UConn's Donald Brown is the big story of Week Four's version of Start or Sit. The talented back from New Jersey spent three weeks on the sleeper start list. Following an incredible start to the 2008 campaign, and thanks to a game with defensively challenged Baylor, Brown has not only broken free from the list of sleepers, he has been catapulted to the top spot of the College Fantasy Football Insider Weekly Player Rankings. Donald, it looks like you've made it.
Patterns are starting to emerge, one-time sleepers are becoming stars, and expected stars, especially those in Lubbock, are beginning to awaken from their summer nap. Week four is here, and it's time for a little start or sit action.
Max Hall, BYU,
We've always been proponents of riding the hot hand, and they don't get much hotter than Max Hall. We may have a BYU team with visions of Ty Detmer dancing in their head, so we may see Max Hall get a few more TD passing opportunities at the expense of Harvey Unga. This will be the Cowboys' first trip outside the great state of Wyoming, and despite their 2-1 record, their defense has given up over 100 more yards than their offense has gained, and they haven't faced a unit that comes close to what they'll see in Provo. Hall won't throw seven, but four seems a good bet.
Todd Reesing, Kansas
Reesing was dynamite in last Friday's heartbreaking loss at South Florida, and Reesing has been dynamite all season. He's accounted for at least three touchdowns in each game, and his low fantasy output to date has been 27.53 points in week three. Now he gets to face Sam Houston State, a squad that last beat up on East Central Oklahoma. Reesing may only be in the game for the first half, and that will be all he needs.
Trevor Vittatoe, UTEP
After he laid an opening week egg, I decided to lay off Trevor Vittatoe. Clearly, I can't quit you Trevor. Now I realize that UTEP's defense wasn't horrible, despite giving up 38 points last week in Lincoln. These rivals last played in 2006, when Chase Holbrook led the Aggies to a 44-34 victory. We expect to see similar offensive outputs in 2008, and this is good news for those that put their faith in Vittatoe.
Tim Hiller, Western Michigan
The Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech invade Kalamazoo's Waldo Stadium, and Tech will likely have a flashback to their 51-10 loss at Louisville. Last week Hiller took his Broncos out to Idaho, and his performance (23-31-241-4) ran his season total to nine touchdowns, against only one interception. He continues his hot play this Saturday.
Following a hurricane-induced week off, the Texas Colt and his Longhorns return to the field, and those Owls are in for a rough time. McCoy has put up four touchdowns in his first two contests, yet he hasn't surpassed the 300-yard passing plateau. Expect the touchdown production to remain consistent, and look for McCoy to pass that yardage barrier this week.
Daryll Clark, Penn State
I've been as impressed with this Penn State quarterback as anyone, but I also really like what I've seen from Temple.yes, Temple. Following a season-opening win over Army, the Owls have lost two consecutive heartbreakers. One was a 12-9 loss to a tough-as-nails UConn squad, and the other was to an ever-improving Buffalo team, and this one came on a Hail Mary. I think Temple is in for another loss, however any fans from Happy Valley who think this one will look like their other wins to date is a bit mistaken. Clark has to work for this one.
C.J. Bacher, Northwestern
Hell hath no fury like a fantasy owner scorned. I was convinced that Northwestern would be 3-0 at this point, and it would be thanks to the production provided by C.J. Bacher. I was right on the first part. Following a season-opening, three-touchdown performance over that powerhouse from Syracuse, Bacher has failed to put another score on the board. Did I mention the last two games were against Duke and Southern Illinois? 625 yards through three games is not what I had in mind. Frank Solich and his Bobcats damn near beat the Buckeyes, so he'll be able to contain the team from Evanston.
Others we're a little worried about:
Willie Tuitama, Arizona: UCLA must have some pride following last week's debacle.
Pat White, West Virginia: You knew what you were getting into with Pat White on draft day. He's feast or famine. You've got to ride him...at least one more week.
