Daily Blog • Thursday, September 27th


Surprise College Fantasy Players of the Week

Three years ago I started a weekly blog that included my surprise fantasy picks for each week of the college football season. Each week I picked the players that were flying under the radar and I am pleased that I finished my first year at a very successful 83-29-7 (74%). In 2010 I had another successful year with a winning week every week and an overall 103-45-17 (70%) record. Last year I went 82-44-11 (65%). So far this year I am 28-17-3.

This year I will again be giving you the surprise fantasy picks each and every week in my Thursday daily blog and here are my picks for Week 3. Keep in mind you will not find players like Denard Robinson, Matt Barkley or Montee Ball in my picks. These are strictly surprise picks of players who are flying under the radar.

My QB’s of the Week:
Bryn Renner, North Carolina • Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
• Derek Carr, Fresno St

QB Bryn Renner, North Carolina vs Idaho – With star RB Giovani Bernard still on the mend from an early season injury, Bryn Renner has stepped up as the focal point of the UNC offense thus far throwing for 684 yds and 7 td’s in the last 2 weeks. Toss in a non-conf matchup this weekend against Idaho and you could easily see yet another 300 yd performance out of Renner.

QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M vs Arkansas – How has the Arkansas pass defense done this season? How about allowing an average of 312 yds per game thus far including 412 to ULM and 397 to Rutgers a week ago. It doesn’t get much easier for the Hogs this week as they now face Johnny Manziel and the Aggie offense. On the year Manziel has averaged 301 total ypg of offense including a perfect 7-0 td to int ratio. Continued success for Manziel and the A&M offense should be in the offing this weekend.

QB Derek Carr, Fresno St vs San Diego St – Derek Carr continues to follow in the footsteps of his older brother here with the Bulldogs already surpassing the 1,000 yard passing mark in 2012 with an outstanding 9-1 td to int ratio. Carr and the highly productive FSU offense now face a San Diego St pass defense that has allowed 434 pass yds to FCS foe North Dakota and 290 to San Jose St. Bank on Carr delivering a solid showing here!


My RB’s of the Week:
Lyle McCombs, Connecticut • Kerwynn Williams, Utah St
• Antonio Andrews, WKU

RB Lyle McCombs, Connecticut vs Buffalo – After delivering six 100 yard rushing performances as a true frosh a season ago, Lyle McCombs finally accomplished the feat a week ago for the first time this season when he rushed for 120 yds against WMU. With inconsistency at QB and a home matchup against a Buffalo squad that has allowed over 200 yards rushing in all 3 games this season, you can almost bank on McCombs to reach the 100 yard plateau here. Keep an eye on his final numbers to see if he surpasses last year’s career-high of 152 yds that he accomplished against Syracuse.

RB Kerwynn Williams, Utah St vs UNLV – The Utah St Aggies have been a pleasant surprise thus far in 2012 and the running of Kerwynn Williams has been a huge part of their success. Williams took the entire offense on his shoulders a week ago against CSU rushing for 205 yds and 2 td’s. This week he faces a UNLV squad who now goes on the road for the first time this season to the now treacherous Logan, Utah with a defense that has allowed 184 ypg rushing through 4 games.

RB Antonio Andrews, WKU vs Arkansas St – Back-to-back impressive performances against Kentucky and Southern Miss have us hyping up WKU RB Antonio Andrews this weekend. Andrews has rushed for 261 yds the past 2 weeks as the primary ball carrier for the Hilltoppers. ASU has allowed 261 rush ypg vs FBS opponents in 2012 making Andrews a solid option in deeper college fantasy leagues.

My WR’s of the Week:
Markus Wheaton, Oregon St • Jamison Crowder, Duke
• Austin Franklin, New Mexico St

WR Markus Wheaton, Oregon St vs Arizona – A big reason for the Beavers surprising 2-0 start this season has been due to the success of their passing game. Markus Wheaton has 17 receptions through 2 games including 9 catches for 150 yds last week in their upset of UCLA. Wheaton is a solid option in both short and long passes as well as a dangerous weapon on the always productive fly sweep. We project the Beavers to surpass the 300 yard passing mark this weekend against Arizona and Wheaton will almost certainly get his share of touches.

