Start vs. Sit: Players to Start, Players to Bench Week 7

Start vs. Sit: Players to Start, Players to Bench Week 7

This article is part of our Start vs. Sit series.

We're in the thick of a chaotic college football season. Alabama and Clemson have both suffered unexpected losses. The UTSA Roadrunners are undefeated (and a good source of fantasy options, by the way). UConn…well they are still terrible. Thanks for being a rock for us, Huskies! We're getting to the point where games are leaking into the week. In fact, Appalachian State and Louisiana played on Tuesday. Sorry if you wanted some Ragin' Cajuns for your fantasy lineups. Here are some players left to start and to bench outside of those two Sun Belt powerhouses.

AAC

START

Shamari Brooks, RB, Tulsa at South Florida

With Deneric Prince dealing with an injury, Brooks has really stepped into a big role for the Golden Hurricane. Last week he rushed 26 times for 126 yards and two touchdowns against Memphis. Now, Memphis does admittedly have a terrible defense. Guess what? South Florida has allowed 240.2 rushing yards per contest. This matchup isn't any tougher.

SIT

Ryan O'Keefe, WR, UCF at Cincinnati

For starters, if Jaylon Robinson returns from injury, O'Keefe is going to lose targets. Of course, even if O'Keefe is still the clear top target, this is a road game against the Bearcats. Cincinnati ranks fourth in points allowed per game and have zero room to mess around if it wants to make the playoffs. The Golden Knights are in line to be shut down, including O'Keefe.

ACC

START

Billy Kemp, WR, Virginia vs. Duke

Brennan Armstrong is leading

We're in the thick of a chaotic college football season. Alabama and Clemson have both suffered unexpected losses. The UTSA Roadrunners are undefeated (and a good source of fantasy options, by the way). UConn…well they are still terrible. Thanks for being a rock for us, Huskies! We're getting to the point where games are leaking into the week. In fact, Appalachian State and Louisiana played on Tuesday. Sorry if you wanted some Ragin' Cajuns for your fantasy lineups. Here are some players left to start and to bench outside of those two Sun Belt powerhouses.

AAC

START

Shamari Brooks, RB, Tulsa at South Florida

With Deneric Prince dealing with an injury, Brooks has really stepped into a big role for the Golden Hurricane. Last week he rushed 26 times for 126 yards and two touchdowns against Memphis. Now, Memphis does admittedly have a terrible defense. Guess what? South Florida has allowed 240.2 rushing yards per contest. This matchup isn't any tougher.

SIT

Ryan O'Keefe, WR, UCF at Cincinnati

For starters, if Jaylon Robinson returns from injury, O'Keefe is going to lose targets. Of course, even if O'Keefe is still the clear top target, this is a road game against the Bearcats. Cincinnati ranks fourth in points allowed per game and have zero room to mess around if it wants to make the playoffs. The Golden Knights are in line to be shut down, including O'Keefe.

ACC

START

Billy Kemp, WR, Virginia vs. Duke

Brennan Armstrong is leading the FBS in passing yards, and those yards have to be divvied up amongst receivers. Enter Kemp, who has 42 catches in six games. Duke has given up over 300 yards per game through the air and allowed 33 points to Kansas. Sure, it won that game, but also it allowed 33 points to Kansas.

SIT

Pat Garwo, RB, Boston College vs. NC State

Garwo has scored a touchdown in every game this season save one, and in that game he rushed for 160 yards. However, that was against UMass, and he also got to face Missouri's porous rushing defense. Against Clemson he scored, but he also only had 57 yards on the ground. NC State has only allowed 92.2 rushing yards per contest, so if Garwo doesn't find the end zone again he might not do much for fantasy players.

Big 12

START

Henry Colombi, QB, Texas Tech at Kansas

I am going to operate under the presumption that Tyler Shough will be out again next week, leaving Colombi the unquestioned starter under center for the Red Raiders. He threw for 324 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception against Texas, and last week versus TCU he tossed for another 344 yards. The Jayhawks have allowed over 50 points per game. Only Arkansas State has allowed more.

SIT

Zach Evans, RB, TCU at Oklahoma

Evans has rushed for over 100 yards in four straight games, but the talented back is also now banged up. He's considered questionable against the Sooners. Even if he does play, this matchup is not built for him. Oklahoma has had some issues against the pass, but it ranks 16th in rushing yards allowed per contest. TCU will likely be focused on trying to pass on Oklahoma, which could mean less touches for Evans.

Big Ten

START

Isaih Pacheco, RB, Rutgers at Northwestern

A couple of years ago Pacheco rushed for 729 yards and seven touchdowns, which shows his upside. His numbers this year aren't quite that good, but it includes a game against Ohio State where the Scarlet Knights basically had to abandon the run game. That won't be the case against Northwestern. The Wildcats rank 129th in rushing yards allowed per contest.