Donald Brown, UCONN
The reigning Big East Player of the Week welcomes Baylor to Storrs, and with Andre Dixon still questionable, we might as well pencil Brown in for another 200 with three scores, right? In our preseason write-up we earmarked Brown for a respectable eight scores on the season; Brown's next touchdown will be his ninth. The big question is how long can it last? Until it stops you have to ride it and UConn's commitment to pounding the ball makes Brown a pretty sure thing.
Andre Anderson, Tulane
Anderson's season rushing totals (46-114-2) aren't too much to write home about. Our reason for optimism stems from his number of carries last week (33) and the opponent (East Carolina) across the field. Through the first two games Anderson has been serviceable as the replacement to Matt Forte', and now we think we'll see a true sleeper emerge. Anderson should surpass the 100-yard mark against the Warhawks, and a couple of touchdowns aren't too much to ask.
Knowshon Moreno, Georgia
Young Knowshon seems like the type of fella who doesn't mind the spotlight. Additionally, he's one of the best running backs in the nation. If it's possible for a talent like Moreno to accumulate numbers like this (46-306-7) and remain a bit under the radar, then Moreno has done it. Now he gets to take on Arizona State in a raucous, primetime environment. The Sun Devils are relinquishing an average of 129 rushing yards per game, and they haven't seen a back like this.
Shun White, Navy
In a recent piece Alex touched upon the dangers in relying on backs that run in systems like those at Navy and Georgia Tech. The defenses are usually able to take away one option, and it can often be the team's leading rusher. See Va. Tech's job on Jonathan Dwyer last week. Having watched Rutgers twice so far, I believe this is a confused team(a la Louisville last year), both offensively and defensively. The Tar Heels did it last week with talent and an outstanding game plan. Navy will do it this week with a system that teams rarely see. Following a 19-348-3 performance in week one, White has surpassed 100 yards in each of the last two games. Shun White produces again this week.
Tyrell Sutton, Northwestern
21 carries, 16 carries, and then 17 carries. Sutton is back to being the man at Northwestern, and he's already scored five times on the season. I don't expect this week's game with Ohio to be high scoring, but I do expect Sutton to continue his relatively heavy workload. This will be a game likely in the 24-16 neighborhood, and I like Sutton to go for about 18-120-2.
A couple of Alex's sleeper specials
I heard some good very good things about Davin Meggett this summer, but he had the talented Mr. Scott, among others, ahead of him on the depth chart. Thanks to Scott's injury troubles and Meggett's solid performance in relief last week, both my colleague and I love Meggett this weekend against an Eastern Michigan defense that's already been abused by Javon Ringer.
Speaking of injuries, Javarris James' high ankle sprain has left the door wide open for Graig Cooper, and we expect Cooper to put up some good numbers this week. Miami does have to travel a little ways to get to College Station, but when a talent like Cooper is expected to see a bunch of carries he becomes worth the risk.
Noel Devine, West Virginia
I don't like it one bit. I don't like his 21 carries through two games. I don't like his 141 yards, nor do I like his failure to get into the end zone. The offense is Pat White running around like crazy, and this is not conducive to points, be they on the scoreboard or next to Noel Devine's fantasy lineup spot. West Virginia travels out to Boulder, and you can bet Dan Hawkins is doing something insane to get his team ready. I just.don't like it.
Michael Smith, Arkansas
I'm not coming right out and telling you not to play Michael Smith, but I am bit concerned about his ability to find running room in Tuscaloosa. The Bama defense has been downright stingy against the run, and this game has SEC slugfest written all over it.
Kenny Lewis, Virginia Tech
Maybe I'm giving too much credit to the Tar Heels' defense. However I need to reiterate how impressed I was with UNC's performance last Thursday night. Couple this with the fact that we might actually see a raucous football crowd in Chapel Hill, and I think we'll have an inspired defense wearing Carolina blue.
A few other running back questions:
Arkansas State's Reggie Arnold is off to a very nice start, but Middle Tennessee has displayed a tough little defense.
