups:
Zach Line, SMU (@ Rice)
The big power back should be able to rumble through the Owls' poor rush defense.
Ray Graham, Pitt (Florida International)
Graham has looked like the more explosive back, and this defense will struggle.
Adonis Thomas, Toledo (Wyoming)
The Cowboys rank 116th against the run this year so far.
Da'Rel Scott and Davin Meggett, Maryland (Duke)
This team is running the ball well, and Duke has struggled to stop the run.
RB — Better Think Twice
Eugene Jarvis, Kent State (@ Miami, Ohio)
There have been conflicting reports about Jarvis' status this weekend. Of course, that is never good when the head coach is the one waffling. He did not register a carry against Penn State, and it appears there might some issues with Mr. Jarvis currently. He is not worth the risk.
Evan Royster, Penn State (@ Iowa)
This entire offense has struggled to run the football effectively for some time now. So don't let the 187-yard performance from Royster last week fool you. The Iowa defense will be ready to go, and Royster's stat lines against the Hawks have been relatively uninspiring: 17 att., 69 yds ('09), 26 att., 90 yds, TD ('08) and 16 att., 86 yds ('07).
Mikel LeShoure, Illinois (@ Ohio State)
LeShoure has been the dependable fantasy star that we anticipated thus far in 2010, but this weekend might be pushing things. He got four carries in last year's 30-0 beatdown, and the Buckeye defense isn't much worse this year. He should get the bulk of the carries, so there is always a chance at one big play or a TD, but the upside seems limited here.
Tauren Poole and David Oku, Tennessee (@ LSU)
The Bayou Bengals are sporting the nation's 8th-best rushing defense (74.7 ypg). Poole also is dealing with a nagging deep thigh bruise that limited him to only 23 yards rushing last week. The rest of the Tennessee offense will also struggle in this one as Matt Simms tries to navigate the Baton Rouge atmosphere.
Washaun Ealey, Georgia (@ Colorado)
There is no quicker route to the bench than fumbles — especially ones that are near the goal line. This weekend Ealey will not start, but should still see some time. With A.J. Green returning to the lineup, expect Aaron Murray to be looking #8's way frequently in Boulder this weekend.
WR — Deserves A Second Look
A.J. Green, Georgia (@ Colorado)
If he isn't ready to compete after sitting for four weeks, I can't help him.
Chad Bumphis, Mississippi State (Alcorn State)
He has big-play potential; don't be shocked if the staff turns Relf loose in this one.
Cody Wilson, Central Michigan (Ball State)
This little slot receiver has been very effective in the short to intermediate game.
MarQueis Gray, Minnesota (Northwestern)
Has become a favorite target of Adam Weber, and NW allowed 347-2 passing last week.
Theo Riddick, Notre Dame (@ Boston College)
Over last two: 17 rec., 199 yds, 2 TD. Has clearly become one of Crist's favorites.
WR — Better Think Twice
James Rodgers, Oregon State (Arizona State)
Head injuries make me nervous, and big brother didn't practice much this week.
DeAndre Brown, Southern Miss (Marshall)
Injuries and inconsistency make him a tough start this week.
Julio Jones et al, Alabama (Florida)
The Gators secondary has been very stingy — and is crazy talented.
Top 10 Waiver Wire DEF/ST Plays:
1. Rutgers (Tulane)
2. Mississippi State (Alcorn State)
3. UCLA (Washington State)
4. UConn (Vanderbilt)
5. South Florida (Florida Atlantic)
6. Texas Tech (@ Iowa State)
7. Pitt (Florida International)
8. Florida State (@ Virginia)
9. Central Michigan (Ball State)
10. Oklahoma (Texas - Dallas)
Follow fantasy editors Braden Gall and Steven Lassan on Twitter: @AthlonBraden, @AthlonSteven
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