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Start and Sit: Start and Sit (11/17)

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.


Jamie Harper, RB, Clemson at Wake Forest

Andre Ellington is out another week with a toe injury, leaving Harper once again with the Clemson running game all to himself. The Demon Deacons are 114th in the nation in scoring defense, meaning Harper should run roughshod over the Wake Forest defense.

Tevin Washington, QB, Georgia Tech vs. Duke

Washington has just been getting his feet wet as the starter after Georgia Tech lost Josh Nesbitt for the season against Virginia Tech. However, Washington tossed a touchdown last week against Miami and was also the leader in rushing for Tech with 122 yards. He throws a nice ball for an option quarterback and faces a Blue Devil defense allowing 37.1 points per contest. Washington could be a nice sleeper at quarterback.


Lamar Miller, RB, Miami vs. Virginia Tech

The big-play threat out of the ĎCanes backfield, Miller is averaging a robust 5.8 yards per carry and has scored in each of the last two contests. However, the Hokies are undefeated in the ACC, on an eight-game winning streak and have a Top-20 defense. Furthermore, Miller still must share carries with Damien Berry and Mike James. As such, it may be best to bench one of The Uís best playmakers this week.

Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland at Florida State

Smith has had a few monster games, but also a few duds. Much of his production came earlier in the season, or against lesser opponents. Florida Stateís defense isnít so friendly, however, sitting at 19th in the country in scoring defense. As a result, Smith may not be able to put his stamp on this contest as much as he might like.

Big 12

Detron Lewis, WR, Texas Tech vs. Weber State

Lewis has become the No. 2 option for the Red Raiders, but that still may not be such a bad thing for fantasy owners. After all, Lewis thrived behind Michael Crabtree just two seasons ago in that same role. This season, Lewis has caught at least five balls in each of his last five games. Weber State is currently fourth in the super competitive Big Sky Conference, though obviously hasnít faced many teams as big and fast as Texas Tech. Expect Lewis to have a big day for the Red Raiders.

Garrett Gilbert, QB, Texas vs. Florida Atlantic

Itís been a lost season for Gilbert and the Longhorns, as the UT quarterback has struggled mightily trying to fill the shoes of Colt McCoy. With 15 interceptions as opposed to just seven touchdowns, Gilbert simply hasnít found his groove under center. However, he gets a reprieve from Big 12 play with a shot at 4-5 Florida Atlantic, barely treading water at 3-3 in their conference. Gilbert may not be up to snuff against Big 12 Conference opponents, but should have his way with the Sun Beltís Owls.


Alexander Robinson, RB, Iowa State vs. Missouri

Robinson ran for a season-low 22 yards last week against Colorado, not exactly a defensive juggernaut. The Cyclones should also be behind early in this one, which may force them to abandon the running game. Mizzou also held stud running back Daniel Thomas of Kansas State to just 66 yards rushing last week.

Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska vs. Texas A&M

Burkhead is a good player, but so is A&M's run defense. Despite getting torched by the mighty Jay Finley last week, A&M is allowed 3.2 yards per carry on the season, and shut down star runners like Kendall Hunter and DeMarco Murray. Combine that point with the fact that Burkhead has to split the Nebraska running game with Roy Helu and Taylor Martinez, and there might not be much left for Burkhead this week.

Big East

Jeremy Deering, WR, Rutgers at Cincinnati

Mohamed Sanuís foot injury has left the star wideout unable to operate Rutgersí wildcat formation. Luckily for the Scarlet Knights, Deering is looking like a more than suitable replacement. Deering is averaging 5.5 yards per carry over his past two games, including a 29-carry, 166-yard outburst last week against Syracuse. Cincinnatiís defense is mediocre at best, and the Bearcats have given up at least 31 points in each of their last three games.

Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse vs. Connecticut

Just a hunch here that Nassib and the Orange get the job done against the Huskies, as Connecticut has struggled at the quarterback position and will rely largely on its running game with Jordan Todman. The ĎCuse is much more multi-dimensional though, with wideouts Van Chew and Alec Lemon complementing a run game featuring soon-to-be 1,000-yard rusher Delone Carter. Connecticutís defense has also been only average, ranking 43rd in the country in scoring defense. As such, Nassib could be in for a multiple-touchdown game.


