College Fantasy Football Week 2: Halliday a Dud, Ajayi a Stud

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Stanford: bested. Michigan State: handled. Ohio State: surprised (they miss Braxton). What a week of college football! In a bye week that had immediate Heisman favorite Todd Gurley of Georgia watching from his couch, I, along with many, thought this might be a boring week of college football. Well, now, don’t I feel stupid? Besides the Oregon and MSU game, the next best games to watch this past week were a likely Stanford victory and, if you’re into that kind of thing, Baylor putting up a basketball-esque score against FCS Northwestern State. Which, by the way, they did. That’s what college football will do to you. Turn your back for just a second and you could miss the best play, or game, of the year. For example, here are my seven best moments of an overall (surprisingly) excellent Week 2.

Top seven highlights/headliners of Week 2:

1. The Ducks scoring 28 unanswered points to upend a formidable Spartan team, subsequently ending Michigan State’s 11-game winning streak in the process.

2. Cody Kessler, or should I say Andre Heidari, and the Trojans marching on out of Stanford with a nail-biting victory.

3. Ohio State showing just how much Braxton Miller meant to the team in a weak performance against Virginia Tech that all but sealed its playoff, or lack thereof, fate already.

4. Super-stud Connor Halliday throwing two picks and only one touchdown while helping Washington State take a brutal loss against Nevada. The College Fantasy world wasn’t pleased with that one.

5. Ameer Abdullah doing this while bailing Nebraska out along with being spectacular — as always.

6. Johnny who? Kenny Hill’s base stat line through his first two games as A&M’s starter: 794 yards passing, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions.

7. This could just be me noticing this, but UCLA once again escaped with a single-digit victory. This week it was against Memphis; last week it was Virginia. An early favorite to make it to the first ever College Football Playoff, these Bruins are going to need more to beat the likes of FSU, Oregon and Alabama. A lot more.

With all these twists and turns, you can imagine that my fantasy team was equally unpredictable. On one hand, last week’s picks of James Conner, Marcus Mariota and Jay Ajayi (280 total yards and three TDs) dominated, but Devin Funchess, along with Michigan as a whole, failed to find the endzone and Halliday looked like a ghost of his Week 1 self.

When all was said and done though, I discovered I’d accumulated 352 points through the first two weeks of the season. That’s good enough to place me fifth in the 2,276-member Fans of Oregon Ducks group. Also, I’m ranked 317th overall out of all players worldwide, so I must be doing something right. With that being said, another week is on the horizon and you know what that means for me! Another lineup to pick in the ESPN College Football Challenge. Without further ado, here are my starters:

Quarterback 1: Kenny Hill, Texas A&M Aggies — Hill opened up the post-Manziel era at A&M by upsetting favored and SEC East powerhouse South Carolina, throwing for more than 500 yards and four touchdowns. In Week 2, a week against FCS school Lamar and a week where Hill could’ve easily regressed, he only continued his dominance. He only missed nine throws on his way to nearly 300 yards through the air and another three touchdowns in what was really only one half of action. His completion percentage is hovering around 70%, and he has yet to throw a pick. Hopefully I didn’t jinx myself by saying that, and Hill continues his path of destruction against Rice.

Quarterback 2: Taysom Hill, BYU Cougars – I like this kid. I like him a lot. Most importantly, I like the idea of having both my fantasy quarterbacks named Hill. Seriously though, Hill is an excellent fantasy prospect. Although Hill didn’t throw a touchdown on Saturday, he still managed to place himself as one of the week’s top players due to his three rushing scores. Through two weeks, Hill has 196 yards rushing and a ridiculous five scores on the ground. That, along with his three scores through the air, make Hill someone I just can’t pass up. Heck, I don’t care if he ever throws a touchdown again as long as he keeps running for ’em. Rushing touchdowns are worth more points, anyway.

Gurley looked like a clear Heisman favorite after his Week 1 performance.

thesportspost.com

Gurley looked like a clear Heisman favorite after his Week 1 performance.

