Kris Burd, WR, Virginia vs. Eastern Michigan
After starting the season with three 100-yard plus outputs in his first four games, Burd was largely held in check by the superior defenses of Georgia Tech and North Carolina. This week the Cavs get a breather from ACC-play as they host Eastern Michigan, making Burd a good bet to succeed.
Jacory Harris, QB, Miami (FL) vs. North Carolina
Call this one a gut feeling. Should the Hurricanes lose, all the hype and hope in Coral Gables and the rest of south Florida goes out the window. That leads me to believe that the inconsistent Harris finds his rhythm against a short-handed North Carolina unit.
Conner Vernon, WR, Duke at Virginia Tech
The leading receiver for the Dukies, Vernon has shined against weaker opponents, while struggling against the likes of Alabama and Miami. Virginia Tech finally appears to have found its groove, making Vernon best left on the bench.
Kyle Parker, QB, Clemson vs. Georgia Tech
Parker has struggled this season without running back C.J. Spiller and wideout Jacoby Ford, completing just 51 percent of his throws. He has also tossed for over 200 yards just twice in six contests. This is not the week for Parker to right the ship.
Detron Lewis, WR, Texas Tech at Colorado
Another hunch that Lewis gets on track after what has been a disappointing season thus far. While it’s clear Taylor Potts prefers Lyle Leong due to their history together, there’s plenty of ball to go around in the Tech offense, and Lewis is simply too talented to stay in a slump this long.
Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M at Kansas
Though Jeff Fuller is the favorite red zone target, Swope has nearly as many catches as the A&M go-to receiver. Kansas has yielded over 50 points to its last two Big 12 opponents, making Swope a nice sleeper, particularly in PPR leagues.
Kendial Lawrence, RB, Missouri vs. Oklahoma
The Tigers get the newly minted No. 1 (BCS) team in the country, and Lawrence is one of three backs (along with Henry Josey and De’Vion Moore) receiving carries this season for Missouri. Although Lawrence led the Aggies in rushing and found the end zone last week, this back-by-committee system is simply too unpredictable.
Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State vs. Nebraska
Although the ‘Huskers were shocked by Texas last week, they still allowed just 62 yards passing on an abysmal 4-of-16 passing from Garrett Gilbert. Weeden, the former Yankees’ minor leaguer, has an insane 1,966 yards and 19 touchdowns already, but hasn’t faced a good defense yet. This could be a rough day for Weeden.
Dontavia Bogan, WR, South Florida at Cincinnati
Digging deep into the sleeper bag for this one, but Bogan caught 11 passes last week and has hauled in at least four passes for at least 66 yards in each of his last three contests. In a game that should be a shootout, Bogan could get some opportunities to make some plays for the Bulls.
Cameron Graham, TE, Louisville vs. Connecticut
Need a bye week replacement? Graham has caught at least two passes in each contest this season, while finding the end zone twice. Quarterback Adam Froman has proven more than capable of finding his tight end, particularly in the red zone.
Tino Sunseri, QB, Pittsburgh vs. Rutgers
Sunseri torched Syracuse for four touchdowns and 266 yards last week, but the Scarlet Knights have allowed just 15.3 points per contest and will likely make this a grind-out type of contest which will be won on the ground. Sunseri has progressed nicely so far this season, but he should ride the pine this week.
Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse at West Virginia
Nassib has also shown flashes in his first full season as starter, but figures to struggle as the Orange get into the meat of their Big East schedule. He tossed two picks last week against Pitt and faces a stiff test in the ranked Mountaineers.
Robert Bolden, QB, Penn State at Minnesota
The Gophers are in shambles, having fired their coach midway through the season after a 1-6 start. The Nittany Lions have struggled themselves, but Bolden still has enough talent to take care of business in Minnesota.
Trea Burgess, RB, Indiana at Illinois
Darius Willis will miss the rest of the season after having surgery to repair a patella tendon in his knee, giving Burgess the starting role in a suddenly high-powered offense. Illinois is surprisingly tough on defense this year, however, so Burgess is mainly an option for Big Ten-only league owners at the moment.
Rob Henry, QB, Purdue at Ohio State
After four total touchdowns last week, the Rob Henry train will get derailed by an enraged Ohio State team coming off a tough loss to the Badgers in Madison. The freshman will see success down the road, just not in this contest.
Jeremy Ebert, WR, Northwestern vs. Michigan State
May be tough to sit such a stud like Ebert, but the Michigan State defense has started to clamp down en route to a Top 10 ranking. They have not allowed more than 215 yards passing to any quarterback on their Big Ten schedule, while also forcing six interceptions. As such, the opportunities may simply not be there for Ebert.
