RotoWire Partners

Start and Sit: Good and Bad Fits For Week 9

Jesse Siegel

Siegel covers college football, college basketball and minor league baseball for RotoWire. He was named College Sports Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.



Travis Benjamin, WR, Miami at Virginia

Leonard Hankerson is still Jacory Harris’ No. 1 target, but Benjamin is a dynamic playmaker who is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. He has at least three grabs for at least 59 yards in each of Miami’s last three games. The Cavs have been lit up in ACC play, allowing at least 33 points to all three in-conference opponents.

T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina vs. William & Mary

It's been somewhat of a lost season for the Tar Heels, who were supposed to contend for the ACC crown before all the off-field issues ruined the on-field product. Still, they’ll get a reprieve this week in facing William &Mary, meaning Yates will finally have some time to throw and find his receivers.


Sean Renfree, QB, Duke at Navy

So much for Renfree’s alleged growth. In three ACC games, he has a 1:8 TD:INT ratio, including five picks two weeks ago against Miami. He’s got 15 interceptions this season, while completing just 54.7 percent of his throws. Navy is 5-2, including 3-0 at home, making this another poor performance in waiting for the Blue Devil quarterback.

Josh Harris, RB, Wake Forest at Maryland

Where did Harris come from? Out of nowhere in his last game, the redshirt freshman rushed 20 times for 241 yards and two touchdowns against Virginia Tech. He had 189 yards rushing for the entire season before this contest. The Terps are allowing just 20.6 points per contest, and it’s doubtful that Harris will explode two games in a row.

Big 12


Josh Cooper, WR, Oklahoma State at Kansas State

With Justin Blackmon’s DUI, Cooper could become the No. 1 receiver for the extremely potent Cowboy offense. He has been no slouch either, hauling in 36 balls for 400 yards and a touchdown on the year, including a nine-catch, 103-yard output last week against Nebraska. As such, Cooper could be in for a monster game.

Austen Arnaud, QB, Iowa State vs. Kansas

It’s been an up-and-down season for Arnaud. He has 10 touchdowns but eight interceptions, and four of those touchdowns came in one game against Texas Tech. Kansas has been torched in conference play, allowing at least 45 points en route to an 0-3 Big 12 start. Arnaud hasn’t been the safest bet, but he should make for a good play against a down-and-out KU squad.


Jerrod Johnson, QB, Texas A&M vs. Texas Tech

This is a boom or bust pick, as Johnson will either come out guns blazing, or yield the way to backup Ryan Tannehill, who tossed three touchdowns last week in relief of the ineffective Johnson against lowly Kansas. Johnson still has the tools to succeed, but he has to make smart decisions or he will be forced to the bench.

Jerrell Jackson, WR, Missouri at Nebraska

Jackson shined last week against then No. 1 Oklahoma, hauling in nine passes for 139 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers. However, prior to that contest he hadn’t caught more than four balls for more than 55 yards in any single contest. T.J. Moe has mostly been the top Missouri wideout, and a brutal matchup against two potential NFL cornerbacks (Prince Amukamara and Alfonzo Dennard) makes Jackson a bad fit for this week.

Big East


Antwon Bailey, RB, Syracuse at Cincinnati

Delone Carter left last week’s contest with West Virginia with a hip injury, and all Bailey did was rush 19 times for 94 yards against a stout Mountaineer defense. Carter may play this week, but Bailey has carried the ball at least seven times in each of the last four games for the Orange anyway. With Cincinnati playing subpar on the defensive end, Bailey could be a sneaky start for ‘Cuse.

Tino Sunseri, QB, Pittsburgh vs. Louisville

Sunseri has been surging of late, throwing for at least 272 yards over each of his last three games with a 4:1 TD:INT over that span. Louisville has been surprisingly stingy on defense, but the home crowd should spur him on to another standout performance.


Adam Froman, QB, Louisville at Pittsburgh

The Pitt defense has settled down since a 31-3 thrashing at the hands of Miami (FL) in late September. Froman has shined against lesser opponents, but struggled against the worthy ones. With Bilal Powell running the ball extremely well for the Cardinals, Froman may take a back seat to the ground game in this one.

Michael Smith, WR, Connecticut vs. West Virginia

The leading receiver for Connecticut has very little value in light of the team’s major issues at quarterback. Smith had just one catch against Louisville last week, and the West Virginia defense is significantly tougher.

Big Ten


Sidney Stewart, WR, Northwestern at Indiana

This game has all the makings of a shootout. These two teams have dynamic passing offenses behind their respective quarterbacks, and Stewart is the second-leading receiver for the Wildcats. With Jeremy Ebert drawing the most attention from defenses, Stewart could be poised for a breakout.

Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois vs. Purdue

Leshoure’s production has gone down in conference play, but he should surpass the 100-yard rushing plateau for the first time since October 9th against Purdue. The Boilermakers are 64th in the nation in points allowed per contest and allowed three rushing touchdowns last week.


Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan State at Iowa

Even in their loss to Wisconsin last week, the Hawkeyes allowed just 3.7 yards per carry to the two-headed monster of John Clay and James White. Baker has received his lowest carry totals of the season over his past two contests.

Adam Weber, QB, Minnesota vs. Ohio State

Although they pummeled Purdue last week, the Buckeyes are still probably looking to vent over their loss to Wisconsin, and Weber will have to pay for it. Weber’s streak of seven-straight games with at least two touchdown passes will likely come to an end in this contest.

Conference USA


Michael Hayes, RB, Houston at Memphis

Memphis has been abysmal this season, and though Hayes is the backup to Bryce Beall, he got 22 carries last week for 86 yards in a blowout over SMU. This game should be similar, making Hayes a high-risk/high-reward play with the ability to rack up the touches and yards once again.

Donald Buckram, RB, UTEP at Marshall

Buckram finally appears healthy after battling injury issues for all of the year. He rushed for a season-high 81 yards last week against Tulane and should find plenty of room to roam against the hapless Herd as he looks to regain his form from a monstrous 2009 season.


G.J. Kinne, QB, Tulsa at Notre Dame

After two 350-yard plus outputs to start the season, Kinne has cooled considerably, failing to pass for more than 232 yards in any game since that time. As shocking as this may be, Notre Dame might be the best defense he’s faced all season.

Jonathan Williams, RB, East Carolina at UCF

Something’s got to give in this one: a high-octane Pirate offense against a mauling UCF defense. ECU still may get its points, but odds are it will come through the air. The Knights have held opposing rushers to less than 3.5 yards per carry for the entire season, including stud rusher Daniel Thomas of Kansas State. As such, Williams may not make for the best play.



Alexander Teich, RB, Navy vs. Duke

Teich exploded against the Irish for 210 yards rushing on 26 carries en route to a stunning 35-17 victory. Teich has now carried the ball 47 times over his past two games, and though Ricky Dobbs is still the focal point of the offense, it is clear that Teich will be a huge contributor from here on out.


Armando Allen, RB, Notre Dame vs. Tulsa

Allen has been relegated to second-fiddle once again by a quarterback, this time Dayne Crist. With Notre Dame operating the spread offense, Allen has received more than 15 carries just twice this season, including just 11 carries in last week’s loss to Navy. Even against a mediocre opponent, Allen does not get enough touches to be a big fantasy back.



Mike Gerardi, QB, Temple vs. Akron

Gerardi has five touchdowns and two interceptions this season, both taking place over the past two weeks in place of Chester Stewart. Akron is 0-8 and allowing an awful 40.1 points per contest.

Armand Robinson, WR, Miami (OH) at Buffalo

Robinson has 57 grabs for 614 yards and four touchdowns for the RedHawks, who have done well recently with Zac Dysert under center. The Bulls are 94th in the nation in points per game allowed, making this an excellent opportunity for Robinson.


Alex Carder, QB, Western Michigan vs. Northern Illinois

Carder tossed five touchdowns against lowly Akron last week, but will find the going much tougher against Northern Illinois, who is undefeated in conference play. If you throw out the last contest, Carder has a 3:7 TD:INT ratio over those previous four contests.

Keith Wenning, QB, Ball State at Kent State

Wenning is just too inexperienced to be trusted, despite tossing six touchdowns over his last two games. He has completed just 53.9 percent of his passes while tossing eight interceptions in semi-limited playing time.



Pete Thomas, QB, Colorado State vs. New Mexico

The true freshman hasn’t been spectacular, but he won’t have to be against the winless Lobos. Despite an 8:9 TD:INT ratio, Thomas has been extremely accurate, connecting on 67.7 percent of his tosses. Still need convincing? New Mexico is ranked last in the country in points allowed per contest.

Austyn Carta-Samuels, QB, Wyoming vs. San Diego State

San Diego State has allowed bad teams like New Mexico and BYU to hang around in contests this season, and Carta-Samuels has the most talent of any Cowboy player taking the field.


Asher Clark, RB, Air Force vs. Utah

Air Force has to run the gauntlet during this stretch. After Clark had his worst game of the season averaging 1.8 yards per carry against TCU last week, his reward is facing the also-undefeated Utes, who currently have the 4th-ranked defense in the land. Clark will get it going against lesser opponents in the future, but not against superior talent in this one.

Tim Cornett, RB, UNLV vs. TCU

The freshman has received increased touches over his past two contests, and has responded by becoming the leading rusher for the Rebels. Not exactly a huge task with just 237 yards, but he has still been effective. However, the Horned Frogs are simply beastly on the defensive end and should feast on inexperienced, less talented UNLV. Cornett’s 5.3 yards per carry average will go way down in this one.



Cameron Marshall, RB, Arizona State vs. Washington State

With quarterback Steven Threet battling injury and ASU struggling with consistency, the Sun Devils will run the ball early and often against a putrid Washington State defense. Marshall should find the end zone at least once in this contest, as he has a nose for the goal line with six touchdowns on the year.