Running Back 1: Todd Gurley, Georgia Bulldogs I mean, come on, could it get any more obvious? Georgia heads into a tough Week 3 matchup against South Carolina who is looking for SEC redemption after an embarrassing loss to Texas A&M in Week 1. I expect this game to be a lot closer than either of these two teams’ first games, which means Gurley could see a lot of playing time. Scary thought, right?

In Week 1, Gurley ran for 198 yards and three scores on only 15 touches! Oh, this was, by the way, against an ACC, hard-hitting, Clemson defense led by maybe the best DE in the country, Vic Beasley. For good measure, Gurley added a 100-yard kickoff return for a TD and basically looked untouchable all night. It could get easier than this pick, but I’m not sure how.

Running Back 2: Tevin Coleman, Indiana Hoosiers – I’d never heard of Coleman until after Week 1, but after doing a little research I can’t believe it took me this long. Coleman, a junior at Indiana, has averaged just over seven yards per carry in his tenure at Indiana in a B1G conference that features three of the toughest run defenses in all of college football (Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State). Although Indiana isn’t a great football team, its run game is right up there with the likes of Alabama and Auburn, and it’s mostly thanks to Coleman. He and his backup D’Angelo Roberts rushed a total of 47 times for a combined 376 yards in Week 1, but Coleman stole the show rushing for 247 of those yards to go along with two touchdowns on only 23 carries. Indiana plays Bowling Green in Week 3, and I expect Coleman and Indiana to quite literally run right over them.

That's right, Amari, you're number one!

www.docsports.com

That’s right, Amari, you’re No. 1!

Wide Receiver/Tight End 1: Amari Cooper, Alabama Crimson Tide – Silly, silly me. I was one of the many who took Cooper in Week 1. In terms of pure performance, he was excellent. He caught 12 passes and amassed 130 yards through the air. But, sadly, this is fantasy, and when Cooper didn’t catch a touchdown I was deterred from him. It looked like the Alabama backs would be shouldering most of the scoring load.

Then Week 2 came, and Cooper showed why so many consider him to be the best receiver in the college world. Thirteen catches, 189 yards receiving, 20 yards rushing and a touchdown. That’s a pretty good line for two games, but Cooper did it in just one. Alabama has only completed a pass 51 times through two games, but a whopping 50% of those completions have been to Cooper. Talk about a favorite target. So, here he is in my Week 3 lineup. Why fix what ain’t broken, right?

Wide Receiver/Tight End 2: Keevan Lucas, Tulsa Golden Hurricanes – Just to get this stat out of the way now, Tulsa has thrown the ball 103 times over the first two games of the season. That’s good for third out of all FBS teams, so why not take a receiver from the team that passes that much? Lucas has 23 receptions on the season, which places him with the second most in all of college football. He’s also second in receiving yards, and he’s grabbed four touchdowns through two games.

I was nervous about taking Lucas last week, even after his 233-yard, three touchdown performance in Week 1. Tulsa played Oklahoma, and I was afraid that the Sooners would shut Lucas – and Tulsa – down. I was only partially right. Tulsa did only score seven points, but they all came on a touchdown reception by Lucas that was only one of his 10 receptions against Oklahoma. He has 317 yards so far this season, and last year he finished with 442 yards. I guess you could call this a career year.

Oregon scores a lot of points, so taking their kickers could pay off.

Krebial 2012

Oregon scores a lot of points, so taking its kickers could pay off.

Place Kicker: Oregon Ducks – I promised I’d take a member of the Ducks every week, and I’ve taken Mariota and Byron Marshall already. I’m still waiting for a breakout Duck receiver, and Notre Dame’s defense was too tantalizing. Maybe next week I’ll find a receiver, or maybe try going with running back Thomas Tyner. For now, all I can do this week is go with the kickers. Fingers crossed the Ducks move the ball like they normally do, and kick lots of field goals and extra points.

Defense: Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Yikes. Maybe Michigan isn’t that good, or maybe the Irish are just that good. Either way, holding a Wolverines offense led by Devin Gardner and Devin Funchess to a stunning, startling zero is a feat. Notre Dame plays Purdue this week, and although the ‘Makers have always been able to score in bunches, it is no Michigan. Notre Dame looks hungry for a playoff birth, and I don’t think the Irish are going to let Purdue take that away from them.