WR Jamison Crowder, Duke vs Wake Forest – Last week on our blog we took a look at Duke QB Sean Renfree who delivered outstanding results passing for 314 yds and 4 td’s. This week we look at one of Renfree’s weapons in Jamison Crowder. While Crowder is the #2 WR for the Blue Devils with 367 yds this year, we look at #1 WR Conner Vernon’s (400 yds) matchup here against Wake CB Bud Noel (19 pbu LY) which could take him out of the scheme this weekend. Look for Renfree to target Crowder more here and produce a fine performance.

WR Austin Franklin, New Mexico St vs UTSA – It’s always fun for us to grab fantasy players from smaller schools that are often overlooked. Austin Franklin could be one of those guys as he’s put together an outstanding 4 game stretch where he’s posted three 100 yard receiving performances including 236 in the opener against Sacramento St. We project a very tight battle this weekend between the Aggies and Roadrunners, Franklin could see plenty of looks during crucial moments of the game.


My Defenses of the Week:
Virginia Tech •Ohio St •Illinois


Virginia Tech Defense vs Cincinnati – After being embarrassed by a Big East team a few weeks back in Pittsburgh, we expect the Hokies to deliver an outstanding defensive effort here against a Cincy squad that has an overrated offense in our opinion led by a QB who still has a run first mentality. Our forecast is for Va Tech to hold the Bearcats to under 250 yards of total offense as they look to make a statement.

Ohio St Defense vs Michigan St – Big game for the OSU defense to step up in their Big Ten opener against the Spartans. The primary focus for the Buckeyes here will be to contain the run as Michigan St QB Maxwell has shown no ability to pass with consistency this season. Expect a low-scoring contest here with a still improving OSU defense.

Illinois Defense vs Penn St – Illinois has been a Jekyll and Hyde type of defense so far this season allowing 259 and 125 yds against WMU and Charleston Southern but 510 and 403 versus Arizona St and Louisiana Tech. This week they get a depleted Penn St offense in Champaign and we expect a good showing here (PSU forecasted with just 243 yds of offense).




A special thanks to our friends at CollegeFootballGeek.com for providing us with their Sneaky Plays for Week 5

CollegeFootballGeek.com’s Sneaky Plays – Week 5
By Kevin Mount, CollegeFootballGeek.com

A very interesting Week Four is in the books and it is now time to look ahead to the Fifth week of the college football season and the “sneaky” plays it has in store for fantasy owners. Here is a look at some guys who might fill in nicely for owners in need of a potential diamond in the rough.


Taylor Kelly Arizona State QB vs. Cal:
Kelly is coming off his best game of the season last week versus Utah. He threw for 326 yards and added three scoring passes in the win. The Sun Devils offense is starting to roll and Kelly is driving the car. He could find more success this week against a Cal defense that ranks 79th in the nation defending the pass. Kelly could approach 300 total yards and a few scores this week in a potential Pac 12 shoot out.

Sean Mannion Oregon State QB vs. Arizona:
This talented sophomore is coming off a torching of UCLA that included 379 passing yards and two scores. He has all the physical tools and appears ready to break out. Mannion has two talented receivers to throw to in Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks. The Arizona secondary is not very good and could have a real problem containing Mannion and crew this weekend. Look for this Beaver to approach 300 yards passing for a second straight week against the Wildcats.

Derek Carr Fresno State QB vs. San Diego State:
Carr has put up decent fantasy numbers thus far in 2012, averaging 265 yards passing per game and throwing nine touchdowns. He could far exceed those numbers this week versus a weak San Diego State defense that comes in ranked 93rd in the country against the pass. Look for Carr to find plenty of open throwing lanes and toss two or three touchdown passes against the Aztecs.


