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Hot and Cold: The Highs and Lows of Week 3

Vince Russo

Vince Russo writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.



After a slow Week 2 against Central Florida, Russell Wilson bounced back to form throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns against Cincinnati. Wilson is perfect on the season with eight touchdowns and no interceptions so continue to ride the hot hand.

Normally we wouldnít recommend a receiver with only seven catches on the season, but Marylandís Torrey Smith has made the most of his opportunities. Smith hauled in three receptions totaling 149 yards with two touchdowns against West Virginia, and he has four touchdowns over the last two weeks.


Senior Maryland running back DaíRel Scott was thought to be the unquestioned starter after rushing for 1,133 yards with eight touchdowns as a sophomore. Unfortunately, the carries have been spread around and Scott was held to six yards on four carries against West Virginia.

After a monster opener against LSU when he caught six balls for a whopping 221 yards and a touchdown, North Carolina wide receiver Jheranie Boyd was shut out against Georgia Tech. He did return four kicks for 89 yards but did not score.

Big 12


Too soon to start the Tommie Frazier comparisons with redshirt freshman Taylor Martinez? Through three games heís averaged 10.5 yards per carry with 421 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. In his biggest test on the road at Washington he accounted for four scores. Heís also completing 65 percent of his passes.

Last weekís performance was the Brandon Weeden we expected when Oklahoma State hired former Houston offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen to run the offense. Granted, it was against Tulsa, but Weeden posted a 72 percent completion rate with 409 yards passing, six touchdowns and no interceptions. Through three games Weeden has 975 yards passing.


After throwing for 671 yards, a 68 percent completion rate, six touchdowns and no interceptions to start the season, senior Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson was a monumental disappointment against Florida International last week. He managed a 36 percent completion rate on 31 passes, and was picked off four times.

After rushing for 414 yards and six touchdowns in the first two games, Oklahoma Stateís Kendall Hunter was held to just 59 yards rushing against Tulsa. Despite scoring 65 points in the win, Oklahoma Stateís passing game dominated the scoreboard, and Hunter wasnít invited to the party.

Big East


West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith had his best performance of the young season, completing 19-of-29 passes for 268 yards with four touchdowns against Maryland. Smith has been very efficient so far, posting a 70 percent completion rate for the season with seven touchdowns and only one pick. LSUís tough defense will be a big test for Smith.

Even if itís against Maine, anytime you throw five touchdowns you have to make the hot list. Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib completed 68 percent of his passes for 260 yards in the 38-14 victory. Look for Nassib to keep the momentum going against the Colgate Raiders.


Delone Carter scored 12 times in as many games last year for Syracuse, but has only found the end zone once through three games in 2010. Ryan Nassib threw five touchdowns in the win over Maine, which left Carter relegated to just 65 yards rushing.

Cincinnatiís Armon Binns caught six passes for 95 yards against N.C. State, but more is expected of the senior. In three games heís only scored against lowly Indiana State. Binns needs to step up to 2009ís pace, when he scored 11 times in 13 games. Mighty Oklahoma is next.

Big Ten


Shoelaces tied or untied, Denard Robinson is rolling. The sophomore has left Tate Forcier and opposing defenses in the dust, accounting for eight scores, 1,230 yards, and a surprising 69.7 completion rate. He rushed for 104 yards with a ground score, and threw for two more against Massachusetts.

For Indiana, 2010 has been Chappellís show. Against Towson and Western Kentucky, quarterback Ben Chappell has completed 73.8 percent of his 65 passes for 548 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Chappell ran for a score and threw three touchdowns against Western Kentucky. Bring on 0-3 Akron.


After two games, Iowaís Adam Robinson was running downhill with 265 yards rushing and four scores. However, in Week 3 against Arizona (now the seventh-ranked defense in points allowed), Robinson was held to five yards rushing on ten carries. Jewel Hampton is out for the year with a knee injury, however, so Robinson owners can at least feel good about the fact that Robinson has the offense to himself heading forward.