Bilal Powell, RB, Louisville vs. West Virginia

Powell looked back to his old self last week after missing the Syracuse game with a knee injury, rushing 31 times for 140 yards against South Florida. However, West Virginia is 3rd in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 13.2 points per game, and will likely stuff the box and make backup Justin Burke or hobbled starter Adam Froman beat them. In other words, Powell may not be the best start this week.

Dontavia Bogan, WR, South Florida vs. Pittsburgh

Bogan has been hot of late, catching touchdowns in each of his past two games. Nevertheless, Pitt is leading the Big East and coming off a tough loss to UConn, so theyíll likely be chomping at the bit in this one. The fact that the Panthers are allowing just 20.2 points per game wonít help Boganís cause, either.

Big Ten

Matt McGloin, QB, Penn State at Indiana

McGloin struggled against Ohio State, but then again, who hasnít? He still has a 3:1 TD:INT ratio over his four games and faces a Hoosier squad that gave up an astounding 83 points last week to Wisconsin.

Nathan Scheelhaase, QB, Illinois at Northwestern

Scheelhaase has been quite productive for Illinois over the teamís recent four-game stretch, throwing for 11 touchdowns and running for another without throwing a single interception. Northwesternís defense hasnít exactly been a pushover this year, but it has been burned recently in matchups against Michigan State and Penn State, allowing 620 yards and seven touchdowns through the air in the two games.


Jeremy Ebert, WR, Northwestern vs. Illinois

Ebertís value takes a severe hit due to the season-ending Achilles injury to Dan Persa. It looks like 6-6 redshirt freshman Evan Watkins will step right into the fire for the Wildcats, with seven passes total to his credit. Clearly, this does not bode well for Ebertís fantasy value for the remainder of the season.

Adam Robinson, RB, Iowa vs. Ohio State

Ohio Stateís defense is currently ranked fifth in nation, meaning Robinson will have his work cut out for him against the Buckeyes on Saturday. The Buckeyes have been extremely stingy of late, allowing 14 points or less in each of their last three conference tilts. Itís not that Robinson canít find success; itís just that the odds of him finding it are not favorable.

Conference USA

Sam McGuffie, RB, Rice vs. East Carolina

Nearly every game with East Carolina is a shootout, which bodes well for McGuffie, the leading rusher for the Owls. An able pass-catcher out of the backfield, the soph has failed to garner 15 touches in a game just once this season. The ball will find him, and he will pay dividends against the Pirates.

Bryan Ellis, QB, UAB vs. Memphis

Everyone aboard the Bryan Ellis train! Ellis tossed five touchdowns last week in a shootout loss to ECU, and faces the doormat of C-USA, the Memphis Tigers. Memphis has allowed a mind-boggling 33 touchdown passes to six interceptions in 10 games, allowing 9.1 yards per pass attempt all the while.


Ryan Griffin, QB, Tulane vs. UCF

Griffinís tear should come to a screeching halt against the Knights this weekend. Though he has a 13:3 TD:INT ratio over his past six games, Griffin will face a Top-25 defense, and the Green Wave should lean heavily on their prized frosh, Orleans Darkwa at running back, to alleviate some of the pressure that 7-3 UCF will bring. As a result, Griffinís numbers may take a hit.

Brian Anderson, QB, Marshall at SMU

Andersonís usefulness may have come to an end. After contests against lowly Memphis and UAB, he will face at least a decent squad in Southern Methodist. Anderson has struggled against the better teams in the conference, so he might be best left on the bench.


Cierre Wood, RB, Notre Dame vs. Army

With Armando Allen gone for the season, it appears as though Wood will shoulder the rushing load for the Irish. Though he hasnít been a game-breaker, he has been consistent for the Irish, including proving to be an above-average receiver out of the backfield. With four total touchdowns in his last four games, Wood is a good bet to find the promised land once again against Army.