Matthew Tucker TCU RB vs. SMU:
Tucker had been sharing the backfield duties with Waymon James to start the season, but that changed when James was lost for the season with a knee injury. He is a dependable back that could thrive with a heavier workload. Tucker could have his coming out party this week against a soft SMU run defense that is allowing almost 174 yards per game. This Horned Frog could have his first 100 plus yard effort in Week Five.

Mark Weisman Iowa RB vs. Minnesota:
Weisman exploded last week to the tune of 217 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He appears to be the last man standing in the Iowa backfield and will likely see a ton of carries for the foreseeable future. This week’s match up with Minnesota could help Weisman throw up another stellar stat line. The Gophers are by no means a defensive juggernaut and can be run on quite often. Expect this converted fullback to clear the century mark once again this weekend and likely find the end zone at least once.

Shadrack Thornton NC State RB vs. Miami:
This freshman ran for 145 yards and two scores in his first collegiate game last week against the Citadel. Thornton was called upon because the top three backs on the depth chart all missed the game. He may have taken the job outright with his stellar performance. The status of Mustafa Greene, James Washington, & Tony Creecy will have to be monitored, but Thornton could do very well if given the opportunity versus Miami. The Hurricanes defense is a shell of its former self and can be run on almost at will. Thornton could be a very, very sneaky play in Week Five.

Lyle McCombs UCONN RB vs. Buffalo:
McCombs has been good but not great so far in 2012. He is averaging a healthy 23 carries per game, so the opportunity for success is there. He could turn those carries into a bunch of rushing yardage this week when he faces a Buffalo rush defense that is yielding 223 rushing yards per contest this season. A game of 100 yards rushing and a score seem like the floor for McCombs this week.

Beau Blankenship RB Ohio vs. Massachusetts:
Blankenship does not get a ton of love from fantasy owners, but there is no denying his production. He has rushed for over 100 yards in every game this season and has scored four total touchdowns. The UMASS rush defense is not good at all and has allowed an astounding 13 rushing scores in only four games this season. Blankenship could have a field day on Saturday. Look for this Bobcat to post his fifth straight 100 plus yard effort this week.

Brandin Cooks Oregon State WR vs. Arizona:
Cooks has emerged as a big time playmaker for Oregon State through their first two games of the season. He is coming of a 175 yard and one score performance against UCLA last week. Fantasy owners may be licking their chops at the though of Cooks getting to face the Arizona pass defense this weekend. Cooks and the Oregon State passing game could really exploit an Arizona defense that comes in ranked 87th in the country against the pass. This Beaver could easily score in his third straight game this Saturday.

Mike Evans Texas A&M WR vs. Arkansas:
This freshman is the leading receiver for an ever-improving Texas A&M offense. He is averaging 6 receptions and 75 yards per game thus far in 2012. Evans is a big wide out who is a nightmare match up in jump ball situations. He could officially arrive on the fantasy scene this week against Arkansas. The Razorbacks are terrible defending the pass, allowing 312 yards per game this season. Evans could easily top the 100-yard mark this week and also find the end zone for the first time in 2012.

Chip Reeves Troy WR vs. South Alabama:
Reeves is coming off a 120-yard and one score outing against North Texas and has actually been a consistent fantasy contributor this year. That trend seems likely ton continue this week against an overmatched South Alabama pass defense. The Troy passing attack is in a groove right now and Reeves is a big reason for the success. Expect this junior to top 100 yards once again in Week Five.

Kenny Bell Nebraska WR vs. Wisconsin:
It’s not often that we would advocate starting a Nebraska wide receiver, but it is very hard to argue with Bell’s production thus far. He has scored four times in four games and is averaging a ridiculous 33 yards per reception. The Huskers passing game is much improved and the Wisconsin pass defense is pretty weak. He should be a big part of the offense this week when the Badgers visit Lincoln.


UCONN vs. Buffalo
Ohio vs. Massachusetts
North Carolina vs. Idaho
Louisville vs. Southern Miss

There you have it everyone, enjoy this week’s action and always remember to have fun playing college fantasy football. Good luck this week!