SIT

David Bell, WR, Purdue at Iowa

Bell returned from missing a game with a concussion to reel in six catches for 120 yards against Minnesota. This is a different story, though. The Hawkeyes have one of the best defense in the country, and fittingly a ball-hawking secondary. Nobody scores on Iowa, who rank second in points allowed per game behind only Georgia.

Conference USA

START

Jerreth Sterns, WR, Western Kentucky at Old Dominion

Some receivers get a lot of targets, and then there is Sterns. He's racked up 46 targets…over his last two games. Those targets have turned into 33 receptions, giving him 56 catches in only five games. Western Kentucky puts up video-game numbers passing the ball, and ODU is probably the second-easiest competition it will have played this season.

SIT

Austin Kendall, QB, Louisiana Tech at UTEP

Kendall has been successful as a transfer from West Virginia, but he could hit a snag here. Typically, UTEP is not known for success on the football field. This season has been different. The Miners are 5-1 and the defense has been a big part of that. UTEP ranks in the top 37 in points, rushing yards, and passing yards allowed per game. It has effectively no defensive weak point so far.

MAC

START

Kevin Marks, RB, Buffalo vs. Ohio

The Bulls are divvying up carries a little more egalitarian than I expected, but Marks is still the lead back. He's also coming off a game where he carried the ball 16 times for 80 yards and two touchdowns. This matchup could boost the numbers of multiple Buffalo backs anyway. Ohio has allowed 258.4 rushing yards per contest. Having your head coach retire right before the season evidently does not help a team excel.

SIT

Tyrice Richie, Northern Illinois vs. Bowling Green

Richie is getting fed the ball, as he has 20 catches over the last three games. However, so far he's shown a lack of acumen around the end zone. He has zero touchdowns through six games. There aren't a lot of intimidating defenses in the MAC this year, but so far Bowling Green's numbers against the pass are impressive in a vacuum. It ranks 10th in passing yards allowed per contest.

Mountain West

START

Logan Bonner, QB, Utah State at UNLV

Fortunately for Bonner he had a bye last week to heal up from a knee injury he suffered against BYU. Last season with Arkansas State the quarterback threw 18 touchdowns against six picks while sharing time with Layne Hatcher. UNLV ranks 113th in points allowed per game and 110th in passing yards allowed per game, so this is a nice matchup to step back into after an off week.

SIT

Khalil Shakir, WR, Boise State vs. Air Force

Shakir has performed as expected this season, which is to say he's been quite good. He is not matchup proof, though. For example, last week he was held to 66 yards by BYU. Air Force's defense has held opponents to 16.6 points and 176.0 passing yards per game. Sure, some of that is because the Falcons shorten games with their option offense, but the numbers are still the numbers.

Pac-12

START

Jarek Broussard, RB, Colorado vs. Arizona

Colorado and Arizona are both bad, but the Wildcats are better than expected while the Buffaloes have been a disappointment. Broussard has been part of that disappointment, but let's not forget he rushed for 895 yards and five touchdowns in only six games last year. The upside is there, and Arizona does rank 119th in rushing yards allowed per contest.

SIT

Jayden de Laura, QB, Washington State vs. Stanford

Last week de Laura threw for 399 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception against Oregon State. However, the Beavers have allowed 315.0 passing yards per contest. That wasn't too surprising. Stanford, meanwhile, has only allowed 188.3 passing yards per game. This is a different story, and de Laura also has thrown five interceptions in as many outings.

SEC

START

Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M at Missouri

Zach Calzada came up big against Alabama, but he's not a quarterback you want to rely on. This week, I expect the Aggies to just hand the ball off and take advantage of Missouri's woeful run defense. The Tigers have given up 287.0 rushing yards per game. Spiller has been productive every season with the Aggies, and this year he's either scored a touchdown or gone over 100 yards rushing in every contest.

SIT

Bo Nix, QB, Auburn at Arkansas

You might have seen the Razorbacks give up 52 points to Ole Miss last week and think you can sneak Nix into your lineup this week. However, don't mess with the Razorbacks' pass defense. Arkansas is actually third in passing yards allowed per game. Plus, Nix has thrown all of one passing touchdown since Week 2. He's one of those guys whose highlights give an inaccurate perception of just how much he contributes.

Sun Belt

START

Gunnar Watson, QB, Troy at Texas State

Last week Troy turned the starting quarterback role back over to Watson. He proceeded to go 24-for-36 for 270 yards and two touchdowns. I expect Watson to get the start again, and this matchup with Texas State could benefit him. The Bobcats allowed 59 points to Eastern Michigan and 42 points to FCS school Incarnate Word.

SIT

Calvin Hill, RB, Texas State vs. Troy

Picking a Sun Belt player to sit was difficult only inasmuch as there weren't really any players I would expect you to be interested in playing anyway. Only five Sun Belt teams are in action post-Tuesday, and the options are lackluster. Hill is Texas State's lead back, and he's facing a Troy team allowing only 98.0 rushing yards per game. Hence, I'm recommending you sit him.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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