Masoli could do some damage against Auburn. Who else should you start?
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 9:
QB — Deserves A Second Look
Jeremiah Masoli, Ole Miss (Auburn)
The former Duck posted the best game of his season last weekend against Arkansas when he threw for 327 yards and 3 TDs while rushing for 98 more yards. Auburn's bend but dont break defense will allow yards to Colonel Reb. They currently rank 101st in pass defense, and in last year's win over Ole MIss, the Tigers allowed 219 yards rushing on 39 carries. I don't think the Rebels pull the upset, but Masoli should make it interesting.
Austin Dantin, Toledo (@ Eastern Michigan)
It is just too easy to pick on the Eagles from Ypsilanti. And Dantin has been solid now that the Rockets are into the heart of their MAC schedule. He has scored four rushing TDs over his last three games and has rushed for 130 yards over the last two. EMU's defensive ineptitude is well documented: 117th against the run, 119th in scoring defense and 109th in total defense.
Trent Steelman, Army (VMI)
As expected from the Army signal caller, Steelman has been productive on the ground. He has scored a rushing TD in five straight games, including a four-TD game against Temple. He has also topped 100 yards passing twice in the last three contests. Against lowly VMI, Steelman has a chance to post a good number.
Garrett Gilbert, Texas (Baylor)
The Longhorn passer has proven himself in very different ways the last two weeks (at least, from a fantasy standpoint). He outrushed Taylor Martinez in the big win in Lincoln two weeks ago then posted his first career 300-yard passing effort last week. The Bears will be dramatically outmatched talent-wise, and their 84th-rated pass defense should be easy to beat.
Jeffery Godfrey, UCF (East Carolina)
Three rushing TDs and an actual passing TD (his second of the year) dot Godfrey's resume over the last two weeks. This could be a high-scoring affair (despite the Knights' solid defense), and ECU's 110th-ranked pass defense could be beaten this weekend. The Pirates also rank 105th in scoring defense.
Matt Scott, Arizona (@ UCLA)
Scott managed the game beautifully last weekend against Washington. He completed 18-of-22 passes for 233 yards and a pair of scores. He added a sneaky 65 yards rushing, and that ability to make plays with his legs is the main difference between him and injured starter Nick Foles. Against the porous UCLA defense (120th rush D, 89th score D, 85th total D), Scott will have space to make plays.
Austen Arnaud, Iowa State (Kansas)
Arnaud has never really lived up to any of the fantasy hype, but has some servicable games from time to time. This week could be one of those times. No team in the Big 12 allows more points per game (33.86 ppg) and no Big 12 team is less effective against the pass (156 opponent passer rating) than the Jayhawks.
QB — Better Think Twice
Blaine Gabbert vs. Taylor Martinez (Missouri @ Nebraska)
On the Missouri side, Gabbert has never had a worse game than against the Huskers last season. Certainly the ankle injury hampered his play, but in fantasy, it doesn't matter why you posted a 134-yard, 0-TD, 2-INT stat line. And that was in Columbia. On the other side of the ledger is a freshman who struggled in his biggest test of the year so far. So much so, that he was benched. The Tigers D has allowed plenty of passing yards in the last two wins (322 to Jerrod Johnson, 303 to Landry Jones), but against the run, they have been solid. And that is where Martinez has done most of his damage. In those two wins, Mizzou allowed 156 yards on 58 carries (2.8 ypc). The nation's fifth-rated scoring defense (13.1 ppg) has allowed a total of 30 yards rushing to opposing quarterbacks for the entire year.
Robert Griffin, Baylor (@ Texas)
The Texas Longhorns, for all of their struggles on defense, rank No. 2 nationally against the pass, allowing under 140 yards per game through the air. Two weeks ago, they made Taylor Martinez look foolish, inducing a 4-for-12, 63-yard, 13-carry, 21-yard, 0-TD performance. The appalling home losses to UCLA and Iowa State were shocking, but it wasn't because the quarterback lit up the sky with an air attack. In those two losses, the Horns allowed a total of 163 passing yards. No player means more to his team than Mr. Griffin, but the Burnt Orange has allowed Baylor to top 20 points only twice in 12 games — all Bear losses.
Jerrod Johnson, Texas A&M (Texas Tech)
The Aggie passer is beginning to put his name into the "Year's Largest Fantasy Bust" conversation. He has a total of two passing TDs in his last three games, and he hasn't really run the ball much at all. He has a total of 146 yards rushing for the season. And because he has turned the ball over 11 times, his coaching staff is toying with playing the back-up some this week. He might just be too risky.
Kirk Cousins, Michigan State (@ Iowa)
This one might be the most obvious bench play of the week. Cousins placed his name in the Heisman race with his 331-yard, 3-TD come-from-behind perfornance last week but won't be able to produce this week. He threw for 225 yards and one score in last year's 15-13 loss to Iowa in East Lansing. Don't expect anything more than that this weekend.
Aaron Murray vs. John Brantley (Georgia vs. Florida — Jacksonville)
Brantley and the Florida offense aren't even worth talking about. They should be nowhere near your fantasy lineup. But Murray has started to prove that he is the real deal. He wasn't needed last weekend, and the Gators have been taking the ball away from quarterbacks all season. Florida is tied for third in the nation with 13 INTs and forced four INTs against the Dawgs last weekend. Expect a low-scoring, grind-it-out-on-the-ground win for Georgia, but Murray's upside is limited.
Trevor Vittatoe, UTEP (@ Marshall)
The Miner passer has been hampered by an injury of late, and his fantasy stats have taken a huge hit. He has totaled 272 passing yards over the last two games with five interceptions and one touchdown. A road trip to Marshall is not what the doctor ordered.
RB — Deserves A Second Look
Knile Davis, Arkansas (Vanderbilt)
In the last three weeks, Davis has emerged as Bobby-P's favorite back. He has double-digit carries in all three, and over the last two games, Davis has out-carried the rest of the Hogs backs 36 to 13. He finally delievered the massive fantasy line last week against Ole Miss (176 yards, 3 TDs). The Dores rank 92nd against the run, allowing over 182 yards per game.
Adonis Thomas, Toledo (@ Eastern Michigan)
Thomas was given the most attempts of his career last week, 19, and he responded with 130 yards and a score against Ball State. EMU's defense is much maligned and will not slow anything the Rockets do. Play Thomas without any hesitation.
Jared Hassin, Army (VMI)
It is always a serious risk to play any running back from Army (and the last time I put Hassin on this list, he did not even register a carry), but against VMI, everyone has a chance. Hassin has been given the ball 43 times over his last three games and has back-to-back 100-yard efforts.
Ronnie Weaver, UCF (East Carolina)
George O'Leary might have actually settled on a running back. Weaver has two 130-plus-yard games in his last four and has three multiple TD games in his last five. He has averaged 22 carries per game over his last four, and this weekend should feature plenty of points. ECU ranks 88th against the run, 110th against the pass and 105th in scoring defense.
Johnny White and Shaun Draughn, North Carolina (William & Mary)
Ugh, it's William & Mary?
Alexander Teich, Navy (Duke)
Much like Army, playing an option back is always a risk, but Teich has been solid. He has been handed the ball 47 times over the last two games, and he has responded with 305 yards and two TDs. Duke ranks 107th against the run (203 ypg) and is 114th in scoring defense (38.7 ppg).
Back-ups worth a shot this weekend:
Matthew Tucker, TCU (@ UNLV)
Michael Hayes, Houston (@ Memphis)
Nic Grigsby, Arizona (@ UCLA)
Matt Brown, Temple (Akron)
Cameron Marshall or Deantre Lewis, Arizona State (Washington State)