Thursday, November 5, 2009

NCAA Fantasy Football Week 10: Setting up for the playoffs

Last week proved to be quite productive for my team, seeing as I beat my opponent by approximately 70 points. Kellen Moore put up 35FPts while passing for 3TDs and rushing for one. Lance Dunbar accounted for over 260yds of total offense and one score (31FPts). Luckily, I had the foresight to bench ‘Cuse WR Mike Williams who only put up 3FPts before being suspended from, and subsequently quitting the team. Knowing Tony Pike was injured, I should have done the same with Mardy Gilyard (6FPts). Hindsight is 20/20. So, what are the directions for a successful Week 10?

Step 1. Drop Mike Williams. The only thing he seems to be consistent at, is finding reasons not to play. Last year it was academics. Two weeks ago it was a violation of team rules. Going forward, it looks as if he decides not to quit, he will be suspended for another violation of team rules. Even when he does play, he has only scored an average of 13FPts per game, and scoring over 20 points only twice. All-in-all, there are much better fantasy prospects out there.

Step 2. Pick up a replacement WR. I have two options for you: Danario Alexander and/or Freddie Barnes. Either would be perfect to fill the void left by Williams. Alexander has racked up over 800yds and 7TDs on the season for Mizzou, placing him near the top of the list for receivers nationwide. But holding down the top spot with nearly 1200yds and 10TDs, is Freddie Barnes out of Bowling Green. Barnes has four consecutive games over 100yds and is obviously a huge part of the BGSU offense, but he won’t be available until Week 11 seeing as the Falcons played Buffalo on Nov. 3. The reason I even bring him up this week is because the playoffs are fast approaching, and he is worth the spot on the bench until then. If you can't grab Alexander and Barnes, or if you need to do a complete overhaul on your WR core, a third possibility is James Cleveland. The Houston WR is one of Case Keenum's favorite targets and it showed last weekend when Cleveland caught 13 balls for 190yds and 2TDs. With nearly 700yds and 8TDs in 2009, the transfer from Iowa has been a huge part of the 7-1 Cougars reaching no. 15 in the BCS rankings. After slumping the past two weeks, Cleveland bounced back against Southern Miss and should only continue against Tulsa this week.

Step 3. Snag Bernard Pierce. The Temple RB I mentioned last week is only owned in 10% of leagues on CBS, and he is the reason the Owls haven’t lost a game since Pierce started carrying the load. Last week, I was skeptical about his performance against a pretty solid Navy team, but Pierce’s 267yds and 2TDs are surely what led his team to a 27-24 victory over the Midshipmen. I can only assume this will continue against a Miami(OH) defense that ranks in the bottom-20 in rushing-yards allowed this season. Pierce will be my replacement for Darius Marshall (RB – Marshall) who has the week off with a bye. My dilemma will be in Week 11, when I have to decide whom to play alongside Lance Dunbar, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Step 4. Decide on a QB. The bridge to cross this week, is deciding between Kellen Moore and Joe Webb. Both consistently put up some serious fantasy numbers. Moore did great last week, but Webb did better (8/15, 127yds, 2TD passing; 20att, 163yds, 1TD rushing; 46FPts). My two options are seemingly polar opposites: Moore can throw; Webb can run. Webb leads QBs nationwide in rushing yards (over 900), with four consecutive games over 100. Both Webb and Moore are playing pretty equal defenses this week, making this decision somewhat of a toss-up. Both defenses rank in the top 25% of the nation in passing yards allowed, and the bottom 25% of the nation in rushing yards allowed. That being said, the dual-threat, mobile QB seems to be the better choice.

Step 5. Be Diligent. You need to stay on top of your team. If you don’t, all the “hard” work you’ve put in this season will go by the wayside, likely in a round 1 loss in the playoffs. Check out the players on the "Walk-On" list. Dump the non-producing players. Sign some of the point-producing-machines that are still out there.

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