It's normally when a tailgate is about four hours old that we truly begin to delve into the world's issues. The hours prior are spent dealing with issues less pertinent (the spicy bloody mary mix is so much better boys) to the overall improvement of mankind, however these discussions usually lay some kind of foundation for earth-shattering analysis. Last Saturday, at about 2:30 EST the term "accountability" came into play, and it's with a newfound vim and vigor in mind that we kick off our week five player rankings.
Accountability was mentioned as I was explaining how I've undergone some sort of metamorphosis since becoming an "insider" of college fantasy football. I explained to a dwindling audience (as every woman in the vicinity moved on to another conversation at least 15 feet away from me) that I once solely concerned myself with my own fantasy squad. But almost like a new father explaining how the spark in his child's eyes has the taken the place of joy once provided by $1 boomba night, I now feverishly look for updates on players that I had recommended to start or sit before searching to see how my own fantasy players had performed. Now before you accuse me of becoming all altruistic and junk, or think I'm about to become a dad, let me do a little explaining.
When my lineup stinks up the joint, I usually only see emails from the friends in my two leagues. The ridicule is creative and deserved. However when I mess up and recommend someone start a player and this helps to kill the weeks of many, many more, I have to navigate angry (yet very, very witty) emails from the masses. So no, I really don't care how you do. I'm just really sensitive and don't like it when you make fun of me.
So, what's the purpose of this rambling? It's to explain this newfound sense of guilt.
Before the NFL games have kicked off on Sunday it seems that the previous week is forgotten and college fantasy owners are looking forward to next week. While I can appreciate this long-term planning, I also know how funny it is when a proclaimed expert makes his "lock of the week" selection on Friday only to see the team lose by 40 points, and then conveniently never mention the pick again.
We at the CFFinsider have broken many arms patting ourselves on the back, but we're also willing to give ourselves a good old kick in the ass when we're wrong. So each week we'll do a little rundown of how my start-sit vibes performed the previous weekend. In essence we'll do a little look back before we all look forward.
Now keep in mind that each week I normally list five guys I'm feeling good about at QB, RB and WR, and three guys that I'm not feeling at those positions. I also attempt to choose players from BCS and non-BCS conferences, and these are not obvious picks. In other words you normally won't find Graham Harrell on the list.
Last week I advised starting Max Hall, Todd Reesing, Trevor Vittatoe, Tim Hiller and Colt McCoy. In calculating my performance I tossed Vittatoe out of the equation because he was injured early (and it makes me look better) and we get an average of 35.85 from these four. I advised sitting Daryll Clark (oops) and C.J. Bacher. And I also said that we were worried about (translation: start someone else if you have a better option) Nate Davis and Willie Tuitama. These four averaged 16.76 fantasy points. Now before I start anointing myself God of all things college fantasy, I do recognize that the four players I advised to start were having better seasons going into last week.
Moving on to running backs: thanks to touchdown-less performances of Shun White and Tyrell Sutton, our five backs that I mentioned specifically as recommended starts gained an average of 15.01 fantasy points, while those that we said to sit out gained an average of 11.33. This was clearly some decent advice, but by no means anything to write home about. Alex and I agreed on two sleepers and we batted .500. Davin Meggett did next to nothing, while Graig Cooper was impressive for the Canes.
Now the wide receiver start average was smoked by my miscalculation on Greg Orton. Expecting a big Purdue bounce back following the Oregon loss, Orton put up 1.73 fantasy points, and this brought down the average to a paltry 10.61, which works out to 55 yards and a touch per man. I wimped out by only sitting one wide receiver by name, and Jaison Williams could only muster 2.86 points.
I demand much more excellence, and I plan on a little redemption as we look towards week five, when many schools enter conference play, and half of the Big Twelve seems to be taking some time off.
Onward and upward baby.
Chase Clement, Rice
Finally Rice and their week five opponent, North Texas, get back what they're accustomed to seeing. The Owls and Mean Green are a combined 2-5, but they've played the likes of LSU, Texas, Vanderbilt, Tulsa and Kansas State. You can bet Chase Clement is ready to play against kids his own size.
This is the time of year where drafting the likes of Clement and Rusty Smith pays off. Each has seen defenses that have defensive lineman that can outrun linebackers in their conference, and I'm seeing a huge game from the Rice quarterback.
