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The Fifth Quarter

The Fifth Quarter
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College football at times is a very unpredictable sport, but at other times is the complete opposite. Baylor losing on the road to West Virginia is so Baylor. Just when we think they’ve got a legitimate chance at going undefeated, they lose to a good, but not great team. For those that thought Baylor would win this past weekend (me), we should have seen it coming. I’m going to try and be a little better than that though in this week’s edition of The Fifth Quarter. We have a weak schedule of games, but plenty of story lines to talk about.

DeVante Parker is back. Look, nobody expected Parker to have a good game in his first game since recovering from injury, but that’s just what he did. Against North Carolina State, Parker went for 9/132/0. People forget that he was an elite receiver last season. Parker was the clear number one Saturday, with Eli Rogers catching five passes to Parker’s nine. Six other players caught the other seven receptions.

Louisville and the passing attack have a favorable schedule left as they face FSU who just gave up 16 catches, 177 yards, and three TDs to Notre Dame’s top two guys, and Notre Dame who has been passed on as well in 2014.

Tevin Coleman is primed for a great final five weeks of the season. He’s been ridiculous in 2014 and he’s coming off some of his matchups in 2014. He just played Michigan State and ran for 132 yards on 15 carries. He ran for over 200 yards and three TDs against a typically great Iowa run defense. Now Coleman gets a slew of games he could continue to post great numbers in. He faces a Purdue team that has given up two rushing TDs or more in four straight and in six of eight games.

Coleman faces an Ohio State run defense that gave up almost four yards per carry to Rutgers and their lack of star running back. Finally, Rutgers has given up 15 rushing TDs in 2014 and has really struggled in the last three weeks giving up a yard per carry average of six.

DeAndre Washington is a great running back option when Texas Tech should win. It’s too bad that Texas Tech is unlikely to win, but maybe one more game this season. Their schedule gets very tough facing TCU, Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor and Iowa State. Those first four games listed should be games in which the Red Raiders stick to their guns and pass it a ton. In wins, Texas Tech is averaging 210 yards per game. In losses the number is much lower: 120.

While Washington has been effective in almost every game this season, he just doesn’t get the carries to warrant usage in those likely losses. Against Oklahoma State, a loss, he ran for 85 yards, but it was only on 13 carries. Washington ran just seven and eight times against Kansas State and Arkansas.

Sam B. Richardson is extremely usable in his next three games. He gets four great matchups and he has surprisingly been very good through the air in the last two weeks. His matchup against Oklahoma is a great one as they just struggled against Jake Waters and before this past weekend had given up three straight 300+ passing yards per game. The next two games from there are Kansas, Texas Tech, and West Virginia. Those three teams are very susceptible through the air especially if Richardson is throwing it 50+ times a game like he has in last two games. He has thrown at least two TDs in five straight games and has gone for 30+ rushing yards in six of seven games this season.

Sterling Shepard is matchup proof. He can’t be stopped it seems. The guy is Trevor Knight’s only target really. I’m not sure you’ll ever see a series where he isn’t targeted at least once. Shepard is coming off a 15-catch game where he almost eclipsed 200 yards. Due to the kind of routes he runs (all of them), he seems to be matchup proof. Routinely you’ll see him make plays on quick screen passes and other times he runs a post and pulls in the pass. His one negative was his inability to reach the end zone, but he has now found the end zone in three straight games. Oklahoma gets great matchups like Kansas, Iowa State, and Texas Tech in the coming weeks.

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