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Mark Lindquist

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Week 6: Starts and Sits

Monday, October 1, 2018


In this column, we'll be running through our favorite and least favorite matchups for the upcoming college football fantasy week. This should be viewed as gauge of just how confident we are in a given player against the opposition. While these recommendations can be used to help weigh starts and sits, they should be viewed as contextual information more than a strict, absolute guide.


Proceed with confidence


Colorado State QB K.J. Carta-Samuels at San Jose State -- Carta-Samuels has been more hot and cold than a faulty motel shower this season, with rather majestic highs -- 537 passing yards, five touchdowns against Hawaii in the opener; 389 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns against Arkansas in Week 2 -- tempered by frustrating lows -- fewer than 220 passing yards against Colorado, Florida and Illinois State. This will be a feast week for the Washington transfer as he faces off with the third-worst passing defense in the FBS on a per-game average. This season, the Spartans have allowed at least 300 yards passing to every starting quarterback they have faced, with a pair of signal-callers hitting for at least 400 yards in a four-game sample.


Memphis QB Brady White vs. UConn -- One slot above San Jose State on that pass-defense average, the UConn Huskies, who have surrendered multiple passing touchdowns in every game this season, with three of the five signal-callers they’ve faced putting up at least 300 yards through the air. For his part, White has a pair of five-touchdown showings on the year, and has thrown for at least two touchdowns in every contest this season outside of a Week 2 loss to Navy.


Washington State RB James Williams at Oregon State -- As a traditional runner, Williams offers a limited fantasy value, having been held to fewer than 55 yards rushing in every game this season outside of the opener (and even in that win over Wyoming, he managed just a modest 82 yards on the ground). Traditional carries are not HC Mike Leach’s jam, though, and Williams has more/less made up the difference as a pass-catcher for the Pirate. He’s actually recorded more receiving yards (205) than rushing yards (204) on the campaign. For those working in PPR formats, the upperclassman has been good for 28 catches in five games. While we love Williams as a PPR performer in this spot, we’d take him for a spin even in non-PPR formats given just how bad the Beavers have been against the run this year. Especially of late. Arizona’s J.J. Taylor went off for 284 yards and a pair of scores two weekends ago, with OSU somehow failing to pass under that absurdly high limbo bar versus Arizona State on Saturday -- Eno Benjamin went wild with 314 yards rushing in that contest.


UNLV RB Lexington Thomas vs. New Mexico -- Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor shredded New Mexico like a slab of barbeque pork in Week 2 -- he went off for 253 yards and three touchdowns -- but the Lobos have proven futile against the run beyond just that one game. Incarnate Word’s Ra’Quanne Dickens likewise posted 100-plus yards versus New Mexico, while New Mexico State’s Jason Huntley and Liberty’s Frankie Hickson hit for 67 and 65 yards, respectively. You can expect Thomas for an output more on par with that of Dickens and (in a perfect world) Taylor. The UNLV standout topped 120 yards rushing in each of his first three games this season before being slowed for 82 by Arkansas State prior to heading into the bye week. He’s found the end zone at least once in all four of the Rebels’ games this season.


Notre Dame WR Miles Boykin at Virginia Tech -- Arrows pointing to the stars for Notre Dame’s offense, which had failed to top 25 points in any of Brandon Wimbush’s three starts to boot up the campaign. In the last two games -- which were helmed by the more throwing-able Ian Book -- the Irish have scored a combined 94 points versus Wake Forest and Stanford. The win over the Demon Deacons was impressive. The win over a strong Cardinal outfit on Saturday was nothing short of eye-opening. In that contest, Boykin logged his second 100-yard performance of the season, catching 11 passes for 144 yards and a score. Look for him to build off this strong showing as he and Book continue to cultivate their budding connection. This Week 6 showdown in Blacksburg will offer the perfect opportunity for additional fun, as Virginia Tech has been all over the map (but mostly bad) against opposing wideouts. In Week 2, they allowed William & Mary’s DeVonte Dedmon and Nick Muse to both top 90 yards receiving (Dedmon also caught a touchdown), and they proved even more charitable in their Week 4 upset loss to Old Dominion, when Travis Fulgham dropped 9-188-1 and Jonathan Duhart 9-142-3. We like Boykin much, much more than receiving teammate Chase Claypool, but Claypool could be worth a gamble in this matchup as well.


Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf vs. Louisiana-Monroe -- Don’t be scared off by LSU’s lockdown of Metcalf on Saturday. He managed just three catches for 37 yards in that contest, but the Rebs’ offensive standouts were always going to make for gamble plays against the Tigers. Prior to Saturday’s letdown, Metcalf had notched at least 80 yards receiving and one touchdown in each of the previous four contests. Expect a return to those kinds of good times upcoming versus Monroe, with the Warhawks allowing an opposing receiver to top 145 yards twice in five games. The only team which failed to field a wideout with at least 70 yards versus Monroe this season has been Texas A&M, something which can be chalked up largely to a lopsided scoreboard. All of your Ole Miss fantasy entities should be considered strong plays this coming weekend.


Ohio WR/RB Papi White at Kent State -- The Golden Flashes have been flash-fried on repeat by opposing wideouts this season. After ably handling Illinois’ passing game in the opener -- no surprise there -- they have allowed a 100-yard receiver in each of their next four games. That futility took on the broken grandeur of a natural disaster versus Ball State on Saturday, with Riley Neal hooking up with a fellow Riley (Riley Miller) on a 11-208-1 receiving line. Ohio comes to town, now, with White searching for his third 100-yard game of the campaign. He opened with showings of 154 yards receiving and 131 yards receiving against Howard and Virginia before falling back down to two catches for 23 yards against Cincinnati in Week 3. White turned in a rebound 6-84-2 receiving line against UMass on Saturday.



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Mark Lindquist holds a master's degree from the University of Iowa and writes baseball and college football for Rotoworld.com. He's currently working on a memoir about life, death, rock 'n' roll and his year teaching at a Chinese university. You can reach him on Twitter @markrlindquist.
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