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Week 4 College Fantasy Picks

Last year on CBS College Sports I did a weekly segment every Thursday in which I picked a surprise QB, RB, WR and Defense of the Week plus gave them my Upset Pick of the Week. I will do the same thing this year for everyone here on my blog every Thursday!

Here are my picks for top QB (with reasoning), RB, WR and Defenses of the Week plus an Upset Special. I also give you reasoning on 3 or 4 Others to Watch. Keep in mind these are NOT the obvious picks. I do not take the nation’s leading passer facing a weak secondary and pick him as my QB of the Week. These are mostly SURPRISE projections and I tell you why.

First a recap of last week’s selections and I grade them win/loss or push.

MY PICK: Todd Reesing, Kansas – Reesing threw for 338 yds (68%) with a 3-0 ratio, a 161.69 QBR and also had 51 yds rush (6.4) in a 44-16 win over Duke.   WIN

Top Honorable Mentions from last week
Landry Jones, Oklahoma – Jones threw for 336 yds (68%) with a 6-2 ratio (186.55 QBR) in a 45-0 thrashing of Tulsa. I called for Jones to top Tulsa’s QB in production even though Kinne was among the leaders in the NCAA and Jones was much maligned. This was a huge win for Jones as Kinne had just 106 pass yds (46%) with an 0-2 ratio vs Oklahoma.

Ryan Mallett, Arkansas – Mallett threw for 408 yds (54%) with a 5-0 ratio (184.03 QBR) in a 52-41 loss to Georgia.

Chris Todd, Auburn – Todd is finally healthy after playing last year with a bum shoulder. Prior to the WV game he was averaging 221 pass ypg (55%) with a 2-0 ratio in OC Malzahn’s run-first offense. He threw for 284 (52%) with a 4-1 ratio (164.70 QBR) in the 41-30 win over the Mountaineers.

Tim Hiller, Western Michigan – Hiller threw for 185 yds (59%) with a 4-0 ratio (157.72 QBR) LW in a 48-26 win over Miami, OH . 4 TD’s is a good game.

MY PICK: Patrick Mealy, Army – Mealy only contributed 28 yds rush on 7 attempts (4.0) in a 24-17 win over Ball St. Army was hoping to establish the FB in that game and FB Ehle had 15 carries for 67 yds. They also had trouble with the QB pitch with 6 fumbles (2 on pitches to Mealey) on the day (only 1 lost). LOSS

Top Honorable Mentions From The Week
Darius Marshall, Marshall
– Marshall ran for 186 yards (8.9) with 1 TD in the Herd’s 17-10 win over Bowling Green. I was going to use Marshall as my RB of the week but I already had Marshall as my upset of the week so I backed off.

Toby Gerhart, Stanford – Gerhart ran for 113 yds (4.7) with 2 TD’s in Stanford’s 42-17 win over San Jose St.

MY PICK: Vincent Brown, San Diego St – Brown pulled in 13 rec’s for 143 yards (11.0) with 1 TD in last week’s 14 point loss to Idaho. WIN

Top Honorable Mentions From The Week
Dez Bryant – Oklahoma St – Bryant grabbed 9 rec’s for 161 yds (17.9) with 2 TD’s in last week’s 45 point win.

Dezmon Briscoe, Kansas – Briscoe only pulled in 6 rec’s but for 117 yds (19.5!!) with 1 TD in last week’s 44-16 demolishing of Duke.

MY PICK: Baylor – Baylor allowed 382 total yards including 235 yds rush (7.8) in their 8 point loss to Connecticut. LOSS

Top Honorable Mentions From The Week
Clemson – The Tigers held Boston College to just 54 total yards in their 25-7 win. The total could have been less as BC had just TWO total yards before the lightning delay (2 lightning/rain delays that totaled almost 3 hours).

Penn St – Penn St held Temple to just 251 total yards including 46 yds rush (1.6). Penn St has yet to allow a team more than 100 yds rushing on the season. CLICK HERE FOR PENN STATE’S GAME-BY-GAME STATS.

Florida – The Gators held Tennessee to just 210 total yards. In the last 2 weeks Florida has allowed just 159 yards passing (44%).

Oklahoma – The Sooners held Tulsa to just 269 total yards in their 45 point win. Tulsa came in averaging 451 ypg!!!

Here are this week’s selections.

MY PICK: Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan – LeFevour comes in only averaging 176 ypg (69%) with a 3-2 ratio but has faced 2 BCS foes (Arizona & Michigan St) and then was pulled early last week in their 48-0 romp over Alcorn State. Here I am calling for a QB with very average stats at 176 pass ypg and ONE TD per game to top 300 yards passing and at least match his season total of 3 TD’s for the year!