If you’re interested in seeing last week’s picks, click here. Come check in next week for a whole new list of picks, and leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Top Photo by Kevin Cline

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Caleb Couturie

Caleb Couturie

Caleb is a sophomore at the University of Oregon intending to double major in Journalism and Sports Management. He is the Managing Editor for FishDuck.com, along with being a lifetime Saints and San Francisco Giants fan, as Caleb fell in love with sports at a young age and developed that love into a passion for sports analysis. He is looking forward to cheering on the Ducks throughout his career at Oregon, and is always willing to talk sports with any fellow fan.

  • lexie

    great article Caleb! i’d be wary of playing in a fantasy football league with the likes of you! keep it up.

  • duckman

    great article

  • Caleb

    Thank you! I appreciate the support.

  • KenR

    Caleb. I liked your game review for last week. I live in FL now, on the GA line, the only O fan among the legions for Florida, Florida State and Georgia, most of whom fly school flags on their over-sized pickups. The most football crazy place I have been since my last stop in College Station. I look forward to your review of Georgia-South Carolina. Huge win for Spurrier.

    • Caleb

      Hey Ken!
      Always love to talk to someone who is a fan of my writing. Sadly my game reviews will be cut to a minimum as I try to focus more on the fantasy aspect of my column, but since you asked I figured it’s only right I give you my take, fan to fan.

      So, my first thought was that Georgia was going to run over SC in this game, especially after Texas A&M drubbed them in Week 1, but after further thought I really started to doubt that. Georgia had a bye week going into this game, so they missed an extra week of tune-ups and basically experience. That extra game of experience really showed for SC, especially in QB Dylan Thompson who looked like a hardened veteran, and not someone making his third start really ever after replacing Connor Shaw. Also, SC was playing at home which immediately gives them an edge. Spurrier and the Gamecocks are one of the toughest team to beat at home, and it showed. Moving on to Georgia, I really started to doubt their ability to win this game when I reviewed the Clemson game. Clemson, a team that isn’t actually all that great, hung around with Georgia until home-field advantage and really Todd Gurley proved to be too much. But Georgia’s QB Hutson Mason is very raw, which worried me. In the end, I thought Georgia would still take it but I was thinking something along the lines of 30-27. Georgia caught some really tough breaks, having a Gurley TD called back and the two missed field goals from their record-breakingly good kicker. In the end, if you put this game at a neutral field and made it the SEC championship game I think Georgia takes it, but for now it’s a huge win for SC and Spurrier. Sadly, I still think neither of these teams should be mentioned in the same breath as the dreaded Alabama or FSU teams, sadly, and I wouldn’t expect either of them to compete against those kind of teams in a playoff scenario. And I apologize for ranting but did you see that Georgia secondary?? That team isn’t going to win anything if they can’t mark assignments. Anyway, that’s how I felt about that game.

  • Ken R

    Best analysis I’ve read of GA/SC. Georgia fans blame bad calls and Gurley not getting the ball on every snap on final drive at 1st and goal, 5:04 remaining. Meanwhile, the Os should thank VaTech, South Carolina and Boston College for clearing out the underbrush of Top 10 undefeateds. Another interesting weekend coming up. All eyes around here on FL/AL, but FLs 3 0Ts to beat UK not a good sign.

    • Caleb

      I really can’t imagine any team going undefeated this season other than Florida State, but then again that’s because they’re in the ACC and have a cream puff schedule compared to the SEC or Pac-12. I mean switch out Florida State for even Ole Miss, who’s probably the fifth best team in the SEC and they could even go undefeated. That’s not to say Florida State isn’t good – they’re great. But the SEC is a beast of a conference. I mean Alabama, Texas AM, LSU, Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina..unbelievable! And as for the Alabama Florida game, can’t imagine Alabama winning by any less than three touchdowns. Florida is week, and QB Jeff Driskel is a dud.

      • Ken R

        You nailed FL/AL score.

        • Caleb

          Florida hung around for a bit, but yeah. Gotta cover Amari Cooper.