For more college fantasy football information, visit CollegeFootballGeek.com:

• National Radio Show on SiriusXM
• Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em
• Injury Reports
• Player Rankings
• Sneaky Plays of the Week
• Waiver Wire Reports

CollegeFootballGeek.com is your home for 2012 college fantasy football content! Draft kit, injury reports, player news, player projections, player rankings, mock drafts, community forums, and much more!


A special thanks to our friends at CollegeFootballGeek.com for providing us with their Week 5 Player Rankings

Todd DeVries, CollegeFootballGeek.com
Rank Name School Rank Name School Rank Name School
1 Geno Smith WVU 1 Stefphon Jefferson NEV 1 Tavon Austin WVU
2 Cody Fajardo NEV 2 Kenjon Barner ORE 2 Stedman Bailey WVU
3 Jordan Lynch NIU 3 De'Anthony Thomas ORE 3 Jaime Wilson WMIC
4 Kolton Browning LAMO 4 Robbie Rouse FRES 4 Cobi Hamilton ARK
5 Ryan Aplin ARKS 5 Johnathan Franklin UCLA 5 Cody Hoffman BYU
6 Taylor McHargue RICE 6 Beau Blankenship OHIO 6 Terrance Williams BAY
7 Brett Hundley UCLA 7 Kerwynn Williams UTST 7 Venric Mark NW
8 Nick Florence BAY 8 Marcus Lattimore SCAR 8 Michael Campanaro WAKE
9 Zac Dysert MIAO 9 D.J. Harper BOIS 9 DeAndre Hopkins CLEM
10 Bryn Renner UNC 10 Lyle McCombs CONN 10 Austin Franklin NMST
11 Taylor Martinez NEB 11 Andre Ellington CLEM 11 Justin Hunter TENN
12 Tyler Tettleton OHIO 12 Stepfan Taylor STAN 12 Antonio Andrews WKU
13 David Piland HOU 13 Giovani Bernard UNC 13 Bernard Reedy TOLE
14 Johnny Manziel TXAM 14 Charles Sims HOU 14 Tevin Reese BAY
15 Marcus Mariota ORE 15 Mark Weisman IOWA 15 Keenan Allen CAL
16 Tevin Washington GTEC 16 Shawn Southward TROY 16 Brandon Carter TCU
17 Tajh Boyd CLEM 17 Chris Thompson FSU 17 Markus Wheaton ORST
18 Derek Carr FRES 18 Rex Burkhead NEB 18 Conner Vernon DUKE
19 Braxton Miller OHST 19 Le'Veon Bell MCST 19 Justin Hardy ECAR
20 Seth Doege TTCH 20 David Oku ARKS 20 Marquess Wilson WAZZ
21 Dalton Williams AKRO 21 Matthew Tucker TCU 21 Josh Schaffer WMIC
22 Terrance Owens TOLE 22 Eddie Lacy ALAB 22 Sammy Watkins CLEM
23 Colby Cameron LTEC 23 Kenny Hilliard LSU 23 Dewayne Peace HOU
24 Matt Scott ARIZ 24 Cody Getz AFA 24 Allen Robinson PSU
25 Corey Robinson TROY 25 Anthon Samuel BG 25 Brent Leonard LAMO
26 Casey Pachall TCU 26 Raymond Maples ARMY 26 Davante Adams FRES
27 Sean Mannion ORST 27 Tim Cornett UNLV 27 Darrin Moore TTCH
28 Shane Carden ECAR 28 Storm Woods ORST 28 Mike Edwards UTEP
29 Logan Thomas VTEC 29 Kenneth Dixon LTEC 29 Tavarese Maye LAMO
30 Tyler Wilson ARK 30 Adam Muema SDST 30 Marquelo Suel AKRO
31 Rakeem Cato MARS 31 David Fluellen TOLE 31 Chip Reeves TROY
32 Tyler VanTubbergen WMIC 32 Dareyon Chance WMIC 32 Cordarrelle Patterson TENN
