Thursday, September 10, 2015

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Week Two: QB and RB Edition

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Take a second to read up on my Booms and Busts of Week 1

Alright Alright Alright. If you are like me, you are probably smarting over week 1 performances. As they say, the biggest improvement of a football team comes between week 1 and week 2. While I did come out with a combined 3-1 record, very few...if any...of my sneaky picks worked out. Hey, it happens. We now have a data point. So, let's discuss who I am playing and who I am sitting. Keep in mind that I am in six different leagues, so I am going to talk about just my teams. 

QBs
Driskel or Kessler: First off, Kudos to you if you drafted Driskel. I called him one of my best sneaky picks out there. He didn't disappoint. In fact, he was the 19th best scoring player in all of fantasy in week 1, though he did play an FCS opponent. This week, he plays a WKU team that is fresh off of beating Vandy (a win I called in my Week 1 Picks) and is also picked to win their division of the conference. Don't be worried about the WKU defense. Vandy is the worst offense in college football. This is the biggest game of the year for both teams. Expect a heavy dose of the running game from La Tech. While Dixon will get 20-25 carries, it will ultimately be Driskel who vultures some goal line TDs. Additionally, while four passing TDs may not be realistic, it is possible. Two top level offenses are going to duke it out tonight. Driskel (And Doughty, if you have him) are must starts. Additionally, since this is a Thursday night game, you have the ability to tailor your lineup if anything does go south. As in, throw up a hail mary. 

Kessler, however, isn't a realistic option. Not only does he give up the points advantage from passing vs throwing TDs to Driskel, but Idaho is a very likely second half sit scenario. Also consider the emergence of the USC running back Tre Madden (who I hope you scooped up after he went off the injured list). If USC plans to compete in the PAc-12 South, they must have a running game. Expect a heavy run game. Kessler isn't an option for me.

Seth Russell and Kyle Allen are both high risk and high reward plays this week. Luckily, I have them both AND Driskel in one of my leagues. Obviously I am going to play Driskel because it is a safe bet. But, if you don't have the luxury having that third QB, then we have some work to do. Both of these players play cupcakes this week. Both play cupcakes NEXT week. But, at least the Aggies are playing Ball State this week. Ball State gave up 444 yards of passing last week to VMI. Whoa. Don't be surprised if Allen is benched early to allow Murray another game to get broken in. That being said, with Ball States inability to stop the pass, Allen may well roll up 500 yards and 5 TDs in the first half. Russell destroyed SMU, which was sorta a game...in that it was an FBS in-state team. Lamar is up next. At least SMU scored 21 points that may have kept Russell in the game. Consider the last two years as Baylor had to do without their star QB because of injury. While they did fine without Petty, I bet Briles worries about that possibility in a year that they really have a chance. What put Russell over the top last week was a rushing TD. Don't expect him to run the ball this game. Without that added upside and the scare of injury, I'd pick Allen. 

Dane Evans or Marquis Williams? Williams was absolutely dreadful against the Gamecocks. Evans started off slow last week before cooking up 400+ pass yards. While he is likely to repeat the same type of passing performance against New Mexico, consider his upside. Even at 400/4/0, you are looking at 36 points. That's solid, no doubt. But, Williams and UNC play a consolation game against NCAT. This is a game where, at worst, I would expect 200/2/0 and another 2 rushing scores. That would be 30 points. More likely, you are looking at 300/3/1 and 2 rushing scores and 100 yards, which would blow up to 46 points. If you have a stud lineup, the safe bet is on Evans. But, if you need something to put you over the top, consider playing Williams. 

RBs
So, I feel really good about my RB positions across my different teams, even if Kody Walker didn't pan out to be the RB2 I thought he'd be to the Hogs. Ouellette busted as he essentially a healthy scratch. 

Devon Johnson is a must start across any league at any point as is Ga Tech's Skov, which wasn't drafted because of question marks as to who would be the starter. The answer was succinctly stated by his week 1 performance. 

Collins didn't beat the world up last week. But, he did post up an 18 point effort, going for 100 yards and a score. That isn't what you need from a legit RB1 and it isn't what I drafted him in the second round to do. But, it will happen. Toledo is a likely place to see that happen. Allen and Hatcher proved last week that the Hogs can throw the ball. The next two weeks ought to be prime time for Collins. Go ahead and pick up Rawleigh Williams too. Thing is, even if Collins doesn't provide 25+ points, he will get you 15-18, making him a must start as a FEX player, at the least. 

On the other side of the Hogs this week, UTEP's Jones didn't have a huge day, but he was the workhorse of an outmatched team. He did manage solid yardage but just couldn't find the endzone. His ability as a pass catcher makes him a must start. He gets Texas Tech this week which should be good for a 20+ point effort. 

Madden vs Radcliff? Madden looked to be a stud for USC whenever he wasn't injured. Up until the day before the first game, Madden was listed as injured. But, as the games crept closer, news suddenly showed up that he was healthy and ready to play. Play he did. A receiving and rushing TD plus another 100 rushing yards put him solidly on the fantasy radar. Radcliff, on the other hand, was drafted in all leagues, but not started. A lot of that was the questions that were surrounding the Louisville backfield. The Cards were loaded last year, but that kept any one player from being a legitimate fantasy weapon. With a move to Jackson as QB, Radcliff (who had a solid day vs Auburn) can and will benefit. But, he is still a question as a starter on your fantasy team, though he may have more upside than Madden. Radcliff posted good numbers as a vulture to Jackson but he has yet to become a 20+ touch guy. That will likely change, but I wouldn't put a divisional matchup on the line. Madden gets Idaho this week, which is likely a high scoring affair for Kessler in the first half. In the second half, Madden should be expected to milk the clock, making him the start. 

Ouellette vs Hairston? Hairston blew up for ECU last week, who had to replace some of the very best fantasy players last year on a team that lost a significant amount of its coaching. Were you lucky enough to claim him? If so, great for you. But, don't be so fast to throw him in to the fire. They have Florida up this week and that's a tough sell. Ouellette was a top 20 or so fantasy RB going in to the draft, but he left fantasy owners scratching their heads, myself included. He registered only 5 fantasy points against Idaho. He gets Marshall this week in what will be a much closer contest and a battle of fantasy RBs. The coaching staff's willingness to rest him last week tells you all you need to know about the RB from Ohio. Start him over Hairston. 

Elsewhere

Houston's Ward was a top 5 performer last week with his dual threat ability. He had 3 total TDs and 100 rushing yards. He gets Louisville this week. This is about as risky as play as their exist, other than taking a gamble on the #2 performer, Wake Forest Wolford. While Ward does have great value down the stretch, this Cardinal defense is for real. Start at your own peril. On the subject of Wolford, his dual threat abiilty may hold water, but it may not. It's a risky stash.  Syracuse may not be a traditional power, but they did force a ton of turnovers last week. If...and a big if....Wolford can have a good weekend, he would be prime Bears and Bulls material for some hapless chap. 

Green, the RB from Ball State, set the bar in our league with 50 fantasy points, thanks to 120 return yards. He still had 3 rushing TDs and a receiving TD, which still put him in the top echelon of any league. But, they get to play TAMU and a much improved run defense. I'd avoid him. 

Idaho's Penny was on a lot of people's radars already. He had a pretty solid performance last week earning him a top 20 RB position. But, he has USC this week and should be avoided. 

Kansas' Kinner looked solid last week. Many people might think to play him against Memphis. Think again. Memphis gave up 18 rush yards last week. 

Lawry's 223 yards and 4 TDs was the best score, discounting ReY. He will tee it up again against Norfolk, which makes him a must start and possibly the best play.