Steven Threet is a solid pickup for Week 5
Steven Threet is a solid pickup for Week 5
A look at the top pickups following Week 4 action -
QB Kolton Browning, UL Monroe
Browning’s promotion to the top spot at quarterback was one of the biggest surprises from spring practice, especially when you consider Trey Revell had a decent year as the starter in 2009. However, Browning has shown he is a solid fantasy quarterback through three games, rushing for 183 yards and one touchdown, while throwing for 590 yards and five scores. Although Browning will have a few inconsistent performances as a redshirt freshman, he has value as a starter in select matchups this season.
QB Trey Burton, Florida
Burton’s six-touchdown performance against Kentucky was impressive, but the biggest question fantasy owners have to wonder is what position will he play? It’s clear Florida needs to get the ball to him, but if he stays a quarterback in terms of positional eligibility, his fantasy value will be limited.
QB Ryan Colburn, Fresno State
Colburn threw for 19 touchdowns last season and has nearly half of that total through three games (nine). The senior has two games of four touchdown passes this year and has emerged as a QB2 with upcoming matchups against Cal Poly, Hawaii, New Mexico State and San Jose State.
QB Austin Dantin, Toledo
Some fantasy owners may have released Dantin after a slow start, but the sophomore’s performances have picked up over the last two games and is one of this week’s top pickups at quarterback if available in your league. Dantin has at least three scores in back-to-back games and is a QB2 against Wyoming this Saturday.
QB Ryan Radcliff, Central Michigan
Radcliff doesn’t Dan LeFevour’s mobility, but the sophomore has proven to be a pretty good passer. Through four games, Radcliff has 1,142 yards and five scores and one rushing touchdown. If you need a spot starter at quarterback, take a look at Radcliff with matchups against Ball State (October 2) and Miami, Ohio (October 16).
QB Steven Threet, Arizona State
Threet made previous stops at Georgia Tech and Michigan, but finally appears at home with Arizona State. The junior has been the perfect signal-caller for the new wide-open offense, averaging 307 passing yards a game through four contests. With favorable matchups against Oregon State and Washington up next, Threet is a good spot starter for your roster.
RB Brandon Bolden, Ole Miss
Bolden torched Fresno State’s defense for 228 yards and two scores, doubling his season and touchdown total in the process. With Enrique Davis’ status uncertain with a leg injury, Bolden should see 20-25 carries in a favorable matchup against Kentucky.
RB JJ Di Luigi, BYU
If Di Luigi is on the waiver wire in your league, expect him to be one of the top pickups this week. The junior has three touchdowns through four games, but has at least 67 rushing yards in every contest and has been a major factor out of the backfield, catching 18 passes for 200 yards and a score. BYU is still searching for an identity on offense, but it’s clear Di Luigi will be a major factor every week.
RB Johnathan Franklin, UCLA
Franklin has been on fire over the last two weeks, posting back-to-back 100-yard performances and four touchdowns. If you haven't jumped on the Franklin bandwagon, now is the time with a favorable Week 5 matchup against Washington State. The Cougars rank 108th against the run, giving Franklin an excellent opportunity to rush for 100 yards once again.
RB Ray Graham, Pittsburgh
After watching Dion Lewis rush for nearly 1,800 yards last season, no one could have expected Graham would lead the team in rushing after three games in 2010. The offensive line has struggled to open holes for the rushing attack, but Graham has found a little more success than Lewis. Don’t expect Graham to be the starter, but he’s a solid pickup for a spot start against Florida International this week.
RB Zach Line, SMU
The Mustangs remain committed to a pass-first offense, but Line continues to play his way into fantasy consideration. The converted linebacker has two 100-yard games this season, including 139 in Friday’s loss to TCU. Expect Line to be a RB3/RB4 in upcoming matchups against Rice and Tulsa.
RB Doug Martin, Boise State
There’s a lot of competition for touchdowns in this offense, but Martin continues to show he’s the workhorse running back. Through three games, Martin has 326 yards and one score and looks like a RB3 throughout Boise State’s remaining schedule.
RB Demetris Murray, South Florida
The Bulls are going with a committee approach at running back, but even with Murray sharing carries with Moise Plancher, he’s worth a look in all formats with a matchup against Florida Atlantic this Saturday.
RB Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati
Pead rushed for 36 yards in the opener against Fresno State, but a knee injury forced him to miss the game against Indiana State and most of the contest against NC State. However, Pead looked sharp in Saturday’s 31-29 loss to Oklahoma, rushing for 169 yards on 21 carries. With matchups against Miami, Ohio, Louisville and Syracuse in October, Pead looks like a solid RB3 play.
