This article is part of our Start vs. Sit series.
PLAYERS TO START
Brent Stockstill, QB, Middle Tennessee State (vs. Florida International)
Stockstill has had a couple tough games, but they came against Alabama and Vanderbilt, two SEC teams with good defenses. In his other four games, he has at least three touchdowns, and he's also topped 300 passing yards three times this season. FIU isn't the doormat they have been in recent seasons, but they also aren't quite ready to put up a tough challenge for a player like Stockstill.
Cooper Rush, QB, Central Michigan (vs. Buffalo)
The Chippewas are 21st in passing yards per game, and Rush has 1,771 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season so far. He has thrown an interception in five of six games, but the yardage and scores more than make up for that and Buffalo is something of a middle-of-the-road defense. They shouldn't be too much of a challenge for Rush.
Riley Neal, QB, Ball State (vs. Georgia State)
Neal, a freshman, has looked better and better since taking over as the starter for Ball State. Last week was his best game so far, as he threw for 393 yards, four touchdowns, and an interception (his first of the season) against Northern Illinois. He's also contributed a bit of value with his legs as well, running for 217 yards over his last three games. As a Sun Belt team, and not a particularly good one, Georgia State will be another chance for Neal to impress in his inaugural college season.
Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming (vs. Nevada)
Wyoming is winless, but Hill is certainly not to blame, as he's rushed for 797 yards on 123 carries though six games. The only issue for him is that he only has three touchdowns, but touchdowns can be tough to predict. With the yards he's accumulating, you'd think a touchdown or two would be on the horizon. Nevada's year has been a bit better than Wyoming's, but their defense has given up 27.7 points per game and 415.7 yards per game. That bodes well for Hill, even if the Cowboys fail to earn their first win.
Jahad Thomas, RB, Temple (vs. Central Florida)
Thomas is averaging just over 100 yards per game, which is solid at the college level but not terribly exciting, but he has seven rushing touchdowns, and eight overall touchdowns, which is where his fantasy value is coming from. Now, Thomas gets to run against a winless UCF team that just gave up 40 points to Connecticut. Thomas has gotten a touchdown in every game this year, and it seems likely that he'll continue the streak with this matchup.
Sony Michel, RB, Georgia (vs. Missouri)
The loss of Nick Chubb is unfortunate for college football in general, but the Bulldogs have a more-than-adequate replacement in Michel. After taking over for Chubb last week, Michel rushed 22 times for 145 yards, while also catching three passes for 26 yards. Overall, Michel is averaging 6.7 yards per carry and he has seven total touchdowns as well. Missouri's not bad defensively, but this is a statement of belief in the talents of Michel more than a condemnation of Missouri.
Jared Dangerfield, WR, Western Kentucky (at North Texas)
North Texas gave up 66 points to Portland State last week. Western Kentucky is third in the FBS in passing yards per game. That should be all you need to know. However, Dangerfield also has 387 yards and four touchdowns as a secondary option for the Hilltoppers. Taywan Taylor and tight end Tyler Higbee are obvious starts basically every week, but add Dangerfield to the list this week as well.
Dominique Williams, WR, Washington State (vs. Oregon State)
Williams' numbers have been fairly consistent this season. He gets about five catches and between 70 and 80 yards per game. He also has four touchdowns, second on the Cougars. Oregon State is giving up almost 30 points per game, and Washington State, if nothing else, throws the ball with impunity, which could bode well for Williams and company.
Michael Thomas, WR, Southern Miss (vs. Texas-San Antonio)
Since returning from injury, Thomas has impressed. He has three straight games with at least 109 yards receiving, and he has four touchdowns in those games. That includes road games against Nebraska and Marshall, as well. UTSA is not as good as either of those teams, so it seems like Thomas has a great chance to keep his 100-yard streak going.
PLAYERS TO SIT
Cody Kessler, QB, USC (at Notre Dame)
USC is in a bit of turmoil at the moment, as they were upset by Washington last week and head coach Steve Sarkisian just got fired. The loss to the Huskies was also a disaster for Kessler, who threw for a mere 156 yards and two picks. You don't want to read too much into one game, but there is reason to be down on Kessler, and USC, at the moment, especially with a road game against Notre Dame on the docket.
Kyle Allen, QB, Texas A&M (vs. Alabama)
The Aggies had a week off to prepare for the Crimson Tide, and Allen has proven to be up to the task as a starter this season. However, this is certainly the biggest challenge that Allen has faced thus far. Eight of his 15 total touchdowns came against Ball State and Nevada, and this is a bit different. He may be fine, he could even possibly be good, but "fine" usually doesn't quite cut it in fantasy college football.
Mike Bercovici, QB, Arizona State (at Utah)
Bercovici is bouncing back and forth between the "start" and "sit" lists, which owes to the fact he's good, but not great, and the vacillation in schedule for Arizona State so far. Last week, he threw five touchdowns against Colorado. This week, he has to face off with a Utah defense that just picked off Jared Goff five times. While Bercovici may not match Goff interception-for-interception, it's a tough matchup for him nevertheless.
Jordan Canzeri, RB, Iowa (at Northwestern)
Canzeri is carrying undefeated Iowa's offense, but that also means defenses can focus on stopping him with little to fear from the Hawkeyes' passing game. That hasn't hurt him too much so far, but a road game against Northwestern is the toughest opponent for Canzeri so far. While Northwestern is coming off a rough week, their defense wasn't that bad against Michigan, as two of the Wolverines' touchdowns came on defense and special teams. They should be able to slow down Canzeri more than Illinois did.
Kelvin Taylor, RB, Florida (at Louisiana State)
Taylor has seven touchdowns on the season, and has scored in every game but one – against Ole Miss. However, his yardage totals leave a little to be desired, which is concerning going up against LSU. On top of that, Florida quarterback Will Grier just picked up a suspension for the rest of the season, creating a bit of chaos in the Gators backfield. That certainly won't help Taylor's cause.
Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA (at Stanford)
Perkins has had a fine season, but in his last two games he's only averaged 3.5 yards per game. Granted, he has four touchdowns in those games, but his last start was 63 yards and one touchdown in a loss to Arizona State. Stanford will provide a real challenge to Perkins, and the Cardinal may just dare true freshman Josh Rosen to beat them.
Jenson Stoshak, WR, Florida Atlantic (vs. Marshall)
Stoshak had seven catches for 114 yards and a touchdown against Tulane in FAU's overtime season opener. Since then, his season has mostly been a disappointment. That was his only touchdown of the year, and in his last two games, he has just eight catches for 53 yards. The Owls are having troubles on offense, and even if Marshall isn't that great, this is an offense that only scored 17 points against Charlotte. It will take proof before it makes sense to trust Stoshak again.
Artavis Scott, WR, Clemson (vs. Boston College)
Scott scored touchdowns in Clemson's first two games of the season, against Wofford and Appalachian State, but only has one touchdown since then. He also hasn't had more than 50 yards in a game beyond those two games. Boston College has offensive problems, to be sure, but their defense is legitimate, as Florida State can tell you. That makes it feel unlikely this will be Scott's breakout week.
Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State (vs. Penn State)
There have been murmurs of consternation about Ohio State all season long, and when you look at their schedule, it is with good cause. It has been a parade of easy defenses for the Buckeyes, but that stops this week against Penn State. Even with the easy schedule, Thomas only has 27 receptions for 399 yards, and the quarterback situation somehow still isn't entirely settled. Given that, this matchup with the Nittany Lions could make things particularly tough for Thomas and Ohio State's passing game.