The Fifth Quarter is back and this week I want to touch on particular players who have either finally played like they should, or guys stepping into bigger roles due to injuries. By the way, Nelson Spruce just caught another pass… One player stepping into a bigger role this week and likely the rest of the season is Marshawn Williams.
Marshawn Williams has 10+ touches in every game this season, so it’s no surprise that he’s now the starter with Shai McKenzie out with an ACL injury. Coming off his best game of the season rushing 14 times for 119 yards, he gets a super juicy matchup against North Carolina. Now, UNC has been killed by the passing game in 2014, but they have been touched up by the run as well. Just two weeks ago they allowed five TDs on the ground and a 7.46 average per carry to ECU. They’ve allowed ten TDs to the running game overall.
So, what should we expect from Williams? I honestly believe that this is more risky than it feels. I like him and expect to roll him out in at least some of my lineups, but the ineffectiveness of the run against good teams (East Carolina, Ohio State, Georgia Tech) will temper my Williams shares this week.
Matt Miller was injured in last week’s game against Air Force, so there is reason to believe Shane Williams-Rhodes gets a boost because of it. SWR was great in PPR formats last season, but has seen his value plummet due to lack of targets in 2014. Miller has 22 catches in his last four games, so the possible loss of him against Nevada would be big for SWR. SWR had his first TD of the season against Air Force, off a pass from backup Ryan Finley.
Nevada is a decent matchup for Boise State as they have given up almost 300 passing yards per game, but have a TD:INT ratio of 5:6. Another thing to like for a PPR guy like SWR is a 68.4% completion percentage for opposing QBs.
One player I was really on in 2014 who has been pretty bad is Dontre Wilson. This might be partially because of Braxton Miller’s injury, but it seems he has now found his place in this offense. He only had one carry, but had a nice line of 6/71/1 against Cinci last week. The backfield for the Buckeyes is crowded, but he did lead all players with six receptions. The next two WRs caught four and two passes.
With Barrett catching his stride, I could see Wilson consistently catching six to seven passes a game while playing a whole lot at slot WR. With Ohio State facing Maryland and Rutgers their next two games, we’ll know for sure by then. It would be my bet though that Wilson is a big GPP play for those two weeks and someone that should be highly considered at the right price.
Karlos Williams has struggled in 2014, but had his breakout game this past week against NC State. He ran for three TDs and 126 rushing yards. That was the performance we were expecting more of with the way this offense can play. This is going to be a week to play Karlos Williams and what will likely be the first of many weeks to use him. He gets to face off against Wake Forest who doesn’t look that bad on paper against the run. If you look deeper though, you’ll see that they struggled against Louisville last week to the tune of 215 yards, 4.39 yards per carry, and two TDs. It’s safe to say Karlos Williams has more talent than those Cardinals’ backs. I would think Williams is good for 100 total yards, three catches, and at least one TD against Wake Forest due to FSU’s rushing performances so far in 2014.
While Karlos Williams played great against NC State, Jacoby Brissett’s performance against FSU might have been better. He completed two thirds of his passes, had over 350 passing yards, and had three passing TDs. He has a legit 13 to 1 TD to INT ratio in five games. Brissett has really looked like a legit talent for NC State so far in 2014. Looking at his next two games, I see a better matchup than at first glance.
Clemson had two cake games against the pass facing off against UGA (yes I’m being serious. Hutson Mason is bad) and South Carolina State. Then they played FSU (Sean Maguire at QB) and UNC. In those final two games, Clemson allowed 698 yards, five TDs, and three INTs. Maguire struggled way more than UNC’s QBs throwing two of the three INTs and only one TD. Then if you look at Boston College’s defense they have given up eight TDs to just three INTs in three games against quality opponents. Take a hard look at Brissett in these upcoming weeks.