Good, Great, and Gamble Plays Week 6

Quarterbacks

Good QB: Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville (at Temple)- What keeps him from being a great play is that he will be out of this game at halftime. The Cardinals are favored heavily in this one yet again so look for Teddy “Icewater” to look like the Heisman candidate that he is throwing at least three touchdowns before coming out.

Good QB: Derek Carr, Fresno State (at Idaho)- There are two reasons that Carr is just a good play. The first of those is that he, like Bridgewater, may not see much of the second half. Second, Idaho is a completely different team at home. They are one of the few teams in the FBS that plays indoors as they play in the Kibbie Dome. They are still a bad team all around but there is no doubt that playing indoors can affect a team that doesn’t normally play indoors. I still think Carr has a nice game and should be started.

Good QB: Matt Johnson, Bowling Green (vs. Massachusetts)- A little different type of pick here. For those with deep leagues, Johnson could be a good play this week. Johnson has struggled against good defenses this year, but has torched teams that are lacking, and this is a perfect type of matchup for him. Yes, Massachusetts did slow down Vanderbilt’s Austyn Carta-Samuels, but look for Johnson to use the energy of his home crowd and go for a big day. -Matt

Great QB: Blake Bortles, UCF (at Memphis)- Bortles is one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the country that not many know about. He is coming off of a game against South Carolina where he threw for over 350 yards and two touchdowns. He should be facing a defense that gives a bit less resistance in Memphis. Look for Bortles to have his way on Saturday.

Great QB: Cody Fajardo, Nevada (at San Diego State)- Fajardo emphatically returned from a knee injury last week posting a career high in passing yards with 389. What makes him valuable though is his running ability. He accounts for much of the Nevada rushing attack as well. In fact, He has rushed for five touchdowns in just three games. Compile that with a terrible San Diego State defense, and you could be looking at another stellar performance from Fajardo.

Gamble QB: Tommy Rees, Notre Dame (vs. Arizona State)- It can be quite difficult to predict a gamble QB simply because it is a position that touches the ball almost every single play. Rees started the season really well for Notre Dame, but has seen his production dwindle dramatically. Oklahoma found a way to get to him and look for Arizona State to do the same. Arizona State also has some ball-hawking defenders, and because this and of his level of play should be a cause for concern. -Matt

Running Backs

Good RB: Thomas Tyner, Oregon (at Colorado)- With De’Anthony Thomas unlikely to play, the Ducks should turn to Byron Marshall to be the lead back against Colorado. This is relevant as the fabulous freshman Tyner should see action earlier in the ball game as they should be up by at least four scores at halftime. Tyner could see 15+ carries and is almost a lock to find the end zone.

Good RB: Jeff Scott, Ole Miss (at Auburn)- After having a rough week against Alabama, the Ole Miss offense should be looking to bounce back against Auburn. He should definitely improve on the eight carries he had against Alabama. He is one of the most versatile running backs in the SEC and you should see why this week. 

Good RB: Marion Grice, Arizona State (at AT&T Stadium)- How do I put this? Grice loves the end zone. And apparently, the end zone loves him. Grice is leading the country in scoring as he has 12 touchdowns in only four games against some good defenses like Wisconsin and Stanford. Look for Grice to find the end zone at least once when he travels to Notre Dame. Grice is a must-start for certain. -Matt

Great RB: Kasey Carrier, New Mexico (vs. New Mexico State)- Carrier is one of the most dynamic running backs in the country the many don’t know about mainly because he plays for a pretty bad Lobos team. The good news is, he plays a pretty bad New Mexico State team this week and generally has success against the bad defenses on the schedule. In the games against defenses the bottom quarter of the nation this season, he has carried the ball 66 times for 483 yards and five touchdowns. Look  for him to have a huge day on Saturday.

Great RB: Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky (at Louisiana-Monroe)- Bobby Petrino came in and wanted to pass the ball, which probably was frustrating to hear for owners that had Andrews. I guess Andrews wanted to prove a point as he went out and has had a fantastic season so far and is just on a tear right now. He has almost 400 yards and seven rushing TDs…in the past two games.  Look for Petrino to continue to feed the beast and Andrews will surely benefit and have a productive day. -Matt

Gamble RB: Orleans Darkwa, Tulane (vs. North Texas)- Darkwa is a talented back that happens to play for a bad team. This week, he plays a decent North Texas team that has played well against the better teams on their schedule so far. They beat a good Ball State team and scored 21 points on SEC East favorite Georgia. The thing I like about Darkwa this week is the fact that North Texas gives up 5.01 yards per rush so far this season. He is a gamble because he plays for Tulane, plain and simple.

Gamble RB: Storm Johnson, UCF (at Memphis)- This is probably my most risky pick of the season. Storm—Man, I love that name—Johnson is putting together a fantastic season this year and without a doubt is a must start every single week. Memphis gets a reputation of being a terrible team with terrible players, but the strongest part of Memphis is their defensive line. Memphis struggles with a mobile QB, but has done a fairly decent job of shutting down runners (Jordan Parker and David Oku). Those two did get some traction, but for some reason, Memphis can stop the run. People that immediately look at this as an easy major point total might end up being right, but it would not be a surprise to me at all if Memphis’s defensive line does a good job this week. -Matt

 Wide Receivers

Good WR: Sammy Watkins, Clemson (at Syracuse)- Both of these teams love to move the football and do it quickly. Watkins is having a fairly impressive junior campaign, and he seems to be finding his groove after their bye week in Week 3. Look for QB Tajh Boyd to look for Watkins quite a bit. When looking at those two topics and factoring in that Syracuse plays in a dome where weather cannot be a factor, expect a pretty good game from Watkins. -Matt

Good WR: Josh Harper, Fresno State (at Idaho)- Harper might be the #2 receiver for the Bulldogs, but don’t tell him that. Harper has caught six touchdowns in four games this season. Harper seems to be open a lot more and targeted a lot more because opponents target his teammates before him. This leaves him open to just catch passes. Expect for him to have a good game this Saturday. -Matt

Great WR: Tommy Shuler, Marshall (vs Texas San-Antonio)- Marshall has entered conference play this week, and I can guarantee that is music to Shuler’s ears. Shuler has put up consistent numbers throughout the year so far even with Rakeem Cato struggling. Shuler will get his turn to shine going against a team that is brand new to CUSA and has to travel to West Virginia. Look for Cato to get going this week, which means that Shuler could have his best game of the season. -Matt

Great WR: Bernard Reedy/Alonzo Russell, Toledo (vs. Western Michigan)- These two have combined for 66 receptions in five games so far this season. They now are entering conference play where they should see little resistance and this week in particular should be great to them. Look for them to combine for close to 20 catches and 175 yards.

Gamble WR: Jamarcus Nelson, UAB (vs. FAU)- Nelson is nursing an ankle injury that he suffered in last week’s game against  Vanderbilt. Nelson is undoubtedly the best receiver on this UAB team and is dangerous when he gets the ball. The problem is, the quarterback situation in Birmingham is up in the air. If he is indeed good to go, Nelson could be a nice WR3 option for you this week. Update: Reports are saying that Nelson may be held out of Saturday’s game. This does take a lot of the gamble out of this play.

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