33 Wes Lunt OKST 33 Zach Line SMU 33 Quinton Patton LTEC
34 Connor Halliday WAZZ 34 Christine Michael TXAM 34 Jared Abbrederis WISC
35 Chuckie Keeton UTST 35 Joseph Randle OKST 35 Tracy Moore OKST
36 Kain Colter NW 36 KaDeem Carey ARIZ 36 Javone Lawson LALA
37 Aaron Murray GEOR 37 Michael Alisa BYU 37 Josh Boyce TCU
38 Riley Nelson BYU 38 Kendial Lawrence MIZZ 38 Erik Highsmith UNC
39 Taylor Kelly AZST 39 Alonzo Harris LALA 39 Aaron Dobson MARS
40 Tyler Bray TENN 40 Duke Johnson MIAF 40 Brelan Chancellor NTEX
41 E.J. Manuel FSU 41 Branden Oliver (INJ) BUFF 41 Tavarres King GEOR
42 Matt Schilz BG 42 Mike James MIAF 42 Alex Amidon BC
43 Connor Shaw SCAR 43 Zurlon Tipton CMIC 43 Brandin Cooks ORST
44 Trent Steelman ARMY 44 Cameron Marshall AZST 44 Antavian Edison PURD
45 David Fales SJOS 45 James White WISC 45 Gabriel Marks WAZZ
46 Cody Green TULS 46 T.J. Yeldon ALAB 46 Jamison Crowder DUKE
47 Keith Price WASH 47 Melvin Gordon WISC 47 Donte Foster OHIO
48 Caleb TerBush PURD 48 Todd Gurley GEOR 48 Martel Moore NIU
49 Blaine Gautier LALA 49 George Winn CIN 49 Austin Hill ARIZ
50 James Vandenberg IOWA 50 Jyruss Edwards LAMO 50 Eric Ward TTCH
Rank Name School Rank Name School Rank Team
1 Joseph Fauria UCLA 1 Matt Weller OHIO 1 LSU Tigers
2 Austin Seferian-Jenkins WASH 2 Brett Baer LALA 2 Alabama Crimson Tide
3 Colt Lyerla ORE 3 Brian Davis ARKS 3 Florida State Seminoles
4 Blake Jackson OKST 4 Dustin Hopkins FSU 4 Boise State Broncos
5 Dion Sims MCST 5 Drew Alleman LSU 5 BYU Cougars
6 Kaneauka Friel BYU 6 Casey Barth UNC 6 South Carolina Gamecocks  
7 Christian Powell COLO 7 Jeff Budzien NW 7 North Carolina Tar Heels  
8 Jake Stoneburner OHST 8 Chandler Catanzaro CLEM 8 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets  
9 Zach Sudfeld NEV 9 Jeremy Shelley ALAB 9 TCU Horned Frogs
10 Ryan Otten SJOS 10 Ka'imi Fairbairn UCLA 10 Oregon Ducks
11 Gavin Escobar SDST 11 Quinn Sharp OKST 11 UCLA Bruins
12 Blake Hammond WMIC 12 Riley Stephenson BYU 12 Ohio Bobcats
13 Chris Gragg ARK 13 Mike Meyer IOWA 13 Connecticut Huskies
14 Jace Amaro TTCH 14 Chris Boswell RICE 14 Louisville Cardinals
15 Levine Toilolo STAN 15 David Scully GTEC 15 Ohio State Buckeyes
16 Brandon Ford CLEM 16 Drew Basil OHST 16 Georgia Bulldogs
17 Jake McGee VIRG 17 Dan Conroy MCST 17 Virginia Tech Hokies
18 Jacob Pederson WISC 18 Marshall Morgan GEOR 18 Clemson Tigers
19 Mychal Rivera TENN 19 Jordan Williamson STAN 19 Iowa Hawkeyes
20 C.J. Fiedorowicz IOWA 20 Ryan Bustin TTCH 20 Nebraska Cornhuskers
Scoring System Used for CFG Rankings:
4 points per passing touchdown
6 points per rushing/receiving touchdown
25 passing yards = 1 point
10 rushing/receiving yards = 1 point
1 interception = -2 point
1 reception = 0.5 points