The Fifth Quarter is back again written by yours truly, Carson Palmer. Last week, Andrew Katz did a great job filling in and wrote about some interesting stuff. Now, I’m back to write about what we learned going into conference championship week. First thing we need to discuss is the TCU offense.
TCU is going to light up the scoreboard against Iowa State. It’s safe to say that TCU will put up 50+ points against the Cyclones and for one major reason: they have to impress. If Baylor beats Kansas State then I don’t see how Baylor doesn’t jump TCU. Well, it’s time to take advantage of this. Trevone Boykin could have a huge day because of his dual threat ability especially after what mobile quarterbacks have done to Iowa State. Also, it’s worth noting that Josh Doctson seems to be once again healthy after putting up 100+ yards and a TD against a really good defense in Texas. Deante’ Gray was disappointing and it seems like Kolby Listenbee is now the second guy in line for Boykin’s passes.
Jake Waters needs to have his best game against Baylor Saturday. If Waters doesn’t then there’s no way Kansas State can pull off the upset on the road. With the way his top receiver has been playing though, Waters should be just fine. Tyler Lockett has been crazy good lately putting up 100+ yards and 9+ catches in three straight games. Back to Waters though, he had a monster five TD game last weekend and gets to face a Baylor defense that has struggled lately. They have given up 2+ TDs in five straight and average three TDs through the air. This bodes very well for both Waters and Lockett.
Bryce Petty’s health is up in the air for the Kansas State game. He suffered a concussion against Texas Tech last game and Seth Russell had to step in for him. Russell did well enough to think there is some serious fantasy value going into the game. He threw it 17 times for 82 yards and one TD, but he did run seven times. Kansas State’s pass defense is above average, but they have given up 2+ TDs in seven of their 11 games in 2014. Keep an eye on this situation as Russell starting would mean a less value for his receivers, but big value for him potentially.
Two terrible pass defenses face off when Oklahoma State faces Oklahoma. Both teams are ranked in the 100s and Oklahoma State specifically comes in as sixth worst in the NCAA. Their 7.9 yards/attempt ranks 112th, and they’ve given up 2+ TDs in five straight games. While Oklahoma’s pass defense isn’t likely to get torn up by the Sooners, that OSU defense could be torn apart if Trevor Knight is back. He seems doubtful at this point, but with a shorter than usual slate, we could find extra value in Cody Thomas. Sterling Shepard could be primed for a huge day as well in a plus matchup.
Jay Ajayi is once again having a sneaky great season. I wrote about him in my rankings this past week saying, “If you can afford him then you play him.” If you could afford him Saturday then you had a huge game provided to you by Ajayi. He ran for 229 yards on 27 carries and had five TDs. This marked his 7th game in a row with 2+ TDs and his fourth game in a row with 3+ TDs. While his 5.3-yard per carry average isn’t anything to write home about, he has totaled 1,619 rushing yards and 536 receiving yards in 2014. I probably won’t rank him this week due to him being such an obvious play, but seriously, if you can afford him then you play him.