We've spoken about how we can begin to lend more credence to stats, however in this case it's not really fair. We're going on what Chase Clement has shown he can do, and he'll pick up where he left off at the tail end of 2007.
Tony Pike, Cincinnati
Head Coach Brian Kelly had praise for his new quarterback, and following a nice performance the strong-armed Mr. Pike gets to tackle a Zips' defense that hasn't exactly been too impressive. Akron has yielded over 386 yards per game, but the majority has come on the ground. This changes in week five.
Cincy passes to set up the pass, and while some may think this plays into Akron's strengths, we'll take our chances with an offense that passed for 240 yards against the Sooners.
Omar Clayton, UNLV
I was mulling over whether or not to include Clayton on this week's start list, but when I heard that he did play last week even with a fracture of his jaw, I thought of what Michael Corleone did once his jaw was broken, and it became a no-brainer.
Clayton has thrown 30 passes per game to date, and he's thrown for nine touchdowns with no interceptions. Some may say the sophomore is in for some struggles, but we're all about riding the hot hand. Clayton has done it against a very good Utah squad, a good Arizona State team, and a BCS team in Iowa State. Now he gets a Nevada squad that is reeling defensively.
Granted, the Wolfpack's 39 ppg game and 347 yards ppg allowed can be attributed just a little to playing Texas Tech and Mizzou, but I'm still riding Clayton.
Jake Locker, Washington
His team is 0-3, and they're coming off a drubbing at the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners. Following a much-needed bye week the Huskies welcome Stanford, who last time I checked, is not as good as Oregon, Brigham Young, or the aforementioned boys from Norman. The Pac-10 season provides new life, and Locker will be raring to go.
Stanford is allowing 27.5 points per game, and they're yielding 265 yards through the air. Of the quarterbacks the Cardinal have faced, only Rudy Carpenter is anywhere near Locker's league.
Jamie Hampton, Troy
Omar Haugabook is no longer Troy's quarterback, but Oklahoma State hasn't forgotten what Omar and his teammates did to the Cowboys last season. Jamie Hampton is now the quarterback, and the sophomore is pretty damn good.
Having recently been to Columbus, Hampton will not be overwhelmed with the speed of the defense he'll see on Saturday. He and Zac Robinson should have some serious fun.
Curtis Painter, Purdue
The Irish defensive unit is not too shabby, and this is a make or break game for Notre Dame. Purdue had a make or break last week, and they needed a late fourth quarter score to escape an upset at the hands of Central Michigan.
Coach Tiller recently said he was close to yanking a struggling Curtis Painter last week and replacing him with Joey Elliott. This is not exactly a vote of confidence. The Irish are allowing 17 points per game, and the Boilers will need to work for everything they get.
Oh and Notre Dame is at home.
Juice Williams, Illinois
Penn State gets a couple of their bad boys back from suspension, and while neither will start, they'll likely play a role in containing the Juice. The Illini are coming off a bye, and the Zooker will have his boys fired up about the primetime tilt in Happy Valley. That being said, have you ever seen a night game in Happy Valley?
It'll be loud, and everyone will be wearing white. Penn State has played four games against teams that will not win many games, but they've averaged 10 points allowed. That's gotta count for something.
Robert Marve, Miami
He's going to be very, very good. He's just going to struggle against a UNC defense.
Mike Goodson, Texas A&M
Injuries have struck the Aggies' quarterback position, as both Jerrod Johnson and Stephen McGee are nursing some bumps and bruises. Johnson will get the start, and he'll spend a good deal of time turning and handing the ball to Mike Goodson.
Army's defense isn't bad, and they've been decent against the run. Yet they haven't been to a place like College Station, nor have they seen a back like Goodson.
Noel Devine, West Virginia
Watching West Virginia and Colorado battle last week, I was impressed with what I saw from Devine. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to take a big run to the house.
Marshall will be fired up. They'll smell the opportunity to steal one in Morgantown, however they've been very weak against the pass. I know this doesn't make much sense as reason to start Devine, but Pat White will pose a whole different set of problems than those presented by the likes of Wisconsin and Southern Miss, and Devine will get his as well.
Andr Anderson, Tulane
Anderson makes a return to the start list, and this is one part Anderson, and one part SMU on the schedule.
Charles Scott, LSU
I've been wishing for world peace, a sequel to Point Break, and a clear-cut, number one running back at LSU. Thanks to the bulldozing back in Baton Rouge, my wish list is down to two.
