The calendar has turned to November and as we are into Week 10 of the college fantasy football season it may be time to cut bait on some big-name players that have not panned out this year.
Oregon RB Royce Freeman has been banged up this season and has not produced 100 rushing yards on in three weeks. TCU quarterback Kenny Hill is on the verge of getting benched. And Jalen Hurd isn't even available the rest of the year because he decided to transfer from Tennessee with games still left to play.
Note: Obvious choices will not be given such as Lamar Jackson or Donnel Pumphrey as those players are typically starters regardless of the matchup.
Also below are the top 10 rankings for each position for the given week.
Sam Darnold, USC vs. Oregon
Is there a quarterback playing better football right now, outside of Lamar Jackson, than Darnold? The redshirt freshman has been a revelation for the Trojans and is the primary reason for their current four-game winning streak with 16 TD passes during that span, including five in each of the last two games against both Arizona and California. Darnold should be licking his chops entering this week against Oregon, as the Ducks have allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for 300-plus yards in each of the last five games. If you want to get a glimpse of the future of college fantasy football at the quarterback position, I highly suggest watching this game between Sam Darnold and Oregon’s Justin Herbert.
Alex McGough, FIU at Western Kentucky
He certainly won’t get any recognition nationally for his play, but ever since the firing of Ron Turner as head coach, McGough has turned his season around. After accounting for a touchdown in the first three games of the season, McGough has 17 total touchdowns with 13 of them coming in the last four games alone. The junior quarterback had his best game of the season last week against Middle Tennessee with 307 passing yards and four touchdowns. McGough has been prone to turnovers this year with a career-high 11 interceptions already, but he does have a favorable matchup this week against a Western Kentucky defense that is allowing more than 280 passing yards per game. I don’t expect FIU to win, but McGough should be able to keep the Panthers close against a high-powered Western Kentucky offense.
Kenny Hill, TCU at Baylor
After three sub-par quarters against Texas Tech last week, Hill was pulled from the game in favor of backup Foster Sawyer. Hill finished the day 16-of-29 passing for just 160 yards against a Red Raiders defense that had just given up seven touchdowns the week prior to Baker Mayfield. On Monday, head coach Gary Patterson stated that “nothing’s changed” so while it does look like Hill will get the start this week against Baylor, the leash is not very long at this point. Hill has a tough matchup against a Baylor defense that has given up just five TD passes all season long. I probably would still hang onto Hill if you have him on your roster, but his standing with your team is likely on life support at this point.
Tommy Armstrong, Nebraska at Ohio State
Is the big stage too big for Tommy Armstrong and the Nebraska offense? Last week in the Cornhuskers’ first critical game, the passing game fell flat as Armstrong completed just 39 percent of his attempts for 153 yards and two interceptions. Albeit this was against a top 10 defense in Wisconsin, but the schedule does not let up this week as Nebraska is on the road once again to face the Buckeyes. The Ohio State pass defense has been stingy the last three weeks, giving up just three TD passes combined. The Buckeyes currently rank ninth in the country at 171 passing yards per game allowed and 12 total interceptions, second only to Nebraska in the Big Ten.
Top 10 Quarterbacks for Week 10:
Ryan Higgins, Louisiana Tech at North Texas
Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech vs. Texas
Lamar Jackson, Louisville at Boston College
Deshaun Watson, Clemson vs. Syracuse
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma at Iowa State (Thursday)
Luke Falk, Washington State at Arizona
Mike White, Western Kentucky vs. FIU
Sam Darnold, USC vs. Oregon
Chad Kelly, Ole Miss vs. Georgia Southern
Brent Stockstill, Middle Tennessee vs. UTSA
Dorian Brown, Ohio vs. Buffalo (Thursday)
Brown was mentioned in our weekly waiver wire report but I probably should have spotlighted him more considering the way he has been running the football of late and with his matchup this week. The Bobcats have been a revolving door at the running back spot in 2016 due to a rash of injuries, but Brown has solidified the position the last three weeks with a combined 416 yards and three touchdowns during that span. His coming out party came this past week against Toledo where he rushed for 212 yards on 29 carries. This week Brown gets to take on a Buffalo rush defense that is allowed close to 270 yards on the ground per game and well over five yards per carry.
LJ Scott, Michigan State vs. Illinois
Scott proved us wrong last week as he rushed for a season-high 139 yards and a touchdown against the vaunted Michigan run defense that ranked atop the country in multiple categories coming into the week. Even more promising was the distribution of carries amongst the group of tailbacks as Scott had 22 compared to just six for backup Gerald Holmes. If it wasn’t evident before that Scott is the clear No. 1 back moving forward, it is now. He should have a much easier time finding running lanes this week against an Illinois defense that has fallen off the rails in recent weeks, giving up a combined eight rushing touchdowns to both Michigan and Minnesota. Another 100-plus yards and multiple touchdowns is a very attainable goal this week for Scott.
