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The Fifth Quarter

The Fifth Quarter
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Sitting in for Chris Kay in this weeks edition of The Fifth Quarter.  If you read my long shots piece over on Zach’s site, you’d have seen that I could have done a little better this past weekend – but then again these are long shot picks, so I guess hitting one out of three isn’t so bad. The one that hit, Reggie Bonnafon of Louisville – will definitely need to be under consideration this upcoming weekend as well. Against Notre Dame’s defense, Reggie looked great both early and late in the game, struggling in the middle and looking very much like the true freshman that he is. Fortunately, he gets a generous Kentucky defense this weekend, and while Louisville will look to rely on their ground attack, if Bonnafon’s price remains around 5,000 on DK, I’ll probably have him in some lineups.

We always love bankable commodities in CFB, even more than in other sports because coaches are so likely to keep gameplans, depth charts, and injury reports close to the vest. Well, I feel really strongly that we have a lock this weekend in Robert Martin of Rutgers. As someone fortunate enough to live in the Northeast, and watch way too many Rutgers games in recent years, I’ve seen how this coaching staff operates: if possible, they want to run the ball in every situation they can. Since Paul James went down earlier this season, the run game has been spotty, but we’ve seen a couple big games from Martin now, and this past week – fortunately for us – he faced a tough Michigan State defense that limited him to 15 carries for 70 yards – with carry distribution between Martin and Hicks (who “got the start” – just like Keith Ford against Kansas) of 16 carries to 8 carries. When Coach Kyle Flood was asked after the game what he thought about the running back forecast against his Maryland he responded that “My initial reaction is that it will probably be similar.” That being said never trust a CFB coach, but, to summarize, we do have these points in our favor:

  • Maryland has a bottom 30 run D in the country
  • Robert Martin went for 3 TDs two weeks ago, and got by far the most carries this past weekend
  • Gary Nova is Rutgers’ QB – they like to run it a lot for a reason…

There’s going to be potential for a lot of cheap running back plays this weekend – we saw a good amount of injuries, with clear fill-ins, as well as some moderate breakouts with potential to maintain solid play going forward. If James Conner is out, Chris James will definitely be worth a look, even against a stout Miami run D – if only because the potential is there for 25-30 carries. Devin Chafin has been pretty solid for a few weeks now, but really went off against Oklahoma State (granted it was pouring rain) and gets the tastiest of tasty matchups this weekend in Texas Tech. TJ Logan, who admittedly I find it difficult to trust with Romar Morris now back from his DUI suspension, had a nice game against Duke and now gets the terrible NC State run defense. All of these guys have issues you can pick at, but if they’re price in the $4,100 – $4,600 range this weekend, I would think they’d have to be under consideration.

I think the theme of Cody Kessler’s career is that Cody Kessler annihilates bad defenses, and is barely usable in all other matchups. Here are Cody’s numbers against Fresno, Cal, Washington State, and Colorado (4 games):

96/137, 371/YPG, 20 Passing TDs, 1 INT

And now for the other 7 games:

164/236, 236/YPG, 10 Passing TDs, 3 INT

Pretty crazy. Now, how does that set up for this weekend? Cody gets Notre Dame – who I still think isn’t quite getting the credit they deserve for exactly how bad their defense is. This “defense” hasn’t given up less than 30 points in the past six points, and I don’t see that changing this weekend. I guess the concern is that Sarkisian just gameplans to getting Javorious (Buck is a cool nickname I guess, but why do you need a nickname when your first name is already way more than cool enough?) the ball, but he’s looked worn down a bit in recent weeks. I’m expecting Kessler’s numbers to look more similar to the Cal/Fresno/Wazzu/Colorado games, than the eggs he’s laid against everyone else, and hopefully we’ll get him at a nice little price dip after last week’s clunker at the Rose Bowl.

I hated on Marquise Williams early this season, largely because of his inconsistency, and also because I was rooting for his back-up to win the job. Clearly, he’s proven me completely wrong in recent weeks, going on an absolute tear. Seriously, if he hadn’t fumbled three times inside the Duke 25 yard line in the first half this past Thursday, he might have broken the sixty point barrier on DK. This week, going up against the fighting Brissetts – you may know them as NC State – what would his price have to be for you not to roster him? I think anything less than $10,000 and he’s in the majority of my cash lineups. He’s good for about 20 carries a game, and has so many different playmakers to spread the wealth to, both vertically (Holllins, Davis) and on short screens (Switzer, Howard) as well as a ton of random guys as well – that he practically sleepwalks to 250+ yards while not even throwing the ball a ton of times per game. The main concern here is that my boy Jacoby Brissett doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain and turn this into a shootout, but here’s banking that UNC’s defense remembers their (terrible) identity after last week’s outlier performance against Duke.

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