After totaling 1,169 rushing yards last year, Penn State senior running back Evan Royster has regressed in 2010. Against Kent State he did have his first score of the year, but he only managed 38 yards on 3.5 yards per carry. Overall, heís totaled 110 yards on 3.5 yards per carry.

Conference USA


After a season-opening loss in which he threw three interceptions, Kyle Padron has come on in his last two games, completing 19-of-34 passes for 280 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in a win over Washington State. Heíll need to keep it up against 4th-ranked TCU this Friday.

In his last two games, senior UTEP quarterback Trevor Vittatoe has thrown the ball 84 times for 586 yards, with eight touchdowns and no interceptions. Though the defenses were Houston and New Mexico State, upcoming Memphis is right within that bottom tier. Start him.


Houston running back Bryce Beall was held scoreless in a 31-13 loss to UCLA, rushing 14 times for 52 yards. This performance comes after two weeks in which Beall rushed for 243 yards and five touchdowns. The season-ending injury to Case Keenum is a blow to Beallís value, as defenses can probably grant more attention to the Houston running game.

DeAndre Brown averaged 18.3 yards per reception and scored twice in his first two games. But when scouts are mentioning you in the same breath as former Georgia Tech wide receiver and current Detroit Lion Calvin Johnson, three catches for 34 yards against Kansas isnít going to get it done.



Dayne Crist threw the ball 55 times against Michigan State, compiling 369 yards with four touchdowns. When coach Brian Kelly was hired by Notre Dame, this was the kind of offense fantasy owners were expecting. Crist has accounted for eight scores on the season, though a tough test against Stanford awaits.


Coach Kelly mentioned he had high expectations for Armando Allen and the Notre Dame rushing attack, but it has yet to really go off. Through three games this season, Allen has only scored once and has yet to rush for 100 yards in a game. To be fair to Allen, he has averaged over five yards per carry in each game, but for whatever reason he hasnít closed in on the end zone.



After two slow weeks to start the season, Saturdayís performance against Connecticut was the 2009 version of Bernard Pierce that everyone was waiting for. Pierce rushed 26 times for 169 yards with two scores, and added a third score on a 27-yard reception. Pierce faces Penn State whoís allowing under 13 points a game.

Initially thought to be a reserve running back, Paris Cotton is receiving the majority of the carries for Central Michigan. He had a breakout performance in Week 3, rushing 21 times for 209 yards with three scores against Eastern Michigan. Heís averaging 6.2 yards per carry for the season and has scored in every game.


Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning had a game to forget against the Big Tenís Boilermakers, completing 11-of-21 passes for 89 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Whatís worse, thereís no relief in sight with a road game at Iowa up next.

Chances are you donít have Akron quarterback Patrick Nicely on your squad, but if you started him against Kentucky, then you probably got what you deserved. Nicely completed 4-of-19 passes for 57 yards and was sacked five times.



Marshall Faulk at San Diego State? Itís too early to tell, but freshman Ronnie Hillman has made a statement through the seasonís first three games. Against Missouri, Hillman rushed 23 times for 228 yards and two scores. Overall he has seven touchdowns, running for 7.4 yards per carry while totaling 443 yards on the ground. Heís on fire.

While starting quarterback Jordan Wynn sits out injured, senior Terrance Cain is doing his best to create a quarterback controversy. In two games against UNLV and at New Mexico, Cain has completed 77 percent of his 43 passes for 455 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions.


As a junior, San Diego State wide receiver Vincent Brown caught six touchdowns in seven games, averaging 111 receiving yards per game, and was projected as a top ten wideout. It hasnít materialized, as Brown is scoreless on the season, with only 17 yards in a 27-24 loss to Missouri.

The UCLA-transfer was expected to take the lead back role and make more of an impact, but junior Colorado State running back Raymond Carter has struggled. Through three games heís averaging just 13 yards per game, less than two yards a carry, and has yet to find the end zone.