Honorable Mentions
Ricky Dobbs, Navy – Dobbs was held to just 21 yds rushing and 89 yds passing last week by an experienced Pitt defense that was facing Navy’s triple option for the 3rd year in a row. This week Navy faces a rebuilding Western Kentucky team (just 3 starters back on defense in ‘09) that has never faced the triple option. The Hilltoppers are allowing 275 rush ypg (7.1) going into this game and it won’t be pretty for WKU. Look for Dobbs to have a career day both running and passing!

Omar Clayton, UNLV – Clayton is averaging 241 pass ypg (69%) with a 5-3 ratio and faces Wyoming this week. The Cowboys have allowed 283 ypg passing (#110 in the NCAA). This is a key conference game that the Rebels need to win if they want to end their 8 year bowl drought.

Jerrod Johnson, Texas A&M – Johnson is averaging 336 pass ypg (63%) with a 6-0 ratio vs the weak defenses of New Mexico and Utah St. This week isn’t much tougher as they face UAB and my computer predicts he will throw for 373 yds! UAB is #118 in the NCAA in pass defense allowing 333.7 ypg.

Max Hall, BYU – BYU is off a loss and ready to dominate the rest of the year. Check out this stat line from Max Hall vs the Colorado State secondary last year: 389 yards passing, FIVE TD’s, 80% completions and 11.11 yards per attempt and that was on the road!

Taylor Potts, Texas Tech, – Houston comes in ranked and allows just 173 ypg passing. Potts gets better every week and could top 400 yards here.


MY PICK: Carlos Brown/Brandon Minor, Michigan-The Wolves rushed for a Rich Rodriguez era record 380 yds last week including Brown’s career high 187 and now take on a defense which is ranked ahead of the Wolves in just about every Big Ten category. The Hoosiers are #2 in the league in rush defense allowing just 76 ypg rushing thanks to taking on FCS E Kentucky, Western Michigan (passing team) and an Akron QB who threw 4 int in his first start after the Zips suspended its 3 year starting QB the day prior to the game. UM QB Forcier struggled last week and Rod will continue to lean on the ground game with the rival Spartans looming.  Indy has allowed 228 yards rushing on the SEASON (3 games) but my computer says Michigan could top that number here in one game.

Honorable Mentions
Ryan Matthews, Fresno St – Matthews was running downhill last week with 234 yards and 12.3 ypc vs a tough Boise St defense and was named WAC Offensive Player of the Week. Cincy has a very young defense with just one starter back and while they held Oregon St’s Quizz to just 73 yards and 3.7 ypc last week they were untested in their first two games. Cincy has yielded just 208 yards rushing on the YEAR (69 ypg) but my computer shows Fresno with about that number here so I look for a very productive day out of Matthews.

Montario Hardesty, Tennessee - This guy is making his senior year count! I predicted he would lose the starting job to PS#1 true freshman Bryce Brown, but Hardesty has managed to stay healthy and has been super productive with 345 rush yds (5.4) on the year and even had 96 yds rush (4.8) vs Florida’s tough D last week. This week UT faces Ohio is allowing 204 rush ypg (4.3) and the Vols will have to take care of business in all of their winnable games this year with the rest of their tough SEC schedule looming.

Mark Ingram, Alabama – While Arkansas spent the entire offseason and the first few weeks of the year preparing for Georgia, only to lose that game, Alabama as usual under Saban has taken one game at a time and simply dominates week to week. Even last week vs North Texas Saban said he thought there was no let up. The Tide will be super focused to face West rival Arkansas and their ground game leads the way. Ingram is the top guy in their stable of backs and is averaging 99 rush ypg (6.8). Arkansas allowed UGA to rush for 155 yds (4.3) last week on top of the 375 pass yds they allowed.

Nick Grigsby, Arizona – Here’s one of the NCAA’s top rushers (#5) that isn’t getting much publicity. Grigsby has rushed for 400 yds with an amazing 8.2 ypc and 3 TDs this year. He was held to 75 yds rushing by Iowa’s tough defense last week, but the Cats face Oregon St (only 3 defensive starters back from last year) this week. Oregon St hasn’t faced a strong ground game like this yet this year.


MY PICK: Julio Jones, Alabama – Jones is one of the top WRs in the SEC but has just 5 receptions for 55 yards this year after missing most of the last 2 games with a bruised knee. He is expected to be ready to go vs Arkansas this week. Jones is 6’4” and Arkansas’ starting CBs are 5’9” and 6’0”. I watched Georgia’s WRs running free in the secondary last week and Jones should light them up. While Jones is a big name, here I am taking a guy that could at least DOUBLE his SEASON TOTAL in yards in one game!