Royce Freeman, Oregon at USC
I never thought it would get to this point with a stud like Freeman, but the writing is on the Twitter wall where people are asking me if he should be dropped completely from their rosters. After a blazing start to the season with four rushing touchdowns in the first two weeks, Freeman has fallen off the map of late with just one rushing touchdown in his last three games. Injuries have certainly played a factor as Freeman has been nicked up for a good portion of the year, but it has been a struggle of late for the former 1,800-yard rusher. I don’t think you drop him at this point as Freeman did state after the Arizona State game last week that he is feeling healthy, but he is not someone you can rely on with the fantasy playoffs just around the corner. USC is a middle-of-the-road rush defense statistically, but have done a good job at stopping the run during their current four-game winning streak.
Benny Snell Jr., Kentucky vs. Georgia
Snell was the headline of our waiver wire report this week after his second consecutive 100-yard rushing performance against Missouri. Snell had 38 carries in the victory, the most he has had all season long, and looks to be the feature back for the Wildcats moving forward, the rest of this season and beyond. That said, this may not be the best weekend to start him against the No. 13 rush defense in the country. The Bulldogs are allowing just 3.2 yards per carry in 2016 and have yet to give up 100 rushing yards to an opposing back. There are obviously worse options to play if needed, but if you have depth at the running back spot, I would keep Snell on the bench this week.
Top 10 Running Backs for Week 10:
Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State vs. Hawaii
D’Onta Foreman, Texas atTexas Tech
Jeremy McNichols, Boise State vs. San Jose State
l’Tavius Mathers, Middle Tennessee vs. UTSA
Ito Smith, Southern Miss vs. Charlotte
Aaron Jones, UTEP vs. Houston Baptist
Dalvin Cook, Florida State at NC State
Christian McCaffrey, Stanford vs. Oregon State
Miles Gaskin, Washington at California
Dorian Brown, Ohio vs. Buffalo (Thursday)
Anthony Miller, Memphis at SMU
Miller busted out of a mid-season slump in a big way the last two weeks with a combined 384 yards and three touchdowns, including a season-high 250 yards on 12 catches last week against Tulsa. Miller’s stat-line this year has been a strange one to figure out. In Memphis’ wins (five games), Miller has combined for 22 catches. In the Tigers’ three losses, he has 31 receptions. With Memphis going on the road against SMU, which has won two games in a row, the Tigers could very well find themselves trailing at some point, which spells good news for Miller based on how the season has transpired. SMU is currently ranked 88th in the country in pass defense, giving up just under 250 yards per game.
Kalib Woods, Florida Atlantic at Rice
Nothing went right last week for Florida Atlantic against Western Kentucky as the Owls were blown out 52-3. After consecutive 100-yard receiving performances, Woods was held to just 19 yards on three catches, a season low. While this week’s game against Rice is completely unwatchable from a viewer standpoint, I would still start Woods if possible as he is going against the second-worst pass defense in the country in Rice (337 ypg). Just how bad has Rice been at defending opposing wide receivers? The Owls have allowed an opposing receiver to top 100 yards in all but one game this season, and have allowed two different players to post more than 200 receiving yards. While I wouldn’t expect the latter for Woods, he should be able to top the 100-yard mark in this matchup.
Austin Carr, Northwestern vs. Wisconsin
Carr would be a tough sit at this point given how well he is playing this season, but the Badgers have been tough on opposing wide receivers. Wisconsin has allowed just one receiver all year long to top the 100-yard receiving mark, and that came all the way back in Week 3 against Georgia State. Since that, the Badgers have given up just two TD catches to WRs, and a total of four all season. In PPR leagues, I would likely leave Carr in the lineup considering he has at least five receptions in every game this year, but don’t expect him to find the end zone this week.
Marcus Kemp, Hawaii at San Diego State
Kemp has easily been the most consistent offensive player for Hawaii this season with six or more receptions in each of the last six games. He also is undoubtedly the top target in the passing game for the Warriors with 19 more catches than the next closest receiver. I don’t see any scenario this week, though, in which Kemp or any other Hawaii player is start-worthy against the top defense in the Mountain West in San Diego State. Since their loss to South Alabama, the Aztecs’ defense has been suffocating opponents, holding them to around six points per game over the last four weeks. During that span, the most yards an opposing receiver has had is 56, and just a single touchdown. Kemp needs to remain on the bench for this week.
Top 10 Wide Receivers for Week 10:
Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma at Iowa State (Thursday)
Trent Taylor, Louisiana Tech at North Texas
Zay Jones, East Carolina at Tulsa
Richie James, Middle Tennessee vs. UTSA
Carlos Henderson, Louisiana Tech at North Texas
JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC vs. Oregon
Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky vs. FIU
Jonathan Giles, Texas Tech vs. Texas
KD Cannon, Baylor vs. TCU
Gabe Marks, Washington State vs. Arizona
— Written by Mike Bainbridge, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Bainbridge is a graduate of Northern Illinois University. For more College Fantasy Football insight, Make sure to follow him on Twitter @MikeBainbridge2.