Casey Robottom, WR, Tulane at UTEP
The Green Wave should be behind early in this one, forcing quarterback Ryan Griffin to throw the ball. Robottom, the leading receiver for Tulane, has shown great hands in catching at least six passes in five of the Green Wave’s six contests this season.
Michael Bowman, WR, East Carolina vs. Marshall
Dwayne Harris and Lance Lewis are obvious, but how about last week’s leader in receiving yardage for the Pirates? Bowman has come on over the past few weeks, grabbing at least five receptions or scoring a touchdown in each of ECU’s last three tilts. In a contest that should get out of hand quickly, Bowman could see increased opportunities to shine, making him a good option in C-USA-only leagues.
Sam McGuffie, RB, Rice at UCF
McGuffie has emerged as the featured back for the Owls, and his superior pass-catching ability has allowed him to rack up the yardage over the past few weeks. Still, a UCF defense that is 8th in the nation in points allowed does not figure to be very forgiving, leaving McGuffie out in the cold in this one.
Bryan Ellis, QB, UAB at Mississippi State
Ellis was nearly perfect against UTEP last week in a surprise victory, completing 20-of-28 balls for 272 yards and three scores. However, the ranked Bulldogs will be by far his toughest test of the season, making Ellis best left for C-USA play only.
Ricky Dobbs, QB, Navy vs. Notre Dame (Neutral Site)
With Notre Dame and Army only independents in action this week, look for Dobbs have some success against the 53rd ranked defense in the land. He was held in check by SMU last week, giving Dobbs some added motivation coming into a game that is already circled every season on the calendar for the Midshipmen.
Theo Riddick, WR, Notre Dame vs. Navy (Neutral Site)
Riddick will miss this week’s game due to an ankle injury, and will miss out on what could have been a big output with stud tight end Kyle Rudolph done for the season.
Adonis Thomas, RB, Toledo vs. Ball State
Thomas is averaging 4.67 yards per carry and has proven a capable receiver out of the backfield, including five grabs for 54 yards and a touchdown against Kent State in Week 7. Ball State is in the bottom third of defenses in the country, and after giving up over 40 points in the past two contests to Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan, Thomas and the rest of the Rockets should find some success.
Juan Nunez, WR, Western Michigan at Akron
This week’s edition of “Who Plays the Zips?” gives us Juan Nunez, the senior who hasn’t put up gigantic numbers but has still managed two 100-yard plus outputs on the year. With at least four grabs in every contest this season, Nunez could go off against the hapless Zips.
Alex Gillett, QB, Eastern Michigan at Virginia
Again, not to beat a dead horse, but the matchup is the problem in this one. Gillett had five total touchdowns and over 400 total yards last week, but that came against Ball State. Virginia is an ACC squad that has been having a rough go of it inside their conference; expect them to take out their frustrations on Gillett and the rest of the Eagles.
Paris Cotton, RB, Central Michigan at Northern Illinois
Cotton has been a bit of an enigma, rushing for 105 yards against Virginia Tech but managing just 23 against Miami (Ohio) and 44 against Ball State. The Huskies are 3-0 in the MAC and allow just 20 points per game while pounding the ball with Chad Spann in a ball control atmosphere. CMU could be behind early and Cotton may not get the call much after that.
Matthew Tucker, RB, TCU vs. Air Force
Tucker is TCU’s second running back option behind Ed Wesley, but he still has a chance to put up nice numbers in this game. Air Force has been awful against the run this year, allowing 699 yards and five touchdowns on the ground in the past three weeks.
Matt Asiata, RB, Utah vs. Colorado State
The Rams are averaging just 17.9 points per game this year, meaning the Utah offense should be running out the clock early in this one. Although Asiata splits carries with Eddie Wide, both have a chance to produce in this one.
Pete Thomas, QB, Colorado State at Utah
Thomas was extremely efficient last week against UNLV, completing 10-of-14 throws for 233 yards and three touchdown strikes. Unfortunately, Utah’s defense will stymie Thomas’ efforts in this contest.
Jake Heaps, QB, BYU vs. Wyoming
Heaps should be a star one day, but as a true freshman he has had his share of mistakes and has shown some obvious inexperience. On a BYU squad that has a bit less talent than in years past, Heaps is not a great play while he’s working out the kinks. Five interceptions in his last three games doesn’t help, either.
Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford vs. Washington State
Lost in the shuffle of Andrew Luck’s Heisman campaign has been Taylor, who has rushed for over 100 yards in each of his last thee games against the likes of Notre Dame, USC and Oregon. The 1-6 Cougars won’t put up nearly as much of a fuss, meaning Taylor could run wild for career-high numbers.
David Douglas, WR, Arizona vs. Washington
Douglas is the No. 2 receiver for the Wildcats, and Juron Criner is battling a mild toe injury. Though Criner should play, how effective he will be is a different story all together. As such, Douglas could pick up the slack against a mediocre Washington defense.
Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA at Oregon
Franklin was largely held in check by Cal in his last game, and his task won’t get any easier against an undefeated Oregon crowd at home. It’s best to leave Franklin for another week.
Steven Threet, QB, Arizona State at Cal
Although California got lit up by USC, Arizona State’s offense has a talent level more similar to the UCLA offense, which California mostly shut down two weeks ago. The Sun Devils come into town with Threet having thrown eight INTs in his last three contests.
Chris Relf, QB, Mississippi State vs. UAB
A quarterback normally best left for the bench, Relf faces Conference USA’s UAB Blazers in a reprieve from SEC play. The Bulldogs will continue to run the ball down opponents’ throats with Vick Ballard, but Relf should get his in what should be an extremely lopsided affair.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina at Vanderbilt
Look for a bounce back game from SC after the letdown loss to Kentucky. Stephen Garcia still threw for 382 yards in that one, and should find his prized receiver for at least one touchdown in this contest.
Julio Jones, WR, Alabama at Tennessee
Jones has been battling a hand injury that limited him to just one catch last week. The Tide can run the ball with the best of them, and with Greg McElroy playing the role of mere game manager in a contest that should be over soon after it begins, ‘Bama might be careful with their star wideout.
Terrence Toliver, WR, LSU at Auburn
Toliver is the leading receiver for the Tigers, but there are some definite quarterback issues brewing between Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee, making it increasingly difficult to rely on the LSU wideouts.
Chris Masson, QB, Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Western Kentucky
Masson has been adequate under center for the Ragin’ Cajuns, but faces a winless Hilltopper squad that has yielded over 30 points in four of six matchups this year. Masson has eight touchdowns compared to just three interceptions on the season.
Jyruss Edwards, RB, Louisiana-Monroe at Middle Tennessee
Edwards has snatched the starting running back job away from last year’s rushing sensation, Frank Goodin. Edwards averaged five yards per carry last week and has a chance to show up against a sinking Middle Tennessee squad.
Kawaun Jakes, QB, Western Kentucky at Louisiana-Lafayette
Jakes has simply been a victim of not having enough talent around him on the Hilltoppers. Besides Bobby Rainey running the ball, WKU’s offense has struggled. Jakes actually has a 7:4 TD:INT ratio, but playing from behind game after game forces the errant throws resulting in his low completion percentage.
Derek Lawson, RB, Arkansas State vs. Florida Atlantic
The Red Wolves are a pass-first offense with Ryan Aplin at the helm and Allen Muse catching the pigskin. As such, their leading rusher in Lawson sometimes gets lost in the shuffle, as he did last week in a shootout with Indiana. He carried the ball seven times for just 18 yards against the Hoosiers.
Justin Veltung, WR, Idaho vs. New Mexico State
Veltung scored four times in last week’s loss to Louisiana Tech, and while it’d be crazy to expect that type of performance again, he faces a 1-5 New Mexico State team that allowed more than 40 points in its first four games of the 2010 campaign. Quarterback Nathan Enderle may look to Veltung more often with his penchant for finding the end zone, as he has done seven times already this season.
Diondre Borel, QB, Utah State vs. Hawaii
A dual-threat quarterback, Borel has eight total touchdowns on the season while completing 57.2 percent of his passes. The 5-2 Warriors have arguably the most potent offense in college football, meaning the Aggies and Borel will be behind and forced to air it out in order to compete.
Ryan Colburn, QB, Fresno State at San Jose State
Colbrun wasn’t needed much in last week’s rout of New Mexico State, and this week’s tilt against San Jose State looks to have the same feel. The Bulldogs will pound the ball with Robbie Rouse on the ground, limiting Colburn’s fantasy value.
Matt Christian, QB, New Mexico State at Idaho
Feels a bit like pick-on-New Mexico State week, doesn’t it? No disrespect to the Aggies, but Christian has completed just 50.8 percent of his passes and has just three scores on the year. The Aggies prefer to run the ball with Seth Smith, even when down by wide margins.