The preseason, and all the speculation and hope comes with it, is over and now it's all about the action on the field. And now that Week 1 is in the book and we actually have some statistics to lean on for most players, it's time to assess the stock of some college football players with this week's edition of the College Football Barometer.
Robert Woods, WR, USC: Woods was already a vaunted player heading into the season, but his performance against Minnesota in the opener has to take things to the next level. Woods set an USC record with 17 receptions, totaling 177 yards and three touchdowns. The sophomore could turn out to be one of the best, if not the best, wide receiver in college football this season, and a fantasy goldmine.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: Sticking with players named Robert, Griffin already had a high stock before Week 1, but the talented Baylor signal-caller managed to even exceed his lofty expectations. As he led his Bears to an upset win over TCU, Baylor threw for a whopping 359 yards with five touchdowns against TCU's once-intimidating defense. He also added 38 yards rushing on 10 carries. Griffin is supremely speedy, so he should add more rushing to his game. RGIII was a top-10 fantasy quarterback in the eyes of many before the first ball was kicked. At this rate, he could end up in the top three, as he proved he's too good to sit even against great defenses.
Malcolm Agnew, RB, Oregon State: Sure, the Beavers played Sacramento State, and they lost to the mighty Hornets to boot, but that's not Agnew's fault. Stepping in for Jacquizz Rodgers, Agnew ran for 223 yards and three scores on 33 carries. Can the freshman do it again? Was this just a fluke? Well, considering how good this game was, wouldn't you be interested in rolling the dice? After all, he doesn't have to be this good every week to have tremendous fantasy value.
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame: It would appear that Floyd has put his offseason issues behind him. Even with long lightning breaks and erratic quarterback play, Floyd was outstanding. He caught 12 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns against South Florida, a stronger opponent than many of Notre Dame's compatriots played. Floyd looks primed to be a top-10 fantasy wide receiver, and a must start every week.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina: The Gamecocks had a field day against East Carolina, but it was mostly Marcus Lattimore doing the damage. Jeffery's numbers were fine, five receptions for 92 yards, but perhaps a mild disappointment given the circumstances. Nevertheless, Jeffery is a proven commodity and a tremendously skilled player, so there's no reason to worry at the moment.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State: Cousins and the Spartans had a bit of trouble against the Youngstown State Penguins. While Cousins was efficient(he went 18-for-22 passing), he only passed for 222 yards and one touchdown. Fantasy owners expect better numbers from a quarterback like Cousins against a non-FBS team. He'll have to pick up his performance to avoid being a disappointment.
Robbie Rouse, RB, Fresno State: Rouse rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries against California in Fresno State's season opener, solid if unspectacular numbers. That said, Cal is a tougher team than anybody the Bulldogs will face in conference play. If you are patient with Rouse, you should get what you expect out of him.
Bobby Rainey, RB, Western Kentucky: Rainey is probably the only reason anybody has heard about the Hilltoppers. He was outstanding last season, and he opened this year with 105 yards on 28 carries against Kentucky. While he didn't find the end zone, those are good numbers against an SEC team, and Rainey should be able to rack up numbers similar to what he did last season.
Brandon Bolden, RB, Ole Miss: Bolden enjoyed a nice breakout last season for the Rebels, but this season could be over almost as quickly as it started for him. Bolden seriously injured his ankle against BYU, and there is talk his season could be finished. This would be a huge blow to Ole Miss, and to any fantasy team that owned him.
James Franklin, QB, Missouri: While the Tigers managed to earn a victory over Miami, Ohio, in their season opener, their offense struggled mightily. Franklin was no exception, as he went just 17-for-26 for 129 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Sure, he also rushed 14 times for 72 yards and a score, but these are not impressive numbers for Franklin. He's in his first year as a starter, and he's a different kind of player than Blaine Gabbert or Chase Daniel, so there could be some growing pains for Franklin and Missouri.
Kyle Padron, QB, SMU: Being the quarterback of a June Jones offense is almost a lock for big fantasy numbers. Padron was supposed to be that guy this year, but now there is a big question mark over him. Against Texas A&M, Padron went 2-for-4 for 14 yards with two interceptions. He was then replaced by J.J. McDermott, who played reasonably well. If Padron loses his job, that obviously would remove his fantasy value and hurt quite a few fantasy teams. At best, he's on a short leash.
Jeremy Ebert, WR, Northwestern: Maybe it was because Dan Persa wasn't under center, but regardless Ebert's numbers in the season opener against Boston College - four receptions for 54 yards - were disappointing. When Persa is back at quarterback, Ebert might start putting up numbers similar to last season. However, questions remain about Persa's status, and thus questions remain about Ebert.