RB Stevan Ridley, LSU
With a sputtering passing attack, LSU’s best offense right now is to turn and hand it to Ridley. The junior has 434 yards and three scores through four games and has at least 17 carries in each contest. Tennessee and Florida won’t be easy matchups, but Ridley should see plenty of touches in both games.
RB James Sims, Kansas
Sims was mentioned in our waiver wire report last week and didn’t disappoint with 115 yards and two scores against New Mexico State. If he’s still on the waiver wire in your league, be sure to pick him up with a favorable five-game stretch upcoming.
RB Phillip Tanner, MTSU
One week after rushing for three yards against Memphis, Tanner bounced back with 104 yards and one touchdown against UL Lafayette. The Blue Raiders will get quarterback Dwight Dasher back for an October 5 showdown against Troy, which means defense can no longer key on shutting down Tanner. If Tanner remains MTSU’s go-to back, he could be a top 40-50 rushing option every week.
RB Stepfan Taylor, Stanford
With Toby Gerhart playing on Sundays, the Cardinal has used a committee approach to the rushing attack. However, in two out of the last three games, Taylor has at least 20 carries and had 22 more touches than the next back against Notre Dame. Although this situation is far from settled, Taylor’s recent carry trends suggest he is the one fantasy owners should target.
WR Jeremy Ebert, Northwestern
The Northwestern passing attack continues to click, and Ebert is quarterback Dan Persa’s favorite option through four games. With upcoming matchups against questionable defensive backfields – Minnesota, Purdue, Michigan State and Indiana – Ebert is a good sleeper pick for WR3 play.
WR Jamel Hamler, Fresno State
With no Ryan Mathews in the backfield, Fresno State is leaning more on the ability of quarterback Ryan Colburn. So far, the results have been positive. Colburn has nine touchdown tosses through three games, with two of those going to Hamler, who leads the team with 17 receptions for 252 yards. Expect Hamler to remain a viable fantasy option with a favorable upcoming stretch for Fresno State.
WR Theo Riddick, Notre Dame
Although the Irish offense has two other fantasy options in the receiving corps – tight end Kyle Rudolph and receiver Michael Floyd – Riddick is a deserving pickup in PPR leagues. The sophomore has settled into his role, catching 17 passes for 199 yards and two scores over the last two weeks.
WR Torrey Smith, Maryland
No matter which quarterback takes snaps for Maryland, Smith remains the go-to guy. The junior has back-to-back 100-yard games and five touchdowns over the last three contests. With a shaky Duke secondary ahead, look for Smith to have another 100-yard effort.
WR Antavious Wilson, Marshall
Figuring out which Marshall offense will show up each week is anyone’s guess. The Thundering Herd struggled against Ohio State (predictably) and Bowling Green (head scratcher), but produced solid outings against West Virginia and Ohio. Wilson has five touchdown grabs in the last three games and will be on more fantasy radars if he produces another big game against Southern Miss this Saturday.
WR Conner Vernon, Duke
Donovan Varner was expected to be Duke’s top receiver this year, but Vernon has been the preferred option for quarterback Sean Renfree so far, catching 28 passes for 449 yards and three scores. If he’s available in your league, Vernon is a solid pickup for a start against Maryland this Saturday.
WR Cody Wilson, Central Michigan
Despite playing a solid Northwestern defense, Wilson rewarded fantasy owners with six catches for 76 yards and three rushing attempts for 42 yards and one score. Wilson has earned at least 12 fantasy points in every game this year and is looks like a strong option against Ball State this Saturday.
TE Ted Bolser, Indiana
Bolser has been a touchdown machine through three contests, with four of his nine receptions going for scores. The Hoosiers have a favorable matchup against Michigan this Saturday, making Bolser a top-10 fantasy tight end option.
TE Ben Thayer, Eastern Michigan
The Eagles are riding a 16-game losing streak, but there are signs of progress on offense from this team. Quarterback Alex Gillett has played well at times this year and his favorite target has been Thayer. The senior has 15 receptions for 184 yards and one score this year and is a likely top-10 option against Ohio this Saturday.
QB Jerry Davis, Buffalo
QB Bryan Ellis, UAB
RB Vick Ballard, Mississippi State
RB Raymond Carter, Colorado State
RB Mustafa Greene, NC State
RB Deantre Lewis, Arizona State
RB Jared Tew, Air Force
RB Ronnie Weaver, UCF
WR Marquess Wilson, Washington State
TE Jack Doyle, Western Kentucky
TE Eric Lair, Minnesota
TE Danny Noble, Toledo
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