California running back Shane Vereen has accounted for eight scores through the seasonís first three games. Saturdayís loss to Nevada was a breakout for Vereen from a yardage perspective as he netted 198 yards on 19 carries. Overall, heís averaging 6.6 yards per carry and is on pace for over 1,000 yards on the ground.

Preseason expectations were high and Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is delivering. Luck completed 17-of-23 passes for 207 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions against Wake Forest, and added a fifth score on the ground. Overall, Luck has thrown ten touchdowns and zero interceptions. Heís must-start in any format.


In his biggest test of the young season, playing a home game against undefeated, No. 8-ranked Nebraska, youíd have to give senior quarterback Jake Locker a failing grade. Though he managed to account for two scores in the 56-21 blowout, he was intercepted twice, completing just 4-of-20 passes for 71 yards.

After a monster opener against Toledo, when he grabbed ten passes for 176 yards and a touchdown, junior Arizona wide receiver Juron Criner has been ice cold the last two weeks with four catches and no scores. He also left the upset win over Iowa with a turf toe injury.



You would expect Ryan Mallett to be on this list and he is. The former Michigan transfer has continued his 2009 success and completed 21-of-33 passes for 380 yards and three touchdowns at Georgia. He faces No. 1 Alabama in his next game, but you should probably keep him in your lineup.

Welcome back. After missing the first two games with a knee injury, 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram picked up where he left off, taking just nine carries for 151 yards and two scores against Duke. Heís a must-start heading forward.


Despite all the hype, Jeremiah Masoli has been a failure thus far for Mississippi. He was handed the starting job last week, but he probably doesnít deserve to have it after throwing two interceptions and averaging just 5.4 yards per pass attempt against Vanderbilt. He has thrown four interceptions to one passing touchdown this year.

Mississippi Stateís quarterback combo of Tyler Russell and Chris Relf combined for five interceptions and no touchdowns in a 29-7 loss to LSU. The rotation started the year off very well, but it looks like the Bulldogs need a new plan.

Sun Belt


Running back Bobby Rainey has been a fantasy force for an 0-3 Western Kentucky team that relies on him heavily. In the home opener against Indiana, Rainey rushed for 105 yards and two scores. For the season heís averaging 148 yards on the ground per game and has five touchdowns.

Redshirt freshman Corey Robinson is handling the reigns of a Troy offense thatís averaging 34 points a game. In a 34-33 loss to UAB, Robinson threw for 404 yards with two scores. Overall, heís completing 65.8 percent of his passes, averaging 309 yards a game, with six touchdowns and two interceptions.


Playing against a third-string quarterback, the Army Black Knights were able to focus on the run and stopped North Texas junior running back Lance Dunbar. Dunbar was held to just 42 yards on 12 carries, adding five receptions for 44 yards.

After scoring four times with over 200 yards rushing through the first two games, Middle Tennessee State running back Phillip Tanner was stopped in a 24-17 loss at Memphis. Tanner rushed seven times for three yards and added four catches for only 12 yards.



Itís early, but Colin Kaepernick is making his case for inclusion in any Heisman discussion. Overall, heís accounted for 13 scores and hasnít thrown an interception. Most recently against California, he ran for three scores and threw two more.

It was a breakout game for Fresno State sophomore running back A.J. Ellis, who rushed 29 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns while adding a touchdown reception against Utah State. Robbie Rouseís return will limit Ellisí value heading forward, but Ellis might have played well enough to earn a bigger role.


Hawaiiís offense prefers to strike through the air, but senior running back Alex Green had rushed for a score in each of his first two games, while averaging seven yards a carry. That ended in a 31-13 loss to Colorado when Green was stopped for three yards on six carries.

Despite beating Utah State 41-24, Fresno State wideout Jamel Hamler was kept out of the end zone. Hamlerís production was hampered by running back A.J. Ellis, who accounted for three scores. Hamler scored five times in 11 games last year, and faces Mississippi in his next game.