PLAYERS TO START
Keith Wenning, QB, Ball State (vs. Kent State)
Ball State is off to a strong start this season, and Wenning is the main reason why. He is second in FBS in passing yards with 1,996, and he also has 11 touchdown passes to a mere three interceptions. Wenning has also added four rushing touchdowns. If Wenning was able to put up good numbers on the road last week against Virginia, he can certainly excel at home against Kent State.
Blake Bell, QB, Oklahoma (vs. Texas)
Ever since Bell took over under center for the Sooners, the offense has really picked up. Bell didn't have a big game last week against TCU - he did not manage any touchdowns, though he did rush for a season-high 61 yards - but in the two games prior he threw six TDs. This week, Oklahoma and Texas meet up in the Red River Rivalry. The Sooners have obliterated the Longhorns in this game recently, and if they do it again it could spell the end of Mack Brown at Texas. The Longhorns defense has struggled this year, and Bell could put up big numbers against his team's main rival.
Brett Smith, QB, Wyoming (vs. New Mexico)
Last week, Smith and the Cowboys had a surprisingly poor game at Texas State. Smith was held to negative yards rushing, and he only threw one touchdown to one interception. However, on the season, his numbers are still very good. He has thrown for four touchdowns three times this season, including one at Nebraska. Chalk up the last game as a fluke. Wyoming had the chance to regroup during a bye, and now it faces a New Mexico defense that is 108th in scoring defense.
Ryan Jackson, RB, Houston (vs. Memphis)
Houston is usually thought of as a passing team, thanks to the days of Kevin Sumlin and Case Keenum, but Jackson is having a good season at running back. He has 69 rushes for 384 yards and four touchdowns, and in his last two games he has caught a touchdown as well. Memphis' defense has actually been pretty good this season - it is their offense that has let them down - but Jackson has done enough to trust him in this matchup.
Tim Cornett, RB, UNLV (vs. Hawaii)
Cornett may be lost in the shuffle because he plays at UNLV, but he rushed for 1,232 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Now as a senior, he already has seven touchdowns, thanks in part to a three-touchdown performance against New Mexico in his last game. He also rushed for 179 yards, and now this week he faces a winless Hawaii team, and gets it at home, so UNLV doesn't have to worry about playing in Hawaii.
Cameron Stingily, RB, Northern Illinois (vs. Akron)
Stingily started the season off well for Northern Illinois, but he didn't really emerge until last week, when he rushed 37 times for 266 yards and two touchdowns. He likely won't repeat that performance, but that isn't necessary for him to have a good fantasy day. Plus, playing against lowly Akron, the chances of repeating those numbers actually aren't that bad.
Jordan Leslie, WR, UTEP (vs. Tulsa)
Leslie had a slow start to the season, but in his last two games he has notched at least 114 yards and has scored two touchdowns in both contests. Perhaps not coincidentally, Leslie's uptick corresponds with Jamiell Showers finally rounding into form. Maybe UTEP's offense is rounding into form, and, if so, a home game against Tulsa provides Leslie with a great chance for a big game.
Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State (vs. Colorado)
Strong is racking up the yardage, as the only game where he hasn't surpassed the century mark is the season opener against Sacramento State when the starters were pulled. Since then he has been on a tear, though he only has three touchdowns this season. However, those can be tough to predict, and a game against Colorado's porous defense gives Strong a good chance to find the end zone, and a great chance to have another big day in terms of yards.
Tommy Shuler, WR, Marshall (at Florida Atlantic)
Marshall's passing offense has taken a step back this year after being one of the very best teams throwing the ball last season. However, they are still quite good, and Shuler is still getting a ton of looks. He already has 38 receptions for 419 yards, though he only has two touchdowns. A breakout game could be around the corner, and a matchup with Florida Atlantic could be that game.
PLAYERS TO SIT
Devin Gardner, QB, Michigan (at Penn State)
Gardner had his first game without an interception last week against Minnesota, but Gardner has still had his ups and downs, and he has not faced a ton of competition. This week's game will be his second on the road, and in his first road game he threw two picks against Connecticut. He probably will find his footing at some point, but it will be hard to do against at Penn State.
Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU (vs. Florida)
Mettenberger has been one of the breakout quarterbacks this season, as he has already thrown for 1,738 yards, 15 touchdowns and a mere two interceptions. He has even played quite well against Georgia and Mississippi State on the road. That said, Florida is his toughest opponent so far. Of the quarterbacks with big fantasy numbers this season, Mettenberger has the worst matchup, and that makes him a less palatable option.
James Franklin, QB, Missouri (at Georgia)
After an injury plagued season last year, Franklin is enjoying a rebound season. Not only is he throwing the ball well, he has 13 touchdowns to three interceptions, but he has also rushed for at least 33 yards per game, and he has scored twice with his legs. However, the schedule has been easy so far, and a road game between the hedges at Georgia is more difficult. This could be the first roadblock for Franklin and the undefeated Tigers.
Byron Marshall, RB, Oregon (at Washington)
With injuries limiting De'Anthony Thomas, and with Oregon's offense being a ruthless machine that tears apart defenses, Marshall is having a big year. He has 448 yards and four touchdowns, but there are other players vying for touches, quarterback Marcus Mariota included. And now the Ducks are traveling to Washington. This is their biggest challenge yet. It could put the brakes on Marshall for a week.
Venric Mark, RB, Northwestern (at Wisconsin)
After missing a few games with injury, Mark returned against Ohio State and looked no worse for the wear. While he only gained 60 yards on 17 carries, he added four receptions for 43 yards. That was a tough matchup, however, but this week's game against Wisconsin isn't much easier, and this time the game is on the road too. Mark is getting thrown into the fire in his return from injury, hindering his fantasy value.
Travis Greene, RB, Bowling Green (at Mississippi State)
You may be surprised to find out that Greene is currently fifth in the FBS in rushing yards. He is having a nice season for a Bowling Green team contending for the MAC title, but he has done it against easy competition so far, and he only has three touchdowns. In his one game against an opponent of any note, Indiana, he was held to 43 yards on 11 carries. A road game against Mississippi State is even more daunting, and this should be another down game for Greene.
Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana (at Michigan State)
Latimer started the season slowly, but in Indiana's last three games, he hasn't had less than 136 yards receiving. The Hoosiers have a top-10 passing offense, but now they have a road game against Michigan State. The Spartans defense is one of the staunchest in the nation, and Latimer isn't going to keep putting up such huge numbers. Simple regression and a tough opponent are often a recipe for a less than stellar fantasy week.
Titus Davis, WR, Central Michigan (at Ohio)
The Chippewas are one of the worst offenses in the nation, though Davis has been able to rise above it to some degree. He has 29 receptions for 418 yards and four touchdowns, but 184 of those yards and two of those touchdowns came against New Hampshire. Ohio's defense isn't extremely tough, but it is good, and that could be enough to limit Davis. After all, last week he only had three catches for 34 yards against Miami of Ohio, which just fired its head coach.
Devin Street, WR, Pittsburgh (at Virginia Tech)
Street has 445 yards this season, even though the Panthers have only played four games so far. This includes 141 yards against Florida State. He has yet to have a bad game, and he probably won't this week, but with so many wide receivers out there even just having a pretty good game makes somebody a less than ideal fantasy option. Street and Pittsburgh haven't been tested on the road yet, and Virginia Tech's defense has impressed so far. As such, you may want to look elsewhere.