Wake's Josh Adams (and Noel Devine for that matter) has us a bit confused. Both are talented backs with decent match-ups, but each has struggled to produce. One would think they are due to break out.right?
We're fully aware of the talent on the Auburn defense, but can you really consider benching Charles Scott?
With their issues at running back we do expect Oregon to pound the rock. But we don't know if this means Jeremiah or LaGarrette. Will your league let you play Jeremiah Blount? Because he'd be, like, the best running back EVER!
Eric Decker, Minnesota
Adam Weber may struggle at times, and the running game may be inconsistent, however Eric Decker finds a way to produce. He's caught a touchdown in each of Minny's three games, and he's even run in a 31-yard score. The talented wide receiver should find room to roam against Florida Atlantic, a team that saw their defensive numbers skewed thanks to last weekend's (Gorilla) monsoon in East Lansing.
Jamarko Simmons, Western Michigan
We've got his quarterback on the start list so we'll bring Simmons along as well. Following a rough opening week in Nebraska, Simmons has caught 14 passes for 188 yards and three scores in the last two weeks. We expect this to continue against Tennessee Tech.
Greg Orton, Purdue
Orton has been solid through two weeks (13-171-1) and this is almost a make or break week for both Orton and Purdue. At about 6:00 last Saturday the Boilers were staring at the chance for a 3-0 record heading into South Bend, and then the offense sputtered, and a couple of missed field goals later, the Ducks were dancing their way out of West Lafayette. Senior quarterback, senior running back, senior wide receiver and a beloved coach in his final season should mean a team that won't let the devastating loss of a week ago ruin their season. We like 100 and two from Orton this week.
Jeff Moturi, UTEP
We're going all in on UTEP. A big game from Vittatoe likely means a big game from Moturi.
Quan Cosby, Texas
Hurricane Ike demanded that Cosby and the Longhorns take a break after their win in El Paso, and we expect Quan to pick up where he left off.with a performance comparable to the 8-154-1 display against the Miners.
A few other wide receiver notes
Percy Harvin says he hasn't felt this good since 10th grade. I know how you feel Percy. Big tailgate planned this weekend.
Spread your wings and fly Deon Murphy. Fly! It's now or never.
Emmanuel Sanders and the SMU Mustangs might face an even stiffer test this weekend against TCU. But you can't bench a guy with 24 receptions and four touchdowns in three games.
The whole batch of Houston wide receivers?
Jaison Williams, Oregon
As mentioned above, we think the Ducks will play a little ball control, and this will likely limit the opportunities for Oregon's top wide receiver.
Two of our top fourteen TE's are from BCS conferences. Two. Not in recent memory has the TE production at big schools been so down across the board. Injuries to the likes of Travis Beckum and Rob Gronkowski have weakened the pool to the point that fantasy players are looking everywhere for tight end assistance. With Jermaine Gresham and Garrett Graham on a bye this week we give you this advice: find a tight end that will get some red zone looks and play him.
If you have a starting TE, and he's not on a bye, in street clothes or in jail, don't sit him. He may get you a few points.
Kickers & Defenses
The Gamecocks sit atop our defensive start rankings. Following an impressive performance against the Dawgs, South Carolina will welcome Wofford to town. Wofford has an enrollment of about 1300 students.
We're expecting two SEC slugfests: LSU vs. Auburn and Alabama vs. Arkansas.
Remember last week when Jim told us to be wary of the Arkansas State defense? Yes, we laughed at first too. Well this week Jim tells us to be wary of the Ohio State defense facing a balanced Troy attack. If he hits this one, he'll be writing the sit/start next week.
As for the rest of the country, we see quite a few big schools tackling overmatched schools who'll take home a nice beating in addition to a hefty check.
Earlier this week we spoke of the importance of getting points out your kicker. Any points. Clear-cut starters friends.
We've rambled on long enough. Let's start packing the cooler. We're one step closer to another football Saturday.