Maryland should bounce back this week and help your fantasy team.
Start These Quarterbacks:
Tyler Hansen, Colorado (Washington State)
The Buffs passer has played good football – at least on the fantasy gridiron – all season long. He has at least two touchdowns in all four games and has topped 215 yards in all four contests. He is averaging nearly 40 attempts per game and should have plenty of opportunity against a defense that gave up 273-2 and 42 points to San Diego State the last time they took the field. Expect a shootout in Boulder this weekend.
Collin Klein, Kansas State (Baylor)
The gritty Wildcats quarterback has proven to be a very workable fantasy option in short order. He is averaging over 100 yards rushing per game and has tossed three touchdowns and no picks in his last two. Baylor has the firepower to make this a high-scoring game as the Bears’ defense has allowed Casey Pachall of TCU (251-4) and Taylor McHargue (260-3) to go off in its two FBS games thus far.
Logan Kilgore, Middle Tennessee (Memphis)
In the Week 5 edition of “Let’s Pick on Memphis,” you will find Mr. Kilgore front and center. The Tigers rank 118th against the pass, 119th in total defense, 113th in scoring defense and 110th in pass efficiency defense. Oh yeah, Kilgore is coming off a 415-yard, 5-TD performance against rival Troy. Plug and play this week.
Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State (at Western Kentucky)
Welcome to Sun Belt conference play! Aplin has been solid thus far (averaging 17.1 TFP per game) against stiff competition like Illinois and Virginia Tech. He lit up Memphis in week two and had his most yards of total offense last week in a blowout over Central Arkansas. Western Kentucky got beat 44-16 at home by Indiana State the last time they took the field – allowing 227-3 to Ronnie Fouch. Expect big things from here on out from Aplin.
Jacory Harris, Miami (Bethune-Cookman)
Despite losing to KSU, Harris still managed to post a useful 272-2 line last weekend. He should get some first half chances as this one should get out of hand very quickly. Expect plenty of room for Harris to throw early against the likes of Bethune-Cookman.
Bench These Quarterbacks:
Tajh Boyd, Clemson (at Virginia Tech)
This might be the toughest high-priced fantasy match-up of the weekend. Boyd has been playing excellent football, but his performance last weekend against Florida State came at home. He has yet to face anything like the combination of coach, defense and atmosphere like he will against Bud Foster’s Hokies in Blacksburg, Va. The Hokies held Dom Davis (see below) to 4.08 TFP. Bench at your own risk.
Dom Davis, East Carolina (North Carolina)
The Pirates gunslinger is in a similar situation to Boyd of Clemson. After being totally stymied by the Hokies, Davis bounced back with 361 yards and three scores last week. However, he also threw his fourth, fifth and sixth interceptions of the year. The Tar Heels held Tevin Washington to his worst passing game of the season with only one score and his first INT of the season. Much like Boyd, he probably can’t be benched, but his upside might be limited.
Matt Schilz, Bowling Green (at West Virginia)
The sophomore passer has yet to be slowed this fall but has also played Idaho, Morgan State, Wyoming and Miami (Ohio). This will potentially be the toughest defense he faces all season – and they are angry after the LSU loss last weekend. He could land a couple of late touchdowns due to a lopsided score, but 200-2 seems like a solid estimate against the Big East powerhouse.
Tim Jefferson vs. Kriss Proctor (Air Force vs. Navy)
This was a very low scoring 14-6 win for Air Force last season. Jefferson rushed for two scores, but totaled 145 yards of total offense (83 pass, 62 rush). Fantasy stud Ricky Dobbs was held to 103 yards, 0 total TD, 2 INT and 43 yards rushing. This could once again be a tough-sledding type of game for both teams.
Start These Running Backs:
Davin Meggett, Maryland (Towson)
Randy Edsall has no choice: He has to do whatever it takes to win, and Towson should pose little threat. Expect Meggett and running mate D.J. Adams to get plenty of touches early and often. After 40 carries in the first two weeks, Temple held the Terps tailback to only nine carries last week. That cannot make Edsall happy.
Benny Cunningham, MTSU (Memphis)
Chapter Two of pick on the Tigers this week features the Middle tailback who has carried the ball at least 14 times all three games – culminating in his first 100-yard effort of the season last weekend. He has scored in all three games, and Memphis is no obstacle at all. Get Benny in the line-up.
Terrance Ganaway vs. John Hubert (Baylor at Kansas State)
The Wildcats and Bears should score plenty of points this weekend in Manhattan. Ganaway has scored four times in three games and will once again be the featured back. Hubert ran 18 times for 166 yards and a score in the win over Miami last week. Expect both to get plenty of chances in this one.
