CFB: Week 8 Start or Sit
Taylor is rolling. Bench your Badgers. And what about Cam Newton?
By: Braden Gall | 10/22/10, 12:04 PM EDT
Taylor has been on a roll of late.
Each week, Athlon will take a deeper look at the fantasy matchups 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 8:
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QB — Deserves A Second Look
Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech (Duke)
I drafted Taylor specifically because of his matchups in week 7 and 8. He did not disappoint last week with his thrid straight 30-point week. He set season highs for yards and passing touchdowns last week (292-3) and has been running the ball a lot lately. Duke has been giving up big numbers to QBs all season, as well. The Blue Devils rank 97th in pass efficiency defense, 101st in total defense and 112th in scoring defense. Taylor's only 300-yard effort in 2009 came against the Dukies.
Aaron Murray, Georgia (@ Kentucky)
The Florida product is beginning to blossom into the player we all saw as a recruit. He is a special leader with a Drew Brees style of play (Brees from Purdue, not the NFL). He has topped the 220-yard mark in five straight games and has 7 TD strikes in his last three. He will also chip in some rushing yards and maybe even a rushing TD or two. This could be a shootout, so I expect him to throw a lot — to A.J Green.
Nathan Enderle, Idaho (New Mexico State)
This might just be a copy and paste from last week's plug. After a very slow start to the season, Enderle is back in a big way. The burly passer has lines of 347-3, 380-3 and 373-3 in his last three contests. He might be a must start from here on out with the WAC schedule looking very favorable (other than Boise State). The Aggies are 118th in total defense and 114th in scoring defense.
Marc Verica, Virginia (Eastern MIchigan)
Anyone playing the Eagles has a chance to post adequate numbers,
Chris Relf, Mississippi State (UAB)
He may only throw six passes, but his legs could offer plenty of value.
Matt Scott, Arizona (Washington)
Huskies defense doesn't offer much resistence and he is at home.
Stephen Garcia, South Carolina (@ Vanderbilt)
Without Lattimore, Spurrier could turn to Garcia on the road.
QB — Better Think Twice
Cameron Newton, Auburn (LSU)
This is the million dollar fantasy question for week 8. How do you bench the Heisman leader and No. 1 fantasy player in all of the land? I can't tell you to do that, but this will be by far the best defensive test Newton has faced all season. Consider the fantasy performances against the Bayou Bengals this season. Since Week 1, LSU has allowed a total of 698 yards passing (116 ypg) from starting QBs (counting both Mississippi State passers). Their TD to INT ratio? A disgusting 3:8 rate. And rushing yards allowed to QBs this fall? A total of -26 combined yards rushing by opposing starters. Over their last seven meetings, Auburn has averaged just over 13 points per game, topping 20 points only twice — with a high of 24 three years ago. Just some facts for you to agonize over. Have fun making this call Newton owners.
Ben Chappell, Indiana (@ Illinois)
Chappell has been nothing short of amazing this fall — other than the Ohio State game, of course. His last four (not counting OSU) were 366-3, 342-4, 480-3 and 382-4. So a game against Illinois shouldn't worry anyone right? Well, the Fighting Koennings have improved greatly on defense. They have allowed 419 total passing yards to starters in Big Ten play (which includes Kirk Cousins and Terrelle Pryor). Look for the Illini to control the clock and dominate the line of scrimmage, leaving Chappell with little opportunity of posting a big number.
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State (Nebraska)
Nebraska is angry. Nebraska is good. Against opposing quarterbacks? They are downright nasty. They rank No. 1 nationally against the pass (117 ypg) this year and have shut down some pretty good fantasy options. Jake Locker threw for 71 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs. Nathan Enderle went for 141 yards, 1 TD and 5 INTs. Even in a win, Garrett Gilbert was 4-of-16 for 62 yards and no scores last week through the air. I think the Black Shirts make a statement this weekend as the Huskers roll through Oklahoma State.
Tim Jefferson vs. Andy Dalton (Air Force @ TCU)
Its always tough facing an Air Force team that will possess the ball and take loads of time off the clock. TCU's defense speaks for itself. Jefferson should be nowhere near a starting line-up, and Dalton, who threw a TD in every game last year except against the Falcons, has limited upside too. His 198-0-1, 38-0 line against AFA last year scares me into other options this week.
T.J. Yates vs. Jacory Harris (North Carolina @ Miami, Fla.)
In BCS only leagues, these two have been solid options. But not this week against the top two pass defenses in the ACC. Miami is fourth nationally in pass defense (150 ypg) and leads the ACC in total defense. The Tar Heels are second in the ACC in pass defense and scoring defense. These two combined for 2 TDs and 4 INTs against one another last season. Look elsewhere.
Big East quarterbacks, The Big East (@ Anyone):
Chas Dodd vs. Tino Sunseri (Rutgers @ Pitt)
You are in serious trouble if you are looking at this one.
Ryan Nassiib vs. Geno Smith (Syracuse @ West Virginia)
Smith isn't a terrible start, but Nassib will be held in check.
Zach Frazer vs. Adam Froman (UConn @ Louisville)
QB flip-flip/suspension doesn't bode well for Huskies, and Froman could struggle against solid D.
