2017 Week Two Start/Sit
The first week of the 2017 college football season is in the books, so let’s take a look at which players could make good start or sits in the second weekend. I will not insult anyone by telling them to play Lamar Jackson, Saquon Barkley, Derrius Guice, or Anthony Miller. This article will simply focus on a couple of players at the big three positions who could post monster stat lines or could throw out an underwhelming effort. Without further adieu, let’s get down to business.
Start of the week:
Eric Dungey, Syracuse vs. Middle Tennessee State
Dungey is my favorite start of the week, period. He posted 379 yards of total offense and five total scores in a blowout win last week against Central Connecticut and generally dominates weaker competition. This week’s game against Middle Tennessee could be the fantasy game of the season. Both teams sport prolific offenses and not so prolific defenses, so expect plenty of points and yards in this one. Dungey will need to be running and throwing all over the field to keep pace with MTSU, so 400 total yards and four or five total scores appear well within reach. Start him and reap the rewards.
Brent Stockstill, Middle Tennessee State vs. Syracuse
Did I mention how much I love the players in the Syracuse-Middle Tennessee State game? The over/under is 72, so looks like those guys in Vegas agree. Stockstill had a horrible opening week against a tough Vanderbilt defense, but that should change against Syracuse. The Orange are pretty much allergic to playing defense, so Stockstill should bounce back in a big way. It doesn’t hurt that he has arguably the top fantasy wide receiver in Richie James at his disposal. James could run wild this week and help Stockstill post a monster fantasy line. Look for this Blue Raider to go well over 300 yards passing and toss three or four scores in the process.
Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State vs. South Alabama
Rudolph lit up Tulsa last week to the tune of 306 total yards and four total scores, and could easily duplicate those numbers against South Alabama in Week Two. The Jaguars were torched by Shea Patterson last week and get no reprieve with Rudolph and the Cowboys coming to town. The Pokes may have the best receiving corps in the country and could make plenty of plays against South Alabama. Expect to see another 350 total yards and three or four scores from Rudolph this week. This Cowboy should be started in all league formats.
Sit of the week:
Sam Darnold, USC vs. Stanford
Darnold received a ton of love this offseason and was touted as the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy entering this year. He looked really out of rhythm in the opening game against Western Michigan and now gets to take his shot at a stout Stanford defense. The ceiling just doesn’t appear to be very high for Darnold this week, and he should probably be avoided with so many other options available to fantasy owners. There are likely better fantasy prospects on the waiver wire right now than this Trojan.
Drew Lock, Missouri vs. South Carolina
Lock is fresh off a 521 yard and seven touchdown performance against Missouri State in the season opener for both teams. Lock has a habit of destroying weaker competition one week and laying an egg the next week against stiffer competition. That’s the case this week as he steps up in competition with an SEC division game against South Carolina. The Gamecocks are not world beaters by any means on defense, but they could provide enough resistance to limit Locks’ production this week. It’s a pretty safe limb to go out on and say that Lock won’t be hitting the 500 yard mark this week.
Start of the week:
DeAngelo Brewer, Tulsa vs. La Lafayette
Brewer and the entire Tulsa offense had a very poor showing in Week One against Oklahoma State and should be motivated to drop a huge number on La Lafayette this week. The Ragin Cajuns allowed 343 rushing yards and rushing touchdowns to Southeastern Louisiana last week and could be hard pressed to stop a powerful Tulsa ground game. Brewer will come out and prove why he rushed for over 1500 yards last season and drop at least 150 yards and two scores in this contest.
Rico Dowdle, South Carolina vs. Missouri
Dowdle is probably the second best playmaker for the Gamecocks and has a tantalizing matchup this week with the porous Missouri defense in front of him. The Tigers defense is simply atrocious and just allowed Missouri State to post 492 total yards and 43 points! Dowdle should have plenty of room to run and catch against the Tigers, which should equate to an excellent fantasy outing.
Sit of the week:
Mike Boone, Cincinnati vs. Michigan
Boone has two things working against him in this contest. The first issue with Boone this week is that he is not a good football player. He has been a guy that could “have a big year” for the past three seasons and has yet to deliver on that hype. He had 100 yards and a score against Austin Peay in Week One, but I think my 90 year old grandmother could do that to the Governors. The second issue facing Boone this week is the opponent. The Michigan defense is flat out nasty and it is not a wise fantasy decision to play any running back against them. The Wolverines held Florida to 11 yards rushing on 27 carries in Week One, so it stands to figure that Boone and the Bearcats will have little success trying to run the football. Stay away, stay very far away!
JK Dobbins/Mike Weber, Ohio State vs. Oklahoma
Let’s start off by singing the praises of the true freshman Dobbins. All he did was run for 181 yards in his debut and break the Ohio State record for rushing yards in a game by a freshman. He looked very good and showed he can handle a heavy workload with 29 carries. He is clearly the future for the Buckeyes, and maybe the present as well. The complication comes this week with the expected return of last years starting RB, Mike Weber. He is said to be 100% healthy and will see the field. The distribution of carries and touches is the big mystery and I’m suspecting that Urban Meyer is really the only person that knows the answer. Dobbins appears to the better and more talented player, but it may be wise to stay away this week until we know more of how they both will be used.
Start of the week:
Steve Ishmael, Syracuse vs. Middle Tennessee State
Fantasy pundits may have been a year off with Ishmael. He was supposed to “break out” in 2016 and did not come close to living up to the hype. This year could be a different story all together. Ishmael snared 12 balls for 134 yards in a Week One win over Central Connecticut and appears to be a favorite target in the high powered Syracuse passing game. He could post a ridiculous stat line in a game that could easily feature 80 points and 1000 total yards. Put Ishmael in the starting lineup and enjoy the show in the Carrier Dome.
Deebo Samuel, South Carolina vs. Missouri
Repeat after me….Start anyone you can against Missouri….Start anyone you can against Missouri. This simple concept is a really good fantasy rule to live by and certainly produces results. Samuel had 83 yards and two receiving touchdowns against a stout NC State defense last week and could feast on the pathetic Mizzou secondary. The Tigers could have a real issue containing Samuel and South Carolina may exploit that vulnerability. Look for this Gamecock to score once or twice and go over the 100-yard mark in this SEC showdown.
Simmie Cobbs, Indiana vs. Virginia
Cobbs is back and looks to be in great form. He missed the 2016 season with a broken ankle and appears to be back and better than ever. Cobbs torched the Ohio State defense for 149 yards receiving and a score on 11 receptions. A repeat performance could be in the cards this week against Virginia. This Hoosier should see double digit targets this week and produce at a high level.
Sit of the week:
Christian Kirk, Texas A&M vs. Nicholls
Kirk is an elite playmaker and was widely regarded as a Top 10 fantasy wide out entering the 2017 season. He is on this list simply because of the Aggies QB situation. They simply cannot throw the ball. Starting quarterback Nick Starkel is out after ankle surgery and Kellen Mond can’t hit the broadside of a barn. Kirk will still see targets obviously, but the Aggies may just run and run some more with Trayveon Williams and Keith Ford. Add in the fact that this game should be out of hand by the end of the first quarter and you have a recipe for Kirk to fail this week. It’s hard to bench someone as talented as Kirk, but it might be a wise choice given the circumstances.
Jimmy Williams, ECU vs. West Virginia
Williams was thought by many to be the guy to fill in for the departed Zay Jones, but that may not be the case. He only had 4 catches for 41 yards in a blowout loss to James Madison and could struggle again this week against West Virginia. The play here is to stay away from Williams to see if or when he emerges and holds some fantasy value.