Rodney Stewart, Colorado (Washington State)
The Buffs running back is the highest rated fantasy back who has yet to score a rushing touchdown. That is because he has carried the ball 72 times and caught 23 passes for 582 yards from scrimmage. This should be a high-scoring game, and Stewart is a good bet to finally crack the goal-line.
Michael Ford, Spencer Ware, LSU (Kentucky)
Not that these two will be too far from the starting line-up anyway, but this is just a reminder to make sure you get them on the field this weekend. Ford has had between 12 and 14 carries in all four games with six touchdowns. Ware has topped 22 carries in three of four contests and has scored three times. Expect 15-20 touches for both and expect both to reach the end zone.
Silas Redd, Penn State (at Indiana)
This is a no-brain start. Redd IS the PSU offense and will get plenty of carries this weekend against the Hoosiers. He wasn’t needed against Eastern Michigan and likely disappointed owners with his 48 yards. But this is the Big Ten opener on the road, so expect a bounce back performance from Redd.
Perry Jones, Virginia (Idaho)
Kevin Parks is supposed to play but has been hampered by an ankle injury all week. Against Idaho, expect Mike London to keep a close eye on K.P., thus giving Jones ample opportunity to tote the rock. The Vandals are ranked 104th in total defense and 102nd in scoring defense.
Tauren Poole, Tennessee (Buffalo)
With a bye week to prepare, the sour taste in the O-Line’s mouth after a poor showing on the ground against Florida and the Bulls coming to Neyland Stadium, Poole is poised for his best game of the season. Look for the Vols to get the ground game working early against Buffalo.
Deep RB Plays:
Troy Pollard, Illinois (Northwestern)
Vernard Roberts, West Virginia (Bowling Green)
Mike James, Miami (Bethune-Cookman)
Bench These Running Backs:
Brandon Oliver, Buffalo (at Tennessee)
There is no doubt he gets the ball – try 100 attempts in four games. But he was held to only 84 yards and no scores last weekend against UConn. The Vols are rested, angry and at home. Oliver’s upside is very limited this weekend.
Mike Ball, Nevada (at Boise State)
The Wolfpack rusher has carried the ball 56 times in two weeks, topping 124 yards in both games. He did, however, fail to score against Texas Tech and Oregon this year, and Boise State boasts a dramatically better D-line than both. On the blue turf, and with revenge on Boise's mind, Ball will be kept in check.
Andre Ellington, Clemson (at Virginia Tech)
The Clemson Tigers are facing their tallest order of 2011 when they walk into Lane Stadium on Saturday. Ellington has been solid but uninspiring in two emotional home wins over Auburn and Florida State. He has a tough time staying healthy, and the Hokies are loaded for bear. I will have him on my bench this weekend.
Jahwan Edwards, Ball State (at Oklahoma)
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Does anyone think that Ball State will walk into Norman, Okla., and pound the football successfully against the Sooners? No thank you.
James White, Wisconsin (Nebraska)
If the Badgers are going to move the football this weekend, it might have to come through the air. With Montee Ball still getting more carries and goal-line chances, there just might not be enough points to go around. Nebraska welcomes back Jared Crick and Alfonzo Dennard to the line-up and will be fully healthy for the first time in 2011.
Trent Richardson vs. Chris Rainey (Alabama at Florida)
This feels like an 80-90 yards from scrimmage and one score type of game for both. Like T-Rich more.
Anthon Samuel, Jordan Hopgood, Bowling Green (at West Virginia)
Expect West Virginia to be fired up and ready to go after the loss to LSU.
Le’Veon Bell, Edwin Baker, Michigan State (at Ohio State)
Time share against the Buckeyes in Columbus doesn’t sound like fantasy success to me.
Zach Line, SMU (at TCU)
How will the separated shoulder affect him against solid TCU defense?
Waiver Wire Wide Receivers:
Eric Ward, Texas Tech (at Kansas)
Has caught 14 passes for 138 yards and two scores over last two.
Sancho McDonald, MTSU (Memphis)
Has scored in all three games this fall, and the Tigers are pathetic on defense.
Keith Sconiers, Akron (at Eastern Michigan)
Has caught 15 passes for 291 yards and three scores over last two.
Eric Thomas, Troy (UAB)
Has become the Trojans’ top target with a TD in all three games thus far.
Jalen Saunders, Fresno State (Ole Miss)
Big-play threat who is averaging 37 yards per catch over last two (8-296-4).
Top DEF/ST Spot Starts:
1. Miami (Bethune-Cookman)
2. Oklahoma (Ball State)
3. Notre Dame (at Purdue)
4. Stanford (UCLA)
5. Cincinnati (Miami, Ohio)
6. Tennessee (Buffalo)
7. Virginia (Idaho)
8. Ohio (Kent State)
9. Maryland (Towson)
10. UConn (Western Michigan)
11. UL-Lafayette (FAU)
12. Arizona State (Oregon State)