B.J Daniels vs. Zach Collaros (South Florida @ Cincinnati)
The USF passer has been a huge dissappointment; Collaros is the top option from this league this week.
Illini will "Feed The Studs" this week against IU.
RB — Deserves A Second Look
Mikel LeShoure, Illinois (Indiana)
While LeShoure has only reached paydirt three times this fall, he has never been below 80 yards rushing and has topped 100 four times. In order to keep Ben Chappell and company off the field, look for the Zookers to feed LeShoure and Jason Ford plenty this weekend. Especially since Indiana couldn't stop Sister Marry's School for the Blind. The Hoosiers rank 89th in total defense, 83rd in scoring defense — including 114 points over their last three.
Stepfan Taylor, Stanford (Washington State)
With three straight 100-yard efforts to his credit, Taylor has apparently won the new Toby Gerhart lottery in Palo Alto. He has scored in two straight games and Washington State, while actually improved from last fall, is still pretty bad on defense — as in 120th in total defense, 118th in scoring defense and 119th in rushing defense.
Keith Payne, Virgina (Eastern Michigan)
With 37 carries over the last two games, even in losses to Georgia Tech and North Carolina, Payne has actually been an effective fantasy option. He topped 100-yards last week and has scored three times in those two games. Eastern Michigan ranks 117th in rush defense and 119th in scoring defense.
Boom Herron, Ohio State (Purdue)
It is clear that Herron has separated himself from the rest of the talented OSU backs. Herron has 66 carries and six receptions over his last four with touchdowns in six straight games (six total over his last four). Like Nebraska, Ohio State should be rather ornary after a loss this week — especially after a losing to Purdue last fall.
Washaun Ealey, Georgia (@ Kentucky)
This fantasy disappointment had his best outing of the season last week against Vandy. He rushed 17 times for 123 yards and a TD. With Caleb King still out for one more week, and a shootout with Kentucky looming, Ealey should be good for another big performance. All your Georgia Bulldogs should be in the line-up this weekend.
Kenny Miles, South Carolina (@ Vanderbilt)
This could be a bit of a reach, but Marcus Lattimore's high ankle sprain will keep him out of the lineup for most of the game - even though it appears he will suit up. Miles will get the start and could see some success against the 97th-ranked rush defense in the country. One of Miles' three career 100-yard games came against the Dores last fall, so he has a chance to produce this week.
RB — Better Think Twice
John Clay and James White, Wisconsin (@ Iowa)
I put these two names on this list last week, and they proved me very wrong against what most considered the best D-line in the nation. Well, now they are on the road against an even better defensive unit — and a team that always plays well against the Badgers. Iowa leads the Big Ten in rushing defense (83 ypg, 7th nationally) and scoring defense (13 ppg, 6th nationally). Clay posted 75 yards on 21 carries in a 20-10 loss at home to the Hawks last fall.
Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State (Nebraska)
Would anyone have guessed that Nebraska is ninth in the Big 12 in rushing defense? They have the No. 1 pass defense in the nation, the ninth-best total defense and ninth-ranked scoring defense. Strangely, they have been run on this fall. After getting beaten at home last week, however, I would not want to be Mr. Hunter this weekend. He is a stud, no doubt, but this has the makings of a let down. Play at your own risk.
Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina (@ Vanderbilt)
This one should be a no brainer but needs to be on here. The talented freshman will suit up but will be limited by the high ankle sprain. I do not expect double-digit touches for Lattimore — unless he is needed in the fourth quarter of a close game, in which case, he will do his best Willis Reed impersonation.
BIlal Powell, Louisville (UConn)
The nation's fourth leading rushing has topped 200 yards in back-to-back games and has scored in every contest. So why would you bench him? First of all, Memphis, Arkansas State, Eastern Kentucky, Kentucky and Cincinnati are not good on defense. UConn is. Powell's worst game of the season came against the Cards' only tough competition, Oregon State, when he rushed for only 83 yards. Again, play at your own risk. In fact, he is a perfect sell high guy. His schedule is brutal the rest of the way and should offer an opporutnity to significantly upgrade another position in a trade.
WR — Some names still sitting on our waiver wire
Lance Lewis, East Carolina (Marshall)
Has 19 receptions over his last three with scores in each game.
Cole Beasley, SMU (Houston)
Posted 24 catches for 321 yards and 2 TDs over his last three.
Justin Veltung et al, Idaho (New Mexico State)
Now that the Vandals are into WAC play, they will continue to post big numbers.
Doug Baldwin et al, Stanford (Washington State)
Great 8-98-2 line last time out and Wassu is terrible.
Jarrett Boykin, Virginia Tech (Duke)
He has caught 8 passes in each of last two. Should be good again this week.
Top 10 DEF/ST Spot Starts:
1. Stanford (Washington State)
2. Mississippi State (UAB)
3. UConn (@ Louisville)
4. Va. Tech (Duke)
5. Virginia (Eastern Michigan)
6. Miami, Fla. (North Carolina)
7. South Carolina (@ Vanderbilt)
8. Penn State (@ Minnesota)
9. Toledo (Ball State)
10. West Virginia (Syracuse)
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