Duval Kamara, WR, Notre Dame vs. Army

It is unlikely that Kamara hauls in two touchdowns again this week. In fact, heís only caught balls in three contests this entire season. An inexperienced quarterback doesnít help either. Despite seven touchdowns over the past two games for Tommy Rees, heíll likely make a few errors and instead turn to his safety blanket, superstar Michael Floyd in what should be a grind-em-out game.


Thomas Merriweather, RB, Miami (OH) at Akron

Merriweather is surging of late, carrying the 36 times for 149 yards and two touchdowns over his past two contests. With the Zips allowing a pathetic 38.8 points per game, Merriweather should run wild in this mini-battle for Ohio.

Adonis Thomas, RB, Toledo vs. Bowling Green

Thomas has finally hit his stride, averaging over seven yards per carry over his past three tilts, including a monstrous two-touchdown, 152-yard performance against Northern Illinois last week. With four touchdowns over his past four games, Adonis should score again against the 2-8 Falcons.


Eric Williams, RB, Ball State vs. Northern Illinois

Williams rushed for 109 yards last week against horrendous Buffalo, but will face a much stiffer test against NIU, a team that is undefeated in the MAC. With MiQuale Lewis also still in the mix for carries, Williams may not be the best option this week.

Spencer Keith, QB, Kent State at Western Michigan

Keith may be spending more time on the bench than he would like from here on out, as heís failed to throw a touchdown in the month of November for the Golden Flashes. Junior Giorgio Martin has seen increased snaps over the past two weeks, meaning there are better quarterback options out there than Keith.


Jake Heaps, QB, BYU vs. New Mexico

Heaps makes for an outstanding start again this week, fresh off a simply dazzling 15-of-20, 242-yard, four-touchdown pasting of Colorado State. New Mexico is nearly dead last in total defense in all of college football, and the 1-9 Lobos have little to look forward to but the end of the season.

Nathan Walker, RB, Air Force at UNLV

The tandem of Walker and Asher Clark was dynamite last week against New Mexico, and should continue to thrive against an underwhelming UNLV defense. Walker rushed 23 times for 95 yards and a score last week, and should slice and dice the Rebs as well.


Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State vs. Utah

San Diego State gave TCU all it could handle, but oddly not with an incredible amount of offensive firepower. Hillman rushed for just 54 yards against the Horned Frogs, and Utah has got to be steaming after dropping two games in a row in embarrassing fashion. Though Hillman has been a fantasy stud for most of the season, itís just not in the cards for this contest.

Tyson Liggett, WR, Colorado State at Wyoming

Liggett led the Rams in receiving last week against BYU, but hasnít found the end zone this season despite being the second-leading receiver for CSU. More of a possession receiver, Liggett still does not figure prominently enough in the offense to warrant fantasy consideration.


Chris Polk, RB, Washington vs. UCLA

Finally a decent opponent for the Huskies after hitting Arizona, Stanford and Oregon in succession. Polk still ran for 77 yards last week against the Ducks, and is averaging 4.8 yards per rush during his redshirt sophomore season. With three big games down the stretch, Polk could quietly surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the second-straight season.

Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State vs. USC

Wheaton has become the top target at wideout for the Beavers with James Rodgers gone for the season. He hauled in two touchdowns last week, and has grabbed at least four catches in six-straight games. USC is not invincible as in yearís past on the defensive side of the ball. In fact, the Men of Troy are currently 72nd in the nation in scoring defense.


Marvin Jones, WR, Cal vs. Stanford

The Cal passing game is in relative shambles without Kevin Riley. Brock Mansion is simply too inexperienced, and with a studly running back in Shane Vereen to lean on, Jones may not get many opportunities to shine.

Richard Brehaut, QB, UCLA at Washington

Brehaut ran well against Oregon State last week, but hasnít shown the big-play flashes and doesnít have the athletes at wide receiver to get the job done. A 57 percent completion percentage wonít help him, either.


Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State vs. Arkansas

Ballard should regain his status as one of the nation's top touchdown machines this week. After totaling 12 rushing touchdowns in the first six weeks, a missed game and matches against Florida and Alabama have limited Ballard to just one score since then. The Arkansas defense isnít a pushover, but Ballard is the real deal and should more than hold his own.

Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas at Mississippi State

The loss of Greg Childs for the year and the continued recovery of Adamsí bad ankle means he should start seeing more targets any second now. With fellow wideouts Cobi Hamilton and Jarius Wright standing out recently, Adams heads into this game a bit under the radar. Considering Arkansas threw for 313 yards and five touchdowns against Mississippi State last year, this is a good week for Adams to bounce back.


Jeremiah Masoli, QB, Ole Miss at LSU

Masoli was stifled last week against Tennesseeówhat do you thinkís going to happen against another BCS darkhorse in the LSU Tigers? Masoli tossed three interceptions against the Vols and looked generally uncomfortable running the show for the Rebels. With Brandon Bolden running the ball well for Mississippi, Masoli shouldnít be expected to carry the offensive burden against the No. 6 defense in all the land.

Chad Bumphis, WR, Mississippi State vs. Arkansas

Bumphis made last weekís game against Alabama worthwhile with the ĎDogs lone touchdown, but still just managed three catches for 43 yards for the contest. The leading receiver for MSU hasnít had more than three catches in a game in over a month, and unreliable quarterback play has certainly been a big product of those paltry numbers.

Sun Belt

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Florida International at Louisiana-Lafayette

Hilton has been a handful for opposing defenders over the past few weeks, including an eight-catch game against Florida Atlantic on October 30, followed by a two-touchdown output against Lousiana-Monroe the following week. He also rushed for an outstanding 158 yards and two more touchdowns last week against Troy, showing his versatility and big-play ability for the Golden Panthers. He should prove an excellent play against the 2-8 Raginí Cajuns.

Phillip Tanner, RB, Middle Tennessee State at Western Kentucky

Tanner has been one of the few bright spots in a fairly horrendous season for MTSU. With Dwight Dasher missing time, then struggling to get his legs, Tanner has picked up the rushing load by averaging 5.6 yards per carry. He has also crossed the goal line eight times on the season, and the Hilltoppers, this weekís opponent, have allowed 34.3 points per tilt.


Corey Robinson, QB, Troy at South Carolina

This might be the only week of the season Robinson will have found your bench, but itís a virtual must against the SECís Gamecocks. South Carolina has already faced the likes of Heisman frontrunner Cam Newton and possible future No. 1 NFL draft pick Ryan Mallett this season, and will be anything but intimidated by Troy.

Alfred Morris, RB, Florida Atlantic at Texas

The Longhorns are not the same Longhorns of the past few seasons, but that doesnít mean they still wonít paste the Owls. Morris is down nearly one yard per rush from last season, and though he should get plenty of touches against Texas, the Longhorns still have more talent than Florida Atlantic can take.


Alex Green, RB, Hawaii vs. San Jose State

Green has really come on over the second-half of the season, scoring nine touchdowns over his last five games while carrying the ball at least 10 times in each of those contests. He has made for an excellent complement to the potent Hawaii passing game, and should find plenty of room to roam against 1-9 San Jose State.

Rishard Matthews, WR, Nevada vs. New Mexico State

Matthews is the leading receiver for Nevada, but his opportunities havenít been consistent due to the Wolf Packís run-first mentality. Still, New Mexico State is brutally bad on defense, allowing 36.3 points per game. As a result, Matthews could find the end zone in what has all the makings of a romp.


Ryan Colburn, QB, Fresno State at Boise State

We once again visit a recurring theme in this column; quarterbacks make for poor starts against Boise State, particularly on the Smurf Turf. The Broncos have allowed just one 200-yard passer this season, and currently have the No. 2 scoring defense in the land, giving up a mere 12.8 points per contest. Colburn has been pretty good this season, but is best left riding the pine in this one due to the matchup.

Diondre Borel, QB, Utah State vs. Idaho

Even against hapless San Jose State last week, Borel tossed two interceptions and could only manage one touchdown. Though Idaho isnít fantastic, the Vandals should be able to hold Borel largely in check.

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