Matt Scott, QB, Arizona at UCLA

Scott hasn’t missed a beat since stepping in for injured starter Nick Foles, completing a blistering 72.3 percent of his passes for 453 yards and three touchdowns for the Wildcats on the season. If Foles is out again against UCLA, Scott has another nice matchup.


Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA vs. Arizona

Franklin has had a tough time finding room to run lately, mostly due to the fact that the shocking ineptitude of the UCLA passing game has allowed opposing defenses to focus solely on the run. Making matters even worse is the fact that Arizona has allowed 3.0 yards per carry or less in all but one game this year.

Ryan Katz, QB, Oregon State vs. Cal

The injury to James Rodgers really puts a damper on Katz’s value in the passing game, as now he doesn’t have any playmakers to throw the ball to in space. Jacquizz Rodgers will be a behemoth, but that’s about all the OSU offense has going for it these days.



Tauren Poole, RB, Tennessee at South Carolina

Few runners nationwide have impressed against top competition like Poole has, as he’s run for 277 yards and three touchdowns against Alabama, LSU and Georgia the past three weeks. The Vols will lean heavily on Poole once again with Matt Simms battling injury and inconsistency at quarterback.

Darvin Adams, WR, Auburn at Ole Miss

Can a No. 1 squad actually win a game? It should happen this week, as Adams breaks out after three-of-four subpar outputs. Cam Newton has been a running machine for the Tigers, but he’ll need to find his receivers eventually if Auburn has real BCS National Championship aspirations. That should start this week against a below-average Rebel defense.


Washaun Ealey, RB, Georgia at Florida

Ealey had five touchdowns last week against Kentucky, but had just two on the whole season before that. He also suffered a minor knee injury in the contest. Though he ran well against Vandy two games ago as well, it is simply too much to ask for Ealey to continue at such a high level.

Jeff Demps, RB, Florida vs. Georgia

Demps is making his way back from injury but will be rusty—not a good sign in a huge rivalry game with the Bulldogs. With the Gator passing game still struggling, Georgia will likely load the box and try to prevent Florida from getting chunks of yardage on the ground.

Sun Belt


Jason Bruce, WR, Troy at Louisiana-Monroe

Bruce benefits from all the attention given to Jerrel Jernigan, and he has responded by averaging almost 15 yards per reception. Louisiana-Monroe allowed 38 points to Middle Tennessee last week, a team which Troy handled relatively easily earlier on this campaign.

Darriet Perry, RB, Florida International at Florida Atlantic

It’s been Perry who has picked up the rushing slack for the Golden Panthers, averaging 4.1 yards per carry while finding the Promised Land five times. He scored in four-straight games until his last contest, which happened to be his season-highs in rushes (18) and yards (98). Florida Atlantic is winless in the conference and allowed 174 yards rushing three ground touchdowns against Arkansas State in his last game.


Aaron Spikes, RB, Louisiana-Lafayette at Ohio

Spikes has been getting the most touches out of the Ragin’ Cajun backfield of late, and has proven a capable pass-catcher as well with three receiving touchdowns. However, he has failed to score on the ground, and faces an Ohio team that is on a four-game winning streak.

Darius Carey, WR, North Texas at Western Kentucky

The leading receiver for the Mean Green has caught passes from four different quarterbacks this season—not a welcome sign for any passing game. Though Carey has scored four times on the year, expect a heavy dose of Lance Dunbar in this contest, as the Mean Green will not want to risk turnovers and ineffectiveness in a game that they actually have a chance of winning.



Jordan La Secla, QB, San Jose State at New Mexico State

The day to start La Secla is finally upon us! After a season-high 292 yards passing last week against Fresno State, the senior quarterback will face 1-6 New Mexico State, which yields 38.3 points per game. La Secla tossed two TDs last week while completing over 60 percent of his throws.

Daniel Hardy, WR, Idaho at Hawaii

Nathan Enderle will try to keep the Vandals in this contest with his arm, making Hardy, the No. 1 wideout for Idaho, a prime candidate for a start. He averages 17.7 yards per catch and has been the most consistent of the Idaho receiving corps, while also racking up the yardage with 513 on the season. Odds are he finds the end zone as well in a shootout with the Warriors.


Dontel Watkins, WR, Utah State at Nevada

Watkins, the top target for quarterback Diondre Borel, couldn’t get much going against Hawaii in a game where the Aggies were down early and forced to pass. Nevada poses a similar problem, only with a better defense. As such, it’s going to be extremely tough sledding for the 6-2 sophomore.

Seth Smith, RB, New Mexico State vs. San Jose State

Smith has not scored in four-straight games, as New Mexico State has been behind and decided to abandon the run. Smith is the leading rusher for the Aggies but simply does not get enough touches to warrant fantasy consideration at this time.