Honorable Mentions
Eric Decker, Minnesota-Decker enters the Big Ten opener #3 NCAA in receiving yards per game with his 415 yards comprising 59% of UM’s pass offense. Last year in the Metrodome Decker came in as the conference’s leading receiver but injured his ankle and a deflection off of his hands turned into the game winning 48 yd interception return for a TD for the Cats with :12 left. He will want to atone for one of the few balls he failed to corral last year and he may get the opportunity vs a Cats secondary which played without 2 of its top 3 CB’s last week vs Syracuse. In that game the Orange’s top WR Mike Williams responded with a career day (11 rec for 209 yd & 2 TD) vs NU’s beaten up secondary.

James Johnson, Washington – Johnson is a true freshman receiver (PS#58) who leads the Huskies with 16 rec for 183 yds (11.4). Though it will be tough to come off their high after beating USC last week, UW faces Stanford which is allowing 219 ypg passing (64%) which is #84 in my pass defense rankings which takes into account the strength of opponents faced.

Damian Williams, USC – Williams is USC’s top receiver but only has 11 receptions for 158 yds (14.4) so far this year. USC ready to smoosh someone after losing to Washington and they take a big step down in competition level this week facing Washington State at home. Last year after their loss to Oregon St, USC outscored the next 3 opponents 141-10. USC Pete Carroll said he hopes QB Barkley will return for this game.

McKay Jacobson, BYU – Jacobson was a MWC Frosh of the year in 2006 and sat out the last two years on a mission. He has a grand total of NINE receptions on the year which is just 12% of BYU’s total receptions. That means he catches about 1 out of every 8 passes that Hall completes. The numbers are amazing as he has 259 yards on those 9 catches for 28.8 ypc and 3 TD’s. Check out the QB’s and see what I wrote about Hall and if he gets the ball in McKay’s hands a little more often, Hall could have a huge game.


MY PICK:Georgia– I know you are saying, “Phil have you watched the Georgia defense the last 2 weeks?” Georgia has given up 78 points and 912 yards (456 ypg) in those two outings vs South Carolina and Arkansas and now face an Arizona St team that has put up 50 and 38 points in their first two outings. Based strictly on the averages of each teams last two games, Arizona St should put up 41.5 points and 415 yards. Georgia has a couple of things in their favor here. Last year they held Ariz St to 212 TOTAL yards offense and that was in the desert vs a pumped up Sun Devil crowd. This year the game is down South and Georgia fans have to be getting excited after surviving a rough opening 3 games. Arizona St has struggled at QB this spring and August and has only faced Idaho St and UL Monroe both at home and now make their first road trip. DC Willie Martinez has a solid corps of players to work with and they have pride and after two embarrassing games they will want to get that swagger back. This same D took on the explosive Oklahoma St team on the road in the opener and held them to 307 TOTAL yards! My computer is calling for ASU to have 220 total yards in this and that is about half of what most expect!

Honorable Mentions
Miami (FL) – The Canes have vaulted into the Top 10 from the unranked masses in just 2 weeks thanks to 2 nationally televised wins over Florida St and Georgia Tech. After being torched for 472 yds rushing vs the Jackets last year, the Canes held GT to just 95 this year in 33-17 victory which wasn’t as close as the final score indicates. UM now take on a Hokie offense that is avg 11 FD, 75 rush ypg (2.2) and 217 total ypg vs the 2 BCS opponents they’ve faced this year. In a Thursday night game last year the Canes sacked VT QB’s 6 times en route to a 16-14 win and Miami’s defense is now a year older and wiser.

Clemson – Clemson held Boston College to just 54 total yards in last week’s 25-7 win despite lengthy rain and lightning delays. This week they take on another defensive-minded team in TCU and my computer predicts the Horned Frogs will have just 250 total yards. This is another game where we have an unranked team that I feel is stronger than the ranked team and Clemson is at home for this!

BYU – BYU is off their largest home loss since ‘04 and will be out for blood. My computer predicts that they will hold Colorado St to just 235 total yds.

USC – The Trojans are off a loss and should be angry. Wash St lost another RB this week and I now have SIX skill players circled (out for year) from their opening three deep. Last year Wash St never got past their own 45 vs USC and had 116 total yards. The Cougars just put 30 points up last week but my computer shows them with 120 yards and 2 points but I think a 2nd straight shutout is a distinct possibility in the series.

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  • nate19bt

    Phil – your thoughts on Vincent Brown on SDSU?

  • nate19bt

    Phil – your thoughts on Vincent Brown on SDSU?