Fantasy owners can ride a healthy Scott all season.
Jourdan Brooks, Rutgers
Following an impressive performance in Annapolis, Brooks will run against another Maryland squad, this time at home against Morgan State.
We're not sure if Mr. New Jersey is a fan of the Scarlet Knights, but Bruce Springsteen once sang "It takes a leap of faith to get things going" and we're going to do just that with Brooks and Rutgers this week. Definitely our sleeper pick of the week.
I'm sure that your cagey commissioner caught on when you started Oregon hybrid Jeremiah Blount last week. This week trip him up with LaGarrette Johnson.
Arian Foster, Tennessee
We.ok, it was all me. I predicted 14 scores for Tennessee back this season, and he's a little behind this pace. Two of Foster's next three games are at Auburn and Georgia, and while Coach Fulmer claims he hasn't forgotten how to coach, we're wishing he'd remember to give Foster the ball.
DeLeon Eskridge, Minnesota
Maybe we're still a little bitter that it's Eskridge, and not our pick Shady, who has emerged as Duane Bennett's replacement. But we see little chance that Eskridge continues his strong play in Columbus.
Shun White, Navy
We'll just keep rotating Shun White on the start and sit list and see if anyone notices. This week we sit him.
Giving up less than 15 points per game, the Wake Forest defense is stout, solid, robust, damn good.
The Longhorns were dealt a big blow with the loss of starting tight end Blaine Irby to a dislocated kneecap. This team loss will likely emerge as a fantasy gain for the Texas wide receivers.
The Texas Colt will spread them out wide and wing it all day, and the Hogs will pay the price.
Chris Williams, New Mexico State
It's rivalry week in the Land of Enchantment, and Chris Williams is facing a Lobo defense that is allowing about 34 points and 263 passing yards per game.
The I-25 rivalry will see a lot of points on the board, and Chris Williams will be looking to explode.
Brandon Banks, Kansas State
I was all set to include Josh Freeman on the start list along with Banks, but I went all in with Vittatoe and Moturi last week and all that got me was a big box of nothing. So this week I'm going to hedge my bets and simply go with the K-State wide receiver.
The Rajun' Cajuns are in for another pummeling before they enter Sun Belt conference play, and Brandon Banks is my gut feeling play of the week.
Percy Harvin, Florida
Harvin and others claim that he's back to full health, and while he didn't break out in Knoxville last week, we're banking on a two-score performance against Ole Miss.
Emmanuel Sanders, SMU
The Tulane defense has played both Alabama and East Carolina in addition to Lousiana-Monroe, and they're only allowing 19 points per game.
We don't expect SMU to put up much of a fight, however their star wide receiver averaging seven catches for about 100 yards per.
Jeff Moturi, UTEP
A.J. Green, Georgia
The chance to see freshmen A.J Green and Julio Jones on the field at the same time is exciting; still this game has SEC slugfest written all over it.
Verne Lundquist will be there. Everyone in Athens will be wearing black. Nick Saban will have spent a week designing a defense to keep his young squad in the game, and Mark Richt will ride a ball-control scheme behind Matthew Stafford's game management and the talented Mr. Moreno.
Green and Jones will each show flashes, but this game will not see enough points for either to shine. It's coming though.
Duval Kamara, Notre Dame
While it looks like Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen and talented freshman Michael Floyd have established an immediate rapport, it doesn't appear that Kamara and Clausen are on the same page.
Really liking this week:
James Casey, Rice
He's becoming a true fantasy legend. Is he a future Fantasy Hall of Famer?
Mark Hafner, Houston
Riding the Keenum train.
Darius Hill, Ball State
The offense will really need to lean on him.
Ed Dickson, Oregon
Coming off a two-score game.
Cody Slate, Marshall
Rolling along with the Thundering Herd.
We'll repeat it again: with such limited tight end depth across the country, but especially in BCS leagues, you'll need to simply find a TE to get looks. Remember than talents like Rob Gronkowski and Chase Coffman are taking a break this week.
Kickers & Defenses
We have eight defenses designated at tier one defensive units, and sixteen defenses listed as tier two. This is impacted by two factors: the beginning of league play, and the fact that quite a few offensive powerhouses are on the bye.
Remember to check out week five player rankings and good luck to all as we draw nearer to the midpoint of the regular season.